“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
The Unexpected Victors,
by Randall D. Kittle
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In 1776, something that seemed to most of the world as both amazing and trivial happened — the British Colonies in North America declared their independence from England. This was amazing because no colony had ever freed itself from English rule. But in the news of the day, it probably seemed trivial because hardly a person alive on the face of the earth thought the colonists had a whisker of a chance for independence. The American colonies were too poorly equipped to fight a major war and had no standing army with which to fight. On the other hand, Great Britain, with both the best army and finest navy in the world, was clearly the greatest military super-power in the world. No one looking at this unfolding conflict objectively was betting on the colonies. They were by far the long shot … the dark horse. This was a classic David-and-Goliath struggle … but then again who won that contest?

Despite the odds, seven years later (in 1783) it was the English general Cornwallis who was surrendering, not George Washington the leader of the colonial armies. The American forces, through perseverance and God’s grace, became one of the greatest unexpected victors in history. They accomplished what almost no one thought they could, and by their victory changed the world and birthed a great nation. 

The Greatest “Unexpected” Victor
Things looked even more dismal for Jesus nearly two thousand years earlier. He sat in jail a beaten and bloodied prisoner awaiting execution the very next day. Though He was innocent of any criminal charges, there He sat … condemned to die and having the vast power of the Roman Empire set against Him.

In those days, the Pharisees and Jewish leaders in Jerusalem had learned how work hand-in-glove with the Roman authorities who controlled Israel. While they didn’t particularly like Roman rule, they discovered how to make it work to their advantage and had become quite adept at “working the system” to get what they wanted. Things were going along “just fine” until Jesus of Nazareth and his band of fishermen, tax collectors, and other assorted “mis-fits” decided to stir things up. But the Jewish leaders now seemingly had the solution well in hand. With Jesus arrested, beaten, and condemned to die by crucifixion, they were certain things were about to return to normal.

The Pharisees, Jewish leaders, and Roman authorities had hoped to return things to normalcy by helping the people in Israel see that Jesus wasn’t quite all they thought He was. The final results, however, did quite the opposite. It revealed that Jesus wasn’t less than the people thought, He was far more than most of them dared to believe! Instead of merely dying a victim’s death on the cross, He rose from the dead and became the Victor over death, hell, and the grave. Jesus Christ was the greatest “unexpected” Victor the world has ever seen, winning a victory that the Pharisees, Roman authorities, and Satan himself couldn’t imagine. And the good news for you, as a born-again believer, is that He will make you an unexpected victor as well. You are not destined to be a failure, a loser, or a victim … you are a child of the most high God! As it tells us in Romans 8:31–37, “If God is for us, who can be against us? … in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Despite all the problems and obstacles you may be facing in your life, if you’ll just hold on and keep your hope in Jesus Christ, He will bring victory out of defeat no matter how bleak the situation may appear. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), and He is still helping those who trust in Him to become victors in a world that doubts and mocks and proclaims our imminent failure. So, when the situation seems bleak, when the circumstances shout defeat, keep your eyes on Jesus Christ the great Victor and He will break through on your behalf — changing certain defeat into unexpected victory in your life!

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