By Karen Harper*
“For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory” (Psalm 149:4 NIV).
Each of us, at some point over the last few days, have watched the Olympics or heard the results via the news. It is fascinating to watch and share in the joy of victory with athletes across the world. They have worked endlessly to achieve their goal and met with many obstacles, as they stayed focused on the end goal. Victory is sweet.
I observed many different reactions to victory in the process. Some reactions were tears of joy; others exhibited a feeling of disbelief; and then there were those who reacted as if they “deserved” the victory. The Psalmist tells us that God takes delight in His people, and He crowns the “humble” with victory. No matter how sweet the victory, we must always recognize that we can do nothing without God.
Even in the midst of all the victory celebrations, there were those that were defeated. Although they may have lost the race, they repeatedly said they would not give up! They are coming back to the next Olympics and will try again because they have learned from their mistakes. During times of defeat, the first part of that verse speaks to our hearts: “For the Lord takes delight in His people . . .” (Psalm 149:4). The Lord delights in you. He sees your failures and gives you the strength to go on. Defeat keeps us humble, and eventually, we will receive the victory!
At times as a pastor’s wife, I have felt defeated. I was convinced that I was not making a difference in the lives of others. No doubt, you’ve experienced these moments, too. Then it happens—someone comes to you and tells you that you have made a difference in their life. You spoke encouragement to them and gave them hope. You spoke the Word of God into their life and gave them strength. They have patterned their life after your example. Victory—that is Victory! You may not receive a gold medal in this life, but you will receive a “crown of life,” one that will last forever (Revelation 2:10, 1 Corinthians 9:24, 25).
Never give up. The Lord delights in you, and will crown you with victory!
Karen Harper serves alongside her husband Dr. Tim Harper, Regional Overseer of the Great Lakes Region for the Church of God of Prophecy. They also serve as members of our Advisory Team for The HELPER: A Genesis 2:18 Ministry.