If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, no matter what life throws at you, no matter how badly you are treated, or how close to the edge you are pressed, with the power of Jesus at work within you, you can overcome your trials, your troubles, and the spirit of defeat. You can adopt the attitude of a conqueror. Statistics show that 1 of 10 people in the U.S. suffer from depression. So many people suffer hardship, loss, and the lack of fulfillment they had hoped for. Some give up in defeat, others grit their teeth and keep plodding ahead, simply enduring. Others escape with a little more alcohol and prescription drugs. Yet others throw themselves into a frenzy of activity staying far too busy with pursuing, achieving, and purchasing so they can ignore the looming despair. As Christians we need to realize that we will have troubles. Jesus had troubles and he said we can expect life to bring its share of suffering, but, But, BUt, BUT…He has overcome the world and by His power we can do more than survive, we can thrive and live with courage and hope.
Scriptures – John 16:33; John 10:10; Isaiah 43:1-3; 1 John 4:4; Philippians 4:13; Psalm 34:18; Romans 8:28, 37; Matthew 26:38
Verse – “In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage—I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33) Israel, the Lord who created you says, “Do not be afraid—I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burned the hard trials that come will not hurt you. For I am the Lord your God, the holy God of Israel, who saves you.” (Isaiah 43:1-3) My dear children, you belong to God and have defeated them; because God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
Thought – When trouble comes there are several things you must keep in mind. 1) Be clear about what you believe. Satan is the author of evil. God is the author of grace and forgiveness. Be clear about who is the author of what. 2) God will strengthen you so that you can overcome, conquer. Determine to go the distance. In God’s strength you can overcome the temptation to lie down. Don’t give in to a defeated mindset. 3) God is always available no matter what you’re facing. God promises that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Knowing this truth makes the difference between caving in and having tenacious faith to believe God will see you through. 4) God is committed to bringing something good out of your hardship. In the moment, it’s hard to imagine anything redemptive coming from pain, suffering, tragedy. But God sees the end from the beginning. Believe that God is doing a work in and through whatever you are going through and keep your eyes wide open.
When life throws something at you, work through it. You need to grieve, that is different for each person, but it’s necessary for healing. After you grieve, move forward. Don’t get trapped in crisis, loss, or heartache. Lean on Christian friends. Be humble and open and vulnerable. Allow others to listen and be there for you. Call on God for help. He is here in every moment. Keep your eyes wide open; don’t miss what God has for you.
Questions – What trial or tragedy have you experienced and can now see that God brought good from it? What Bible stories can you cite where God brought good out of terrible circumstances? How can you live in the moment, even when that moment is painful? How do you keep from getting trapped in grief? (Not necessarily the loss of a loved one, but the loss of a dream, a job, a relationship, etc.)
Response – Read God’s Word and fill your mind with His promises so that in life’s trials you will have the knowledge and tools you need to be a conqueror. Keep a journal of Scripture that provides special meaning and strength to you.
Prayer – Oh God, you are my shelter. When troubles come, help me to trust in your plan, knowing that my hope and my future are secure in you. Keep me safe through the storms and fill me with an overcoming spirit. In Jesus Name I pray, amen.