May 10, 2020 | Kim Butts, Harvest Prayer Ministries
This excerpt is Day One of the new IFA devotional series Take Heart! Jesus Has Overcome the World! We thank God for mothers and pray for encouragement, hope, strength, and joy.
To give us perspective on what we are facing, let us review the words Jesus spoke just before His crucifixion. “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Jesus did not hide the fact that Christians will face trouble, even to the extent of severe persecution. “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19) Our Lord’s words could hardly be stronger.
God has called us to live in the world, but not to be of the world. Instead of being surprised by the adversity we find in the world, we should be well-prepared to live the peaceful lives of those who know with certainty that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God – the One who has overcome and defeated death.
Paul sets an excellent example for times we walk through difficulty, pain, frustration, uncertainty, and helplessness. He wrote, “But the Lord said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Why do we have such a difficult time taking God at His word when it comes to facing adversity? When the tough times come, God’s people are to stand firm, and yet so many of us cave in under the pressure of danger, hardship, or difficulties. Defeated Christians cannot be witnesses to the ends of the earth. Believers who are overcome by their circumstances are incapable of showing a dark, dying culture that Jesus has the ultimate victory!
What kind of witness will we be when we collapse in the midst of the hard times? How can we persevere and emerge victorious when the storms come? Is there a way to prepare our children to stand upon the ultimate victory of Christ Jesus each and every day of their lives so that the mountains are merely bumps in the road rather than insurmountable obstacles that spell our defeat?
The answer, of course, is a resounding, “Yes!” By teaching our families to dwell continually in the Presence of the Lord, we can become the victors when we are weak and all seems lost; we can have the strength to face the hardness that life holds; and we can defeat the powers of darkness that would seek to destroy our homes.
It is when we dwell confidently in the light of His Presence that our families will victoriously navigate the darkness of our depraved culture, and trust Him when circumstances would seem hopeless. When we live within His divine Presence, we know that His plan is always best and perfect (Jeremiah 29:11). And Church history tells us that many of its great intercessors came through much suffering.
Points to Ponder:
• Always be aware that our real enemy is not people. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
• Always be sure of the source of your victory, and remember to give thanks. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
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