How We Overcome – Encouragement for Today – January 15, 2020

Esther FleeceJanuary 15, 2020

How We Overcome

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"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Romans 8:37 (NIV)

I'd been in a spiritual wilderness season for quite some time. Having resigned from my job, I walked by faith, but as the days, weeks and months went on, God felt more and more distant.  

I wasn't hearing His voice clearly, and I wondered if I'd misstepped or made a mistake. After year three of unanswered prayers with hope deferred and no job in sight, I asked myself, Would this heart-sick feeling stick with me the rest of my days? Would "Defeated" be my new name?

We will not feel like conquerors every day.

In the seasons and years we feel weary, unseen and tired, it's important to not rename ourselves in the middle of a storm. We're meant to be more than conquerors, and "Overcomers" will be a part of our new name - if we don't give up.

I never felt like the phrase "more than conquerors" applied to me. After being abandoned by my biological parents, losing extended family members, facing financial independence as a teenager and being unsure where I would lay my head at night, I certainly didn't feel like "more than a conqueror."

And I know I am not alone.

To the woman facing an unwanted break-up, a betrayal or the death of a loved one - I'm sure you don't feel like you're overcoming, either.

But let's not miss the questions that precede calling us conquerors. The Apostle Paul asks, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (Romans 8:35, NKJV) We're told we can be more than conquerors in the midst of these hardships and evils - right smack-dab in the middle of a trial.

Being more than a conqueror means whatever the enemy intended to use to take you out - whatever was meant to destroy you - did not in fact destroy you, and it's now being used for God's glory.

It means we don't rename ourselves in the seasons we feel forgotten and forsaken. It means we persevere to the other side of the trial and wait, expectantly, for our new name.

Our stories are important. They're part of our testimony about what God has done for us. But there's a second part to our stories. How are we overcoming? How are we being made new? What's God doing inside of us, not just yesterday or last week or 10 years ago, but today? Do our stories show God's ongoing faithfulness?

I used to see myself as an orphan, but now I know I am an adopted daughter.

I am more than a conqueror. 

I used to label myself forgotten, but now I know I am chosen by God and included.

I am more than a conqueror.

I used to feel unwanted, but now I know God went to great lengths to save me.

By His power, I am more than a conqueror. 

When we stay in our old names, identifying with our old stories, we make the name-changing process about us. Yet this overcoming process is not about us; it's about God revealing His name to the world. God will reveal Himself through our stories and the people we become. But the trial is not supposed to be the end. The persecution, famine and distress are not our destiny, nor are they our final destination.

In Romans 8, Paul says our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (v.18). He explains that even creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed (v.19). If creation is excited to see God revealed through you, imagine God's delight in bringing about this overcoming process in you!

Romans 8:37 declares that one of your new names is "more than a conqueror" - the victory God has for you will be overwhelming! Don't give up or rename yourself too soon. Your new name and His name will be on display as we overcome.

Heavenly Father, thank You for being an overcoming God! I know I can take heart because You have overcome the world. Empower me to rise above my circumstances. Help me cast my anxiety on You because You care for me. Give me Your power to overcome. Thank You for giving me the victory! In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

John 16:33, "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." (NIV)

1 John 5:4-5, "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." (NIV)

Join Esther Fleece Allen, bestselling author of No More Faking Fine, in her new book, Your New Name. Here, you can explore your God-given identity that no label can limit and no circumstance can shake.

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Enter to WIN your very own copy of Your New Name by Esther Fleece Allen. To celebrate this book, Zondervan will give away 5 copies! Enter to win  by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and notify each one in the comments section by Monday, January 20, 2020.}

What's one old name or label that's stuck with you that may be holding you back from seeing yourself as an overcomer?

© 2020 by Esther Fleece. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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