This morning I was thinking on the iconic WWII photograph, Raising The Flag on Iwo Jima. In 1945, approximately 6 months before the end of the War, Joe Rosenthal, took this famous shot on Mount Suribachi, a Japanese island in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. It was printed thousands of times over and received the Pulitzer Prize. It came to symbolize victory for the Americans and the Allied Forces over Hitler and Japan.
It reminded me of some of the spiritual victories that are won in the supernatural realm against the forces of darkness. When we choose to follow Christ, the battles will come. But with the Lord’s help, the Victory will be ours.
This is exactly what happened when Jesus’ faithful friends came along with Him on his journey. “Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:23-27). You see Jesus knew who was in control and there was no need to panic. Soon after, Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the waves, and the storm subsided.
Sometimes we can feel so buffeted by the tempest in our lives that it can be easy to get discouraged. The disicples panicked but we don’t have to . Paul was a man who underwent severe trails and discouragement. But he also came to understand the benefit of brokenness. He writes,”We are afflicted on every side, yet are we not in distress: we are in doubt, but yet we despair not.
We are persecuted, but not forsaken: cast down, but we perish not.
Everywhere we bear about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus might also be made manifest in our bodies,” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).
We have to remember that we are the clay and God is the potter. “Brokenness is God’s requirement for maximum usefulness,” (Charles Stanley, Life Principles Bible) In Kingdom economy, it gives us strength and power, even though we may feel weak and weary. I came to a revelation one day, as I started to transition my thinking, from what seemed right in the natural to God’s point of view. Many things in the natural realm are quite the opposite in the spiritual; Take for instance what Paul reveals to us about weakness: “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong,” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
The world reveres the proud but God reveres the humble. “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble,” (James 4:6). Where we see faults, He see’s opportunity. Take Peter for instance, He was impetuous, outspoken, strong-willed and occasionally brash but the Lord saw in him something else: great potential. Not to mention what is says in Matthew 10:39 about the outcome of a man’s ambition, “Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it.” You see, it takes a shift in our thinking before we can “see” the Kingdom of God. Things appear from the natural to be almost backward, but they’re not.
“God’s wisdom is greater than man’s human logic. It is time to think outside the human box, and see things from a different level, the level of a heavenly perspective, the God-kind of level in faith. Where you take His Living words and let them grow and build you up in God,” (Mathew McDonald, My Thought For Today). Let’s remember that in Christ we are overcomes. “For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory,” (Deuteronomy 20:4). Let us rise up and soar above our circumstances. Let us raise the flag and proclaim our victory over the enemy.