Recently I watched a simulcast at a friend’s house on the subject of overcoming trauma. God is showing me once again how important it is to deal with negative effects of hurts from the past in order to be set free. I had not connected it with the idea of trauma. Three of the enemy’s goals in relation to traumas has been to keep me stuck in morbid introspection, unforgiveness, and isolation.
Instead of living the role of victor in Christ, the enemy wants me to play the part of victim. For too long I did just that. My attitude was “poor me,” and “let me tell you about what people have done to me and/or are doing to me to make my life miserable.” There was little time left to tell others about Jesus. As a victim, I didn’t allow God to work His healing in me the way He longed to. My victim role was based in pride, and God promises that He resists the proud. (See James 4:6)
I was reminded at this seminar that God not only wants us to be Christians, but He wants us to be victorious Christians. What kind of witness am I to others if I define myself not by who I am in Christ but by my traumas–not by what God did for me, but what was done to me?
In her book, Named by God; Overcoming Your Past Kasey Van Norman, who went through the traumas of her parent’s divorce and being raped as a teen, writes: “For us to truly experience a life worth living, we must take responsibility, not for what has been done to us, but for our reaction to what has been done to us. As long as I focused on what had been done to me, I could never see clearly enough to discover what God wanted to do within me.”
PTSD is a real thing, but God can set us free—even from that. If you have used Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a reason to disobey God and be swallowed up by fear and unbelief, I urge you to let Him heal you. Then when people see how free you are, they will ask, “Didn’t you say you have PTSD?” and you can respond, “I do have PTSD—that is Post Traumatic Supernatural Deliverance.
Even though Paul experienced the trauma of prison, he didn’t give in to self-pity or see himself as a victim. That’s why he could say from his prison cell in Philippians 4:4:
Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (NIV 1984)
…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances (Philippians 4:11).
He saw traumatic events as opportunities to glorify God—to be victorious. He had a heavenly perspective on hellish circumstances, which was how Jesus faced the trauma of the cross.
I love what Paul wrote about being victors in 2 Corinthians 2:14:
But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere. AMP
I choose to be a trophy of Christ’s victory rather than a victim. When I embrace that role, I can point others to Jesus and sense His power and presence all around me.
How about you? Do you hold to the role of victim—staying focused on what others have done to you rather than on what God has done for you? Open your heart to God’s healing and ask Him to reveal how to move from the role of victim to victor. He will gladly show you the way.