You Are Not a Victim

The A.R.T. of Survival, Day 5

By Chip Ingram

There’s a big difference between victims and survivors. Victims look through the lenses of “me” and “now.” Survivors look through God-given lenses that see farther, higher, and deeper. They count it all joy, ask for God’s wisdom, embrace an eternal perspective, and are motivated by love. 

With a survivor’s perspective, you have everything you need to overcome discouragement.

But you will have to fight it. When you encounter trials, go to battle with three diagnostic questions: 

  1. Is my faith in things that are perishable or permanent?
    Evaluate your circumstances in that light. Where is your trust—in things that last or things that don’t? Trials, losses, setbacks, and hardships can’t make or break you. Choose to set your eyes on bigger things. 
  2. Is my hope determined by my problems or God’s promises?
    Are you hoping your problems will go away or hoping in the long-term purposes and plans of God? Do you have big problems and a small God or a big God and small problems? You choose the lens you look through. You can focus either on the problem or the promise, not both. You can decide to be filled with hope.
  3. Is my primary motivation to love Christ or simply experience relief?
    It isn’t always easy to answer that question. But when I look at the many believers around the world who serve God in spite of their suffering, I see pictures of love. They are willing to endure hardship for the One who sacrificed His life for them.

Whenever you start to get discouraged, remember the three words at the heart of these questions: faith, hope, and love. 

  1. Faith anchors your heart and mind in the fact that God is in control. 
  2. Hope reminds you that He has a plan and a promise for you. 
  3. Love turns your focus away from hardship and toward the privilege of suffering for Him as an expression of your devotion.

Today, ponder these words of encouragement. They help us see the eternal realities beyond our momentary crises. Practicing the A.R.T. of Survival, we not only get through our trials. We become more than conquerors who receive the crown of life.  

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

James 1:16‭-‬18

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