Fitted For The Battles of LifeFebruary 3 2012 at 3:50 AM
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Jay (Login BrotherJ)
Fitted for the Battles of Life
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
God is in the process of fitting us for the battles of life. Sorrow, frustration, and pain are often the tools He uses to shape and mold our lives so that we become reflections of Gods mercy and grace to others.
Set Your Focus on Christ
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me"
One of the hardest lessons we will ever learn is how to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive experience. In Psalm 23, King David reminds us that it is all a matter of faith and perspective. He writes, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me (v. 4).
Davids words are stepping stones to a great faith. In fact, if we practice the principle that he lived, God will develop a conquering faith within our lives. David lived with adversity and, from time to time, we will too. No one escapes difficulty. It is a part of life lived in a fallen world, but we do not have to live with feelings of defeat, discouragement and criticism.
You may be thinking, But you dont know my circumstances. There is no way for you to understand the pressure I feel or the discouragement that plaques my heart. While we cant truly know or understand the hurt another person may be experiencing, we do know that there is one person who understands perfectly and that is Jesus Christ.
He was rejected, betrayed, criticized, and crucified. If you are looking for someone to identify with the pain that you are feeling, do what David didrealize Jesus is walking through the valley with you. No matter how dark life becomes, He will lead you on to ultimate victory in Him.
Turn Oppression into an Opportunity
Every heartache, every frustration, every disappointment, and every failure is used by God to draw us closer to Himself. We may not understand why we have to face opposition at home, on our jobs, or even in our service to Christ, but God knows and understands.
How do you turn an oppressive situation into an opportunity for God?
You must realize that the hand of God is with you at all times. God never leaves you alone to face the frustrations of this world. If it seems that you cannot hear His voice, be patient, be still, and be committed to trusting Him before you make a single move. Faithfulness, obedience, and willingness to wait on the Lords timing speak volumes to God.
Keep a positive mindset. Sometimes this can be difficult but it is absolutely necessary. Maintaining a positive mindset does not mean denying the seriousness of our circumstances or the hurt that we may be feeling. However, it does mean that we willingly keep our eyes of faith set on Christ, knowing that He will fulfill His purpose in our lives.
See the hand of God in every circumstance. Andrew Murray wrote that the storms of life are the advent of Gods comingthe evidence of His presence surrounding us. We are His beloved children and when we hurt, He hurts with us. When we face heartache, He comes to our aid. When we are mistreated, He is grieved and goes to work on our behalf.
Do not lose heart. As you face difficult situations in life, know that God will provide the strength, wisdom, courage and comfort to help you continue. Take His hand and step forward knowing that whenever life seems impossible, He will give you the strength and the faith to continue moving forward.