I bought a new pair of running shoes today. Out with Nike and in with Brooks. Though I must say, it saddens me a bit. I’m not a brand-loyalist, but as some of you may know, the word ‘nike’ is a Greek word that means victory. And, as a Christian, I just love the idea of running in ‘victory.’ 🙂
Another way the word ‘nike’ gets translated in the Bible is ‘overcome.’ Just the thought of that word makes me kind of giddy inside. Because, guess what? That word defines me, and you too, if you’ve trusted in Jesus.
We are overcomers!
Let me show you:
You are of God… and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5
We are overcomers because of our unity with Christ who has already done the overcoming!
I have overcome the world. John 16:33b
What is in the world that we need to overcome? Sin, darkness, death. Worry, anxiety, fear.
It’s hard to wrap my mind around the idea that even though I am still living in the midst of a fallen world, I am an overcomer. Present tense. Not in the process of overcoming. Not striving to overcome. Not hoping to overcome. An already-won-the-victory overcomer. And I didn’t have to do anything to win the victory!
It was already won the moment Jesus rose victoriously from the grave. And because He is in me, so is His victory.
Even spending just a few moments contemplating the implications of this truth leaves me overwhelmed with privilege, awe, humility, courage, thankfulness, and praise!
By this point, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with worry. Let me explain.
The first part of John 16:33, which I shared above, says this:
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.
And there we have the key to overcoming worry: peace.
And not just any peace, the Peace of God.
As believers, we have the unique position of being an overcomer as well as dwelling in a peace that only God can offer. His true peace is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Jesus came to bring this peace to the world (John 14:27).
But how can we grab a hold of that lifeline of peace when we are sinking in worry and anxiety?
The apostle Paul, who at the time of writing his letter to the Philippians was imprisoned and awaiting his death, had this to say to his readers:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (4:6-7)
So much has already been written, taught, and preached about these verses, but I want to hone in on one main point. Worry attacks the mind, but God’s peace acts as our mind’s bodyguard against anxiety.
Maybe you’re like me, and sometimes your bodyguard has dozed off or become more of a couch potato than a protector. That’s why Paul goes on to share in verse eight how we can get that bodyguard in a state of active anticipation so that we might enjoy God’s peace.
Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.
That’s our mental training program. And that’s what strengthens our bodyguard and allows us to experience peace.
Isaiah 26:3 says it in a different way:
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Is there really any more I can add?
I will still be running whether I wear Nike’s or not.
But I get to run my spiritual race in ‘nike’ every day. Because I’m an overcomer, and you are too.
Let’s get comfortable in those spiritual nike’s, and start training our minds to think Philippians 4:8 thoughts. Then the peace of God will swiftly chase away our worries!