Updated: Jan 6, 2019
As we celebrate the beginning of a new year, it is a time of reflection as well as projection. We reflect on the previous year’s many triumphs as well as our defeats, all the while, looking forward to what the upcoming year has in store. While there may be difficulties, I am declaring that 2019 will be a year of victory over the enemy. Not just a year of victory, but the beginning of learning to walk and live a “Victorious Life.”
With this declaration, I am reminded of the apostle Paul when he penned the epistle to the church at Philippi. He wrote in Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” One translation of the word content would be “accepting.” The apostle stated that he had to learn this. It was not an attribute with which he was born. It was something which life had taught him.
Paul was telling us that he learned to accept the facts and not deny reality. He would not bemoan what could have been or what should have been. He would deal with what is. He was saying that he would not be distracted by accusing Satan or by faulting the Lord, but would meet the challenge of the day. He would deal with what he was dealt.
Paul had learned, as must we all, that we must accept what comes to us in life before we can deal with what we face.
According to Philippians 4:12 (NIV), “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned (emphasis added) the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Because of this learned understanding, he could pen one of the most powerful and popular scriptures of the Bible. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Consider, if you will, Paul’s acceptance of the different states of his life. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, he writes he was, “...in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”
In spite of all of that, he lived victoriously. Because, in Romans 8:35-37, he writes, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors (emphasis added) through him that loved us.”
As we can see, dealing with whatever reality, whatever life deals to us, whatever life circumstances come our way; none of that can separate us from the love of Christ. However, not dealing with our reality, becoming distracted by faulting the Lord, or allowing the enemy to plant feelings of abandonment may lead to separation from the Lord. And with that separation comes a life full of doubts, fears, unbelief and ultimately bondage to sin. Therefore, we accept come what may and we will handle whatever life deals to us this year because we are walking and living a victorious life. And like the apostle Paul, we declare, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”