THESE words from a hymn are both encouraging and challenging: ``...during the battle the victory claim.''1 Isn't that being a bit presumptuous or premature? Doesn't the battle have to be fought to the finish before the winner can be determined? Not according to the Bible. Both the Old and the New Testament bring out the importance of expecting good, of siding with victory despite overwhelming challenges. In Deuteronomy, for example, Moses tells the children of Israel: ``When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.''2 And from the New Testament: ``Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.''3
The Master, Christ Jesus, waged and won many battles against sin and disease, and even death. He gave full credit for these victories to the true and only source of power -- the one God. Likewise, modern-day disciples, striving to emulate Jesus' example in healing the sick, base their ability to do so not on human confidence, ability, or power but on the supreme power of God and on an understanding of His constant care for man.
I once battled with an ear infection that went on for some time, involving pain, sleepless nights, and temporary loss of hearing. But never was there really any doubt in my mind about the outcome. I had experienced numerous healings through spiritual means. A study of the four Gospels during this time served to reveal more of how Jesus healed. I saw the importance of destroying fear, purifying thought, and striving to see beyond the bodily evidence to the reality of man as God made him, to the truth of my perfect spiritual selfhood.
When I woke up one morning to hear birds singing, I knew the victory had been achieved. The pain was gone and so was the problem. Later on, someone asked, ``But didn't the ear have to drain first?'' This gave me an opportunity to explain that Christian Science sees sickness as neither solid reality nor as something that can only disappear in stages but as that which can be dissolved through the power of God and His Christ. Yes, it seems that sickness is a material condition that would be removed through material means. But we begin to see that there's a much deeper issue at hand as we realize that God is the only power and He never created sickness.
Healing in Christian Science impels a change in one's thinking. As we yield through prayer to the divine Mind, God, and to the reality of man's spiritual wholeness as His offspring, the unchanging divine law of harmony becomes apparent on the body. The spiritually based thinking that claims victory even during the most challenging battle confidently does so from the clear understanding that God is the only power and that our real being is His unchanging, perfect image.
From a materialistic viewpoint, life's battles continue. But understanding through prayer that the victory is assured is infinitely more than wishful thinking. It's an antidote to fear, discouragement, and other symptoms of battle fatigue. Whatever the current challenge appears to be, an important first step on the path toward victory is to claim victory on the Scriptural basis of the oneness and allness of God, good.
Claiming victory during the battle requires both courage and trust -- courage to look beyond outward appearances and trust in God's prevailing law of harmony.
In a message to her Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``Through Christ, Truth, divine metaphysics points the way, demonstrates heaven here, -- the struggle over, and victory on the side of Truth.''4 Until that ultimate goal is demonstrated in individual experience, we can trustfully continue to side with victory in the midst of any battle. We can choose to win!
1Christian Science Hymnal, No. 204. 2Deuteronomy 20:1. 3I John 5:4. 4Message to The Mother Church for 1902, p. 6. - NO BIBLE VERSE TODAY -