The Gift of Hope

Living with Obstacles and Challenges

By JoAnne E Billison 

Living with Obstacles and ChallengesAs Disciples of Christ, our lives will always be pitted with obstacles and challenges. The abundant life promised by Christ is not a life void of hardship; rather it is a life full of meaning and experience.

The car accident did extensive damage to my home, giving me a few new issues to experience. In addition to that, the accident happened a week before Thanksgiving adding a little more stress to my life? Amid preparing for a holiday feast, I was calling contractors and getting repair estimates. Have you ever felt this kind of tension before?

When life gets rough, naturally our focus turns to our problems and pain. Yet, when we take the focus off of ourselves and place it on Christ, we begin to see life from His perspective. You see, God views the world with beauty, compassion and love in mind. When we look for beauty, compassion and love in our tragedies, we just might come to understand or even see the good in our suffering.

Seeing with a new perspective

Paul tells us that God works everything out for the good of those who love Him (Rom 8:28). Those words are more than just an encouraging expression. I believe the words are a promise to us that says, “I’m going to use your difficult situation to bring you closer to me, so you grow spiritually and come to understand the depth of love I have for you.” Again, if we are willing to look beyond ourselves, we might see where God is at work shaping our misfortune into something beautiful.

In many ways, the car incident could have ended badly. Fortunately for me, it didn’t. Here are a few ways I noticed God working out His beauty, compassion and love amid my problem:

Keep Walking Forward

Managing life is not easy. We face broken families, a broken government, businesses run by broken people and all of creation buckling under the pressure of sin. But, there is still good in this world and God is still at work making all things beautiful.

The longer we remain focused on Christ, the greater our ability to comprehend God’s beauty. As events unfolded in my life, I realized that God did far more than just turn my damaged yard into something beautiful. He taught me the value of focusing on Him and not my problems. Are you ready to experience this for yourself? Then give Him your heart…all of it.

Our new focus in life is birthed out of a heart to heart connection with Christ. The more we give our hearts to Christ, the greater our hearts transform, freeing us from being defined by our problems, world views, or people’s opinion. Refinement always starts in the heart.

The End

Thoughts to ponder:

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Definition of Leadership:

Giving your heart to others by listening to their heart


When you grow a leader who values people you help the whole world

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