Triumphant in Christ
Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.
—Romans 8:37–39 TLB
Triumph is fleeting. Hardly does one taste victory before it is gone. Achieved, yet now history. No one remains champion forever. Time for yet another conquest, another victory. Perhaps this is the absurdity of Paul’s claim: “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)
The triumph of Christ is not temporary. “Triumphant in Christ” is not an event or an occasion. It’s not fleeting. To be triumphant in Christ is a lifestyle … a state of being! To triumph in Christ is not something we do, it’s something we are.
Here is the big difference between victory in Christ and victory in the world: A victor in the world rejoices over something he did—swimming the English Channel, climbing Everest, making a million. But the believer rejoices over who he is—a child of God, a forgiven sinner, an heir of eternity. As the hymn goes, “Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.”
Nothing can separate us from our triumph in Christ. Nothing! Our triumph is based not upon our feelings but upon God’s gift. Our triumph is based not upon our perfection but upon God’s forgiveness. How precious is this triumph! For even though we are pressed on every side, the victory is still ours. Nothing can alter the loyalty of God.
A friend of mine recently lost his father to death. The faith of his father had for years served as an inspiration for many. In the moments alone with the body of his father, my friend said this thought kept coming to his mind as he looked at his daddy’s face: You won. You won. You won!
As Joan of Arc said when she was abandoned by those who should have stood by her, “It is better to be alone with God. His friendship will not fail me, nor his counsel, nor his love. In his strength I will dare and dare and dare until I die.”
“Triumphant in Christ.” It is not something we do. It’s something we are.
I will come to you
What does Jesus do when you’re at your moment of desperation? Mark 6:48 says, “About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water.” Notice he didn’t tell the disciples to come to him. He knew they couldn’t get to him. He went to them. When you’re at that point of desperation, Jesus comes to you!
I love the fact that Jesus did not stand on the shore and shout instructions. When you’re in a storm, you don’t need advice. You need a miracle! You need somebody to show up, and this is what Jesus did. He intervened in the disciples’ storm.
This is the gospel—that God doesn’t stand on the shoreline telling us what to do. He comes out and meets us in our pain, our fear, our depression, our storm, and our discouragement. He comes to us. What a God!
You may feel abandoned right now, but you’re not. The Bible says in John 14:18, “I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm—I will come to you.” You can count on it!
Faith praises no matter what happens
Job had obviously lived a godly life for many years, but it took the implosion of the power of God from without to put the pressure on by means of the trials and afflictions of the Devil, before the power that was within exploded into a mighty atomic chain reaction of some of the most beautiful poetry in the Bible—the Song of Suffering which has echoed down through the ages to encourage countless millions with its reverberations of faith, patience, and praise in the midst of adversity. When everything goes wrong and seems contrary to God’s Word and the usual, those with great faith can say with Job, “even though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15) Real gold—no matter how hot the fire or how long the fire, how hot the test or how long it lasts—will still come out gold, even finer gold!
God has a purpose in everything He allows, even if it is only to compel us to exercise our faith … and to demonstrate it for the encouragement of others, to inspire the faith of others and to encourage their trust in the Lord. How can we be more than conquerors when everything goes wrong and seems contrary to the Word and the usual? By being good losers, and even praising God in the midst of our losses. God often gets His greatest victories out of seeming defeat, and He often brings them along the neglected path of praise. Praise is the voice of faith!
—David Brandt Berg
David said we should give thanks because “the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:5 NIV) The Lord is good. What an important statement this is. The world is often evil. But God is good. His love never wavers. We may waver in our love for Him, but He never wavers in His love for us. Max Lucado has written:
How wide is God’s love? Wide enough for the whole world. Are you included in the world? Then you are included in God’s love.
It’s nice to be included. You aren’t always. Universities exclude you if you aren’t smart enough. Businesses exclude you if you aren’t qualified enough, and sadly, some churches exclude you if you aren’t good enough.
But though they may exclude you, Christ includes you. When asked to describe the width of his love, he stretched one hand to the right and one to the left and had them nailed in that position so you would know he died loving you.
But isn’t there a limit? Surely there has to be an end to this love. You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But David the adulterer never found it. Paul the murderer never found it. Peter the liar never found it. When it came to life, they hit bottom. But when it came to God’s love, they never did. They, like you, found their names on God’s list of love.
David tells us that God’s faithfulness extends to all generations. When others fail us, He does not. When others desert us, He stands with us. When we declare our anger, He continues to declare His love. God is consistent. He is good. He is loving. Even when we don’t understand the circumstances of life, we should give thanks for the God whose character is without question. This character is what we rely on.
We give thanks for a sure Hope beyond the grave. How do people survive who see this life as all that there is? The Bible tells us that when we die, we go to be with the Lord. We are given a home prepared by God’s loving hands. We are given bodies that will never decay, malfunction, or embarrass us. We are reunited with loved ones who have died before us. And we will be with Jesus. Heaven is described by taking the most precious things of this life: gold, silver, precious stones … and making them the common things of Heaven. It is a reminder that this life is nothing in comparison to the splendor of the world to come. Heaven is depicted as a place of joy, singing, celebration. It is a place where wrongs are made right, where good is rewarded.
We give thanks for the Savior who made this hope possible… We give thanks for Jesus in every circumstance because He is our reason for hope. It is faith in Him that has made us new.
—Bruce Goettsche (http://www.unionchurch.com/archive/111900.html)
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