Try listening to the prime time daily news. You will surely hear a number of sad, depressing, and gruesome stories from different parts of our nation and the world which will lead many people to ask how can they have victory over these worldly problems.
One need not look far because in the Scripture you will read a story of a couple driven out of their comfort zone. A sibling rivalry that resulted in murder. A wife who nags her husband daily. A husband who was murdered by his wife’s lover. A case of a stolen baby. A problem with gossip and jealousy resulting in church division. A widow who’s going through a deep financial crisis. A mother who lose both husband and son. A mother’s Son tortured and killed despite lack of evidences. A faithful friend abandoned by His close friends. The things you read seem to look like they have not experienced victories in their lives. Some of you might be surprised to know that the Lord assured us that troubles will be part of our daily walk in this world.
“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.” Jn. 16:33, NIV1984
The word trouble in the King James Version was translated as tribulation which means great troubleor suffering. This word could also mean affliction (pain or suffering), anguish (mental or physical), burden (load or responsibility), or persecution (hostility or ill-treatment) Are you suffering from physical pain? Are you burdened by so much family responsibility? Do you have a lot of decision makings to make? Are you bullied in your school? Are you criticized in your office? The good news is you can still have inner peace and can overcome these things? How is this possible? Let’s review the passage again. The Lord Jesus said, “in me you may have peace.” Let me explain a little bit about the word peace (Gk. eirene). Since it is a Roman culture at that time, the Lord Jesus referred to that peace in the sense of law and order promoting prosperity. Are you familiar with the Latin phrase Pax Romana? This means Roman Peace. What the Lord Jesus was trying to communicate is, “I am giving you peace that promotes law and order into your life leading toward prosperity.” It is interesting to note that, “The Hebrew word shalom was translated as eirene in the Greek. This means peace can, ironically prevail internally even when the violence of war is at it’s peak externally.” Why do we have this kind of inner peace? Because Jesus overcame the world that led us to victory in every area of our life!
We need to understand that storms will come but they are just for a season. Once you know how to handle the storms in your life then that is already victory. How can someone truly live a life of spiritual victory? Let us study 1 John 5:1-5 to see how we can live a life of victory in Christ.
1. Living In Victory Is Obeying Him.
This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome (heavy, weighty, severe), for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 Jn. 5:2-4, NIV1984
It is not enough to know that we are a child of God, we also need to obey Him. What are his commands? According to some researchers, there are 49 to 50 commands of Christ in the Scripture. There are commands about reading His Word (See Matt. 4:4) There are commands about worshipping and serving God (See Matt. 4:10). And there are commands to reach the lost people (See Matt. 4:19). If you want a summary of God’s command then read the following:
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mk. 12:28-31, NIV1984
Actually, His commands are not hard to follow because he gives us the capacity to obey Him by His grace. There is joy in following Him. According to Steven K. Scott,
“It is unfortunate that so many view Christ’s commands as a weight or burden or limitation on the way they live. This is a lie that keeps them from the joy of obedience. Speaking of the commands of Christ, the apostle John wrote, “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome’ (1 John 5:3). The commands that Christ gave us are God’s language. The moral law shows us we are sinners, falling short of God’s righteousness. But Christ’s commands free us and show us how to live.” Steven K. Scott, “The Jesus Mission”
If you already feel the weight of carrying the load then I advise you to give it to Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus told His disciples,
If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light. Matt. 11:28-30, CEV
If you are doing something not right in the eyes of the Lord then surrender everything to Him. Trust Him that He will be in charge of your emotion, finances, future, relationships, decisions, and health. Once you obey Him then you will surely be victorious!
2. Living in Victory is Believing Him.
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:4b-5, NIV ©1984
It is impossible to experience victory without believing in Jesus Christ. The word “victory” in this passage came from the Greek word nike which can also be translated and understood as triumph and overcame. My own rendering of that passage goes this way,
“For every born again child of God is presently conquering and overcoming (or triumphing victoriously) over the systems of this world. Who is the one conquering and overcoming (or triumphing victoriously) over the systems of this world? The one presently believing that Jesus is the same nature as God the Father.”
We need to believe who Jesus Christ is according to the Scripture. We have to believe that He is able to do things in our life. We all know that it is impossible for a truly blind person to see unless he goes through an eye transplant which is not possible during the first century. But the two blind men followed Jesus with all their heart, believing He is able to heal their physical condition. The two individual became victorious as a result of their belief in Jesus Christ.
As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Matt. 9:27-28, NIV1984
We are overcomer says the Scripture. The Lord gave us weapons to be victorious over the enemy. Although we may be in a trial, problem, tribulation, or testings in our life, that is just temporary and seasonal.
“That is why we sing songs like Victory in Jesus. The Greek word is nike which means conquest or victory. The word for overcome is nikeo which is the verb form of nike. Conquest, victory, and triumph are synonymous. Throughout the Scriptures, the Old and New Testament, God has given us the defensive means to triumph. His divine tactics involve historically proven principles, plans, and procedures to overcome our spiritual enemies.” Dr. Preston Williams II, “The God of How”
Remember, to obey the Lord and believe in Him to experience victory in your life. As the apostle Paul wrote,
Sin gives death its sting, and God’s standards give sin its power. Thank God that he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, then, brothers and sisters, don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith. Always excel in the work you do for the Lord. You know that the hard work you do for the Lord is not pointless. 1 Cor. 15:56-58, God’s Word Translation