It’s an interesting and thorny word that has a unique meaning to the Christian.
Let’s examine what it means to overcome and place it in context as we look at our role of functioning in this world that is presenting more and more challenges to believers.
Merriam-Webster tells us that overcome means “to successfully deal with or gain control of something difficult,” or “to gain superiority.”
That kind of sounds like the Christian life, doesn’t it? We, as followers of Christ, must daily lean on our Lord to successfully deal with a seemingly constant stream of difficulties, temptations, sorrows and disappointments that life brings.
I have written before on the importance of Christian maturity and I think that it is a key ingredient to being able to overcome, for Christ’s glory, even in the most difficult of times.
Overcoming is virtually impossible, however, without God being in control of our lives. If He is not, we face the distinct possibility of failing ourselves, failing our families and, most importantly, failing Him.
In Romans 12:21 (NKJV), we read this: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
How do we ensure that we are doing “good”? Psalm 34:8 has the answer: “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”
If we want to be overcomers in this life, we must trust Him and be about the business of honoring Him in all that we do. All too often I hear of people being “mad at God.” Instead, we must trust that He has our greater good in mind even when we face tough trials.
I Corinthians 15:57 says this: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
You know, as a pastor, I sometimes see some Christians living out their faith in good times, but when tough times come, they drift off course. They look to themselves for answers instead of running to the Lord for their strength. When we lose our perspective and our priority of being servants of Christ, we run the real risk of never being able to overcome the challenges that will come our way.
And those challenges will surely come.
As my dad used to say, everyone is presently within one of three situations: (1) they are facing a trial, (2) they have just come through a trial, or (3) a trial is awaiting them just around the corner.
That’s life. It’s tough and it’s unpredictable.
The situations of life hurt so badly sometimes and we all come to those points where we feel adrift within ourselves. I’ve been there.
It’s not easy, but we must overcome. And God has equipped us to overcome!
So the question arises: what are you facing that you need to overcome?
Do you have a fear of tomorrow? II Timothy 1:7 reminds us that “… God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Do you have a fear of sin and its pull on you? Zechariah 4:6 has a message for you: “‘…Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
Do you have a fear for your family’s spiritual well-being? Keep them in your prayers and ask God to give you a spirit of faith in His work. Psalm 62:5 gives us these encouraging words: “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.”
No matter what you need to overcome, Christ is there and His Word will be your guide (Psalm 119:105).
You know, the world doesn’t want you to overcome; it wants you to be a victim and to blame everyone else for your troubles. More and more, the world runs from God and endorses man’s flawed and empty wisdom.
God, however, wants us to overcome it all, to thrive and live joyously in Him by understanding and doing His will. He wants to help us, just as He helped the prophets of old, the Apostles, the early church, and so many great Christian leaders through the centuries. You matter just as much to Him!
The God who loves you and lives within you wants to draw you out of whatever it is you are facing today so that you can, as Isaiah 40:31 says, have your strength renewed and so that you’ll soar “with wings like eagles.”
Don’t stay grounded, dear friends. Renew your strength in Christ and be of good cheer. Allow God to help you to overcome.
Your friend in Christ,