When Jacob came back from Padan Aram, he had 6 wives and many children. He possessed many cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys and camels. He had everything that man wanted to possess during those days. God had blessed him abundantly with all these in spite of the hardships he had suffered while working for his uncle Laban.

However, when Jacob heard that his brother Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men, he was gripped with fear because of what he had done to his brother years ago. He remembered how he had cheated his brother by cheating him of his birthright and also how he had stolen their father’s blessing which was supposed to belong to Esau. He was fearful because he thought his brother was coming to take revenge.

As Jacob was totally helpless at that moment. God appeared in the form of a man and wrestled with him until daybreak. Jacob was so persistent that he would not allow the man to leave until He had blessed him.

Jacob recognized that even though God has blessed him with all the material blessings, wives and children, livestocks and animals, these are only external blessings. He realized that before he meets up with his brother Esau, his own life need to be changed.

Later, God changed his name from Jacob(a cheat) to Israel(prince with God). His life was totally transformed from that time onwards and he was no more a cheat.

Even though God blessed us with many external blessings in our lives, it doesn’t mean that God is pleased with us. We must acknowledge that there is a ‘Jacob’ inside us that needs to be changed to Israel.

Let us examine ourselves before God through His Word and the Holy Spirit. Humble ourselves before Him, acknowledging our sins & weaknesses and ask God to change us to his likeness.

God told us that as His people we will have tribulation in this world. But He has also promised us that His grace will help us to be overcomers in this world.

As such, when tribulation comes, we must not be discouraged, neither should we be fearful, because our God already knows what we will be going through and He has provided the grace for us to overcome through our Lord Jesus Christ. We just have to cling to His promise, He will surely help us to go through it victoriously.

However, if we are facing trials because of our own mistakes and sins, then we have to humble ourselves before God and ask for forgiveness. If we have offended anyone, sin against somebody, bear grudges against a brother or sister, jealous over their success, then we have to make right our relationship with them by apologizing to them.

We must be willing to turn away from our faults and evil ways, askGod to give you the strength to do so. It is impossible to do so with our own strength but if we depend on God, God’s grace will come upon us & cause us to overcome it. True repentance will always refresh us and bring us restoration from our God.

If the trial we are facing is due to other people faults or circumstances that are beyond our control, then we have to depend on God’s grace and strength to help us to go through.

We will know that we have overcome when the difficult situations & difficult people are still around but we are no more being affected by them anymore. It means that the person who use to make you angry and irritate you will not be able to anger and irritate you anymore even though they are still very difficult to get along because you have overcome it. Situations that are always making you stressful, fearful, panic and anxious will not be able to affect you anymore because you have the peace and the joy of God inside you to overcome all those emotions.

When we are in the storm, do not look at the storm we are facing but look unto Jesus. Run to Him instead of seeking help from men and God will bring us through. God promised that we will walk through the fire and not be burnt, walk through the waters and not be drowned. Jesus is our Life, so that us make an effort to draw close to Him and to be found in Him.

Therefore, brothers & sisters in Christ, no matter what situations and circumstances in life that we are facing, let us be overcomers over our all these situations through Christ who can strengthen us. His purpose is that we will become overcomers just like His Son Jesus when He walked on this earth. Without Jesus, we cannot do anything good.

“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.” ( John 16:33 )

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