There is an old hymn called "Faith is the Victory". I assume it is based on these words from 1 John 5:4 - "for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith." I find myself wondering though, what does this victory actually mean? Are we supposed to be experiencing it now? Or maybe just looking forward to experiencing it some day?
When I think of victory, I think of winning, and I have to be honest - in my regular day-to-day life, I often feel like there is a battle going on and it doesn't really seem like I'm winning. Hardship and failure and struggle are such real parts of life, and they are there no matter how big or small my faith may be. But this verse says our faith has overcome the world. So does that mean whatever battles I'm in have already been won?
In some ways, I think the answer could be "yes". If the battle has anything to do with sin, then Jesus gave me the victory through His sacrifice, covering sin once and for all, like we read about in the book of Hebrews. Glory to God, what an amazing gift!
At the same time, I think maybe we're kidding ourselves if we think we're supposed to constantly feel that sense of victory and accomplishment. When I think of victory, I think of things like how it feels when you've crossed the finish line of a race or your team makes the winning shot just before the buzzer rings. It's all over. There is a sense that there is nothing more you can do.
And yet... it's not actually all over. We're still living. We're still in the middle of the race. And it can sometimes feel really hard. I suppose you could say we know how it ends, but that doesn't mean we're there yet. As the saying goes, the only way through is through.
I remember when I ran cross country, we used to say, "Half of running is 90% mental". I think the original quote actually came from Yogi Berra, having to do with baseball, but what I always got from it is that the way you think and the attitude you bring into your running makes the biggest difference. If I do all the training right and my body is physically in shape, I can still totally psyche myself out during mile two and decide to give up.
Could it be that faith makes a similar difference? What if "half of life is 90% faith"? Life is going to keep feeling like a battle, probably some days more than others. But if I face the day and its troubles with faith, maybe I'll be able to persevere through mile two.
Of course, as powerful as faith can be, it seems like it only results in victory when we act on it. I might have the best attitude in the world but if I don't move my feet and run, I'm most definitely not going to finish the race. I don't think anyone can say exactly what the proper proportions are of faith and action, but it does seem like both are needed. Maybe some of us are more prone to forget faith, while others of us are prone to forget action.
Which do you need today? If you feel like you're lacking faith, ask God for a fresh dose of it. If your faith feels strong, ask Him to show you how to use it. Either way, may the words of this old hymn ring true:
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.
Pray with me...
... Father, let our faith in You grow stronger each day
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7
... Jesus, let faith in You become contagious among all in the ACSD community
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 2 Corinthians 2:14
... Holy Spirit, fill our leaders with deep faith and lead them in the direction You want them to go
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at email@example.com.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory