Whenever I hear Hello Hurricane by Switchfoot I always get the same image in my head: I’m standing on top of a hill in a raging storm and yelling the song out in sheer defiance of the elements. As the lyrics go: “Hello hurricane, you’re not enough, Hello hurricane you can’t silence my love.” This nicely leads me onto the topic I have in mind: the justified defiance of a Christian against everything and by that I mean that faced with all the storms, troubles, futilities, worries and suffering of life the Christian can be justifiably defiant against them all. For in Christ we are granted victory over all things and he will see us through all things and not a single thing can prevent a Christian from reaching glory.
To prove this point I’m going to go through a few of the biggest ‘hurricanes’ life in this world throws at us and show how through Christ we can be defiant against them for they hold nothing that can tear us from his side. I must make it quite clear from the start that this defiance only applies to Christians, without Christ the hurricanes of life tear down and destroy; a life without Christ is a futile existence and has no hope. But for a Christian, for a child of God, for one who has put their faith in Christ, there is all the hope in the world.
Defiance against Death
“"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15 v 55 – 57
In Corinthians 15 Paul talks about the resurrection of Jesus and then goes on to talk about our resurrection with him. In concluding the chapter he writes the above as a taunt against death. For if a Christian truly grasps his destiny then not only does he see that he has nothing to fear from death he can go a step forward and taunt death!
For death could not hold Jesus Christ, in his resurrection his triumph over death was shown clearly to all people. And if death could not hold Christ then it has no hold over us. Death comes to us as a result of sin for ‘the wages of sin are death’ (Romans 6 v 23) but through Christ then death is transformed from something to fear to being the gateway into heaven; the transition from time to eternity hold no fear for a Christian for Jesus waits for by the gates of heaven ready to welcome us in to his kingdom. He will see us safely home; not a single one of his people fail to make it, what then has the Christian to fear? Through Jesus Christ he conquers even death itself and gains eternal life.
Defiance against sin
“If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires... For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”
Romans 6 v 5 – 12, 14
As Paul writes: sin is not our master but we are under grace! Thus, while a Christian will in this life sin and give way to temptation, feel the fierceness of the battle between his flesh and the Spirit, may backslide giving way to gross sin, will always find it hard to obey God and be regularly appalled at the waywardness and coldness of his affections to God yet can he still claim to have victory over sin, yet can he still face it with defiance.
For while a Christian may be in the bitter process of overcoming sin there will come a day when that sin is overcome! A Christian is dead to sin and alive in Christ, that is a Christian feels the deadness of his sin and the life that is found in Christ. As Paul explains all Christians share in Christ’s death and resurrection and so the old self was crucified with Christ and the Christian gains life through his resurrection.
Today, a Christian will know the struggle with sin and know the failure that comes with it. But by degrees he is being more and more conformed to the likeness of Christ and so he can be defiant against sin – it was no hold over him. But even more incredible than this is that in heaven the Christian will not sin at all. For when Christians reach glory we are made anew and every inclination to sin is removed and perfection is finally reached. This is the confidence of a Christian, his sinful self died on the cross with Christ and he will one day be made perfect in glory. Thus: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1 v 6)
Defiance against persecution
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven,”
Matthew 5 v 10 – 11
It is often the lot of Christians to be persecuted in this life for the world which hated Christ hates his people. It is of no surprise when Christians suffer insult and pain because of their faith in Christ. And here Jesus says that blessed, happy, are those who are persecuted because of righteousness. The reason why he says his people will be happy under such persecution is that the Christian is looking forward to heaven. For in heaven there is no more pain or suffering but blissful communion with God. Thus the people of God can face persecution with defiance for it will be made up in the life which is to come!
Defiance against suffering
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8 v 28
The final area of defiance I will deal with, although not the last, is that of suffering. Yes, even in suffering of any kind: illness, famine, heartbreak, loss of any kind, any type of suffering, the Christian can still be defiant. For through Christ all our suffering is sanctified to us! The end result of all trials and afflictions is a greater degree of holiness. This allows a Christian to face suffering, feel every pain, and yet still have this defiant hope that it is winning for him a harvest of righteousness.
“Hello hurricane, you’re not enough; hello hurricane you can’t silence my love” Of course it can’t! Christ died for me, he rose and conquered death and sin, through him all things work for my good and he has hold of me, he will not let me go, he will see me home to glory. Now, I can face all the hurricanes of life, even death itself, and be defiant in the face of them all for through Christ I more than conquer all things!
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8 v 31 - 39