~Written by Anna~
What images come to your mind when you hear the word ‘victory’?
Maybe it is images of people celebrating in the streets on VE Day in 1945.
Maybe it is images of the US hockey team winning against all odds in the1980 Olympics.
Maybe you think of Michael Phelps breaking all records and winning his 23rd gold medal last summer at the Olympics.
The list could go on. Victory evokes powerful feelings of joy and celebration. We celebrate because a seemingly unattainable goal has been realized.
As believers we can rejoice over the ultimate victory symbolized in a cross and an empty tomb. Jesus defeated sin, death and the grave, doing what only the incarnate Son of God could do – reconciling us to God. His victory made the unattainable possible! Victory is never reached though without a cost. And Jesus was willing to pay that ultimate cost! Praise Him!
This summer I rediscovered an old hymn that I have sung hundreds of times. Victory in Jesus. This victorious song sweeps you up in the beat and the celebratory feel. I mindlessly began singing a hymn I knew by heart. However, when I got to the second verse the words reached out and grabbed my attention like never before! It was as if I was hearing it for the first time!
“I heard about his healing, of his cleansing pow’r revealing.
How he made the lame to walk again, and caused the blind to see.
And then I cried ‘Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit.’
And somehow Jesus came and brought to me the victory.”
I felt the tears coming as those familiar words now carry a whole new meaning. My weary mind and heart began asking Jesus why we hadn’t seen more of His healing power in the last year and a half. Gently, Jesus reminded me of the MANY miracles we have seen! (May we never take those for granted!) But as I studied this verse further I was struck by the author’s prayer and by my own spiritual blindness. The author acknowledges God’s power to heal our broken bodies but that is not his prayer. His prayer is even bigger than that, he asks for something even more miraculous. “Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit.”
God may choose to heal our bodies, but the deeper work of healing that is needed is in our spirits. Oh how I need that deeper healing! I love how the verse ends: And somehow Jesus came and brought to me the victory. The author seems almost surprised that Jesus answers this seemingly impossible, unattainable request! Can He truly bring healing deep in our spirits and give us the victory EVEN when He chooses not to answer our prayers in the ways we might wish? YES! “Beneath the cleansing flood.”
I was surprised (and yet not) to find out that the author of this hymn, Eugene Bartlett, was familiar with suffering. In fact, he reportedly suffered a stroke that left him bedridden at a very young age and it is from his bed that he wrote this hymn. This victorious hymn that is almost impossible to sing sitting down, was penned by someone who probably couldn’t stand on his own. And yet, Jesus came and healed his broken spirit and somehow gave him the victory! May the same be true of me!
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Cor. 15:57
*Image of VE celebration (http://www.gettyimages.de/detail/nachrichtenfoto/nachrichtenfoto/515249626?esource=SEO_GIS_CDN_Redirect#crowd-celebrating-victory-day-in-times-square-picture-id515249626)
*Image of 1980 Victory (https://www.pinterest.de/pin/94505292159136865/)
*Image of Michael Phelps (https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQn2bbGmowxaFTNuHx_V0pVquDALNbH0zltDZZM8afK8YF-tpVO)
*Image of empty tomb (www.live-pure.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/IMG_5790.png)