Today's guest post comes from a good friend of mine, Sherry Fahmi. Sherry is a proud member of St. Timothy & St. Athanasius Church in Arlington, VA and she has guest posted on my blog before. You can follow her on twitter, @SherryFahmi. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
There’s nothing like a good song to lift my spirits. Music is a very powerful thing, and to me… it’s how my heart worships. It’s the strongest way my spirit connects with God.
Now, if I were to tell you that hip hop is my favorite genre of music, you might think I’m crazy; but there is some seriously good Christian hip hop out there, and it’s a beautiful thing!
There’s one song in particular that I’ve been listening to (on repeat) for the past several weeks. It comes from the album Riseby Trip Lee (whose concert I just attended last night, and it was AWESOME!!). The song is called Sweet Victory.
When I first heard this song, something moved inside me... something very deep... something very broken. That part of me – the tired, drained, hopeless part, the part that’s on autopilot just going through the motions – that part of me, suddenly came alive.
The words to the song revived my spirit in a way that’s hard to put into words. The song spoke a very real truth into my life – a truth I feel that as a Christian – I often lose sight of. And that is this:
After all is said and done, no matter how many battles I lose along the way, in the end, I have victory.
Not just victory, but a SWEET VICTORY. Victory over life and death. Victory over every seemingly lost battle. Victory over all the moments of exhaustion. Victory over every failure. That’s it. There isn’t another option. With Christ, the end is always victory. The words of the song stirred my spirit, reminding me of this beautiful truth:
“I feel thorns where my crown was, I’ll be weak, but I’m alive. From the dusk until dawn, I’ll survive ‘cause I’ve got sweet victory. Nobody can take it from me.”
How much different would my life be if I lived by this truth? What would happen if I lived each day, fighting each battle that life brings, with the knowledge that in the end, I have victory? It seems like such a foreign concept, doesn’t it? What would that even look like in real life? Are there real people who actually live like that? Doesn’t everyone experience defeat?
Of course we do! But the beautiful truth is that even though we experience defeat, we don’t have to live in that defeat.
I think I have gone too long living in my defeat, dwelling on it, allowing it to drain my joy, my energy, and sadly, my hope. But I have a choice, I don’t have to live in my defeat, I have the option to live a life of victory, victory I have already been given through Christ.
“But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57 (AMP)
He gives me victory, it’s not something I have to attain, or go out and get for myself. It’s freely given to me through Christ. Knowledge of this truth doesn’t mean I can sit back and relax, because “even though I win it, I’m still in it.” It just means that through my faith in Christ, no matter what happens, I have victory.
Some might be wondering how my life has changed since coming to this realization. I have news for you... it hasn’t.
My broken relationships are still broken. My struggle against sin is still a struggle. My pain is the same, my family issues are still there. Nothing on the outside has changed at all – in fact, in some cases it’s become more difficult.
So what has changed then? ME!
My perspective has changed; my ability to find joy, even in my weakness has become easier. My desire to try again in the face of my failures is stronger. No more fear. No more defeat. Even when I lose, I know I win. It’s a weird paradox that, to a lot of people, doesn’t make sense, but to me- it’s exactly what I need to believe in order to really live.
At the end of the song, Trip says something so beautiful, a way of life I hear about but have never really lived. Something I want people to say about my life:
“I hear you talkin’ wins, but I see your losses. You’re celebrating crowns but I see your crosses.”
That’s what our lives should look like. A paradox; celebrating victory even in defeat. I want to live a life of victory, hope, and joy despite my circumstances. It’s not only what I want, but it’s how Christ has called me to live. We were never meant to live in defeat. We were meant to live in victory. Here is my truth, a verse I love so much that I hope will encourage you to live by this same truth:
“Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.” Psalm 20:6
Whether it’s now in this moment, or at the very end of our days; each of us has sweet victory through Christ, and no one can take that from us.