With the coming of the victorious life will be the power to live in spite of. Many of us know the power to live on account of, but not in spite of.
When our surroundings are favourable, and life is with us, we go on. But life is not like that always. It often turns rough. And then we are tested to the depths. If our faith is but an echo of our surroundings then it will fade out. But if it is real it will then speak from the depths.
Before finding the victorious life the disciples were at the mercy of many of their circumstances. Afterwards they were the masters of them. They learned how to mould life instead of being moulded by it.
There are three kinds of Christians : the row-boat type, the sail-boat type and the steam-boat type. The row-boat type is the type that is humanistic, self-dependent, trying to get on with its own resources. But as those resources are limited, the progress is limited. The sail-boat type depends on the winds. They are the people who are dependent on circumstances — the other-dependent ones. If the winds are with them, if people are constantly complimenting them and encouraging them, they get on. But if the patting on the back stops, they stop. They are circumstance-conditioned. Not very dependable Christians.
Then there is the steam-boat type — those who have power on the inside — and they go on whether winds are favourable or unfavourable. It is true they go on faster when there is a helping wind, but nevertheless they go on, wind or no wind. They have an inner adequacy. They are not self-dependent, nor circumstance-dependent, but Christ-dependent. They are dependable.
This power to go on when life is dead against us is the deepest necessity of our lives. In victorious living this becomes a working fact. — E. Stanley Jones in “Victorious Living” (1936).