“Jesus has won the victory!”
This is a statement many Christians have heard before. While we’ve heard it, there is a lot happening around us that appears bigger than this statement. Depression, anxiety disorders and suicide are taking centre stage in the media and on platforms such as YouTube and Instagram.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to not be aware of these issues. It often feels like there is too much happening to make a change and bring some light. We can begin to see the world in a negative light.
Jesus has won the victory. We can stand in this truth in a way that changes how we view the world.
According to SADAG (The South African Depression and Anxiety Group):
- 1 in 4 teens have experienced sad or hopeless feelings
- 6% of teens had made a plan to commit suicide
- 9% of 18 year olds had attempted suicide one or more times
There are many things that make these stats a reality. Whatever the cause, these numbers are scary and make things seem really dark.
The solution to the problem is Jesus. While this answer comes as no surprise, there are some of us who read it and still wonder, “How is Jesus the solution?”
1 Corinthians 15 speaks about the victory that Jesus won over sin and death through the cross and resurrection. In verses 54b-55 and 57 Paul writes, “’Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’… But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (NLT).
The amazing thing about this is that the victory does not only belong to Jesus. In Romans, Paul is listing things that we often think separate us from God. He adds in things like, troubles, danger, death, hunger and persecution. He then rounds it off with verse 37, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (NLT).
Living out this victory
I played hockey in High School. The one year we played a match against opponents who were much weaker. We began playing and very quickly realised that we were going to win the game hands down. As we scored goal after goal, we got more excited and fought harder to score as many goals as we could. Our drive and effort built up as the game went on.
The other team wasn’t as happy. As soon as we had scored the first two goals, they knew they had lost. Some of the team mates fought all the harder to stop us. Some of them drooped their shoulders and started letting small things get past them.
We entered the game with a victory mindset and ended up scoring goals. The other team picked up a defeatist mindset and got wiped out. As Christians we have these same two options.
Jesus has already won the victory, and offers that victory to us. If we enter into life with this victory mind-set, the way we view the things our kids are going through will change. We begin to approach these issues with a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ mentality and not hopelessness.
Allow God to partner with you in shifting this mindset. Romans 12:2 speaks of this when it says, “Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
Praying in victory
One of the ways we can live out this victory is through prayer. As parents, teachers and youth pastors, we have the opportunity to pray for the kids under our watch. Prayer is powerful when we pray from a stance of victory, having faith and knowing that God is going to work.
We could pray from a perspective of, “God, if you want to work here, come and work” and beg God to do what He has the power to do. But, a stance of victory says, “God, your heart is for this child to know you and to know freedom. Thank you that you are working in their life already. Bring about change. Bring light into their life and make yourself known to them.”
If you are aware of a child’s situation, pray into that situation from a victory standpoint. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t witness the fruits of your prayer. Prayer always shifts something in the spiritual.
Jesus came so that we “may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV). God’s heart is for everyone to know this life He has to offer. He will never ignore the prayers of His children for His children.
Meet the child where they are at
For those of us who can actively speak into a child’s situation, we need to be sensitive. Not every child or teenager is eager to hear the words, “There is light at the end of the tunnel.” For many kids the darkness of their situation is very real and to dismiss it would be unfair to them.
Instead, in everything we discuss with the child or teen, we can speak from a perspective of victory. Meet the child where they are at. Even if you do not mention the idea that things will get better, let the victory mindset drive what you say to them.
Sometimes, all we need to do is just listen and take up our stance of victory at home in prayer. Let God do what God is best at doing in areas we may not be able to act.
A victory mindset has a much more powerful weight to it than we realise. Jesus won the victory over sin and death. There is nothing that can stop God’s love (Romans 8). This truth is one that we can all live out with a deeper conviction. Open yourself up to what God can do when we meet Him in His victory.