In the beginning God created the baryonic universe.

40. Victory in the Guise of Defeat

"Our Lord Himself, St. Peter and St. Paul appeared to have been defeated." — De Tourville.

It is often difficult to tell in a given instance whether we have been defeated or are victorious in a conflict. Sometimes what looks like a defeat will be seen later to have been a positive victory.

When Joseph was sold into slavery, the end appeared to have come for the young dreamer. Years later when the deep ways of God bad come to light he could say to his now repentant brethren, "You thought evil against me; but God meant it to good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." Joseph's humiliating defeat had turned into personal victory for him and preservation for his entire family. God might have accomplished the same end in a different way. All we know is that He did not.

When the three Hebrew children disappeared into the seven-times-heated furnace no doubt many who watched turned away shaking their heads in pity; but things looked different the next moment when the king discovered that the men of God were preserved whole without the smell of fire upon them. Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego had not been sure how the whole thing would turn out. They had told the king boldly, "God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods." And possibly for one breathless minute they thought their time had come. But God saw otherwise and turned their defeat into victory.

And it must not be forgotten that this principle works just the same in reverse. When David had succeeded in stealing Uriah's wife he no doubt felt he had scored a real conquest, but subsequent events showed instead that he had suffered a stunning defeat. He was never the same after his "conquest." What the armies of the alien could never do on the field, David himself accomplished by one act of wrong-doing; that is, he brought about his own defeat. When he met Goliath he turned what looked like defeat into victory. When he met Bathsheba he turned a long record of victories into shameful defeat.

One thing about all this is that we cannot always be sure at the time just who is winning unless we keep our hearts very pure and our minds cool and God-possessed. When the soldiers of Pilate flung Christ to the ground and began to drive in the nails, everything looked as if our Lord had ended a failure. Surely this ignominious death would not come to a man of God. There must be some mistake. The man Jesus had been an idealist, a visionary, but now His hopes and the hopes of His followers were collapsing under the brutal attacks of tough, practical men. So reasoned the onlookers. But our Lord could die with the same calm in which He had lived. He had known all along how things would turn out, He had looked beyond the cross to the triumphant resurrection, He knew His apparent defeat would eventuate in universal glory for the human race.

From The Root of the Righteous by A. W. Tozer. Lightly updated to the language of the 21st century by D. N. Pham. (c) 2012.

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Root of the Righteous - A.W. Tozer

1. The Root of the Matter

2. We Must Give Time to God

3. God Is Easy to Live With

4. Listen to Who Listens to God

5. We Must Hear Worthily

6. That Utilitarian Christ

7. On Receiving Admonition

8. The Great God of Entertainment

9. Bible Taught or Spirit Taught?

10. The Terror of the Lord

11. Not Without Reformation

12. Faith Is a Perturbing Thing

13. True Faith Brings Committal

14. The Great Disparity

15. Our Enemy Contentment

16. Christ Is the Pattern

17. The Cross Is a Radical Thing

18. Must Die to Live

19. Christ Died For Our Hearts

20. Stand in Christ's Triumph

21. To Be or to Do

22. Make Room For Mystery

23. The Whole Life Must Pray

24. Nothing Without Lordship

25. A Sweet Lute, Sweetly Played

26. The All-importance of Motive

27. The Presence and the Program

28. The World's Most Tragic Waste

29. The Hunger of the Wilderness

30. Our Fruit Will Be What We Are

31. Baptism of Clear Seeing

32. Narrow Mansions

33. Sanctification of Our Desires

34. In Praise of Disbelief

35. Thankfulness As a Therapeutic

36. Understanding Dry Spells

37. About Hindrances

38. The Uses of Suffering

39. Praise God For the Furnace

40. Victory in the Disguise

42. Something Beyond Song

43. Three Degrees of Love

44. We Need Cool Heads

45. We Can Afford to Wait

46. God, the First and the Last

ON THE BOOK SHELF

Knowledge of the Holy - A.W. Tozer

The Pursuit of God - A.W. Tozer

The Dwelling Place - A.W. Tozer

Plumber of Lisburn - A.W. Tozer

Spiritual Power Vows - A.W. Tozer

Root of the Righteous - A.W. Tozer

Essays - A.W. Tozer

Fourfold Gospel - A.B. Simpson

Gospel of Healing - A.B. Simpson

Life of A.B. Simpson - C&MA

Mark Gospel 1/4 - A MacLaren

Mark Gospel 2/4 - A MacLaren

Mark Gospel 3/4 - A MacLaren

Mark Gospel 4/4 - A MacLaren

Gospel of St. John - F.D. Maurice

To the Romans - R.V. Foster

To the Romans, vol I - C. Gore

To the Corinthians - J.S. Riggs

To the Philippians - R. Rainy

To the Galatians - Luther

To the Hebrews - H.C.G. Moule

To the Hebrews - T.C. Edwards

Wisdom of James - A.T. Robertson

Epistles of John 1/2 - W. Alexander

Epistles of John 2/2 - W. Alexander

Kingdom of Heaven - E. Burbidge

Deuteronomy - C.H. Mackintosh

Religion and Theology - J. Tulloch

The Being of God - St Anselm

The Existence of God - St Anselm

God Became Man - St Anselm

The Other Wise Man - H. Van Dyke

First Christmas Tree - H. Van Dyke

A Christmas Carol - C Dickens

Thoughts on the Universe

Computer Notes

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