The law of gravity dictates that what goes up must also come down. It is a reality that cannot be denied, or avoided. However, their is a greater law that overrules gravity – the law of aerodynamics; and under this law that which is weighted down can suddenly be lifted off the ground.
Likewise, as various obstacles and problems come our way, we know they too are a part of life that cannot be denied, or avoided. However, just as the law of aerodynamics is greater than the law of gravity, there is spiritual truth that overrules how we view and engage the obstacles that come our way. For followers of Jesus Christ, we know our loving Father does not allow obstacles to impact our lives without cause and that He is able to work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). The problem is, do we doubt this reality? If so, we will surely find ourselves operating as victims of circumstance rather than victors in Christ. Thankfully, three components of our faith can help us seize the opportunities that reside within every obstacle we encounter:
Reason: Rather than arguing and complaining about what happens to us, we can actually begin to accept it with confidence – knowing God has allowed whatever obstacle for a reason and that it can be used to promote the gospel, as well as deepen our walk with Christ (James 1:3).
Reliance: As problems arise, our worry can be replaced with worship (1 Thessalonians 5:18). For what comes our way may not be pleasant, or desired, but instead of fretting, we can praise God and seek His guidance in the situation. With our reliance upon Him strengthened, we are directed by the higher power of faith than fear.
Relationships: Undoubtedly, when struggles arise, others will be impacted by our potential responses. Therefore, as we begin viewing our obstacles as opportunities to reflect the power of Christ in and through our lives, others are impacted and transformed by what they see. Thus, obstacles allow for our faith to be put into action, which manifests the gospel in ways others can experience (James 2:17).
Application: “Don’t Cling To A Thing” – 2 Corinthians 4:18
As a prisoner sailing to Rome, Paul encountered a storm causing his boat to eventually crash, resulting in many swimming for their lives. Yet, even after all this, as the survivors worked to make a fire in order to gain warmth, Paul gets bitten by a viper.
Clearly, this was not a good day for Paul, or anyone sharing in his situation; but Paul never lost faith in God, who he knew could use all these events for a greater good. For if in lieu of God, Paul had embraced despair, or even attempted to cling to the ship for his life, the inhabitants of the island he eventually encountered would have been denied the experience of seeing Paul’s faith in action, hearing the gospel and experiencing the miracles.
People came to Christ because of these difficult circumstances experienced by a man of God who operated at a higher level of truth. He didn’t view his obstacles as hindrances, but as opportunities, and by the power of Christ, so can we.