Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And all that is within me,   
bless His holy name.   
Bless the Lord, O my soul,   
And forget none of His benefits.   
- Psalms 103:1-2   
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Overcoming The World

           In the present time in which we live, it is easy to see why one would worry about the future. Uncertainty exists in regards to the economy, in world affairs and potential conflicts with those in opposition to Christianity and all that means to be a faithful follower of Christ. Government authorities and mankind in general are in moral decline, encouraging and passing laws that contradict the laws of our Creator. There is no doubt that the future seems bleak and it is easy to see why Christians living in a world that evermore opposes them could worry about what the future might hold. God, however, gives us cause for great encouragement in His word.

            I John 5:4-5 says, "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (5) Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" When we chose to obey and follow the commandments of God, having faith in the one who can save us from sin, then we understand that we can overcome the world through faith in the Almighty. Consider the account of Gideon and his army of only 300 in Judges 7. As Gideon and his people prepared to battle the Midianites, God showed an example of victory through faith and reliance in Him. Notice Judges 7:2 "And the Lord said to Gideon, 'The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me saying, ' My own hand saved me'. "   In verses 3 thru 6 we read that, at the command of God, the people with Gideon were reduced from about 32,000 to only 300. There is no doubt that God's people were severely outnumbered. Judges 7:12 describes the number of the Midianites that Israel was up against; "Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude." Despite the overwhelming numbers, God promised victory in Judges 7:7 "By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place." And, of course, in verses 14 thru 25 we read the account of that victory over the Midianites. Trust and faith in God were required for Gideon and his men to overcome the enemy. Likewise, today, our faith as it grows will perserve us in a world of wickedness. True believers are a minority in number to the rest of the world, but a true believer realizes that real strength comes from faith in God. Anything is possible, any situation, any enemy can be overcome by simply placing our trust in the Almighty God. In temptation or persecution, it's our duty to remain faithful and rely on God to do the rest. Rev. 2:10 says, "… Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."

            Our duty, as followers of Christ, is to seek to do God's will each and every day and rely on God for our well-being. Matt 6:33 says, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." God has promised to sustain us. Our duty is simply to serve Him, and learn his provision is sufficient. God provides for our physical needs and our spiritual needs in the hope and assurance in eternal life through the sacrifice of His Son.

- Garrett Alsip