I Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
There is no way to be a Christian without a battle. And it is your battle. It’s not just discomfort or a struggle; it’s a battle. When we look back at our lives, we may say the old days were good; and they were. But there were battles. The outcome would be good when we trusted the Lord. When we tried to fight on our own we lost a battle.
We win some. We lose some. In the Christian war, the outcome of every battle depends on how we handle ourselves. If we follow the Lord and discipline ourselves to not give orders to the Lord but let him be the captain and trust his leadership, we win the battle. That determines the outcome of every battle. I have been defeated when I’ve done it all myself. Paul gives us the formula for victory. Verse 57 says thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Think about the battles you lost. Before you jump on a regular excuse to blame others or just get mad at the Lord because it didn’t turn out how you thought, just remember nothing is wrong with God. Every regimen of soldiers who faces the enemy won the war because every soldier in the regimen got in it and did his job. No one can fight for another; we all must fight for ourselves and do our part. You can’t fight the war alone. The devil will say we have to handle it by ourselves, but we don’t. We fight it together and lift each other up, but each has to fight. We don’t get behind a strong person and say “go for it “. We’ve got to help each other and the outcome is determined by factors that proceed victory. It depends on training, willingness to follow orders, discipline and getting out there to fight and do your part. Obey the Commander. Join the ranks. If others get victory, there is no reason you can’t. There is no reason to live in defeat.
It takes some losing to win. You lose yourself. If you join the service, you get a haircut; you get special clothes. You don’t go downtown just anytime. You lose a lot of yourself to gain a lot. We have to quit putting our own pursuits first. Jesus emptied himself of himself to win the battle for us. He earned the title Commander and Chief. The devil will lead us to hell. Our motto should be like the old song “onward Christian soldiers marching as to war with the cross of Jesus going on before.” Jesus became a loser, so to speak. He lost his life. They asked him why if he could heal and save others that he could do the same for himself. He chose to willingly lose himself. We have to deny ourselves and take up the cross. Jesus said that those who lose their lives for his sake will find it. The outcome will be good. We go by his instructions and his demands. Whatever we go through, it will be worth the cost. Whatever temptations we give up or wounds we receive in battle, they are worth it. A good soldier doesn’t stop. He fights until he wins. Keep your eyes on the Commander. Follow him. Hold on. Trust him. We may not be able to kick up our heels like we used to, but we can still feel that kick inside to keep us going.
The war is almost over. Don’t give up. Some have won hard battles but lost in some little thing. We don’t fight each other. The fight is with the devil, with our flesh, with discouragement. We may fight our health. We must still believe we can win. The Commander is still marching on. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our body–this corruption–will put on incorruption. Our body–this mortal–will put on immortality. Our biggest battle is corruption and mortality. It won’t last much longer. Corruption is breaking down. You will win. Jesus is incorruptible. You will win. Jesus is immortal. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. Trust him as he continues to do what he does. The final battle will one day be over. There will be no more fighting the devil. No battles with ourselves. We’ll put on incorruption and immortality. Death will be swallowed up in victory.
Whatever we face, determine to turn the battle over to the Lord. War is won by winning battles along the way. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.