Grasping the Victory Part 1

“The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man[a] must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
Luke 24:5-7(NLT)

Introduction:  Sometimes victory is hard to grasp – to comprehend. A seemingly insurmountable challenge had plagued Tom & me for several years. We had not asked for this challenge, and we couldn’t do a thing to stop it, but we were honor bound to find a solution for it.  We prayed diligently for the Lord to send the solution but for four years – no answer came. The worst case scenario – which would be devastating to us – seemed about to happen when God’s answer came in one short phone call.  His answer was far above and beyond anything we had hoped for. We found ourselves stunned – unable to grasp the magnitude of what the Lord had just done for us. I stood in our living room, with the phone in my hand, speechless – and that’s saying something for me! I was frozen in place for several seconds,  (it seemed much longer) – before I could even respond to the caller on the other end of the phone.  I couldn’t believe it! It made no sense! How could the outcome be this good?   Well, there we were, after 4 years of praying and God answering in a way only He could, and we were both saying “Un-be-liev-a-ble!”  

Well, we aren’t the only ones who have ever had a hard time “grasping” or comprehending God’s Victory.  So did the disciples.  But once they did, their lives – and the world – would never be the same again!

Jesus and His followers were on their way back to Jerusalem and He had just told the disciples what would happen there. He predicted He would be handed over to the Romans, mocked, treated shamefully, spit upon, flogged and killed – and that is exactly what happened. But that wasn’t the end of the story. (Luke 18)

In Luke 24 (verified in Mark 16:10 and John 20:19) we find the disciples locked in the upper room, grieving, broken, defeated and so afraid they wouldn’t even leave the room. What seemed to all to be the absolute worst case scenario had happened. Jesus was dead. He was gone and so was the hope they had all staked their lives on. How could they have misunderstood so much? How could they have been so wrong? Now they feared for their lives and those of their families.

But, as often happens in life, just when we think we’re defeated, just when we think there is no more hope, Hope is exactly what shows up and it is always Him doing the showing!

That morning the women who had stood by Jesus’ side through thick and thin left the safety of the upper room to go the tomb and anoint the body of the One they loved. It was right there at the tomb – in the place of seemingly the greatest defeat – that they found victory instead!


In an instant their fear turned to elation and their defeat turned to victory as they remembered what he had said. Reading on to verse 8 of Luke 24;

“Then they remembered He had said this.”

Jesus was not dead, He had risen just like he had promised.

My friend, take heart!  Jesus is mighty and powerful and He always shows up when you least expect Him! He always keeps his promises – even when we don’t remember them!

Until tomorrow,

Your traveling Partner,



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Joy Bombs

“In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11, ESV

If there was ever a need for joy in our world, it’s now. But can we really expect anything more than the resonant discord and blatant disregard for humanity that runs rampant in our streets and across our airwaves? It’s true the world with its plentiful array of extravagant resources can bring moments of happiness, but lasting joy—never.

The culpability for our lack of contentment doesn’t lie at the feet of fallen humanity. Can darkness bring forth light? The lack of contagious joy in our world rests at the heart’s door of Christ followers who fall far short of being the conduits of joy we’re purposed to be. If believers adopt the despondent mindset of fallen humanity, what hope do we have for joy to permeate our society?

Christians are called to be lights in the darkness, to exhibit joy in the midst of mundaneness and sorrow. A believer’s heart holds the one necessary ingredient for joy—the love of Christ. Joy issues from an overflow of that love. Galatians 5:22 mentions the attributes of a life filled with the fruit of the Spirit. Love and joy top the list. One does not come without the other, and joy never precedes love.

Earlier this year our women’s Bible study group enjoyed Margaret Feinberg’s study, Fight Back with Joy. We were encouraged to rate our level of joy on a scale of 1-10. It was a sobering assignment and hard to be honest, but God already knew … so why not. An honest assessment was necessary in order to lay hold of a deeper, more abundant joy.

Because true joy is rooted in our sense of God’s fierce love for us, we were challenged to find joy in the commonplace. To look for “joy bombs” that God drops into the ordinariness of our day—a butterfly, that morning cup of coffee, the hug of a loved one, rain pelting the window, flowers dancing in the breeze. We found joy bombs everywhere. We’re still counting.

How about you? On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your level of joy? I challenge you to experience a deep, contagious joy by looking for joy bombs throughout your day. Then to double the pleasure—pay it forward. Be a source of God’s love and drop joy into the life of another.

It’s contagious.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Something to Crow About

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways”
(1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV)

“I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up. Not me!” —Peter Pan


Chiming in on this mantra as a child, seemed like a noble quest—like something I should crow about—but in reality, as an adult, I know this way of thinking is only fun in fairy tales. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for fun and games, but refusing to own up to grown-up attitudes and responsibilities ushers in mountains of hardship and pain, not only for me but for others.


God’s word tells us, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways” (1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV).

What childish ways do you hold onto? In what areas do you refuse to grow up? Have you spoken like a child, thought like a child, or acted like a child lately?

I think not, you say?

Think again.

When was the last time you insisted on your own way? Took something that wasn’t yours? Didn’t care what others thought? Wasted time? Talked about someone behind their back or spoke unkind words to their face?

Stings, doesn’t it?

Believe me. I feel your pain.

Perhaps we should change our mantra. How does this sound? “I wanna grow up.

I wanna grow up. I wanna grow up. That’s me!”

Yep! Letting go of our childish ways is definitely something to grow as well as crow about.

Ready? All together now…