Christians are a triumphant people. Those are strange words to write, because if you look throughout the history of the church it does not look very triumphant. It looks at times very weak. It looks often broken and wounded, on the verge of falling off the cliff they’ve driven each other far too close to.
Even our own personal experience is hardly one that regularly shouts of, "Victory!" We struggle with sin. We struggle to love. We struggle with fellow Christians. At times, every opportunity is a closed door and every open door leads to a brick wall.
So how can Paul say in 2 Corinthians 2:14, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in victory through Christ. God uses us to spread his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume.”
Does God really use us to spread his knowledge everywhere?
That verse is much easier to understand when our efforts, or the efforts of the church, are widely recognized as significant, especially if recognized by secular people. But it is much harder to understand when the church falls into persecution or when another big-deal pastor falls. Are we a triumphant people? It doesn't look like it.
But yes, we are triumphant. We are triumphant all the time, not because of our personal or corporate victories in our own strength, but because of the personal victory of Jesus Christ on the cross. If we have died with him in his crucifixion, we shall also be raised with him in his resurrection to newness of life. A person who can never die by definition has to be triumphant.
The good news of the gospel is that no matter the mess we find ourselves in, we have a God who redeems and restores. He leads us in victory through Christ. The darkness may be thick and smelly, but the sweet aroma of Christ is still stuck in our noses, and somehow we still difuse him to others despite the gunk. His goodness has no expiration date. His mercy never ceases to increase. His grace never fails.
Christians are a triumphant people through the work of Christ. In him alone is our strength, our victory, our peace, and our future. When you feel so weak and broken and insignificant remember the God who remembers you, and lean into his victory, because it is the only eternal victory in the universe.
Come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!