S&L Devo: Overcomer

“Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
-Matthew 11:28

Quitting is so easy.  I don’t always go to the gym because I’d rather just sleep that extra hour.  I don’t always eat what I should because that slice of cheesecake is calling my name.  I sit on the couch and binge watch Netflix sometimes instead of finishing the myriad of projects I’ve committed myself to, and I buy those jeans even though I said I was going to stop impulse buying.  The list goes on, but the gist of it is: I struggle.  We all do; maybe with different things, but we do.

Thank God, there is hope throughout scripture:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6:9)

But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded. (2 Chronicles 15:7)

In every one of these passages, we are being encouraged to fight the good fight, even if the good fight at this particular moment is responding patiently to the two-year-old who just wrote on your white, upholstered headboard with black ink. (Yep…  that happened.)  Our Father has a history of pushing us onward, of encouraging us to chase after the desires of our heart.  He opens all the right doors.  We just have to walk through them.

My favorite verse of encouragement is found in John 16:33.  As Jesus is preparing His disciples for a future without Him on earth, He says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”  Regardless of what your struggle is, how big or how small, the fact remains: He has overcome, and as Christians we, too, are overcomers.  Jesus is our peace.  He is a constant source of inner joy.  He never says we won’t struggle.  In fact, He guarantees we will.  But, friends, we are never alone in that struggle and our victory lies in Him.

It is easy to give up.  It takes minimal effort to stop trying, to stop praying, to stop hoping. But when we really step back and look at the sacrifices such a powerful God, the creator of all things, made specifically with you and I in mind, many of our struggles begin to look less like mountains to climb and more like fields to run through.

So let’s remember to fix our eyes on things above, and pray that they’ll be opened to the opportunities God is laying before us right now, even in our worst situations; even in our most desperate times; even in our failure and especially in our weakness.

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