Are You Living Victoriously?
My friend Hannah, unlike most of the world, never was very interested in social media.
But when Reaching Her was in its infancy, she buckled to the pressure and joined Instagram. I remember her weighing out the options - her old soul’s desire to be free from the chains of the app world against her desire to promote a life centered on the good work God does through devoted Bible Study.
However Hannah only buckled with stipulations. She crafted two main criteria as the filter for each every Insta-post: she would be real, and she would always point to Christ. She would show the ups and downs of life as a wife and mother of four boys five and under, and she would do her best to attach both the good and bad to the Truth of this kingdom-filled life.
I think she does an awesome job. You’ll have to trust me on the pics, but here is some of her godly wisdom.
“Hawk has taken up residence in the protection of the pack and play, away from the extra ‘love’ of his brothers. I swear, the Lord keeps children alive and well. I do everything I can, but He is the one who is their true Protector.”
“Trying to figure out spending time with Jesus and in His word. It’s helter-skepter at the moment and takes effort to shove it into some portion of a day that just doesn’t have much to give. And, it is a sweet time when I get it.”
When I scroll through to these posts, sometimes I just pause in wonder because Hannah’s life is hard. She’s going full-tilt all day taking care of her family. She cooks, she cleans, she wipes noses and changes diapers, she supports her friends and family, etc.
She just does a lot, and even when it looks really really demanding and insurmountable, she is quick to look to Jesus and claim victory over the most difficult moments and moves forward.
Hannah lives victoriously in all things.
Do you know anyone like this? The people who are a part of our lives that wade through the trying and complicated with a smile on their faces? The ones who never seem down for long? The steady who seem to conquer their circumstances instead of being dictated by them?
These women (and men alike) remind me of Esther.
The climax of the story of Esther is found in chapter 7. She advocates on behalf of her Jewish sisters and brothers to her husband King Xerxes, ruler of the Persian Empire, by pointing out wicked Haman’s plot of genocide.
Xerxes rises in his anger and sentences Haman to death for his treachery. Then we learn throughout the rest of the book that Esther’s adopted father, Mordecai, is given a position in the government, a decree goes out to the known world protecting all the Jews of the land, and the feast of Purim is instituted to celebrate how God saved His people through Queen Esther.
It’s like watching the end to a movie. After we read about the suffering of Esther and her choice to risk her life to stand up for her people, we also get to witness her victory over her enemy. The good guys win, and they move on to happily ever after.
I don’t know about you, friend, but I tend to approach my life like I’m living through several movies back to back. As the hero of course (ha), I’m living life, and then a difficult circumstance hits like the climax of a film. I’m then thrown for a while. I may wallow in my emotions, complain, search for an escape, live in denial - you name it, all the bad ways of reacting.
Then I delve into the Truth of God’s character in His Word, and I make it through said difficult circumstance. After conquered, I bask in the victory of Jesus and go back to living life….until the next hard moment comes along.
It all looks pretty normal, predictable even for the believer. However after studying Esther I’m not quite sure it’s the proper way to live anymore.
Why am I waiting for my circumstances to be conquered before I live in victory?
While studying Esther, I went through God’s Word and studying the concept of victory, and I found some interesting passages.
Deuteronomy 20:1-4 When Israel was going to fight their enemies, God reminds them that He will be with them, will fight alongside of them, and He will get them victory. For me, that means while I am living life (before, during, and after) the difficult things I experience, God is there living and fighting with me, and He has ensured my outcome will be victorious, because it comes from Him.
John 16:33 Jesus reminds us to take heart when we experience hard times in this world because He has already overcome the whole world, including my own personal troubles. I can be confident in the victory Jesus produced once and for all through His death and resurrection.
Romans 8:38-39 Paul writes to the church in Rome that nothing separates us from God’s love, and that love makes us conquerors through the power of Jesus. If I am already a conqueror through my Savior, then at the point of my belief in Him, I became victorious. Nothing created can separate me from that love and victory, and I get to live life through it.
I could keep going as this same sentiment is repeated throughout scripture. Jesus is our victory! His conquering of sin and eternal death provided us with an eternal triumph.
That triumph should act like a filter through which I see all the ups and downs of my life. Instead of living from victory to victory with some wallowing in between, there should be a steady calm produced from the assurance of Jesus and what He has done on my behalf.
After all, I’m already a conqueror, and I already have victory.
I think that is what I see when I take a peek into my dear Hannah’s life. It is hard, but she tackles it like a conqueror. She know she is victorious, so she is better able to see her life through the eyes of her Savior. I hope others see that same spirit within me.
The book of Esther is an incredible story of one beautiful orphan girl who became a powerful queen of Persia and used her position to saved the Jews, her people, from utter destruction. Our lives too are telling a story however ordinary it may seem in comparison.
But the more powerful narrative theme in Esther and in our lives is that of our heavenly Father working consistently for our good, victorious in all things. He is there, triumphantly providing and leading us in and through the ups and downs of life.
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 2 Corinthians 2:14
Join me in living victoriously now. Let’s let it permeate every moment of our every day, and the fragrance of the knowledge of Him will spread everywhere.
(If you want to help keep us victory-accountable: Amy is @abufkin and Hannah is @hmwsnyder on Instagram.)
Amy Bufkin has loved Jesus for as long as she can remember. Even though she basically lived at her local church growing up, her faith and relationship with The Lord was incredibly shallow until her early twenties. It was then Amy learned how to study her Bible, began to truly commune with God, and her shallow faith began to deepen as she got to know her Lord and Savior. Now her passion is to communicate the same truths that changed her life to young women in as many ways as possible. You can find her on Instagram | Facebook