“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
Victory! That’s what sports fans long for; to see the team or individual they support overcoming all obstacles and winning.
The New Testament also has a lot to say about the Christian who is victorious in the face of a variety of challenges. Let’s take a look.
One challenge is the world, that is, the world that is hostile to the disciple. Jesus Christ can offer his disciples a word of comfort as they face such a world, by reminding them of his victory: “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
Christians are also assured that they can have victory over the world: “Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:5). The secret, according to this verse, is faith; a faith that focuses on Jesus Christ.
If the world is constantly challenging the Christian, they must be vigilant not to let the world and its standards defeat them. That is why the Apostle Paul gives the following warning: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
Neither Christians nor churches can be complacent, as we see in the messages of Jesus Christ to the churches in the book of Revelation. Time after time in these messages, where there is a promise of blessing, the blessing is conditional: “To the one who conquers” (Revelation 2:7).
Paul can even challenge death, the last enemy: “O death, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). Having first asked the question, he follows it with the answer: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Finally, what about the future? We have confidence for the future, both in regard to the fate of the world and the cause of Christ, because a cry in heaven proclaims: “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed” (Revelation 5:5).
Iwan Rhys Jones, ‘Gorchfygu’ taken from Geiriau Bywyd, published by EMW in 2017