We Can Withstand and Overcome Anything (Part 46) – A Different Way Of Looking At Challenges

by Rick

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.

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

1.  The Apostle Paul taught us that God, Himself, is living on the inside.  As a result, that the power we have comes from Him and not from us.  After making this great statement, the very next thing he said was, “We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated.”  Paul went from “We have this treasure in earthen vessels,” to “We are troubled on every side.”  This contrast is one we should pay attention to.  On the one hand, God has chosen to take up residence inside of us when we are Born-Again.  On the other hand, God’s presence does not guarantee a lack of opposition.  Actually, it’s the opposite.  God’s presence and His power in us will attract opposition from the enemy.  The good news is that God is with us, we don’t have to face the challenges alone, we already have the victory because of Him, and we can overcome with His power!  We overcome because He overcame!

2.  Bad things do happen to good people.  This is an unfortunate part of life.  When you start walking with God and seeking to perform His will on the earth, you may encounter more challenges than you have ever faced.  But since God is ON you, IN you, WITH you, and FOR you, you can have trouble on every side and not be troubled by your trouble.  You can even get to the point where you trouble your trouble instead of being troubled by it.

3.  God never promised you an absence of trouble.  God just promised to be with you.  When you get the revelation of God’s presence and how He has already given you the grace to face and overcome whatever you are facing, you will say what Paul said.  He said, “So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted!  For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.”  Where your power runs out, His power kicks in.  That’s how you withstand and overcome anything; you are NOT the one doing it.  It is God living through you.  Your weakness becomes a portal to his power flowing through you!

4.  The presence of trouble does not have to mean an absence of peace.  Just because trouble is there, it does not mean you have to be troubled by it.  In Paul’s letter, the believers in Colossae he taught believers to allow the peace of God to rule our hearts (Col 3:15).  The Amplified version of Col 3:15 says that the peace of God can actually serve as an umpire in our hearts, deciding and settling questions that arise.  When you are troubled by something, the peace of God, living in your heart, will act as an umpire and help you change your perspective.  Once you see the situation from God’s point of view, your peace will be restored, your hope will be ignited, and you will raise your expectation to the level of the revelation God has given you concerning it.  Once you have heard from God concerning something, you see it from God’s point of view, and while the situation may not have changed yet, your perspective did.  Your perspective will impact your performance (while you are going through it) and your level of peace (while you are waiting on God to do what He said).

5.  If you walk with God long enough, you will face significant challenges because you have a significant assignment.  The attack from satan is against the assignment you have from God.  You will experience difficult situations and challenging moments/days.  But you don’t have to respond the way the world responds to trouble.  The peace of God, which surpasses human reasoning and confounds psychologists and psychiatrists, can serve as an umpire over your heart, helping you to maintain your joy and peace while you withstand, endure and overcome.  But you won’t have joy or peace if you keep looking at your challenge from the world’s point of view.  You must learn to look at your situations from God’s point of view.

6.  Paul said, “We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity.”  I will close with an investment analogy.  If you are invested in an equity, like stock in a company, then you know that any given stock can fluctuate significantly in a day, week, or any short period of time.  The same can be said for cryptocurrencies, which are very volatile.  But if you “zoom out” and look at the investment over the long term, looking at the past 6 months, 12 months, or even 5 years, you get a different view of the situation.  That’s what Paul is saying here.  Many people “freak out” when they are facing something, because they are only looking at the day, week, or month.  But if you “zoom out’ and like about what God has been doing in your life over the past year, five year, 10 years, or more, you will see the situation much differently.  If you listen to the Holy Spirit, He will even take you back to prayers your grandmother prayed for you.  That’s “zooming out” on another level.  Paul’s point is that when you change your perspective and you look at your challenge through the lens of eternity, it looks SMALL and you realize it will be SHORT-LIVED.  What you are going through right now is just “a blip on the radar” in your life’s story.  Look at it from that perspective!

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.  You placed Your treasure in an earthen vessel when You placed Your Spirit inside of me.  I am in You, and You are in me.  I am in Your Kingdom, and Your Kingdom is in me.  Your presence does not guarantee an absence of opposition.  Your presence and Your purpose may actually attract trouble.  But I am not moved by trouble.  I can have trouble on every side and not be troubled by it because I have You on the INSIDE.  Instead of being troubled by my trouble, I trouble my trouble by allowing Your peace to be the umpire of my soul.  I have peace on the inside, no matter what is going on on the outside!  I look at every challenge through the lens of eternity.  When I do, I see what I am facing is just a SMALL THING within the context of my life’s story.  So I boldly declare: 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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