As much as I’d like to avoid or prevent setbacks, they happen. Sometimes we have setbacks with our kids, in relationships, health challenges, work or school stuff & many other areas. The setbacks can be big, medium or minor, but no setback is something we relish, usually. So what to do?
Here are some thoughts that can help:
Opposition can create resilience – there’s lots to be said in favor of persistence, determination & tenacity.
Course correction – sometimes a setback can help us reevaluate our path & we sometimes see a shortcut or a more efficient route
Building faith – some setbacks put us in a place of utter dependence on God & that isn’t bad, even though this can make us feel uncomfortable.
Nothing is impossible – God specializes in impossible so let’s always keep our confidence & focus on the Holy Spirit who can do supernatural & amazing things!
I love starting a new year because it’s like a do-over or a fresh start. I like thinking about areas where I want to grow & projects I want to accomplish. I like new & fresh as I find great energy in new things. But invariably, I always run into some kind of resistance or opposition & that’s often where I lose tread & interest.
I like stuff when it’s easy & new but when it’s hard & there’s opposition, it’s easy to find a “quitting” excuse & move on to the next new thing. But quitting isn’t always the path for optimum growth & opposition isn’t always the problem. Indeed, life will always have opposition but often it’s what we do with the opposition that is more important than the actual opposition.
I read Nehemiah 6 yesterday & learned how Nehemiah faced very significant opposition & what he did in the face of opposition to finish the task in front of him (rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem). Some takeaways I saw from Nehemiah that could help us include:
stay focused on the task at hand because opposition wants to gets you distracted & off task.
don’t expect everyone to be uber supportive – some people want you to fail & that’s their problem.
be careful that fear doesn’t control your decisions or behavior.
keep going even if you’re not moving at the speed you’d like
Opposition can make your stronger or turn you into a victim. Chose wisely 🙂
I’m currently reading the book of Nehemiah & I was encouraged this morning when I read about Nehemiah’s reaction to his enemies (Sanballat & Tobia) when they severaly opposed Nehemiah & the Jews. Instead of quitting, Nehemiah split up the people & let half of them keeping working to repair the wall & posted the other half to protect those who were working on the wall. By splitting up his work force into 2 groups, he probably lengthened the time it took to finish the project, but my point is that he didn’t quit. They kept working, even though their progress slowed down, but they didn’t quit.
I was reading 1 Cor 16 a few days ago & something really struck me, especially in relation to some recent events. To be really honest with you, this past week has been pretty rough. There have been some family challenges, work frustrations and personal struggles that all seemed to culminate within a 48 hour timeframe. By the time I got to the end of the week, I felt rather beat up & waylaid. In the same timeframe, I also read 1 Cor 16:9 where Paul talks about a wide open door for effective ministry being opened to him with many adversaries. This is the same guy who said that we wrestle not against flesh & blood but against powers, principalities & rulers of darkness.
So here’s my great revelation: just because God gives us some pretty amazing opportunities doesn’t mean that the devil is going to simply walk away & stop bothering us. Keep walking through the doors that God opens for you regardless of the opposition – keep going. Resistence can be a good indicator that you’re on the right track 🙂