Trouble in this life is merely a symptom of being alive on the planet Earth. There is however, an ancient memory in the hearts of humans around the world that things were once better than they are now. There is also a desire in our hearts for that perfection and bliss that existed in the beginning. Where does that desire come from? If we are only the product of an accidental collision of atoms and molecules and random events over a period of billions of years, why should we expect anything different than what we currently experience?
In fact, some of the most intelligent and scientifically minded people in the last several hundred years have clearly accepted the view that there is really no purpose for our being here. Yet this desire for a better life persists, and also the conviction that we truly have a right to it. That conviction is even formally stated in one of the United State’s founding documents, our Declaration of Independence.
Every political revolution and uprising in the world is driven by this desire to create a better, freer society, or at least for the freedom of those revolting. The only problem is that after we win our political freedom, we find we are still prisoners or slaves of something else. There is something still missing after all external restraints are removed. Why else would so many who live in this great and wonderful nation of ours deliberately chain themselves to things that poison and destroy their health, prosperity and the very happiness they seek?
Then when all is said and done they seek relief in finding someone else to blame, whether society, their parents, their school teachers, their churches, or their genes.
An ancient and often ridiculed book, the Bible, offers the clear explanation and answer to all these problems. Many people who call themselves Christians and who claim to believe the Bible would do well to take it more seriously. It tells of the original declaration of independence. This was made by the first humans to their Creator and Heavenly Father, God. Their decision was to judge right and wrong for themselves, instead of trusting Him and His goodness to guide them in life.
This tendency to trust in our own opinions has continued in us from that time on, and has brought untold heartache, pain, destruction and death throughout the ages. God’s love for humanity has not abated, however. He has continued to shower blessing after blessing upon us in spite of ourselves. He has also placed this hope in the heart of humanity and creation itself, that a better day is ahead! That hope is the only explanation for the good things we do which have even the slightest hint of a pure motive.
He has placed eternity in our hearts!
Yes, we were all born into a fallen and decaying world. Yes, we have all experienced pain and suffering which we cannot understand. From these statements you might consider yourself a victim. How does that help anyway?
No, I am not a victim! In fact, by the mercy of God I have learned of His plan for me to overcome all of the disadvantages I encounter in life. His life, His love, His peace and joy far outweigh my struggles and difficulties. The promise of eternity in heaven with Him alone is enough to enrapture my heart! The riches of His Kingdom that I experience now are just icing on the cake!
When I read the pages of the New Testament, it is hard to find the self-pity that we nurture in our society today. Instead we are encouraged to endure hardship, persecution and temptation with confidence and even joy! A complaining attitude just does not fit in an environment of gratitude and praise to God. It is time to abandon this trend towards a victim mentality in the church.
Our songs of worship and praise are not enough. Our conversations need to express that same attitude of thanksgiving towards God and for the life He has provided.
It is certainly easy to find reasons for complaining. People are often unfair. They don’t always keep their promises. They lie, cheat and steal. But how about me? Do I ever fail? That is why Jesus told us to forgive. We need forgiveness too.
When I say I am not a victim, that does not mean I am never victimized. It is just that God has given me a better outlook. I am not a victim. That is not who I am. Neither are you, if you are in Christ. In Him we are more than overcomers — more than conquerors!
No one was more of an innocent victim than Jesus. Even the ungodly Pilate could find no wrong in Him. But He conquered it all. He conquered their hatred, their spitting upon Him, their curses, their beatings, their nailing His hands and feet to the Cross. Not only did He endure it all, forgiving them all, but He returned from the grave to prove His Lordship over all!
You and I can believe this story is true, because we know it is true! We can turn from trusting in our own decisions, our own wisdom, our own feelings, and begin trusting in His grace to save us. He will then fill us with His power and victory over our circumstances. He will begin to live His life through us, so we will never think of ourselves as victims again!