The Real Winner

“O God, we have heard with our ears,
    our fathers have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days,
    in the days of old:
you with your own hand drove out the nations,
    but them you planted;
you afflicted the peoples,
    but them you set free;
for not by their own sword did they win the land,
    nor did their own arm save them,
but your right hand and your arm,
    and the light of your face,
    for you delighted in them.

You are my King, O God;
    ordain salvation for Jacob!
Through you we push down our foes;
    through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.
For not in my bow do I trust,
    nor can my sword save me.
But you have saved us from our foes
    and have put to shame those who hate us.
In God we have boasted continually,
    and we will give thanks to your name forever.” Psalm 44:1-8

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:7

“I will save them by the Lord their God. I will not save them by bow or by sword or by war or by horses or by horsemen.” Hosea 1:7

We love to be winners. Of the match, the contract, the job, the race, even someone’s notice, affection, or favor. And we hate to be losers, particularly in public, or with something in which we take great pride. But God’s view of winning and losing convolutes ours. His victory, that seems all but, makes way for the only winning worth living for.

“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30

“’Death is swallowed up in victory.’
‘O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?’

“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55,57

Jesus, whose stupendous victory was won through horrendous death, vanquished sin and doom. By His generous mercy, He imparts to us salvation over our foes. We can partake of God’s great performance in Christ when we sidle to the cross and rest in the light of His face. When many rise against us, He is taller and stronger still. Trusting His might becomes our strength, song, and very triumph. (Exodus 15:2)

What enemies taunt, and threaten to undo us? Do we quake in fear of weak helplessness and tremble at their terror, or grip God’s hand that rescues and disperses, plants and sets free?

“A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he, amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
does seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right Man on our side,
the Man of God’s own choosing.
You ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth his name,
from age to age the same;
and he must win the battle.” ~Martin Luther (1529)

Lord, may I trust and boast in You alone, for You have won and always do.

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