Be An Overcomer

Apr 17, 2024 | The Chuck Wagon

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33; NASB

Jesus spoke these words to the disciples on the night of the Last Supper. His crucifixion was only a few hours away, and He knew it. Even with knowing that He was about to be subjected to the worst moments ever endured by any flesh, His concern was for His disciples. Following those words, Jesus prayed the “High Priestly Prayer.” In that prayer, He asked the Father to “sanctify them in truth…” (16:17a). He prayed for the Father to set them apart according to His word. He then prayed, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;” (16:20). This means all of us who believe in Him are sanctified (set apart) because we heard the Gospel, repented, and believed. But what does that mean?

When we receive salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us (see Jn. 14:23, 26). God has given the Holy Scriptures to us to feed us with everything we need in this world. By His Spirit and Word, believers view life differently than unbelievers do. Reading His word will bring a sense of peace that cannot come from any other source. This peace is not available to unbelievers, and they will not understand it. As Jesus said, we will have tribulation in the world, but He has overcome the world. The depth of this statement becomes clear to Spirit-filled believers as they read and meditate on His word. When unbelievers read the Bible, they do not get that sense of peace. They may like what it says, but it will not speak to them in the same way it speaks to a believer. Tragically, there are many who, although they go to church and go through the motions, will not get the fullness of what is available in His word. It is there for them to partake, but they are unable until they have fully surrendered themselves to His Lordship.

The apostle Paul wrote: “I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom. 12:1). This means we are to willingly sacrifice our own desires if they conflict with God’s will. That is the “living and holy sacrifice” Paul speaks of here. It is commonly referred to as “surrendering” to the Lord. Once you have settled in yourself the desire for His will over yours, and stop clinging to the things of this world, you will begin to experience peace at a level you never knew existed.

This sacrifice is a lifelong endeavor. It is what Jesus meant when He said: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Lk. 9:23). Jesus said we will have tribulation in this world. He is speaking of the world and our individual lives. He offers all who come to Him peace amid all the troubles, regardless of how tragic they are or how long they last. The depth of that peace is tied to our willingness to surrender to Him in our daily lives. The more we surrender, the more we become overcomers in Christ. We can confront tribulation with courage and still have peace because we know that, in Christ, we will never die (see Jn. 11:26). Jesus has overcome the world!

God bless and have a great week

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