THE JOY OF VICTORY
The Christian’s battlefield is here, but the triumphal procession is above. This is the land of the sword and the spear: that is the land of the wreath and the crown. This is the land of the garment rolled in blood and of the dust of the fight: that is the land of the trumpet’s joyful sound, the place of the white robe and of the shout of conquest. O, what a thrill of joy shall be felt by all the blessed when their conquests shall be complete in heaven, when death itself, the last of foes, shall be slain, when Satan shall be dragged captive at the chariot wheels of Christ, when the great shout of universal victory shall rise from the hearts of all the redeemed! What a moment of pleasure shall that be! Something of the joy of victory we know even here. Have you ever struggled against an evil heart and at last overcome it? Have you ever wrestled hard with a strong temptation and known what it was to sing with thankfulness, “When I said my feet slipped, Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up”? Have you, like Bunyan’s Christian, fought with Apollyon and, after a fierce contest, put him to flight? Then you have had a foretaste of the heavenly triumph — just an imagining of what the ultimate victory will be. God gives you these partial triumphs that they may be earnests of the future. Go on and conquer, and let each conquest, though a harder one and more strenuously contested, be to you as a pledge of the victory of heaven.