In last week's podcast episode, I discussed the Introduction to Bill Hybels' book, Living in God's Power, Finding God's Strength for Life's Challenges. I am doing a 7 week book study on Hybels' book. The book study discusses the ways we go about getting to the next level in what God has for our lives. Last week's episode also talked about what Hybels says about securing a posture of overcoming anything that comes our way. Some of those things were: not giving up, not caving in, and no matter what life throws our way or how harshly we've been treated, we have the power to succeed, win, and overcome as long as Jesus in on our side. In other words, we can make it as long as we stay close to the Lord.
In this week's episode, we will discuss how to overcome adversity when you've been through the valley and the storms of life. In session or chapter 1, Hybels says, "adversity can come pounding down on us in many different ways. It may come in the form of a financial, relational, or emotional beating. It may come from a stranger or from those closest to you. Or it may come out of the clear blue sky' (p 11). In other words, adversity will come. Yet we can and will overcome anything that "ails" us when we live in the power of God. I am indeed a witness to that.
I remember a time when I worked around a few women who would go to a room during our lunch break and gossip about me. Me. When I heard about it, I couldn't believe it. What was so interesting or important about me to be the target of discussion among them? I couldn't imagine giving anybody that much attention and stage time. Anyway, I was more surprised than bothered by it when I heard about it. But, it did disappoint me to a certain extent when I realized that the same women who butchered me with their mouths, were the same ones who would laugh and joke with me a few moments later. All of that could have taken a real emotional toll on me if I had let it, but when you've been through hell, those things don't bother you. And if you too are going through or have gone through any adversity, you can sail right through it. Just don't dwell on those things that will do you no good. Just keep it moving, because when we know who we are in Christ, we can do just that -- forward march. We have the ability to let the negative rub right off of us. We can say, goodbye adversity, you will not live in my life.
Remember, we can and will overcome adversity. On page 14, Hybels says, 'if we are going to overcome the adversities in this life, we must know what we believe. False beliefs can poison our thinking and weigh down our hearts. When facing the struggles of life, some basic beliefs must be firmly implanted in our minds or we are bound to get in trouble." Another way of putting it is, negative situations don't define who we are when we already know who we are. We can still think on High, which means taking things to God, because we are wonderfully and fearfully made in Him, right? Oh yes, Psalm 139:14 tells us so. And know this: the Lord is close to those who have suffered or will suffer from adversity (Psalm 34). All we have to do is continue to praise and worship Him and He's got us covered. With Him on our side, we can overcome adversity and anything coming our way. Don't think that anything is too big for the God you serve and don't "lose sight of the fact that there is a tomorrow and there is a good God who rules over it" (p 15). You are going to win. Believe that.