Victory

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This week's devotional is from Pastor Jeff.

ENCOUNTER:  Read Romans 8:23-39

v. 37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us...”

History is full of epic stories of victory being realized, even after great cost and injury, often arriving when hope had all but evaporated.  The battles we experience in our personal stories, while not necessarily world wide events, can nonetheless be so earth-shattering and disorienting as to block our view to any hope of overcoming them.  So promises of the victory of God through his love and care touch us in the deepest places.

The phrase above from Romans 8:37 is one of the most bolstering and heartening messages in the entire Bible.  And the good news isn’t limited to just this thought.  This verse comes at the end of a nearly unfathomable stream of truths that pour from the heart and pen of the apostle throughout the whole chapter.  The benefits of the love of God for us, his dear (broken and sinful) children are hard to believe.  If you are fighting battles today, especially ones that cause you to doubt the very foundations of your faith that God is with you and for you, you would be well served to go back and meditate on this passage of scripture.  Consider these truths just from the verses we studied this past Sunday:

- In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

- What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

- Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

- No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us

- For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

BE REFLECTIVE:

As you re-read Romans 8 starting all the way back in verse 1, is there a text that jumps out to you as one that God is using to speak to you?  What do you suppose he is saying to you about the battle you are facing today?

What might God be doing already in you or in your circumstances that might hint at the victory that is coming?

What is one spiritual discipline or exercise that you could practice that would help you keep at the forefront of your mind, more deeply believe, and experience the truth that God is working toward victory?

BE A BLESSING:

When we reflect on our battles and need for God’s conquering power, it is quite natural to be reminded of the people around us who are experiencing even more struggles than us.  Ask the Lord to lead you in one act of love, support, or encouragement toward one of these dear friends.  One of the ways God’s love is manifested to us in our battles is in how he leads others alongside us to bring this kind of encouragement.  You may be the answer to someone’s prayer for God’s help! Go forth and love someone who is in the midst of battle.

BE TOGETHER:

Fortunately you weren’t built to go this journey alone.  We remind one another, often with words, always with our love and presence, that God is at work.  If you are struggling to believe that God’s love will bring victory, then you must surround yourself with other believers who live that out and remind you of how true it really is.  To whom are you connected?  Consider joining a small-er group of people who meet for connection and growth.

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Don’t give up, friends.  As Paul wrote to the Philippians, we are “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”