You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.—1 John 4:4, NKJV
We can become heartsick if we look around us and focus on everything that is occurring around us. However, if we are believers, we are supposed to overcome. But what does overcome mean? What does that look like today?
2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.—2 Timothy 2:2-4, NKJV
Paul is encouraging Timothy to follow his example regarding how he should live and lead others. He has a sure fire way of reminding us what we are called to endure. Yet, how does our society explain endure?
The OED defines overcome as, “to be victorious, gain the victory, conquer,” and states that to endure means, “to last, continue to exist, to persist.” With that in mind, let’s search the Word for more support.
Jesus Christ addresses seven churches in Revelation regarding their status, and because of His unconditional love and function as the High Priest and Righteous Judge, He points out their shortcomings and provides them warning of what could happen if they don’t take heed. At the same time, He gives a blessing for those who overcome whatever temptation that is attacking the church.
Currently, we see believers struggling with their identity in Christ, remembering Him as their first love, tolerating all forms of sin, not just the ones that are clearly evident, mixing legalism with liberty, etc. What if it’s not a valid struggle? What if some of those very things that we want to play the martyr for shouldn’t be found in us anyway? What kind of Gospel are we preaching if we do not live a life worthy of being called a Christian?
The love of God and the fear of the Lord. You see, we can have the best intentions to overcome and endure, but unless we’re relying upon the Spirit of God within us, we cannot make it. We have to learn who He really is through spiritual intimacy so we can understand His ways and know how He acts. Once we actually know the Father, we can love Him and reverence Him. It’s His love that will empower us to do right in His eyes, which means we’re going to overcome. It’s reverencing the Lord that will cause us to depend on His strength so that we can endure all of life’s crazies.
This may have felt like an unfinished post. The truth is, that’s all I felt at liberty to share about overcoming and endurance. Some things we just need to stop trying to figure out and just go with the flow. I pray you be encouraged and trust in the Lord no matter what storms—literal or spiritual—you are facing.