"For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" - 1 John 5:4-5
It's a new year.
Clean slate. New journal-entries, and unknown experiences. New opportunities, and unforgettable mistakes. A world of possibilities, both good and bad. Blessings and curses.
It's the fourth day of this brand new year. Does anyone else feel overwhelmed already? There is record flooding causing devastation across the Mississippi River basin in several states. There is ongoing violence and radical extremism in the middle-east. There are millions and millions of refugees fleeing that mentioned violence. There are typhoons and wakening volcanoes. Threats of war and fears of loss.
Sometimes it seems like the new year's holiday is a bit of a sham. A mocking sparkle of celebration in the midst of mass chaos. Fireworks and rock concerts and feasts here--bombs and cries for help and famines there.
It's an overwhelming new year.
However, we have been offered more than just a glimmer of hope. It says in 1 John 5, that "everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world." Period. Just like that. "And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world other than the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
If you are a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ, you are God's child and in Him you have completely overcome the entire world in all of its overwhelming hardship. The disciple John calls our faith a "victory" in and of itself. What kind of victory?
A massive, land-slide, kick-in-the-teeth victory over all of the pain and sin and death and destruction that the world has to offer, through faith in the One and Only Savior, Jesus Christ. That kind of victory.
The kind of victory that pushes us to be more obedient to Jesus' commands. The kind of victory that opens our eyes to the needs of others who are suffering around the world. The kind of victory that motivates us to give our time and money and sweat and prayers to those in need. The kind of victory that provides us with comfort when we experience loss or failure. The kind of victory that says, "I love you, child. You are mine. Abide in Me and I will abide in you."
There's an old hymn titled, "Victory in Jesus", which includes these lyrics:
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.
Friends, let's step strongly forward into this new year with the hope and confidence of our grace-given, blood-bought, overcoming victory in Jesus Christ.
written by Chase Cotten, GAP Program Director