Have you ever struggled with something and wondered ‘God where are you?’ Or asked God, ‘Why Me?’ or ‘God do you even care?’
Have you ever prayed so hard for God to answer a prayer and wondered, ‘God are you even listening?’
I have been there. I have asked God all of these questions before. I don’t have all the answers to why things happen the way they do. I do know God loves us and desires us to live a victorious life in Him, despite our defeating circumstances. So how does one go from Defeat to Victory?
The answer lies at the cross.
Where do you stand at the cross?
Sides of the Cross:
Do you stand behind the cross? You can see the cross, but you can’t see the victory or the suffering of Jesus. You can’t bring yourself to walk up to the cross because you don’t think the cross can help and can’t see it’s true meaning. You live in continually defeat of your circumstances, because you put your faith in what you see.
Do you stand at the side of the cross? You can see the cross and the suffering, but you can’t bring yourself to walk up to the cross and reach out your hand because you are holding onto your sin. You have deemed yourself not worthy of the cross. You live with unforgiveness and can’t seem to let go.
Do you stand in front of the cross? You go ahead of God, get in a mess look around and then ask ‘God where are you?’ You can see the cross but it is far out of your reach. You desire the crown but not the suffering. You chase what the world considers valuable. You want to pick and choose the parts of Jesus you want. You’re surrounded by busyness and distractions. Temptations are running you’re life drawing you further away from the cross with each choice you make. The enemy is claiming victory over you keeping you far from God’s truth and out of reach of the cross. The enemy doesn’t want to let you get too close to experience and see the victory of Jesus. He doesn’t want you to see the whole Jesus and experience Him in his entirety in his suffering, his mercy, his grace, his richness, his servanthood, or his enduring love.
Do you stand at the cross? You partake in everything Jesus has to offer; the suffering and the crown. You allow the power of the cross to intercede on your behalf. You lay your burdens and sin at the cross, you have given everything to God, there is nothing getting in the way of him. Your life has been completely surrendered to him. You allow the cross to empower you to live in the victory of Christ!
Do you even see the cross at all? You are surrounded by unbelievers. You have stopped going to church altogether and don’t even know the last time you’ve prayed. You have fallen far away from God. Maybe you used to have a relationship with him, but you have been burned, either by a judgmental Christian, a corrupt church, or dead-end circumstances that lead you to know where you want to be. You have lost your hope and don’t trust God at all.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross for nothing. He didn’t stay in the grave– He was resurrected. Our burdens were meant to be left in the grave and never carried beyond the cross. The power of the cross is nothing without the resurrection. Satan would like nothing more than to keep us broken inside that empty tomb. He would like to keep us blinded and whisper lies from the world to keep us from seeing the truth. We can have all the evidence in front of us, but if we don’t have faith we will miss it altogether.
Do you live in the power the cross or continual defeat? Victory lies within the cross, not far away from it, not behind it, not beside it, not ahead of it, but within it.
There is victory in our struggles. To experience the entire victory, we must allow Christ to live within us by inviting him in so he can work and within us.
The victory will never be experienced on the sidelines. It will never be experienced when the cross is out of our reach. The victory is something to be done together as a team (Jesus and us) to be fully engaged in, participating in, not just watching. The victory is won by actively living out our faith even in our trials, even when we’re persecuted. Oh, how glorious is the reward of the victory. It’s all for us to have right now and it’s right in front of us.
Our victory is only one step away. We are only one step away from surrender. One step away from forgiveness. One step away from letting go and letting God.
Where do you stand at the cross? Are you able to confidently live out your faith to overcome your everyday battles? You are made to be victorious. Don’t allow circumstances to conquer and defeat you. Satan is the defeated one, not you.
Where do you find your victory when you have struggles?
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