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We Shall Overcome

Sometimes the heaviness of it all is overwhelming.

New York Times author Michelle Goldberg noted that 2020 started off like 1974 (an impeachment crisis), quickly became 1918 (a pandemic), turned into 1929 (an economic crash), and is now 1968 (massive urban unrest). We could add 1992 and the images of Los Angeles burning after four police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King. (Dr. Jim Dennison)

We’re talking one major crisis after another.

That’s overwhelming for all of us.

It’s no wonder our heads lower, our shoulders sag, and it feels like we’re carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders.

One more crisis or hurt and it feels like we’re going to either sink into depression or seethe with resentment.

Why God? Why is my life so hard, and why can’t we all get along?

I just want things to work out the way they should – is that too much to ask?

Why does it feel like everything in life is… broken?

Because we live in a broken world – in desperate need of the great renewal of all things promised by Jesus at the end of the age (Matthew 19:28).

It’s been that way ever since Adam and Eve reached for the fruit of independence from God and we suffered the consequences of doing things our own way (Genesis 3). Racism, bigotry and hatred are just some of the sins that blight our world now and must be repented of and taken seriously.

Even the great King David could relate to our plight. In a moment of grief, David writes:

“I am in distress;

my eyes grow weak with sorrow,

my soul and body with grief.

10 My life is consumed by anguish

and my years by groaning;

my strength fails because of my affliction,

and my bones grow weak.

…I have become like broken pottery.”

(Psalm 31:9-10, 12)

And the beat goes on – generation after generation – until the Lord returns to make everything new, everything right, and everything good again. (Revelation 21:4-5)

It will all be better – someday.

Today, we need to do what we can to change our world and meanwhile find a way to not lose heart and keep going.

That’s why it’s so important to be filled up with the encouragement and hope of the scriptures, and to encourage one another daily.

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

Someday, the Lord himself will come down from heaven and our daily prayer, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10)” will finally and fully be answered!

“Therefore encourage one another with these words (vs. 18 above).”

And that’s so much of the key to not losing heart – we desperately need to “encourage one other” regularly!

Watch how the Message Bible urges us to stay together and keep each other’s spirits up:

“You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly…until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other…Pray for your brothers and sisters…Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out...I’ve sent him (Tychicus) not only to tell you about us but to cheer you on in your faith.” (Ephesians 4:4, 15; 6:18, 22, Message Bible)

So, what do we do with all the sorrow that builds up like sediment in our hearts?

We carry it to our Lord every day in prayer and give it to him. “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).”

Our hearts were made to care, but not to carry the burden of the world on our shoulders – only Jesus can do that (Matthew 11:28-30).

So, let’s live with the hope of his return and the glorious victory that will be ours in that day!

Listen to Jesus cheer you on to victory:

“…To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7)

“…The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.” (Revelation 2:11)

“To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17)

“To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— 27 that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. 28 I will also give that one the morning star.” (Revelation 2:26-28)

“To the one who is victorious…” – let that be you and I, brothers and sisters!

Don’t let the world defeat you!

Let’s overcome together, in Christ!

We shall overcome,

we shall overcome,

we shall overcome someday;

oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,

we shall overcome, someday!

The Lord will see us through,

the Lord will see us through,

the Lord will see us through someday;

oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,

the Lord will see us through, someday!

It’s on to victory,

it’s on to victory,

It’s on to victory someday;

oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,

it’s on to victory, someday!

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