Oh the gloom and doom we hear far and wide — from Hollywood, to Vegas, to DC and to Alabama. You know what the pervading focus is in all these scandals? It is focusing on worldliness, on flawed people we heap with power because of a position they hold or money they have. As long as we put our focus, our hopes and our hearts here on the earth, we will continue to fail to have victory. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:19-21)
Several months ago I shared with you in quite a few posts my severe depression and despair. In looking back on that I know the Holy Spirit was working on my heart and mind–to prepare me for taking my shame to the cross of Jesus and nailing those burdens there. I think in order to let go, I really had to feel it because I don’t believe that we let go of something that is keeping us separated from the Lord unless we feel the weight of the burden to do so. During my despair I focused on myself and the world. I will never find an eternal answer there.
The Scripture in my Bible study this morning really puts this all in a nutshell: “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:54-58)
Satan seemed to be victorious in the Garden of Eden and at the cross of Jesus. But God turned Satan’s apparent victory into defeat when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Col. 3:15) Thus death is no longer a source of dread or fear. Christ overcame it, and one day we will also through our faith in Him. The law will no longer make sinners out of us who cannot keep it, because the Lord pours out His grace on us. Death has been defeated, and we have hope beyond the grave.
Paul says that because of the resurrection, nothing we do for the Lord is in vain. Sometimes we hesitate to do good because we don’t see any results. But if we can maintain a heavenly and eternity-based perspective, we will understand that we often will not see the good that results from our efforts. If we truly believe that Christ has won the ultimate victory, that fact must affect the way we live right now. We shouldn’t let discouragement over an apparent lack of results keep us from working for His glory and honor. We must do the good that we have the opportunity to do, knowing that our work will have eternal results, and that our heavenly Father is the one in control of the results.
Today I am thankful for the victory we have over sin through our faith in Jesus Christ and our repentance. The grace and mercy gifted to us by our Father is beyond amazing. I stand firm and in awe of how the Spirit has worked in my heart in just the last six months alone. I stand on the Lord’s promises. The final chapter has not been written. God is still on His throne. God is still overcoming evil in this world. And when the final word has been said, God will be on top. “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:1-4)