Tag Archives: trouble

World Conqueror

How can we overcome the world?

I am not talking about military force.

Image by Thanasis Papazacharias from Pixabay

The Apostle John, in his first letter, explains it to us.

“…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 the one who believes that Jesus is the son of God.” (1 John 5:4-5 NIV)

From my Anglican upbringing I remember we have to renounce the world, the flesh and the devil. We mostly understand the flesh and the devil, but where does the world fit in?

We live in a fallen world, ruled by Satan, and it is easy to be conquered by it. When we succumb to the world’s way of thinking and doing things, we are overcome by the world. When we lose our temper and swear at the computer, or kick the dog because everything went wrong in our day, or succumb to despondency or anger because we have had a run of bad luck, the world has the upper hand. When we repay evil for evil, the world has conquered us.

When I was still working, I had the use of a slow, problematic computer. I am also not the best computer operator. I used to play a game with myself. If the computer changed my mood or caused me to be grumpy, it was one point to the computer. If I was able to maintain my calm despite its best efforts to frustrate me, it was one point to me. I didn’t always win.

John’s letter gives us hope. If we believe Jesus is the Son of God and we are born again, we should be able to see the world from a different perspective, from God’s perspective. It isn’t necessarily easy, but Christ has overcome the world and He is in us. He told us plainly, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

John says earlier in his letter, “You, dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (! John 4:4)

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, I confess that I often succumb to the world. I don’t avail myself of the victory You won for me and I forget that I am the daughter of the King. Please forgive me and empower me to face the world in Your strength. Amen.

Anticipation and Reality

When we look forward to something like a holiday, we somehow think that, because we have spent or budgeted a lot of money for it and expended a great deal of time planning it, success is guaranteed. In our mind we imagine a care-free time in perfect weather where we have enough money to do everything we want to.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

This is not a realistic expectation, nor does it line up with our past experience. I have had holidays where:- I caught the wrong bus and by the time I got to my youth hostel, it was locked for the night; I was in so much back pain that I had to consult a physiotherapist in a foreign country; I fell off my bike and spent the night trying to stop bleeding; we got back to our tent site to find our gazebo had been trashed by the wind; one of the children was so sick on the journey we decided to abandon our booked caravan site and go for a bungalow at three times the price. I could go on and on but I am sure everyone has had similar experiences they can recount. Yet we continue to look forward to holidays with excitement and anticipation and are shocked when things go wrong.

The same is true of Christian life. We have some rosy expectation that now that we are Christians, we are immune from everyday frustrations, disappointments and disasters. Yet we are never promised a trouble-free life in this fallen world. All we are promised is that God will be with us in the trouble.

Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you might have peace. In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)

He also warned his disciples about things to come. There will be wars, famines and earthquakes. Christians will be hated, persecuted and put to death. Lawlessness will increase and false prophets will arise. That doesn’t leave much room for rosy expectations that things will get better.

Fortunately we do know the end of the story. We know that when Christ comes again, everything will be made right. We know we will be with Him forever, regardless of the troubles we go through in this life. We know that God is in control, no matter what. We can only trust Him and know that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

My Prayer

Lord, I have no idea what my future holds. I trust you with whatever will come my way. I know You are always with me. May I sense Your presence and rest in Your love. Amen.

Lockdown Day 11

God talks to us in many ways. Today, I’ve mostly heard from Him through scripture. It started this morning with my verse for the day from Psalm 24:1 NIV

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.”

God is in control. It is, after all, His world. We are His too and He knows how to care for what belongs to Him.

Our Church is putting out a series of Daily devotions, based on the fruit of the Spirit. Today’s reflection on Peace contained a number of verses that spoke to me.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:3-4)

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 NIV)

It should come as no surprise that we are facing trouble in the world at the moment. Jesus said we would face trouble. He did not promise that we would not have trials, troubles and even persecutions but He did promise to be with us in them and through them. He will always be our Anchor.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27 NIV)

The peace that Jesus gives is so much greater than anything the world can offer. Today is Monday, sometimes referred to as Blue Monday. Today let us wallow in God’s peace rather than the Monday blues.