Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous… (Psalm 118:15).
It is not fun to lose. If it is a life and death battle, we dare not lose. If we win, we celebrate. From the mouths of winners come shouts of joy and victory. That’s the way it is. The battlefield is not just some place across an ocean. We face battles in life no matter where we are. There is always something or someone opposing us. Sometimes the battle takes place inside of us as we fight against the part of our nature that is not good.
We must be on guard against pride. We need to knock down lust. We need to post a sentry at our conscience. We need to throw envy into the brig. Our whole life is a battle. Many times, it seems we are losing. Our plans for something good fall apart. Our dreams for a better life die. Just when we think we have gotten on top of a bad habit, we find we have fallen again. Sometimes we feel like giving up.
Our God knows that. That’s why he tells us to “Fear not!” That’s why he so often gives us assurances. He wants us to know that the life and death battle is not in doubt for those who belong to him. When we turn our eyes away from our fears and tune our ears into his words, we come to the realization that in spite of ongoing battles and retreats; in spite of the power of the enemy; even in spite of ourselves: we win!
The war is over! The Son of God has conquered sin, death, and the devil. Why should we now abandon our post? Why surrender to the enemy? Propaganda is Satan’s strong weapon. Remember when “Baghdad Bob” told the world on live TV that the Iraqi army was going to spank the allies—even when the sound of approaching American firepower could be heard through the microphone? Bold lies can be told even in the face of failure, but the sounds of victory tell the true story.
“Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous!”
Those are our tents! That’s where we camp. We wear the uniform of the righteous. It has been placed upon us by the Righteous One who has covered us with the holiness of his blood. Don’t believe the lies of the enemy! Don’t be misled by the small piece of the battle our eyes can see. The roar of the sound of victory from the mouths of saints and angels echoes across the span of heaven. Messengers have relayed the news to us. We have heard it. We won’t forget it.
We pray: Lord Jesus, you have overcome the powers that would rob us of the salvation you won for us. But doubts arise when we look around and see so many signs of the enemy’s power. At times, we are tempted to give up and give in. Keep us from doing that! Allow us to hear the songs of victory. Let us agree with the words of the hymn that declare:
“And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long, Steals on the ear the distant triumph song, And hearts are brave again and arms are strong. Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida-Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military