The gospel song “We Shall Overcome” is one my family and I are all too familiar with. It is a song that gave my grandparents and great-grandparents hope while living during the Jim Crow period in this country.
This seven-verse song was originally written by an A.M.E. preacher named Charles Albert Tindley in 1900 titled “I’ll Overcome Some Day.” He looked at the text of Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” and was moved to write these words:
“The world is one great battlefield, with forces all arrayed; If in my heart I do not yield, I’ll overcome some day.”
Though this song became the anthem of the civil rights movements of the 1960s, the admonition to overcome has always been the mantra of God’s people in troubled times.
Friends, I am thankful for inspiring words to help us get through, get past, rise above and go over every challenge, threat and trial that comes our way. Nevertheless, it is the unchanging, unfailing, and undisputed words of Jesus that will give us peace over panic, faith over fear and remind us that God is over all.
Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Therefore, through Christ, we shall overcome.
The seven phrases of encouragement all come from the seven verses of the song.
1. We shall overcome … evil (Matthew 6:13)
2. The Lord will see us through … this pandemic (Romans 8:37-39)
3. We’re on to victory … by our faith (1 John 5:4-5)
4. We’ll walk hand in hand … now and forever (Psalm 133:1)
5. We are not afraid … of naysayers (Psalm 3:6)
6. The truth shall make us free … not liars (1 John 2:4-6)
7. We shall live in peace … over panic (Deuteronomy 20:1-4)
I close with the words of Tony Evans. He states:
“Pro wrestling is staged. Before the wrestlers ever go out, it has been predetermined who will win. The contenders go through the battle for entertainment purposes, but the point of the battle is not to decide who will win, but to give the crowd a show. The winner of the match does not battle for victory, but from victory. He battles knowing that he’s already won.”
Those of us who have faith have already won.
God allows us to go through our walk, not to win the victory, but to show off to the world that he that is in us is greater than he that is in the world.
My friends, deep in my heart, I do believe that we shall overcome someday. Never give up.
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