- “Victory belongs to the most persevering.”
- “The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided.”
- “Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.”
Sage wisdom. Excellent advice we’d all do well to heed. It’s not biblical, but it’s sound and helpful. These words came from Napoleon Bonaparte, who commanded the French army by 26 and by the age of 30 declared himself Emperor of France. Let’s look at his life lessons according to the numbering above.
#1 – Phil. 4:13 puts it this way: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Solomon reminds us in Eccl 9:11: The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.” To which Paul adds, “Run in such a way that you may obtain it [the crown of life] (1 Cor. 9:24). To those who stay the course in Christ, there will be victory.
#2-I’m reminded of the “evil report” of the 10 faithless spies: We were in their own sight as grasshoppers. The children of Israel suffered dearly because they were tormented by precautions far beyond the dangers, and ended up worse by wandering 40 more years in the wilderness.
#3-Jesus said in Luke 18:27, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” As Napoleon observed, the fool sees impossibilities, but that those with faith see the sure hope of “what we do not see” (Heb. 11:1).
Yep, Napoleon was one smart guy. He was even biblical without perhaps knowing it; that is until his ill-fated invasion of Russia which resulted in the annihilation of the French army and ultimate exile. Beware, even the smart ones go down to defeat when they fail to seek the Lord and proceed with ambition alone.