Are Christians Entitled To A Victory? – Kristen LaValley
I woke up one night in a cold sweat, heart racing, full panic attack. I’d been having severe panic attacks for a few months, but experiencing them in my sleep was a brand new thing. I sprinted to the bathroom, gasping for breath so I wouldn’t wake my husband and have to see that empathetic look on his face again. It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate his compassion, I was just tired of needing him to take care of me. I was tired of being the recipient of sympathy. I was just … tired. As I crawled back in bed a while later, I clutched my pillow to my face to stifle my cries and prayed, “God, why haven’t you fixed this yet? I’ve had enough.”
At some point in your struggle, you’re just done. You’ve prayed, you’ve fasted, you’ve named it and claimed it and done everything you’re “supposed” to do, yet you still don’t have a victory. So you get weary, defeated, angry, and bitter. It’s easy to point a finger at God and demand he give you something that he’s never promised. Where did we derive this theology that our victory is inevitable? Are we, as followers of Christ, entitled to a victory?
When I start feeling like I have the right to be free from my struggles with anxiety, I think about Paul. Remember his “thorn in the flesh”?
“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then,I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 1 Corinthians 12:7-10, ESV
If anyone had the “right” to be healed, it was Paul. He suffered immensely for the Gospel and accomplished incredible things for the Christian church. Surely his suffering should guarantee a victory? Apparently not. God had a specific purpose for Paul’s struggle and Paul accepted it. He didn’t try to prove to God why he deserved to be healed and set free, he just continued to serve him and honor him in spite of the thorn that constantly ailed him.
God is gracious and can choose to heal, but what if he doesn’t? There is good news for you, fellow struggler. We have already been given victory through Jesus Christ. Even in the midst of your greatest trial, where victory seems a far cry from reality, you have victory because of what Jesus did on the cross. You don’t have to search for it or wait for it to fall into your hands, you already have it. It’s here. NOW. While you may have to wait (and pray and fast and pray and fast some more) for the relief that his sacrifice has already bought, you can rest in the promise that your freedom and your victory have already been given to you. The Lord is good, he is faithful, and his strength is made perfect in your weakness. Victory is yours, even if you can’t see it yet.