Milford Sound, New Zealand, is quite an unique place, as it rains more than it doesn’t. The day we arrived, it had rained 25 mm in 24 hours. But that is nothing compared to the 537.5 mm they experienced a few years ago. In fact, in 2007 Milford Sound had experienced 193 days of rain with a total of 7.6 m of rainfall, more than enough to fill a swimming pool! Which, by the way, they don’t need!
Many tourists complain about the rain, but they do not realize that more beauty is revealed amidst the rain. For example, Milford Sound has four regular waterfalls. But mysteriously these multiply to thousands when rain falls. Exotic plants strive, and the mist caused by the rain turns the landscape into such a mystic beauty that you can’t help but admire the surroundings!
The same is true amidst trials.
The Bible promises us that “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV)
So why are we experiencing so much defeat?
Because we often forget that victory is a process in where we experience God every step of the way! Our tendency is to focus on our struggle instead of focusing on the remedy: Jesus, the Christ!
When we fail, we need to stop beating ourselves up. Otherwise we are working right into the schemes of the evil one. More importantly we need to also stop listening to the lies of the enemy: “You are a failure!”; “You are doomed for hell!”; “Now you’ve done it! No way God will love you now!” These are all lies, straight from hell!
We need to remember that Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for each one of us. He didn’t pay it AFTER we obtained victory, He paid it before we were even born!
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:6-8 NIV)
Sooner or later we will face a night (or more than one) like one we have never experienced before, just like Jacob did! Temptation will seem so vivid that we will feel like our very survival depends upon giving in. If we go into this battle clinging to the promises of the Most High, however, and if we refute the lies of the evil one, God will give us a way out! We will start experiencing the promised victory!
“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.’ But Jacob replied, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ The man asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Jacob,’ he answered. Then the man said, ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.'” (Gen 32:24-28 NIV)
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Cor 10:13 NIV)
It is so important that our focus is on Jesus, otherwise we will never experience that night of victory!
It is crucial that we remember that our enemy is a liar, specializing in deception: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44 NIV)
It is time we see the beauty amidst our trials by focusing on the One who will give us victory. It is time we forget those times of defeat and strive for God: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13-14 NIV)
It is time we embrace our defeats and let God turn them into victory. We cannot do it alone. Divine assistance is a must! Only then will we look back one day and discover beauty amidst those trials, and we will realize that Jesus had been with us all along!
I wonder if I should take an umbrella with me today?
(To access the entire “Fearless Victory!” devotional series, please click here.)