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"I have overcome the world." = Attaining Victory!
Who said it? Jesus.
Who won the victory? Jesus.
Who then possesses the victory? Jesus.
Is He willing to share? Yes! [not the glory, but the victory!]
The world is tough. But in Jesus we don't have to be victims...we can be victors! Trials can be overcome in triumph! Jesus overcame this world, and wants to help us do the same.
"How are you today?"
"OK, I guess, UNDER the circumstances."
And God says, "Come out from 'under' there! I want to share with you victory OVER circumstances. I want to help you soar above the storms on wings like an eagle!"
Aren't you glad God shares with us? He conquered death all by Himself...but He is the firstfruits of OUR resurrection. He shares with us! But still, that's someday in the future. What about today?
Today, He shares with us overcoming victory.
I'm thankful that God shares: One day...He will share all the riches of heaven. But not before He shared Himself with us here in this world!
I'm thankful that God shares: Not only in the sweet bye and bye, but in the nasty here and now!
1. The Facts.
v. 33 "ye shall have tribulation"
No 'if' ... only 'when'
The only sure thing this world offers us is trouble. We will have pain, both physical and emotional. Fear and frustration / disappointment and discouragement / disease and death apply to all of us, Christian or not.
Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish...
...exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
When you hear that 'preacher' on TV say that God wants to bless you with a trouble free life you can know two things about him: He has a semi-functioning head and a closed Bible.
The truth: If getting saved is the end of your troubles it's the front end! because NOW you have an all new set of troubles. Now, if you live Godly in Christ Jesus you shall suffer persecution. Now you are the devil's enemy!
Becoming a born-again Christian doesn't exempt you from trouble...but it does mean you have a new Father/Friend to walk the road of trials with you and help you be an overcomer in His name - claiming HIS victory so you don't have to live 'under the circumstances!'
1. The Facts.
2. The Forms.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; [trials]
'Divers' comes from the Greek meaning 'multi-colored'.
Trials come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and degrees. My trials are not like yours and yours are not like mine.
James was writing to this group of Jews who were scattered because of trials of persecution.
Maybe your trial is financial / physical / relational / emotional
And it could be of your own making thru bad choices. If we conduct our finances in ways contrary to what God teaches we will suffer for it. If we put things into our bodies that don't belong, it will speed our demise. If we conduct our marriage differently than God has commanded we shouldn't wonder why it falls apart. If our mind is focused on just about anything other than on the things God says to think on we shouldn't be surprised when our emotions go haywire.
We've all started our own business. What business? We're all in manufacturing. Manufacturing what? Our own misery!
3 categories of trials:
• A trial from God. [test]
Yes, He loves us just as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way. He wants something better for us. Yes, He cares about our happiness ... but He cares much more about our holiness, which of course will lead us to real contentment anyway.
And so, He will allow a trial to mold us and shape us. He will put us on the fire to purify us. He will put us on the rack to stretch us. He wants us to live by faith ... but a faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted.
ill.--God called Abraham to live by faith, and then tested him. "Sacrifice your promised son." Abe passed the test, and his faith actually grew because of it. Did God learn something new about Abraham that day? No. Did it ever occur to you that nothing ever occurred to God? It was a test for Abraham's sake, not for God's assurance.