- Lorie Hedgepeth
"...Thanks Be to God, Who Gives Us the Victory..."
"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
I Cor. 15:57
Acts Chapter 9 records Paul's salvation experience. That day, on that road, Paul's life was forever changed. It's still true: one moment with God can change a life, restore relationships and turn a curse into a blessing.
First, notice that Paul says, "Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ". There were many times when Paul's life did not appear to be very victorious. Right after Paul's salvation, the Jews put a plan in place to kill him. Paul's first trip to Jerusalem to meet with the disciples was met with rejection, for they did not believe he was for real. Aren't you glad that people don’t cast the deciding vote on whether we should be saved, healed or delivered! "But God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!" Paul experienced persecution, punishment, and imprisonment. From a natural standpoint, Paul's life and ministry appeared to be anything but, victorious. But the victory Paul refers to, is not based on circumstances and situations, for he was ever mindful of that day when Jesus saved him, turned his life around, opened his blinded eyes and filled him with the Holy Spirit. Our victory is not determined or defined by boards, budgets, buildings, or balances. The opinions of people and the favor of man is subject to change---but the victory we have in Jesus and His shed blood is sure, certain, and steadfast.
There may be areas of our life where we feel less than victorious. Today you may feel a very real sense of defeat. It may be in your ministry, your family or finances. How easy it is to experience times when we feel overlooked, overworked, overwhelmed, and overcome. First and foremost, I encourage you to take a day or an afternoon and clear your calendar, turn off your cell phone and get alone with God, in His Word, and let the Holy Spirit minister to you. In Psalms 55:22, David said: “Cast your burden on the Lord and HE WILL SUSTAIN THEE!” Notice it says that HE will sustain you. HE…God - the creator of this world, giver of life—our unfailing, unfaltering Father God…HE will sustain you! Because of that, you nor I are going down…we are going through!
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me, thou shalt stretch forth thy hand against the wrath of my enemies and thy right hand shall save me.”