“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.”
(2 Corinthians 2:14)
Today’s verse passage is both precious and profound. It speaks to us of overcoming, of conquering and of gaining victory. This resonates with everyone. We face countless challenges that need to be overcome every single day. Some challenges are small, minor inconveniences. Others, however, are colossal and potentially devastating if they are not dealt with quickly. Because overcoming challenges is inextricable from the human condition, at least in the present state of the world, the promise of triumph immediately grabs our attention. Being the selfish creatures we are, however, we want to see in this text a promise of instantly overcoming whatever prevents us from acquiring or enjoying whatever we please. Of course this is not what Paul had in mind. The promise of consistent triumph applies only to those whose plans, purposes, and desires are “in Christ.” James reminds us, in the clearest terms possible, that God will not grant the desires of a self-seeking heart (James 4:1-4). Often times, the things we set out to conquer are no more than obstacles between us and our personal goals, wants, or felt needs. In God’s economy, however, things are often different. Our chief goal in this life ought to be God’s glorification on the earth. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,” wrote Paul, “do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). We pursue this goal first of all because it is right to do so; God is supremely worthy and deserving of this honor. Note the moral dimension to this lofty goal. Secondly, we seek to glorify God so that others may be drawn to Him and enter into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus. This we do, not only out of love for our fellow human beings, but that Christ would be further honored in receiving the rewards of His sufferings. This is done to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11). We must be ever vigilant, as Peter tells us (1 Peter 5:8), because our enemy seeks to blind our eyes to the actual goals we need to be pursuing and the actual challenges that need to be overcome. He would have us unaware of selfishness and pride in our own lives. These twin enemies of the soul are the fountainheads of a torrent of other sins, such as impatience, hard-hardheartedness, apathy toward others, unforgiveness, and various fleshly lusts. These are the real enemies that need to be overcome. We may rest assured that when our plans and purposes are “in Christ,” having His seal of approval, He will cause us to triumph over whatever enemies and obstacles stand in our way. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37). With courage and joy let us remember His promise to grant us our hearts desires if only we will make Him our chief delight (Psalm 37:4).
God bless you, dear saints,