In the last post, I talked about the four keys to victory: seek, believe, praise, and bless. But what if? What if the victory doesn’t look like we thought it would? What if the “victory” doesn’t meet our expectations? What then. Has God forsaken us?
“Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 NKJV
If God is love (1 John 4:8), and love never fails, then why do our victories not always look like victories to us?
First, we live in a fallen world. I’d be remiss if I did not say this. Jesus, himself, tells us in John 16:33 that we will have tribulations in this world, but to be of good cheer for He has overcome this world. If you live here on this earth, you will not escape trials and tribulations, but you can face them knowing that through Christ, you will be victorious. That may not look exactly how you think it should, and it may not happen on the exact timeline you think should. But in Him you have the victory always and forever. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Not our purpose but His.
Second, we do not know what we do not know. The passage at the beginning is from 1 Corinthians 13, the infamous “Love Chapter”, but it is so much more. The bible is not a set of 66 separate, isolated books, but a collection of writings, spanning over 2000 years in time and penned by multiple authors, that was divinely inspired and intricately woven together by God. We know love never fails because 1 Corinithians 13 tells us so, and we know God is love because 1 John 4:8 tells us that. Both scriptures use the greek word “agape” for love . . . the perfect, sacrificial, unconditional love of God. And God never fails us. He sees us, not just our present or our past, but our future as well, and He knows what we need when we don’t even know ourselves.
I’m nearsighted. Since I was eleven years, I’ve worn some form of corrective lenses, but on the off chance that you catch me without my glasses or contacts, you’ll see me squinting, trying to make out faces and images. Without correction, I can’t see clearly. I see in a mirror dimly. I need help. I need guidance, or I will make a mistake, at best and possibly be hurt, at worst.
And we’re no different. We don’t see the full picture from beginning to end like God does. So often times the thing or things we think we want and need the most will bring us far from victory and lead us right down the road to defeat. And often when we feel like we are defeated that is where the victory is beginning.
In the coming days, I am going to share more about my own walk through some very hard places, and times where I cried out to God. I’m going to share about victory from a place of grief and defeat, and how He absolutely never left me or failed me.
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