We Can Withstand and Overcome Anything (Part 45) – Looking at Challenges from God’s Perspective

by Rick

Note: This is the last message I will share this week.  I pray you have an amazing Thanksgiving celebration with your family and friends.  I will be back on Monday.

Today we continue our series “God is faithful!”  The Lord led me to 2 Corinthians 4.  In this passage, we are looking at what it looks like to believe God is faithful.  Because of God’s faithfulness towards us, we can withstand and overcome anything!

(2 Corinthians 4:1, 7-13, 16-18 TPT)

1  Now, it’s because of God’s mercy that we have been entrusted with the privilege of this new covenant ministry. And we will not quit or faint with weariness.

7  We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that this immeasurable power will be seen as God’s, not ours.

8  Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.

9  We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out. 

10  We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 

11  We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 

12  So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you.

13  We have the same Spirit of faith that is described in the Scriptures when it says, “First I believed, then I spoke in faith.”  So we also first believe then speak in faith. 

16  So no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. 

17  We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison, 

18  because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.

Today I will continue to focus on verse 17.  Let’s also look at some Paul said to the believers in Colossae.

(Col 3:1-4 NIV)

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

So what does this mean to you today?  A few things.

1.  Everything changed the day you were Born-Again.

The word translated “Born-Again” in John 3 is a Greek word that means: born from above.  When you were born of your mother you were born from this world, born from beneath.  But the day you were Born-Again, born of God’s Spirit, you were born from above.  From that moment on, you are IN this world, but you are not OF it.  In John 17, when Jesus prayed for us, He said the following to the Father: “They don’t belong to the world, just as I don’t belong to the world.”  Jesus did not want us to be taken OUT of the world.  But He did want us to live IN this world as a representation of another world!

— You are a Kingdom citizen on this planet.  You are an ambassador from heaven, living in the earth, as heaven’s emissary.  You are supposed to represent the Kingdom of God within your sphere of influence.  But this won’t happen unless you change your mindset and perspective.

— God wants you to see yourself “As Jesus Is, in this world” (1 Jn 4:17).  As Jesus is in heaven, so are we to live in this world.  

— Your life is supposed to show people what heaven is like.  Your life is supposed to testify of God’s goodness.  Your life is supposed to draw people out of darkness, into light.  But your life will never do it if you live no different than the world.

2.  You are called to live from heaven’s perspective.

What setting is your mind SET to?  In Colossians 3, Paul gives us the picture of being able to literally SET our minds on one of two settings: heaven or earth.  Think of a thermostat for a minute.  A thermostat is not a thermometer.  A thermometer changes as conditions change.  A thermostat sets the conditions.  If you don’t like the conditions in your home, you can SET the thermostat, and before long, the conditions will change to align with your setting.

Now think of your mind.  Your mind has an “EARTH” setting, and once you are Born-Again, the Holy Spirit gives you access to a “HEAVEN” setting.  If you set your mind to the “EARTH” setting, you will be no different from anyone in this world.  You will live like a mere human.  When challenges come, you will have no hope.  However, if you set your mind to the “HEAVEN” setting, you will be able to see things from God’s point of view.  Come what may, you will not be moved.  You will always have hope.  You will know that you are never hopeless because you are never helpless.  You will always know what to do next because you will be led by God’s Spirit in all things.  This is how we are supposed to live.  This is how we experience heaven-on-earth.  

3.  You have the power to control your own mind.

The Bible says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”  The same portion in another translation reads, “Think only about what is up there, not what is here on earth.”  As a man thinks, so is he (Prov 23:7).  

— You get to determine what you think about all day.  The Apostle Paul contrasts the things of this world with heaven.  His point is that if you choose to think only about the things of this world and then see them strictly from a human point of view, you will never experience God’s bestGod’s best is not rooted or grounded within the limits of this world.  God will offer you things that make no earthly sense.  God will promise you things that seem impossible.  If you only look at them from an earthly point of view, you will never open your heart to them.  But if you see what God is saying from a heavenly point of view, you will open your heart and believe.

— God wants us to SEE the invisible and PERFORM the impossible.  But that will never happen if we only look at things from an earthly point of view.

— In heaven, there are no limits.  From God’s perspective, there are no boundaries.  There is nothing God can’t do.  This is why He wants us to SET our minds on the things above.  If we see things from His perspective, we will never see an obstacle we cannot leap over, a challenge we cannot overcome, or a fight we cannot win.  

— As mere humans, there are many things we can’t do.  But when we embrace the fact that we are no longer mere humans, that we are born from above, that we are covered by the Blood of Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit, then we know there is NOTHING we can’t do.  We can do ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST, who gives us the ability to do what we could never do without Him (Phil 4:13). 

— We all face challenges.  Every one of us faces situations we wish we could have avoided.  Sometimes bad things happen to good people.  Sometimes things don’t work out the way you wanted.  In the middle of those situations, what are you going to do?  What are you going to think about?  Are you going to wallow in sorrow, nurse and rehearse the challenge, and/or act like a person who has no hope?  Or are you going to SET YOUR MIND on the things ABOVE?  You have hope because you have Jesus.  

— Set your face like a flint (Isa 50:7) and say to yourself, “I will not be moved and I will never be put to shame!”  You get to decide what you are going to think about during the challenge.  You can control your own mind.

4.  We all face challenges, but you were not designed to carry around the pressures of this world.

The Apostle Peter said, “Cast all your care upon Him [God], because He cares for you!” (1 Peter 5:7).  Other translations replace “care” with “anxiety” or “worry.”  

— God can handle care; you cannot.  You were not designed to take on the pressure to perform or to walk around under the pressures of this present world.  

— Paul said, “Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed.”  The reason why we are not crushed is because we don’t take on the pressure to perform.  If you think you have to do everything on your own and you FAIL to embrace the grace of God, you will be so stressed that your body will break down, you will not have peace in your heart, and you won’t be able to sleep at night.  This is all because you are living as a mere human, attempting to do everything in human strength.  Simply put, human power is not enough!  So if you try to live as a mere human, you will take on pressure and distressing anxiety to the point where God’s Word will not work in your life.  Care, worry, and stress can choke out the Word.

— It comes down to this: If you are going to work, then God is going to rest.  But when you learn to enter into God’s rest (especially resting in God’s love), God will do the work through you.  Since your problems are “light work” to God, Paul says, “We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity.”

In closing, you have to decide the perspective you are going to live your life from.  You are Born-Again.  Heaven in your home.  You can “set” your mind to the HEAVEN setting and see things from God’s point of view (so you don’t get stressed out), or you can continue to live as a mere human, and you will be no different than anyone in the world.  The choice is yours.  Just remember that your perspective will dictate your performance.  One perspective relies on YOU to perform, and the other allows GOD to perform through you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Declaration of Faith:  

Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me!  I LEVEL UP by looking at everything from Your point of view.  I don’t take on any pressure to perform.  If You called me to do it, then I know You have already given me the grace to get it done, You have already stored up the resources for it, You have already prepared the people I will need, and You will bring us together at just the right time.  When challenges come, I look at the challenges from Your perspective, and I know they are LIGHT WORK for You.  So I am not moved by what I see.  I am only moved by what You say to me.  My eyes are on You.  My trust is in You.  I have no cares.  I have no worry.  I take on no anxiety.  And if care somehow makes its way into my heart, I am quick to CAST that care over to You because You have taken on the responsibility to care for me!  Stress has no power over me because I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper.

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