Making the Decision to Go from Victim to Victor

5 Mins read

Romans 8:37 (TPT)
Yet even in the midst of all these things, we triumph over them all, for God has made us to be more than conquerors, and his demonstrated love is our glorious victory over everything!

This popular verse from Paul’s letter to the Roman church comes at the end of a long list things that we all have to face at some point or another. In the verses that proceed this one, Paul talks about how nothing can diminish God’s love for us. He discusses troubles, pressures, problems, persecutions, deprivations, dangers and even threats of deaths when he was compiling his list of things that can’t separate us from God’s love. At the end of this list, Paul makes a powerful declaration. He said that “in the middle of all these things, we triumph over them all.”

That’s a pretty harrowing list to find yourself “in the middle of” isn’t it? However, the things that Paul discussed in that list are the very things that we deal with on a daily basis. No, everyday may not include threats of death, but maybe you’ve run into your fair share of problems. You may not consider yourself “deprived,” but are troubles and pressures really that uncommon in your life? Probably not.

Paul doesn’t just stop at saying that we can conquer those problems. Instead, he says that we are “more than conquerors.” Not only does Paul say that we can endure these things, but he also goes so far as to say that we can triumph over them. However, our role as a victor over the problems that we face largely depends on our mindset in the middle of them.

Each of us have to choose between becoming a victim of our circumstances and living as a victor over them. God has promised us victory, but it’s often easy to let the problems, pressures, troubles and other issues of everyday life cloud our vision. When we establish a vision of victory, we can stifle the vision of victimhood that the enemy would try to cause us to embrace. A beautiful example of deciding between victory and victimhood is found in the book of Job.

At the beginning of the book that bears his name, we find out that Job was a wealthy man. In fact, the Bible says that Job was the “greatest of all the people in the east” (Job 1:3). Not only did he have ten children, but he also had been blessed with thousands of animals, fields, employees and more. Job had everything he could ever want. The Bible also says that Job was a Godly man. It goes so far as to say that he was blameless, upright, that he feared God and that he turned away from evil (Job 1:1).

That is why people around Job were so stunned when his life took a drastic turn. In the rest of chapter one, we read about how Satan went before God and asked for permission to test one of God’s children. There’s no way to know how many people were on earth at this point, but it speaks to Job’s character that God chose him for testing. Why would God do that? Because God knew that Job was more than a conqueror!

God gave Satan permission to test Job, and only put one rule in place. Satan wasn’t allowed to touch Job’s body. What followed could only be described as a disaster. On the same day, Job found out that all of his animals had either died or had been stolen. In an even more heartbreaking turn of events, all ten of his children died when they were at his oldest son’s home and the house collapsed on them. In an instant, Job lost everything.

Wouldn’t it have been easy to sink into victimhood? If we’re being honest, all of us would have taken to our bed, shut the curtains, closed the doors and mourned our existence. There is no way to imagine how heartbroken Job was. Obviously, he was mourning the loss of ten children at the same time. He also faced on uncertain economic future as he had just lost everything he had ever worked for. Job was faced with a decision: victory or victimhood?

Job 1:21 (ESV)
And he said, “Naked I came form my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Wait, what?! How could a man who just lost his children and his life’s work praise God?! Because Job embraced the victory associated with a relationship with God over the victimhood associated with total devastation. Frustrated, Satan returned to God and asked for permission to test Job further.

In chapter two, God once again suggested that Satan should test Job. This time, He even gave Satan permission to touch Job’s body, but made it known that Satan couldn’t kill him. This wasn’t done to torment Job. It was a decision that God made because He had faith in Job’s faithfulness. Armed with a fresh chance, Satan believed he could get Job to abandon his faith and embrace his victimhood.

Job 2:7-8 (ESV)
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.

We don’t know how much time passed between the events of chapter one and chapter two, but this is an astounding freefall into loss. Surely Job would accept the fact that he was a victim now, right? Not only was he destitute, but his children were gone. On top of all that loss, now he has some kind of sores from his feet to his head. When Job’s wife encouraged him to “curse God and die,” Job continued to offer praise.

Job 2:10 (ESV)
But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Over the course of about 30 chapters, Job’s three friends come and try to change his perception. They blamed him for his situation and urged Job to dive into a pool of self-pity. Job, who continued to defend himself and his commitment to God also continued to vocalize his faith in God as the source of all things good.

How was Job able to continue praising God in the middle of complete loss? Because Job refused to let himself become a victim of his circumstances. Near the end of the story of Job, he makes a powerful declaration:

Job 42:2 (ESV)
I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

Job knew that he wasn’t a victim because of his relationship with God. God was pleased with Job’s faithfulness so much that He blessed Job with ten more children. Additionally, the book of Job closes with the fact that Job wound up with twice as much livestock as he had at the beginning of the book.

Job 42:16-17 (ESV)
And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. And Job died, and old man, and full of days.

How was Job able to remain a victor in the face of his perceived victimhood? The same way that we are. Paul said in the verse we read at the beginning that God’s love for us is our glorious victory over everything. When we are faced with what seems like total devastation, we can maintain a victorious mindset because God’s love for us is our victory over everything! You aren’t a victim, you’re more than a conqueror. Embrace your victory, child of God.

A Closing Prayer:
God, only you know the depth of the pain that I’m feeling. However, I don’t want to approach this pain from a place of victimhood. Instead, help me to focus on Your love for me. Help me to embrace the victory that comes from Your love. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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