Summary: We need victory over the troubles of this life.
INTRO.- ILL.- Someone said, "Life is unfair. I lost my car keys at a ball game and never found them. I lost my sunglasses at the beach and never found them. I lost my socks in the washing machine and never found them. I lost three pounds on a diet -- I found them and five more." Life does seem somewhat unfair at times but it’s far worse than gaining weight.
Job 14:1 “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” Trouble in this life is not a respecter of persons. It hits us all, but not all are overcomers. There are a few rare souls, however, that seem to experience extra-ordinary victory in life and over life’s troubles.
ILL.- Enter Lance Armstrong, Tour de France winner. He did something that no one else has done or will likely do in the years ahead. He beat cancer and won the Tour de France cycling event 7 straight years in a row.
"To me, just finishing the Tour de France is a demonstration of survival," Armstrong once wrote.
Armstrong, 33, underwent two surgical operations and four bouts of chemotherapy in an agonizing battle against cancer, which spread to his lungs and brain. Amazingly, he came back to win 7 straight Tour de France races. He is definitely an overcomer! It’s just a shame that he isn’t a Christian.
ILL.- Here’s another example of an overcomer in life. Robert was physically handicapped. He was a spastic and confined to a wheelchair. His speech was so slurred that he was difficult to understand. But he was a student at a university and highly admired and appreciated because of his great attitude.
Robert couldn’t pull himself forward in his wheelchair, so if no one was around to push him, Robert just pushed himself backward with his feet while looking over his shoulder to see where he was going.
One day Robert came to close to the edge of some stairs in the administration building. Robert, wheelchair, books and all went crashing down the stairs. The wheelchair rolled off by itself down the hall. Robert ended up sprawled out on the floor but unhurt. Several concerned students rushed over to help him. From his rather undignified position, he looked up, laughed out loud and said, “Let me teach you how to dance!”
Robert was a Christian and wanted to share the message of Christ with others. One Sunday he spoke to an audience of over a thousand at a church. He struggled hard to speak plainly. Few people in that audience understood his message, but no one missed the message of the love of God that he communicated.
Robert eventually realized his dream of sharing the message of Christ and went with a group of missionaries overseas. He had them put posters on the sides of his wheelchair and park him on a busy downtown street corner. There he sat all day handing out gospel tracts to people. Robert was an overcomer his spite of the circumstances of his life.
Brothers and sisters, instead of taking life easy, we should do something! The way to overcome the obstacles of life is not to sit safely in a pew, but to do something!
ILL.- Marshal Foch of France spoke these words at one of the most critical moments of WWI. He said, “My right has been beaten back. My left is in peril. My center is wavering. THE SITUATION IS IDEAL. I ATTACK.”
The enemy expects us to do little or nothing, but in order to accomplish much in this life and be an overcomer we must attack that which is against us and hold high the banner of Christ!
PROP.- Paul’s message in Colossians chapter 4 gives us some insight and/or instruction as to how to be an overcomer in this life and over life’s obstacles.
I. PRAY MUCH
Col. 4:2-3 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message…” We must devote ourselves to prayer, to all kinds of prayer. We can’t “hit and miss” if we expect to be overcomers. We must be “regular” customers if we intend to get waited on.
ILL.- Three preachers sat discussing the best positions for prayer while a telephone repairman worked nearby. "Kneeling is definitely best," claimed one.
"No," another contended. "I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to Heaven."
"You’re both wrong," the third insisted. "The most effective prayer position is lying prostrate, face down on the floor."
The repairman could contain himself no longer. "Hey, fellas, " he interrupted, "the best prayin’ I ever did was hangin’ upside down from a telephone pole."
That repairman prayed “on the job” and it wasn’t easy. Of course, he probably prayed from that telephone pole because he was scared. Sometimes it pays to be frightened enough to pray. Hopefully, he prayed “off” the job as well.