Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Victory! Our Hope in Christ
Terry R. Baughman
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
An overcomer is one who rises above adversity and becomes victorious. It may be an entrepreneur who has overcome bankruptcy or previous failures to become a financial sensation or sports icons who have overcome defeats to win championships. We always enjoy stories of those who have overcome disappointments, setbacks, or injustice to become successful.
A story about one such sports figure was dubbed, “The Comeback Kid.” Others have adopted that moniker to illustrate their tenacity to overcome obstacles, hinderances, and adversities to achieve their goals. Bill Clinton claimed that title for himself when he came in second place in the New Hampshire Democratic primary in 1992. He went on to win the presidency of the United States of America.
When we hear the word overcome we understand that there was some adversity by implication. To overcome there first must be resistance, an enemy, or a challenge. There has to be a problem before there can be a victory. There can be no testimony without a test. Some of our greatest growth opportunities come when we endure the difficult times in our lives. Discouragement challenges us to press on and press through to victory. The darkness calls us to hold on, waiting and believing for the dawn of a new day and new opportunities.
Joseph, son of Jacob, was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. He was transported by a camel caravan to Egypt where he was sold to work in Potiphar’s house. In time he was seduced by Potiphar’s wife and when he rejected her proposition and ran, she grabbed his coat and screamed that she had been attacked. Though falsely accused, Joseph was confined to prison where he served a long sentence. When fellow inmates who had been the butler and baker to the Pharaoh had prophetic dreams Joseph was given the interpretations. One was restored while the other was executed.
The survivor forgot Joseph until Pharaoh had a dream that troubled him. Joseph was able to interpret the dream and he was exalted to a place of prominence to prepare for the seven years of famine that was a partial fulfillment of Pharaoh’s dream. Eventually he was restored with his family when they came to Egypt seeking food and relief from the devastating famine. It was then Joseph recognized the good that came from his many years of repression, rejection, and adversity. While his brothers feared his wrath against them, he recognized the hand of God in all these events. He said, “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones” (Genesis 50:20–21).
God give us insight to see the bigger picture when we find ourselves in a hard place. The struggle makes us stronger. The trial increases our faith. We can begin to comprehend the wisdom of James when he said, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2–3).
The power of God working within us produces His attributes. We can be overcomers because the greater One is working in us and through us!
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).