through His Word
by Katy Kauffman
Words give us hope. So do fighting spirits. Winston Churchill had both. In the dark days of World War II, Britain needed a leader who could rally them and lead them to victory.
Within the first year of the war, King George VI appointed Churchill as Britain’s prime minister. The British and French had been unsuccessful in saving Norway from Nazi occupation. Poland had already been invaded by the Germans and the Soviets, and divided between the two powers. On the day Churchill took office, Germany invaded France and three other western neighbors.1
Six weeks later, France surrendered. Yet Churchill possessed the fire and the courage to keep his sights on victory and to embolden his people to do the same.
In his first speech as prime minister, Churchill laid out the battle plan: “Victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terror. Victory however long and hard the road may be. For without victory there is no survival.”2
The determination of Churchill and his people not to surrender drove Great Britain to survive the German air assault, which targeted the Royal Air Force and England’s southern cities. In the Battle of Britain, Hitler’s objective to destroy Britain’s air power and demoralize its people failed, and so did his plan to invade the country.
But even with Great Britain winning this victory, most of Europe was still under Nazi control. More victories needed to be won. So Churchill bolstered the strength of his people by telling them not to quit, not to stop, not to give in, no matter how formidable the enemy seemed. In his speech at Harrow School on October 29, 1941, he charged them:
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”3
No matter how fierce the enemy seems—when fear cripples us, anger enrages us, or selfishness possesses us; when adversity crushes us, opposition hounds us, or temptation plagues us—God is greater. In our own strength, we may be no match for the spiritual forces fighting against us, but those forces are overwhelmingly feeble compared to God’s awesome power and might.
We don’t have to give in. In Christ “we are more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37). When we operate “in Christ”—abiding in Him, following Him, and trusting Him—we “gain a surpassing victory”4 because we’re depending on the One who loves us perfectly and holds us in His hand. “Victory at all costs … in spite of all terror … however long and hard the road may be”—this is what’s possible for us. In Christ, we win. We survive. We excel.
If you’re going through a hard time right now, don’t see these days as “dark days.” See them as “great days,” as days of opportunity. After he gave the charge to never give in, Winston Churchill called on the people to see those days of war not as dark but as great, and to take the opportunity to make those days memorable for good.
“These are not dark days; these are great days—the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.”5
We each have a station, a part to play in making these days memorable in our generation. Each generation has its own testimonies of courage and victory. May this generation be no different. The difficulties we endure for the sake of God’s calling pale in comparison to the glories God is working in us and for those around us (Rom 8:18). How do we see these days as “great days”? Based on the passages and principles of 2 Timothy, here are some keys to turning dark days into great days:
- Remember the big picture—what we’re fighting for (2 Tim 1:1,10-11; 2:10, 17-18, 21, 24-26; 4:2, 17).
- Depend on God and His power in this moment and every moment (2 Tim 1:8; 2:1; 4:17).
- Continue in the truth, remembering God’s promises, heeding His warnings, and sharing the life-giving message of the gospel (2 Tim 3:14; 4:2).
The time we have on earth is an opportunity. We have the awesome privilege of holding high the torch of the gospel, so that as many people as possible can see its light and feel its warmth. We have the chance to show how God’s grace can carry us through any trial, how His presence can bring us perfect peace, and how His love can sustain us when we feel like giving up. These are great days, days to experience God’s power and help on a personal level, and to see Him enable us to do things we can’t do on our own. Don’t give in now. There are more victories that need to be won.
If we know that God’s power enables us to face any obstacle, how does that change our perspective of a troubling time? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
1 Elizabeth Raum, World War II: An Interactive History Adventure (Mankato: Minn.: Capstone Press, 2009), 106.
2 Winston Churchill, “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat,” The Churchill Centre and Museum at the Churchill War Rooms, London, last modified October 8, 2012, accessed November 3, 2012, http://www.winstonchurchill.org/learn/speeches/quotations/.
3 Winston Churchill, “Never Give In,” The Churchill Centre and Museum at the Churchill War Rooms, London, accessed August 15, 2012, http://www.winstonchurchill.org/learn/speeches/speeches-of-winston-churchill/103-never-give-in.
4 Larry Pierce, The Online Bible, CD-ROM (Winterbourne, Ontario: Larry Pierce, 2007), Romans 8:37.
5 Winston Churchill, “Never Give In.”
Copyright © 2013 by Katy Kauffman, 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory, (Buford, Georgia: Lighthouse Bible Studies, 2013), 197-200. Adapted for LighthouseBibleStudies.com.
What spiritual battles are you facing? What victory do you need to win? 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory shows how to win life’s spiritual battles with God’s help. As the apostle Paul passed strategies of victory to Timothy, his son in the faith, God is passing them to us today.
This was one of my favorite books to write, and it was my first one. I still need the principles from this short but powerful book of the Bible, and I pray you are encouraged and strengthened daily by God’s Word as you fight your spiritual battles. Victory is possible because God makes it possible!
victory, adversity, 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies