Article: ARE YOU VICTORIOUS OVER ADVERSITY? | JACOB VARGHESE

Romans 8:37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
To conquer is to be victorious over an adversary. To be “more than a conqueror” means we not only
achieve victory, but we are overwhelmingly victorious. The win is beyond the scope of a regular victory. It
means we face the trials of life with the certainty that we are not alone. We have a mighty Father who
fights for us.
Do you want to live in victory? Then it is time to start thinking about what you are thinking about! Your
mind is one of the most powerful and creative tools that God has given you to shape your reality, influence
your life and make you more than a conqueror.
There are many illustrations in the Old Testament of God bringing miraculous victory to His people.
Humanly speaking, Israel was no match for their enemies but God cautioned them not to be afraid, that
He would fight their battles for them. Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be
still.” The story of David and Goliath represents yet another instance of becoming more than conqueror.
Because Caleb had faith that God would help Israel conquer the land even though the enemy seemed
liked giants; Caleb did indeed overtake the enemy and occupy the land. When Moses sent 12 spies to
scout the land of Canaan, only Joshua and Caleb, believed the Israelites could conquer the land with God’s
help.
Satan is our adversary. He sends all kinds of life-defeating, joy-stealing attacks to threaten the well-being
and faith of God’s children. Many of those attacks are listed in Romans 8:35–39: trouble, hardship,
persecution, famine, nakedness, and sword. Paul is encouraging us to stand firm in our faith when those
attacks come, reminding us that not only will we win in the end, but Jesus enables us to win now. If we
are His children through faith in His Son, then we have His pledge of love and protection. In John 10:27–
29, Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life,
and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to
me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”
John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible tells us that not only do we have victory over sin and Satan, but over the
world, afflictions, and persecutions in it. We all want to live like a conqueror in the abundance of life that
Christ the ultimate Conqueror has made available to us. As a Christian for living like conqueror we need
to choose certain things in our life:
1 We need to watch our focus
PATRICIA KING an accomplished author, states “Whatever we focus on, we empower.” If we focus on
negative things, we empower negativity in our lives. If we focus on selfish and carnal things, we empower
our fallen nature. If we murmur, complain and focus on how unfair everything seems to be in a difficult
situation, we are not helping resolve the issue. Instead, we are actually empowering more frustration,
anger, bitterness, disappointment and injustice in our lives. So, we need to watch what we are focusing
on. If we choose to focus on the positive of Kingdom truth, then we empower the love, light and life of
Jesus to fill us and flow through us. In Philippians 4:8 we read, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is
true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” We need to understand that Paul wrote
this from prison. He was locked up in awful conditions, not sure if he would live or die. Yet he wrote againand again about things like joy, rejoicing, eager expectation, the privilege of walking with Christ, hope,
confidence and peace.
2. Let our mind be filled with thoughts of heavenly things
Paul, in his epistle to the Colossians, talks about the importance of what we allow our mind to be filled
with. In Colossians 3:1-2 we see “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things
above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly
things.” We are not to dwell on the things of this fallen world anymore. We are not to allow our mind to
be caught in fear, doubt, frustration, anger, self-pity, anxiety, worry or anything else that does not line up
with the truth that Jesus has fully restored us to relationship with our heavenly Father and His Kingdom.
The more we allow our minds and our thoughts to be filled with these truths, the more we will see them
made manifest in our lives.
We need to be refocusing our eyes on Christ as the Bible gives us clear instructions to put to death what
is earthly and to put on a new self. Reading the Bible Consistently, spending time with God, continually
praying in spirit- all these will help us to focus on God and to be filled with thoughts of heavenly things.
So, we are to live a holy life that is motivated from a desire to please God. Think of the things above,
where Christ is!
3. We need to have a determination to refuse to be a victim and to think like a Victor
1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for
someone to devour.” This Scripture makes it clear that it is victims the enemy devours. It is not that if the
enemy attacks us, then we are victims. It is that he is seeking people who will take on the role of a victim
when he attacks, so that he can then devour them. If we think of ourselves as victims, we become victims
and give the devil opportunity to devour us. Not because he is so mighty, but because we have chosen to
lay down our power in Christ for a victim identity in our current circumstances. Many times, in our
circumstances of life, we stop believing the truth that we have the victory in Christ, and take up the lie
that we are victims because the devil has attacked us. Instead, we need to choose to fill our minds with
the truth that we are victorious in Christ and not a victim.
In the old testament we see Daniel made up his mind not to be a victim. Daniel determined in his mind
that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine. We see despite being
victimized in a variety of ways; Daniel refused to be a victim. He made up his mind not to partake in those
things, because he knew they were not good for him. In the same way, we have to make up our mind to
have power over self, even if we do not always have power over the circumstances. It is much better to
conquer ourself than to conquer the whole world. If we learn how to conquer our mind, we can achieve
just about anything we want and be extremely happy. If we continue to let it conquer us, then we become
a victim. A victim mentality can be distressing and create challenges in our lives so we need to refuse to
be a victim and be a victor.
4. We need to be Rejuvenated by the Spirit of God.
Recently I was thinking of the pressures and stresses that affect our lives. From the time we get up until
we go to bed, spend hours on the road driving back and forth from work, take children to and from school,
to the grocery store, go to church activities, and the list goes on and on. Then when we finally get home
in the evening, we can’t really rest, the bills must be paid; the house must be maintained; dishes needwashing; the children need special attention and discipline. This constant movement puts us in a lot of
stress on the mind and body. There seems to be no option but to constantly try to keep up with the hectic
schedule. I know in the midst of all that, God’s Spirit is quickening my mortal flesh and rejuvenating me
with enough strength to fulfill all the duties and responsibilities that lie ahead of me. He works in believers
by renewing our minds to be like the mind of Christ. He does this by convicting us of sin and leading us to
repentance. Through repentance, He wipes out what was dirty in us and allows us to bear good fruit.
While Paul’s epistles are full of deep theological truths, one of his most solid letters was the one to the
church in Rome. It was one of the multicultural churches of its day, with both Jewish and Gentile members.
Paul addresses a great deal of difficult questions from salvation, to appropriate behavior, to how to relate
to earthly rulers. Approaching the end of the chapter, and a discussion about the glorious future for those
who align themselves with Jesus, Paul speaks words of hope to a church that would become the focal
point for persecution in the coming years. From an earthly perspective, Paul’s statement is illogical but in
essence, this passage is asserting that no matter what happens to a believer in this life, that person is a
greater victor than a ruler who took a kingdom for himself. Despite persecution, pain, suffering, and the
trials of a broken world, those who put their faith in Jesus Christ become co-heirs with Him in the Kingdom
of God and we become more than conquerors through Him.

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JACOB VARGHESE

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