Are there challenges in your life right now? Obstacles to overcome? Rest easy. The Lord your God goes with you into this new day and He will equip you with what you need to persevere.
I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:1-2 – NIV
I was never a big fan of PE class. I loved recess, but my distinct lack of athletic ability made the activities inherent in physical education classes a somewhat nerve-wracking prospect. Perhaps I could blame it on my failing vision even back then, but I think it more likely that I was just a klutz! Good thing I had my intellectual abilities to fall back on! Ha!
I dreaded field days, particularly the obstacle courses that the PE teachers thought would be loads of fun. Climbing over makeshift fences, stepping in and out of old tires, and running around barrels was not my idea of a good time. I always had trouble overcoming those obstacles, falling way behind my peers.
Yet, even as an adult, life is still full of obstacle courses. I look around at my friends, several of them struggling with tough situations: health issues, sick family members, elderly care, financial struggles, and the loss of dear loved ones. Suffering has struck their homes. Sadness is weighing them down.
It breaks my heart to see their pain. I so want to fix it for them, but I am powerless to do so. The reality is that there will always be obstacle courses in this life. Despite our best laid plans, there will be hurdles and challenges.
Jesus even promised us that we would encounter obstacles. “In this world, you will have trouble…” (John 16:33). Even though He was the Son of God, Jesus still had to endure loss, betrayal, abandonment, persecution, and crucifixion. Surely, He understood all too well the pain associated with living in this fallen and sinful world.
Still, Jesus promised more. Yes, we would encounter troubles, but He didn’t stop there. He went on to say, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
Jesus encountered the obstacles of this life, and He overcame them. He overcame sin and shame, fear and doubt. He left behind an empty tomb and claimed victory over death.
But here’s the best part. Because we know Him, because we believe in His promises, we, too, can overcome. He knows our challenges, and He will strengthen us to run the course. He knows our heartache, and He will stay with us through our suffering. His Hand is outstretched, just waiting for us to grasp. He is with us and for us. He walks beside us, leading us through the maze of roadblocks that obscure our path.
If we fix our eyes on Jesus, we can overcome. We must let go of our need to know “Why?” and choose instead to focus on “How,” how God will see us through our troubles. We must find our faith and cling to His Hand as He shows us how we will get through the obstacles ahead. We must choose to trust, and in doing so, we will overcome.
As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?
Psalm 18:30-31 – NIV
O Lord, we find ourselves stuck in an obstacle course full of hurdles and challenges. We feel helpless and afraid. O Lord, let us find Your Hope, as we…
“Stand on Your promises,
Trust in Your plan,
Rest in Your Presence,
Cling to Your Hand.
As we search Your Word,
We seek Your Face,
Remembering Your Faithfulness,
Abiding in Your Grace.”
In the Powerful Name of Jesus, we pray,
Footnote: Quote in Prayer from the poem, “Finding Hope,” by Anita P. Sherer. Find the full poem in the “Poetry & Other Selections” collection of Faith Beyond Sight.