Romans 8:37, “The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all these difficulties.” (GWT)
Now, CNN doesn’t often do news stories about high school football players, but there was something very special about this South Carolina player they described this way: “Sometimes the biggest heart on the field can fit into the smallest player.” Well, the name of the player – Kos, a Siberian orphan, adopted by an American family, and as they told the story, he has no legs. He lost them the day he and his friend decided to hop aboard a freight train. For some reason, his friend pushed him, and he landed under the wheels of the train. Now, in this story, he was playing nose tackle on one of his high school’s football teams. As hard as that might be to imagine, he had several solo tackles the past season; he recovered two fumbles; he was such a threat that other teams had to assign two players to defend against him. He would just swing into the fray and knock them down with his strong arms and his head. His heart on the field and his infectious personality affected more than one school. The football coach at Clemson University brought Kos in to demonstrate his skill to that college team. The coach said, “If my players would max out on what they can give like this young man has, we’d win a lot of games.” By the way, Kos’ goal is to get a good job and make enough money to build a big house with several bedrooms, so he can provide a home for as many disabled Russian orphans as possible.
VICTIM: That’s what a lot of people in our world feel like. And many of them have been victims of neglect, abuse, gossip, a broken family, tragedy, or rejection. The wounds are real. But that young football player is living proof that your wounds don’t have to define who you are. They don’t have to decide how you handle your life. If you’re living your life saying, “I’m a victim”, it’s ultimately not the fault of the people who hurt you. You have made the choice to let those who’ve hurt you and the wounds they gave you to define your life.
THAT OVERCOMING FOOTBALL PLAYER? He had the resume of a victim: no parents, no legs, abandonment, and disability. BUT he made another choice. He said in his interview that he could see how God was working in his life. He sounds like the great Apostle Paul, who had been through more hurt and abuse than most of us could imagine: whippings, prison, injustice, slander, hit squads determined to kill him, shipwreck, an incurable and painful physical condition. Better yet, let’s see how the Bible states it: 2 Corinthians 11:23-29, “…I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches…” (MSG) And as bad as that sounds, listen to what he says in Romans 8 beginning with verse 31, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?…Can anything ever separate us from God’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger?…No, despite all these things, (Paul says) overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” The Amplified Bible reads like this: “What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?]Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (AMPC)
Paul, and a Russian orphan who chose to live as an overcomer instead of a victim show us the secret of rising above our hurt and our limitations. First, choose to be defined by your love relationship with Jesus Christ, which is disease-proof, terror-proof, disaster-proof and death-proof. Secondly, focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do. Thirdly, dedicate yourself to use what you have and what you’ve been through to help other hurting people.
You decide what you’re going to let define you: your pain or your possibilities, your environment or your attitude, your past or your future, your wounds or Jesus’ wounds when He died for you. You can be, as one version says, “…more than conquerors and gain a surpassing VICTORY through Him Who loved us.” (Romans 8:37 – AMPC). You Have VICTORY, Therefore, You Are NOT a VICTIM! You Are More Than a Conqueror, You Are an Overcomer! Look at Romans 8:37 in a few translations:
“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (NLT)
“But we have power over all these things through Jesus Who loves us so much.” (NLV)
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (NKJV)
“But in all these things we are completely victorious through God who showed his love for us.” (NCV)
“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” (NASB)
“No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!” (GNT)
“The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all these difficulties.” (GWT)
“In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us.” (CEV)
“But in all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us.” (CEB)
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us].” (AMP)
“Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.” (AMPC)
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” (Romans 8:31-39 MSG)
Champions, instead of sitting on life’s sidelines, nursing your wounds and making excuses, you can get in the game and you can play to WIN! How do I know? Because the Bible says so! You are a Victor, and Victor’s have Victories, and Victories are celebrated Win’s! And You My Friend WILL Win Again!
Luke 21:19, “By your steadfastness and patient endurance you shall WIN the true life of your souls.” (AMPC)
Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to WIN the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.” (AMPC)
1 Peter 5:4, “And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will WIN the conqueror’s crown of glory.” (AMPC)
2 Peter 1:8, “Look to yourselves (take care) that you may not lose (throw away or destroy) all that we and you have labored for, but that you may [persevere until you] WIN and receive back a perfect reward [in full].” (AMPC)
Listen, whether your struggle is physical, spiritual, financial or emotional, your struggle is no match for your victor’s mentality! Never let what you’re going through to give you an attitude of loss, failure and victim. Remember the Word of God always: “For whatever is born of God is VICTORIOUS over the world; and this is the VICTORY that conquers the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4 AMPC); “Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], BECAUSE HE WHO LIVES IN YOU IS GREATER (MIGHTIER) THAN HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD.” (1 John 4:4 AMPC); “I HAVE STRENGTH FOR ALL THINGS IN CHRIST WHO EMPOWERS ME [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].” (Philippians 4:13 AMP)
Not even having a handicap should hinder you from pursuing greatness and God’s best, purpose and plan for your life. Don’t you dare give up! And do not throw yourself anymore pity-parties! You may not be first or best, but you can still be an overcomer who walks in victory!
The very next time you doubt whether you have enough to do a work for God or dare to under-estimate yourself, your worth and value, just remember this: Jacob was a Master of Deception; Gideon was a Self-Doubter; David was a Premeditated Sinner; Solomon was an Unwise Lover; Paul Was an Adversary; Elijah was Suicidal; Noah was Drunk; Abraham was Old; Jeremiah was Young; Timothy had Ulcers; Job Went Bankrupt With Boils; The Disciples Fell Asleep During Intercession; Isaiah Preached Naked; Leah wasn’t exactly a Beauty Queen; Naomi Lost All the Men in Her Life; John the Baptist was Beheaded at a Birthday Party; The Samaritan Woman Had Too Many of Other Folks Men; Saul was Tall; Zacchaeus was small; Samson was a Womanizer; Rahab was a Prostitute; Jonah was a Prejudiced Prophet; and Lazarus was Dead and yet God used each of them greatly! So why can’t He use even you?!
God can use you, yes, even you! No matter what you come with! God is not fearful of your past, mistakes, failures, baggage, sins, or screw-ups. He’s not limited by your limitations!
“VICTIM” is defined as “one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions; one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment; one that is tricked or duped; a casualty, fatality, loss or prey.”
“VICTOR” is defined as “one that defeats an enemy or opponent in a battle, game or competition; winner; beater; conqueror; master; subduer”. It’s Latin Origin, ‘vincere’ literally means ‘conquer.’
Since we as believers are more than CONQUERORS, then we are ALWAYS VICTORS…and NEVER VICTIMS!
Today, I want you to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are about to get back off the bench and back into the game! Yes, you have bruises, you’re hurting, you’re in pain, you’re tired, you no longer want to receive anymore blows, but you can’t win a game you’re not playing! So suit up champ, you’re going back in! Victim’s quit, victor’s don’t have quitting in their vocabulary!
2 Corinthians 4:7-10, “However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair; We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed; Always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown forth by and in our bodies.” (AMPC)
“TO or FOR is the difference between VICTIM or VICTOR. VICTIMS say it’s done TO me, VICTORS say it’s done FOR me.” (Nathaniel Bronner)
“Every test in our life makes us BITTER or BETTER, every problem comes to BREAK US or MAKE US. The choice is ours whether we become VICTIM or VICTOR.” (Author Unknown)
“The VICTIM mentality sees itself as helplessly controlled by outside forces. The VICTOR mentality navigates life through the power of internal choices.” (John Mark Green)
“Today you can make the decision to no longer be a VICTIM; of your past, of your mistakes, of your failures, of your bad relationships, of your financial situation, of your weight, of your health, of other people’s opinion of you and even of your own negative self-worth. This day, in this moment; you can decide to no longer be a VICTIM and start being a VICTOR.” (Eddie Harris Jr.)
“Be a VICTOR, not a VICTIM.” (Joel Osteen)
“You can’t expect to be a VICTOR if you’re living with a VICTIM mentality.” (Billy Cox)
“You can be a VICTIM or a VICTOR, the choice is yours.” (Lisa Nichols)
“You are not a VICTIM. No matter what you have been through, you’re still here. You may have been challenged, hurt, betrayed, beaten, and discouraged, but nothing has defeated you. You are still here! You are not a VICTIM, you are a VICTOR! You have a history of VICTORY.” (Dr. Steve Maraboli)
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