But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
Badger Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin was packed. Over 60,000 University of Wisconsin fans were watching their beloved football team take a beating by Michigan State. What seemed odd was that as the score became more and more lopsided, cheers bursts were heard in the stands. Some people began to wonder who these strange people were who were cheering while their team was being pummeled. As it turns out, seventy miles away from Badger stadium the Milwaukee Brewers were beating the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the World Series. Many of the Badger fans in the stands were listening to portable radios and responding to something else besides what was happening right in front of their eyes. In many ways that is a fairly accurate description of what the Christian life is like. We might be in the midst of horrible circumstances and yet we have something to cheer about. We can see by faith the victory that is ours in Christ. (Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author).
A wise Christian at my church said that the Christian life is not measured by wins and losses but by the victory we have in Christ Jesus. This profound statement underscores the nature of our Christian journey. Every believer experience wins and losses. I have had many losses in my lifetime. I lost both of my parents and a brother. In addition, I’ve lost job opportunities, monies, friends, and colleagues. But my losses can never rob me of the victory I have in Christ Jesus.
In Corinthians 15, Paul is teaching the Corinthian church about the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of those who believe in Christ. Apparently, many of the Corinthians believers were concerned about the delay in the return of Jesus. They wanted to know what happens to believers when they die, and the attitude believers should have toward death. Paul concludes his theological dissertation about death and the resurrection with a statement of assurance that those who believe in Christ have victory even in death.
Nothing on earth can negate or rob believers of their victory. Just as Christ defeated death and rose with all power to ascend to His heavenly abode so He can prepare a place for us, we have victory over all demonic attacks and the challenges of life whether we are getting pummeled or not. Therefore, let us continue to press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14
Losing can leave a bitter taste in our mouths. It can tempt us to question our Christian identity and wonder about God’s faithfulness toward us. Winning gives us confidence and assures us of God’s benevolence toward us. Yet, it is our perspective about wins and losses that fuels our spiritual passion for Jesus Christ. Authentic disciples of Jesus Christ do not allow the highs of winning or the lows of losing to interfere with their service to Almighty God. When they are perplexed or struck down, they look to God for the courage to persevere.
It's contentious to tell someone who loses a loved one that they have victory in Christ Jesus as a coping mechanism for their loss. Yet, that is exactly what Paul did in 1 Corinthians 15. He does not offer cliché or make false promises. He reminds them of the victory they have in Christ Jesus. This victory helps us to persevere and do our kingdom assignment in any circumstance. Encouraging others in times of distress does not mean giving false hope. We might be amid horrible circumstances and yet we have something to cheer about. We can see by faith the victory that is ours in Christ. (Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author).
Questions for Personal Reflection
How do you handle wins and losses as a person of faith?
What does it mean to have victory in Christ Jesus?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for the victory I have in Christ Jesus. Please help me to remain steady and hopeful when I experience losses. May your Holy Spirit continue to fan the flame of my faith in all circumstances so I can do Christ’s great commission work faithfully.