I am certain that if you are an ardent reader of the bible, the words of the above title sound familiar. Do they? Let’s us explore them further.
Looking at the first phrase “despite all these things”, we are basically saying – “these things notwithstanding”, or “nevertheless”, or “regardless of these things”. “These things” – what things? Which ones? We will look at the phrase “these things” in a while, but for now, let’s consider the next phrase, “we are more than conquerors.”
To conquer is to overcome, or to be triumphant or victorious. So then, being more than conquerors, means to have exceeding victory; victory beyond the norm, victory beyond the expected.
Putting things into perspective, the bible in Romans 8:37, states that:
“Nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”
(King James Version)
In the New Living Translation, the same verse reads:
“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us”.
Conquering, many times is associated with wars and battles. In the Old Testament, the Israelites conquered many cities and nations as they matched through them to the Promised Land. After their settling though, they ignored and disobeyed the promises of the Lord their God. And sadly, they were taken into captivity by the foreigners who had no relationship whatsoever with God. In fact, they worshipped idols made with human hands. The end of Isaiah 42 (verses 18-25), presents a wailing prophet. Isaiah presents God’s agony/distress over Israel as they could not see or hear him out. They were in a world of their own – they had rebelled against the Lord their God. And he asks, “Will not even one of you apply these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you?…. They were set on fire and burned, but they still refused to understand”. (23-25).
But then, the same prophet Isaiah starts chapter 43 with an astounding voice of victory!
“1But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.I have called you by name; you are mine.”
But now … irrespective of your disobedience; your disobedience not withstanding … The one who formed you says, “do not be afraid”. That is Israel’s creator and redeemer! And yes, our creator, and redeemer through Christ Jesus.
Let’s turn back and revisit the title of our message, “DESPITE ALL THESE THINGS, WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS”. This is Paul speaking to the Romans, now in the New Testament. He tells them, that despite all these things, overwhelming victory is theirs in Christ Jesus! What things are these? At the beginning of Romans Chapter 8, Paul talks to the Romans about life in the Spirit. He notes that there is therefore no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus; that though their bodies will die at some point, their Spirits will live, again through Christ Jesus.
Having established that they, and ultimately us, have Eternal Life in Christ Jesus, Paul asks a question that I need everyone reading this post to ask himself/herself:
“Can anything ever separate us (you/I) from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted , or are hungry or cold or in danger or threated with death?”
It is after asking these questions that Paul writes, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us”.
So, we now get to see the genesis of “these things”.
These things. These things present all the challenges we face during our lifetimes. These things can be in any form – sickness, lack, poverty, anger, bitterness, death, broken relationships, theft, rape – these things. Not good things! Does it is mean that when we face these things God no longer loves us! Absolutely not! For despite these things, we are more than conquerors! We are victorious!
These things could happen to us either through our making or otherwise. For whoever believes, we have an enemy who will always want to make sure that you do not walk in the way of obedience, the way of life, even life eternal. As a result, these things will befall us. But despite these things we are more than conquerors! We are victorious!
Our victory is not won by us – thank God! Christ has already won it for us! And as in the case of the Israelites above, He is confirming to us that in the midst of these things, he has called us by our names! He has redeemed us, so we should not be afraid. Look at verses 2-5 of Isaiah 43:
2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up;the flames will not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia[a] and Seba in your place. 4 Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.”
I don’t know what rivers of difficult you have waded or are wading through right now, but I know; I am persuaded through the word of God that you will not drown. The oppressive fires you have passed through or are passing through right now, will not burn you, nor will the flames consume you. They will leave you refined for the purposes God has planned for you. Because God gave Jesus as our ransom.
Because despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us, my friend, I would want us to boldly agree with the word of God and declare it aloud. Let your heart find rest in the word of God – the true, unchanging word of God.
“Can anything ever separate us (you/I) from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted , or are hungry or cold or in danger or threated with death?” Can any of these things separate us from His love? Join me and let’s declare boldly! No, they can’t!
“Death can’t, and life cant. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell, can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, NOTHING IN ALL CREATION WILL EVER BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
Therefore dear reader, do not dwell on these things, consider God’s call on you now; He says to you: “But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
DESPITE ALL THESE THINGS, WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS!!!