The Victorious Christian Life
By Dr. Dale A. Robbins
We all know what it is to have occasional bad days. However, few of us will ever have to face anything worse than what Jack and Marie Martin did on one Wednesday evening. Shortly before 9:00 p.m., they received a phone call from the Highway Patrol, informing that their eighteen year old daughter, Becky, had been in a serious automobile accident. Less than an hour later, Jack and Marie clutched each other tightly, tears streaming down their cheeks as they walked out of the Jacksonville emergency room. Their daughter laid shattered and dead on the hospital stretcher, the victim of a drunk driver.
Pastor Wilson had received the news only minutes earlier and had just arrived at the hospital as he saw them crouched together on a bench holding each other. The Pastor placed his hand gently on Jack's shoulder. "Are you OK?" He asked softly.
Jack, a church deacon and a dedicated Christian for many years, looked up at the pastor. His eyes were moist, his lips trembled, but there was a faint smile. "Yes Pastor... we're Ok. Despite the grief we feel right now, we still have victory. We have the Lord's peace in our heart."
Victory comes by Faith
The "victory" that this couple possessed, despite the tragic loss of their daughter, referred to the state of their inward attitude, the disposition of their heart. Victory is that inner peace of God which surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7). It's the joy of the Lord which is our strength (Neh. 8:10). It is the that inner confidence that overcomes discouragement, doubt and unbelief. It is the assurance that God is in control, and as we love the Lord and live a life wholly consecrated to Him, we know all things and circumstances are somehow working together for our good. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).
God wants all his children to live a victorious life. However, this is only possible through the walk of faith. "...this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4). Faith is that which makes us overcomers against all the trials and circumstances of his world (1 John 5:4). A victorious life of faith no longer lives by feelings, emotions or circumstances. It is no longer manipulated by the emotions of discouragement or depression. As believers, we live and abide according to what the Word of God says, not by what the circumstances say. "We walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7). This walk of faith is what brings victory.
Faith enables us to Endure
The scriptures teach that every Christian will face many trials and disappointments in this life and He promises to deliver us from them all. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all" (Psalms 34:19). However, we must understand, our deliverance and victory may not always mean the immediate alteration of our circumstances. God may not always choose, or be at liberty, to change some external circumstances immediately. Instead, He will change YOU internally so that you can "endure" the circumstances. This is what Paul meant when he said he could be "content" regardless of what state he found himself (Phil. 4:11). Despite our circumstances, we can have victory and peace in our heart, with the patience to endure until He alters our situation.
One Christian wife cried continually to the Lord about her alcoholic husband. She could not bear the continual heartache, the strife and embarrassment. She urgently prayed that God would transform the man and heal her marriage. God also wanted to change that man, but He will not force anyone to serve him. So since the wife had no biblical grounds for divorce, she had to learn to endure and be patient for God to deal with the husband's heart. In this situation, her deliverance came internally as the Lord relieved her burden. He protected her from physical abuse and gave her peace and joy in her heart. Today her husband has still not turned to the Lord, but her peace and joy is no longer postponed to a future time when he might change. She lives each day in victory -- with God's peace and joy rooted firmly in her heart.
God provides Refuge, A way of Escape
God does not bring evil upon us (James 1:17), but sometimes, for His specific purposes, He has placed persons in challenging situations for the cause of Christ. And in other situations, it may be just a matter of time for the Lord to change our circumstances. But in the meantime, you can find peace and refuge in His presence. "The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble" (Psalms 9:9).
God promised to make a way of "escape" in the midst of distress, enabling us to "bear" certain temptations or trials. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). That way of "escape" is the presence and peace of God which abides in us to give us victory in the midst of the conflict - peace in the middle of turmoil. The presence of God in our life enables us to "bear" certain hardships and difficulties. And notice that it says He will not allow you endure an ordeal beyond your ability. That's something to always remember.
Paul -- A man of Faith, Victory, and Trials
Perhaps there is no one who knew how to live the victorious life better than the Apostle Paul. He was a man of great faith and strength with God, but he endured circumstances that were almost unbelievable. He wrote of his ordeals in the ministry: "...In labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches" (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).
Despite his tribulations, Paul didn't lose sight of his victory. He wrote, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). Paul's life and ministry were filled with tremendous hardship, but his attitude remained confident and resisted defeat. "...Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).
You can live in Victory, Not in Defeat!
If you are facing trying situations, don't allow them to rob you of your victory! The Bible tells us that "God is your refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalms 46:1). You are not alone. Jesus has promised to never leave you nor forsake you (Heb. 12:13). Turn your attention to Him and His Word. Wait upon Him and He will strengthen you with His peace. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (Isaiah 26:3).
By faith, release your cares, your concerns and worries to Him. Trust Him to work out the end result. He will either change your circumstance or will change you to deal with them! Take His rest and peace upon you, believing that He has taken the burden from you. "Cast all your cares upon him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
Remember and follow the Apostle Paul's example. He knew adversity at its worst, but also knew that circumstances need never threaten the joy and victory of the believer. He wrote, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Romans 8:35,37).
This article (VL-126) is copyrighted © by Dale A. Robbins, 1990, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA 95949. Unless otherwise stated, all scripture references were taken from King James Bible. You may download this article for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple permission form. This writing is also available as an attractive tri-fold pamphlet, which can be downloaded for reproduction from our Online Catalog. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain quantities of this title in other formats, email us.