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When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, our sins are covered over, and we become justified by Jesus Christ’s righteousness. As a result, we receive eternal life in heaven with God. This is a tremendous, unmerited gift from God!
But there is more to salvation than that. Our salvation has a great impact on our life here on earth. Jesus promises, to those who believe in him and accept him as their Lord, an abundant life here on this earth (John 10:10 KJV). It is that abundant life here on earth that I want to talk about in this chapter.
Scripture tells us that when we are in Christ, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are born again, or born from above (John 3:3, 5). (Also see 1 Peter 1:3.) We become children of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:16; 1 John 3:10). We partake in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). We become a new person. (See Chapter 14.)
This is a tremendous change. The change usually does not happen all at once, but continues throughout our life as Christians. It sometimes occurs so gradually that we hardly perceive it. But it is tremendous.
Christians are called to overcome every problem and difficulty that the world presents (1 John 5:4-5). (Also see John 16:33; Romans 8:35-37, 12:21; Philippians 4:10-13; 1 John 2:13-14.) But most of us seldom act like overcomers. God “…has given us everything we need for life and godliness…” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV), but most of us often allow ourselves to feel defeated by circumstances or by our own inadequacies. I think much of the reason is that we have not fully understood or accepted what our position in Christ really is. We have not made it our own. We have not lived up to it. We have not really believed it. In this chapter, I want to sketch out at least some aspects of that position, as we find it described in Scripture.
As I reflect on the Scriptures dealing with our position in Christ, I find many of them to be truly astonishing. I believe them in my mind, but I have found it hard to really believe them in my heart. It is not always easy to believe that I am an overcomer when the medical evidence tells me that I have advanced cancer in my body; but I need to believe it, because it is true. I have written this chapter for my own benefit as much as for anyone else’s, and I think I am becoming more able really to believe the Scriptural truths I have tried to express in it.
I think we have to start simply with faith in what the Scriptures say. Whose report will we believe? Will we believe the eternal truths that God has revealed in his Scriptures? Or will we believe our own feelings, impressions and ideas?
Then we need to reflect on these Scriptures, to chew on them, to let them sink into our inmost being. As the word of God becomes engrafted in us (James 1:21 KJV), it is able to work in us (1 Thessalonians 1:13) and change us. The word of God is living and active. We need to hear the word, believe it and not doubt, and then act on it. It is by our actions that we show what we really believe.
And so I invite everyone who reads this chapter to ask God to “open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Psalm 119:18). With Paul I pray, for myself as well as for you, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:17-18).
As we consider these extraordinary promises of Scripture, let us also remember that “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Fasten your seat belts and here we go!
WE ARE BECOMING UNITED WITH GOD
We find this unity expressed in Scripture in a number of ways. The unity is not perfect. Nothing on this earth is perfect. But there is a unity, and it is far more real than many of us have recognized.
God Lives in Us
To say that God lives in us seems astonishing, but it is Biblically true. From it flow a number of very important consequences.
“…if we love one another God lives in us…” (1 John 4:12 NIV). “We know that we live in him [God] and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13 NIV). “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God” (1 John 4:15 NIV). “…Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16 NIV).
The Holy Spirit is one member of the Trinity. He is God. And he lives in us. Jesus said that we will know him “for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). Paul wrote, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God” (1 Corinthians 6:19). (Also see 1 Corinthians 3:16.)
Christ also lives in us. If we will abide (live) in him, he will abide (live) in us (John 15:4 KJV). God has made known to those who believe in him this mystery, “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
Paul wrote, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you” (Romans 8:9-11 NIV). (I believe that “if” in this passage really means “when.” Paul is saying that God does live in those who believe in Jesus Christ and are controlled by the Holy Spirit.)
Notice how Paul speaks of the one who lives in us as “the Spirit of God,” “the Spirit of Christ,” “Christ,” and “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead” (that is, the Spirit of the Father). While we usually speak of the one who lives in us as the Holy Spirit, it is really all three members of the Trinity. It is God who lives in us, as John’s epistle says.
This is absolutely astonishing. Almighty God created the physical universe by his word, and sustains the universe by the word of his power. He is truly awesome (in the original sense of that overused word). Scripture tells us that “no one has seen God at any time” (John 1:18), and that God lives “in unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16). Scripture gives us some magnificent visions of God, but even they do not begin to show his full glory. God’s ways and his thoughts are far higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). He is beyond our understanding (Romans 11:33-34). “His greatness is unsearchable” (Psalm 145:3).
And yet this same awesome God lives in me! He lives in each individual who has accepted Jesus Christ and received the Holy Spirit! The concept is so staggering that it is difficult to grasp, but it is what Scripture says. It does not matter whether we feel his presence or not. According to Scripture, he is there. It may be good to pray for a greater awareness of his presence, but we already have his presence.
When Solomon built a magnificent Temple to God, he prayed, “But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!” (2 Chronicles 6:18). But now God lives in each believer. My body, your body (if you are a believer), is a temple in which Almighty God dwells!
In the Temple in Jerusalem, there was a holy of holies where God was thought to dwell. Only the High Priest could enter it, and he did so only once a year. Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, the curtain of the Temple has been torn in two (Matthew 27:51) and we can all approach God boldly (Hebrews 4:16). But it goes beyond that. We now are the temple. God is in us. We have him with us continuously. We do not need to seek his presence, because he is already here. He is with us always.
All too often, in our Christian life, some of us tend to pray earnestly, and cry out, for what we already have. For example, some people pray for God’s presence to be with them. According to Scripture, if they are Christians, then God abides (lives) in them. How can he be more present than that?
Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). There is strength and power in gathering together in his name. But if I read correctly the Scriptures about God’s presence within us, they are saying that we don’t have to have two or three gathering together. God is with us when we are alone. This is very important to know. If we are bed-ridden and cannot get to church, God is still with us. If we are persecuted and in prison, perhaps in solitary confinement, God is still with us. I once read of an American general who was captured by Italian terrorists. For over a year they kept him isolated. They kept earphones on his head and required him to listen to hard rock music for 24 hours a day. He found that, even under these circumstances, he could feel the presence of God, and he could pray and communicate with God. Nothing, except our own willfulness, can separate us from the presence of God. (See Romans 8:35-39.)
To avoid any possible misunderstanding, I want to make one thing clear. I am not saying that we are gods, or equal to God. We have God living in us, but that does not make us gods. The God who is in us is the only true God, who has existed for all eternity, and who is separate from his creation. God is the Creator. We humans are created beings. God is omnipotent. We humans can exercise such power as God chooses to give us, and for only as long as he chooses to give it to us. Apart from God, we can do nothing. (See John 15:5.) The New Age picture of someone tramping an ocean beach shouting, “I am God, I am God” is both ridiculous and blasphemous. But having said that, I go on to say that God has given extraordinary things to those who believe in Jesus Christ and continue to abide in him.
We Are Part of Christ’s Body
Scripture expresses this unity with God in another way. We are part of Christ’s body. We are as closely related to Jesus Christ, through whom the universe was created, as our neck or arms are related to our head!
All believers were baptized by one Spirit into one body (1 Corinthians 12:13). Paul compares this body of believers to the human body. We are part of each other, just as the hand, the foot, the eye, the ear, the kidneys and the liver are part of each other (1 Corinthians 12:12-26). Then Paul says something amazing, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27 NIV). “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?…” (1 Corinthians 6:15 NIV). We are part of Christ’s body! We are part of the body of Almighty God!
“…in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5 NIV). “Speaking the truth in love, [we] may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying [building up] of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16). “For we are members of His [Christ’s] body, of His flesh and of His bones” (Ephesians 5:30). (Also see Colossians 2:19.)
On the night before he was crucified, Jesus prayed for all who would believe in Him, “that they all may be one, as you, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that you sent Me. And the glory which you gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them and you in Me” (John 17:21-23). All who believe in Jesus Christ are to be unified because we are in Jesus Christ and in God.
What does this mean? Just as the human body is formed of many parts, which are bound together in many ways and form part of a single body, so we who believe in Jesus Christ form a single body, closely bound together. But this is not just our body; it is the body of Christ. Christ is the head; we are the arms, legs, hands, feet, internal organs, etc. We are as closely joined to Jesus Christ as our neck is joined to our head. We and he are part of one body. Not only is God in us; we are in God!
We often speak of wanting to have a closer relationship with God. These Scriptures say that we already have it. How can you have a closer relationship than that of the different parts of the human body? What we need to do is to recognize, appropriate, and live, this relationship that we already have.
Scripture uses another image to express this unity. We who believe are to become the bride of Christ (Matthew 9:15, 25:1-13; Revelation 19:7, 22:17). Scripture tells us that in marriage “‘a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:31-32). So we, as the bride of Christ, will be united with him.
How can human beings, created objects, be joined so closely to Almighty God? Paul calls it a mystery, and I suggest that it is almost as great a mystery as the fact that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. But Scripture declares that it will happen, and we can only give thanks that God has chosen to so unify us with his Son.
We Become Children of God
Another way of expressing this unity is to say that we are children of God.
“But as many as received Him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:14-17). “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). (Also see verse 10.)
What does it mean to say that we are children of God?
It means that we can have a close and personal relationship with God. It means that we can pray to him as our Father, and call him abba, the term a little child would use for his Daddy. It means that we can expect God to love us, provide for us and care for us as a father would his child. It means that we are joint heirs with Christ—and I shall not attempt here to explore the meaning of that expression. It means that when we meet up with other Christians, we can greet them as family.
God is not a remote, stern, forbidding personage, as some visualize him. He is our father, our Daddy, and he loves us as a father loves his children. Regardless of what our relationship may have been with our earthly father, God is what a father should be, what we have always wanted a father to be.
We Become Part of the Kingdom of God
When we accepted our salvation, God “delivered us from the power of darkness” and “translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13 KJV). He picked us up out of one kingdom and put us into a different kingdom.
Jesus taught often about the kingdom of God; it was central to his teaching. Much has been written about it since. At the risk of great over-simplification, let me say that, with Jesus’ coming, there are now two kingdoms on earth, a kingdom of darkness (or of the evil one), and the kingdom of God.21 These are not physical locations, but they express where a person’s loyalty is. All those who have committed themselves to God and seek genuinely to serve him become part of the kingdom of God.
What does it mean to say that we are part of the kingdom of God? It has nothing to do with physical location. It is a matter of loyalty. To say that we are in the kingdom of God is to say that our loyalty, our allegiance, is to God. It also means that we are under God’s protection and we get the benefit of all the promises he has made to those who truly serve him.
SOME CONSEQUENCES OF THIS UNITY
We Can Develop Character
We are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2). “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Scripture tells us what this new creation is. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV). We are being transformed into God’s likeness in character. (See Chapter 14.)
Originally, God created mankind in his own image (Genesis 1:27). With the Fall in Eden, man lost much of this image. Now, as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross, the image of God, in which we were originally created, has been restored for those who believe in Jesus Christ. We are transformed into God’s “likeness,” into the “image” of our Creator. We can, increasingly, have his mind and participate in his nature. He must increase and my old self must decrease. (See John 3:30.)
Paul emphasizes the magnitude of this change by referring to Adam as the first Adam and to Jesus Christ as the second (or last) Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-49). (Note that the name, “Adam,” means “a human being,” “mankind.”) With the coming of the second Adam, the ground lost by the first Adam has been retaken.
I think it is not overstating it to say that Jesus Christ’s sacrificial atonement on the Cross has resulted in a new species. Those who believe in Jesus Christ are a new creation. We are born from above. We become children of God, born of God.
God Works in Us
God is working in us to carry out his purposes for us. “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me” (Psalm 138:8). “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6 NIV). God is “working in you what is pleasing in his sight” (Hebrews 13:21). “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). The word of God “effectively works in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). God was at work in the ministries of Peter and Paul (Galatians 2:8). Paul said, “…I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me” (Colossians 1:29 NIV). God’s word penetrates us and judges our thoughts and attitudes (Hebrews 4:12). We are made holy by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit (2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). God is working in us.
Part of the way God works in us is by enabling us to live by the Holy Spirit. (See Chapter 15.) The Holy Spirit lives in our spirit. He wants to be able to control our soul and flesh as well. It is only as we learn to live according to the Spirit and to be controlled by the Spirit that we can find peace and please God. I believe it is because the Holy Spirit lives within us that he is able to work in us to bring us into obedience, so that we will live by the Spirit.
God Strengthens and
Paul prayed that the Ephesians would have the eyes of their heart enlightened so that they might know God’s “…incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:19 NIV). (Also see Ephesians 3:20.) God’s incomparably great power is at work within us. We may not feel it, but Scripture says that it is there.
“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). God wants us to live every aspect of our life in his strength and his mighty power. “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). We should do everything in his great power. Apart from him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). In all things we can draw on the mighty power of the God who lives in us and in whom we have our being.
Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). He wrote, “I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). He prayed that the Colossians would be “strengthened with all might according to [God’s] glorious power” (Colossians 1:11). When David was greatly distressed, he “strengthened himself in the LORD his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). (Also see 2 Samuel 22:33; Psalms 28:7, 46:1, 119:28.)
While on earth, Jesus Christ ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14). He told his disciples, “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8). This occurred on the Day of Pentecost, and from then on they ministered in great power (Acts 4:33). Peter made it clear that the promise of this power is “…for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39 NIV).
This includes the power to love people who seem unlovable, to forgive those who have wronged us deeply, to get rid of all bitterness, to cast off everything that hinders (Hebrews 12:1), to persevere in the face of great obstacles, to live by the Spirit, to show the fruit of the Spirit, to minister in love to others, and much more. It is God’s power to become what we could never become on our own. Grace came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17), and part of the definition of grace is God’s influence working in us. 22 It is only by God’s power working in us that we can possibly hope to develop the character qualities that God has, and to have the mind of Christ.
I find all this astonishing. Of ourselves we are weak and fallible. Of ourselves we can do nothing. But the Almighty God, who created and sustains the universe, has enabled us to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. By the mighty power of God working in us, we can overcome the world’s temptations and pressures, and we can surmount every difficulty and problem we may face. Whatever our problems or difficulties may be, the one who lives in us is greater. We need to learn to believe this, to feel it, and to act on it.
WE HAVE HOPE
With God there is always hope. He is “the God of hope” (Romans 15:13). (Also see 1 Timothy 1:1, 4:10.) “Happy is he… whose hope is in the LORD his God” (Psalm 146:5). (Also see Psalms 33:20, 37:9, 39:7, 62:5, 130:7, 147:11; Jeremiah 14:22.) Those who believe in God will always have hope (Psalm 71:14). Part of standing firm in the faith is to “…hold unswervingly to the hope we profess…” (Hebrews 10:23 NIV). We need to “…continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel” (Colossians 1:23 NIV). “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19).
God “…has given us new birth into a living hope…” (1 Peter 1:3 NIV). Peter is there talking about the hope of eternal life, but with God there is hope in this world also. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV). Abraham in hope believed God’s promise that he and Sarah could have a son, and their hope was realized (Romans 4:18-22). The Psalmist wrote, “I hope in Your word” (Psalm 119:81). (Also see verse 147.) He wrote, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him” (Psalm 42:5). (Also see Psalms 42:11, 43:5.) Whenever we find ourselves getting discouraged, the answer is to put our hope in God.
Those who are without God are without hope (Ephesians 2:12). “Brothers, we do not want you to… grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13 NIV). (Also see Hebrews 2:15; Job 27:8; Proverbs 24:20.)
Christian hope is not wishful thinking. It is “confident expectation.” 23 As Christians we can be “…sure of what we hope for…” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). “…those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:23 NIV). “Hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5). Our confidence is based on who God is. We know, without any doubt, that God is far greater than any problem or concern we may have, that he is a good and loving God, and that he is faithful to keep his promises. We know that “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purposes” (Romans 8:28 NIV).
One of the remarkable things about our position in Christ is that so often we find ourselves in a win-win situation. However it comes out, we will be winners. Paul gives us one example. He wrote that God’s power is made perfect in weakness, and therefore Paul delighted in his weaknesses, because when he is weak (in himself) then he is strong (in God’s power) (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). So whether Paul feels strong or weak, it all works out for good. I can give an example in my own life. If I should die soon of this cancer, then I will go to be with the Lord. That is a very good place to be! And if I go, I am sure that God will continue to take care of my family. On the other hand, if, as I hope and desire, God heals me of this cancer, then I will have more time to serve him here on earth. So I cannot lose. Whatever happens, God works it out for good.
Because of our position in Christ, we can know that, no matter how difficult the outward circumstances may seem, we can, in God’s strength, be overcomers. And so we can be “rejoicing in hope” (Romans 12:12).
WE CAN OVERCOME ANY ADVERSITY
God enables his people to overcome evil. “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). Therefore, we can overcome trials and tribulations, and we can conquer the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil.
Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). But then Scripture says that we can overcome the world. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5). When Scripture says that we can overcome the world, I believe this means that no matter what our problem or difficulty, the power of God is greater.
Paul was an overcomer. He had “…learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…” (Philippians 4:12 NIV). (See verses 11-13.) He was no longer at the mercy of his circumstances.
We are more than conquerors because nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39). We can see this with Stephen. An angry mob stoned him to death, but Stephen saw the glory of God and he died praying for his enemies. They conquered him physically, but Stephen was more than a conqueror. The mob couldn’t destroy his relationship with Jesus Christ or his godly character. (See Acts 7:54-60.) We have “…authority… to overcome all the power of the enemy…” (Luke 10:19 NIV). We can overcome every evil influence because “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
I think I have said enough to indicate that, as believers, our position in Christ is extraordinary. The problem is that many of us do not act as if we believe it. We do not act as if we are overcomers. We do not act as if God’s power is working in us. We do not act as if we have God’s character. We do not act as if we believe that God is in us. We have these wonderful words of Scripture, but we have not been able to appropriate them and make them our own. We have not been able to live by them.
I think a major part of the problem is unbelief. We read these astonishing scriptures. Our mind accepts them. But in our hearts, in our guts, we can’t quite believe they are really true. We need to recognize our unbelief and deal with it. We need to pray, “I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.” We need to think about these Scriptures, chew on them, make them a part of us, let them work in us. We need to see evidence that they do, indeed, work, and let that evidence strengthen our faith. We need to decide that we will trust God’s eternal word rather than our momentary feelings.
Another part of the problem may be our pride. We like to think, “I can handle this. I don’t need any help.” We need to get to the point that Paul had arrived at when he said that he rejoiced in his weakness, because then God could act in and through him, so that when he was weak (in himself) he was strong (in God) (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
This is one of the main reasons for prayer. We do not need to inform God of our problems; he already knows them. He knows all things. But we need to come to him and say, “Lord, I need your help with this.” We need to humble ourselves and say, “I can’t handle this. I need you.” When we come to that point, we are ready to receive what God has for us.
We need to know, to believe with all our hearts, all the time, that in all things we can be overcomers, because we have one in us who is greater than he that is in the world, greater than any obstacle or difficulty we may face. The God who is in us is greater than anything we may face, whether it be physical or mental illness, habits or addictions, financial difficulties, problems with relationships, bitterness, unforgiveness, faulty mindsets, or whatever. God knows our needs. If we put him first, if we seek his kingdom and trust in his power, we can overcome whatever problems and difficulties we may face. Just as God “…will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear…” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV) so, I believe, he will not allow us to be burdened beyond what we can bear, and he will, in every situation, give us the strength to overcome trials and difficulties.
In dealing with any troubles, obstacles or problems we may encounter, we operate from a position of strength. We have Almighty God in us, and he is greater than any difficulty we may encounter. He gives us his mighty strength and his incomparably great power. We are made in his image and partake in his nature. Therefore, we can overcome any adversity.
David faced and defeated a giant. He did not look at how big and powerful the giant was; he looked at how much bigger God was. “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied… for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45, 47).
When we face our own giants (adversities that seem overwhelming), we need to know who we are in Christ. It is to stir up an awareness of our position in Christ that I have written this chapter. In reading everything that follows, I ask you to keep constantly in mind these truths about our position in Christ. They are basic to an understanding of everything else I have written.
Having said all this, I want to mention one of the “it is also writtens” of Scripture. In all things, we need to have the whole counsel of Scripture. Jesus appointed 70 of his followers to go out two by two to preach the gospel (Luke 10:1-20). They returned and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” Jesus replied, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:17, 20). The most important thing about our position in Christ is that we are, in fact, in Christ. We are children of God. Jesus saved us from eternal death. He saved us from our sins and gave us eternal life. We must never become so focussed on other things that we lose the joy of our salvation. (See Psalm 51:12.)