His Victory in Our Defeat

Victory. What comes to mind when you hear this word? For some, victory could be used in the context of sports like for instance the Superbowl, where the Kansas City Chiefs came out victorious this year. For others, victory could be used in the context of competition. Competing against one another can really bring the rivalry out of us to where we focus solely on winning. And when we do win, we feel victorious. Still others may use this word in the context of a life situation. Imagine the surplus joy a cancer patient feels when he or she is told that they are cancer free, especially after years of suffering the torturous pain of it! What started off as a potentially lethal situation in that person ended in victory; that person gets to live a normal life again! Regardless of what comes to mind when you hear the word victory, I doubt anyone has ever complained of being victorious. After all, have you ever heard anyone complain when they passed their classes? What about winning in a PYCD tournament? Or even a nation winning a war? All these show examples of victory in the physical world. But what about in our spiritual life? Are we living the victorious Christian life based on what Jesus Christ did for us?
The most common instruction my parents gave me when I was young was to live a “victorious Christian life.” Ever since, I have always wondered what they meant by it. They didn’t just say “live a Christian life”. They mentioned the word “victorious” in between. Could that mean that it was possible to live a defeated Christian life? Many Christians and believers do trust in Jesus and believe Him to be Lord and Saviour of their lives. But many of them live their lives in defeat. Christ is good for them when life is going well. But as soon as disaster such as the threat of job layoffs hit, bad grades are reached, sickness settles in, temptations and addictions overcome them, and life spirals out of control, suddenly Christ is NOT enough. It’s as if His victory on the cross – the greatest victory – meant nothing. They live their lives feeling defeated. They find it harder to spend time with God through prayer and meditation of the Bible daily. But has God formed us to live lives of defeat? Absolutely not! What Jesus Christ did on the cross of calvary is the reason we are able to have His Victory in Our Defeat.
Yes, we are all sinners. There was no way to escape the fact that we have lived lives contradictory to God’s perfect and holy standards, which was to live a life without sin. Jesus Christ came into the world over 2000 years ago to complete God’s perfect plan; to bring about victory in all things that could cause defeat in our lives. Our sins and struggles are different but these are the things that bring defeat into our lives. No matter how good or how bad we are, we were all born into this world as sinners. Each one of us. There is no victory over our sinful nature without the Power of Christ’s death and resurrection. His death and resurrection showed us His victory over our depravity that brought us defeat. In other words, living a life without Jesus Christ being the center of it invites a life of miserable defeat. It is only through Jesus Christ that we have victory over sin and struggles. 1 John 5:4 says “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” John, under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration writes in 1 John 5 that when a person believes in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, that person has become a child of God. Believing and trusting in Christ’s victory over sin brings a darkened defeated soul into the shining light of Christ’s victory.
In our day to day lives, it can be very easy to forget what Jesus had done for us on the cross. We may experience the joy of His victory on the weekend during church services, but as soon as Monday comes around, suddenly we go back into our worries over the trials of life. We start thinking about challenges and problems that may lie ahead for the week, and that list could be endless. We tend to forget that Christ defeated death and sin and purchased us by His blood so we can live with Him for all eternity. Jesus Christ did what was literally impossible for us to do. None of us can die for our own sins or for anyone else because we are all tarnished by sin. We all deserve to go to hell when we die because of our sins. But praise God for what He has done! He sent Jesus, the perfect, sinless, Lamb of God to die for us and forgive us of our sins. When we believe in Him, we have the opportunity to be with Christ in heaven for all eternity. In our defeated state, Christ purchased victory for us by His blood. But until we die or He comes again to call us home, we will face trials.
In Joshua 11, we see Joshua and the Israelites about to face one of their toughest battles against multiple kings-all at once! Didn’t God promise the Israelites that they were going to achieve the promised land? Yes. Did God say that the journey would be easy? No. But Joshua 11:6 says “The LORD said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of them because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them, slain, over to Israel’”. Joshua trusted God wholeheartedly. He obeyed God’s command and with God’s help, defeated all of Israel’s enemies and came out victorious. When God told Joshua to completely destroy them, Joshua did just that. He surrendered himself to God and put his trust in Him. He didn’t let the size of the enemy scare him into questioning whether he could win with God’s power. Instead, he remembered how God has brought victories to Israel in the past and knew that the same God who helped him then would do it again. In the same way, God tells us to live our lives surrendered to Him. We may face enemies that no one knows about. They may be scary, gigantic, and too powerful for us to face. However, just as Joshua remembered God’s victories in the past, we should also remember God’s victories over our past challenges, primarily His victory over sin and death! God has given us His Word so that we can listen to Him and learn to trust Him. He has given us time to pray so we can invite Him to help us overcome our challenges of life and help other people as well. A Christian who does these daily lives the victorious Christian life. Those who do not practice these daily lives a defeated life.
We all face battles in life. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. That is just life. However by giving our problems to God, we learn to walk closer with Him more and more every single day. We should neither be complacent in victory or be ashamed in defeat because Jesus Christ is our ultimate victory, even in our defeat.

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