Visiting hours were over; she lay silently in her private hospital room. She glanced down at her empty belly which once nourished her unborn child remembering the joy she felt when she was told she was with child. She took a deep breath and with a heavy heart she began to softly sing, “ There’s something mighty sweet about the Lord, There’s something mighty sweet about the Lord; It really doesn’t matter, what the people say, there’s something mighty sweet.” With tears streaming down her face, she continued to sing praises to her Lord. As her voice became loader the nurses entered her room. They began to question if this woman was “loosing” her mind, so they called her husband. He asked them what she was singing, and then he replied, “Tell her we’re singing it too.”
This young couple may have lost their much desired baby, but they still possessed victory – the inner peace from their God which surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7). They were able to sing because the joy of the Lord is their strength (Neh. 8:10). They had the inner peace that overcomes discouragement, doubt and unbelief. The blessed assurance that God is in control knowing that all things and circumstances are somehow working together for their good. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).
God desires all his children to live a victorious life regardless of their circumstances. There was only one reason this couple was able to live victorious through their pain and sorrow. “…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith (1 John 5:4).
It is faith that allows us to become over comers against all the trials and challenges this world has to offer. This young couple did not ‘feel’ victorious, but they knew that as believers they were to live and abide according to what the Word of God says, and not by what their circumstances say. "We live by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor. 5:7). It is through this walk of faith that brings about victory.
Just because we are Christians we are not exempt from the many trials and disappointments in this life. Our heavenly Father promises to deliver us from all of them. “The righteous face many troubles, but the LORD rescues them from each and every one.” (Psalms 34:19). Our deliverance and victory may not always be immediate. The Lord may not always choose to change our circumstances right away. Sometimes He will change us from the inside out so that we will be able to endure the circumstances. “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us – they help us learn to endure”( Romans 5:3) This is what the apostle Paul meant when he said he could be "content" in spite of what circumstances he found himself (Phil. 4:11). The same can be said of us as well, we can have victory and peace in our heart with the patience to endure until our heavenly Father changes our circumstances.
Many people seem to blame God for the bad things in their life. But our Lord does not bring evil upon us. (James 1:17). He may allow us to go through the challenges of this life, but He did not cause those things to happen. Until we are delivered from our circumstances, we are to find peace and refuge in His presence. "The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble" (Psalms 9:9).
God promised to make a way of "escape" in the midst of distress, enabling us to "bear" certain temptations or trials. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). That way of "escape" is the presence and peace of God which abides in us to give us victory in the midst of the conflict - peace in the middle of turmoil. The presence of God in our life enables us to "bear" certain hardships and difficulties.
The Apostle Paul knew how to live the victorious life. He was a man of great faith and strength with God, but he endured circumstances that were almost unbelievable. He wrote of his ordeals in the ministry:
“They say they serve Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in jail more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jews gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled many weary miles. I have faced danger from flooded rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the stormy seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be Christians but are not. F36 I have lived with weariness and pain and sleepless nights. Often I have been hungry and thirsty and have gone without food. Often I have shivered with cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of how the churches are getting along.” 2 Corinthians 11:23-28
Despite his tribulations, Paul did not lose sight of his victory. He wrote, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Paul's life and ministry were filled with tremendous hardship, but his attitude remained confident and resisted defeat. “How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!” 1 Corinthians 15:57
When we face trying situations, we must not allow them to rob us of our victory. The Bible tells us that "God is your refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalms 46:1). Jesus has promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 12:13). We must focus on Christ and His Word. Wait upon Him and He will strengthen you with His peace. "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! “ (Isaiah 26:3).
The young couple I described at the beginning of the post who lost their baby was my husband and I, 28 years ago. We were able to sing praises to our Lord because of our faith. We had released our cares, our worries, and our heartache to Him.
If you are going through some trials, trust the Lord to work it out for His good. He will either change your circumstance or will change you to deal with them. Take His rest and peace upon you, believing that He has taken the burden from you. "Cast all your cares upon him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
We need to follow the Apostle Paul's example. He knew adversity at its worst, but he also knew that circumstances need never threaten the joy and victory of the believer. He wrote,”
Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? …No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. (Romans 8: 35, 37)
Dear gracious heavenly Father, Thank you for your promise that you will never leave us nor forsake us. What a comfort it is to know that while we are yet suffering, you are with us to give us joy in the midst of our sorrow. We have the blessed assurance that despite all these things, we have overwhelming victory through Christ who loves us. Through faith my we claim this victory. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
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