Spotlight 14/2016: With Christ we will succeed!
District Apostle Andrew H. Andersen (Australia) talks about the added value of our own experiences and about our efforts in filling the 2016 motto—“Victory with Christ”—with life.
The very thought of victory conjures up a feeling of joy no matter what the contest is about. In general terms, for there to be a victory there must be both a contest and a striving to succeed. Desire to succeed is not enough, there must be action!
A personal battle
Daily life brings many challenges and each of these must be faced, addressed, and triumphed over. This applies to all age groups and all peoples without exception; only the challenges themselves are different. Each individual also has to decide how the challenges should be addressed. Most challenges in life cannot be defeated by a third party alone; the individual must be involved in the solution. This holds true whether the challenge is in one of the many forms that affect us physically or in a form that affects us spiritually. However, in all of these challenges faith can play a very important role. This can only be understood to the fullest through experiences that we have lived through as children of God.
It is therefore a special message that we have been given by our Chief Apostle to look up to as we go through life: “Victory with Christ!” This both inspires us and gives us confidence by reminding us continually that Christ is there with us in all challenging situations. He does not fight our battles for us, but He coaches us on how to gain victory. The key to victory is to connect with Christ in faith and then persist without ever giving in.
Only a story or our own experience?
Most victories that we have are not so easy to share. Explaining a victory to someone is difficult because they did not have the challenge and therefore cannot savour the victory in the same way as the victorious one can. Sharing the experience on social media has its limitations because others can only see it as a story and not as an experience. We do not have to project our victories as trophies, we rather rejoice over Christ’s willingness to assist us.
A rector once approached me about a young sister who had told him through tears that she was not able to take part in the Young Adults Conference which had been planned for the district. Her employer would not hear of her taking time off work for “such a thing”. As the greetings took place at the opening of the conference she came to us with obvious joy, tears running down her cheeks. I began to ask how her presence there had become possible, but the question was never finished as her beaming smile said more than any other answer would have.
A daily effort
A group of brothers and sisters from the neighbouring island nations of American Samoa and Samoa recently attended a youth convention. On their own initiative they had designed and made special shirts for the occasion with the message “Victory with Christ” clearly displayed. At the closing of the convention they presented me with a shirt signed by all the youth on which it stated: “We want you to know that we are all striving for victory with Christ”. What a wonderful prospect for the church of the future.
Andrew H. Anderson