Powered By Christian Gifts

Monday, November 10, 2008

Are you coping or conquering?

Are you coping or conquering?

submitted by Cyber Pastor and Annieb's daughter Brook

Life is hard, and most people get through it simply by coping. If people are unhappy in marriage, parenthood, career or friendships, they mostly do the best they can. They cope. But is this the way God wants believers to live?

Paul once referred to life as a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). The goal is not merely to finish the race, but to win, to conquer. Paul says in Romans 8:37, “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Is your goal in life simply to cope, to get through? Or do you want to be a conqueror, an overcomer? How can you be an overcomer, and what does overcoming require?

Jesus says, “Take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). And John assures us, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). What is the imperative to enjoy Jesus’ victory over the world and over Satan (Revelation 2:3)? What will be your reward if you overcome (Rev 2:7)?

Although believers must continue their struggle with sin and Satan in this life, there is a finish line in the distance. What must you do in order to gain the crown of life at the end of your race (Rev 2:10)? What will be your reward if you overcome (Rev 2:11)?

Spiritual battles are being fought around you every moment (Eph 6:12). How can you stand against the enemy (Rev 6:12)? What will be your reward if you overcome (Rev 2:17)?

Spiritual deceptions abound in the world. What can you do to stand against them (Rev 2:24-25)? What will be your reward if you overcome (Rev 2:26)?

How can you prevent apathy in your Christian life (Rev 3:2-3)? What will be your reward if you overcome (Rev 3:5)?

What is the key to overcoming (Rev 3:8)? What will be your reward if you overcome (Rev 3:12)?

Enjoying God Through the Word

Romans 8:35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God, that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Allow these beautiful words of hope to flood your soul. You are an overcomer because of Jesus Christ. “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:5) and “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Praise God!

When trials, troubles, persecution, disasters or attacks come, don’t give in to fear. God will supply the strength you need to overcome in your adversity. Notice that little word “in.” God does not usually deliver you out of adversity; he gives you the strength to overcome in (or through) the adversity.

As I read this devotional, I couldn’t help but think God had led me directly to all of these passages. I have recently been through a very traumatic divorce, followed by being the soul custodial guardian of my two children. I have definitely felt like I was just coping instead of conquering in most of my life in the past few years.

And then I start to think about the recent election. A lot of people feel defeated, scared or hopeless. I can relate. Most of us involved had put our hearts and souls into this election because we felt so passionately about the issues facing us. Most of us morally know that what is going to be presented to us coming very soon is not acceptable, and there is a battle coming. But, that is another subject. My point I think I want to get across is that, we could crawl up in a hole, wither away, become depressed, feel defeated and unheard. The good news is that we are never unheard. God has heard our prayers and knows what is best for each and every one of us. Be still and know that He is God! Defeat is a tool of the evil one. Are we going to give him the power that easily? Give all the glory to God who has full control over everything happening.

Remember that God has put every ruler on Earth there for a specific reason. We may not realize why now but there is a purpose.

It is so easy to move ourselves into that place of complacency, being content with the mediocre. We are told to conquer, not to just become alright with mediocrity. Rise above, not keep the status quo.

Think about some of the things in which you’re experiencing difficulty right now. Are you merely coping in these areas instead of overcoming? Express your thanks to God in prayer for his love and the power he makes available to you so you can do more than cope-you can overcome! If you feel weak, ask him for his strength. He is able to supply all your needs (Php 4:19).

I personally still struggle with this every day. The world tells us that when you are down for the count, we should pour some extra salt into our wounds. Jesus Christ says differently. He wants us to know that while we are still sinners, we can never do anything to take his love away from us. Never! Isn’t that reassuring?

Find your rewards through Jesus, not the world. The world will come up short. Jesus never lets us down.

Some use out of the NIV Women of Faith Study Bible.