The art of being victorious

There’s an old southern hymn that goes

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand and cast a wishful eye to Canaan’s fair and happy land, where my possessions lie. I am bound for the promised land, I am bound for the promise land; O who will come and go with me? I am bound for the promised land.

Since February, I’ve been meditating and thinking about death and the resurrection. I’ve stood at the pulpit many times, I’ve stood at gravesides many times and preached the resurrection. I’ve preached on how we will be raised imperishable; how we’ll be raised immortal. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying will come true–Death has been swallowed up in victory!

O what a saying. And each time I say it, I see the comfort in the people’s eyes. I see them knowing the comfort of the resurrection. But now, since February, since my grandmother (who truly was like a second mom to me) passed through the gates of glory, I cry when I preach on the promise of the resurrection.

At the same time, I cheer, I smile, I get excited about the victory. Where O death is your victory!?! Where O death is your sting!?! Death has been defeated. I have nothing to fear after this life. It doesn’t bother me any more. I know to whom I belong. I know who is truly victorious.

Thanks be to God, for he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.

The reason why I’m able to stand and look out and see the victory is because of Jesus. Now, I know this is getting a bit preachy. I know that. But it’s also been weighing on my soul.

I heard a song this morning on the radio called I will rise. And I began crying. I don’t fully know why. My grandmother’s birthday is coming up in a month. The first one that I will miss and can’t call her up and wish her a happy birthday. But that day also has another importance to me. It is the anniversary of my baptism.

I was baptized on June 12, 1994 at a tiny little church in Camarillo, CA. I didn’t know the true significance of it until years later. On that day, I symbolized how I had died. I died to my old self. I died to the old ways of living. I died in Christ as he died upon the cross. And I rose victorious with him from the grace. As he rose, so did I. I am raised in him, I am raised with him. And in him I am victorious.

In being victorious, I know with assurance that I can do anything, be anything, live anything in Christ. In fact, I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Why? Because, I am victorious.

Because of Christ I am victorious over ADD. It affects me. Yes, but I don’t let it get me. I know that it isn’t the end all. It doesn’t define me. Christ does.

Because of Christ I am victorious over dyslexia. It affects me. yes. But it doesn’t define me, Christ does. His victory is my victory.

I know with assurance that I will stand beside my grandmother, stand next to her in the presence of the glory of the Lord. Singing praises. Singing “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God almighty, worthy is the Lamb that was slain.” Worthy is Christ to be praised and worshiped. Why? Because in him I am victorious. Over it all. And there will be that day, when I cross the stormy banks of the Jordan, cross into the promise land and worry no more about ADD, worry no more about dyslexia and be whole and complete.

And now, today, I stand firm victorious in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

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