JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD
A long time ago, I learned the three enemies to the believer, the devil, the world system and our own flesh.
At the cross, all three were defeated and one of the greatest helps from scripture that has shaped my life is keeping in view my position, rather than my condition. Our condition is that we live in a fallen world, in a body that is eager to to obey its own desires and lusts than what is God's design for us and of course, we have a relentless and deceptive foe who has come to "kill, steal and destroy".
But our position...how God sees us, is more real than we often consider.
He already sees us "raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6).
Because He has overcome the world, so to have we: "Everyone born of God overcomes the world" -1 John 5:4
Perhaps you might be able to relate to this from scriptureinsights.com:
"As I reflect on the Scriptures dealing with our position in Christ I find many of them to be truly astonishing. I believe them in my mind, but it is hard to really believe them in my heart."
The author goes on to say, "I think we have to start simply with faith in what the Scriptures say. Whose report will we believe? Will we believe the eternal truths that God has revealed in his Scriptures, or will we believe our own feelings, impressions and ideas?
For more on your position in Christ, go here.
One thing the Bible is not is utopist about life in this world.
It gets unfairly criticized for encouraging a pessimism that makes people passive about doing anything to improve things; people who are “too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.”
Of course, that’s a lot of hogwash. History has shown that those who have a hope of heaven are far more likely than their agnostic neighbors to willingly make the personal sacrifices necessary to seriously address the horrors and hopelessness in the world.
And the Bible doesn’t gloss over the horrors. Reading the whole Bible through, we wince a lot. And it is pretty frank about what we can expect during our sojourn on earth:
So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 11:8)
There Will Be DarknessWhen Jesus walked the earth he was not a bouncy, positive-thinker. He was “a man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3). And he promised his followers, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33).
Life is hard. The days of darkness will be many. And you know what? That’s hopeful.
When we find ourselves experiencing “weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities” (2 Corinthians 12:10), something strange isn’t happening to us (1 Peter 4:12). It is what we must expect living in a creation subjected to futility (Romans 8:20).
But it was subjected to futility in hope — hope “that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). And yes there is deep groaning as we wait for the completion of our redemption (Romans 8:22–23). But it is a hope-infused groaning, full of anticipation for what is coming.
Remember What He SaidIt’s this Spirit-empowered dynamic in the soul that allows us to be both “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10). We expect sorrow from the world and redemption from our Savior, who will work even our sorrows for ultimate good (Romans 8:28).
So in your days of darkness, Jesus understands (Hebrews 4:15) and wants you to take heart:
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)