How Faith Overcomes

“ For whoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” I John 5:4

Faith is the victory that overcomes: what an astounding tautology put forth by the Apostle John! Certainly a lofty concept, but let us consider how our faith in Christ makes overcoming the world a practical and actual possibility.

First, believing that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God gives us the capacity to rest upon the power and ability of Christ, the One who conquered death and is alive forevermore.

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe” 1 Just as men of old ran to the tower to seek safety from their enemies, in the simplicity of our faith, we run to Christ, use His powerful name, hide in Him in a literal sense for protection, defense, and deliverance. We rely utterly upon Him. This is what is called “the great strategy of faith”, the assurance of the possibility that is open to us, that we can go to Christ directly, immediately, and simply look to Him and rest in Him. And when the battle rages on and we feel that we are at the point of falling, we simply cry “Jesus”, and believe and know that He is at hand to deliver and protect us.  As little children, we do not look at the enemy, but simply rely upon Him.  Victory is in Him, in His power, and not in ourselves.

Second, we use faith in an active sense.  We deliberate upon the Christian gospel and ponder what faith in Christ really means in terms of this fight we face against the world, the flesh and the devil.  We consider Jesus Christ in relation to this battle: that He took upon the likeness of sinful flesh because of the power of Satan, of sin and of evil, that He came because He is the only way by which we could be delivered from these overpowering forces. And in His life, death and resurrection, Christ overcame these powers.

As we see ourselves belonging to Christ, we realize that we share in His victory and everything that belongs to Him. Our whole perspective towards this fight changes: because Christ has overcome the world, and because we are in Him, then we have overcome.  In a practical sense, being in Christ enables us to see that we can literally draw strength and power from Him and from His fullness; we have inexhaustible resources behind us, we have a source of supply that can never fail. There is absolutely no limit to the power of Christ.

And in our human frailty, when we sin and fall back, there is forgiveness in Christ. There is nothing that so enables us to overcome as this deliverance from our sins and failures, the freedom from that overwhelming sense of despair, so we can arise again and continue our journey through life.

Lastly, faith enables us to behold the ultimate glory and perfection that await us.  Our hearts are encouraged though the fight may seem arduous and endless.  Faith makes us realize that Christ, who died for us and sustains us in this world, will one day present us faultless before the presence of God with exceeding joy.

And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.

*** 1  Proverbs 18:10

***Reference:  Martyn Lloyd Jones, Life In Christ, Crossway Books, Wheaton Illinois, 2002, pp. 604-613.

*** Photo: Elie Tower by Dimitri

12 thoughts on “How Faith Overcomes

  1. Dear one-your words dovetail with my devotional study this morning. Pray for my strength today.
    the last 2 nights, the spells were back. My husband holds me close to stop the flailing and shaking. last night it was worse. Don’t know what I am going to do about it yet. Just pray for my guidance and wisdom please.

  2. Dearest, Dee. Faith is a word that many use without real regard for what it implies. Recently, I had a friend who was in turmoil because she was over-burdened with two jobs and trying to make ends meet. She had become physically ill and continued to pray and talk of her utmost trust in God. I (as softly as possible) reminded her that if she truly had faith (if she truly trusted God), then she wouldn’t be killing herself to make ends meet, as if she were the only thing she could depend on. She actually worked at the place I volunteer teach, and I was thrilled beyond belief when I showed up one Saturday to find that she had quit this ‘extra’ job. Later I received a card from her – ‘B, you were right – if I truly trust in Him, I gotta stop trying to tell Him how to manage.’ A favored quote by C.S. Lewis ~ “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” Lovely (as usual) ~ Bobbie

    • Dearest Bobbie, You hit the nail on the head when you say “Faith is a word that many use without real regard for what it implies”. Yes, faith is more often than not used in “mental assent” rather than in actual practice. Thank you for sharing the story about your friend. You spoke the truth to her in love, and (for lack of a better term) “ministered” to her in her turmoil, truly acting as one of God’s angels on earth. I love that quote by C.S. Lewis — thank you for bringing the lovely words back to my mind and heart. Love, Dee

      • Dee, if you will pass this on to Bobbie who hopefully can pass this on to her friend. Here is another who understands the need to work to make ends meet-but I have finally learned that when I have done all I can do, I have to turn it over to HIM to let HIM do all that HE can do. HE is just waiting for me to do that of course! His burden light-I always wonder-what took me so long? I am definitely having to do that all day today! No one I want to talk to wants to talk to me-or be recruited! Been there before-just haven’t made the right calls/enough calls yet–and all the while be set with all manner of issues and craziness and flaming arrows! Yes! I have been holding up my SHIELD OF FAITH for protection and speaking words of the sword of the spirit! But it has been a hard day–

        • Hi Cindy, I’m sure that Bobbie will be able to read your comment here since this is part of the thread that she started. Thank you for sharing your experiences in utterly trusting Him. Hope you are able to rest during these evening hours after a hard day. God bless you with His peace!

      • Cindy, wouldn’t it be so much easier to trust if God were on the same schedule that we are? I’ve said the same thing about loving others ~ why did the rule have to be so simple (as yourself)? It would be so much easier if I only need to love those who love me, or those who are like me, or those who deserve it (ha). Though you may not see it now, this is a good time ~ a time for reflection and contemplation ~ a time for resolution. I’ve come to understand that the absolute worst thing to happen to you can be the best thing to happen to you ~ if you simply allow it to be. Regardless the weeds, there is always a bloom awaiting our find. Know peace that was with you from the start. ~ Much love, Bobbie

  3. “As little children, we do not look at the enemy, but simply rely upon Him. ” Ah, yes. So often we are tempted to focus on our sin and try harder to please Him -as if disgust is a better motivator than faith- when we really need to get our eyes off ourselves and back on to Jesus, don’t you think?

    • I agree absolutely, Charis! Focusing on our sin and relying on our own efforts often leads to failure rather than victory in our walk with the Lord. Yes, we need to get our eyes off ourselves, and focus on and look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith! God bless you richly and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. It is much appreciated!

  4. Pingback: Prayer and Meditation for Sunday, June 28, 2015 — Wholeness based on truth, love, compassion — “For God formed man to be imperishable.” — Faith Overcomes Death | Peace and Freedom

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