Nancy Taylor Tate
“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place” 2 Corinthians 2:14.
I think we would all agree, this life holds challenges! In 2 Corinthians 2:14, Paul is expressing thanks to the Lord for His enabling grace and power that “always” causes us to triumph in Christ, bringing a procession of victories in our lives. I love that word “always”!
My dad used to say, “The next time the Lord lets me down will be the first!” I heard him say that many times in his eighties. But it caught me by surprise when I came across an old tape and heard him saying the same thing when he was just in his forties. As I listened, I heard him say with a youthful voice, “I like to say the next time the Lord lets me down will be the first!” Then with a little laugh he added, “And I feel like I am going to be able to say this my whole life!” …and he did!
I paused to think about his life – wonderful times, hard times, responsibilities he carried, things he had come through. His strong faith in the sovereignty of God, the intervention of God, and his yieldedness to the inner working of the Lord in his own life filled my mind, as a fresh appreciation for the faithfulness of God burned deep inside me.
Then I began to think of God’s faithfulness in my own life. Renewed understanding flooded my heart as I knew…I will be able to say the same thing right through to the end of my life too!
One translation of the Bible describes our victories as “a triumphal procession”: “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere” 2 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV).
One year as I was again teaching the book of 2 Corinthians, that “triumphal procession” became highlighted to me. I saw what appeared to be a triumphant procession of people all through the ages, an endless number of people walking, each in step, as a mighty army. I marveled as I looked at the numbers, overcomers from every time in history, including today. What a privilege to join such ranks! What an awesome call!
Then I saw not only a “corporate procession” of triumph through the ages, but the “personal procession” of victories in my own life, bringing me to the place where I am now. I saw victories from past circumstances. Victories in the making today. Then I saw victories I didn’t even know about yet, which were to become part of my life experience. I realized as I faced the circumstances of my own life…I am in step with a mighty army of those who have gone before me, those who lived victoriously in this life, and who now move in triumphant procession in eternity.
Paul gives thanks to the Lord who always “causes” us to triumph! That word “cause” is a strong word. It speaks of a strength beyond our own, which God always gives to us, as He brings us into victory.
Ezekiel 36:27 promises, “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” What a glorious promise! We see this divine strength also in Acts 1:8 which tells us that after the Holy Ghost has come upon us, we are empowered to “be” or become a witness unto Him everywhere we go! As believers, what strength we have within, what divine enabling power!
Through His enabling power, as we move from victory to victory, a working of the Lord takes place within our lives, changing us to be more like Him. Amazing to me, though we are yet growing in our walk and our faith, God can still use us, making Himself known to others through us.
As we face our challenges today, know there is a whole army of people who have faced their battles all through the ages, and there is a people today, rising up in faith and victory. We are called to be part of that people!
Second Corinthians 2:14 speaks of us being partners of His “endless triumph.” “God always makes his grace visible in Christ, who includes us as partners of his endless triumph. Through our yielded lives he spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere we go” (TPT).
Romans 8:37 speaks of us being in all things “more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” The Passion Translation says it like this: “Yet even in the midst of all these things, we triumph over them all, for God has made us to be more than conquerors…” Notice the word “all.” The trials we face at the moment are no exception!
We can rest assured the Lord will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). His grace will always be sufficient! (2 Corinthians 12:9). God is faithful, and He will always be faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:24). With confidence we can draw on His power today and every day, whatever situation we face, for it’s not our strength, but His strength made perfect in us (Zechariah 4:6; 2 Corinthians 12:9).
As we face the ever-increasing challenging times in our day, my prayer is that we will draw on His strength and live by His power as never before, as He continues to work deep within us, changing us, using us, leading us from victory to victory, bringing a procession of victories into our lives.
May the eyes of our understanding be enlightened to know the hope of His calling and the greatness of His power toward us who believe (Ephesians 1:17-19). With grateful hearts, may we always give thanks to the Lord for His enabling power that causes us to triumph in Him. By His strength, may we walk in triumphant procession through the challenges we face in the world today.
In this life there will be always be challenges (John 16:33). There is also a battle waging as darkness confronts light with increased ferocity. We hold fast to this promise: “They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers” Revelation 17:14 (NIV).