“Victory, Victory that’s our cry! V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!” If you’ve ever been to a local football game, you know the rest. In Jr. High I decided to become a cheerleader. I say “decided” because my becoming a cheerleader was completely choice-based. There was no tryout, there were no cuts. The only thing stopping me from my ultimate American “Bring It On” Dream was a registration fee and purchasing a red, black and white uniform.
The truth is, I knew better than to join– gangly, puberty stricken, dyslexic and COMPLETELY uncoordinated, I had absolutely NO business joining. But there I was, each weekend cheering for a sport I knew nothing about, making a complete fool out of myself.
Although I knew little about football- One thing became very clear from the beginning- it was MUCH easier to cheer V-I-C-T-O-R-Y over the players when the score was up compared to when they were getting trampled by a bunch of acne-ridden boys from the other side of town.
Unfortunately, sometimes being a Christian feels like cheering for a losing team. We look around and see brokenness, sin, and pain. We turn on the news and scroll through social media only to see more and more ugliness in the world around us. We go head to head with the nastiest teams out there, and feel like the scoreboard isn’t all that pretty: Cancer: 20 – God: 17 Addiction: 13 – God: 7, Family Death: 9 – God: 3. The list goes on…
When we experience the temporary darkness and hold of sin, it feels like our team has just been intercepted by the enemy. We question God’s goodness, or simply forget that He is the true victor when we look at the scoreboard of life.
Let me remind you… as believers, we have FULL assurance of the end score- we know full well that in the end death is defeated- CHRIST HAS WON.
“O death, where is your victory?1 Corinthians 15:55
O death, where is your sting?”
It’s one thing to “know” that God is the ultimate winner, but how do we live this out? How do we let the truth soak in? How do we stand on the side-lines continuing to shout praises of victory when we just don’t see it happening?
2 Corinthians 4:8-12, 16-18
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Verse 8 acknowledges the truth that we are indeed experiencing hardship and pain, yet- we are struck down, but not destroyed (vs 9). Although we are truly surrounded by constant reminders of the brokenness of this world- we have hope to PERSEVERE because what is seen is temporary and what is unseen (all the work that God is doing, and will do) is eternal (vs. 18).
The reality is that if you knew your team was going to the Super Bowl, you wouldn’t even flinch when they fumbled or missed a field goal. You’d continue cheering them on, knowing that the mistakes made now were small in light of the amazing win to come.
We as Christians have to have this same mindset. All of the pain, heart-break, terror, sickness, and sin are momentary and fleeting in light of the great future of what is to come.
We HAVE to keep in mind the end result, what is to come and is guaranteed for all of us as believers and followers of Christ Jesus.