When Jacob was blessing his sons (Genesis 49), he said this of his seventh son: 'Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last' (verse 19). I have no idea why this text came into my mind, but there it was. Spiritualizing this verse, which is what I hope to do, really only works with the KJV and kindred versions.
I pictured Gad as overwhelmed with sorrows and difficulties, but in the end, surmounting them all, as 'more than conqueror' (Romans 8:37). All the people of God meet troops of daunting troubles before they reach their desired haven (see Psalm 107:30). 'We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God' (Acts 14:22).
These troubles threaten many times to overcome us completely. If it were not for the upholding grace of God, we would sink, never to rise again. But, somehow, our heads are held above the overwhelming waves, and we are enabled to continue.
What I mean by the 'happy case of Gad', however, is that 'he shall overcome at the last'. The saints gain the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. They are more than conquerors through him that loved them. They are victors through Christ alone. All the daunting difficulties work together for their everlasting good (Romans 8:28).
The best thing of all is that this is true 'at the last'. That is when these Gads triumph. Their overcoming is ultimate. 'At the last': there is nothing beyond that but the song of victory. How wonderful this is! We must struggle, but the ultimate victory is certain, because Christ has triumphed. Lord, let me be like Gad, and my last end like his!
Stand up, stand up for Jesus!
The strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle;
The next the victors' song.
To him that overcometh
A crown of life shall be,
He with the King of Glory
Shall reign eternally.