Many of our obstacles, trials and adversaries are opportunities in disguise. Waiting for us to grapple with them in order to grow our character, strength, patience and resilience.
It is natural to focus on removing the problem itself, and sometimes that is the necessary solution. But other times, it is literally outside of our control, and all we can do is wait patiently for God's timing to intervene, to fight for us behind the scenes. And we must employ our weapons, those that can pull down spiritual strongholds and effect supernatural change, namely prayer.
God's weapons are spiritual and beyond our comprehension. He operates on the hearts and minds, and perhaps by defeating the spiritual principalities influencing people.
I've discovered that when you focus on being godly in the face of adversity, and trust God, He will deliver you.
Say in a job situation, one might not have the workplace authority to remove a hostile and abusive person, but we are able to trust that God will deal with them, and also decide to exhibit godly fruit and character as we patiently endure the trial.
I have had many difficult and oppositional people moved on, or judged, and/or pacified in my working life. I have seen God intervene many times to resolve issues that would have destroyed and burnt me out over time.
But those situations have made me stronger, more mature and also developed my trust in the faithfulness and justice of the Lord.
Trials and tribulations
God often allows toxic people in our lives to test us, and to see what sort of conduct flows from our hearts. And that can only be discovered during the "trials and tribulations" . In an airy fairy world without difficulty, we wouldn't be able to see the gold produced in our lives, because the depth of our character wouldn't be brought to the surface, or rise to the challenge.
God's plan for our good might not be to immediately remove the problem, but to change our attitudes, beliefs and fortitude on the inside so that when future trials arise, we are better equipped to deal with them. Being that stronger person means transforming our beliefs and attitudes to possess the "mind of Christ".
By standing on the word, our identity being firmly established in the truth, our hearts fortified with God's power and love, we are then able to overcome and persevere.
In each encounter with the enemy, with the flesh, or circumstance we are able to overcome as we rely on Him and withdraw that spiritual strength. Prepare by anticipating the situation, deciding how to act beforehand in a Godly way, then seek the patience, self control, love and fortitude to do so.
Next time that nasty and noxious person approaches, challenge yourself to love them, in strength and confidence. All the weirdos and psychos out there, God loves them.
Take the challenge to be patient with them, to give them underserved kindness, not in timidity, but in confidence, and see how they react. And be like Christ. This is real godliness.
Amos is an evangelical conservative, seeking to understand the world from the perspective of the Christian worldview, watching to ascertain the times and season; desiring to speak the truth to a lost generation. He is married and a dad.
Amos Sale previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/amos-sale.html