“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Life is hard. That’s the simple and sad truth about it. We go through struggles on a daily basis, life is nonstop and ever-changing, and this can become an increasing struggle that we all face. The truth is, we all have a very real enemy and he does not want us to win. I like winning, winning is fun, losing hurts. Losing makes us question our identity and who we are to the very core of our beings. I’m not simply talking about losing at a sport or at a game of jenga, I’m talking about the moments when we feel we have lost in life. Our hope starts to fade because of that person who hurt you. Each month we can’t understand how to get out of simply scraping to get by. The overwhelming events that life starts to throw our way start to pull at us. Losing hurts. In my life, it can be easy to let drown in my losses, to let it simply control my attitude and outlook on every small detail. The truth is that there is hope, because we have a creator that doesn’t lose, and even if we lost the battle, we have a God that won the war.
This past week I lost. Monday morning, I woke up at three AM with a feeling in my gut that my university had made a mistake. I hadn’t received the diploma yet, and I checked the school email and saw that my requirements had not been met. Further checking showed me that of 122 credit hours needed, I had 121. One hour. No special requirement, simply one basic hour that kept me from being a technical graduate. School has always been a struggle for me in my life (See many of my previous posts that mention that fact). In that moment I hated myself, I felt like a failure. In that moment I realized something, something very vital. I will not bow down to the attack of the enemy. I went to prayer the next morning and prayed with my family. Fight. I emailed my advisor to make sure I could get my registration code. Fight. I prayed hell away from me. Fight Danielle helped me find a class that fit. Fight. Thanks to Danielle I was able to register for an online intro to music course, allowing me to finish. Fight. I chose to remember that verse in John 16:33, God has overcome the world, I no longer am a slave to fear. Today I want to show you how to win. I want you to know that you can have spiritual victory in all things. God is not done with you yet, and he has won the war.
Life is hard, pray harder.
The past 21 days of prayer have been incredible. Each morning at 6 AM, I enter the battle with family, people who make up the body of Christ. The world we live in is hard. Check out my last post to hear about what I’ve been feeling with the current events. We are surrounded by hardship in culture and in our own lives, in these moments it can be easy to give up. Simply saying, “I’m done, no thanks.” That’s not what were called to do, we are called to love and live in the grace of the cross. We are called to preach the gospel and make disciples. We are called to live in God’s victory. What I’ve learned is that in the battles, we cannot retreat. We can’t give up and let the enemy conquer. In the battle we can fight, we can pray and dwell in scripture, and above all, we can remember that God has already overcome the war. We must fight back, we must pray harder than ever before. We can’t choose to be passive, we must be active in our pursuit. When we are in a passionate pursuit, we create revival, and revival leads to an awakening. An awakening is coming. So, pray hard, pray heaven down, and pray knowing that God has won the war.
God’s plan is sovereign, so trust him.
I think many of us can struggle with what God is calling us to do. We have God give us a vision of what he wants us to do, but it often conflicts with our own plan. So, we go our own way and life gets even more difficult because we are choosing independence. Life becomes immensely harder when we don’t follow God’s plan and it prevents us from the blessing he wants to give us. Sometimes we simply have to listen and obey, even when it doesn’t make sense. There’s a great scene in the movie Dogma (Note: super inappropriate, watch the edited TV version, that’s how I first saw it. It’s a commentary on religion as a satire), the scene is of the main character as she has just been given a task bigger than anything she has ever faced. She has gone on a journey and finds out that this mission is bigger than she imagined and she may die to accomplish it. She then runs into the woods and cries out to God about giving this to her. An angel than tells her that God gave her this mission because she was the perfect person for the job, and God had given her all that she needed. (Just died in a secular Kevin Smith movie because God uses everything to speak, booyah) The same is true in our lives. The world is fallen, sin is rampant, and we are thrown into the hardest moments and we all want to give up. The truth is, God has you right where you need to be and has provided you with the tools to make it through. We have community, scripture, and prayer to guide us. So, trust him and you will live in spiritual victory.
The verse inspiring this blog states that we will all have trouble. Not a, you might have a few bumps in the road, but the fact that you will experience hardship. We will all have to fight, but we have hope, because God has already won the great war. We often struggle because we live like we have lost, when in reality, we need to live knowing that we have won. We have spiritual victory in all things because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. When we step into that truth, we can have spiritual victory. Pray hard and trust God, because he has overcome the world, nothing can stand against God.
Live in spiritual victory, knowing that God is using the body of believers to seek and save the lost.