Oh, how we long to enjoy victory in our lives. Our goal on earth is to win the prize for the best apple pie in the bake-off, lift the heaviest weights, or run the fastest.
Yet, there is another race, a spiritual race. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2.
Knowing this Jesus who perfects our faith and provides a forever Hope. We can endure sorrows, temptations, and misfortune with Hope. “Hope is the confident expectation of a guaranteed result that changes the way we live.” (Randy Boltinghouse.)
The point of our existence on earth is to live in Love. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. I John 5:3.
What are the two greatest commandments? And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39.
It is a matter of learning to think of others, not being prideful, and having a servant’s heart. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:12-13.
To accomplish this, we must renew our minds and thinking. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, acceptable, and perfect. Romans 12:1-2.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2. One of my favorite verses to re-calibrate my thinking is this one: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, (Genesis 1:1). In doing so, He created a world that surrounds us with seasons of beauty, and an array of colorful sunrises and sunsets that are reflected in bodies of water. Then the moon lightens the skies, and the stars point to the awe and the glory of God.
Then God sent Jesus to earth. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 – NKJ.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5.
This man, born as a babe in the manger, came from God’s side to teach us about Love and Life. He endured rejection, taunting, scourging, and finally died on the cross. When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished,” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:30. He paid the debt for our sins and became the author and finisher of our faith. Why would He leave Heaven and His Father’s side to put on flesh? Because He loves us. God the Father raised the Son Jesus on the third day from the grave. Through Him we have the assurance of being raised and knowing the victory over death is ours.
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15: 54-57.
Oh, how we long for the assurance of victory when this life ends. And we wonder, is this all there is? When we put our trust in Jesus, we shall be changed. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. I Corinthians 15:51-52.
My Grandfather’s gravestone has the first phrase of this verse engraved on it. For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25.
This gives me assurance and peace, for I know my grandfather believed in Jesus. We will be re-united in God’s Presence because of the love of Jesus. This is true victory.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:3-4.
But may all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; may those who love Your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!” As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God! Psalm 40:16-17.