“These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 (NASB)
Series Focus: “Through His Eyes”
Have you ever witnessed a sport’s team win a big game or earn a national title? The expression of the celebration of that victory varies across the team members. Some may lift their hands in the air and exuberantly exclaim their excitement. Others may run to their team members, high-fiving, jumping on, and hugging each other. Still others may fall to their knees in awe and thanksgiving. Regardless of the actions, the relief, thrill, gratitude, and jubilee of the victory is evident.
These victorious celebrations occur near or at the end of the game. No one really knows which team will win until the game is over. At the start, some may feel like they have the advantage and are winners. However, this is truly unknown until the game is played.
Some say the same about life. The outcome—whether victorious or not—is unknown until the end. Popular clichés regarding the “game” of life include: “You don’t know what cards you’ll be dealt;” or “You win some, you lose some;” or “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.”
Looking from the outside, these statements may seem logical and trustworthy, based on people’s various experiences and circumstances. But, are these phrases scriptural? Is our true identity in Christ found in these worldly axioms? Does our Father in Heaven see us as mere pawns in a game of chance? Let’s turn to the pages of the Bible and take a look.
The prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus, and then Matthew quoted this prophecy in Matthew 12:20 (NASB):
A bent reed He will not break off, and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish, until He leads justice to victory.
Jesus came to provide victory for mankind. Jesus said we would experience trials in this world, but we should be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world. But what is this victory parade He leads, and what has He overcome for us? Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (NASB):
“Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In other words, sin and death have no power over those in Christ. Jesus fulfilled the law and overcame the curse of the law. Therefore, those who are in Christ are overcomers, victors, and free from the sting of death and sin. So, how do we walk in this victory Jesus has provided? In 1 John 5:4 (NASB), John wrote:
For whoever has been born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.
It is by our faith in God and in the finished work of Jesus that we apprehend this victory and overcome the world. What we believe about God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—determines what we believe about ourselves.
God sees us through the shed blood of Jesus as victors and overcomers. He has set before us life and death, and provided victory to all who choose to believe upon Him. It is our choice to have faith…or not. When our faith intertwines with His word, our identity transforms into the very things He has promised.
In Christ, you are victorious! You are a winner! Whether you feel like it, or not; if you’re dragging through this “game” called life; you’ve been knocked down and trampled… Nevertheless, you are an overcomer through Jesus! This doesn’t mean you won’t have struggles, trials, and hard times. It means that in the midst of them, you can rejoice, knowing Jesus is your victory! We know how this “game” ends!
What does that victory look like in you? Do you jump for joy? Raise your hands in celebration and praise? High-five and huddle with believers of like, precious faith? Or fall on your knees in adoration and awe? Your expression of victory may look different from everyone else, and in various circumstances and situations. The important thing is that you see yourself as your Father sees you: a victorious overcomer through Jesus!
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: John 16:33; Isaiah 42:3; Matthew 12:20; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Galatians 3:13; 1 John 5:4; Deuteronomy 30:19