“… this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
— 1 John 5:4
Do you ever feel overcome by the cares of the world? We may often feel on the brink of defeat, but God has destined that we overcome the world. What does “world” mean in this context? It stands for the worldly system under Satan’s rule with all its lust, greed, animosity, and self-centeredness. This world system is antithetical to Christ and must be overcome.
But how do we overcome it? Through faith. As a well-known hymn declares: “Faith is the victory . . . that overcomes the world.” We can only overcome the world when we entrust our lives to Christ, the first to overcome the world. I’m sure that as John wrote the words of our text (1 John 5:4), he hearkened back to that solemn night—the night Jesus went into Gethsemane before He was arrested, stripped, and nailed to a cross. After Jesus and the disciples had finished their supper that night, Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). What an astonishing statement. Jesus had none of this world’s goods; He didn’t even have a place to lay His head. The Jewish leaders hated Him and would soon arrest and crucify Him. And yet Jesus said, “I have overcome the world.”
Jesus Christ was an overcomer. Refusing to be deceived or defeated by this world, He fixed His eyes on the eternal kingdom of God. We should do the same. When you feel that the world is getting the best of you, remember that Christ has overcome the world on your behalf. Have faith in Christ, and claim your victory.