When it comes to trials and adversity, some people spend their
entire lives playing “dodgeball.” When I was a youngster, I played dodgeball in physical education class. We used a small ball—sometimes a volleyball—to throw at kids on the opposing team. If you hit someone with the ball, that person was out of the game. However, if the person you were trying to hit caught the ball, you were out of the game. Some of my classmates were great at dodging the ball.
Some adults play dodgeball too. They spend their energy, efforts, and resources trying to dodge trouble.
Other people experience the same challenge repeatedly. I call them slow learners. Invariably, they go around the mountain again and again dealing with a seemingly never-ending problem.
It doesn’t take me long to learn something. One time I accidentally stuck my finger in an electric light bulb socket. I promise you, I never did that again!
Not properly dealing with trouble is why the same set of circumstances keeps returning. Trials and tests should be dealt with in two ways—naturally and spiritually. Solutions are not all natural, but they’re not all spiritual either. To handle adversity successfully, you must address both sides.
Let’s look at the natural side first.
1. Get rid of your excuses.
It’s easy to blame someone else. However, if you decide to do or not do something, the blame rests squarely on your shoulders.
Some people never accept responsibility for their shortcomings. They find fault with everyone else, or they come up with excuses. Continually making excuses is really just taking on a “victim” mentality.
You may be facing problems right now. This is not the time to come up with reasons for why you aren’t successful. It’s time to put action to your dreams.
2. Don’t look back.
Your answer is not behind you. If the solutions to your dilemmas were behind you, you wouldn’t be in your current situation. You can’t change what happened yesterday. But you can change your future. Your tomorrow can change because the answer is in front of you.
3. Quit comparing yourself to others.
Comparing yourself to others can destroy you. It can eat you up like cancer. You are unique. God was pleased when He made you. When He gave you dreams and plans for the future, He knew who you were. God knows both your shortcomings and your strengths. So never compare yourself with anyone. It will only hinder you from turning those dreams into realities.
4. Know your limits.
Have a realistic evaluation of yourself—your knowledge, ability, and the pressure you can handle. Too many people try to accomplish tasks beyond their capabilities. You can’t expect more out of yourself than you have the knowledge and ability to achieve.
If you want to step out in an area where you have no expertise, learn what you need to know before venturing into unfamiliar territory. Stepping out before gaining knowledge can put you under an excessive amount of pressure.
No matter how dire your situation seems, you never have to fear because god is on your side. Kenneth W. Hagin
Now, let’s look at the spiritual side.
1. Remember that God is with you and wants to get you out of adversity.
Psalm 91:15 (NIV) says, “He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” God never said He would only be with you some of the time. No. He is always with you. And He is ready to deliver you out of trouble.
At times, you may feel like everyone is against you. Instead of voicing your feelings, continually confess Romans 8:31 (NIV): “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Remember, when God is for you, it doesn’t matter who is against you.
2. Resist fear
You cannot be fearful and have faith at the same time. And you can’t expect the supernatural to work for you when you are filled with fear.
Romans 8:15 (NIV 1984) says, “You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear.” God didn’t give you a spirit of fear. Instead, He gave you a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). No matter how dire your situation seems, you never have to fear because God is on your side.
3. Always maintain a good attitude.
Too many people have what I call “stinking” attitudes. They complain and cry about the adversity they are facing and say things like “I don’t understand why I’m going through this.” When you “count it all joy” (James 1:2), you maintain the necessary attitude of faith. Faith is what changes your situation.
4. Walk in Love
Christians are not required to follow the Old Testament Law. Jesus gave them the commandment of love (John 13:34) to follow. In First Corinthians chapter 13, the Apostle Paul outlined how to fulfill this commandment. Being a doer of this passage can eliminate a lot of adversity from your life.
You can probably remember a time when you wouldn’t have gotten into a predicament if you had more patience. It’s always better to take the high road of love—it never fails. Anytime you walk in love, you enable the God of love to move on your behalf.
When the wind of adversity blows, you can stand by dealing with it both naturally and spiritually. As you follow the steps I have outlined, realize that some people, though well-meaning, can exert pressure on you to go in the wrong direction. But you must be strong and stand your ground. Learn to disagree without being disagreeable.
Psalm 34:17 (NIV) says, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” This is God’s promise to His children. He is faithful to do what He promised. So never doubt that God will perform His Word in your life.
Kenneth W. Hagin
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