If there is anything disciples should hold near and dear to their heart, it’s a message about overcoming. After all, it doesn’t always feel or seem as if we’re overcoming, does it? And there are times when we’re convinced it is anything but that. We feel overwhelmed, discouraged, and quite possibly, defeated.
At such times, it is good to remember that both our feelings and appearances can be deceiving. It can also be helpful to recognize that we’re not the first, last, or only people to feel this way. No less a person than Elijah went through this in 1 Kings 19. But it can be extremely helpful to remind ourselves of what John has to say in his first letter.
He speaks about overcoming three times in his letter (2:13-14, 4:4, 5:4-5). He tells them:
1) They are strong—the word of God lives in them and they have overcome the evil one (2:14).
2) The One who is in them is greater than the one who is in the world (4:4).
3) They overcome the world through their faith in Jesus.
The message is clear—we are to think of ourselves as overcomers! We are overcomers because of all that God has given us: the atoning Christ, the indwelling Spirit, and His enabling word. We are overcomers because we have chosen by faith to open our lives to God, embrace His gifts, and walk in His ways. All that is left is to continue to follow the path the leads to glory.