Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

From Victim to Victor

by Julie Smith

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Romans 8:37, NLT

Last night I was inspired by an older man, I saw on TV, who had lost his eyesight overnight at the age of nineteen. Both he and his wife shared, without a hint of self-pity or bitterness, how they have spent their lives raising funds for charities for the blind. The man cheerfully proclaimed, “I’ve always had the belief that, if you sit with your feet in water, you’ll freeze!” They certainly weren’t living as victims of their circumstances.

I don’t know if they were Christians. But I do know that whatever adversity we, who belong to Jesus, may have suffered in life, we have full assurance that we need never live as victims: ‘No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.’ That’s a bold and powerful statement, especially in today’s world where so many people are suffering, many to the point that their lives have been utterly devasted through man’s depravity and sinful choices.

You may be one of them and be all too aware that what you suffered has affected the way you are today. Yet, through Jesus, even in suffering, there is victory. Perhaps you wonder in your heart if that can really be true.

My conviction that it is true comes from my own experience. I was once full of shame, and unable to look anyone in the eye. But the power of God’s love in my deepest suffering lifted me from years of being clothed in a victim identity to living in the joy and freedom of the victorious life Jesus won for me.

There was a time when I used to find Bible verses to justify my belief that I was so low, and so bad, that I couldn’t even be helped by Jesus. I would find verses like Jeremiah 17:9: ‘The heart is wicked and deceitful above all things.’ “You see,” I would protest, “I’m bad, worthless, rubbish. God says so. That verse is about me!”

Sometimes it was the other way round, and I would go to those psalms where David prays for vengeance against his enemies. Fuelled by the pain of injustice, I got caught up in demanding God’s wrathful punishment against those who had harmed me.

I believe we can so easily deceive ourselves that we’re being spiritual when the reality is we are forever living out that horrible victim mentality which doesn’t belong to us. For Jesus calls us to release our judgements to Him, and to pour out to Him the heartache and anger from all we have suffered. Then He can wash us clean, comfort us, and do what only He can do, His beautiful work of redeeming all we have lost.

But letting go of our judgements against those who have harmed us is tough. One thing which really helped me was being reminded that there is a Day of Judgement to come. The books of heaven will be opened for all to see, and no-one will be able to escape God’s judgement (Hebrews 4:12). As hard as it was, I grasped that it really was safe to release my judgement to Him. He is the perfect judge. And, as I gave Him my willingness, He released His Holy Spirit empowerment.

When I dared to trust Jesus with my pain, I received His comfort and love in my heart. It brought such peace and hope, in a way that nothing else ever could. That’s when I knew there really can be victory in suffering. The enemy hasn’t won. Love has triumphed. We receive new strength to carry on. In God’s hands all the losses and pain are woven into His beautiful redemptive plan, His beauty for our ashes.

Suffering doesn’t define us as victims! No! We have a new and true identity in Christ. We are victors through Him who died for us.

Julie Smith is married to Roger, and they have two grown up children. Having received deep healing in her own life, primarily through ministry at Ellel Grange and then attending the Modular School at Glyndley Manor, she went on to join the Glyndley associate ministry team. She now works part-time for Ellel Ministries and is an associate teacher with the ministry. She is passionate to see others restored and released into the abundant life Jesus won for us all.


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