From all appearances in life, we are not short on finding discouragement and despair within our society; if not the entire world. Pressures, heartaches, financial crisis, sicknesses and diseases, hunger in three-fourths of the world, and just a general sense of unrest and instability surround us all. It almost makes it hard to breathe at times; so we take long, deep sighs and wonder what is going to happen next.
I feel that we have become a generation that “nothing” seems to surprise us anymore. Things that were once considered tabooed and only talked about within the darkened secrets of closed closet doors are now celebrated from the roof tops as if those of us who still possess morals and have problems with open practices of sin are the ones at fault! So, we have become silent on issues out of fear of not being “with it,” or that we might be considered old-fashioned, narrowed minded, uninformed, unintelligent, uneducated, and backwards. Gee! We seem to be “labeled” more than the free-spirit, partying, anything goes world that we currently lived!
But, God has not changed his standards one tiny bit….He is the same yesterday, today, and forever more…Sin is still sin….and God is still a Holy and Righteous God; one to be reverenced and respected. Two very important words that our society has nearly forgotten their meanings or how to put them into practice.
What we need are some strong victories on our side. A few good battles won here and there to help spear us on towards the finish line. But, to be able to identify the true Biblical definition of what “victory” actually means, it would take a huge paradigm change on the part of most believers.
For instance, let’s look at Daniel found in the Old Testament. Even though he was tossed inside of the lion’s den, by the king’s men, hoping to be eaten alive, he didn’t feel defeated or that he had lost the battle. As I have heard some preachers say, “He just cuddled up beside one of those lions and had a good night’s sleep.” Another example is Paul and Silas who sang praises at mid-night believing they would be put to death at morning’s dawn. Instead, they were delivered through the power of God. Also, there are the three Hebrew children who were thrown into the fiery furnace for not bowing down to the king of Babylon only to walk out alive with no smoke smell of any sort on their clothes! Plus, according to the Bible, Jesus got right in the flames with them and walked around until they were released! (He’s walking around with us, too!) Three mighty stories of Biblical victories arising from the ashes of defeating circumstances. It can happen today; as well.
I am nearly certain that each of these men could have felt as if it was the end of life as they had known it and that their lives were now destined to defeat. Yet; what made the difference? I feel that we, as believers, truly know the answer to that question…. It was an unwavering faith in God that no matter the circumstances or the outcome they were still victorious and on the winning side.
Back in October, 2005, I was rushed to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital with a pulsating brain aneurysm. It was located deep inside of the brain and doctors were concerned if they would be able to repair the artery without serious complications. If it ruptured it could mean death and if it bled into the brain it would affect both my speech and memory. I was given two choices. One, to have an extremely evasive brain surgery to permanently clip the aneurysm or a newer procedure that would allow doctors to fill the berry-shaped aneurysm with platinum coiling; less evasive, nevertheless risky just the same. At the same time, our family was also going through a mountainous spiritual battle. Not knowing how the situation would turn out, I looked at my sweet husband the night before the procedure and told him, “Hon, don’t worry. No matter what happens I’m a winner either way.” A few years later, I heard a Southern Gospel group sing a song titled, “I’m a Winner Either Way, If I Go or If I Stay.” Talking about being able to relate! This old girl could surely relate to that song!
I feel that we base the meaning of victory too much on the world’s perception and the world’s standards. For example; a man pastors a small church pretty much his entire life never leading a congregation of thousands; much less hundreds. Some might shake their head and feel sorry for the poor old chap. But, what if those were some of the happiest days in the lives of both he and his family? Would you rather be miserable sitting in a huge crowd or happy serving God through a small group of people?
Because of man’s emphasis and misconception about what, “Victory- in-the-Lord,” actually means, many times pastors leave smaller congregations and people give up their service unto the Lord because of discouragement, lack of support from their friends and family members, and an overall sense of failure. Ask yourself…Who is the loser in the long run? I feel it might be everyone involved. The prophet Elijah sit by the dried up river, yet God used the circumstances as a venue to demonstrate His powerful resources of provisions for mankind. Today, are you facing some dried-up rivers right now in your own life? I know I am. God have mercy on our unbelief and help us all to have more faith in You.
Both our churches and our homes need to stop running around and acting as if our lives are judged like the Olympics based upon performance within our own self-power, self-strength, self-discipline, and self-determination. Whatever happened to just letting go and letting God be God? That’s nearly an unheard of concept in our day and time. After all we have all bought into the concept that only the fittest survive. This is simply not true and not the case in the life of a believer. As believers, we survive and thrive through God’s daily provisional measurements of Grace and Mercy…By allowing God to be God of our life….After all…That’s just who He is…God, the Creator of Life. And this morning, I have victorious news. If we are covered under the Blood…Then Praise be unto God…We are true, eternal winners no matter what the world may say!! Let’s hear an Amen!!
I recall as a young wife and mother sitting in a meeting one night and listening to an evangelist say, “Many of you sitting here tonight probably think that when we all get to heaven there is going to be a big celebration over all the well-known and successful ministers and evangelists. But, I’m here to tell you that the faithful grandmother who picks up the Word of God each day and prays for that boy or for that girl and for her family will out weigh them all!! Her price is far above all the rubies of the world!”
That stuck with me. I have always wanted to be that faithful wife, mom, and grandmother who stands the test of time, toting my little Bible to church, and bending my knees in prayer over the lives of my children and my children’s children; as far as my prayers can reach down through the generations of time.
When we look at life from a Biblical perspective, then ask yourself this question, “Why are we so discouraged and filled with despair?” Why do we run to the world for their misconceived ideas and support? Today, is just another God-given opportunity to pray for the loss, the back-slidden, and the downtrodden. Another day to Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Another day to lift up our hearts, spirits, and lives unto Him…Oh, the joy and power of sweet prayer. Sweet, Sweet Hour of Prayer.
Afterall, we won’t really see the final results of our prayers until we reach Heaven; that glorious city of God. Until then, my heart will go on singing for wherever there is prayer; there is hope. And, wherever there is hope; there is promise, and wherever there is promise; there is Faith; and wherever there is faith…There is God…And, wherever there is God; there is Victory!
Today, I encourage you to not be discouraged or dismayed…spend a little time with Jesus knowing that even though we might be standing alone in the lion’s den, being thrown into the fiery burning furnace, or cast into the cold prison cells of life….Our Heavenly Father has already won the battle; and so shall we… whether on this side of eternity or on the other side of life ever-lasting…I’m a Winner Either Way….”For the battle’s not mine; I give it to you…Lord, it’s thine!”
Today, I am on the winning side. And, you are, too; if you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Through the Blood of Christ Jesus, I am on the Winning Side…I’m a Winner Either Way…Are you?
Remember, God Loves You,
Lin T. Rollins, Author