Summary: Learn how to overcome in any situation and turn your test into a testimony of victory!
Turning Tests into Testimonies
How to Overcome in Any Situation
One year there was a terrible flood that deluged a small midwestern town located in a valley between two rivers. Both rivers had overflowed their banks and the rains continued to fall day and night. There was no relief in sight as the town slowly but surely was being flooded. Everyone was evacuated, except for one old man who refused to leave his house—which would soon become completely submerged.
“I have faith that God will save me,” the old man shouted at everyone who implored him to leave and flee to higher ground. The man believed in the power of prayer, and he trusted that God would somehow save him.
As the water covered the roads, making them impassable for cars, a man in a four-wheel-drive truck stopped at the old man’s house and banged on the door. “Hurry,” he cried out. “Come with me and I’ll drive you to safety! You don’t have much time!” But the old man continued to pray. He would not leave his house.
Within hours, the water had risen several feet, completely flooding his home. The rain continued. The old man climbed up on the kitchen table and continued to pray. As the water was lapping at his heels, a man in a rowboat paddled up to the old man’s kitchen window and shouted, “Sir, get in my boat! I’ll take you to safety!”
“No,” the old man shouted back. “God will deliver me from this flood!”
The water got deeper and soon the old man had no choice but to climb up on his roof. The torrential rains persisted. While he was praying, he heard the chop-chop-chop of a helicopter in the sky. He looked up and saw the helicopter hovering over his house. A ladder had been lowered for him to climb.
“Go away,” yelled the man at the helicopter. “You will blow me off my roof! God is going to save me! You go save someone else!”
The helicopter couldn’t wait forever, so it left the old man on his rooftop, still praying. Eventually, the water engulfed the house and the old man drowned in the flood.
When the old man arrived at the gates of heaven, he asked Saint Peter if he could have a talk with God. Peter took him to the throne of grace.
“Oh Lord, I prayed earnestly for the rains to stop and for your deliverance from the flood. But you left me there to drown. I don’t understand!”
“Son, I heard your prayers. I sent you a four-wheel-drive truck, a rowboat, and a helicopter. What more did you want?”
You may have heard that story before, but one question I have for you is, did that man overcome the flood or did the flood overcome him? The flood won, the man lost. Even though he was a Christian. Even though he prayed to God to save him, he still lost. He still drowned. People ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Don’t get discouraged because this man died.
It’s not God’s fault. You see, we are promised a long, satisfied life. We’re promised the victory. We have the greater one on the inside of us. But, still, why do bad things happen to good people? First of all, it’s because the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking somebody to eat up, and he doesn’t care if the person’s good or bad. And also, it’s because some people just don’t get it. In order for us to overcome in any situation, we have to take action. There are certain things that we have to do.
II. Know That You Win
John 16:33 (NIV) “33‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’”
John 16:33 (AMP) “33I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”
Because of Jesus, we can have peace and confidence. He told us that while we’re here on earth, trouble is inevitable. We’re going to have tribulation, trials, things are going to come against us, people are going to oppose us, BUT…remember the big but. But be of good cheer. In other words, don’t worry, because I have deprived the world of power to harm you and I have conquered it for you. Or he could say, I’m living on the inside of you, and therefore with me on the inside of you, you can overcome the world.