How Do You Identify Victory?
How Do You Identify Victory?
Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)
for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
One definition of victory found in Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is, “Conquest; the defeat of an enemy in battle, or of an antagonist in contest.” Many believers would quickly gravitate to that definition, when thinking about the challenges they face, whether they be physical, emotional, relational or financial. Victory comes when the challenge has been met and is no more. It may take days, weeks, months or years, but victory comes when the desired end is manifested.
There is a second definition in Noah Webster’s Dictionary that perhaps gives a clearer indication of what victory should be to the believer. It is, “a gaining of superiority in war or combat.” This aspect of victory can and does come long before the desired end is manifested. Proverbs 24:16 points to this. It says as believers we are going to fall, meaning we are going to have challenges that at times overwhelm us. Then it adds, … the righteous will rise again. Victory for a believer comes each time he falls (a fall can be something as simple as becoming discouraged after receiving a negative report) yet makes the choice to get up again (by believing God’s promise over the circumstance). When that happens, he is “gaining superiority in the war/combat” in the challenge he is facing. In this sense victory can be seen as a journey not just a destination. There will be multiple small victories before the ultimate victory comes.
How important is it to have this perspective of what victory should be for a believer? It is extremely important. For most believers the manifestation of what they are believing for does not happen overnight. It would be nice if it did. However, there will be many opportunities to feel like nothing is happening or even worse, things are going in the wrong direction. If we view victory as only when the challenge is gone, it will be hard for us to hold onto our faith until that actually happens.
What allows us to “rise again?” It comes by knowing and believing what the Word of God says about who we are in Christ and what we can have in Him (the promises of God). Notice Proverbs 24:16 says, “for though the righteous fall… During the time period between the “amen and there it is”, knowing and believing that we are in right-standing with God gives us an unshakable foundation on which to stand. Yes, things happen that we may not understand. Or, it could be something that we do understand, something we did or didn’t do – an unforced error on our part. The bottom line is that from God’s perspective – nothing has changed about His promise to deliver us out of our challenge. The only thing He asks of us is that we get back up. Getting back up is putting faith into action. And, it is honoring the BLOOD of Jesus. We are saying that the sacrifice of Jesus was not in vain. We are going to receive what He died to give us.
In every challenge we face we should take the smallest of victories and run with them. Micah 7:8 (AMP) sums it up perfectly: “Do not rejoice over me [amid my tragedies], O my enemy! Though I fall, I will rise; Though I sit in the darkness [of distress], the Lord is a light for me.” Victory comes when we determine that the setback is not going to stop us; it’s the Lord’s light (His limitless GRACE towards us) that enables us to rise again. Each time we do, we are inching closer to the ultimate victory – when the desired end of our challenge is fully manifested!
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