If you have ever read the Book of Ruth, then you know something about Naomi. Naomi had moved Bethlehem to Moab during a time of family. While in Moab, she buried her husband and her two sons, and was left with her two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah. After hearing that the Lord had come to the aid of His people and the famine was over, she decided to return. Ruth decided to go with her while Orpah remained in Moab.

On Naomi's returned, she instructed her welcoming entourage not to call her Naomi, but to call her "Mara" instead, because in her estimation, God had made her life very bitter. She no longer wanted to be called Naomi, which means pleasant, but Mara which means bitter. She wanted to be defined by her experiences.

What about you? Are you allowing your circumstances to define you?  Have you turned into a bitter, grouchy, pitiful, complaining, depressed, resentful or angry person, or do you prefer some other descriptive word or phrase to describe who you are?

Problems, disappointment, hurt, pain and more are all a part of this life's journey. You cannot escape them forever. But you can choose how you respond to them. You can allow then to defeat you, or bury you, or hold you hostage, or you can fight back. Victimization doesn't make you a victim. You do. I used to think that I was destined to be less than, because of my experiences. But once I discover that I had a greater treasure within me that circumstances could not remove, that the key was in my possession, and I had only to put it into the lock and turn, my life was forever changed. Yours can too.

Joseph was sold into slavery and ended up in the prison, but his attitude was to remain confident in God. Hannah was mocked and derided because she couldn't have children, but she got up and went to have a talk with God about her predicament, dried her tears and refused to be sad any longer. Jesus, the Son of God, was singled out for unjust treatment. Did He deserve the cruel mocking, the beating, the cross, and death? Absolutely Not! He did nothing worthy of death, yet He had to endure the suffering and death. But He refused to be contained. Death did not define Him.

Listen my friend. Get up, pick up your mat and get moving. Do not allow your circumstances to claim you as a victim. It's time to allow God's grace to turn your bitter, pitiful depressed, resentful, unforgiving, angry, complaining self, into the man or woman who can light up the world, spread the aroma of the knowledge of Christ everywhere you go (2 Cor. 2:14), take your life back, and turn defeat into destiny. It's your move.