Today, walk out of your self-imposed prison, into freedom. Put off the chains of fear, martyrdom, or anything else that has held you captive, because they are stealing your power. You are not a victim. You are a conqueror.
After a few days of research, reflection, and prayer, and after reading Psalms 142:7, these are the thoughts that came to me.
I’ve never spoken on this blog about my Christian beliefs before, but I think it’s time I did. I do not wish to offend anyone following this blog in any way, so I offer here, in this paragraph, not an apology but an opportunity for anyone who is offended by Christian thoughts or viewpoints, to stop reading and un-follow me before you reach the next paragraph. I thank you for following and liking my posts. I thank you for your support and encouragement, and I wish you love, and peace, and deliverance from anything that has been causing you pain.
Today, my thoughts are on suffering, and the power of love to defeat it. While this is not an exclusively Christian idea, I will be presenting it in a light that requires, at the minimum, a belief in an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving God. So, if you’re still with me, I will share with you my thoughts.
It is true that sometimes we will suffer (at times it can seem like it’s happening more often than not). I don’t believe that we are meant to suffer, but I do believe that our suffering is not meant to be in vain. Miracles have bloomed from every form of suffering that has ever existed. These miracles have occurred throughout history, and we continue to see them today. You might not yet understand what I’m talking about, but I will explain.
No matter who you are, at some point in your life, you have suffered. While our life experiences may be different, suffering is something we all have in common. That’s the first thing I want you to remember. You are not alone. I also want to point out that we do not suffer because, as some people think, God is like a kid with an ant farm. We suffer because there is evil in the world, and the only way to combat evil is with love. Love is the light that banishes the darkness, and true love, the love that comes from God, is the only one with the power to conquer evil. Human love has flaws; it can be powerfully good, but it also can be powerfully evil. Look what Hitler and his followers did for the love of their country. God’s love is pure and incorruptible, so its power for goodness is limitless.
In every episode of human suffering, there is an opportunity to show God’s love. Every tragedy that we witness beckons us to demonstrate goodness, to help someone in need, and to strive for justice. We only need to answer that call, and we will pave the way for those miracles I spoke of earlier. When the Quakers coined the phrase “Speak Truth to Power”, it was of this “Truth” they spoke. Not of one man’s truth, or one woman’s truth, or the truth of an activist or religious group. They were talking about the love of God, and it’s power to overcome evil. For those of you out there who are using your experiences in suffering, to help others, and to show them love whether in words or in deeds, you are speaking truth to power; you are paving the way for miracles to happen. You are exposing evil where it lies, ending suffering, and saving lives.
If someone calls himself or herself a child of God, they bring honor to God with every victory over suffering that is achieved, and they show his “Power”. If someone does not consider himself or herself a child of God, who is brought the glory when he or she is kind, or just, or loving? I’m sure some of you will answer, they bring glory to themselves, but I will disagree. I believe that they, like believers, bring glory to God. “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 (NIV). “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12 (NIV) Here’s an illustration: If someone is given a painting as a gift, and proceeds to take credit for creating it, and the painting is admired by others, the accolades may go to the owner, but the adoration still belongs to the painter who created it.
So here’s my last bit of advice:
As bad as it gets, suffering will not have the last word. You stand tall, keep your head up, and most of all, allow love to show through you in the midst of it all. You will see the power of God at work, and so will others. I am a witness to this “Truth”.
From now on, I will be focusing on my victories, because I’m not a victim. I am a conqueror. I’m not just proud of myself for surviving my trials, I am rejoicing over all the victories. I’m thanking God for all the times when His love has triumphed over evil. I am happy that my victories have not come through a demonstration of violence, or hatred, lies, cruelty, or acts of revenge, but because I have chosen to be one of the many soldiers who rally around a banner of perfect love, God’s love.
Finally, I leave with you these words from the Apostle Paul:
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6: 11-18 (NIV).