Victim

I have a wise and wonderful friend who works on the front lines of reconciliation and has taught me multitudes since our days first meeting as college freshmen.

I recently got to steal a few precious hours with her while she was in town and she shared a word that had been imparted to her from another wise soul, which in turn has been turning over and around in my heart ever since.

It went something like this: Often, we think of faith as living by a determined set of beliefs or moral codes, and right living as determined by the set code demonstrates faith.  But, what if we defined having faith as simply believing that life happens FOR you and not TO you?

Life happens for you and not to you.

{An aside: I am not proposing, nor do I believe that “everything happens for a reason”. No, there is an enemy who currently has reign in this world and we would be daft to think there isn’t senseless evil all around us as a result of God’s gracious gift of free will. Enough said.}

However, I do believe in a God who is bigger, more powerful, more purposeful than said enemy, who says that He is for us and not against us, who promises He can USE anything meant for evil for good. He assures He will work it ALL together for good for those who love Him.

So what if you combed back through your life, looking through the lens of faith that this nameless sage proposed, and began to ask what each tragedy, each disappointment, each victory was FOR?

What if you were not the victim of this life… assuming that things just happened TO you, but that God just might be able to use every one of those circumstances in your favor, FOR you? To humble you, to grow your patience, to soften you, to sharpen you, to deepen your compassion or empathy, perhaps to develop the sense that you are just a visitor merely passing through and this is not your home!? Could the players in your life – parents, siblings, teachers, friends, enemies – have been cast for good purpose to teach you, to illuminate a gap that you would fill, to demonstrate a behavior that you would avoid, to cause a division where you could build a bridge?

As my friend and I talked, she intimated that as she swept back over her life with this sort of faith, this trust in a God who is for us, that resentment began to dissipate, that forgiveness was found, that purpose replaced holes formerly inhabited by bitterness or despair.

If he is for you then who can be against you?

God will work all things together…He has promised. And He who has promised is faithful.


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