Victory in Jesus

I woke up this morning with “Victory in Jesus” stuck in my head, which is no surprise because it’s one of my favorite hymns and often ends up rolling around in my head for hours.  This morning, however, the words were really just resonating with me.

Hebrews 4:15 in the Voice says, “For Jesus is not some high priest who has no sympathy for our weaknesses and flaws.  He has already been tested in every way that we are tested; but He emerged victorious, without failing God.”

Jesus was completely human yet completely God.  He walked, breathed, and lived on our very Earth.  The verse says that He was “tested in every way that we are tested.”  Jesus was tempted as we are, but He defeated temptation, as the verse says “He emerged victorious.”

After Jesus is resurrected but before He ascends to Heaven, He tells the people in Luke chapter 24 (NLT) that He is sending the Holy Spirit to them.  In Matthew 28 (VOICE), Jesus tells the disciples that He will be with them “to the end of the age.”

When Jesus left this Earth He didn’t leave us all alone, He left us with the Holy Spirit to guide us, to give us the strength to fight temptation just as Jesus did when He was living among us.

Jesus’ death didn’t just give us the ability to find victory over temptation, but over the everyday situations in life.  Because Jesus died and sent us the Spirit, we now have a personal connection with our Creator.  Philippians chapter 4 tells us that we don’t have to succumb to the harmful clutches of worry and anxiety; we can go to God and exchange our worries for peace.

There is definitely victory in Jesus, and I am so thankful for it.  I do not have to live my life chained to sin or circumstance.  I know that Jesus understands my struggles, He understands my pain, He wants me to come to Him with my problems – and my praises – and He wants to give me peace that can only come from Him.  Such a sweet message my God gave me this Saturday morning.

“So let us step boldly to the throne of grace, where we can find mercy and grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 (VOICE)

Photo Credit: Japheth Mast
 

The Missing Peace

Let me set the stage (cue lights, audio, and other technical things I don’t know about): Something happens, something bad, something you just can’t get out of your head.  Maybe you were in a car wreck, or you lost your brother, or you are experiencing heartbreak for not the – but just as painful – time.  You relive it over and over again in your head, especially at night when you have nothing else to keep your thoughts from wandering to the infamous ‘thing’ that haunts you.  They say time heals but it’s been weeks, months, years and you don’t feel like you’ve healed much at all: you’re just stuck in this endless cycle of remembering.  Or maybe in your case it’s not even that, maybe it’s just the balancing act of life that’s got you stretched beyond what you can bear; you have finals and bills and your car broke down and your job doesn’t pay enough and you’re sleep deprived and you just yelled at someone for no reason and the list goes on and on.

Sound familiar?  What’s missing in the scenarios above?

Peace.

Things happen that we cannot control – you can’t control the fact that your sister has cancer or that your landlord raised the rent a hundred dollars that you can’t afford to pay – but you can control how you deal with the situation.

I know, you’ve heard it before.  So had I.  Did you let that sink in, though? You do not have to fall victim to things that happen outside of your control, even the things that happen because of your own bad decisions.

Jesus didn’t die so we could live miserable lives.  He died to give us hope.  He died to free us from sin. He died so that our trials can build our faith instead of ruin our lives.  He died so that death would not be the end for us.  Jesus didn’t die for us to fall victim to a lost and dying world, Jesus died for us to have hope even in the gravest of situations because He overcame the power of the grave. 

But how do we do it?

Philippians 4 is such a great chapter of the Bible and is so relevant.  Check out the whole chapter (it’s short, it won’t take long), but I’m going to leave you with verses 6 and 7.

“Don’t worry about anything instead pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all that He has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds all anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Don’t worry.  Pray.  Give your needs to God.  Thank God. The result? Peace that soothes your soul.  God can handle your mess, I promise.

•••

If you have specific passages, chapters, or books of the Bible that have helped you through hard times, leave me a comment.

Until next time, lovelies.

 
Photo Credit: Aubin A Sadiki