“Now Saul spoke to Jonathon his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David……..”  1 Samuel 19:1

“And there was war again, and David went out and fought with the Philistines and struck them a mighty blow…”  1 Samuel 19:8

There are songs that proclaim it.  There is the saying that states it.  There is even a website touting it.  The world loves a winner!  Really?  Think about it for a second.  What happens almost simultaneously with someone winning?  Do we not start to see stories come from every corner about some negative aspect of the person.  If they’re an athlete, they only won due to cheating like taking drugs.  Every politician is corrupt but we don’t find out about it until they win nomination or election.  I could go on citing examples from the world of entertainment, business or even philanthropy.  I’m not so sure how much liking is lavished on winners.

So if the world treats earthly winners that way, let’s take a look at some biblical examples of how the world treats spiritual winners.  After a rough start, Joseph shows himself to be a wise and faithful servant and steward in an Egyptian leader’s home.  His earthly reward; to be falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison.  Humble Esther is made Queen by King Ahasuerus.  Her earthly reward; to see a plot hatched to destroy the Jewish people placing her own life in jeopardy.  Peter miraculously heals a paralyzed man in the heart of Jerusalem.  His reward; to be imprisoned and beaten.  Jesus Christ, Emanuel, comes to earth to call all people to come and believe and enter into His Heavenly Father’s Kingdom.  His reward; hatred, slanderous lies, torture and death.

But here’s the thing in all those biblical examples previously mentioned plus so many more outlined in the bible; the world is completely thwarted in its attempts to destroy the heavenly blessed.  David evades Saul’s attempts to kill him and becomes a triumphant king.  All of Egypt is put under Joseph’s control during a time of preparation as well as during a great famine.  The plot against Queen Esther and the Jewish people is revealed and the perpetrator hung on the scaffold he built himself.  Peter is freed from prison by a direct intervention from God.  And of course, Jesus Christ rises from the grave, defeating death forever and now sits triumphantly at the Right Hand of God, the Father Almighty.

What are we to take away from this?  First through Jesus Christ, from our Heavenly Father we can be triumphant, no matter what our current circumstances are.  But please understand this, when you or I do triumph, the world is going to come at us with all barrels blazing.  The prince of this world, the devil will pull out all the stops to try insure that any triumphant is the shortest lived possible and that tragedy and failure follow.  The devil wants desperately to insure that there is no further triumph.  So remember this, the One who brought our triumph in the first place will not desert us afterwards.  While the devil’s power is great indeed in comparison to ours; it is puny in comparison to the overwhelming power of God Almighty.

The heavenly triumph that God has planned can not be thwarted by this world and its prince.  We do need to be very careful though.  If you and I are not extremely diligent  we can fall into one of the most insidious traps the devil has:  pride.  We can believe that the triumph is of our own making and as such all future triumphs are because we deserve them.  So it is of extreme importance that we keep our faith as well as our praise completely focused on Him.

Finally, there are no Tiny Heavenly Triumphs.  Whether is makes worldly news or not, defeating evil is a world altering event.  Standing up to and a part from this world in an attempt to further God’s Kingdom is the stuff of heavenly legend.  Heavenly triumphs will probably not bring about a life of future total comfort and ease.  No, it will more than likely bring some sort of aspect of attack.  But be of good cheer, you and I have the Army of the Heavenly Hosts on our side with a General who is not only undefeated but incapable of defeat.  And this “General” will spare no resource or expense to see you and I victorious.  How do I know?  Did He not give to us the sacrifice of His Only Son?

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we can sometimes find it difficult to thank and praise you when we are in depths of struggle and battle.  Pour out Your Strength on us that we will see our current circumstances as only temporary as well as the confidence of our ultimate triumph.  When You provide our triumph, pour out a spirit of humility and gratefulness upon us that we will not become prideful, seeking to glorify ourselves.  Show us, Most Merciful Father, that You are with us when the world will try everything to thwart any additional triumph and bring us to destruction.  That through You we might show the world what true triumphs are really about in a life lived in Praise to Your Most Holy Name.  We pray in the Name of Jesus Christ.  Amen