Wouldn't be easy if life were always enjoyable, fun, and relaxed?
In an ideal fantasy that may happen, however, if we are real with each other and ourselves, we know that life is not always easy. Often, it is fraught with challenges and difficulties. Yet, in times of trials and hardship, we grow. Our thinking is challenged, causing us to reevaluate what is important, and what can be left behind.
No one enjoys the challenging times in our lives. Do you stop and listen to those who have overcome difficulties in their lives? I don't mean just hearing the story, but really listening. If you truly listen, hear the message of what they went through but more importantly, hear the message of how they have grown through the challenges thrown at them.
What challenges have you encountered in your life? Everything was going very well, life was enjoyable. Suddenly, an unexpected challenge of employment, health, or housing stands up against you like a giant threatening you. How do you respond? Do we respond like the army of Saul who were terrified and lost all hope, or are we like David and stand up to the threat?
Read 1 Samuel chapter 17 (Holy Bible)
"David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied." 1 Samuel 17:45 (NIV)
Did David find an easy path? No. He simply could have returned to his sheep and left the army to stand and tremble. But David was no coward. God had taught him through challenges and trials with bears and lions how to defeat the enemy. It was not through his own strength, but dependence on the Lord.
How do we change our mindset from fear to faith?
Hebrews 11:1-3 (NIV) tells us, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith, we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."
Life will not be always enjoyable, fun, and relaxed. There will be times of challenges, and hardship. We can look at these times and journey through them knowing we can choose to grow in our faith, and our outlook on life and become people who are empathic and want to help others.
Does it sound depressing that we will face difficulties? Perhaps. Remember though, we don't have to journey this life alone. We have the choice to view life in two ways - challenging and hard OR an adventure where we make an impact.
Let's return to David's story in 1 Samuel 17. He defeated the giant! With five (5) smooth stones and his sling. Was it the stone and sling? No. David tells us how the giant would be defeated when he said, "All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:47.
The day of fear was turned into a day of victory. David encountered many challenges in his life, yet many know him as one of the greatest kings of Israel. He commanded the Israelite army, reigned over Israel, and wrote the Psalms.
Was his life easy? No. He put his faith in God and held onto the assurance of what he could not see yet, knowing that God would keep his promises.
How can you turn your challenge/fear into faith?