This is Part 4 of 7 parts answering the question, “Can a believer be victorious while God allows suffering in his life?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Part 5 will be posted tomorrow.
The Lord’s Victory Acknowledged by His People
There are many words that characterize the character and life of the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the words that stands out is “victory.” The writer of Chronicles recorded King David’s praise of the Lord,
10 Therefore David blessed the LORD before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. 11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all. (1 Chron. 29:10-11 NKJ)
David’s praise of the Lord is particularly noteworthy. Life is ultimately about the Lord, and David knew it. David was a soldier’s general and knew that the victory was not his, but the Lord provision against foes like Goliath the giant,
46 “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 “Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’S, and He will give you into our hands.” (1 Sam. 17:46-47 NKJ)
David also knew the Lord was the victory in both political and personal relationships,
5 Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came. 6 And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David. And all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7 Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: “Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue! 8 “The LORD has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the LORD has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!” 9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!” 10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the LORD has said to him,`Curse David.’ Who then shall say,`Why have you done so?'” 11 And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the LORD has ordered him. 12 “It may be that the LORD will look on my affliction, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing this day.” (2 Sam. 16:5-12 NKJ)
The Lord will give His people victory at His own discretion. In fact, the Lord gave David the victory. In fact, David’s son Solomon executed Shimei (1 Kings 2:36-46). But this does not mean that life for the believer will be peaceful, calm, or trouble free. Mark Bailey, President of Dallas Seminary writes,
Jesus warned the disciples that they would experience rejection for their identification and representation of Christ in this world. Such treatment would mean they would be delivered up to religious and civil authorities to face accusation, imprisonment, and even martyrdom (Matt. 10:16–18). Even intrafamily betrayals and hatred might be their plight (Matt. 10:21). With the death of Jesus they would experience temporary sorrow and grief (John 16:20) before experiencing joy over his resurrection (John 16:20). Followers of Christ can expect hatred and persecution by the world (John 15:18–20). While Jesus announced that he had overcome the world, until such a time when this world is renovated by him, there will be tribulation (John 16:33).1
Jesus did not want the disciples to be discouraged, so He admonished and encouraged them during the Last Supper in the upper room, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJ) The Lord’s victory is acknowledged every time the believer walks in that victory by faith!
Part 5 will be posted tomorrow.