VICTORY in 2022!
Updated: Dec 28, 2021
2022: The year of VICTORY!
1 Corinthians 15:57, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
There's no question that the past two years have been challenging. But God's Word has promised us that we can live triumphantly despite any circumstance. The Lord is calling us to claim 2022: The Year of VICTORY! As a believer, you should be living a victorious, joy-filled life in Christ - but how? Throughout 2022, we will explore what it means to find freedom in every area of life and how to triumph over the areas that hold you back from walking in the joy of the Lord. Where in your life do you need a victory? Let's believe and discover VICTORY together!
The following is the transcript from the sermon "Victory" on December 26, 2021.
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Hey there, Crossroads Fellowship Church family. Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you had an incredible Christmas. As you all know, I absolutely love Christmastime. And I just wonder right now, how many of you are actually taking down your Christmas decorations while this is playing in the background. So hopefully you're not, hopefully you're tuning in. And by the way, wasn't an incredible worship set by our worship team and our creative arts team? Right now, wherever you are. Just pause and give them some huge thanks, put some emojis here on the online campus. And we just want to thank them for all that they did. And I love that last song, The Goodness of God. I mean, isn't that what we're all here to celebrate? How incredibly good God is, God has been, and that God will be.
And so here we are, we're about to end 2021. You've almost made it. Just a few days left to end out this year. And I am praying that you've had a great year. I pray that you end this year well, and today I'm going to talk about how we can start next year off in a huge way. I want to thank you again, from all of us here at Crossroads Fellowship, I want to not only wish you, again, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, but I want to thank you for the way that you have partnered with us this last year. Like all of us, this last year, again, has been kind of an up and down year in many ways, but we are so grateful for the faithfulness of God and his provisions, for our lives and hopefully for your family as well. And I want to you for the way that you've continued to support the ministry of Crossroads all year.
And speaking of that real quickly, we have just a few days left for the year-end giving. So if you're planning to give in 2021, it has to be postmarked by December 31st. So thank you for your year-end giving. The year-end giving at Crossroads helps us start off the next year in a huge way. So thank you for giving right now. So every year, I've been doing this for years and years and years, I know many of you do this as well, I always pray for a word for the year. I actually seek God over it, I don't just come up with a word. I pray and I'm like, "Okay God, what's the word for next year? What's the word for me for next year?" And sometimes it's just for me, sometimes it's for me and my family. Sometimes it's a word that is for me, my family and our church family.
And I believe that God has given us a word, us, meaning myself, my family, hopefully you and our church family, for 2022. And that word is the word victory. Come on. How great of a word is that word? Victory. I am believing, right now, and I'm believing it, I'm speaking it as we end the December and 2021, that 2022 is going to be a year for victory for your life. And we're going to talk all year about how to have a victorious life in a lot of different ways. So don't miss January, by the way. We're starting off by how to have a victorious spiritual life, and we're going to be praying and fasting together. We got our First Wednesday at both campus is coming up, and we are just going to seek God, and just hunger after God.
Because listen, if we want to a victorious life, it has to start with having a victorious, spiritual life first because out of my relationship with God, everything else is going to come, and out of my relationship with God, if that's healthy and strong, and I am walking in victory in Christ, then guess what? I'm going to have victory in all the other areas of my life. Even if the circumstances don't show victorious, even if the circumstances are hard, I can still live victorious despite the circumstances. So I'm excited about 2022, I'm excited about ending this year. And so I want to jump into just a brief message to encourage us. And the title of today's message is simply this, victory. It's just victory. How do we end this year strong and start next year strong? I want to read a couple passages of scripture to you. Romans 8:37-39. Such a great passage of scripture that really speaks to the victorious mindset. So here we go.
Despite all these things, despite everything going in on our life, we can have overwhelming victory that is ours.
"I am sure that neither life nor death, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, and guess what? You can fill in anything else. So you could read that and, say, neither death or life, angels, rulers, present, past things. COVID, politics, job, relationships, health, doctors reports. None of that, none of that can take away the fact that you and I are more than conquerors through Christ."
And it says that none of that, none of that, and here it is, will separate us from the love God has for us in Christ Jesus.
Listen, there is nothing that can separate you from the love that God has for you. And with that love, we can have overwhelming victory in all areas of our life. So what area of your life right now, as you are ending 2021 going into 2022, what's an area of your life where you really are needing to pray for victory in? Maybe it's something you've been struggling with all year, maybe it's something that, well, maybe nobody else even knows about that you've been struggling with. Maybe it's something that you're seeing that's affecting you. Maybe it's fear, maybe it's stress or anxiety. Maybe it's some sin that you're wrestling with and struggling with. Whatever it is, can we just stand together and believe that, first of all, nothing's going to separate us from God's love for us. And secondly, that in all of these things that we're dealing with, we are more than conquerors in Christ. I like how it's worded. Despite all these things, we have overwhelming victory, and I'm going to be praying for you that you will have victory this year.
I want to go to the Old Testament for just a few moments in Jeremiah 1, just a couple verses there. In verse 5-9, it really speaks to our excuses and what God can actually do in our life this next year, if we'll allow him. So here we go, Jeremiah 1:5, God is speaking. And he says,
"I knew you before I formed you. Before you were born, you were set apart."
Let's just stop there for a moment. One of the reasons why you and I can have victory is because God formed us, we are made in his image. He knew you before you were even born. And of course, he's speaking to the prophet here. And he's saying, "Before you were born, I set you apart." And I could say the same for you and for me, that before we were born, God has ordained thing to do. Before we were born, God set us apart for a purpose and a reason.
Where you are, right now, today, how you're going to start 2022 is no accident. Could it be that God, before you're even born, has set you apart for something special as we end this year and start next year. But just like all of us and just like Jeremiah does, we kind of come with excuses. You might have a whole list of excuses of why you've not had a victorious 2021. Maybe already you're making excuses for why you might not have a good 2022. And I just want to tell you that, as we see, God just kind of deals with us where we are. And here's Jeremiah's excuse. So Jeremiah's excuse, he says,
"I can't speak for you," watch this, he says, "because I'm too young." Jeremiah's excuse for not wanting to do what God called him to do, he says, "I can't speak for you, God, I'm too young."
And again, I think that we could fill in that blank with something in our life. Maybe you're saying, "God, I can't be used by you," or, "I can't have a victorious year because," what? Maybe you feel like you're too young or maybe it's you feel like you're too old. Maybe you feel like you have too many other things going on in your life, maybe it's that you've not been a good person, maybe you've got a past, maybe you feel inadequate, maybe you feel like you don't have any gifts and talents, or whatever it is, whatever it is, I wonder how many times God's got victory for us. An overwhelming victory for us, that we are more than conquerors in Christ, and yet, we make excuses of why we're not victorious, or why we had a bad year, or why we're struggling.
I think often, we struggle and we get stuck, not because God hasn't given us victory, it's because we've made excuses of why we are stuck and why we can't.
So here's God's response to Jeremiah, by the way. God responds to Jeremiah.
And he says, "Don't say you're too young, just go where I send you. Don't say you're too young, just do what I tell you to do." And he continues and he says, "Don't be afraid of the people." And he says, in verse 9, "And I'm going to put my words in your mouth."
I want to give us a few takeaways today, as we wrap this up. I want to give us a few takeaways of how we can apply this in our life, how you can have a really solid end to your year, and how you can have a great start to 2022.
The first question takeaway is simply this. So I've already asked it, but I want to restate it.
Where in your life do you need to victory?
Where in your life, right now today, do you need to say, "God as I end this year and start next year, I need victory in this area of my life"? What is it? Call it out, say it. If you want to put it in the chat so we can pray on you, put it in the chat, let somebody know, write it down. What is it that God's saying to you, "Hey, I want to be victorious in your life in this area"? Because guess what? We all have them, I have them. In fact, I probably got definitely more than one area in my life where I'm hoping to be victorious in, going into next year. But I think we have to define that.
We have to define, "Okay, God, where am my life do I need to experience overwhelming victory? I know that you're not going to leave me, I know that nothing can separate me, but I still need victory in my life in a certain area." So what is that area that you need to have victory in? The second question is what is the excuse you've been making? So just like Jeremiah, what's the excuse that you're making? Again, are you saying that you're too young, too old, not talented enough, don't have enough money, don't have enough resources, aren't talented enough, don't have the right amount of friends? I mean, what is it? You've got too much sin in your life? Again, I think that we need to be clear, these are the excuses I've been making. Because really, truly, we know that God is for us. We know that God has already said that you are more than conquerors, that you have overwhelming victory. Nothing can separate us. So God's already done the work.
Jesus is already victorious by the way. I mean, we just got done celebrating Christmas. I mean, it's December 26th, it's still very real. It's still Christmas, I'm still playing Christmas music in my house. I am not taking down my decorations in my house. We don't take down our decorations until New Year's Day. Then New Year's Day, it's like, it's just gone. In a matter of an hour, everything's put away. But until that moment, we're still celebrating Christmas. And what does Christmas celebrate? Well, Christmas celebrates Jesus Emmanuel coming here, God becomes flesh as Jesus. But here's why, so that he would die as a man on a cross, that he would die for all of our sins, that Jesus would then go into the grave and then rise again victorious, so that you can have victory in your life. And I think sometimes, if we're struggling with victory in our life, it's like we're looking at the cross and we're looking at the empty tomb.
And maybe you feel like that's for somebody else or that's not for you. Maybe you're struggling with that. But I'm just here to remind you and tell you that, in that area of your life, where you need victory, don't make excuses of why you don't have it because it's right there for you to take, it's right there for you to grab a hold of. Another question is this, where's God directing you? Where's God directing you? Jeremiah, the reason why God was calling him is God was calling him to be a prophet. And of course he made excuses. And then God said, "Hey, just go where I tell you to go." Could it be that part of your victorious life this year is that you just have to be obedient to where God is telling you to go? Maybe that comes in the form of going a minister to somebody in your neighborhood, maybe it's something at work. Maybe God's calling you to go serve somewhere in the church, maybe God's calling you to start a new habit.
Listen, we all know what's going to happen on January 1st. January 1st, everybody's going to come out of the gate, strong, with new habits and a new lifestyle, and people are going to make all these resolutions for the year, and they're going to take strides and everybody's going to go in so excited. In fact, as we wrap up Christmas, some of you are probably getting rid of everything in your house, you're going to eat all the bad food before January 1st, you're going to get everything done, out of your system. And you're going to start a new habit January 1st. And I hope that it works for you, I hope it works all year for you. But could it be that God is also calling you to do something more next year. Maybe God's calling you to practice generosity more next year, maybe he's calling you to serve more somewhere next year. Maybe he's calling you to slow down a little bit next year, maybe he's calling some of you to pray and fast with us, to start the year off, to set your spiritual life.
Maybe some of you need to slow down enough just to be quiet long enough to hear God.
Some of you might need to prioritize your family more, or your life more, or your health more. So where is God saying, "Hey, this is the area I want to be victorious in your life in. Don't make excuses, I want just to go and do this"? And God gave Jeremiah a few closing remarks that I think are very helpful for us as we kind of close off the final Sunday of this year. God reminds him that he is with Jeremiah. He says, "I will be with you." And listen, God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God who told Jeremiah he's with him is the same God that is telling you right now that he's with you. He's not going to leave you, he's not going to forsake you. Jesus promised to be with us.
In fact, he sent the Holy Spirit to us. Part of the reason was to be with us, to equip us, to empower us, to walk with us, to give us counsel, to give us wisdom, to give conviction, and his way hasn't left us. So wherever you need victory in your life in, just know that God's with you, that he hasn't left you, and he is with us. God also challenges Jeremiah. And he says this, he says, "I will protect you and I will provide for you." I mean, that's pretty big. He said, "I'll protect you and I'll provide for you." He said, "Don't fear people. I'll provide, I'll protect." Sometimes in our life, as we step out to live a victorious life, it's going to require faith. And as we know, faith is the substance of things not seen, it's being hopeful in things we don't know. It's taking that step into the unknown, trusting that God's going to be there. And that gets scary.
Again, I think sometimes the reason why we don't have victory is maybe our faith is shaken, maybe we have not enough faith to take that step forward. But here's the encouraging thing, the Bible also says that all you need is the faith the size of a mustard seed, and you can tell that mountain to move. And so I want to encourage you that if God's with you, if God's going to provide for you, if God's going to protect you, then you and I can walk in faith. We can take that next step tomorrow, in faith, knowing that God is going to be there all along the way. And finally, as he told Jeremiah, just a reminder for us as we close out, and that's simply this, that God has created you, and that God is for you. God created you and he's for you. Just like he told Jeremiah, "Listen, I knew you before you were ever created," God knew you before you were ever created. He knows you, he's with you, he's guiding you.
So church family, as we close up, I want to pray for you. And I just want to pray that you will not only end this year great and strong, but I'm going to pray that you step into January 1 with overwhelming victory. I pray that you will walk forward in that victory, I pray that you will have a victorious year. I pray that God will speak to you, that God will lead you and direct you, that you'll be encouraged that he's for us, he's not against us. That we be encouraged that nothing can separate us from his love, that we are encouraged that we have overwhelming victory in him. And so right now, wherever you are, would you just close your eyes and would you just extend your hands out and just receive this from me as we wrap up the final Sunday of 2021.
Let's pray, Father, right now, in Jesus' name, I pray for everybody watching, whether they're watching alone, whether they're watching with couples or with families, whether they're watching this right now on December 26th, or whether they're watching it some other time throughout the week, or even in the year. God, I pray that we would receive that victory you have for us. I pray right now for every person watching, that as they end 2021, that they would be encouraged to step into victory into 2022. Lord, we are overwhelming, victorious people in Christ. Nothing can separate us from that, nothing can separate us from your love, and we have that victory, more than conquering victory in you. So we receive that right now. I pray for our church family, that as we start next year, that we will start hungry for you, walking close to you, living a victorious life in you. In Jesus' name. Amen.