Fresh Start : Day 20

By January 20, 2016Devotional

Jon Harris

Day20 (PDF version – click here)

Victorious: You’re On the Winning Team

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

What did you think about when you read this verse? Did your mind race to peace? What about the idea of good cheer or being an overcomer? Did did you immediately think about tribulation?

Read it again and take a moment to ponder this question in your heart.

I’ve asked this question to many and the overwhelming response is that people tend to immediately focus in on tribulation, trials and problems. Why is that? Why are we so conditioned to think about having trouble? What about the good things in that verse? There are three good things in that specific verse (peace, good cheer and overcome) and only one bad thing (tribulation). Yet our minds still immediately race to that one negative thing, tribulation.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘tribulation’ as unhappiness, pain, or suffering; an experience that causes someone to suffer. To ‘overcome’ is defined like this: to defeat, to successfully deal with or gain control of something difficult.

According to these definitions, I believe most would definitely rather choose to overcome. However, in life I believe we subconsciously pull out the bad. Because we’ve endured bad experiences and painful trials, we have become conditioned to focus in on the negative. We’ve subconsciously filed these away in our brain and our mind- or soul- has made the decision to tell the brain, “these are bad, these hurt, I don’t want to feel these again, watch out for these!” We end up living our lives in fear of what may happen.

One of my favorite authors and speakers, Dr. Caroline Leaf, said it this way: “Whatever thoughts you think about the most will grow – thoughts are real physical things that grow in response to your thinking.”

Studies show that our brain is an amazing place. So amazing, in fact, that even the top neurosurgeons in the country are still learning it’s full capacity and potential. What they have learned is that our brain has incredible capacity to learn new things, to change and to expand.

How can this help us? I believe the answer lies within a choice. We must make a conscious decision to choose to focus on the “good things”. The Bible says if we do this, the peace of God will be with us (Philippians 4:8). We have the power to choose. God has given us free will and it’s up to us to decide. We have been made in the image of God. We are not victims of our genetic make-up; we are VICTORS over and above our genetic make-up.

God has given us a Bible full of promises. These promises are truths and we can take them to the bank! Seek them out, memorize them, and stand on them. Every day we have a choice. Let’s make a commitment to start each day by thanking God for sending Jesus to overcome the world for us. Thank Him for all of His many benefits. Thank Him for giving us freedom to overcome the tribulations we face.

You are an overcomer! Read that verse again. Now what do you see?

Prayer:

Lord I thank you for sending Jesus so that we may have eternal life through Him. I thank You for also sending Him so that we may be victorious in this life. Help me to learn your promises and to remember that I am a victor. In Jesus name – Amen.