– Helen Keller
The greatest object that we have to overcome is being reconciled back to God because our sins had separated us from having a relationship and fellowship with Him (Isaiah 59:2). But Jesus overcame our sins by His sinless life and sacrifice on the cross and then His resurrection on the third day. We can only overcome by the Spirit of God, Who makes us into new creations in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). The first obstacle is to have God’s wrath removed from us who formerly disbelieved in Jesus Christ (John 3:36b). Then God will birth in our hearts the need to repent and place our trust in Christ. If you fail to overcome this sin barrier through Christ, you can gain the whole world yet lose your soul forever (Matthew 16:26).
Helen Keller overcame some tremendous odds; but in the end, it was her faith in God that helped her overcome her greater obstacles to come. This great woman was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree in history. There she was in a self-imposed isolation as a child and probably frustrated because she didn’t know anything, hear anything, or see anything. Somehow out of this deep, dark abyss of knowing nothing, Helen Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, courageously fought to overcome this young blind-deaf girl’s entrapment. We can’t imagine what Mrs. Keller experienced as a child; but if she could overcome a dark, deep trap of nothingness as a young child and move on to earn a college degree while deaf and blind, then what keeps us from thinking God will not see us through whatever it is we need to overcome? Can you even imagine Mrs. Keller’s joy at receiving her degree?
We have a worship service leader who just loves to shout with joy during worship services. He doesn’t disrupt service, but he just can’t help himself, and that’s okay. He is such a joy to have in our little church. He knows that the joy of the Lord is his strength (Psalms 28:7-8), which is one of his strengths, in my opinion. Joy is contagious, my friends–it really is. Try spreading it to see what I mean. I love him dearly, and he also brings me joy. Such joy should have our hearts overflowing with love and adoration for God our Father and the Son, Who died for us. It can be said of all who have trusted in Christ that “they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death” (Revelation 12:11).
Historians tell us that when the Christians died in the Coliseum. They were singing hymns; and some said, “It’s as if they were looking at the face of God.” Who knows? Maybe that’s what Stephen the deacon saw as he entered into the presence of God after they stoned him to death and asked Jesus to receive His spirit (Acts 7:59). And so He did, and Stephen’s joy was made complete.