“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5).
Jesus did not come to breed weak, spineless Christians, but overcomers. He died to bring to birth men and women of courage who know their authority, and exercise it in prayers and in the daily issues of life. He died to raise men and women who through faith and boldness will overcome sufferings, adversities, circumstances and the temptations of life. He died so as to raise children who will extend the kingdom of God on this earth at all cost. As we exercise our authority over the powers of darkness we overcome the circumstances and adversities of life, and we shall be able to extend the kingdom of God.
In John 16:33, Jesus said that he has overcome the world. And in 1 John 5:4-5 we read that, whatsoever that is born of God overcomes the world. Faith is our greatest weapon for overcoming sufferings, adversities and the circumstances of life. We need prevailing faith now to overcome the present adversities of our society. I have always imagined what Jesus would have done if he were in our world of today. One thing is certain; he would have exercised a lot of faith.
THE WORLD SYSTEM
The world is a place of sufferings, tribulations, trials, persecutions, temptations, hunger, famine, lack, greed, etc. The world is not a place of love, peace and unity, but a battleground of intrigues, political demagoguery, back stabbing and undercutting. It is a place of fear, envy, jealousy, strife and unimaginable wickedness. Just take a look at the heartless carnage taking place in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and France, to mention a few. The world watches helplessly as the superpowers and their proxies turn Iraq and Syria to battle grounds. Take a look at the situation in Nigeria where Fulani herdsmen ravage communities unchecked by the government. What about the menace of kidnappers, militants, armed robbers, etc? That is only a glimpse of the ugly side of our world.
The Bible says, Satan is the prince of this world (John 14:30). He sits on top of the world system and influences the happenings in the system. This is why the Bible says we should not love the world or the things of this world (1 John 2:15-17). That is, we should not pledge our loyalty and should not give our devotion to the worldly system.
JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD
It is reassuring to know that Jesus came so that through him the world might be saved (John 3:17; 2 Corinthians 5:19). He came to reconcile this ugly, hostile world back to the Creator (2 Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 1:20-21). He overcame the worldly system at the cross (Colossians 1:20-21; 2:13-15). Jesus overcame all the sufferings and adversities of this world, and he expects us to do the same through the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, he expects us to enforce the victory he won at the cross. Someone said Christ’s victory over Satan at the cross is like a credit card which we must use. If you carry your credit card about and you don’t use it, then you will be a loser.
HOW DO WE OVERCOME THE WORLD?
The believer can overcome the adversities of this world through persevering faith. Faith is the great key every believer has. Faith overcomes. Persevering faith conquers. Faith does not quit in the face of problems. Only faith in God and his word can overcome the world. In Hebrews 11:33-35 we read about the exploits and triumphs of faith. Jesus took time to teach his disciples about prevailing faith.
We overcome by the blood of Jesus. Revelations 12:11 says, “…they overcome by the blood of the lamb…” There is warfare raging over the world’s systems. It is a battle of light and darkness, of good and evil, of ignorance and knowledge, of poverty and prosperity, a battle between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. The Christian must not remain aloof in this battle for the redemption of the world.
We also overcome by the love of God. Love conquers. Love motivated Jesus to come and lay down his life in order to reconcile the world back to himself. Love will lead us to show compassion to those who suffer and are dying in the world (John 3:16-17).
We overcome the world as we go about sharing the message of the love of God through evangelism and humanitarian efforts (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
The faith that overcomes the world endures suffering and pain. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame…” (Romans 5:3-5 ESV). The faith that overcomes perseveres and is steadfast. Let us not quit in the face of the present sufferings, but remain steadfast in our confession. The faith that overcomes clings steadfastly to God and his promises. May we remain steadfast and triumph through faith. May God strengthen and keep us in these times of adversity.