“Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. The person who wins out over the world’s ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God.” — 1 John 5: 4-5 (MSG)
Every runner who completes a 90-kilometer ultra-marathon like the Comrades in South Africa is a winner. Most people will never compete in, let alone complete, such a grueling test. It takes many months, even years of preparation to pull it off. It includes a daily battle to get up and put on your running shoes. It takes discipline in diet and consistency in effort. There are injuries that must be treated or waited out.
But none of it would be possible without faith. That is the starting point and the driving force throughout: faith. Faith that you can do it.
In life, the conquering we must do in this world is not to be the best, but to have faith. This is also not a random faith, but the very specific belief that Jesus is the Son of God. Out of this faith flows everything else that is good. It starts with a relationship with God and overflows in ways that win out over the world’s ways. Ways that are superior in their holiness, in their purpose, in their joy. We share in the victory of Christ!
Jesus said the following as recorded by John in his gospel: “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:33).
— Stephan van der Merwe
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