Is there a secret to overcoming obstacles and trials? We all have faced obstacles in life; those things that get in our way of moving forward in faith, or moving ahead in life.
When you are facing an obstacle that seem unmovable so often the simple path is to turn around and try something new. When we face trials in our life we often question our decisions or choices and we feel defeated.
Trials and obstacles happen – It is how we deal with them that can make or break a person.
It Is Unfair – I Quit
I know I have said this before and I have heard many others say the same thing when an obstacle or trial come; “It is unfair, I quit.”
The younger generation face a multitude of difficulties just to get a break in life. They complete High School and some even get all the way through college. Then they try to start their own life. There are jobs around but so many pay so little.
Young people want to get their own place but the cost to rent or own is ridiculous. It is like hitting a brick wall with no way around. For many the typical response is this is unfair, I quit.
For some whom have made a mark in their life and found some degree of success obstacles and trials come when they least expect it. It could be illness or a job closing or even problems with our relationships.
Whatever the obstacle or trial in your life is, there is a better way to handle it than giving up.
The Secret Ingredient to Success Despite Obstacles.
To tell the truth the “secret” to overcoming obstacles and trials is a character trait that anyone can develop if they want to.
People in the past made their through obstacles and trials because they did not give up. These overcomers choose to make a way around obstacles. A great example can be found in the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Over 200 years ago the Lewis and Clark Expedition sought to go out into the newly purchased Louisiana purchase and find a way to the Pacific Ocean. Heading northwest from St Louis Mo, they followed the Missouri River through uncharted territory.
They faced hunger, setbacks, unfriendly Indians, death and injuries and yet they kept moving forward. When they finally reached the Continental divide they thought the journey would be downhill, till they saw the Rocky Mountains.
They could have given up, but they didn’t. In the end they made it all the way through what is now Oregon to the Pacific Ocean.
What character trait did they display that kept them moving forward to success.
RESILIENCE – “Resilience is the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”.
Resilience Is A Common Trait In The Bible.
The Apostle Paul is only one example. In Romans 5:8 Paul wrote – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whom have been called according to his purpose.” These words don’t come from a man who had everything – they come from a man who knew suffering first-hand but he survived – He was resilient.
1 Corinthians 11:24-27 – “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
The hope that Paul had was not in his own abilities but in God’s abilities. Paul hung onto that hope so that when trials and obstacles came he let that hope guide him to recovery knowing that in all circumstances God works things out for God.
In the Old Testament one of the greatest accounts of resilience was found in the Genesis account of Joseph.
Joseph chose to thrive wherever he found himself. His story starts out bright with the special recognition his father gave him; a regal coat, a coat of many colors. But his special recognition from his father caused his brothers to hate him.
In time his brothers sold Joseph into slavery – At that point Joseph could have given up on life. Instead he thrived, when he was sold as a slave to Potiphar Joseph did so well at whatever that he was put in charge.
He was headed to success, until Potiphar’s wife noticed him and tried to seduce him. Joseph could have lowered his morals and given in to her, but he rejected her advances. When he stood by his morals, she cried rape and Joseph was put into prison.
In prison Joseph did his best and was put into charge of the prisoners. He was forgotten by those he helped, and he could have given up hope, but he didn’t he was resilient. In time He was freed and put in charge of the whole kingdom!
Joseph trusted God to work things out no matter what the circumstances were.
All Christians Are Encouraged to be Resilient.
Another Apostle, James, in writing to the church expressed this very thought – “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:2)
Resilience is the biblical norm for all Christians. The Bible contains many admonitions to press on, to overcome hardship and temptation, to persevere in the face of trials. It also gives us numerous examples of people who suffered greatly but continued to follow God’s plans for their lives.
Proverbs 24:16 – informs us that the righteous are resilient—”Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.”
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 – “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Where Do We Go From Here
In life we are going to face a lot of challenges. There will likely be many obstacles and trials. Choose to learn to be resilient. Choose to learn to adjust to the challenges we will face. Choose to learn to trust that God has a plan in our lives.
This one thing we need to remember; that God has a plan – WE MAY NOT UNDERSTAND IT BUT HE HAS A PLAN AND THAT PLAN IS FOR GOOD.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
It is tempting to try to figure out why certain things have happened, but this does nothing to help us move forward.
It is much better to “trust in the Lord” –
TRUST THAT WE ARE WALKING ON A PATH THAT HE HAS ORDAINED AND HE KNOWS WHERE IT WILL LEAD.
Be like Paul and all the faithful in the Bible. Hold on to the hope that God is in control.
Remember Joseph all that he did to stay faithful, and no matter what situation we find ourselves in trust that God will help us through.
When you face trials and obstacles in the future remember those in the past whom have faced many similar challenges and yet kept on moving forward – they trusted God, they held onto the hope of God and they saw their challenges as learning steps to growing in their faith.
Resilience is something that we can all learn by looking at every situation as an opportunity to grow and mature in our faith. It will not be easy but we can do it if we just trust God. Nothing is impossible with God. He can bring you through any trial you may face.
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