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Journey Into Overcoming

John 16:33b NLT
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Confession of Faith
I am not moved by what I see or by what I feel. I am moved by what I believe. I believe the WORD of God! The victory is mine! I have it now! I can see it through the eyes of my faith!
Everybody has problems. As someone has said, "Everyone has a problem, is a problem, or lives with a problem." Our problems vary by type and severity. There are financial problems, health problems, and relationship problems, as well as problems of guilt, depression, temptation, failure, stress, burnout, etc. As Believer's we are not exempt from painful problems and often have more problems than non-Christians because the Evil One tries to derail our spiritual lives.
John 16:33b NKJV
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The Greek word translated Tribulation means "pressing or pressure that burdens our spirits." It refers to severe affliction or anguish. In other words, Jesus said, "In this world we will have 'big-time' problems."
Romans 8:35–36 NKJV
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
In Romans 8, Paul writes about all kinds of problems: tribulation... distress... persecution... famine... nakedness... peril... sword and death
Romans 8:37 NKJV
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
What does it mean to be more than a conqueror? Conquerors defeat their enemies. If we are more than conquerors, we will make our enemies our friends. Therefore, God can cause even our worst problems to be our friends if we let Him make good come out of it.
Romans 8:28 NKJV
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
God uses Problems In 4 Areas:
To Direct Us
Psalm 119:67 AMP
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now Your word do I keep [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it].
Psalm 119:67 The Message
Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place, but now I’m in step with your Word.
God often uses problems to direct us—keep us on track spiritually.
The apostle Paul writes of God allowing him to have a thorn in the flesh to keep him from becoming exalted above measure because of his abundance of the revelations
2 Corinthians 12:7 NLT
even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
We don’t know what Paul’s Thorn was , but we do know God’s answer to his prayer’s to remove the thorn
2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
God often uses problems to direct us away from sin. It can be to direct us away from someone who may be a temptation or to direct us away from a bad decision.
On a regular basis, we should pray
Psalm 119:35 NLT
Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.
2. Inspect Us
Someone has said, "Christians are like teabags. You don't know what's in them until they get in some hot water." Problems are really just tests to reveal what kinds of Christians we really are and to prepare us for heaven.
1 Peter 1:6 NLT
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.
1 Peter 1:7b NLT
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
Peter compares the testing of our faith through problems to the refining of gold in his day. As gold is heated, impurities float to the surface and can be skimmed off, leaving only pure gold. In the same way, the heat of problems in our lives causes our impurities and defects to come to the surface.
Jeremiah 17:9a NLT
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
The Bible says the heart is deceitful above all things so we may not even recognize our own impurities when they surface.
Psalm 139:24 The Message
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life.
God allows us to have problems to direct us, to inspect us, and...
3. Correct Us
Jonah 1:2 NLT
“Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.”
We all sometimes get off course and act like the prophet Jonah, whom God tells to go to Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, and preach to the people about their wickedness
Nineveh is to the east, but Jonah gets on a ship and sails west—the opposite direction of God's purpose for his life. During Jonah's Mediterranean cruise the Lord sends a mighty storm that threatens to wreck the ship
Jonah 1:4 NKJV
But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.
Jonah 1:5b NKJV
Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep.
The ship is being tossed back and forth and seems about to break into pieces. The sailors are throwing stuff overboard to lighten the load. They are screaming and shouting as they try to control the ship, but Jonah is fast asleep.
Jonah's sound sleep is an illustration of what happens when we get out of God's will—we become oblivious to spiritual danger and do foolish things because we are spiritually asleep.
When we as Christians get off-course and are content to stay there, God will send a storm to get us back on track.
As long as our sin keeps us awake at night, that's good.
But if you can be disobedient to God's Word, as Jonah was, and still go to bed at night and fall fast asleep, we better look out for the mighty storm God will lovingly send to correct our course.
God allows us to have problems to direct, inspect, and correct us, and...
4. Perfect Us
James 1:2–3 NKJV
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
James 1:4 NKJV
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
The word translated perfect means "to bring to completion or maturity." Therefore, to make us perfect (complete), our imperfections are being removed from our character.
The phrase wanting nothing refers to lacking nothing we need to be used of God.
So, God uses our problems to get us ready to be used by Him.
2 Corinthians 1:4 NKJV
who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
The Bible reminds us God comforts us in all our tribulation
God uses our problems, past and present, to shape and mature us so we can serve Him by helping others. God allows us to have problems to direct us, inspect us, correct us, and perfect us.
Next Steps:
Read the book of Ephesians
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