Gratitude and the Victorious Christian

cross-2303388_1280It is inconceivable that a Christian who lives every day in a worshipful and grateful attitude will not also live a life of victory. Jesus died on the cross to give His beloved eternal life and here-and-now peace, and that alone warrants the highest gratitude from the believer. And gratitude IS worship. And worship leads to victory.

But what does victory look like? It can be surprisingly unassuming – like a pair of lips curved in a gentle smile under scorching heat, or brows that do not furrow in the face of a traffic jam, or a tone of voice that does not rise in retaliation of an insult.

Victory does not always have to take on the giant-slaying, raising-the-dead or feeding-five-thousand-with-five-fishes kind of magnitude, though it is completely possible for a Christian who walks in intimacy with Christ to perform miracles of such proportions – in His name, of course. Victory does not mean being completely absent of challenges and hardship, because God promised to mold – not molly coddle us.

Victory is a strong unrelenting heart – like a ground that remains fertile despite the drought. Victory is a pair of eyes with supernatural vision – like a telescope that sees into the vast distance, beyond the chaos of the present time and catches glimpses of hope that make them twinkle like the stars God has made.

Put simply, the Christian victory is peace and joy independent of circumstances, attained by having a God-sized perspective that makes present human preoccupations minuscule in comparison.

The Christian who truly worships Jesus and wants Him above anything else IS victorious – because at the end of the race of life, the object, Person of their worship, Jesus Himself – is waiting for them at the finish line…with open arms and nail-pierced hands.

Being Christian: What It Means to Me

Inspired by my pastor’s preaching on praising God this morning, I searched Youtube for Christian praise songs and found this beautiful number by Singapore’s New Creation Church.

Unto You, be all glory and all praise–indeed!

This song got me sentimental and thinking of what a wonderful God and Saviour I have chosen to follow. And an amazing journey I have had since the day I began to follow Him–the God who loves me despite my imperfections, mistakes, and rough edges.

And that really should not be a surprise at all because there is no command in the Bible for the followers of Christ to be all saintly and perfect. If we could achieve that there would be no need for Jesus in the first place.

I guess Christianity becomes controversial and offensive–when Christians forget their own humanity and need for Christ, and go around trumpeting opinions and dishing out do’s and don’ts in His name. Maybe it’s easy to blur the lines between becoming like Christ, and wrongly thinking that we are already like Him and therefore have the right to impose our views on others.

Being a Christian, to me, is simple. It simply means I have a source of guidance to turn to in times of troubles and doubt. I have a Higher Authority to whom I look for hope when things happen that defy explanations, and when prognosis for the future looks bleak. I have a point of reference when I am not sure what is right or wrong. It means I have knowledge that shapes  my beliefs, principles, and ideals. The rest — like the fun worshipping in church, the peace and joy and boundless optimism —  are the happy by products of my walk with Christ.

So this is how it works for me–my relationship with my Saviour, and learning to become a better person. It may work differently for others, and the good news for me is, I know enough about the Bible to be absolutely sure that I am only called to follow Christ, not to be on His law enforcement team–if there is even one in the first place. Ha!