I imagine most of us have felt victimized at some point in our lives. Victimization is a fairly new word to the English language, but synonyms like abuse, ill-treatment, discrimination and
persecution have been used for centuries. This newly found word lends itself to a feeling, a perception that others are out to get you and take advantage of you without any concern at all for your
well-being. I find this whole idea of victimization to be quite bothersome. Yes, I know there truly are victims in this world, but I believe there are many out there who perceive they are victims
when they are not being victimized at all. Just because we may go through tough times doesn’t make us victims. Tough times are an integral part of life.
The Book of Job, which many believe is one of the oldest life accounts found in the Bible, sheds light on the tragedies of this wealthy, godly man who lived during the time of the patriarchal period after the Great Flood. Job lost his wealth, all his children and his health. Things were so bad that we hear a discussion in Job 2:9-10 where “His wife said, ‘Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and Die?’ He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” Job was a godly man who took whatever came his way and trusted God implicitly in all matters.
We would be wise to follow Job’s response when we feel victimized. Job understood that God was in control and he gladly accepted whatever circumstance beset him. In Philippians 4:11-13 Paul proclaims “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him, who gives me strength.” The Him Paul refers to is the Holy Spirit! He’s our Comforter and our Redeemer. I can hardly imagine going through life without knowing that He is right there by my side in all circumstances that I face in life.
Let me share a real life situation that I continue to follow as my family prays for a local family that the world would certainly consider victims of an unfortunate turn of events. A few months ago, the son-in-law of one my wife’s closest friends was medevaced to UCLA Medical Center with a rare infection to his heart that nearly took his life. At 29 up to this point, this young businessman was in excellent health and was simply going about his daily routine when he started feeling ill. That evening, his wife had to call the paramedics to their home and he was rushed to a local hospital emergency room. His wife and five children, all under the age of ten, had to stay behind! Hundreds have been praying for this family for the past few months and it looks as though he will make a full recovery and be back to work soon. For some unknown reason God allowed this family to go through this traumatic experience.
You see, we can handle adversity like Paul and Job or fall into the negative energy of the world and consider ourselves victims if we choose. Frankly, I prefer to handle the challenges of life as they come and not succumb to the pattern of this world. In Romans 12:2 Paul instructs us “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
As believers, we have a great opportunity to handle adversity with grace and confidence. The world is watching us closely and my hope is that they may find Jesus through our example as His followers.
Passages to Ponder: Job 42:1-6; Proverbs 3:5-6; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Romans 8:35-39; 1 John2:28-29
© 2017, all rights reserved. Note: Jim Langley has been an agent with New York Life since 1983 and an active member of CBMC of Santa Barbara since 1987. These “Fourth Quarter Strategies” discussions are designed to “light a fire” under Christian business and professional men so we might be more effective in the marketplace for the sake of Christ, our Lord and Savior!