And the cattle upon a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the mountains,
And the wild beasts of the fields are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell
you; For the world is Mine, and
all its fullness...
Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver
you, and you shall glorify Me."
Psalm 50: 10-12, 15
Many years ago, a good friend who faced a hard trial of faith shared with me a life-changing verse. For all who dare to believe it, it is tucked away in II Corinthians, chapter 2. If only we would believe it, life would be so much more pleasant, each moment an opportunity for happiness.
It simply says:
"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place."
To my doubting mind, I surely want to jump in there with some kind of reservation. "Always, Lord? But what about that time when....?"
This morning I read this verse again. In my Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (3rd edition, Jay P. Green, Sr., editor) the transliterated verse reads like this:
"But to God thanks the (One) always leading in triumph us in Christ, and the odor of the knowledge of Him revealing through us in every place."
I looked up the word always in Zodhiates' Complete Word Study Dictionary. It is the word pantote (#3842 in Strong's). The definition is: "Always, at all times, ever." This same word is also used in Matthew 26:11, Mark 14:7, Luke 15:31, Luke 18:1 and John 6:34.
No room for an exception there.
Then I looked up the word triumph. It is #2358 in Strong's and is the word thriambeuo and in this verse it means "to cause to triumph."
If we look with sight eyes, we ask God how ever in this world this verse could be true. There have been disappointments in my life, big ones, yet II Corinthians 2:14 says what it says. Moreover, it was written by the Apostle Paul, who went through a few things like being stoned to death, beaten with rods, shipwrecked and afflicted with a disease that God would not take away. Just little things like that.
I was talking to a friend the other day who expressed a disappointment in one way her life had turned out. I was stumped afterwards. How can we be disappointed with the way things turn out if we believe that He is always leading us to triumph?
Even in dark, difficult places, this verse is in the Word of God. It is Divinely inspired and written for our comfort and encouragement. If I accept this verse, I feel a heavy yoke of disappointment with my own life being traded for faith in an unchanging benevolent God who works all things (not some things) for my ultimate good.
I love how Kenneth Wuest translates Romans 8:28 in his expanded translation of the New Testament.
And we know with an absolute knowledge that for those who are loving God, all things are working together resulting in good, for those who are divinely summoned ones according to His purpose. (page 366)And in the Amplified Bible Romans 8:28 is translated this way:
We are assured and know that (God being a partner in their labor), all things work together and are (fitting into a plan) for good to those who love God and are called according to (His) design and purpose.
"For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philippians 1:19-21
I am comforted in believing these promises, no matter what the enemy may whisper in my ear. It is time for me to put up my shield of faith! I implore you to do the same.