Sunday, October 5, 2014

Faith Is The Victory



Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?1 John 5:1-5

The above verses, which state that faith is the victory, is a well-known verse. But the way in which we often interpret it tends to skew the meaning. Most of us think that we are being told that if we have enough faith we will press through to the victory. In short, we think that it is faith that carries us into any victory.

But wait. Read this verse carefully. It really does not say that our faith carries us into any victory. Rather, this verse states that faith is the victory. Faith itself – the reality of faith in us – that is the victory. Anything else that comes about because of this faith is not the victory, but the faith itself is the victory. We can grow in faith as we follow Christ, and such faith endures suffering. Such faith also sees us through to ultimate victory in Christ.

Consider two apostles, John and Peter. John writes, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.” (1 John 5:2-4)

Peter gave words of blessing to those who were already undergoing suffering, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”(1 Peter 5:10) Why does our faith overcome the world and end in victory? Because the God of all grace will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish” us until the end. Peter concludes in verse 11, “To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” God can strengthen and restore us because all authority and power belong to Him for all of eternity. There simply is nothing Satan can throw at us that can destroy our faith if our faith is constant and rooted firmly in Christ.

I have watched people go through all kinds of challenges in life and challenges to their faith. Nothing is more devastating than being rejected by your family or faith because of your sexuality. Whether others look at their sexuality as sin or just part of life, it is our live to us, calling us to faith greater than what is in themselves. While no one can control their future, they can respond with faith in the Word, the Lord, and His plan for their lives. This does not relieve our pain, but helps us through their pain and the realization of God's love.

Faith was never designed for us to demonstrate how strong we are or show how much we could accomplish. Faith depends upon and displays God’s strength, giving us assurance that victory will be ours. This victory is not a victory we earn; it’s a victory we enter. It is Christ’s victory. This is why victory is assured if we trust Christ. It’s His victory already won. This is why Paul could write, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

This first thing that came  to mind when I read the verses above was the song "Faith Is the Victory."  I have always loved this song.  We can overcome the world with our faith.  There is a lot of evil in this world and things may not always go our way, but faith in Christ is our victory.

Faith Is the Victory
Words: John H. Yates, 1891
Music: Ira D. Sankey

Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.

Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory! 
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God.
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,
Swept on o’er every field.
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.

Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory! 
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array.
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.

Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory! 
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

3 comments:

GK said...

LOVE IT ! Great take on those verses and what memories that song brings back. Still play it on piano/organ once in a while. If I am simply listening to it I can close my eyes and be in church with my parents many years ago. Thanks for your take on these particular scripture verses. Yet again YOU are a blessing.

silvereagle said...

Once again, you inspire!!! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Truly you are an inspiration. I so enjoy your blog.