September 10, 2020. Day 254: More than conquerors.

Romans 8:36-37. 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

We are more than conquerors. A simple google search will reveal dozens of Christian ministries with this verse in its promotions. “You can do it, you’re more than a conqueror!” Everyone wants to win. Everyone wants to be victorious. Everyone wants to be the “ultra-conqueror” that Paul’s talking about here. Don’t we?

But what about all us Christian losers out there? What of us who don’t find victory over that sin? What about those who give in to that addiction over and over again? What about the depression or anxiety cycle that never goes away? The relationship that is never healed? The unchanging circumstance? The thorn in the flesh?

Here is the great hope of Romans 8:37 – both of these are true: 1) We ARE victors even when we fail, and 2) We CAN live in victory – right now.

We ARE victors even when we fail.

We aren’t more than conquerors IF and WHEN we overcome the trials, temptations, sins, and sorrows of life. We ARE more than conquerors IN all these things. In the middle of the temptations, trials, sins, and sorrows we stand in Christ our Savior and in his victory.

When I sit with a Christian battling depression or addiction we work to understand that these difficulties in life may never go away this side of Heaven. Yes, we pray for relief. But we also choose to trust in our union with Christ and the fellowship of his suffering. We choose to carry the cross. Like Jesus, we decide that we want to know God more than we want relief. Jesus chose death over life. Losing over winning. Crushed over conquering. And we are conquerors THROUGH him, even when we don’t conquer. We are ultra-conquerors in all these things. What things? The slaughter.

Christian, we are IN the slaughter. Not going around it. Not avoiding it. Not even defeating it. We are experiencing it. All the sin. All the suffering. All the hardships. All the addictions. All the depression. All the self-harm. The Enemy has us by the throat. But even in all these things we are more than conquerors. How? Because NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. No matter how we die, we will rise. No matter how we lose, we will win. No matter how we are overwhelmed, we will overcome. This is the cross in us. This is Christ in us.

We can live in victory – right now.

Yes, ours is the future victory in Christ, but what about right now? Can we experience Christ’s victory on a daily basis? Yes. Here’s how:

First, we must experience God’s grace in our weakness. Until you recognize your own dependency, your own need, your own inadequacy and inability in this fight we call life, until then, you will never experience the real victorious life of Christ.

Hiding our weaknesses, our sorrows, our pains, our failures means we are also hiding God’s greatest victories of grace in our lives. If he has won, if he has reconciled you, if he has forgiven you thousands of times, if he has brought you into his family despite your prodigal sin; why would you not proclaim that conquering grace of God to the world? Maybe we just don’t want to feel the pain of our failures. But is the glory of God’s grace on display worth the pain?

Then, after receiving grace in weakness, we must move forward in faith. Now it’s time to claim the promises that God has made to us in Christ. Yes, we are more than conquerors is an eschatological statement. It is a future promise. But faith in this future promise can and does impact our present reality.

If we know the promise of eternal life, of an everlasting inheritance, of a home with God in his presence forever, then can we actually live a life here on earth free from fear? Free from despair? Trusting our Abba?

If we know the promise of his eternal inseparable love for us, then can we risk loving others today? Can we put our heart out there for the cause of Christ? Knowing that any earthly rejection is met with complete acceptance and honor from our Father?

If we know the promise of eternal righteousness, of complete and final victory over sin and its greatest power, death, then can we live today battling for holiness and striving from grace for an end to our addictions? Can we set aside the sin that clings to us and run with endurance the race set before us?

Dr. Strange sees the future, so he can sacrifice his life in the present.

“To live is Christ” is to know that we have the victory. We ARE already conquerors because God has promised that one day we WILL BE conquerors. Jesus has fought for us and won. We are free now to fight and win, even when we fail. How? Because God works all things for the good – our transformation into the character of Christ, the One who has conquered us.

You

Where in life do you feel defeated today?

You in Christ

How does it comfort you to know that you don’t have to win because Jesus already has won?

Christ in you

Where have you seen Christ’s victory in your life recently?

Playlist: More than conquerors.

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