WINNERS, NOT LOSERS
When some are attacked, berated, mocked, threatened, belittled... it hurts. Surely, it hurts deep. The abusers, whether they be marital abusers, school yard abusers, church abusers, or workplace abusers, are being instigated by the demons to hurt especially Christians. The victims battle the demons, but the physical, human cohorts of those demons are the ones pummeling with words, with insinuations, with hateful attitudes the victims.
The victims of abuse feel defeated. The physical strain is bad, but the mental fatigue of the battle against them is so draining, they can feel the need to have a spiritual stretcher carry them away.
This is true for all victims in spiritual battle with evil spirits. The feeling in the natural is that you have been defeated, you are a loser. Why? Well, the pounding has all come from the abusers. The victim hopefully has not come down to their level and called names, made false charges, denied that they were saved, hated and berated the abuser back. So, since the battle in the physical sense was all upon the victim, it is natural to feel defeated.
Yet, wait ! We are not losers. We are winners.
2 Timothy 3:11-14 (KJV)
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of Whom thou hast learned them;
We are going to be abused, attacked in this world. The abusers come in various locations, but the devils will find some to come at you, someway, somehow, somewhere. The feeling of defeat needs to be addressed, for this battle is not a losing battle. We are to continue in the faith, continue in love, continue in prayer for the abusers. We can speak truth, we can preach the gospel, we can defend Christians brothers and sisters, but we need not, must not, resort to the name calling, berating, hateful, accusing behavior of the abusers.
We continue in the faith, knowing some vital truths, which Paul relates at this same time as the passage above.
2 Timothy 4:2-5 (KJV)
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Most often, the abuser does not cease and repent. The victims sometimes make the abusers madder by ‘preaching the Word’, by lovingly reproving, rebuking, and exhorting with all longsuffering and doctrine.’‘ By continuing those things with the proper loving attitude, the victims make abusers violently angry. This explains the treatment of our loving Lord, and of many of His prophets and disciples.
None of them were losers, and neither are the victims of abuse today, when they continue to love, refuse to stoop to the level of hate and anger of the abusers.
Whereas many abusers want the victims to run, hide, melt in fear, agree to whatever the abuser claims will make them happy... the Christian victims rather ‘endure afflictions’, taking the verbal punishment, while offering the abusers spiritual salve.
2 Timothy 4:6-8 (KJV)
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.
The victims, if they have remained Christ-like during the attack, have ‘fought a good fight’, have ‘finished the course’ of this battle time, and have ‘kept the faith’ despite the attacks that were unrelenting.
The abusers feel they have won. Their measure of winning is that the victim is recipient of all the abuse, and there is no harm to them, no name calling came their way. They brag to some of their winning battle. They pat themselves on the back. They claim that they are winners, and the victims are losers.
Yet as Paul shows, the victims of the spiritual, marital, school-yard, and workplace abuse are truly the winners. They are not losers. The Lord has laid up for them a ‘crown of righteousness’, for the victims have remained righteous in the midst of an evil attack.
Paul was in a prison of Rome when he wrote those passages. In the natural it looked like he was a loser. Convicted, imprisoned, waiting to be taken to the one who would behead him. Paul did not feel like a loser though, he felt like a winner, looking forward to the crown to someday be given him for his part in this battle down here.
Paul had fought a good fight by preaching good news. He preached Jesus as the Redeemer of sins, and the way to heaven. He was lied about, falsely accused, whipped often, stoned once, and still was loving and Christ-like. The enemies of Paul thought they had won, but God was telling a different story. Paul knew he was a winner, not a loser. He was anxious to get the winning crown.
So, while in the midst of abuse, while being pummeled by hateful words, false accusations, berating, and anger, REMEMBER, the victim of such things are the true winners.
The world may think the victims have lost. Some will have sympathy or empathy for the victims. Yet, in reality, in the spiritual realm, the victim is announced the winner, it is a crown of ‘RIGHTEOUSNESS’ that is to be given to all victims of abuse. Victims are pronounced IN RIGHT STANDING with the Lord Jesus Who likewise was mistreated while doing good.
Jesus took up a cross for us, and forgave His abusers. Victims of abusive treatment can pray for abusers, and see love for them grow. There is laid up for victims, a crown of righteousness, when they get to the winners’ circle of heaven.