Turn Your Problems into Step Stones and Scars into Shining Stars - Overcome External Obstacles
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you - Deuteronomy 31:6
In the previous two posts, we learned that the first two steps to grow to our fullest is to find our vision and conquer ourselves. If we win over ourselves then we are already in a position of winning over any obstacles from the world because we are the biggest enemy of our own. Today let’s talk about how to conquer obstacles, resistance, hurts and challenges from the the world on your journey.
After we succeed in breaking our hard shell, winning over our personal barriers, we come out to a world, full of both goodness and evil, sunshine and storms, love and hurts, opportunities and problems. Step 3 is to get through these barriers like rejections, persecutions, cynicism, jealousy, criticism and distractions, etc. They can be high mountains of rejections, deep valleys of cynicism, roaring waters of persecution and storms of trials. On the way, we have to conquer each of them to achieve our fullness in life. we have to learn mastering the right tactics to fight against the odds of unexpected roadblocks before we are able to bud, bloom, and bear fruits.
Facing those challenges, we cannot fight them alone, neither can we have the strength all the time to be perseverance. We cannot live out our fullness without partnering with a divine force, God, as HE is the one who planted the seeds of our fullness so the initiator of our fullness also knows the path to our fullness. We have to be guided by Him on our journey to reach the destination of fullness. And it’s written, You made known to me the path of life, You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand (Psalm 16:11).
On the journey, we have to commit our God inspired calling to a fully trusting God and tackle our way to the destination. we need a fully fledged faith that consists of six core elements to give us courage, energy and synergy to tackle through the barriers on the road.
Faith is to hold on the vision. Faith is about seeing the whole picture and holding on the vision though the physical environment is full of uncertainty. When we got trapped, the vision empowers us and brings us out of the trap; when we get lost, the vision is our compass to lead us to the right track; when we are disappointed or frustrated, the vision fills us with hope and refreshes us with new sight. However so many times in life, we can easily lose the vision but only see things right before us. Remember your vision, the end when facing any obstacles and do not let it go.
Faith is to confront brutal facts. Pastor Mark Patterson said, “Faith is not logic neither illogical but theological” Faith is about getting prepared to cope with brutal facts but never lost heart; faith is to believe God is the final winner at His own time. When you cannot do anything, stay there and waiting for God and see His miracles. More about this will be coming.
Faith Is to Take Risk and Be Discernment. You got the vision and you are excited about it and passionate to make it come true; that gives you tremendous boost to move forward. Now it’s the time to embark on the way and jump off the cliff to start your walk of faith, take actions and take the risk. It’s well said, faith without works is dead (James 2:20). Before you take risks, be discernment and calculate the cost but not take risk in blindness. You have to examine the environment and analyze the situation around, set up wise strategies so that the risk you take can maximize the probability of success.
Faith Is Determination and Perseverance. One day, a social science professor gave student a math problem: if an event has only 1% odds to succeed, what’s the probability that the event succeeds at least one time if you try it 100 times? The professor provides four options to choose: 10%, 23%, 38% and 63%. After a heated discussion for several minutes, most students choose the answer 10%, some choose 23%, several choose 30%, and no one choose 63%. The professor looked at the answers and silenced for a while, did not give any comments then he announced the right answer with an illustration. If the success rate is 1% for one experiment, that means the failure rate is 99%, if you repeat the experiment for 100 times and each of them has 99% failure, the rate for every experiment to fail in 100 times is 0.99^100, that is about 37% and it leaves 1 – 37% = 63% probability to succeed at least one time. The students are amazed by the answer. It’s hard to believe that an event has only 1% odds to succeed, but if you keep doing 100 times, the chance to succeed raises to 63%! Unbelievable but true! Facing any failures on the journey is temporary if only you keep doing and persevere. The Bible say, For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Hebrews 10:36)
Faith Is to Stay Focus and Stickiness. We are living in an age that demands much more intentional focus than any age before in order to deliver high value oriented goals. Why? There are so many interruptions and so much information to be pushed to our end. It’s almost at anywhere, home, office, gyms, cars, you can easily access to the world through TVs, radios, videos and internet, you can access to the whole world even when you walk, when you run and when lie down or even when you are working on something because you have an iPod, Notepad, iPhone, smartphones, or any modern portable electric devices in your hand or pocket and they are with you twenty-four hours in seven days and they are just part of your body and non-separable. In such a time how you can fulfill your goals without being tempted and interrupted. You have to willfully constantly look at your road map and your vision and check your compass so that you can keep on the right track and reach your destination. You need to stay the laser focus and have a strong will to keep stickiness. Faith Is Obedience. The last element in tackling through obstacles on a vision-oriented journey is obedience. It’s the last element but not the least important. Usually obedience is rarely mentioned in the world especially for people to teach lessons of success. It seems to the word, obedience is the most likely used in the Bible or reserved for Christians. However, the obedience is as essential as others. Without obedience, you cannot hold on your vision, you cannot be determined and perseverance, you cannot have the laser focus. Why? If you trust your dream and believe in your vision, you are obedience to it. There are times, you need to change your immediate plan or route in order to get around the obstacles on the way. Being flexible is a necessary strategy on your way to your bigger vision, and it’s part of obedience.
Finally, I would end the post with a parable so you know how to reach to your fullness with the six core elements of faith.
Once upon a time, a donkey fell into a deep well, the owner could not pull it out no matter how hard he tried. Sadly he decided to bury it alive. He shoveled dirt into the well and it fell on the back of donkey, immediately the donkey shaken off the dirt and stepped on it and stepped up. The more dirt the man poured in, the higher the donkey rose. Finally it went out of the well into a green pasture. Like the donkey, turn all your problems into step stones of your vision. Turn all your hurts into shining stars so you can vigorously bud, bloom beautifully and harvest sweet fruits abundantly.
In the next post, I will discuss what is the next once you conquer external obstacles in the journey to Grow to Our Fullest!
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