On 21st April 1926 the Royal Family welcomed an addition, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. The princess came to the throne at an early age. Her uncle had abdicated dramatically and her father had died unexpectedly and that unusual sequence of events constituted her Queen Elizabeth II. From then until now, she has reigned over the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms with energy and dignity.
Already she is the world’s oldest monarch, and in 2015 she became the longest-reigning British head of state. Now, on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday we join with the nation in expressing our very best wishes. These are summarised in the anthem that is frequently sung in her honour;
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen.
“GOD save the Queen”.
Many high-profile people have airbrushed God from their lives, but throughout her long reign, Her Majesty has acknowledged that there is a Power that is superior to human status or celebrity. The attitude of many political figures is, “We don’t do God”; that has never featured in her thinking. In various Christmas messages, heard by millions, she has unashamedly acknowledged the value of Jesus Christ, the One described in the Bible as the “KING OF KINGS”. To quote; “This is the time of year when we remember that God sent His only Son to serve, not to be served” (2014). “God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general (important though they are) – but a Saviour with the power to forgive” (2011). “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life” (2012).
The birth of that KING OF KINGS was so humble in comparison to hers; ninety years ago, she was born in comfortable surroundings in Mayfair in London; He was laid in a manger. She has lived to the age of 90; to use the words of the Bible, He was “cut off” in His early thirties, His death on a cross being a sacrifice for our sins.
“God SAVE the Queen”.
The necessity for spiritual salvation is the basic need of humanity, royal or commoner, rich or poor. “We must be saved” (Acts 4.12). Our personal sin has alienated us from God, and placed us under sentence of eternal judgment. We require salvation from that judgment, and it is available to everyone whatever their background. “Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10.13).
When the national anthem speaks of her being “victorious, happy and glorious”, this expresses our wishes for Her Majesty, but doubtless it also expresses our desire for the subjects of the realm over which she reigns. Can we individually experience that kind of life?
In the world of sport, many emerge as champions. Wars produce their conquerors. In competitions someone comes out on top. But in every sphere victors are losers, for in each human life sin is the inevitable winner. To a greater or lesser degree, its habits are out of control; temper, lies, blasphemy, unfaithfulness, jealousy, gossip, addictions, and so the list goes on. The Lord Jesus spoke about mankind’s slavery to sin, and He alone can give the victory. Those who believe on Him can claim the Bible’s promises, “Sin shall not have dominion over you” (Romans 6.14). “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8.36). Victory replaces defeat
As situations change, human happiness ebbs and flows. To those who trust Him, Christ imparts a quiet contentment that is independent of the shifting circumstances of life. It comes with the forgiveness of sins. To quote the Bible again; “Blessed (happy) are they whose iniquities are forgiven” (Romans 4.7). The need for God’s forgiveness is universal, for “all the world” is “guilty before God” (Romans 3.19). Welcome this good news then; the Bible states that God is “ready to forgive” (Psalm 86.5). He not only has the willingness to do it, but He can do it without violating His justice. That is because His Son Jesus Christ died on a cross as “a sacrifice for sins” and then rose from the dead (Hebrews 10.26). His life was given to atone for our sins. As a result of Christ’s sufferings and death, God offers pardon. “Whoever believes in him shall receive remission (forgiveness) of sins” (Acts 10.43). Have you ever believed on Him? Happiness and peace are part of the package that accompanies forgiveness. The Lord said to a woman whose sins He had just forgiven, “Go in peace” (Luke 7.37-50).
A victorious happy life will inevitably be glorious in contrast to the low-level living that seems to be the norm. However, the ultimate in glory is reserved for eternity. The journey of life leads to a destination and for those who believe in Christ that terminus is heaven, to enjoy all the glory associated with such a place of bliss. The Saviour Himself spoke of that eternal glory, but He also warned of hell. Many wilfully reject God’s offer of forgiveness and leave Him with no alternative but to inflict deserved punishment for their sins. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Hebrews 2.3). Where is the journey of life taking you, heaven or hell? Your destiny is determined by your attitude to the Saviour of sinners. Willingly receive Christ by repentance and faith and all will be well. Reject Him and you endanger your soul.
Victorious, happy, glorious; these are aspirations that we still have for Her Gracious Majesty as she enters a new decade of her life. Reader, we pray God that you will experience each of them in a spiritual sense through faith in Christ, victory over sin, the joy of forgiveness and the eternal glory of being with Christ in eternity.