How to Overcome Any Challenge

When you face a situation that feels overwhelming, where do you turn for help in your time of need? Do you know you have access to exactly what you need to face the giant, scary obstacles in your life? And this source isn’t limited to use in only worst case scenarios, but is available at all times and for all manner of issues. What is this fount of provision? The throne of God.

You may have just rolled your eyes and thought, “Great, I thought she was going to give me some practical help to deal with my struggles. Instead, she is going on about some theological mumbo-jumbo about God’s throne.”

Hang with me a moment and you’ll find something capable of transforming your most crushing crisis or tiresome nuisance into a front row seat for seeing God’s mercy and grace at work.

Illustration courtesy of iStock Photo.com © BibleArtLibrary

A Dog with a Bone

As I considered how I deal with challenges, the image of a dog with a bone sprang to mind.

Puppy with Large bone

Photo courtesy of flickr cc Don LaVange

 

Sometimes, I tear into my problem, gnawing away at it with relentless effort. The result? I exhaust myself and make a mess.

At other times, I bury it in the soil of denial and let it fester and molder. I may return and dig it up, gnaw on it a bit, and hide it away again. I might leave it for a little while, but the buried bone is never far from my thoughts. I chew on it in my mind even when it is buried deep away from my physical grasp.

Any of that sound familiar to how you approach your tough situations?

A Real Solution for Real Problems

My Sunday School class is studying the book of Hebrews this semester. This book is an exhortation (sermon) about holding on to one’s faith in the face of immense challenge.

The recipients of this document needed to hear something that would equip them to persevere in the face of strained relationships, loss of all of their possessions, threats of imprisonment and possibly execution. These people needed a practical, real-life solution to their very real predicament.

So, what did the Holy Spirit inspire the writer to tell them?

He prefaced his solution with a reminder that nothing is hidden from God; the Lord sees it all. He knows everything about every situation we face, and he knows us right down to our thoughts, attitudes, and intentions.

Then, the writer gave them the following keys to discover what they needed to overcome their very real challenges.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.Hebrews 4:14-16, NIV

A 3-Step Process for Prevailing Over Problems

The Holy Spirit outlined three actions we must take to equip us with what we need to subdue the giant problems or beat back the nipping nuisances.

1. Hold firmly to the faith we possess.

What is the faith we possess? We confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. As our High Priest, he made atonement for our sin and opened the way to God. We are no longer estranged from God, blocked from entering his presence because of our sin.

When God looks upon believers, he sees Christ’s righteousness. If you have accepted Christ, you are a child of God and as such have an open invitation to come into his presence.

When you begin to feel the weight of your problems dragging you down to a place of defeat, remind yourself of the faith you possess. Call to mind the truth of your position as a believer in Christ.

Click on the picture or button below to request this printable with some Scriptures to remind you of the faith you possess. I’ll email it to you right away!


Send Me the Scriptures!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it will get you started. Print it out and add to it. Keep these verses at hand and review them whenever you struggle to hold firmly to these truths.

2. Approach God’s throne of grace with confidence.

God doesn’t call us to handle our challenges on our own. Through Christ, he invites us to place our problem at the foot of his throne and confess we need his mercy and grace to deal with it.

Rather than gnaw away at our problem or bury it in denial, he gives us the privilege of bringing it directly to Him where it can be dealt with.

Because of our position as God’s child and co-heir with Christ (see Galatians 4:4-7) we are assured of acceptance. We have an open invitation to come to the Lord whenever we need him.

How do we enter the throne room of the Almighty? We come into his presence via prayer, worship, and the practice of the spiritual disciplines.

Don’t let prayer be a last resort. Make it your first response. You don’t need fancy words or some formal structure. Just speak to the Lord about what is on your heart. Or, open the book of Psalms and thumb through prayers that cover a wide variety of situations and emotions. There are also resources from Let’s Pray Today that will help you pray.

And in those times where the situation is so overwhelming it renders you speechless, just come before him in silence (or weeping) and let the Holy Spirit intercede for you (see Romans 8:26-27).

Worship him in the midst of the storm. I keep a playlist of my favorite worship songs on my phone/ipod. Listening and singing along to these songs lets me worship God whenever I want. I often turn on my “Worship on the Go” playlist while I’m running errands, doing housework, or when I feel down or discouraged. Since virtually all of these worship songs utilize Scripture verses, it also helps speak truth into my circumstances and helps me hold firmly to the faith I profess. As I praise and worship him, I find myself at his throne.

Practice spiritual disciplines. Throughout the Bible believers are exhorted to engage in activities designed to put our focus on God and help us commune with him in deeper ways. Some examples of these disciplines include: Scripture reading, study and meditation, fasting (from food, talking, work, and such), and service, to name a few.

3. Receive mercy and find grace to meet your need.

You’ve held firmly to the faith you possess, reminding yourself of the truth of your situation and position as a believer. You’ve come to the source of all provision, God himself. All that remains is for you to receive what he offers and discover what he provides to help you in your time of difficulty.

Ask and it will be given to you;seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds;and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good giftsto those who ask him!Matthew 7:7‑11, NIV

This doesn’t mean you will get what you want, necessarily. It is not some “name it and claim it” formula. It means we can trust God to provide what is for our good and what truly meets our needs. All we have to do is come to him and receive and discover.

Receive his mercy. Mercy is God not giving us what we deserve. This may come in the form of peace that makes no sense, forgiveness, or deliverance.

You may be in the midst of a self-made mess. Bring it to his throne confident of the mercy and help you will receive. Because you are in Christ, you need not fear condemnation. (see Romans 8:1)

Discover his grace. Grace is getting that which we haven’t earned and don’t deserve. He may bring to mind people, resources, events, or other interventions that will help you overcome your challenge. In his grace, he provides for our need.

Are you ready for your front row seat?

I told you that if you hung in there, I’d show you a process by which your most crushing crisis or nagging nuisance could be transformed into a front row seat for seeing God’s mercy and grace at work.

God invites us to rest in his sufficient grace, rather than wrestle with our insufficiencies.

Instead of gnawing away at your problem or burying it in denial, will you clamp your jaws down on truth, come confidently to God, and receive and discover his provision?

How about you? How do you tend to deal with problems and nuisances in your life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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