As believers, we can sometimes have unrealistic expectations about our lives. When things aren’t going smoothly, there’s a tendency to beat ourselves up about it, or feel that God isn’t answering our prayers because He doesn’t care enough or because we’re doing something wrong.
But there’s a different approach we can take—one of reminding ourselves that very often, the battles and struggles we go through are par for the course. The difficulty and the hardship and the fight are all part of our learning, training, growth, and gaining endurance, compassion, maturity, and faith.
Many things in life are a struggle, but we can be strengthened through the struggles if we approach them with faith and a positive attitude. If we focus on gaining God’s perspective on our situation and believing His promises, He is always there to help us through. As we look to Him, He’ll give us the reassurance that the battles of life are worth fighting and He will strengthen us through them.
When you’re going through a difficult time, it takes a lot of faith to hold up your victory flag in the face of the challenges and declare, “I have victory by faith!”1 But no matter how you feel, God’s wonderful Word and His truth are strong and powerful enough to get you on the road to victory again, if you don’t give up, if you just hold on, believe, and trust God to fulfill His Word. Eventually you will receive the reward of your faith.
Following are some thoughts on the realities of life that I hope you will find helpful.
It costs to make a difference
Every one of the great saints and men and women of God, and anyone who made a difference in the world, made sacrifices in their work or service. Theirs were not easy lives. They narrowed their activities to the most important and judiciously guarded their time in order to preserve their strength and energy for the things that really mattered. They were dedicated to achieving the goals before them, and most of their waking hours were spent thinking, experimenting, training, teaching, pushing, working, and doing whatever they could to succeed. Everything in life that is really worth something is going to have a cost!
It’s not in me
We can’t do it on our own. We make mistakes. We’re only human. But when we make God our confidence, that’s when He can fulfill His plan for our life! “God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”2
There’s a spiritual warfare raging, and we’re a part of it. The spiritual affects the physical, and the physical affects the spiritual.
To have faith is a conscious choice, a vital one, but no one can make it for us. We’ve each got to choose the road of faith and fight to keep our spiritual eyes open so that we’re aware of the supernatural realm and remain strong and steadfast.
All things change, Jesus never
Even if everything around us changes, Jesus doesn’t change, and His love, care, and promises don’t change. “I am the Lord, I do not change.”3
Tough stuff happens
Bad things, difficult things, and hardships of life happen to everyone. Humans aren’t perfect, and people will make mistakes that affect us, but it’s a personal choice whether we allow those difficulties to make us better or bitter. God can use those things for good in our lives, if we let Him!
We have to remember that problems happen simply because we live in a fallen world. Whether you’re a child or an adult, a male or a female, a Christian or an atheist, there are going to be battles, trials, and difficult things, or else we wouldn’t build any strength of character. In the end, it’s not the circumstances that determine our state; it’s our attitude toward them.
God’s unfailing promises
God has given some amazing promises in His Word. He gives us His promises because He wants us to look forward to the future, to know that He’s planning ahead for our good, that He has great things in store for each of us.
He will never break His promises and we can depend on them every time. As we do what He shows us to, they are guaranteed to come to pass—not always in exactly the way we want or think they will, but in the time and ways that God knows are the best for us and others.
How unfair it would be to limit what God wants to do in the future by what we’ve seen and experienced in the past and in the present. The future is as bright as the promises of God. Let’s give Him a chance to fulfill all that He’s said He will by following Him closely!
1. See 1 John 5:4.
2. 1 Corinthians 1:28–29 NLT
3. Malachi 3:6