Romans 8:35 and following says:
“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 your sake we are killed all day long, we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.”
This seems to be negative teaching; some people object to negative teaching, they say, “Brother, be positive.” But the negative is also true. I believe as Christians we have to face the negative. We cannot close our eyes or avert our heads. I believe there’s much more trouble ahead than most of us can even comprehend at the moment. But that doesn’t mean we have to be pessimistic. What is Paul’s comment?
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
What is “all these things”? There’s a list. Tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril or sword. And then Paul says in all these things we are more than conquerors. I once asked the Lord what it meant to be more than conqueror and I felt the answer He gave me was this. To be more than a conqueror means that you go into a trouble, overcome it and come out of the trouble with more than you went in with. You’ve taken spoil.
One other Scripture before we close. Revelation 21:7:
“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.”
I have searched the New Testament, I cannot find any promise there except for those who overcome. You only have two options: either overcome or be overcome. So we, all of us, each of us, has to make up our mind. I can overcome, greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world, but I have to make my mind up. I have to meet the conditions.
Perhaps some of you going through these Devotions have seen that, in some way, you are like Jonah who’d heard the call of God and refused it. Maybe where you’ve been is down in the sides of the ship fast asleep. But by some act of God’s providence, He led you to go through these Devotions, you read the description and you realize: “that is me. I’m a Jonah. I’m running away from God. And every step I’ve taken since I’ve turned my back on God has been a step downward. But now tonight I want to turn back to God. I want to acknowledge my rebellion and turn back to Him and submit my life to Him.”
If you are like Jonah, I want to tell you that God loves you still. I want to help you but you’ve got to make a decision. If you want to come back to God, do just one simple thing. Acknowledge it and say, “I’m a Jonah. I’ve been running away from the Lord and I want to come back”, and pray this prayer with me:
Lord Jesus, I am sorry that I turned my back on you and went my own way. I repent now. I turn back to You, I submit myself to You and I ask You to have Your way in my life. Take me as I am and make me what You want me to be. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness! In the name of Jesus, amen.