“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 the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
– 1 John 3:4,5
The Bible is not naïve to the suffering of the world. When you read the Jewish Scriptures, especially in the Old Testament, you see that the authors really struggled with this question – why do bad things happen to good people? Job, one of the first books of the Bible ever written, deals exclusively with that subject. Also, most of the minor prophets and the majority of the Psalms are words of lament: “Oh Lord, how long will you forget the poor?”, “How long will you forget the downcast, oh Lord?”, “How long must we sing this song?” In fact, the very words of Jesus Christ on the cross, “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” are a quote from the Psalms. You see, the Bible is not oblivious to the fact that people are suffering, and it gives us stories and words to encapsulate our human experience. However, it also promises us that in the midst of our pain, we will overcome! In fact, the beauty of life in the Lord is that we have everything we need to endure unto victory, and we will!
Friend, if you are going through a hard time during this holiday season, you need to know that God loves you, despite how you are feeling. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one or you have a sick child or grandchild. Maybe you’ve endured the loss of a job or an important relationship. Whatever it is, if you are wrestling with the question, “Why did this happen to me?”, I want to encourage you to let go of your need to know the answer. At some point in our lives, we’ve all asked why, but it’s important to realize that even if you understand, it won’t lessen your pain. Don’t ask “Will I get through this?” but instead “Will I have victory?” When you ask it that way, you have an immediate answer, and it’s always a resounding YES! Because you are in Jesus, you have guaranteed triumph and whatever you face, you will overcome! As much as you want to know why trials come, it’s always better to focus on who you are enduring them with. A huge part of cultivating living faith is not having all the answers but trusting in a very big God who does! Since He is good, you can rest in the assurance that no matter how bad things look, His light has pierced the darkness and victory is yours in Him! Isn’t that the best news!
Jesus, I am thankful that with you, I have victory in my past, present and future. I know that you are greater than any darkness I face.
Which situation(s) in your life do you need to claim Jesus’ victory in?
I’m used to spending Christmas alone… I went to 30 funerals by the time I was 20…