Today, we’ll talk about important aspects of dealing with the storms in life.
We all face obstacles and opposition in life. When that happens, it’s easy to get fearful and discouraged. But understanding the insights I’m going share below will help you maintain a positive attitude and conquer your difficulties.
As Christians, we are told to follow God’s will. In Romans 12:2, we are told that God’s will is “good, acceptable and perfect”. Since God’s will is good, it may seem logical that if you follow God’s will, only good things will happen to you. In Deuteronomy 28, God lists out many blessings that will follow the believer if he is obedient to Him – “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today…you will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country”.
But if you look at the lives of the great heroes of faith in the Bible, you’ll find that they faced many obstacles when they decided to follow God’s will and heed His call. These might be external obstacles like enemies or internal obstacles like fear and feelings of inadequacy.
What we have to realise is that just because things go wrong doesn’t mean that God wasn’t guiding us. God uses both open doors and closed doors to guide us. He uses both our allies and our enemies to fulfill His perfect plan.
Life often turns out different from what we expect. But just because we failed, face problems, encounter suffering, end a relationship, lose a job, encounter disappointment doesn’t mean that God wasn’t guiding us and we weren’t following His will.
Romans 8:28 says, “For God works all things for the good of those who love Him.” That’s all things – both good and bad. So in life, even as we follow God’s will, we can expect to encounter obstacles, set-backs, enemies and heartaches. But we know that we will have the final victory, as God works these negative circumstances for our good.
God will use our obstacles to promote us. He will use our enemies to show forth his power.
Take Joseph for example. His destiny was to become the Prince of Egypt, the next most powerful man after Egypt’s ruler, Pharoah. However, his path to victory was strewn with setbacks and enemies. Some of his enemies include his brothers, who, jealous of Joseph, sold him into slavery. But God used this disaster to propel Joseph to his destiny. If his brothers hadn’t sold him into slavery, then he wouldn’t have ended up in Egypt, where he ultimately became a high-ranking official. Though his brothers meant to harm him by selling him into slavery, God used Joseph’s slavery to bless him, as God made him prosper in his owner Potiphar’s household. But then disaster struck again. When Joseph obeyed God by refusing to sleep with Potiphar’s wife even as she tried to seduce him, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of rape. Joseph ended up in prison. Joseph could have gotten upset. He could have gotten angry with God, despaired and give up hope. But Joseph put his faith in God, and God used his stay in prison as a way to get Joseph in Pharoah’s court. When his fellow prisoners needed someone to interpret their dreams, they went to Joseph and Joseph successfully interpreted their dream. This led to Joseph’s big break – when Pharoah needed his dream interpreted, his official recommended Joseph. If Joseph hadn’t been in jail, he would have never ended up being summoned to help Pharoah.
From Joseph’s story, we can see how set-backs can become stepping stones. We can see how God not only uses our friends to help us, he uses our enemies as well. Joseph faced some enormous difficulties, but God used every obstacle to propel him to ultimate victory.
When you realise this truth – that God uses our obstacles to bless us, it takes all the pressure off. When something bad happens, your attitude is – “it’s no big deal”. You realise the set-back is all part of God’s plan and everything is working for your good. When bad things happen, don’t get bogged down by self-pity. Shake the dust off your feet and move forward with your life.
Like Joseph, your setbacks are not going to work against you but for you. God can use what was meant for your harm to help you. However, you have to do your part and stay in faith. Trust that God can use your problems to promote you. Keep a good attitude and refuse to give in to self-pity, fear and discouragement. God has good in store for your future!