There are no losers with Christ
A victory with Christ is somewhat different to the conventional victory we normally have in mind, District Apostle Noel E. Barnes from Cape Town points out in his article on this year’s motto.
When you consider the concept of victory, you have a winner and a loser in mind. While the name of the winner is announced and he receives congratulations, the losers are not even mentioned. “Victory with Christ” works differently. There are no losers. With Christ we can all be victorious.
A victory of sorts
A little boy was excitedly telling his Sunday School teacher what he had experienced. Two boys had threatened to beat him up. Then he remembered what his mother always taught him: “Pray about the matter.” This is what he did. Before the two boys could hurt him they themselves were injured. He was very pleased as he told his teacher about this.
For our young friend this was a victory. However, his teacher carefully explained to him that our loving God does not help us to hurt someone else. This boy had experienced a victory of sorts, but it was not a victory with Christ.
Victory with Christ
Victory with Christ will only come about if we follow His teaching. This is not always easy when others hurt us or are unkind to us. Many children of God suffer affliction and do not understand why they have to pass through the circumstances and hardships of life. Here and there, like our young friend, they try to correct the situation by applying methods that are incompatible with the teachings of Christ. They sometimes even wish evil upon those who offend them.
If we allow the nature of the Lord Jesus to rule in us in times like these, we will experience a true, just, and godly victory.
Not always immediately apparent
Victories with Christ are not always immediately apparent. One only needs to reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus. When Jesus was crucified, even those who had diligently followed Him thought that everything had been in vain. This Jesus for whom they had given up so much was no more. Was this a victory? Certainly! But it only became apparent with time.
There are times in our lives in which it appears that despite our faithfulness to the Lord and His gospel everything seems in vain and we suffer a defeat. But if we remain steadfast and resolute in following Christ, the victory will become evident—even if it is only years later.
Photo: District Apostle Noel E. Barnes (left) with District Apostle Tshitshi Tshisekedi (DR Congo South East)
Noel Edward Barnes