But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ….
(2 Cor. 2:14a)
Last week we began exploring the different arenas for which we have cause to give thanks and we discovered the first road of thanks led us to “death.” Exploring another avenue, we discover another category of victory, and the motivation behind the gratitude is that God, in Christ, ALWAYS leads us to triumph. I find myself asking this question often: Really? ALWAYS? While last week we discovered victory over the grave, this week God graciously offers us consistent victory on the journey of life. I sit here exploring this statement of fact thinking I haven’t ever fully capitalized on this promise.
I know a lot of folks looking for triumph. I am one of them. Over the years I’ve come to realize that I’ve often wished for a magic wand that would accomplish the “win” quickly without the work. This passage assures me the win will come, but it’s a process of following Jesus to get there.
A little over a week ago, while on a trip to South Africa, I woke one morning following a series of three very haunting dreams. I won’t go into detail, other than to say, each of these dreams led me to a realization about parts of my life with which I continually wrestle: fear (especially of the unknown), placing too high of expectations on others, an inability to “let go” and give God room to work, and anger. Then I read the above passage. Give thanks – right now. Even though the victory hasn’t been delivered, it’s assured. God faithfully and always comes through to bring us the win. There’s one other key to finding personal triumph (besides thanksgiving): follow the leader.
I appreciate the fact that the Lord leads the way. Since he’s out in front, he takes the brunt of the battle. He takes the initial blows, where the fight is the most brutal, and the bloodiest. He wars against the very things we fight against – our own nature and the unseen world (see Colossians 2:15). In fact, he’s already made the charge and prepared the way. I just follow his lead – walk in his steps – and submit to his direction. If I give him that place of authority, and quit trying to charge ahead in front of him, I have a guarantee of victory over the things I struggle with the most.
What a promise! What grace!