Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
It is so easy for us to remain stuck in a “victim mentality” rather than live in victory through Christ. Each one of us has sinned against someone and we have been sinned against. Some hurts are so deep that we walk around ready to rip open the bandage and expose our wounds to anyone who will look so that they can know of our pain and perhaps comfort or sympathize with us. We walk around with a “placard” that says, “I’ve been betrayed, abandoned, cheated against, abused (physically or emotionally) or…” well, you can fill in the blank. Our tendency is to first take our hurts to our family or friends and eventually to God.
I imagine our heavenly Father with His arms opened wide waiting for us to bring all our wounds to Him. He wants to comfort and give us His strength.
God is the only One who will listen anytime night or day. He is the only One who can truly comfort us. He’s the One who stands ready to take us from victim to victory. We don’t discount our pain or what has happened, but God takes our pain, hurts and suffering and transforms them to treasure for His glory. We can claim victory through Christ! Our pain will no longer define who we are. It is included in the fabric of our life to make us who we are.
I remember, ever so clearly, before I was a Christian walking around, downcast all the time, saying to just about everyone, “Why me? Poor me.” My teen sons were spiraling out of control in the drug world; I was in pain, miserable and hurt. I beat myself up for being a bad mom and wife. But after I gave my heart to Jesus, I began to continually cry out to Him and surrender it all to Him daily. I admit I took it back a few times. I came to know He was the only One who could give me or my family victory.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) became my reality. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. God is in the business of transforming lives as they are surrendered to Him. Not only has my victim status been transformed to victory, but He has transformed my pain for His glory. Who but God!
Mary Ann Kiernan
Mary Ann recently retired after 11 years on staff at America’s Keswick, where she served both in women’s ministry and as the Intake Manager at the Colony of Mercy. She plans to become a regular contributor to Victory Call after a cruise with her husband. This devotional originally appeared in Real Victory for Real Life, Volume 2.