Why the enemy seems victorious--
To understand this, we should remember, firstly, that God's children usually, in their troubles, overcome by suffering. Here lambs overcome lions, and doves eagles, by suffering, that herein they may be conformable to Christ, who conquered most when he suffered most.
Together with Christ's kingdom of patience there was a kingdom of power.
Secondly, this victory is by degrees, and therefore they are too hasty-spirited that would conquer as soon as they strike the first stroke, and be at the end of their race at the first setting forth. The Israelites were sure of their victory in the journey to Canaan, yet they must fight it out. God would not have us quickly forget what cruel enemies Christ has overcome for us.
"Slay them not, lest my people forget," says the Psalmist (Psa. 59:11 ), so that, by experience of that annoyance we have by them, we might be kept in fear to come under their power.
God often works by contraies: when he means to give victory, he will allow us to be foiled at first; when he means to comfort, her will terrify first; when he means to justify, he will condemn us first; when he means to make us glorious, he will abase us first. A Christian conquers, even when he is conquered. When he is conquered by some sins, he gets victory over others more dangerous, such as spiritual pride and security."
Richard Sibbes 1620