By Pamela Schuffert presenting investigative journalism from a Biblical Christian perspective-
Definitions are very important! Most of us have heard the word "VICTORY" throughout our lives. For many of us, it conjures up the picture of one military force defeating another. Or perhaps a person running a race and winning. And in another example, the picture of one football team defeating the other. This is how the world most often defines VICTORY.
But there is another kind of victory that the Bible defines. It is not defined by the world's common understanding of VICTORY, but rather by GOD'S.
This is the kind of victory that the world often cannot comprehend. Envision the Son of God, unjustly accused and finally condemned to death by the world's justice system. See His closest friends desert Him in his hour of betrayal. Watch as his enemies stand at the foot of the cross to mock Him as He bore the pain of our sins on the cruel cross for us. See Him cry out, "IT IS FINISHED!" And then die.
The world can never define this as VICTORY!
And yet for Jesus Christ the Son of God, it was HIS HOUR OF GREATEST VICTORY! For THIS was the very purpose for which He came to this lost world! He was BORN to suffer and die for OUR SINS on that cross, and to fulfill every word of Bible prophecy pertaining to the redemption of mankind as THE MESSIAH and SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.
We, as Christians MUST begin to understand this Biblical principle of GOD'S DEFINITION of VICTORY, especially if we are to successfully overcome what we face in the future under persecution. Otherwise many of us can become discouraged, and wonder IF God IS with us as we stand against the darkness. Let me give you a practical example from my own life's experiences:
During four active years of Christian pro-life activities (1988-1992), I often found myself sentenced with other pro-lifers to both jail and ultimately prison for peacefully rescuing the unborn from the horrors of death by abortion at the abortion clinics across America.
I remember one particular time in Asheville, NC, in which I and my fellow pro-lifers were on trial for our pro-life activities. We fasted. We prayed. We stood on the WORD OF GOD for VICTORY in the trial. We had others praying for us nationwide as well. We KNEW we had obeyed the Word of God to save innocent life, and prayed to be vindicated and found NOT GUILTY.
BUT...the judge and jury found us GUILTY! We were sentenced to a month in the local jail for our "offense." I was led away to my cell to serve my sentence. Lying on my hard bunk, in a small and outdated southern jail cell, surrounded with cockroaches on every wall (including inside the food serving cart as well) I meditated on what had just happened while praying.
"Father God, I don't get it. We fasted. We prayed. We stood on your Word for VICTORY. We saved babies. BUT WE WERE FOUND GUILTY and led away to serve our sentences! I thought You were always victorious..." I was simply being honest with God my Father in Heaven. I wanted to know what we might have done wrong. Did we fail to fast and pray hard enough? Or what???
INSTANTLY the Holy Spirit began to speak to me! Putting it into human words, He said, " I do NOT define VICTORY the way the world does! The greatest victory the world has ever known was when My Son hung on that cross for YOU and mankind! Although it appeared to the world and His enemies that HE WAS DEFEATED, it was His greatest VICTORY OF ALL! Because, HE WAS RIGHT WHERE I WANTED HIM!"
"And YOU are right where I WANT YOU! I allowed you to be found GUILTY so you could become MY WITNESS to testify of MY SON and proclaim salvation to these women in this jail, for MY glory! And whenever YOU are where I want you to be for My greater purposes and glory, YOU ARE VICTORIOUS!"
And God's purpose worked. I can never forget several women lining up, at one point, in front of my jail cell, some with tears in their eyes as I was praying and worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ. One woman, arrested for drug charges, started crying and said, "I want what YOU have...I want JESUS! Will you pray with me?" I invited her in and as she sat on my bunk, I ministered God's grace through Jesus Christ for her salvation that very hour, and prayed with her.
Some nights the guard on duty would pull me out of my cell to come to their desk and talk to them about Jesus Christ. Some Christian officers even congratulated me and other pro-lifers for why we were in that jail. God worked in such a mighty way through both me and many other Christian pro-lifers, as we yielded to God's reasons for WHY we were there, and began to minister Jesus Christ to all the lost around us.
I will never forget the Holy Spirit impressing all this upon me so clearly as I prayed in that decrepit jail cell in Asheville, NC! It was a lesson I will never forget. And I witnessed the glorious fruits of WHY were were there all throughout that jail sentence we served! Yes, suffering for Jesus Christ and for righteousness' sake DOES bring forth wonderful fruits, both in our lives and the lives of others we may touch as well.
And I share this lesson with you as well. We are facing a time in this nation wherein Christians will know persecution as never before. The potential is here already for Christians to be arrested, taken away to detention camps or to awaiting prisoner boxcars and shackles. The modern guillotines to fulfill REVELATION 20:4 await the Christians who will refuse to renounce their precious faith in Jesus Christ to join their satanic NWO agenda under martial law. MANY of us may find ourselves in a position where it appears that the enemy is victorious and triumphing over us.
But remember: God has a GREATER purpose for everything He allows in OUR LIVES! Whether for HIS glory, or for the salvation of others, there is a HIDDEN reason for the events in our lives that may lead to our persecution, suffering, and trials of our faith.
Begin to study or review how God works through suffering, trials and persecution of His saints by reading the accounts of PAUL THE APOSTLE, of PETER, of STEPHEN and other heroes of the faith throughout the New Testament, and the Old as well.
Building up YOUR faith is excellent in such a time as this! And it will ultimately lead to VICTORY BY GOD'S DEFINITION as well in the times to come, and even now.
"IN ALL THESE THINGS we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him who loved us..." ~the Apostle Paul
"And this IS the VICTORY that overcomes the world, EVEN OUR FAITH!"