HOW DO YOU HANDLE DIFFICULTIES?

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times came from Charles Dickens. How we handle good times and bad times depends on where we are spiritually. If you are weak spiritually you will react one way. If you are spiritually mature, you will probably handle things differently. Where we are spiritually depends on the strength of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Are you filled with the Holy Spirit and if so, do you allow God’s Spirit to guide you? The Bible tells us God will speak to us if we are listening. How often we hear and what we hear will depend on the importance of our daily prayer life and our relationship with Him.

Do you consistently obey God? No matter what we face, a mature Christian will deal with it from a Biblical perspective. To make correct decisions comes from how disciplined we live our lives. Do we have the proper diet, have a regular exercise program and live a Godly life? Are we disciplined to daily read our Bible and pray and then allow the Holy Spirit to direct us? What are our goals and what direction do we want our life to go? What are we trying to accomplish in life? Do you have a mission and a ministry? How seriously are you taking Christianity? Do you attend church and then live like the world the remainder of the week? If so, what kind of blessings do you expect God to give you?

If you are serious about living the example that Christ set for us, you will encounter problems throughout life. God allows major problems to build our character and our faith. The Apostle Paul had tremendous problems. Yet, he matured more spiritually and built an inner strength to meet each one. As he matured, he was able to do more and more for Christ Who gave him the strength to do so.

We must continually be seeking God’s purpose for our lives. If we don’t, chances are we will miss many opportunities that could be ours. The more we seek our purpose, the more we grow and the result will give us courage and the more positive we become. We must live our lives representing Christ.

We must express love for others and have a desire to help them. We must learn what our spiritual gifts are and use them. Are we an encourager or a complainer? As a mature Christian we find it easier to forgive others than a weak Christian who may have a problem doing so. Have you not learned you cannot get ahead by getting even? Do we allow bad times in our past determine our future?

Having spiritual gifts gives us an advantage in life. It provides the joy and peaceful living that the Bible promises. How we live our lives affects how we look physically. Have you looked at certain people and thought they must have had a hard life?

Where we are spiritual can affect how we handle our finances. Do you create problems for yourself or are your needs being met? A spiritually mature Christian doesn’t get into debt buying luxuries they can’t afford or doing unnecessary things as expensive vacations. They live a lifestyle based on their net worth and current income. We will encounter enough problems without making our own.
We can defer problems by building a strong family. We must set examples for our children and grandchildren. We are to have a servant’s heart. We must be givers and not be takers. We must set work standards and not depend on others or the government to take care of us. We must as parents help our children find their purpose in life. We need to build their confidence and develop self-assurance by teaching Christ’s example and letting them know that God wants what is best for them and for them to be successful. Christians must set examples that others would want to model their life after. If others can see Christ in us they may want the same results in themselves. We must ask ourselves: Do I live for myself or do I live for my family and others?

James 1:2 – 4 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

As we have our good days and bad days, the Bible teaches us how to live through each. God knew we needed the power of the Holy Spirit to get us through various situations. It is very important how we approach each. We can allow problems to ruin our day or longer, but we can realize the problem may be there for a reason. We often learn more in defeat than we do in winning. As an athlete, winning we thought we had arrived. In losing, we learned how to solve problems and deal with our emotions. It seemed we gained more experience by losing. When was the last time you thanked God for allowing a problem to occur in your life? I have always asked God when negative experiences occur, what am I to learn?

How we handle life also depends on our faith. Hebrews 11:6 – “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

We can overcome our problems by faith. A good example is that the founding fathers of America lived for others, because of their faith. Today’s politicians live for themselves, because they lack faith. Have you noticed a difference?

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