Spiritual Life

Overcoming Obstacles with Perseverance and Faith



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"Faith in your heart wasn't put there to stay. Faith isn't faith until it is tested one day." It is when we are challenged, fearful, hurting, and needy that we begin to understand the power of faith as the tool for overcoming life's obstacles. During times of prosperity it is easy to recognize God in our lives. It is when times are difficult that faith becomes our most powerful coping mechanism against adversity.

The scriptural definition of faith is, "the substance of things hoped for and the hope of things unseen." We are further told in scripture "if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." Faith is the key to overcoming physical and spiritual obstacles. Believers know and understand the power of faith in their lives when times become challenging. There is no obstacle that cannot be overcome by the power of faith in God.

The Christian faith is predicated upon the concept that "trust" in God through his son Jesus the Christ as "the way, the truth, and the life," (John 14:6) is the solution to the problems of humanity. Jesus commands believers, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God" (John 14:1) It appears overly simplistic, but this is all believers are required to do in overcoming physical and spiritual obstacles, trust. What does it mean to trust in God?

Trust can be defined as "relying on the confidence of" or "believing in or depending on something or someone." In other words, "trust" conveys the idea of a predictable outcome based on a stated promise. In Christian terms the promise is that God is in charge of the universe, that he will take care of the needs of his followers, and they need not worry nor be anxious about his doing so. Trust in God means believing that he will deliver as the Bible claims he will. (Php. 4:6-7) "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Christians have at their disposal the most powerful coping tool available to anyone for dealing with the spiritual and physical obstacles in life. We have promise in the word of God that our faith will give us the resources we need to manage any trouble or difficulty that might arise in life.

"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" (Matthew 6:25) Christians believers are commanded not to worry, not to be anxious, not to be concerned about their basic needs, that there is more to life than these things. It is clear that the stated promise of God through his son, Jesus, to believers is that faith and trust in Him are the tools we are to employ in dealing with ALL the stressors of life.

Trust in God involves an internalized belief that he is omnipresent and omnipotent, supplanting the need to worry, to fear, to feel insecure, or to control outcomes. This belief trumps all other beliefs. Faith that he will deliver on his promise to us is a powerful concept. Anxiety, fear, and frustration arise from the belief that something "should be" different than it is. They are products of faith lacking. They come from flawed or faulty thinking, outside the promise of God.

When Christians align their thinking with the promise of God's protection, there is nothing to fear, nothing to control, and nothing to worry about. At this point, "nothing can separate us from the love of God." "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39) If we cannot be separated from the love of God, then nothing else matters. We have this promise in dealing with physical and spiritual obstacles.

If a person believes in the healing power of prayer while also trusting that God is in charge, this belief will generate a positive chemical reaction that facilitates healing. The healing power of belief is well documented, as is the disease inducing power of belief. The power of belief has been credited with miraculous healing and it has sustained people through some of life's most challenging times. Medical science has long recognized the importance of the mind body connection as it relates to prayer and belief in God. Cancer patients are advised to visualize their illness and to use the power of prayer to overcome it. Prayer becomes an optimizing agent enabling the body to utilize the miraculous healing ability within its DNA to overcome disease. This process also requires the trust that if healing does not occur, it is God's will that it be so and that is also acceptable. Trusting the mind of God grants serenity, security and peace regardless of the outcome.

It is well recognized that the proper mind set, whether we call if faith, belief, trust, or attitude has the ability to carry us through very complex and complicated emotional and physical situations in life. The difficulty is that we often want the promises of faith, but we attempt to control rather than letting go. We often want proof before we submit to the will of God in matters of physical and spiritual adversity. However, this is not how the process works. God first demands our faith and our trust, and then he provides us with the tools that make the process flow. Learning to accept what we cannot control is one of the most difficult lessons of life. However, we cannot claim the blessings of faith unless we are fist able to let go of our need for answers, our need for control, our need for specific outcomes in the facing of obstacles.

The power of faith in overcoming physical and spiritual obstacles presents us with a paradox. For faith to work, we must let go of the need to control the outcome, to have anything our way. When spiritual and physical obstacles confront us all we need do is reconfirm our faith and our trust in God while turning the problems over to Him. We give the obstacles to him, refusing to be concerned because we "know" he will honor his promise. At that point they cease to be obstacles. In this process we exchange the obstacles for expressions of faith, making the obstacles insignificant. We learn that faith in God is the most important value, not the value of things over which we worry and stress.

It is natural for us to want to direct outcomes, to "work" to overcome physical and spiritual obstacles, but that is the beauty of the faith paradox. We need do nothing other than trust and believe in the power of the promise. (Php. 4:6-7) "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

More about this author: James Lynne

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