As I was meeting with another fellow this morning for discipleship, prayer, fellowship and food (some of my very favorite things!) – something in a book we were going thru together really struck me.
We have been working thru “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper.
He has a very helpful section to understand Romans 8:37 – “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” I found his insight here very helpful:
What does “more than conquerors” mean? How can you be more than a con- queror when you risk for the cause of God and get hurt for it?
But what must happen in this conflict with famine and sword if you are to be called more than a conqueror? One biblical answer is that a conqueror defeats his enemy, but one who is more than a conqueror subjugates his enemy. A conqueror nullifies the purpose of his enemy; one who is more than a conqueror makes the enemy serve his own purposes. A conqueror strikes down his foe; one who is more than a conqueror makes his foe his slave.
Practically what does this mean? Let’s use Paul’s own words in 2 Corinthians 4:17: “This slight momentary affliction is preparing [effecting, or working, or bringing about] for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” Here we could say that “affliction” is one of the attacking enemies. What has happened in Paul’s conflict with it? It has certainly not separated him from the love of Christ. But even more, it has been taken captive, so to speak. It has been enslaved and made to serve Paul’s everlasting joy. “Affliction,” the former enemy, is now working for Paul. It is preparing for Paul “an eternal weight of glory.” His enemy is now his slave. He has not only conquered his enemy. He has more than conquered him.
The danger in our Americanized Christianity is that we can make it all about us. We aren’t overcomers because we are so strong – it is because Christ has already overcome that he then causes everything to work for his glory and our good. And as Pastor Ed says, those two things are never in conflict.