Robert Houk Hitchcock
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   No one lives life very long without becoming aware that there are problems, that there are challenges, that there are obstacles to overcome.  Some of these challenges are huge, some of these challenges are small.  Some of these challenges we face test us to the maximum.  God has promised in His Word that we have the victory in whatever we might face.  It is exciting to go to God's Word to see the source of these problems and the solution that God has provided us.

The Problem

Genesis 3:17-19
   And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
   Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
   In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

   Man's Fall had severe consequences under which we all still live.  Things are not as they were supposed to be.  They were supposed to be Paradise.  When God made, formed, and created man, the situation that He provided man with was perfect, and I do mean perfect.  The Garden was Paradise: no problems, no challenges, no set backs, no mental pressures.   With Adam's sin entered lack, sickness, and death.  Life's problems generally fall into these categories.  The reason we are confronted with them is because of Adam.  He re-defined life.  This is not life as God designed it because God's Will was Paradise for His man.

   The earth that we live upon right now is cursed.  You may also have noticed a few times that there are thorns and thistles (not to mention poison ivy.)  We didn't read about that in Genesis 1 or 2 did we?  We didn't read about Adam sweating in his labor or about returning to dust someday.  Perhaps it seems obvious to us now that these conditions are prevalent, but they were not, and are not God's Will.  His Will was paradise for His man, and man brought all of this on himself by his sin.  If we were looking for someone to blame, I think Adam is the prime candidate.  Despite these conditions, God's Will is victory over the negatives that Adam brought on.
Luke 4:5-6
   And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
   And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

   Not only did Adam's fall curse the earth and bring lack, sickness and death, another consequence of the Fall of man was that the adversary received the dominion over the earth from Adam.  What was conferred upon man as ruler of the earth was transferred to the devil when Adam committed the original sin.  Adam was given the dominion over all of the earth; he was the ruler, the head person in charge.  Now whom do we have in that position as CEO of the earth?

   The earth's ruler is not who you would want it to be: thus we have lots and lots of problems associated with his rulership of the earth and its inhabitants.  Not only is the earth cursed, but the one "watching over" everything is the worst one that could ever have held that position: he is God's and our enemy.  No wonder we have hurricanes.  No wonder there are devastating floods, fires, famines, and you-name-it.  We don't have to look very far to see the source of all of these problems and challenges.

   God's Word reveals in John 10:10 that this ruler of the earth comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  Despite this severe situation, God has promised His children the victory over all of these things.

John 16:33
   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.

   Jesus Christ came to bring life and to bring it more than abundantly, but he did not bring paradise yet.  As a matter of fact, he promised that there would be tribulation.  This word "tribulation" means "mental pressure", like being squeezed, forced into a corner.   If the tribulation were over, certainly Jesus Christ would have told somebody.  But along with the bad news, he brought the good news: He had overcome (victory) the world.  Jesus Christ handled every tribulation possible without sin, and thus he could claim title to the victory himself.  His victory is our victory.  His overcoming is our overcoming.  His win was our win.

   Now it is up to us, as believers, to claim that victory.  It is not automatic.  Breathing is automatic:  it is controlled by your brain stem.  Victory for the Christian is not automatic: it depends upon us applying the principles of God's Word to gain the victories that are needed.  We have a solution, but we have to apply it in order to see the victory in our lives and in the lives of others.

The Solution

Romans 8:35-37
   Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
   As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
   Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

   There is absolutely nothing in the problem category that has not been accounted for and handled by the Lord Jesus Christ.  Starting with "tribulation" all the way through and including "sword" has been handled by Jesus Christ.  He overcame the world and that was everything and anything that the adversary had in his arsenal, including death.

   "Nay, in all [yes, all] these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."  To be more than a conqueror is huper-nikeo which means "super victorious."  The victory is ours to gain.  We are more than conquerors through HIM THAT LOVED US.  Personal victories are not going to get it: it is victory THROUGH CHRIST that will do it.  "Just do it."  is a popular  advertising slogan.  Do what?  If you're going to do something, it's best to know exactly what it is that you are supposed to be doing!  God's Word must surely tell us HOW to gain the victory.

Romans 5:3
   And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

   Patience: this is not just a waiting around and let's-see-what-happens kind of patience, it is the patient application of the Word of God to the situation at hand. It involves going to the Father in prayer and going to the Word of God  to claim the victory in the situation. It's not automatic just because we wait around that the problem is going to be solved or go away. As a matter of  fact, most problems get worse if they are just ignored.  We claim the victory BY our prayer and our reliance upon God to meet the need. The patience involved here is patiently applying God's Word and patiently allowing God to work in the situation or with the need.

Romans 12:10-12
   Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
   Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
   Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

   Patient. . . continuing instant in prayer.  Solution #1- as soon as the need is known: Go to the Father in prayer.  Pray in the spirit for the situation.  Get on top of it immediately with a believing attitude!  Go to God.   Go to the Word and begin applying it to the need.  Then you're on your way to God's deliverance in the situation.

   If we want to be victorious in life, then we will have to learn to discipline our minds to immediately go to God when we face a need, a challenge, a problem.

Philippians 4:6-7
   Be careful [anxious]  for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
   And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

   Anxiety is the enemy of victory.  Most people are experts at anxiety.  It's a steady diet for most of the world.  It is so prevalent that it is actually considered to be quite normal.  Adam wasn't too anxious in the Garden: he didn't have anything to be anxious about.  We sure do.  But there is a Godly solution to anxiety: immediately go to God with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.  Immediately run God's Word into and through your mind concerning the victory.  Let your request be made known unto God.  Can you think of anyone more qualified and capable of handling your request about this anxiety-producing situation?

   Look at verse 7…And the peace of God… We know we are well on our way to the victory when we are at peace about the situation:  the peace of God guards our hearts and minds.  Having peace is a good indicator of where we are in relation to the problem and to claiming the victory.  Peace and anxiety are opposites!  How can we have peace in the middle of a big need?  Because God has promised us the victory and we are believing that He will fulfill His Word and cause us to be victorious.

2 Corinthians 1:4
   Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

   God comforts us in all our tribulation.  There may be plenty of tribulation in our lives, but there is plenty of comfort, too.  We have been guaranteed the victory if we will believe God's Word.  God encourages us by His Word.  God comforts us by the manifestations at fellowship.  We then being comforted can comfort others with the same comfort that we are comforted with!  With that comfort, we can believe and we can receive God's deliverance.

The Final Solution

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
   For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
   For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
   While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

   In the midst of our needs, they don't seem to be too "light."  Really they seem quite "heavy."  What makes them "light?"  It's not that they are not significant.  It's not that they don't challenge us.  It's not that they aren't real.  The reason they are "light" is because they are temporary.  Today's affliction [tribulation] is but for a moment. Yes, there are going to be problems to conquer.  Yes, there is going to be tribulation to patiently apply God' s Word to in order to gain the victory.  But there is going to be an end to all of this and that is comforting to know.  There will be an end, and the end is in sight.  The sight is in God's Word and it promises the return of His son and the end of this life on earth.  Then there will be a new heaven and a new earth where there is no tribulation and Paradise will be restored. Then we will have the final victory.  Until then, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Cortright Fellowship
© Copyright September 1999