Six weeks ago, when we were first feeling the impact of this pandemic, I never imagined where it would take us. So many in our world seem absolutely paralyzed by fear.
I had a friend share with me some ancient definitions of addiction. And one was simply bondage. Being in bondage to fear and doubt is itself an addiction. Addiction is when the consumer becomes the consumed. It appears we have a lot of individuals, worldwide, who are revealing a new addiction.
“For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” – II Peter 2:19
When we’re overcome, we do things we would not in normal circumstances do. One of my favorite Biblical stories is that of Eutychus in Acts 20. The apostle Paul visiting the church in Troas apparently was preaching on and on and on to the point that one of the younger men who was sitting in the window sill fell asleep and hence fell three stories to his death. Paul took a break from his sermon long enough to raise the boy to life and then went back to his preaching. There are a number of insights here: First, the first person to be recorded as falling asleep during a sermon, died! A warning to us all. Also, not even a death should stop the preacher during church. However, the major idea I want us to notice is that Eutychus would not have normally gone out of the window except that he was “overcome by sleep” (Acts 20:9). Being overcome causes us to do things we would not normally do.
I’ve had friends at His Way that when overcome with alcohol have harmed many people and created painful circumstances. I have friends that when overcome with drugs have robbed stores and got in fights and even seen people killed. When overcome, we do things that we would not normally do. Things we even regret.
So, what happens when we are overcome by fear during a “panic-demic”. Do we do things we would not normally do?
Here is the Good News. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) Darkness cannot and will not ever overcome light. Evil cannot overcome good. Satan cannot overcome God.
As Jesus is speaking to His panicked, confused Apostles about his coming crucifixion and return to the Father, he assures them with, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus does not promise that we are going to have peace in this world if we just trust Him. He, in fact, promises that we will have tribulation in this world, but “In Me” you will have peace, so take heart, be of good courage, Jesus has overcome the world. He is not promising to change our world, but that in Him, we can find peace in the midst of this troubled world. Jesus is not necessarily going to change the world or improve even our world, but He has overcome it.
So, will you be overcome, or will you be an overcomer through Him?
“No, in all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him who loved us” – Romans 8:37