We like to win. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a friendly game of Scrabble, a school basketball game, or a competition with ten other candidates for a job, we like to come out on top. Who can resist opening the envelope with the bold print: “You’re a winner!”?
But how often do you feel like a winner? We have our little victories, but they don’t last very long, do they? Winning is often quickly forgotten in setbacks and losses. That’s life in this sinful world. The thorns and thistles God warned Adam of in Eden have multiplied into countless trials: loneliness, disease, shootings, death, and eternal separation from God. Yet Paul assured the Roman Christians (Rom. 8) that they were not merely winners, they were “more than conquerors,” literally, “hyper-winners.”
It was not that they were spared the suffering which others had to face. In fact, as believers they could expect more trouble on earth than others. But Paul told them that nothing in heaven or on earth, no enemy, no circumstance, nothing in all creation could separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus had died for them. He had suffered the penalty of sin in their place. No one could overturn God’s verdict of justification. Their salvation was an accomplished fact. They were God’s beloved children and heirs of heaven. They were the ultimate “winners”!
And so are we. Satan tries to convince us that a tight family budget, lingering health problems, and ongoing challenges with children, co-workers, and others are evidence that we can’t count on God and that it’s up to us to figure life out. But Scripture calls Satan the father of lies for good reason. The truth is that we are on the winning side. Jesus came for us too. His death paid for your sins. He crushed the serpent’s head and set us free from the devil’s grip. And if God is for us, who can stand against us?
So rather than feel sorry for ourselves today and wonder how or if we will make it through life successfully, we can look to the One who took our place and has already fully done everything needed for our wellbeing here in time and hereafter in eternity. Because Jesus won for us, we win. No, even better, in Him we are “hyper-winners”!
Tomorrow’s sermon text (Mk. 1:12-15) shows how Jesus fought and defeated Satan for us and preached the gospel good news in order that sinners might hear, repent, and believe.
In His name,
The public school confirmation class will meet at 12:15 p.m.
Remember Elaine Bernthal in your prayers. She was admitted to St. Luke’s last night with heart trouble.