I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2, verse 14.
Continuing from the last verse, the Apostle John relays how God speaks to us no matter what stage of life we are in. As parents, we understand why things are the way they are. We have known God who WAS, FROM the beginning. Those to capitalized words carry great depth, identifying all history and all perspective on that history. Adults know this because adults learned it.
We are reminded that young people are strong because they are in the prime life. God evidences Himself especially in younger people especially because their innocence is a trait that God Himself always displays. Think about it: God’s love is deep and complex, yet the more we dive into it, the simpler, clearer, almost innocent and youth-like it becomes to us.
I’m reading a book now called “Undaunted,” by a man named Josh McDowell. It’s his life story, how he came from unending abuse and an unloving childhood to the point where he embraced God and forgave. What is becoming apparent to me as I read the book is that God was always present, always at work in Josh’s life, even in the terrible times. That, and it took a man of great strength and determination to not give in and become bitter. McDowell when through times in his life when he denied God even existed, and with all the physical, alcoholic, and sexual abuse he endured, I suppose that even becomes understandable. Yet he came to find that God was always present, even from the beginning, and that it was only through God that he could overcome the urge to live in anger that happens when we give in to the evil one.
Isn’t that same thing true for you and me, that only through God can we overcome the evil one? No matter what stage in which we find ourselves, if we submit to God and believe, we become unstoppable. The power to forgive is the power to move forward. I’ve known people who have lived through some of the most terrible things you can think of, but who learned to live beyond them when they learned to love through God. The closer they draw to Him, the more they find that He is the same God who has always been, even in the middle of their shame, bitterness and trials. He is still the great I AM yet still also the soft, quiet voice of full comfort in the middle of any panic or fear.
God of comfort, I pray your comfort over me know, in this stage and place in which I find myself. I’m not who I thought I would be, but I’m comforted knowing I’m who you know me to be.