The Overcomer

“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Life can be rough. It can be dark. Imagine being a disciple hearing Jesus talk about tribulation and then actually realizing it when the One you have followed is executed. It was dark, and they were unsure. We live like that a lot too. God’s plans don’t alway make sense to us.

“We are so frequently misguided about God’s plans. Day by day we measure or progress toward anticipated goals; we judge God’s faithfulness and our performance by the proximity of the desired accomplishment… And then the kids fail (again!); foreclosure looms; we discover that the boss not only doesn’t appreciate us, but he’s considering demoting us. Hold on! We think. This isn’t what I signed up for. This isn’t right. I’ve followed God. Where is he now that I really need him? What happened to all the plans we made together?” 

“We suffer because we mistakenly believe that God’s goals and our goals are identical.”

“The gospel dispels darkness and confusion. It tells me about him, about myself. It tells me that I am in him, and because that’s my identity, I can have peace when peace is beyond comprehension. But my experience of peace in tribulation also grows more brightly as I remind myself of the things he taught (John 16:33). He taught these truths so that I might have peace; they shatter my misguided illusions: my selfish ambition, even for his kingdom, is not his goal. Washing feet is. I believe that a pleasant existence free from tribulation will bring me happiness. He teaches that fullness of joy is found in divesting myself of pride and idolatrous desire for pleasure, respect, and comfort.”

“Peace begins to fill my soul when I remember the truth of the gospel: I am more sinful and flawed than I ever dared believe, more loved and welcomed than I ever dared hope. I deserve less than nothing but have been given everything.”

We follow and are loved and empowered by the overcomer. Live in that today.

Lenten devotion from Comforts from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Day 19.

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