David Hemery was a member of the 1968 British Olympic team. He was scheduled to run the 400-metres hurdles against a group that included the world record holder. In fact, five of his competitors had clocked faster times than he did.

            Halfway through the race he was surprised to find himself passing some of the stronger runners. Eventually he didn’t see anyone in his peripheral vision.

            As he crossed the finish line, he didn’t know who had won the race. “Suddenly,” Hemery wrote, “I saw Peter Lorenzo, the BBC commentator, running towards me across the track. He shoved a microphone in my hand. My first comment was: ‘Did I win?’” He did, setting a new world record in the 400-metres hurdles.[1]

            Hemery’s  race was a very short time—48.12 seconds. But when he crossed the finish line, he had no awareness of his victory. All he knew was that he was gasping for breath without a clue as to who won.

            There’s a lesson for us in that experience: We should not live our Christian life as if we are unaware of the victory that is ours!


Certainty of Victory

            Life is full of examples of “winners” without a clue. Sometimes people are living on top of a natural resource beneath their property—they are wealthy without knowing it. Sometimes people buy a raffle ticket to help a worthy cause, then lose the ticket because they never anticipate winning—and they do.

            Are we claiming the victory that is ours in Jesus Christ?

            What if David Hemery had been shown a video of himself winning beforehand? What difference would the certainty of victory have made? He still would have had to practice, but the knowledge of ultimate victory would have given context to everything he did to secure the victory. The pain and difficulty of training, even the exertion of running the race, would have taken on new meaning. Certainty of victory makes all the difference in how we run the race.

            As Christians, we have something no athlete has—a certain knowledge of how our race ends. We know that victory is ours. The apostle Paul said, “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26).


Victory Is Ours

            The New Testament’s most powerful words about our victory over eternal death are tied to Christ’s victory over His death through the Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15). If Christ wasn’t victorious over death, neither would we. But since Christ was raised from the dead, so will all who belong to Him by faith (1 Corinthians 15:14-19). Victory is ours because He has already won!


Victory by Faith

            Satan wants nothing more than to convince us that we don’t have the victory, that the race is lost, that God has changed the plan. And it’s when we believe those lies that we begin to have lapses in our judgement, living, and trust in God.

            The Bible is clear that the victory is ours. It is also clear about how we ought to live in victory: “And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4). That’s another way of saying what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:7: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Everything in the Christian life comes back to faith, for it is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

            So if we have victory in Christ to overcome the world and faith is the means to that victory, How do we increase our faith? By being loyal in the fundamentals of our faith: believing the promises of God (2 Peter 1:4), obeying the statutes of God (2 Corinthians 10:5), wearing the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), and living for the glory of God in all that we do (1 Corinthians 10:31). Neither sin, the world, nor the devil will have any possibility of destroying the reality of victory in Christ if you walk by faith.

            You’re already walking in the victory Christ has won for you. Perhaps today is the day for you to claim the victory that is yours.



David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the founder and host of Turning Point for God. For more information about Dr. Jeremiah or Turning Point, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.

[1] David Hemery, “David Hemery: ‘I didn’t know I had won, let alone beaten the world record,’” Independent, June 12, 2012, http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olympics/david-hemery-i-didnt-know-i-had-won-let-alone-beaten-the-world-record-7836933.html.