Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In this world you will have trouble....

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." 
John 6:33b

Life brings many things. Some are good, but we can be sure that there will be troubles. Jesus promises it, but then He gives us hope. He has overcome the world. Jesus is an over-comer and we can be an over-comers through Him. Unfortunately for us, though, it is not going to just happen. We have to do something!

One of the first things that we must understand is that hard times do not dictate our future. It is what we do with those things that determines what direction our life is going to take. We are not the result of our circumstances, but rather the result of the decisions we make in those circumstances. You can take two people, put them through the exact same things and have their lives take two entirely different paths. One person takes their hard times and uses them to better themselves and produce a positive outcome, while the other focuses on the problem and lets it consume them. Same problem; two entirely different outcomes.

I have heard it said "Attitude determines altitude", meaning that with a good attitude we can actually rise above our troubles and turn them for good. This is such an important concept and if you take hold of it I guarantee it will change your life. You ever notice how certain people always seem to have drama? It seems like no matter what they do something bad always happens? And then there are those who seem to always have 'good luck'? I challenge you to take a look at these two different lives and compare them. More often than not you will see many similarities. Both have problems and issues that come up, but the difference comes with the attitude each person has through their troubles. One person focuses on the problem and it brings them down, while the other looks past it and keeps going.

I say this as an encouragement to those who are facing impossible odds. Even though sometimes it seems that there is no hope, there is always hope. We must make a decision to look up from our problem and look past it. When you do not focus on your problem it will not seem to be as big.

Another way to think of this is that whatever you focus on is the direction your life will head. If you focus on the problem you will run right into it, but if you focus beyond the problem you will move past it. This is not saying it will not affect you, but it will not stop you.

I also want you to take a look at God's promises. If you are living your life for Him you can rest assured that He is is wanting the best for you. God Loves you and His Word tells us "that in all things He works for the good of those who Love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."(Romans 8:28)

In order for God's promises to help us through our problems we must have faith in them. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."(Hebrews 11:1) We all hope for a better future or a way out of our current crisis. Faith is knowing that hope will become a reality. It is
being able to look at all that is going on around you and seeing how you can use it to better yourself.

See, we have the promise that God will bring good out of every circumstance, but until we believe in that promise we will never see it.

To give an example I will use a situation out of my own life. My mother died when I was 13. At that time my younger brother and I lived with her in a small town in Washington. It was a tragic situation that turned my life upside down. At the time I was going through it, and for that matter many years after, it was hard for me to see the good that was coming out of it. Now, as I look back on the situation I can see how God orchestrated every detail as He was working to bring good out of it. I can see how God's hand has directed me since then, beginning with moving to Oregon with my Grandma all the way to meeting and marrying my wife.

I am not saying that moving to Oregon and meeting my wife wouldn't have happened if my mom hadn't died, but it would have been different. And everything that I went through has made me who I am today because I allowed God to work good through my negative circumstance.

Now I'll stop my rambling and give you the bottom line. It really just comes down to God. If you keep your focus on Him even when you are facing hardship you will come out of it victorious. Remember, through Christ we are more than conquerors because He has overcome the world. All these other things, such as attitude and faith, play important parts, but are nothing without your focus being God.


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