These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
These things were spoken in the world, life isn’t a bed of roses. I get it that we are all stressed out. To bite the bullet and do something about it. Starting over again is so hard to do. I am sure you have heard one of these spoken words. When things in your life are turned upside down and you find yourself on the bottom, how can you go on in life. It is bad enough when you lose someone, but to have your car stolen or broken into, or to have your things lost due to a storm or fire, is devasting. Believe me I know, for I lost everything in a house fire. No amount of dry cleaning could get the smell out of the clothes when smoke invaded it. I was at the height of my performing artist career and in the process of completing a gospel album. It is an empty feeling when you have no place to go home to and lay down in your own bed to sleep. An individual’s welcome is worn out quickly when you are staying at a friend’s house and its true even if it is a relative. It took two years to get our house built, yet I can remember a man telling me at the Bread of Life Mission how he walked away from his home and family, for he just could not take it anymore. The stress and responsibility were just too much.
The “stress factor” is real since it is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Everyday can be stressful if we allow it to consume us. God knows that as humans we need that vacation and a break to rest from the everyday grime. Even missionaries that come home from the field are in need of rest from bodily and mental tension. We are in need of renewal for our body and spirit. Maybe that is why God talked about the sabbath day in where you rest on the seventh day. We need our minds renewed along with our tired bodies. These words were written in Hebrews.
There remained therefore a rest to the people of God.”Hebrews 4:9
There remained therefore a rest to the people of God and just like God rested on the seventh day so should we rest and cease from our own work. Have you heard the words of Jesus say, “the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath,” [Mark 2:27]. The very next words out of Jesus are “therefore, the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” Our Lord Jesus Christ is Lord of the sabbath. This refers to the deity of Christ where He is our high priest and has the right to heal and eat out of the storehouse of God. Only those of the priesthood could eat out of the storehouse of the temple. Jesus was called a high priest after the order of Melchizedek [see Hebrews chapter 5]. This is important in that we as Christians must enter into that rest. To enter in is to identify with Christ. That is why we labor to enter that rest [see Hebrews 4:11]. It is because of unbelief or disobedience that we have not entered that rest. How can we become overcomers if we cannot even discern between good and evil.
The word of God is living and powerful. It is the two-edged sword that pierces and divides the soul and spirit. Our God knows all about the human condition.
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits.Proverbs 16:2
The Lord determines man’s spirits. The Lord discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart of man. We struggle to enter in because we are dealing with our own human nature, or because we do not fully believe the word of God, or something is holding us back from entering in. That is why our senses are not able to discern because we have not fully identified with Christ that we are his child. We have not been taught the full meaning of the word of God and so we are still babes only drinking the milk. In order to overcome we must progress towards maturity. If we fall away from God, we will lose the blessings of God and fall under judgement. Do not presume anything but receive his truth for your actions. Remember that whatever is not of faith is sin. Repent, read the word of God, and listen to his voice. Take seriously your position in Christ and put all things under him including your body.
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”Romans 13:14
Are we putting on the Lord Jesus Christ? Or are we fulfilling the lust of the flesh? These are questions that we should be asking. We do this daily in surrendering our life to the Lord, to follow him, and obey him by reading the word. If Jesus used the word of God to overcome the devil, then we must do the same in order to become overcomers of this world. We must enter into that rest and cease from our own ways in order to find the way of God. Let go of what is holding you down and by the grace of God seek him with all of your heart. We must become likeminded with Christ and have the unity of the spirit of Christ. Listen to what John said in 1st John chapter two in verse 14, “I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.” Does the word of God abide in you? Have you overcome the wicked one? It is by the blood of the lamb and word of our testimony that we have overcome the accuser who is the devil. John tells us not to love the world and the things in this world. For if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him [see 1 John 2:15].
This world system is under Satan’s control where greed, selfishness, and pleasure abound, and it is kept there by force. That is the reason why there is suffering in this world. That is the reason why Jesus came that we might have life. That is the reason why Jesus has overcome until all his enemies are under his footstool. Christ has made us alive and to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, for we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works [ see Ephesians 2:6,10]. Even though we shall have tribulation in this world, Jesus states, “be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” It is Jesus who has overcome the world. But if we stand in Christ in faith, we too have overcome the world. Whatever kind of trouble we may be in, if we belong to Christ, we have overcome. We may need a time out to meditate and think it through and even wrestle it out with God through prayer. Telling God how we feel and what is stressing us. The end result should be one of peace and seeing yourself as overcomers in Christ Jesus. That man who left his wife and children got saved and renewed in the spirit of his mind and went back home to his wife and children.
Being an overcomer is knowing your position in Christ. The son of God came to demonstrate that He might destroy the works of the devil, [see 1John 3:8]. Sometimes we have to shake off the devil by refusing the devil entrance into our own mind. Remember Jesus said, “get thee behind me Satan.” We can do the same. We rebuke Satan’s control in our life. Our life now belongs to the Lord, and we now live unto the Lord. That is why John stated in 1st John 4:4, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” I praise God that Christ has overcome the world, and that he is greater in me then Satan in this world. Let us know our position in Christ and its importance in the fact that we are now overcomers in this world. Keep the faith and be of good cheer, for we have put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are victorious through him. Walk in His peace. In Jesus’s name, Amen.