Q: Are you saying then that we’re destined to live lives of spiritual defeat with only little respites along the way, and that’s as good as it gets?
A: Not at all! God’s goal for us is to be like Christ. At the moment, Jesus is triumphant and glorified at God’s right hand, and God’s guarantee to us is that we will someday share in this magnificent image. But when Jesus lived where we do, His life was not the glittering thing it is now. It was marked by weakness, suffering, and by a genuine and daily dependence on His Father in Heaven. Not even He could rise from the dead until He first died. The road to Glory runs through the Cross, both for the Lord Himself and all who want to be His disciples.
Q: What about the verses that say we are more than conquerors in Christ, that we can do all things through Him, etc.?
A: We believe the verses, of course, but the success and triumph they promise look a lot like failure and loss: ‘tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, being killed all day long and accounted as sheep for the slaughter’. In this life God does not give us victory over these things: He gives us victory in and through them. Just as He did for His Son who learned obedience through the things He suffered.