As I prepared for the first week of January 2018, I sensed a few things that I thought the Lord wanted me to share with our church family. But before I get into that, the backstory for 2017 was the fact that God had given my husband, Rory and myself a symbol for 2017. This was the image of an anchor and throughout 2017 we revisited the message of the anchor. (Hebrews 6:19) That God wanted us to be anchored in who He said He is for each one of us, and who He said we are – how He saw us, how He defined us ... our true identity.
Back to January 7th. I felt I had bad news and good news – and whenever we hear that combination, we always want the bad news first!
So, the bad news is that wickedness, evil and darkness will increase this year. And the good news is SUCH good news! In John 16:33 Jesus speaks to His followers just before His betrayal and His arrest, “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.” Jesus is an Over-comer, and since we are in Jesus, we too, are over-comers! Now, I know this is obvious, but we often forget the obvious, that to be an over-comer, we must have something to overcome … a difficulty, a problem, a challenge, a test, a trial, a hurdle … something in our circumstances that stops us in our tracks, stares us in the eye and defiantly says, “So, you think you can handle this do you?” To which Jesus shouts, “YES!” and to which we, looking at our situation, and forgetting to look at our Over-comer, respond with fear and trembling … How on
earth am I going to handle this …?
But we still have good news! God waits for us to turn our focus to Him, invite Him into the situation we face so that together we can overcome. God longs to show us who He is for us, to us, through us and, in many cases, in spite of us. God uses our circumstances to shape our identity … to show us who we are in Him.
By the way, the Greek word Nike means “to carry off the victory”, to be victorious … an overcomer!
In the next musing I would like to share how some of our Biblical heroes overcame the giants in their lives. The same principles apply to us … lion and bear killers … giant slayers!
"this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
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 5:3-5