Chapter-6.4   Eight Irresistible Characteristics Of God

He Always Causes Us To Triumph In Christ Jesus
The first half of 2 Corinthians 2:12 in the King James says, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ…” In the NIV, which I prefer, it says, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession…” *1*
Jacob had lived life on the twisty lane. He had used his brother’s weakness to gain Esau’s birthright and had swindoled him out of his blessing through the deception of their father, Issac. He then was manipulated by is father-in-law in a very similar way, and after a short passage of time, would be painfully deceived by his sons when they would sell his favorite, Joseph, into slavery.
But right now, he was on his way home to a dreaded meeting with Esau, who had pledged to kill Jacob the next time he saw him!
These were not pleasant times for our jaded friend. During that long night, Jacob found himself wrestling with a man. Let’s join him in the midst of his struggles;
Genesis 32:22-30 NIV
[22] That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. [23] After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. [24] So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. [25] When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. [26] Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” [27] The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. [28] Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” [29] Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. [30] So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” *2*
This is one of the most touching passages of Scripture to me. It is clear from what is said, that Jacob is wrestling with God. And yet the passage says (in verse 25) that God could not overpower Jacob. So what is this weakness with God that he could not overpower Jacob, a mere man? It is the same crippling weakness that prevents God from overpowering you and me — his great LOVE for us! Notice in the second half of that verse how “the man” (God) simply touched Jacob’s hip and Jacob became lame! The fact is that God could have crushed Jacob in an instant, but he DIDN’T! God is so compassionate, and he so identifies with our weaknesses (in this case Jacob’s fears), that he wrestles with Jacob at great length to earn Jacob’s trust! Notice how he (God) allows himself to be held by Jacob — “Let me go for it is daybreak!”. But Jacob would not let him go until the man (God) blessed him!
So what have you been wrestling with? Loss of a loved one? Fear of the future? Concern for your child? Doubts you can measure up? Pay your bills? Be a good Dad or Mom? Kick your habit? The list goes on and on! I believe when we struggle with such things, we are often struggling with God himself. The God who is contending for our trust. The same God who had gone before Jacob and dealt with Jacob’s greatest fear, by changing Esau’s heart attitude toward him — not only did Esau NOT want to kill Jacob, he was looking forward to seeing him! But in his fear, Jacob was blind to such possibilities. Are you blind too? Are you holding on to God (like Jacob)? Or, are you letting go before he blesses you?
Have you accepted the possibility that God has gone ahead of you and already made provision for you at your point of greatest fear? For me, in 1978, I was more afraid of failing one more time (in trying to quit smoking) than I was of dying of cancer. So God engineered my circumstances such that I would cry out to him in my anguish, and he delivered me in a FLASH!
Now, before we close, we need to consider one last thing. In your wrestlings, have you come away wounded? Do you feel a particular pain at a particular point? Is it possible that this might be one of your greatest blessings? Might it be a sign to you that you are now no longer a Jacob, but an Israel too? Likely, you have wrestled with God and men, and have likewise prevailed!
Trust HIM in all things dear friend, he will NEVER LET YOU DOWN! While victory will not always come as we define victory, if we yield to his wrestling love, he will figuratively place us in our seat in HIS limo, and “…always lead us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession…”. And since God will NEVER allow Christ to FAIL (after all he has done), YOU are assured of victory!
So, America, where are you? Are you trusting and serving this awesome, compassionate God?
*1b*. 2 Corinthians 2:14 NIV / New International Version / Zondervan / Distributed through Tecarta Bible Study App / Tecarta, Inc. / ©️2019 Tecarta, Inc.
*2*. Genesis 32:22-30 NIV / New International Version / Zondervan / Distributed through Tecarta Bible Study App / Tecarta, Inc. / ©️2019 Tecarta, Inc.
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