Friday, September 16, 2011

OVERCOMERS

To overcome is a process.  Dictionary.com defines it as "to get the better of in a struggle or conflict".  This reinforces the idea that "there is not a crown, without a cross" (Michael English song).  


Overcoming is good for personal growth.  If we do not tackle a problem then and there, the likelihood of it haunting you is great.  Better to at lest start making a dent in the situation.  Overcoming is a great way to be so challenged we change.  If we are open to God's control of our life the transformation could include a name-change - "Then the man said, 'Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." (Genesis 32:28).  Another struggle we might gain victory over, documented in The Bible, is unbelief.  "Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!' " (Mark 9:24)  These are just two instances of overcoming among many in the Bible.  Anybody who has lived a "healthy" number of years can witness to this growing, sometimes painful, but character-shaping process.  

The world is full of opportunities to overcome.  There are problems, issues, and challenges every day that we must make decisions concerning.  Within the process of overcoming, the believer's success is rooted in Jesus - The Overcomer.  Our "overcomingness" as believers in Christ comes from being birthed into God's family, through faith in Jesus and His victory by His life, death, and resurrection. (1 John 5:4)  The only reason we move from overcoming in one instance in our life to the next is that we believe Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:5).  Jesus Himself tells us, 1) we can find peace in Him, 2) we will have trouble in this world, "BUT 3) take heart I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

With Jesus as The Overcomer of everything, problematic or not, we as the believer have a firm foundation and a constant help as He charges us to go and overcome.  Jesus instructs us in Romans 12:21 "to not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good".  Similarly, Jesus promises the believer "to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you." (Luke 10:19)  I can hear God saying, "If I am for you, who can be against you?" (Romans 8:31)

Not only are we promised overcoming opportunities in this world and a chance to be molded and developed by God into what He wants us to be, BUT Jesus promises awesome rewards "to him who overcomes".
  • The "right to eat from the tree of life" (Revelation 2:7)
  • "will not be hurt at all by the second death." (Rev. 2:11)
  • "will give some of the hidden manna" (Rev. 2:17)
  • "white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it." (Rev. 2:17)
  • "authority over the nations" (Rev. 2:26) [and does my will to the end]
  • "dressed in white" (Rev. 3:5)
  • name never blotted out from Book of Life (Rev. 3:5)
  • will be acknowledged before God the Father and His angels (Rev. 3:5)
  • will be a pillar in the temple of our God. (Rev.3:12)
  • Name of God will be written on him (Rev. 3:12)
  • Name of New Jerusalem will be written on him (Rev. 3:12)
  • Jesus' new name will be written on him (Rev. 3:12)
  • a throne to sit upon (Rev. 3:21) 
What a title have - Overcomer In Jesus!  Because He overcame I can overcome.  (Hebrews 4:15)  "Because He lives I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone, because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives" (and overcame!). 


-Chad Pritchard