Sunday, March 3, 2024

We Can Overcome

By Jared Green

    Claustrophobia, the fear of enclosed spaces, is one of the most well known phobias in the world. Those who deal with claustrophobia report physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, ringing in ears, and confusion when in a small, enclosed space. While only a small part of the human population deal with claustrophobia, most of us know the feeling of the metaphorical walls closing in. When a school deadline is approaching and there is still work to be done on the big paper, it may feel as though the walls are closing in. When a person is under financial stress and his car breaks down, it may feel as though the walls are closing in. For Christians, that feeling often comes as the result of temptation. 
    We feel this because, frankly, temptation is difficult to overcome. On the one hand, temptation is difficult because it is fun to sin! That sentence may seem surprising, but James tells us, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). Temptation is also difficult because it is all around us. John sums up temptation this way: “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:16). From social media, to television, to the actions of people around us, we encounter temptation daily. Temptation is difficult to overcome!
    Scripture teaches us, however, that Christians do not have to suffer from spiritual claustrophobia. John teaches us that we can overcome the world. As difficult as it may seem to overcome the “world” (John’s word to describe temptation in 1 John 2:16), it is possible through our faith in Jesus. John says, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4). 
    Our faith in Jesus means that we believe he is our Savior, we submit ourselves to him in obedience, and we daily trust in him for the strength to overcome. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…” Faith in Jesus brings us the victory to overcome the world! God loves you, and so do I.

- Jared Green preaches the Calvert City Church of Christ in Calvert City, KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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