“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”

// 2 Corinthians 2:14

There’s so much more to a fragrance than meets the nose. Think about a time when you wore your favorite cologne or smelled someone else’s perfume. A scent can leave a lasting impression on those that cross our paths and can trigger memories of cherished times or special loved ones in our lives.

In 2 Corinthians 2:14, Paul speaks of a powerful fragrance that stimulates more than just our sense of smell. The “triumphal procession” that he references is the sweet smell of victory that we have in Christ. The victory was won when Christ defeated sin and death to bring us life. Jesus came “that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)” [John 10:10].

When life throws us lemons…we make a citrus fragrance that smells like the victory of Christ! During hardships, it’s easy to forget that we are more than conquerors, through Him who loved us [Romans 8:37]. Christ did not conquer sin and death for us to be a prisoner of our pasts, for us to be swallowed up by fear of the future, or for us to fall victim to our current circumstances.

The mighty weapons of praise and worship will allow this fragrance to permeate through our lives. It smells like praising God when it feels like the walls of depression are closing in on us. It smells like singing a song of praise even when illness afflicts us. A few minutes of listening to a favorite worship song before heading to work, or even a quiet prayer of thanks on a crowded subway, releases a scent that can transform a situation and usher in miracles.

In Acts 16, we see that Paul and Silas were severely beaten and thrown in prison. With no food, blood flowing from their wounds, and feet shackled to dirty prison chains, they still sang praises to God. This act of praise released the aroma of Christ’s victory and “at once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” [Acts 16:26]. Paul and Silas were immediately freed from their chains – hallelujah!

We musn't let the chains of depression, shame, fear, disappointment, failure, the opinions of others, and circumstances shackle us. Christ fought for us. We are enough. We can push into the victory of the cross and inhale the sweet aroma that’s available for us today.

// Rasheeda Winfield