How should you endure anything in life?
That’s a question that you and I face on any day in life. And how to prepare for it before it happens is better. Otherwise, if you’re already facing hard times right now, this is also a post for you to read.
Let me point out first that the reality of life is in one way or another we each face unpredicted challenges.
But, the question is “how do you cope with them?”
Continue reading and you will learn three practical ways to help you do just that.
Acknowledge that changes in life are inevitable
The reality of our being is that there are a lot of unpredictability even in the midst of our daily planning. We project who we hope to become in the future. Life, in the present, takes us into the future. Whether we like it or not, we are daily moving into our future.
This may be similar to what we projected it would like from the past. But, a lot of times, there are also things that happen, which we never expected. Every time, something unexpectedly occurs in our lives, we are prone to changing and adjusting.
What we therefore have to do is to embrace what comes our way. There is a French saying that goes: “un homme se mesure devant l’obstacle.” In English, it translates as “a man knows more about his strength when facing an obstacle.” In other words, you learn more about who you truly are only when going through tough times.
Acknowledging that life changes are inevitable will eventually help never be in denial. Being in denial isn’t good for you if you want to get out of whatever is troubling you.
Instead, acknowledging the changes in your life (bad and good) will open you to more possibilities. Everything that is human-made will come to an end some day.
Acknowledging that changes in life are inevitable will also help you not live in denial. You will be able to accept anything that comes your way knowing that you will come out as a winner, no matter what. Your eyes open up when you choose not to live in denial. By admitting that you’re facing challenging times in life open doors to personal growth. You realise that for everything there is a season, which has an end and a beginning.
Focus on where you want to be, and not on signs
What’s happening to you are signs that may get distracting at times.
Am I suggesting that you ignore what you’re feeling about your situation?
No, what I’m saying is that focusing more on what you’re experiencing may move you away from what’s more important to you.
Let me give you an example here.
Imagine you’re driving on a highway. As you drive, you pay attention to road signs. But, you only look at them for just a few seconds. You know if you stare at them longer than you may either get off the road or cause an accident, especially if you’re driving like 70 miles an hour.
Signs are very important because they help us with the following:
- We know that we are headed in the right direction.
- We know when to slow down or speed up.
- We also know when to change lanes.
- We know when to get off the road for food, gas or other reasons.
- We know when to get back on the highway.
Even though we pay attention to signs, which provide us with the above, our eyes stay on the road ahead of us. We focus on where we’re going.
Doing so helps you never lose focus on where you’re headed. You will always stay on track while going safely to your destination.
Four good attitudes to embrace
What will help you endure anything doesn’t just have to deal with skills or techniques as you may have heard or read.
It mostly has to do with how you choose to respond to what’s happening to you.
In Luke 21, Jesus is talking about signs concerning the end of times. While the disciples wanted to know what these signs would be, Jesus’ hope is that they focus more on how to respond to these signs than on the signs themselves.
What helps you come out of any battle as a winner in life isn’t dependent on what you know about what you’re facing. It closely depends on how you respond to your challenges. So, what you need are attitudes to embrace.
Don’t go after them
Who do you have not to follow?
- Don’t follow signs.Signs only represent what your experience is like as you face uncertain challenges in life. Don’t let them define how you should daily live. Don’t let them dictate how you should relate to people through the way you talk to them or act.
- There is a lot of information in this age. But, be careful with what you read on the internet. Some information may be misleading. Don’t follow people, but Jesus Christ! Remember that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
- Always keep your mind where you ought to be: your destination. Anything else on your way can become misleading, if it does help you move in the right direction and where you should be in life.
Don’t be terrified
- Terror (or fear) isn’t a gift from God, but love is. With only love you can be able to cast out all fears.
- Fear is void of anything that can help you grow as a person.
- It prevents you from moving forward. It wants your life to be stagnant. It empties you out of any sense of peace and joy.
- Fear belittles you even in front of what you can actually overcome. So, never allow fear to get in your way, no matter what you face.
- A way to eliminate fear in life could be to always hold onto your personal anchor. Mine is my faith in God, the Creator. I love the words of Jesus to His disciples when they were also terrified: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”
Make of everything an opportunity to encourage someone else
- Keep in mind that your life is a gift from God. What that means is your life is a tool God uses to bless others. So, you are not truly living for yourself. Whatever you face, how you respond to it can either uplift someone else or not.
- Look at yourself as salt of the earth and light of the world. That way people, through the way you handle things in your life, may come to know God and give glory to God. You can eventually become an inspiration to somebody.
Trust that everything will be fine in the end
- Trust is related both to faith and hope. So, trusting that everything will be find in the end is dependent on your faith, which eventually creates hope.
- Trust combined with faith in God provides assurance of things hoped for and not seen yet.
- You trust because the end of every season in your life is under God’s control. God makes all things work out in order to fulfill His purpose through your life.
Rejoice in your suffering, as the Bible says. The reason for rejoicing even in your suffering is that through your endurance, you develop character, which produces hope. Keep your eyes on the One Who changes everything and Who’s never changed by anything: GOD!
I would like to learn from you on how you cope with suffering.
Please, share this post with your family, friends or anyone who may be going through some tough time right now.
This post is a reflection was based on a sermon I delivered at the United Methodist church in Harris and Lake Park on November 13, 2016. To listen to the full audio sermon, please click below.