ODJ: Victory

June 26, 2016 

READ: 2 Thessalonians 1:7-12 

When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe (v.10).

King Pyrrhus had tasted victory against the Romans in the Battle of Asculum (279 BC). But the victory was bittersweet. Pyrrhus lamented, “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.” Why? Even though the Romans had sustained more losses in the battle, the depth of their army was far greater. So Pyrrhus knew that ultimate victory in war with Rome was impossible.

Paul wrote to a group of young believers who were facing battles inside and outside the church. It felt as if the believers in Thessalonica were losing ground—and battles. But the apostle knew a greater power was at work. He reassured them that God would “provide rest” for those being persecuted and that He would bring justice with His “glorious power” (2 Thessalonians 1:7,9).

Jesus is the Victor who will one day return and “receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe” (v.10). What encouragement as we face hardship and difficulties!

Life presents challenges for us both inside and outside the church. Perhaps you’re feeling the sting of a losing battle today. Remember that Jesus won the ultimate victory on the cross long ago—though it might have seemed like He lost the battle. Just prior to releasing His spirit in death, “Jesus shouted” these words: “It is finished!” (Matthew 27:50; John 19:30). The Greek word used by John is tetelestai, meaning that what Jesus did remains forever accomplished. He has conquered sin and death and will one day return to rule over a restored creation!

Today, as you face your battles, remember that victory is found in the One who gives “us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope” (2 Thessalonians 2:16). Jesus is the Victor!

—Tom Felten

365-day plan: John 5:1-47

Read 1 Corinthians 15:56-58 and consider what it means to live out Jesus’ victorious power on earth. 
What battles are you facing these days? How can you face them with greater confidence and hope because of Jesus’ power and not your own?