Are you seeing victory in your life? Victory to a Christian may look a lot different from what we normally think of. Stephanie shares how to discover the hidden treasure of victory.
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As many of you know, I work as the administrator at my church. Because of this, I was the one who answered the phone when a lady from a church 45 minutes away called, looking for someone to speak at their ladies’ group.
We chatted for a while and I was thrilled when she said that she and the committee would like to have me come and speak. It’s something I love to do but haven’t done in some time. When she told me they were interested in the topic of Victorious Christian Living, I let her know that was in-keeping with what I’d been thinking about sharing.
Today’s devotional is on the topic of Treasured Victory.
First, I’d like to share examples of a few individuals in my life I would label Victorious Christians.
One of the first people who come to mind is my hubby. He has diligently worked at his “temporary” job for over 30 years as maintenance man for the non-profit housing corporation run by our church. And although he is gifted musically and holds a Masters in Church Music, the Lord has not opened the door to fulltime ministry. Still, Dave continues to serve in the music ministry at our church on a volunteer basis.
When I think of victorious Christians, I also think of my daughter. She battles depression and some physical issues as well. Yet, every time she gets up, gets ready, and puts in a full day’s work, I recognize it as a victory, one she attributes to the Lord.
And speaking of mental health issues, I have a dear friend who is definitely victorious. She is a cancer survivor and still battles a number of physical and mental health issues. Yet, recently, I have witnessed her faith grow stronger even in the midst of challenging personal circumstances. She is an example to me.
As is Deb Willows. I coauthored Deb’s memoir a few years ago. We are currently working on a follow-up book titled Still Living Beyond My Circumstances. Deb has cerebral palsy and spends her days in a wheelchair. She is a Paralympian and has numerous medals and ribbons. She has also set world records. She has dealt with migraines, something she refers to as more debilitating than the CP. Not too many years back, she was diagnosed with diabetes. Deb paints with her mouth. She also writes and speaks. She is one of those people who will keep going until the Lord calls her home. She does what she does for God’s glory and is a living, breathing testament of what it means to live the victorious Christian life.
That said, I want to spend a few minutes talking about what victory isn’t.
It doesn’t mean bounding out of bed every morning overflowing with joy and anticipation. Sometimes, it’s more about choosing to push back the covers and face another day in God’s strength.
Victory doesn’t mean overcoming all physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual struggles. Sometimes—most times—it’s about moment-by-moment victories, “small victories.” As most of us have likely come to know, we are more likely to turn our thoughts and attention to the Lord and His plans for us when we face the struggles and challenges of this life. When things are going smoothly, we too often forget to seek the Lord.
While we are to seek Him by studying the Bible and praying regularly, victorious Christian living doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours in these pursuits every day. If, however, that’s what the Lord has called you to in this season of life, then He will strengthen you to be faithful.
And one last think victory isn’t is perfectionism. We can’t do everything perfectly. In fact, we can’t do anything perfectly. Striving for excellence is a good thing. Striving for perfection … not so much. Sometimes, good enough is good enough. Each of us has far too many things to do to do each one perfectly.
I considered calling today’s devotional “Treasured Failures” because it isn’t always about what we do well, it’s about learning from the times we fail.
The Bible has a lot to say about pride—and none of it is good. Humility is a godly trait. And if we’re honest about our failures, we are more inclined to remain humble.
Because God works everything out for our good, as it says in Romans 8:28, we can look for the lessons He is teaching us in our circumstances—even if they’re the result of our failures or someone else’s. When I’m in a funk … When I have doubts … When I obsess about something someone has said or done or about something I’ve done … There is always victory to be found.
Instead of “camping there,” as speaker Matilda Kipfer used to say, I can choose to honour God. When I choose to pray for those facing infinitely more challenging and heartbreaking situations … When I choose to give thanks for the gift of faith … When I thank the Lord for the way things are right this moment and refuse to worry about what’s coming down the road… When I do any of these things, I have chosen victory. And I can only do so because God gives me the ability and determination.
If God has a formula for true success, it’s this: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7 ESV).
Let’s seek to do so with increasing frequency.
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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Images Courtesy Of:
Crossing street – ohurtsov
Maintenance cart – deepcove
Wheelchair – andreas
Happy man – pexels