So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15.54-57
When we speak of winners many reflect upon a famous team who won, the Super Bowl, National Championship, Premiership or Six Nations. It is a way to look back at the games they played and how they dominated the sport. However, very few people consider the sacrifice each and every player paid, every painful experience and each late night learning the strategy to defeat the next opponent. No, people, fans if you will, only look at the product and only remember the ‚Äúbig game‚ÄĚ.
The reality is, victory only comes through a great price of commitment, something greatly missed in many lives today. The victory we have in Christ was not free, sure to us it was, but it came by way of the ultimate price ever to be paid, the agonizing suffering and life of the Son of God which included separation from the Father for the only time in eternal history. Commitment often requires one to step away outside of comfort. Beloved, Champions are forged in the crucible of life‚Äôs challenges, molded by the events of our very existence and they are divinely designed. We are told in 1 John 5:4 ‚ÄúFor whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.‚ÄĚ. Such victory is a product of commitment achieved by being removed from comfort. Obviously with a very high cost. Again, the product is Jesus Christ moving inside of you, the cost was created through commitment outside of comfort. When you have Jesus living in you, you have everything you need to rise above the trials of life and become the person you were created to be in God. In Christ we have the ability to refuse to be reduced by our fear of commitment to step away from comfort. Too often we are simply restricted by the person we used to be. The person who will allow the slightest discomfort or pain derail us from what God‚Äôs purpose. The Apostle Paul said, ‚ÄúBut God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29). Never underestimate the ability and willingness of God to take the marred and fractured pieces of our life and re-make you into something wonderful. Remember no matter where you are in life, or how you might be feeling this very moment, Jesus believes in you. His power is greater than your darkest regret, and willing to bless on your worst day. There is no situation too dim His strength cannot supersede and no circumstance he cannot overcome. But, victory will require you to trust in Him, even when it is not comfortable‚Ä¶ especially when it is not comfortable. I can assure you, you will never regret it. On those days when you want to stay at home, lay in bed and just sulk away in your own personal pity party, get up, get active and get involved in the work of God, trusting Him the entire way. It is during these days and nights when the victory in our life seems sweeter than ever and Christ closer than before.
We are to become believers who will honour the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. There are times when the hands of God begin to mold and make us to become a soul who will bring glory to God. Every person desires to be a winner, everyone has something inside of them who wants to wear the crown, bear the ribbons and lift his trophy high. Yet, what separates those who will only dream of the championship and those who will actually be found in the winner‚Äôs circle is not the talent or even genetics. Rather, it is the level of commitment found in their daily practice. Victory is never easy, the formula is quite simple, be committed, step away from comfort when warranted and rise to the challenge to become a champion!
‚Ä¶death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?