"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ"
1 Corinthians 15:57. According to Merriam-Webster, victory is "the overcoming of an enemy or antagonist". So who or what is the enemy involved? Most would answer "Satan" or "the devil" and that would be correct but limited. The enemy also includes all that occurs because of Satan, specifically sin, temptation to sin and the result of sin -- death. The wonderful news is that we are promised victory over all this, not in our strength, because that's impossible, but by one means only – "through our Lord Jesus Christ."
King David knew where to find the Source of victory. "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty" 1 Chronicles 29:11. Isaiah the prophet spoke of the final victory to come. "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces" Isaiah 25:8. But just how do we triumph in our daily struggles?
Paul points out that regardless of any trials or difficulties we may be experiencing, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" Romans 8:31, 38. Do you believe this? It is crucial to believe in order to exercise faith. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" 1 John 5:4. It is by faith that we take hold of the overcoming power, the victory. If you are offered something of value for the taking, it will only become yours if you believe the offer to be genuine, based on knowing the one who made the offer, and take possession of the object. So in the spiritual life, victory comes through faith. Our actions will be those of one who already has the promised gift.
The enemy is a relentless, yet, defeated foe. "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you"
James 4:7. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith" 1 Peter 5:8, 9. Notice that our active resistance is needed, exercised by faith, and with the guarantee of victory because of "the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe" Ephesians 1:19. Praise the Lord!
Kathryn Irizarry is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.