This Is How We Overcome

When Leah and I were in college, there was a song often led in chapel called “This is How We Overcome.” The song’s chorus repeats itself again and again, and the tempo is more upbeat, which had always made me smile while singing it. The song has taken on a new meaning over the past […]

When Leah and I were in college, there was a song often led in chapel called “This is How We Overcome.” The song’s chorus repeats itself again and again, and the tempo is more upbeat, which had always made me smile while singing it. The song has taken on a new meaning over the past week and brings a new comfort to me when listening to it. Some of my favorite lyrics from the song include:

Your hand lifted me up, I stand on higher ground
Your praise rose in my heart, and made this valley sing

You have turned my mourning into dancing
You have turned my sorrow into joy
You have turned my mourning into dancing
You have turned my sorrow into joy

This is how we overcome.

As you all know, Leah and I are currently covered in grief with the loss of Leah’s dad, and grief takes time to heal. I do not know that it ever fully heals, but rather we learn to cope with grief by experiencing the joy that can be found, even in sorrow. Joy in sorrow seems so contradictory at first, but it’s a continual theme throughout scripture.
1 Peter, chapter 1 reminds us that we may suffer grief for a little while, but our hope in Jesus carries us through. Verse 8 says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

That is how we overcome.

We overcome our sorrows with joy knowing that one day, we will spend eternity with God. We will spend eternity with our loved ones who have gone before us. Because our grief is for a moment, and God has turned my mourning into dancing.

What’s Your Custom?

What are your habits of life? How would your family describe your customs? Twice in the New Testament the phrase is used, “as was his custom,” in reference to Jesus. In Mark 10:1 it is used to refer to his custom of teaching the people. In Luke 4:16, his going to the...

Follow Me

From time to time I will see trucks with a “Follow Me” sign on their tailgate. As a matter of fact, I followed one just last week who was directing traffic around the construction of a new bridge in our area. I understood where he was leading me. When I see a truck...

Treasure of Truth

The Bible is a vast treasure chest of truth. It is ours for the digging and the searching. Not just in every book or chapter. But in every verse and word of each verse. Consider this verse: Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the...

Choose God in Every Decision

Every day we are forced to make decisions. What will I have for breakfast, what will I wear, how will I act? But how often do we allow God to influence those decisions? It may seem kind of crazy to think about. We may say, “Does God care what I have for breakfast?”...

The Hope Chest

In 1957, my grandfather was in high school shop class, and he built my grandmother a hope chest. They were high school sweethearts and were married in August following their graduation in May. The hope chest, made from cedar, now sits in my parents living room where...

Pine Straw

put out fresh pine straw in our flower beds each year. From my local gardening experts (my wife Jane and Terry Pruitt), I understand that pine straw is great for our plants. It helps to retain moisture, insulate the root systems, helps prevent weeds and improves the...

Love Lifted Me

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV) By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16...

None of Self and All of Thee

The title of a song I remember as being a favorite when I was a child. I’m glad we still sing it today. Theodore Monod wrote the words in 1874. “O, the bitter pain and sorrow that a time could ever be, when I proudly said to Jesus, ‘All of self and none of thee.’”...

Reflections on Summer

As the summer comes to an end, I enjoy reflecting on the special times we had in the children’s ministry. Our summer was packed full with events, service projects, and Bible lessons. At our annual Back to School Bash, the children and I discussed how looking back on...

Practical Application

Is the following an example of Jesus using practical application? A man asked Jesus, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus in essence replied, “What does God say?” “What do you understand the Bible to say?” Are you reading the Bible? Do you understand what...