Isaiah 53:4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
I met a victim. Out of respect, I will be very vague.
This lady told me her hardships. And they were many. I have an empathic personality type. I feel things deeply and can sense where others around me are at. To my detriment…or perhaps just torture at times. I could sense her pain. It was so palpable. With utmost sensitivity, as I know abuse, trauma, and trials firsthand, I also sensed she was a “victim.” I didn’t know how to react at first.
You are not your mistakes nor are you defined by your struggles.
I just wanted to establish that first. We may experience mistreatment, but it doesn’t need to make us a victim per se. It doesn’t define us. But, at the same time, as this lady was talking to me I was thinking about what the Bible says. Yes, we’re more than conquerors per Romans 8:37. And of course Messiah (Yeshua/Jesus) is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords per Revelation 19:16. But He was also the greatest victim too. Think about that.
He was rejected and mistreated so many times. He was unfairly judged, slandered, abused, and murdered. Then there’s the disciples, prophets, and other believers who were rejected, abused, tortured, and killed too. I realize that there are wonderful promises of blessing in scripture. I believe poverty is a curse. However, this must be faced:
2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted
Persecution will happen.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
Trials will happen.
Luke 21:17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake.
Being hated will happen.
Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Afflictions will happen.
We live in a fallen world. There’s a very real spiritual battle going on. But this too…
John 15:20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
Bad stuff happens. Some experience it more than others, but all do-especially believers.
As this lady was talking I was conflicted. Because I have compassion, I felt her pain but realized as long as she defines herself by it she’ll never get better.
And I get it.
I’ve been there. Believe me. At some point you have to take the lemons and make the best lemonade you can with God’s help. We are judged by our faithfulness with what we’ve been given.
Today, I want to encourage you to look to the author and finisher of your faith, Jesus. He was a victim too. The greatest one. But He is not defined by it. You aren’t either. I know life is tough. You may have it worse than your neighbor. And you may not also. We don’t know all of what someone is going through and where they came from. Only God knows the entirety. If you remember nothing else I wrote in this blog, that’s OK as long as you receive this…
God loves you and what He says about you is what’s true. Your self worth doesn’t come from anything but Him. You won’t be whole until you get this.
I’m sorry you’re hurting. Abba is even more so. Jesus is a high priest who understands. Look to the greatest victim and see that He overcame and you can too.
Forward in faith.
Hebrews 4:16 ESV Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Isaiah 53:2-5 ESV For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.