In the rain forest of central Africa, the Mongo people, the tribe I come from, have the saying “The sun never goes down without being seen.” Even when the sky there is overcast all day, the sun always comes out for at least a few minutes before it goes down. Figuratively, it’s a saying to encourage people through dark times that the light will shine again. People around the world have encouraging sayings like that. For instance, Americans say, “There is light at the end of the tunnel.” The French say, “Après la pluie vient le beau temps,” which means, “After the rain comes the sunshine.” All these sayings express in a way the truth that is stated in II Corinthians 2:14: “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ….”
Since the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 when the rights of rulership and dominion of the world were transferred to the adversary, obstacles and challenges have been a part of life. However, God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and earth, in His infinite kindness and mercy, has always provided the means for mankind to overcome obstacles and challenges.
Throughout history, there are numerous accounts of people facing and overcoming obstacles and challenges. Their lives give us invaluable lessons and insight on how we too can overcome difficulties. For born-again believers, the question is not, Why am I facing this obstacle or challenge? Rather, the question is, What do I need to do with the power of God in Christ in me to overcome this obstacle or challenge I am facing?
The Church Epistles and records in the Book of Acts show us what the Apostle Paul did to overcome obstacles and challenges he faced. He knew that God has given strength through Christ for overcoming any challenge. Three keys that helped Paul live triumphantly are trusting and believing God, taking believing action according to the Word, and developing what I call a “champion mind-set.”
Let’s look at the first key to Paul’s success over obstacles and challenges—he believed and trusted God through the circumstances of life. As a Hebrew schooled in the Old Testament, Paul would have been aware that God is the source of His people’s strength, as stated in I Chronicles.
I Chronicles 29:11 and 12:
Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
Paul understood that God has the power and might “to make great, and to give strength unto all.” And it was Paul who by revelation proclaimed the truth in II Corinthians 2:14 that God always causes us to triumph in Christ. So then we can definitely believe and trust God in any circumstance and under any condition in life. No river should be impossible for us to cross, no mountain should be impossible for us to tunnel through because nothing is impossible to our God. That’s why the first key we need to apply in the face of any obstacle is to believe and trust God. He has the power to give us strength and to cause us to triumph in Christ.
In Acts 27 we see Paul’s trust and believing in the midst of a challenging storm at sea.
And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.
For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
“For I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.” What a simple, yet dynamic statement a believing man or woman can make in the midst of obstacles or challenges! Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
What is the logical response when we face life’s challenges and difficulties? Are we told in the Word that God always causes us to triumph in Christ (II Corinthians 2:14)? Are we told that in all these things we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37)? Are we told that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13)? Are we told that God will help us and uphold us with His right hand of righteousness (Isaiah 41:10)? Are we told that God has the power and might to make us great and to give strength unto all (I Chronicles 29:12)? Then the logical response when we face obstacles is to trust and believe God according to His Word….
This is an excerpt from the May/June 2011 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2011 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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