Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Victory

Walking in Victory

A devotional by Allison M. Wilson

Key Scripture: 
2 Corinthians 2:14-16, 2 Corinthians 4:7-12, Romans 8:18, Acts 7:54-60, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Romans 5:3, Romans 8:17, 2 Timothy 2:12, Philippians 1:29 (NASB)

The sermon at my church was one that I’ve felt in my heart for so long. 

It’s from 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, where the Apostle Paul tells us that we are always led in triumph in Christ, and that it is everywhere. I meet so many believers who are walking around as the defeated, rather than the victorious, and I believe the enemy rejoices.

What does “led in triumph” mean? Paul tells us that we will be “afflicted in every way, but not crushed.”

What’s your response to affliction? The dictionary defines the word “afflicted” as “grievously affected or troubled (as by a disease): mentally or physically impaired.” Believers suffer in these ways on a daily basis. Few walk in the victory and triumph, though. Why? What is the hindrance? How was Paul, in his own afflictions (beatings, floggings, shipwrecks, imprisonments) able to say he was not crushed?

The Bible tells us the reason for his perseverance and hope in Romans 8:18. He was shown a glimpse of what is to come. He saw what we will experience when we finally see Jesus, face-to-face. Stephen was able to ask the Lord to forgive those who were stoning him. He saw into Heaven and knew triumph was greater than the suffering of the time. (Acts 7:54-60) 

Neither of these men, nor the other Scripture writers, was living for this earthly life. None were looking to be fulfilled here. None expected to have their life be free of conflict, trouble, or persecution. The opposite was true. They reveled in those things! 

They saw their afflictions as badges of honor for the Lord. They rejoiced when persecutions came their way. Praised when they were deemed worthy to share in Christ’s suffering. (Romans 5:3, Romans 8:17, 2 Timothy 2:12, Philippians 1:29 and many others). Their eyes were fixed on what was to come, not what was happening right now.

That begs the question for those of us who have the Scriptures available to us to read and absorb more readily than Paul or Stephen. Why don’t we have that kind of walk? Why do we allow the enemy to steal the wonder and joy in affliction? Why do we walk around as if we are crushed and weak, when His “power is perfected in weakness”? (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

Our eyes are fixed on the here and now, rather than the glory that is to come, and the enemy continues to rejoice. We have the entire Word of God which is filled with His promises of what is to come for us. We can recite some of those promises, but have not allowed them to penetrate our understanding to make changes.

There is nowhere in the Word of God that says our life will be easier once we submit to His authority. If we are honest this is the closest to hell we will get. Let that sink in for a minute. While we don’t get an “easy” life, we receive love, joy, peace, patience, and all the other fruits of the Spirit from Him. Those fruits should be making our lives easier to live. We also receive “perseverance…proven character…and hope”, as we’re told in Romans 5:3-4.

Do you see the difference? We look at suffering through human eyes. We see our discomfort and pain as a bad thing, but the Lord sees it as the molding of our flesh into something more beautiful…the image of His perfect Son. 

When we wallow in our misery and pain, we put the focus back on us. We look just like the dying and sinful world which has no hope, rather than the conquerors He’s created us to be. Take courage, instead, that He has overcome the world and always leads you in triumph.

Let’s Pray: Dear Jesus, remind us that this world is not our home. Give us the courage to believe that suffering is a good thing for the renewing of our minds, and the transformation of our flesh into Your image. In the Holy Name of Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.

Author Bio:

A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of 8 with the heart to impart stories and God's truth.

She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals.

Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.

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