Victory; March 17, 2018

Daniel 7:18 “‘But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it for ever—yes, for ever and ever.'”

Daniel was shown a lot in various visions. It troubled him, and he had a lot of questions. However, this verse expresses the end of the matter. You could summarize the message of the visions both in Daniel and in Revelation as, “It’s going to be a mess, but in the end, we win.” Verse 21 of this chapter specifically says that sometimes the forces of evil will win in their battle against God’s children, but that is strictly temporary. That can be pretty hard to keep in focus when we’re in the middle of a defeat! Jesus made one of His most encouraging promises just before He was seized, tortured, and crucified: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) The tense there is important. He was about to suffer unspeakable agony and the disciples were going to abandon Him, but He still said, “I have overcome the world.” We have trouble grasping the reality that God, being outside of time, is aware of everything at once. We can’t do that! However, from God’s perspective, His victory, and ours, is already a done deal. We are called to be faithful in the flow of time (and in the use of time) but we need to realize that God is above and beyond all of that, and He loves us. It is that last fact that should be our anchor in all the storms we experience.

The past couple of years have been quite a roller coaster emotionally, so I have needed to remind myself of all of this. Sometimes I have done better at that than at other times! I was recently encouraged by a brother in the Lord that God’s plans are indeed better than what I might have chosen. I know that intellectually, but my emotions don’t always keep up. It’s easy to look back over my life and see how true that has been, but the pressures of the moment are always a fresh challenge to my faith. Today we will be having a memorial service for a sister who went through a lot in her time on this earth, but she stuck with Jesus, and I’m sure her welcome in heaven was glorious. Her family is not Christian, so this is an opportunity to let them see what she was all about, and be drawn to follow her example. One of the reasons God allows junk into our lives is to show the world how His children deal with such stuff, so that they too may repent and believe. I am not to complain about what I go through, but rather praise God that He is indeed going to use it for my good and to draw others to Himself. (Romans 8:28)

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for inviting me onto the winning team. Help me remember my position in Christ at all times and live accordingly, so that my defeats may be transformed into Your victories, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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