You are an Overcomer!
From John’s perspective, I am an overcomer. From the authority of Scripture, if you know Christ as your personal Savior – then, you are an overcomer as well.
If you are in the middle of the biggest fight of your life, and you feel like Romans 7 better describes your life currently than Romans 8 – it’s easy to not believe this truth. It’s easy to simply say, “But I am not overcoming…I’m being overcome – I’m overwhelmed!”
Growing up in the late 1970’s and 1980’s, I believe I saw all fifty-seven installments of the Rocky franchise! Granted, that may be a slight exaggeration, but you get the point. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and revisited those films. But here’s what I remember: In every one, Rocky was facing insurmountable odds. He would take a beating in the ring, and often in life as well. Yet, he always came out victorious.
In the early rounds of some of those big fights, Rocky may have felt “overcome,” and facing certain defeat – but he always found this inner strength to be the overcomer (of course, it helps if you write the script!). While the movie is fictional, believers have something greater than “digging deep.” There is truly an inner strength – but it doesn’t come from us. Greater is the One in us…it is His presence that sets us apart as overcomers.
One of those inspirational quotes comes to mind here:
Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes it meaningful.
You are not alone in your struggles. Believers from all ages have experienced defeat, disappointments, heart breaks, frustrations, and battle wounds. Some have even lost their lives. Trusting Christ as Savior does not provide exemption from the trials of life – just read Hebrews 11 and that notion is quickly put to rest.
I won’t make light of what you are experiencing. When storms come, they are frightening and can even be faith-shaking. Take a deep breath and remember a simple truth: you have already been given the position of an overcomer. It’s time for that truth to affect your living.
This isn’t the power of positive thinking. Nor is it a “name it and claim it” theology. John isn’t challenging us to look in the mirror and repeat a phrase until we believe it.
This truth of being an overcomer isn’t something we manufacture or work up like some type of theological pep rally. We’re not trying to get hyped up for the “big game” and “win one for the Gipper!”
John is giving his followers – and by extension, believers today – inspired truth. From a theological sense, it’s not just inspired truth, it’s also revealed truth. While there may be some overlap between the terms, there is an important distinction between these two concepts as well.
When we call “We are overcomers” an inspired truth, we are affirming that it comes with the full authority of God behind it. That’s a big deal! The word “inspired” literally translated a word meaning “God-breathed.” These inspired words are the very breathed-out words of Almighty God!
However, to say that this is a revealed truth is to affirm that we would not understand this truth unless God communicated it to us. Revelation cannot be found out by science, by study, or by some human pursuit.
As an example, consider the days of creation. Adam was created on day six…so, how do we know what was created on days one through five? Again, how are we able to describe the Heavenly Jerusalem with such detail? It’s only by revelation.
Revelation is the type of truth known only to God. Mankind could never know it unless it was revealed to us.
To say this another way, if God never revealed to us that our victory flowed from our position, our union, in Christ – then, we would do “our best” to win this victory (and His approval). God is not asking us to “try harder” to win…He’s telling us we are already on the winning team – so live like it!
C.S. Lewis, the famed creator of all things Narnian, was more than a fictional writer. He was an apologist, a theologian, and a practical edifier of the saints. Lewis once said, “Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose.”
In our context here, we will never be happy if we think our victory is dependent upon our own efforts. We will have good days and bad days. We will have encouraging days as well as discouraging days. We will see mountains as well as valleys. We may lose a few battles, but we’ve won the war. In those days when it feels like we are losing a battle, our happiness (more specifically, our joy) is not dependent upon an event. The source of our joy is rooted in the person of God Himself. We must not forget that because of who we are in Christ, we are overcomers.
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