Author: Cheryl Zelenkka
Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being positive about what could go right! God has filled the Bible with encouraging words, and He commands us not to be afraid. An obstacle we encounter in life will often lead us into elephant sized fear. That fear will turn into anxiety and worry. Worry will then lend itself to hopelessness and depression, and then right back to fear, where it all started. Well, almost…
I suppose the obstacle is the beginning point for fear. The trial, struggle, hardship, or mountain that God asks you to overcome can often deliver a shock to your system. You may look up to the heavens and say, “Really? Really, God?” This is when your faith and trust in His love needs to kick into gear.
He offers a peace that transcends all understanding, but we are told to go to Him in prayer and with a thankful heart in order to receive that peace. Bending a knee and falling into prayer when an obstacle is looming over our heads requires a sincere faith. The obstacle may not move, at least not for a while, but the peace could come immediately.
This promised peace must be actively claimed. It will just sit there if you do not reach out, grab it, and claim it. The choice to trust God with the matters troubling our heart is the result of our faith in His goodness and provision. Confusion, anger, and fear may destroy the peace God promises us. While it is human nature to be confused, confusion is not from God. Also, having fear and anger will delay our experiencing peace.
It is not our responsibility to fix things; God is the one in control. All a believer needs to do is submit to God, give the burden to Him, trust He will resolve the matter, and then claim the peace. This sounds easier to do than it is, since human nature is always colliding and battling things that are spiritual in nature. We will all wrestle with God at some point.
Remember that Jacob and the Virgin Mary struggled with burdens they did not wish to carry. Even the most humble and mature believer will struggle with releasing his or her burdens to the care of the Lord. However, the fact remains that the peace that transcends all understanding is available, and He tells us to be anxious about nothing.
Like an elephant in a room, the obstacle can sit. It might decide to sit for a very long time. You can watch and obsess over the problem, allowing stress to rob you of sleep. You can worry about how everything is going wrong and falling apart. Or you can stand on the promises of God and step out into life with a positive attitude. The Word tells us that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. So, let the elephant sit in your living room. That’s fine, but get on with your life.
Just as an ignored young child who is acting out for attention and then realizes he no longer has an audience, obstacles will go away. Once you have given the matter completely over to God, the obstacle will no longer be such a distraction. Satan will see that he no longer has power over you and will leave the room. There is no benefit to worry and fret. Worry only leads to evil in that it often grows into disbelief, doubt, and discouragement.
Choosing a positive outlook when faced with hardships will allow you to be a mighty witness to believers and unbelievers. The people in your life will be encouraged and amazed by the calm way in which you are walking through the fire. God may have designed the trials you face so that you have an opportunity to share God’s love with someone.
It takes a mature faith to say you are glad for your trials.
Therefore, “Count it pure joy when you encounter trials of many kinds, for the testing of your faith will develop perseverance.” (James 1:2)
This perseverance will allow you to keep your chin up. God’s strength will allow you to hold onto your hope while facing the obstacles of life.
Will things always work out in the way you hoped and wanted? Of course not! You are not the illustrator of your life’s painting. God has all the hues and brushstrokes worked out. The painting He is creating, thanks to the struggle He has given you, is a masterpiece. So, once again, please stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being positive about what could go right.
Pause and Consider the Words of these two Scriptures:
“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22 NIV)
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)