One of the biggest lies we are told is that with we can overcome anything if we put our mind to it. We struggle and the world around us tells us to just power through it, that you are the only one holding you back. Life has us face some of the hardest struggles and deepest hurts that it throws our way, and we feel helpless. We feel like we should be stronger, that we should be invincible, especially as a believer we feel like we shouldn’t be struggling. We all struggle, yet we feel like we are the only ones. I know for me I look at others around me and feel like they have unlocked the secret to being invincible. Then there’s the other side, when life is going great. We aren’t having any issues, life seems to finally be at peace, and we start to feel invincible. This is what I like to call the “invincibility curse.” I know, it sounds pretty cool, I came up with that on my own. Okay, back down to earth. I like to call it this because we all have faced one or both of the symptoms to this curse. We either face situations where we are frustrated by the fact that we aren’t invincible, or we let our guard down when we are in times of peace. The reality of this curse is the fact that we are striving for invincibility, rather than relying on God at all times in our life. We have made invincibility an idol, losing sight of what really matters.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and it stems from a verse that has comforted me in the midst of madness. Jesus in John 16:33 speaks to his disciples and says, “I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. (Here’s my favorite part) In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” What a beautiful word. I think many of us need to be reminded of this fact. We’re all struggling, we all fight attacks from the enemy that try to tear us away from the purpose placed on all our lives. We get so wrapped up in the fact that we aren’t perfect, or we feel too perfect. We strive to be invincible, because that’s what our enemy wants. We strive to be invincible, and miss out on what God wants to show us. I know life can be hard, I want to make that very clear. I’ve seen friends die, people fight the demons of addiction, and those carry the burdens of words spoken against their soul. I know what it’s like to be a leader and stand for what you believe in, and walk through it feeling the despair of being alone. We are all struggling, but invincibility isn’t the way out. It’s not the thing we should be trying to attain in life, because none of us are invincible, and none of us can ever be invincible. God is the only one who is invincible. That’s the reason I love John 16:33, because it gives hope, something that we all need, and it gives us direction. I want to take it apart, so you can see the promise that is within such a powerful verse. Whether you’re going through a storm or beginning to get cocky, this is for you (pssst that means this is for everyone). I want you to be encouraged, to know that you aren’t alone, because we are never alone when we abide in Christ.
We will face adversity.
This is the hardest part of the verse, but one that is vital for us to live. We will have trouble. Will, not maybe if the moon is full and the temperature is just right, nope, it’s the fact that we will have trouble. This is for the people that feel invincible already, it’s a lie to live that way. This isn’t me saying that you should live in constant fear, it just means that we need to be ready for when the chaos will come. Even superheroes have to learn this fact, Superman sometimes has to get help from the Justice League, and that guy really is invincible! In reality, we need to be ready for the attack. We need to have people in life that can stand with us in prayer, and we need to be living in the word daily so that we can always be ready. It’s not a question of if, but a question of when. You can have a head start on the enemy when you prepare before the chaos hits, and during the madness, you can turn to those who will guide you through the pain. Understand that it’s okay to not be invincible, God gives us the tools we need to face these trials. We have the church, we have counselling, and we have professionals willing to help. Prayer is huge, but sometimes we need others to help us to not only join us in prayer, but help us. You have been made in the image of God, and when you face trouble, be ready.
Don’t lose hope.
This is my favorite. There is always hope. That’s what Jesus meant when he said “take heart.” We don’t have to lose hope even when it feels like nothing can bring us out of the despair we are fighting, Jesus is right with us. He never leaves us. It may not make sense to us why certain things are happening, but God uses all things. This is a truth which has taken me a long time to fully understand. Yet, in every trial I have grown into a man who is trying to be wise and strong. We need to remember that our purpose may have pushback, it can be hard to move forward towards our dreams (see previous week’s post), but in all things God is shaping us into his perfect design. You have been made in the image of God, so don’t lose hope, because the creator is guiding you.
We’ve already won the war.
This is such a powerful statement. No matter how many battles you face or how many demons come at you, the war has already been won by Christ. The last bit in that verse states that he has “overcome the world.” Another word for overcome is to prevail, essentially, to win. God has already won. When Jesus gave his life and rose again, he arrested death of its power. We can live with the mind of a victor. Each battle may be hard, but we have been promised the victory of the war. Even when we lose battles and it seems like there’s no way out, God tells us that he has one. God is invincible so we don’t have to be. He carries us out of the depths and into his presence, a presence of victory. We have been made in the image of God, so when we face trial we can have hope, because God has already won the war.
Life is crazy, and as much as I’d like to give the secret of being invincible to this adversity, I can’t. Only God is all-powerful, but that’s why we have hope. We don’t have to solve it all, need to answer all the questions, we serve a God who made everything around us and who loves us with a deep love. He is a father calling out to his child, you are his child. You have a purpose in this world. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. You have the ability to be a strong leader, to make your life mean something greater. When you understand that in this world you will have trouble, you can have hope, because God has already won the war. You were made by God to do great things, cling to that. Grow your relationship and have people around you that build you up. Never lose the hope that God’s word gives. And live with the knowledge that even when you fall, God never does, and he wants to lift you right back up. We need to trust him and give our life fully over to him. You are not invincible, only God is.
You are incredible, because you are made in the image of God.