Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 10:48 pm | Fair 66º

 
 
 
 
Faith

Jim Langley: Let’s Visit Victimization

I imagine most of us have felt victimized at some point in our lives. Victimization is a fairly new word to the English language, but synonyms like abuse, ill treatment, discrimination and persecution have been used for centuries.

This newly found word lends itself to a feeling, a perception that others are out to get you and take advantage of you without any concern at all for your well-being.

I find this whole idea of victimization to be quite bothersome. Yes, I know there truly are victims in this world, but I believe there are many out there who perceive they are victims when they are not being victimized at all.

Just because we may go through tough times doesn’t make us victims. Tough times are an integral part of life.

The Book of Job, which many believe is one of the oldest life accounts found in the Bible, sheds light on the tragedies of this wealthy, godly man who lived during the time of the patriarchal period after the Great Flood.

Job lost his wealth, all his children and his health. Things were so bad that we hear a discussion in Job 2:9-10 in which “His wife said, ‘Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die?’ He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”

Job was a godly man who took whatever came his way and trusted God implicitly in all matters.

We would be wise to follow Job’s response when we feel victimized. Job understood that God was in control, and he gladly accepted whatever circumstance beset him.

In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul proclaims “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him, who gives me strength.”

The Him Paul refers to is the Holy Spirit! He’s our Comforter and our Redeemer. I can hardly imagine going through life without knowing that He is right there by my side in all circumstances that I face in life.

Let me share a real life situation that recently occurred to a local family the world would consider to be victims. A few months ago, the son-in-law of one my wife’s closest friends was air lifted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with a rare infection to his heart that nearly took his life.

At 29, this young businessman was in fine health and simply going about his daily routine when he started feeling ill. One evening, his wife had to call the paramedics and he was rushed to a local hospital emergency room. His wife and five young children had to stay behind!

It now appears that he will be making a full recovery. For some unknown reason God allowed this family to go through this unfortunate and traumatic experience.

You see, we can handle adversity like Paul and Job, or fall into the negative energy of the world and consider ourselves victims if we choose. Frankly, I prefer to handle the challenges of life as they come and not succumb to the pattern of this world.

In Romans 12:2, Paul instructs us “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

As believers, we have a great opportunity to handle adversity with grace and confidence. The world is watching us closely and my hope is that they may find Jesus through our example as His followers.

Passages to Ponder

» Job 42:1-6

» Proverbs 3:5-6

» 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

» Romans 8:35-39

» 1 John2:28-29

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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