It’s Narcissist Friday!
It’s hard to make the kind of resolutions you would like when someone else controls your life.
What do you do when you can’t do anything? Ever feel like that? Here we are, at the end of the year, looking forward to a brand new year. Is anything going to change? Can I change anything? There are times in our lives when we feel so weak, so limited, so trapped, that we don’t know what to do.
The obstacles in our lives are usually real. It does no good to deny them. And they are often serious. It does no good to redecorate them so they don’t look like problems.
I like the description of Leviathan at the end of the book of Job. Sometimes this is the way our problems appear:
Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false; Shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him?
The problems appear overwhelming. Sometimes they are big and serious. But the problem is not to be our focus. Our focus is to be on the Savior… and He is greater than our problems.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
This verse is important. Jesus does not say that we don’t have problems. He says we do. He knows and He understands. But then He draws our attention to Him. We can have “good cheer,” because He has “overcome the world.” Whether we get out of our problems or we endure through our problems, the joy comes from looking to Him.
And, when we do look to Him, we are OVERCOMERS!
Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:5
In Jesus, we are overcomers. It is interesting to me that He doesn’t promise to miraculously take our problems away. Instead, He promises to overcome in us and through us. We become victorious as we remember who we are in Him.
Now, I understand that this sounds nice, but is hard to make real in our lives. Just like you, I struggle against things and wish the Lord would act. Sometimes I come close to despair. I think that is normal. But it is not the end. After I look at the struggle, after I feel like despairing, then I look to the Lord and see His greatness. That’s when I know I will either be delivered or will endure through the problem. That’s when I realize my problem is not forever and not overwhelming.
And, sometimes, I can think like Caleb so long ago:
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
Let’s do it! Whatever the Lord is calling us to do. Let’s lift our chins and be strong in the midst of the struggle. Let’s push past the problems and through the obstacles to find the life beyond. Let’s stop focusing on what we can’t do and start to do what we can.
In a couple of days we will begin a new year. It is a great time to acknowledge the truth about ourselves. As long as we are in Christ, we have everything we need. We are already overcomers.
I do use the word “victim” when I write about narcissistic abuse. Abusers have victims. Those who suffer at the hands of another are victims according to the definition. But that is not your identity! There are no victims in Christ. You are an overcomer. That’s who you are.
The problems are real, but they cannot overcome us. We will overcome them. Slowly or quickly, completely or one piece at a time, we will overcome them. When everything is done, our problems will be gone, and we will stand in victory.
Please, these are not just Christian platitudes. This is not us talking ourselves into feeling better about difficult situations. For those who believe, who trust in Jesus, this is fundamental fact. This is reaching outside of ourselves to hold onto the One who loves us and is the strength we need. That’s what faith is about.
As I write this, I know that some of you are in challenging situations. Your struggle is real and hard. I pray for you often. As the New Year begins, look to Jesus. See in Him all your hope and promise. See His strength and love. Then rest in Him and find your peace. The world isn’t going away, but you will overcome it.