When we do not get what we desire, we are distressed and disappointed. We always think of success and achievement. We find it difficult to accept defeat and lose. We become anxious when we are unsure about the outcome of our efforts. Life is in its lowest ebb when we confront failures. The upbeat of life is lost when the feeling of uselessness carves our minds and frustration sets in. It is said, “Despondency is the highway to destruction” But life becomes bubbling and productive when one has the feeling of fulfillment. The essential ingredient for this is the sense of success. .
Christian life is a pilgrimage. It starts when a person believes in Jesus Christ, after repenting of the past sins and getting the assurance of the forgiveness by the Grace of God. But this pilgrimage is long and challenging. There are hurdles to cross. The temptations are enticing and duping. Unless a believer finds ways to overcome them and get victory, there are chances of failure and not reaching the final goal of eternal life.
Then how can one be successful in life by overcoming the difficulties, trials, temptations and the sense of frustration? Man is weak and timid. He cannot do it alone. He needs some help. But the best source of help is God, the Almighty, and the Omniscient. He is powerful and all knowing who is able to handle all situations. He has promised victory. John in his epistle says, “Whosoever born of God overcomes the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4) This means that the victory is possible by our relationship with God, by being born of Him. To be born of God is to have faith in Him that we accept His spiritual ownership by believing on His son Jesus Christ. St. Paul thanks God for this victorious living in Christ – “Now thanks be unto God who gives us victory though our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57) Apostle Paul says how God gives this victory – “God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptations also make a way to escape. (1 Corinthians 10: 13) Apostles like Paul and John could say this because of their faith and experiences they had by their close relationship with Jesus Christ. The key to this confidence is the promise given by Jesus Himself. “These things I have spoken to you that in me you might have peace; In this world you shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John (16:33)
When Jesus was about to depart from this earth after his resurrection, He promised His constant presence with His followers. “Lo, I am with you always, even till the end of the world.” (Mathew 28:20) In the Old Testament also we see God promising His presence and help to His men. Joshua got the promise of courage from God to lead the children of Israel. God told him, “Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid neither you be dismayed for your Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) These promises are like beacon of light, a sure guarantee for a believer’s safe journey in the spiritual pilgrimage. The problems from without and the struggle within that a believer faces in life cannot be overcome alone. The problems that we face; may be physical, mental or spiritual. It can be a sickness that we are tired of. It can be not doing a right thing or doing a wrong one. It may be a weakness in character like telling lies or gossiping or wasting time in useless hobbies and harmful pastime like reading bad books or watching obscene movies or pictures or adopting undesirable life style like over eating or over sleeping or extravagance in dressing. It may be slavery to a bad habit like taking alcohol or drugs, or smoking. It may be a temptation to postpone a good thing like personal daily devotions or family prayer or attending worship services and prayer fellowships. Children of God like Apostle Paul also faced such problems. But he could overcome them with God’s help. That was why Paul had to depend on the victory given by Christ. He was struggling between the natural desires of his flesh and the pressure of his will. He says, “The good that I would, I do not, but the evil that I would not I do”. But he thanks God through Jesus Christ for giving him victory in this wretched situation. The awareness of the constant presence of Jesus Christ with us is more than sufficient for a victorious living. This we can achieve only by putting our trust on Him. Clinging to His promise, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” will give us great strength to face the adversary with confidence. Our personal relationship with Jesus can be improved by regular study of the Word of God and communion with Him in prayer.
Christian fellowship is an added incentive to this process. Changing the way of living is hard. It needs conscious effort. In the beginning it seems to be unpleasant and boring. The more we try, the more will be the pressure from the tempter. But if we focus on the One who has over come these temptations, we get encouragement. That is why Paul advises to run the race by “looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith” The problem is not our unwillingness, but our lack of commitment. Let us not divert our attention from achieving our goal. If we surrender ourselves to Him who is able to do more than what we desire and think, He is faithful to take us to the stand of victory in due time. May God help us. The Word of God says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you” (2 Peter 5:17)”To Him who is able to keep you from falling and present you to the glorious presence with out fault and with great Joy – to the only God our Savior be glory majesty power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord before ages now and evermore. Amen.” (Jude 24,25)