Encouraging Through Challenges: A Positive Perspective
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.“
James 1:2-3 (ESV)
Life is full of challenges. It’s easy to get discouraged when things don’t go our way. We may feel like giving up or like we’re not good enough. But God wants us to know that we can regard trials of any kind as cause for joy.
Why? Because challenges are a way for God to grow our faith and make us more steadfast. When we go through tough times, we have to rely on God more. We have to trust that He will see us through, even when we don’t know how. And when we come out on the other side, we’re stronger and more resilient than we were before.
I like to tell people that without rain there is no green grass. And without snow in the mountains, there is no water in the river or the lakes! And when we are in the middle of a blizzard or heavy rain storm we can get disoriented very easily. We can allow fear into our minds and then it just kind of snowballs from there like an avalanche. Except that this avalanche is 100% made up by our mind is not real.
How Challenges Can Grow Our Faith
Challenges can grow our faith in a number of ways. First, they can help us to realize our need for God. When we’re faced with a difficult situation, we may feel like we can’t handle it on our own. This can lead us to turn to God for help and support. As we rely on God more, our faith in Him grows stronger.
I have made the mistake of thinking that I can handle it on my own a TON of times. As soon as I see that I need His help, and I ask for it, He always comes through.
Second, challenges can help us to learn to trust God. When we don’t know how a challenge is going to turn out, we have to trust that God has a plan for us. This can be difficult, but it’s an important part of growing in our faith. As we trust God more, our faith in Him becomes more steadfast.
There was this one time that I bit off more than I could chew for a customer. They called me and asked if we could help them transfer their whole fleet of titles from one company to another. How bad could it be I told myself. I asked how many titles they had and they told me 230.
My answer to them about transferring the titles was, No Problem! Then on our first trip down to Texas to start transferring the titles we found out they had already tried to transfer all these titles and in the process aggravated the clerks at the DMV.
Our job just got a whole lot more challenging. But we didn’t give up. We leaned in. I changed my flight home to add a few more days to our trip and then we put our heads down and got to work. We went back and forth from the DMV to their office asking questions.
The whole time I knew that my team could do it. Even if their team couldn’t, lol.
Then on day 2 I was just about to get overwhelmed, as I crawled into bed after working an 18-hour day, I laid my head down on the pillow and prayed, “God, this is not going as smoothly as I hoped. Is there any way that you might be able to help us grease the wheels here and give a few minor wins?”
Then the next day we woke up and headed to the DMV and they said, “5 of the titles was processed yesterday!” That was the WIN we needed!!! We worked hand in hand with them and got the other 225 titles processed over the next 3 days!
Third, challenges can help us to develop perseverance. When we face a challenge, we have to keep going even when it’s hard. This requires perseverance, which is an important quality for Christians to have. As we persevere through challenges, our faith in God grows stronger and we become more resilient.
How to Encourage Yourself Through Challenges
There are a few things you can do to encourage yourself through challenges:
- Pray. Talk to God about your challenges and ask for His help. He knows what you’re going through and He cares. He wants to give you the strength and wisdom you need to overcome.
- Read the Bible. The Bible is full of stories of people who faced challenges and overcame them. Let the stories of these people encourage you and give you hope.
- Talk to a trusted friend or counselor. Sometimes it helps to talk about our challenges with someone who can understand and support us. A friend or counselor can offer you encouragement and advice.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. When you take care of yourself, you’re better able to cope with challenges.
- Remember that you’re not alone. There are other people who are going through challenges too. Remember that you’re not alone and that there is support available to you.
Remember, challenges are not a sign that God is punishing you or that you’re not good enough. They’re an opportunity for God to grow your faith and make you more like Jesus. So, count it all joy, and trust that God will see you through.
Prayer for Encouragement Through Challenges
Thank you for this encouraging devotion through challenges. I know that challenges are part of life, but I sometimes forget that they can also be an opportunity for growth. Help me to see my challenges as opportunities to learn and grow in my faith. Help me to trust that you have a plan for me, even when I don’t understand what it is. Give me the strength and wisdom to persevere through challenges and help me to come out on the other side stronger and more resilient.
I know that I am not alone in facing challenges. Many people around the world are struggling with difficult circumstances. I pray for those who are suffering, and I ask that you would give them strength and hope. I pray that you would use their challenges to draw them closer to you and to help them grow in their faith.
I also pray for myself. I know that I will face challenges in the future, but I trust that you will help me through them. I ask that you would give me the courage to face my challenges head-on, and the wisdom to know how to handle them. I pray that you would help me to grow in my faith and to become a stronger person through my challenges.
Thank you for your love and your faithfulness. I trust that you will never leave me or forsake me.
In Jesus’ name, amen.