How To Be An Overcomer

Paul, when in face of his persecution, expressed himself with zeal and love for the Lord, never giving up the calling to preach the Gospel, he said, For I hold myself in readiness not only to be arrested and bound and imprisoned at Jerusalem but also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus, and Except that the Holy Spirit clearly and emphatically affirms to me in city after city that imprisonment and suffering await me, but none of these things move me; neither do I esteem my life dear to myself, if only I may finish my course with joy and the ministry which I have obtained from the Lord Jesus, faithfully to attest to the good news of God’s grace (Acts 20:23-24; 21:13). He endured many persecutions; his life was marked by dying as a martyr for Christ. His faith sparkled to the world with these words, I am already about to be sacrificed; the time of my release is at hand and I will soon go free. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that day- and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (II Timothy 4:6-8). Like Paul and all those who died for Christ by means of persecution in those days, there are many brothers and sisters all over the world suffering today great persecutions and facing death. They have showed remarkable faith and strength and have counted a privilege to suffer for our Lord. They are teaching us how to persevere in faith by their faithfulness in suffering.

Job was a person who suffered not persecution, but a testing of time under the hand of Satan. Unfairly, it seemed, but God allowed it for the purpose to show the enemy the extent of Job’s faithfulness to Him. In return, God rewarded him with double the blessings as before: And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. . . And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his sons’ sons’ even to four generation (Job 42:12-17). As a result of all Job’s sufferings, we not only have the report of his sufferings, but also poetry and prophecies. Examples of it is found in Job 19: 23-27: Oh, that the words I now speak were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That with an iron pen and lead they were graven in the rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer and Vindicator lives, and at last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin, even this body, has been destroyed, then from my flesh or without it I shall see God, Whom I, even I, shall see for myself and on my side! And my eyes shall behold Him, and not as a stranger…Beautiful, isn’t it? This life of faith many of us should desire in a world like today!

Peter and Paul challenge us to be faithful in our trials, for they come to us for a purpose to sanctify, and establish us in what God intends  for us to  be: After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, Who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you out to be, establish and ground you securely and strengthen and settle you (I Peter 5:10); And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ, developing and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you (Phil. 1:6). That means that for the Bride of Christ to be complete in her perfection, (molded into the image of God’s Son) she has to go through sufferings. The righteous ones, even in their sufferings, should be firmly fixed in the presence of the Lord, bearing fruit continuously, fruit that reflect God’s faithfulness, no matter the circumstances. In their faithfulness, the Bride of Christ will show their love and trust in Him. Their demonstration of love to God will not go unnoticed, for the Lord will respond by saying, They shall be mine, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be my Jewels and I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him (Malachi 3:16-18).

The sufferings that come to the believer are also for the purpose of correction, as we read in Psalm 119: 67,71: It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes; Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now Your word do I keep. Enduring the time of trials with the understanding of the Word of God, helps us to overcome it victoriously. The letter to the Hebrews gives us  the perspective which will encourage us to the end of our trials:  Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds (12:3).  Paul advises us how to face our trials: In your trial, just think of His suffering for you; constantly keep in mind Jesus Christ; persevere and stand your ground with patience and endure everything, for if we endure, we shall also reign with Him (II Timothy 2:8,10,12); and in I Corinthians 10:13 he encourages us with these words:  For no temptation has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man, but God is faithful, and He [can be trusted] not to let you to be tempted beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will also provide the way out, that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. Our Lord will never leave us to suffer alone; but He suffers with us.

The believer should have his goal of reaching his heavenly destiny knowing that no suffering in the space of time on earth shall keep him from getting there, only that he must share in the suffering with Christ, if it is for him to share in His glory and hear the  Savior’s welcome words: Well done, My faithful servant! Whatever we must suffer here on earth, it will never compare with the sufferings our Lord YAHSHUA went through for us. One life we have, with joy we must give it to Him until death unites us with Him.

THINK ABOUT IT!

Author: Jacinta da Cruz Rodgers

I have been committed to teaching the truth of the Word of God beginning with Trans World Radio on Bonaire, N.A and Swaziland, Africa (1969-1980), then through churches in the United States in both English and Portuguese and then through ministry in Israel (2005-2006). This ministry continues through local Bible studies and outreach to the world via the internet. I have written a book about my life from that of an orphan in Brazil to missionary in 5 countries. You can find out more on the "Book" page of our blog site.

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