FAITH IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMES THE WORLD
Via Southside church of Christ Macon GA, 1996
“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 ESV
History tells of a legend from the days of Alexander the great. When his army landed their ships on enemy lands, his first command to his shocked troops was — “burn the ships.”
To his astonished troops he explained, “When we have won, we will depart in the vessels of our enemies.” Their leader’s faith inspired them to fight and win; and it insured against defeat. Burning the ships removed the temptation to go back to the ships if things got rough. There could be no failure. Their lives depended on victory.
In this world Jesus has promised us victory. Our leader promises us victory because he overcame the world (John 16:33). In great confidence he assures us that we can also, but we must burn our ships behind us.
We must burn the ship of “self.” Our leader showed us how when he came to earth and freely, willingly, died for the world. It was not about him; it was about the Father and His will being done. He submitted himself totally to the Father, and let the Father have complete control. Sadly, many times many of us will not get involved unless it’s done “my way.”
We must burn the ship of “comfort.” Revelation 3:17 warns us of falling back into the luxury of indifference. Victory belongs not to the body that seeks comfort, but to the soldier knee deep in the trenches of evangelism, prayer, sacrifice, and worship.
We must burn the ship of “fatigue in Christ.” We run, jump, play, and exercise for our physical bodies. However, fatigue in the spiritual body is sometimes evident as well. In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Paul compares our lives in Christ with runners and pugilists, Athletes walk to the victory stand tired but radiant. Let us do likewise.
Our victory is promised, but to achieve it we must have enough faith to reject any temptation which pulls us back to the failure of retreat.
TRUST IN THE LORD
Trust in yourself and you will always be disappointed at your level of achievement.
Trust in friends, and they may let you down in your hour of greatest need.
Trust in money, and you will spend your days trying to protect your investments.
But trust in God, and you can rest assured of his eternal presence: “For the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations.” (Psalms 100:5)