No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. ~Romans 8:37 New International Version
Baseball, basketball, Football -- in most sports it's pretty easy to determine the winner and pretty quickly, too. But how about in your faith?
When we watch the news, there seems to be very little victory to be found. Ebola continues to spread it's deadly pall over West Africa, ISIS continues it's march of terror through Syria and Iraq, Russia and Ukraine continue their struggle for control, countries all around North Africa and the Middle East are embroiled in ideological uprisings. Even in the West, political discussion has devolved into a war of words with no real winners, but plenty of losers waiting for politicians to act.
The War on Drugs, the Fight against AIDs, attacks on the Constitution, combatting Terrorism, the War on Poverty, the Fight against Racism, combating Global Warming...so many battles waged -- but not much victory.
Should we throw our hands up in defeat? Should we concede that history demonstrates that things have always been bad and always will be, so why bother? No way!
Romans 8 is one of the greatest Christian pep-talks of all time. If you are feeling discouraged, just read it again. It contains some of the most memorized verses of the New Testament and with good reason -- it promises us Victory! Tuck these verses into your heart for the challenging times:
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In Christ we have personal victory: victory over sin, victory over hardship and persecution, victory over death. But in Christ we also have Total Victory: Christ has overcome the world, overcome death and will bring Heaven to earth to reign forever in righteousness! And thanks to our adoption into the family of God, we will be there to reign with Him -- how awesome is THAT?! The world will be healed and whole and every tear will be wiped away (Isaiah 25:8, Revelation 7:17,Revelation 21:4).
So who has won the battle of Good v. evil? Christ Jesus! And through Him, us! Don't hang your head in discouragement and defeat! As the beloved hymn says: "
This is my Father's world. O let me ne'er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. This is my Father's world: why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad!
~Maltbie D. Babcock, 1901