★ Thought for the Day – Overwhelmed or Overcoming ★

82 - Daily Dependence - Overwhelmed or Overcoming - WebsiteToday’s thought is going to dig into…What are Problems Really…How to avoid being overwhelmed, and more importantly how to overcome them!  Problems come for many different reasons.  It could be because of poor decisions on our part, an attack from the Devil (see 1 Peter 5:8), or sometimes it is a test or opportunity to grow.  I want to make a clear delineation that I am not suggesting that we put a positive spin on things and call your problems “opportunities” like this Dilbert comic…

82 - Daily Dependence - Dilbert - Opportunity

But rather we need to recognize the problem, and see it for what it is and go to God for help before we become overwhelmed.  My pastor preached last Sunday on Numbers 35 and the “Cities of Refuge.”  Quick synopsis…God had established the several Cities of Refuge for the Israelites before they entered into the Promised Land to provide a place of escape and protection if a person accidentally killed someone.  My Pastor made an incredible parallel to the Cities of Refuge and Jesus that blew me away!  You can hear it for yourself by clicking here, but what I wanted to mention was a fascinating statement someone told him…

“Most people see God as a good idea, but don’t see Him as a necessity.”

What do you think of this?  I don’t pretend to believe that everyone who reads my blogs has a belief in the One True God, the Creator of the Universe, or are sold out followers of Jesus so I will pose this question to you…Do you see God as a good idea or as a necessity?  The answer to this question will be a good indicator to whether you will be overwhelmed by life or will overcome the adversity in front of you.  In two previous posts, ★ Thought for the Day – The Storms of Life ★ and ★ Thought for the Day – What’s In Your Sponge? ★, we delved into the reality that storms WILL COME into your life.  Not that they MAY COME!  We unpacked the importance to persevere through the hard seasons of life and learn from the storms that God will change you!  Today’s thought will build upon that foundation and develop further the last post, ★ Thought for the Day – Who’s Chasing You? ★.  You may ask, “why so many posts with a similar topic”…Well we all face an onslaught of negativity and attacks everyday, so the only way to combat that is to fill our minds with the opposite which is God’s Truth on the subject matter!  Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV1984) says…

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  Selah”

When you see God as a necessity, you will see Him as a place to run to for safety and security.  You will see Him as a source of strength and the foundation that your life should be built on.  But if you see God only as a good idea, then it is all on you to solve every problem on your on strength.  If you grab hold of the truth of Psalm 46:1-3, it could be a life changer.  You’ve heard it said, “When life gives you LEMONS, make LEMONADE?”  You could dismiss this as just a platitude, and continue to let life’s problems paralyze you, or you could view it as an opportunity to learn and grow from it.  I love how Robert H. Schuller put it…

“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.”

If you view your circumstances in this light, and change your perspective, who knows how things could change.  How you look at problems and conversely, how you react, is key.  American educator, author and businessman Stephen Covey coined the 90/10 Principle which was…

“10 percent of life is made up of what happens to you; 90 percent of life is decided by how you react.”

Which also aligns with a great scripture from Philippians 4:8

It comes down to focus!  What will you focus on when problems arise?  Will you see them as stop signs or guidelines.  Steven Furtick said,

“Real faith knows that sometimes in order to see a change, you have to stare through a situation.”

“We always think that God’s presence is provided to fix our problems.  But what if God’s presence is more about fixing your perspective, so that you have a new way to see your problems.”  

Being overwhelmed is what happens when you try to handle things are your on strength, overcoming is when you let God handle things.  I like how Steven Furtick put that…sometimes we need to “stare through a situation” in order to see your problems with a new perspective!  It reminds me of a scene from the 1998 movie “Patch Adams.”  In this scene below, it give some great insight about staring through a situation.  I know this is dating me but watch the clip nonetheless…

I love the advice in the scene that Robin Williams’ character is told…

“You’re focusing on the problem.  If you focus on the problem, you can’t see the solution.  Never focus on the problem.”

The same is true for us, if we focus on the problem we will miss the solution which is God.  Sometimes though we will have to go through some testing though…James 1:2-4 (ESV) talks about the benefit of the Testing of Your Faith…

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness [another translations says ‘endurance’].  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Count it all joy?  What?  When have you ever looked at problems as a test that you should be happy about?  I once heard someone say “A test is an opportunity.”  An opportunity that if you endure and conquer you will come out the better for just as James instructs.  In speaking on this verse, Mark Driscoll said it perfectly..

“What this means is you’ll become more godly, you’ll become more like Jesus.  The trial will be used to transform you.  OK, how many of you want to be more like Jesus?  How many of you want a trial?  OK?  Just so you know, they’re the same question...it’s like, ‘I want to be buff without working out.  I want to learn a lot without reading books.’  It doesn’t work that way.  Cause, effect; reap, sow.  Steadfastness produces maturity.”

I cannot tell you how many times I have prayed to become more like Jesus BUT to be molded and shaped into His image means that sometimes I have to go through some hard times to refine me and purify me.  2 Corinthians 1:4 says though we go through trouble…

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 

I have needed much comfort lately as I have been overwhelmed by pressures and struggles that I am going through.  God has spoken so clearly in my quiet time and also through my friends and my wife.  She sent the 2 Corinthians verse to me with this word of encouragement that I will close this thought of the Day with…

“I love the idea of this and it is my prayer that the struggles and trials I have gone through would allow me to help and encourage others.  If we allow Him to work in us, He can turn our mess into a message, our test into a testimony.  Be encouraged there is PURPOSE for the PAIN.”

Problems are going to happen.  We live in a “Fallen World” and Satan is always looking to cause hardships in our life in.  But when we persevere and overcome the adversity, it will develop us, breaking the focus from ourselves and making us more like Jesus so that we can help others!!  Will your problems be a stop sign or a guideline?  Trust God in whatever you are going through today and let it transform you!  I will close with Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) which says:

“We can rejoice, too, when we run i82 - Daily Dependence - Romans 5-3 - 5nto problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of characterand character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

So how will you be described today?  As…
82 - Daily Dependence - Overwhelmed or Overcoming - Website

 

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