Are You Overcome or an Overcomer?

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world. even our faith.” 1 John 5:4

The vision of In the Word Ministries is: “Equipping People to Live Victoriously.” Victorious doesn’t mean that, as believers we walk around oblivious to the challenges of this life. Nor does it mean that we don’t experience discouragement or disappointment. Living victorious involves an acknowledgement that God has provided us that “special power” to sustain us through our darkest hour so that we finish our race well (2 Timothy 4:7).

I heard a minister comment that believers should never be in despair. Despair indicates a point where there is no hope … no way out. Whether I agree with his point of view isn’t important but I do know these two things. Satan using negative circumstances (problems) in our life to: (1) weaken our trust in God and, 2) ruin our testimony. We don’t like problems. They are uncomfortable, inconvenient. and unnerving. But Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

“Tribulations” are those negative circumstances that cause us problems and pain. Tribulations can range from relationships that don’t work to misfortune that persists. “The world” is the physical realm in which we operate. ‘It is the social system including its various economies and influences. Now when Jesus tells us to be of “good cheer.” what exactly does He mean? And what does it mean to be an overcomer?

“Be of good cheer” infers that the believer can find confidence in an outcome which God has already seen in their life. There are no surprises. He makes all things work together for good and His purpose (Rom. 8:28)–even those “things” which aren’t of His initial choosing.

“I have overcome” is a strong declaration by Jesus that, His work of the Cross has proven His ability to bring into His control those things that might be overwhelming to us. The verb tense is one showing completed action–I have “already” overcome. It is a completed action that is now ours to take. He knows what concerns us and how to deliver us (2 Peter 2:9).

Knowing the end of a story often helps to relieve the stress of anticipating its outcome. Revelation 12:11 gives us the closing chapter on Satan and all problems he causes in “this world”. In the end, God overcomes and solidifies our ultimate triumph. So next time you come across a problem that appears to be winning “the battle,” remember who has already “won the war.”

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