A Testimony of Overcoming
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8a
When I began my journey with Christ in the months following my four-year stint in the military, I struggled with skeletons in my spiritual closet. I had so neatly stored them away like items in the footlocker at the foot of my bunk. Socks, underwear, and t-shirts rolled perfectly awaiting inspection. At first I thought I could fix these bad habits on my own. But for me, it was not that easy. The more I tried it on my own the more I fell back into the same old ungodly routines. I thought to myself, how do I gain strength from Christ to conquer these things? How do I quit all the nasty habits that have invaded my life while away from Christ for years and years? I quickly found several verses and clung to them with every bit of strength I had.
I took Philippians 4:13, for example, and began to memorize it. I wrote it on my baseball glove; I wrote it on my cleats. I kept it in my notebook, and soon it was written on my heart. This passage among others would be a main part of my transformation as I drew closer to Christ. God’s word is powerful and so are prayers from the saints, like those my mother prayed for me everyday. I found the closer I got to God the stronger my faith, the more bold I grew, the more hope I had, and the more compassionate I became. It is only through Christ that we can have peace and hope in tumultuous times and can gain strength when we feel weak.
My story is much like the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) except my family did not have a grand inheritance I could claim and take with me. My inheritance today, however, is grander than any I could have claimed before knowing Christ. Now I know that Jesus is my Healer, Counselor, the Prince of Peace and the Savior of all who come to Him. As James 4:8 declares, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” Let these verses serve today as a daily reminder of Christ’s power that dwells within each of us.
Today’s Prayer: Jesus, we truly can do all things with Your help and strength, even overcome seemingly unshakable bad habits or difficult circumstances. Help me to remember this, to draw near to You and find today I have Christ’s power dwelling in me. In Your Name, Amen.