For whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith. Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5: 4-5)
What does it mean to conquer the world? This scripture is not referring to world domination like the goal in board game Risk. It is referring to our more personal world and the things we deal with on a daily basis: work, home, self, family, friends, coworkers, money issues, grief, fear, illness, uncertainty, death, disability, trauma, etc.
One very good example of this is the death of Fr. Bill. As a community our hearts are saddened, but we have the faith that he is with God in heaven. We could be consumed in grief, but we should be filled with joy because he is receiving the reward of his life. Conquering the world with our faith may be easy with the passing of a holy person, but it can be done in other types of situations too.
When struggling with the overwhelming situations of daily life, its important to remember that God wants what is best for us. Ever since He placed mankind in the Garden of Eden, God designed the world to give us the best. It is our own foolish human nature that leads us away from the best things that He has planned for us. It is our weakness of faith that lets life defeat us sometimes. When we are tempted to declare defeat, that’s the world that we need to conquer with our faith.
Sometimes it is hard to love our neighbor, enemies, and even our family. Sometimes it is hard to believe that God wants what is best for us when there is a pile of bills to be paid and no money in the bank. The same is true when a loved one has a disability or is in the hospital with little chance of recovery. Again this is true when dealing with defeat and failure of best laid plans. It is hard to believe when hearing the news of war, famine, and horrors in distant countries. However, God does want what is best for us.
When the world tries to defeat us, having faith in God’s plan, faith in heaven, and faith in his providence will help us conquer our world. Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? Belief in Jesus is belief in the words he preached, belief in our community, belief in heaven and through these things, belief that God will provide and lead us to what is best .