life triumphs over death {searching for victory in the hard times}

It’s late as I sit here typing in the dark with the whiteness of my laptop shining at me.  All of my 3 kids are asleep.  I can hear the swirl of the dishwasher and the typing of my keyboard.  And I sit staring at my screen with tired eyes and sigh.

Because life is hard sometimes.

In fact, as I get older, the harder it seems.  Of course the joys and victories and loves all greatly outweigh the hard times.  But when the hard times come they rest so heavily on our shoulders… feeling weighted to this world.

And in those times it’s hard to see the end of the struggle.  It’s hard to see hope.  And it’s hard to see any sort of victory.

But it’s there.  Victory is on the Horizon.

If you are a believer in Christ, then you are probably well aware that we have an enemy.  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10a ESV).”  ONLY.  That is his only job.  Is to tear you down.  To break you.  To weaken you.  And to hurt you.  And he will do it any way he can.  Any way he knows how.  Because that’s what he does.

It seems so scary.  And so defeating.

However the end of John 10:10 finishes with: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Do you know what is bigger than stealing and killing and destroying? Giving life.  And Christ gives it to us abundantly.  It’s a promise.

That doesn’t mean we won’t have trials and tribulations.  That doesn’t mean there won’t be hurt or fear.  What it does mean is the life He gives us overcomes all of that darkness.  Life triumphs over death.  Every. Single. Time.

In 1 Peter 5:8 it says: “Stay alert!  Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour (NLT).”  When I was in college, during some rough times battling an eating disorder, I thought on what this scripture meant.  I could visualize a giant lion, fierce and tyrant, roaming around with great intimidation on those who saw him.  And I could see myself, paralyzed in fear, hiding in a corner.  I was going to curl myself up into a ball knowing he would hit me and bite at me but maybe if kept my head down and held myself close, then maybe he would only hurt me some and I could get by with bruises and scrapes.  But as I looked closely at this giant lion about to attack me I realized he had no teeth in his gummy mouth and that his claws were gone and his huge paws were only covered in padding.  I realized that while he looked like he would hurt me… he really couldn’t.  Because he didn’t have the power.  He only was intimidating by what I thought he was.  But with Christ in me, I couldn’t be defeated.  And so I jumped up and yelled “NO!!” into his face.  And he cowered and walked away.

And then I thought of Who has the power: Jesus Christ.  And though hard days are before us, with Christ within us we have the victory.  It may not look like or be shaped in the way you thought but please trust that in Christ we have the victory: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:57 (ESV).” 

Yes, the hard days will absolutely come.  Life is hard.  Period.  But please don’t give into the hardness.  Don’t be fooled by the powerless lion.  Remember Who fights for you and is with you and is always beside you.  The same Jesus who conquered the grave is with you.  And in Him you have victory.

The first step on the way to victory is to recognize the enemy. ~ Corrie Ten Boom

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