1 John 4:4
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
My last conversation with my recovery mentor was not so much a conversation but more of an outpouring of my own lamentations;
… My son is 18 and we rarely have significant life-affirming conversations
… My position as IT Manager of the last 16 years has been eliminated at my company
… the career changes now taking place are cutting into my time serving in various church ministries and will likely get worse not better
… I’m nearly 53 years old and have never been married
… my emergency fund would only cover 30 days, not several months as they should
… I have chronic health issues which the doctors have basically written off as “fatigue” as they can find no underlying medical problems
And my sponsors response? “You have a little “g” god.
I hate it when he says that!
But at the same time I’m always incredibly grateful for his laser guided convictions that cut through the noise in my head and leads to the same place that all truth leads; how’s my faith?
God never promised an easy life. Much to the contrary actually.
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
2 Corinthians 6:4
Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;
2 Corinthians 12:10
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
1 Thessalonians 2:9
Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.
2 Timothy 4:5
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?
You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
For probably everyone reading this, our daily struggles are borderline pathetic compared to the very real persecution, poverty and suffering that our brothers and sisters in Christ are facing around the world. When we ruminate on our trials we are succumbing to prideful arrogance and entitlements that dictate somehow we should be above hardship.
This is Satan’s oldest ploy since his reign over earthly things began
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Adam and Eve were in perfect union with God until Satan planted the seed “you are missing out on something better”.
1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
When we drift away from reading the bible daily, when we find it harder and harder to squeeze in times of solitude and prayer, when we forsake meeting with other believers, when we return to leaning on our own understanding and power to get through the challenges and hardships of this life; it will always open us up to the voice of the Evil One who seeks to implant a feeling of self-pity.
Self-Pity is defined as a self-indulgent dwelling on one’s own sorrows or misfortunes
When we have a little ‘g’ god our troubles overwhelm our thoughts and feelings and we no longer are focused on how we can be a light to those around us but instead fearful that the darkness may overtake us.
This is why it is so critical to stay rooted in God’s word and be constantly reminded of WHO I AM IN CHRIST.
It is HE who has overcome, is overcoming, and will overcome. Satan doesn’t know that he has already lost and that his lies are powerless to the one with a Big “G” God.
More Than Conquerors
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Prayer For Today
Father God, forgive me that I relegate You to a vending machine at times as I whine about how things seem unfair and the trials seem beyond my ability to not only endure but overcome in a mighty way through Your strength and power. The price You paid through Your Son is beyond comparison throughout all of time and creation and yet I indulge in self-pity? Today Lord I gratefully lay down my small burdens and instead press into the rebirth of gratitude and hope and purpose and calling. You are a mighty God, all powerful and worthy of our praise. Let there be no doubt in Your children this day that we are not burdened with the need to generate the light but instead simply reflect the light and hope that You alone produce Father. We pray for our eyes to be opened to the needs of those around us and that You will provide the desires of our hearts, the direction of our feet and production of our hands for Your glory this day Lord. In Jesus name I pray…