Life is filled with trials. One pastor once told me you are either in trial, coming out of trial, or waiting for your next trial to happen. No, this might not be the most optimistic view of life, but it is an unfortunate reality. Pain, trial, and affliction come knocking on all of our doorsteps.
John faced trial throughout his life. He very likely felt affliction from the false teachers of the day. After all, he had already drafted his gospel, proclaiming the truth of Jesus. Why should he have to write again? Today John gives us some insight into how we should handle trial, and his bottom line holds true to everything else he has taught us this week- Jesus.
When we face trial, John reminds us to remember whose we are. The underlying principle in verse two is this idea of recognition…recognizing that Jesus is the Christ, and I can’t do this on my own. There is a sense of authenticity here that I don’t want to miss. In the moment of pain it might seem really easy to throw up our hands and say, “Rescue me, Jesus!” but much harder to pray a prayer of submission. Surrendering the situation to the Lord, pleading with Him that His will is done – that can be hard! Yet we can be confident in the help provided by the Lord, by understanding the second principle John teaches us here- remember who God is.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:6
No matter how much the odds are stacked against you, even in the grimmest of situations, despite everyone else counting your situation a loss, you serve a God who is greater than this world! Do you believe in a God of miracles? Do you believe in a God that can truly overcome the obstacles in your life? Take heart in knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ, God made man, has overcome the grave. He beat earth’s greatest challenge; one we will all one day face, the grave. If God can defeat death, don’t you think He can beat your circumstances?
Whether you are in trial, coming out of difficulty, or waiting for your next challenge, take some time to pray for God to continue to draw you closer to Him in faith, believing that He can overcome even the most difficult of circumstances.