When I went through training to become a pastor, all of us were evaluated by a psychologist. After evaluating me, he said, “You are too optimistic.” I thought naming cheerfulness and hope as a fault was strange. But, I understood his worry. In truth, how would I be able to handle the hard, challenging things that come with ministry? For example, the sadness that is unavoidable at times or the setbacks? Fortunately, I have been able to handle both good times and bad. Though I’ve had moments of broken heartedness, what has equipped me to face it is what is available for every Christian. And that is, the remembrance of the victory of Christ on the cross. And in addition, being able to spiritually “take part” in that victory.
Jesus Won Over Sin, Death, Sickness, and More
Truly, Jesus won an extraordinary triumph over sin, death, evil, poverty, illness, demonic powers, and so much else at the cross. He defeated those things and the enemy who is behind them. From what He did for us, we’re meant to receive benefits. Our fate is not supposed to be living in a beaten down state constantly. Yes, life has its troubles, but in Jesus Christ, we can meet them and defeat them. Or, we can learn to live with the things that can’t be changed, in patient endurance.
A favorite verse of mine is Romans 5:17. It says, “For if, by the trespass of the one man [Adam], death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ!”
What wonderful words! We’re meant to REIGN in this life because of Jesus!
Jesus Won the Victory at the Cross
So, how does this work? How was Jesus’ death and resurrection a victory?
There are so many verses about victory in Jesus Christ. But, here is one passage that puts what Jesus did on the cross for each of us in a “nutshell:”
“You were dead in sins, and your sinful desires were not yet cut away. Then [God] gave you a share in the very life of Christ, for he forgave all your sins, and blotted out the charges proved against you, the list of his commandments which you had not obeyed. He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. In this way God took away Satan’s power to accuse you of sin, and God openly displayed to the whole world Christ’s triumph at the cross where your sins were all taken away.” (Colossians 2:13-15 NLT)
I love the NIV translation of verse 15 that puts it this way: “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
What This Verse Tells Us About Victory in Jesus
Simply put, we can never be good enough on our own to be in the presence of a holy God, either now or in eternity. We can’t fix our problem. Indeed, “All have sinned…,” it says in Romans 3:23. And, unless those sins are absolved somehow, we’ll be permanently separated from God.
But, Jesus was and is the cure. He absorbed our sins into himself. We were forgiven because he took the punishment that should have been ours. He did it by nailing the list of broken commandments to the cross. We’re not under that old system any more – of trying to keep laws that we only continue to break.
Jesus rose from the dead, a victor over the world’s brokenness, wrongdoing and deserved death. Now, He pours His life into everyone who will receive Him as the center of their lives. “Whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16) With the Spirit of Christ transforming us from the inside, we bit by bit become new people who look like Him. And so, Jesus was the victor who defeated sin and death. He was the “firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29) In the same fashion as Jesus, those who believe in Him will never die.
Participating in the Victory of Christ
I know as I write about being victorious in Christ, there is someone who just lost a loved one in death. Another one is looking at a handful of unpaid bills. Somewhere in this world is a group of Christians whose church was just burned down by hostile neighbors. There is someone who is in great physical or mental pain. Believing in the possibility of a victorious life lived in Christ is not being indifferent to the reality that people suffer and sometimes chronically. Many times, Christian people suffer.
However, I see that oftentimes, we are not going for all that Christ died to give us. Though He promised us that “these signs will accompany those who believe,” with one of them being that “they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well,” we don’t see a lot of practice of miraculous healing ministry. (Mark 16) When American Christians fall ill, in way too many instances, their first thought is of finding a doctor, not of calling on God in prayer.
God Wants to Help His People Overcome Defeat
Further, if they do call on God in prayer, the prayer is too often one of begging rather than speaking life into a situation. They don’t pray with full confidence that God is the One “who heals us” (Exodus 15:26) and that Jesus came to “destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
By works of the devil, John was writing about any kind of life destroying event.
There is a beautiful verse that sums up God’s heart for the life He would have us possess: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” He was speaking of physical, mental, and quality of life prosperity!
10 Declarations to Help Us Stand Firm in Christ
One of the best ways to change our mindset is to declare victorious thoughts, preferably Bible verses over ourselves. It helps if you listen to Christian songs full of words of victory. But here are 10 declarations to start or end your day. I have personalized the verses so they will be spoken as if just for you:
- “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
- “The Lord is my refuge and my strength.” Psalm 46:1
- “No, in all these things I am more than a conqueror through him who loved me.” Romans 8:37
- “There is therefore now no condemnation for me as I am in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
- “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” Romans 8:14 I am a child of God!
- “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
- “I am part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…” 1 Peter 2:9
- “In Christ Jesus, I am a child of God, through faith.” Galatians 3:26
- “And my God will meet all my needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
- “The God of peace will soon crush satan under my feet.” Romans 16:20
And a song to lift your heart as to what Jesus can do:
There are 100 verses about Victory in Christ at this link.
Related articles on this website:
Books to Read:
In my book, Jesus and the Addict, there is a chapter about overcoming fear, and there are many stories of healing. You can find the book on this page Books
Two other books that may help you are:
If you would like to receive highlighted posts, other faith building materials, and occasional free resources straight to your inbox, please scroll down and sign up for our email list! I would love to share more with you! Blessings!