When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck 1,000 men…….And he was very thirsty, and he called upon the Lord and said, “You have granted this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and shall I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised? Judges 15:14 and 18. Samson, the super strong indefatigable judge chosen by God to save Israel from the philistines, just killed 1,000 enemy with the jawbone—triumph. Then he got so thirsty that he whined about “dying of thirst—the humbling.
Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 1 Kings 19: 1-3. Elijah, with God’s help, had just vanquished 400 prophets of the false idol of Baal, and then outran the evil king Ahab’s chariot—triumph. But once Ahab’s even more evil wife Jezebel threatened him, he cowered and split town —the humbling.
But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. The triumph. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” The humbling. Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:26-31.
Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. – Matthew 26:33-35. As we know, Peter’s declaration of triumph didn’t survive the first punch in the face (thanks, Mike Tyson), he denied Jesus three times, but after the resurrection came the true triumph, which Jesus previewed when testing the apostles about his true identity. He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16:15-19.
Charles Spurgeon writes, “Dear child of God, if after great mercy you are laid very low, your case is not an unusual one. You must expect to feel weakest when you are enjoying your greatest triumph. The road of sorrow is the road to heaven, but there are wells of refreshing water all along the route.” God alone is sovereign over your triumphs and trials, and when you might be puffed up over a triumph, God will humble you, so that you know whose victory it really is. The victory is always the Lord’s. The consequences of giving yourself the glory instead of God are not trifling. On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to the people (of Tyre and Sidon). And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. Acts 12:21-23.
Or what happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” Daniel 4:28-32.
GIVE GOD THE GLORY FOR YOUR TRIUMPHS AND YOUR HUMBLING!