Here are a few things that have helped me along the way …
1. Believe that your challenges have the potential to make you strong.
The very process of facing and dealing with life’s challenges is how we become strong people. You can’t develop ‘strength’ without pressure and without a degree of stress (and sometimes even pain). The hard times can make us strong.
"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." [African Proverb]
How we think about our challenges is vital. The quality of ‘resilience’ is the ability to successfully meet and surmount challenges, obstacles, and problems. This quality is not hereditary and it has nothing to do with your talent or even your anointing. It has to do with your way of thinking – how you look at and interpret life’s challenges.
Paul tells us that, “God is working all things (this includes challenges!) together for our ultimate benefit because we love God and are called according to his purpose.” I believe that it is essential that each one of us has a clear sense of the call of God for our life and ministry, and then embrace a strong belief in the sovereignty of God and in his goodness.
"I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much." [Mother Teresa]
2. Do what you can to overcome them.
Don’t give in or just come under the challenge. Give your best efforts to face it head on and believe for a solution. Give it your best prayers, your best thinking and your best energy. There’s always something you can do to either completely conquer the challenge or at least minimise its impact. Sometimes there are tough choices to be made, changes to be embraced and maybe even compromises where we have to choose less than the ideal. Sometimes you need to try a different approach – a different tack. Look at it a different way or do something different about it. Don’t ignore your challenges and try not to be overwhelmed by them. Refuse to just give up and become a ‘victim’. Determine to be a ‘victor’ no matter how long it takes.
We’ll look at three more tomorrow …