06 January 2005

The King's Beloved Trophies

2 Cor. 2:14 (NIV)
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

Disqualified. Out of the race. It is easy to feel like hard circumstances have pulled you out of a life rich with eternal significance. If you have ever found yourself asking if your life is making a difference, you know what I’m talking about.

The promises of God are our anchor in a raging sea of uncertainty. The promise of 2 Corinthians 2:14 is that Christ is always leading us in a “triumphal procession.” In ancient Rome, conquerors led their captives in a “triumphal procession” in celebration of victory. A victorious King now holds us captive. Our captivity was purchased through Christ’s blood and we are now on display to the whole world. Look carefully again at the text. All of this is provided without qualification. This is a promise from Christ that started with him, depends on him and will finish with him. God is working all things for the good of those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Now this is a spectacular promise but it is difficult to believe.

Honestly life is full of disappointment, tragedy and times when nothing seems to be working for good. To resolve our experiences with 2 Corinthians, we need to see the chasm between our understanding of “good” and God’s. We love Psalm 67:7 “God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.” It seems to imply that we will be blessed with comfort and security and God will be feared. Blessings yes, comfort and security… not necessarily. From God’s perspective the supreme good is his own Glory and all things (joy and suffering) are being used by God to bring that Glory into your life.

He is leading us in a procession. Step by step, Jesus Christ is bringing you to a place of greater dependence on him and greater satisfaction in him. As a captive, you cannot escape this end. What a glorious, satisfying truth! The gracious work of God is always present in your life to do something eternally significant – spreading the fragrance of the knowledge of him. Think about that promise and let the implications sink in. Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, God is there with a passionate intent to display his Glory. “Thanks be to God” that we are his captives – the King’s Beloved Trophies.

Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.


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