When my mother was alive, I recall overhearing her conversing with someone in the congregation one day: “Dolores,” they said, “I was so excited when I heard that you had prayed, and all your family had come to Christ.” They didn’t mean our immediate family—my Mom and Dad had come to Christ at the same time, and all us kids were raised in the Lord. They were referring to my mother’s family—her parents, brothers and sisters, and so forth.
Mamma said, “That’s right.” The person said, “Praise God! I just received the Lord eight weeks ago, and I’m praying for my family to know Jesus. When did yours come to the Lord? How long did you pray?” They were excited because they were looking to see their family come to the Lord right now.
My mother said, “Well, the last one that came to the Lord was after I’d walked with the Lord and prayed for them for forty years.”
Triumphant faith is not “instant” faith; sometimes it takes a long time, but it always wins in the long run.
Many years ago, our church rose to pray with every order of faith you could muster for a young couple’s baby who was in a critical situation, with increasing likelihood of death. We’ve seen some marvelous deliverances and answers to prayer in our church. But the deliverance of this baby wasn’t that kind where the baby gets healed and everything’s fine. It was a deliverance into the gates of Glory, and that baby died.
One of the most moving experiences I had in all my years of ministry was standing at the gravesite with that couple. They were not fanatics or kooks who went into some pretend state of repressing their pain. They experienced all the grief and tears any parents would have understandably experienced. But as they stood beside that grave, they knew God had given them a triumph of faith that resulted in at least between 30-40 people coming to know Jesus Christ as their Savior after that little baby was gone.
It was a triumph, not of philosophy, but of faith, a triumph beyond the things that happen. How could it be a triumph if the baby was being buried? Because this couple knew that life doesn’t end at the grave. For that little baby, there is an eternal hope and reality. And for the people who came to the Lord as a result of that baby’s ordeal and death, there was victory for the kingdom of God.
We all worry about what people will think of us (and what we will think of ourselves) if we don’t do as well as we should. That’s a very human thing. But we need to learn to allow the Holy Spirit to build in us the recognition that God’s going to work things through, and it’s not going to be a reflection of our accomplishment, but of His excellence and power.
And that is triumphant faith.
Copyright 2014 by Jack W. Hayford, Jack Hayford Ministries