How is your new year shaping up? Hopefully your days seem bright even though the weather is wacky. Or are you embroiled in problems not of your own choosing; maybe feeling down because of physical or financial challenges?
I don’t know about you, but I feel my wings were clipped the first month of the year. While I delight to soar above trials and obstacles, this winter has brought physical problems grounding my body and emotions. Still, there’s a positive: I’m confronted anew with my need for God’s intervention and healing.
Isn’t that what our faith walk is all about? Dependence on God.
When we acknowledge our total need for Him, our hearts are opened to His Spirit and His will, and true fellowship flourishes. God created us for relationship, and when we’re self-satisfied or self-absorbed we don’t readily engage Him.
Jesus addressed God as “Father” and taught us to seek Him in the same way. Though I often pray for Him to remove the challenges in my life, like other loving fathers, He usually chooses to help me through the trials rather than eliminate obstacles. That’s when my trust increases as He proves He is sufficient for my needs. Then I can overcome in His strength, not my own puny efforts.
Overcome. Now there’s a word worthy of our attention.
The opposite of overwhelm, overcome means to “successfully deal with, or gain control of something difficult.” The online Merriam-Webster dictionary places the word overcome in the top 30% of most popular words. In my life, it means to not only survive, but come out stronger and better.
This is what scripture says in 1 John, verses 4 and 5:
“… for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
Overcoming means never forgetting that God loves us, and nothing can separate us from His purposes. Overcoming means focusing on eternal truth instead of getting bogged down in temporal problems. Overcoming means depending on Jesus to help us in all things. And overcoming brings rewards!
The Book of Revelation is full of promises for those who overcome by faith. Indeed, those who hold to their faith until the end of their days will be given: a white stone with a new name, some hidden manna, the right to eat of the Tree of Life, authority over the nations, and the promise that their name will never be blotted out of the Book of Life, just to mention a few.
Revelation 12:11 tells us that by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony we will be victorious. Also, we should not love our lives so much that we would shrink from death. With God’s help, we can testify to His goodness and be willing to sacrifice on behalf of others. Only by dependence on God can we truly overcome.