“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:33 (AMPC)
I’m not sure who came up with the concept that following Christ would be a cake walk. It’s false ideology. We have been hoodwinked! In our referenced scripture Jesus plainly speaks of the challenges we would face as disciples, disciplined followers of Christ.
Can we just be real for a moment? Upon becoming born again believers or accepting Christ as our personal Savior, a new nature is birthed on the inside of us. Our spirit man is reborn; according to 2 Corinthians 5:17 we become new creatures in Christ. So on one hand we have a regenerated nature, one that looks and acts more like God. On the other hand we have the same fleshly housing that is accustomed to doing what it wants when it wants for all these years. That in itself is a challenge. Outside of the pressures we face every day outwardly, we are now faced with the “enemy within me,” the inner battles that sometimes end up being our Achilles heel.
All of this in the face of dealing with a world view of Christianity that preaches Christians are perfect or should be perfect. But the truth of the matter is we are far from perfect. Every day we have to deal with the truth about our own selfish desires, selfish ambition, sinful thoughts, our own failures and shortcomings- those things that keep us in cycles of sin. Like Paul we see ourselves as the chief of all sinners- grateful for a God who is so gracious to still choose to use us in spite of our mess.
Am I giving us a license to sin and keep living according to this pattern, of course not? My assignment today is to encourage you not to accept the lies you see every day. The truth is we are not perfect, but we are perfectly forgiven. You see, God never promised the absence of pressure but He did promise His peace. Peace in knowing that Jesus has already conquered the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life every point that we are tempted in. Peace in knowing that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave is ALIVE and ACTIVE on the inside of us to help us to live an overcoming life; a life full of grace and freedom when we rely on Him and not ourselves. Peace that He is with us and will continue to work in us the will and the desire to do His good pleasure.
Instead of accepting defeat today, let’s pick up our gloves today and war against every lie that has come to keep us in bondage. The pressures of this world are lightweight compared to the Champion Fighter on our side. Team up with the One who never loses and outlast the enemy of your soul, the enemy within, and the pressures of this life.
Prayer: Lord, may we take comfort in the peace that You have left us. May we find the courage and the grace needed to lay aside every weight and sin that so easily besets us. Thank You for walking with us through the process and bringing us to overwhelming victory in You. In Jesus’ Mighty name we pray. Amen
By Mary Pinckney