ARE YOU FIGHTING A BATTLE THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN WON?
In human history there were two events that were essential, like two sides of one coin that was a victory for any Christian person, the death and the resurrection of Jesus. Properly understood, these facts in history change the outlook and the outcome of any life. It is settled because of His victory.
I used the word “understood,” and yet while we understand the facts of it, we spend the rest of our years grasping the significance of what it fully means. It can never be fully comprehended, but we do understand this: it was a victory won for anyone who will embrace Him by faith. It is literally victory in Jesus who becomes our Savior forever.
The cross means God loved us at our worst—Jesus died for us. The resurrection means God loves us and wants to give us His best—victory in life today and eternal glory. “… overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us …” (Romans 8:37, TLB)
We face life’s hardships with the attitude that we have already won the battle. While Scripture does not shield us from battle, there is strong emphasis on the principle that suffering is included as we travel on the path to glory. There is no standardized experience for all, it is all related to God’s sovereignty. Yet, each victory brings a heightened love for the Lord, and unspeakable joy along the way. More than that even is an uninhibited boldness in evangelistic witness.
As John Stott said, “The suffering and the glory are married; they cannot be divorced. They are welded; they cannot be broken apart.” Yes indeed, our troubles today are “light and momentary,” but the presence of Christ with us and the glory to come is “eternal” and “far outweighs them all.” (II Corinthians 4:17) We encounter it all with that understanding that the victory for us has been won.
We are constantly armed with the indwelling Spirit which gives us joy and the coming glory which gives us living hope. (II Corinthians 5:2, 4) We do not lose patience by being too eager, and we are not too impatient that we lose our expectancy—we show Biblical balance as we wait with unshakable confidence in Christ; it’s overwhelming victory now!
In all of this we must remember we are not guaranteed immunity to tragedy, travail, tribulation, or threats, but we are assured of ultimate victory over them. God does not pledge that no suffering will be experienced but that it will not ever separate us from His love. So then, our confidence does not rest on our love for Him but His love for us. Our love, at best, can be faltering, frail, and fickle. But His love is ever steadfast, always faithful, and eternally persevering.
Through it all, we are always winning the most glorious triumph and victory through Him. And that is all based on the victory of Christ. His triumph is ours. All things are in total submission to Him, said Peter, for we never forget that “… Christ is in heaven, sitting in the place of honor next to God the Father, with all the angels and powers of heaven bowing before him and obeying him.” (I Peter 3:22, TLB) The simple question is asked, “How can any authentic believer lose with a Lord already revered and praised in glory?” His triumph is ours to claim now, and more, that is small “compared to the glory we will be given.”
Victory is ours, in Him. It is unalterable, it is absolutely settled—we have that confidence. Nothing can frustrate God’s purpose, therefore we declare to His honor, “we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us.” (Romans 8:37) Our relationship is firm and fixed. Who dares to condemn us? “Will Christ? No! For he is the one who died for us and came back to life again for us …” (Romans 8:34, TLB)