Archive

Posts Tagged ‘overcomer’

A Confident Life

October 10th, 2014

“The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NIV.

Confidence is from your conviction of truth rather than your translation of current events.

My thoughts and comments today are about “a confident life.”

Daily life without confidence is tougher than life is meant to be. But confidence can be misplaced. Job searched his heart, “Have I put my trust in money or felt secure because of my gold? Does my happiness depend on my wealth and all that I own? . . If so . . it would mean I had denied the God of heaven.” Job 31:24-28 NLT. Job had it right. Confidence that rests on anything less than God’s Word and character is insubstantial and ultimately unreliable.

Confidence may dissipate when unmanageable and unchangeable situations raise doubts and instill fears. Confidence is not an easy thing to have in the kind of world that struggles against God. Civility and common courtesy are fairly uncommon in an, “every man for himself world.” Entertainment assaults sensitivities with coarse language and violent, sexual, or aberrant improprieties. Negative political ads malign the character and intent of opponents irresponsibly, slinging accusations without liability. To the point of dismay, headlines blare reports of governmental waste, incompetence, and brazen lack of accountability.

Crime and uncaring brutality offend normal sensitivities. Deadly health crises from the other side of the globe land callously intrude our cities, neighborhoods, and homes. In a global economy, one country’s financial recklessness impacts the affairs of other nations. With brutality, terrorists murder innocents without regard for the sanctity of human life. Confidence is hard to come by in such harsh realities.

Don’t look around; you can’t find confidence there. Look up; God is there. Then look inside; God is there too. In this truth, you can be confident, “The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NLT. Meditate on that. God lives in you; that indicates permanence. God is greater than all others; that provides security. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5 NKJV.

When the Bible speaks of “the world” it is rarely referring to geography. Biblically, “the world is a system of unbelief and misbelief,” a system lacking God as its center or focus. You are warned to avoid the world system, but not to fear it. “Do not love the world or anything in the world . . The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” Read 1 John 2:15-17 NIV.

When faced with Sennacherib, the Assyrian King and his plundering army, Hezekiah, the Godly King of Judah encouraged the nation, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” 2 Chronicles 32:7-8 NIV. When you face difficult places, people, or situations, remember the Almighty God is with you; His Spirit abides within you. “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.” John 16:33 NIV.

“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength . . The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” Isaiah 30:15 NKJV/32:17-18 NIV. That is what a confident life looks like.

Today, my prayer for you is to be assured of the omnipotence and faithfulness of God.

Devotionals , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Too Soon to Quit

May 11th, 2011

“We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.” 2 Corinthians 4:9 NLT

“What happens to you is not what matters most; what happens after that matters more.”

My thoughts today are about, “too soon to quit.”

Everyone feels like quitting sometime. If you haven’t yet, you will; just don’t quit permanently.  That’s not negative or pessimistic; that’s just reality. Things don’t always go well. Things won’t always go in your favor. It’s not always what happens to you that matters most; usually, it is what happens after what happened that matters more! Don’t give in to your feelings to give up. Dust yourself off, and get ready to resume the journey. You will heal. Neither your frustration nor your failure is final, just inconvenient bumps in the road. Wow; that sounds like a lot of clichés. But I think that’s good and practical advice.

Do you wish your situation had happened differently? Of course you do, but it didn’t; deal with the reality. Examine your situation honestly but positively. Lay it out before the Lord, asking His wisdom and direction. Don’t waste the experience; learn something useful to help you in the future. Resume life quickly; continue forward as soon as you feel capable of doing so. Expect things to be better not worse. If Paul, writing from prison, was able to say “the things that have happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the Gospel” (Philippians 1:12 NKJV), then you and I can trust God to rule in the events and circumstances of our everyday lives.

The Bible puts disappointments, disruption of schedules, and minimal inconveniences in perspective by comparing your experiences in contrast to Jesus’ sacrifice for your salvation: “Let us run with perseverance the race . . fixing our eyes on Jesus . . who endured the cross, scorning its shame . . consider Him that endured such opposition from sinful men . . so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Hebrews 12:1-4 NIV. That clarifies the context for times when things don’t go well for you. Jesus didn’t quit on you; don’t lose hope in Him. I guess my Dad did not support quitting. He said, “It is always too soon to quit, especially when you feel like it.”

Resisting reality won’t change it. Sitting in the midst of a mess will not make anything better. Everybody struggles occasionally; not everybody quits every time. Some people don’t quit anytime! Paul describes such fateful moments of decision this way, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down be we get up again and keep going . . that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NLT.

Pressured, perplexed, pursued, or punched? Whatever your situation right now, you are in a good company of overcomers. “To Him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21 NIV. Overcome or overcomer? I choose the latter for both of us.

My prayer for you today is: don’t give up on yourself or on God, however tough the moment.

Devotionals , , , , , , , ,