His hands weren’t big enough to break bread and fish for the hungry thousands. Not yet.
He couldn’t speak a single word to teach or heal. Not yet.
He couldn’t walk, much less walk on water. Not yet.
But the full power and mystery of God were already folded into Jesus’ tiny body, just waiting for the right time to unravel. Mary couldn’t see how it would happen — not yet — but she knew her little son was destined to reign and rescue.
The night was still dark, the injustice and oppression still great, but the newborn King’s triumph was already secured. In a season of not-yet, his victory was now.
We live in a not-yet season too. God’s Word gives us a breathtaking glimpse of our future: “I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever’” (Revelation 21:3-4, NLT).
The fulfillment of this promise is on its way, but our current reality is still deeply impacted by pain and suffering. So how do we live victoriously as we wait? We look at what’s already true.
When difficult circumstances threaten our hope, Romans 5:3-5 reminds us that “we can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (NLT).
When we feel overwhelmed by sinful or destructive desires, we can cling to God’s promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (NLT).
When shame tries to bully our hearts, we can stand steady on this truth: “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. … Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one — for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one — for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us” (Romans 8:1, 33-34, NLT).
When we face death and grief, even in our brokenness, we can celebrate that Jesus destroyed the grave’s power: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55, NLT).
Right now, before we can see how it will all work out, “overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (Romans 8:37b, NLT). Read that verse again! Overwhelming victory is ours. Not just a little victory, or some victory: overwhelming victory.
It might not have seemed like there was a lot of victory in the hay, sweat, mess, groans and newborn wails in Bethlehem that night, but just beneath the surface of circumstance rippled God’s unimaginable power and glory. Jesus already held his enemy’s final defeat in his curled infant fist, so that during our own not-yet season — the place between triumph and resolution — we can stand confidently in the victory he’s already won.