5 Steps to Overcoming Adversity and Becoming Unstoppable

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A baby learning to walk doesn’t think, “Well, I tried that and it wasn’t for me.” Instead, they get back up when they fall and, with those chubby, wobbly legs, they try again.

There’s no shame or hurt pride or fear of failure. They see Mommy and Daddy walking and they are determined to do it too. And, boy, once they start walking, all parents can testify that there’s absolutely no stopping them!

These first steps are only the beginning of adversity we encounter throughout our lives. There’s always going to be something in our path that we must overcome. If not, we’re not moving or maturing.

There are times when things get really hard. It’s not a hill in our path, it’s a mountain and we can’t see on the other side to determine whether its worth the climb. So we plop ourselves down and set up camp at the foot of our mountain.

Have you ever experienced this? Are you on a campout right now?

You know, these campouts are relaxing at first. It’s comfortable and easy. We know exactly what to expect day in and day out. But do you ever dream about what’s on the other side of that mountain? Do you wish you had the courage and strength leave your campsite and climb that mountain?

Sure it’s scary. But you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength! Here’s five steps to inspire you to do that thing you are called and chosen to do: 

STEP 1: DARE TO DREAM

Everything starts with a dream. Consider Abraham, a rich man with no heir. The word of the Lord came to Abraham and He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be” (Genesis 15:5).

Holy moly! Not only does God encourage us to dream, He inspires the dream! Not only does God show us the impossible, He equips us to do the impossible!

God has so much planned for your life. You have such purpose and destiny! Before He formed you in your mother’s womb, He knew you. Before you were born, He set you apart (Jeremiah 1:5).

A BIG God created an INCREDIBLE you for ASTOUNDING things!

So, what’s your dream? Are you wanting to start your own business, write a book, get out of debt, have a better marriage, go back to school, start an orphanage? Dare to dream!

STEP 2: TRUST GOD

When your dream is bigger than you, that’s when you know it’s from God. Trust and know that when God declares a thing, it will come to pass. Remember, if it were easy, everybody would do it, but take courage in knowing God has appointed YOU to do it. And whom God calls, He equips!

Man says, “Show me and I’ll trust you.”
God says, “Trust me and I’ll show you.”

Hallelujah! We serve a God who can move mountains!

“I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion…” –Philippians 1:6

STEP 3: GET MOVING 

You’ve written the vision and made it plain, now run with it! But don’t expect to get there tomorrow. Even an experienced marathon runner endures much planning and training before race day. Schedule things out and set small milestones along the way. Then relish in that sense of accomplishment you feel when you reach those milestones.

“There are dreamers who don’t work and workers who don’t dream. There’s no hope for either.” –Joyce Meyer

“I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the size of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:12-14

STEP 4: SEEK GODLY COUNSEL

Talk to somebody who’s already been there and done that. What did they do to get there? Learn from their mistakes as well as from their successes.

Ask God for divine connections and divine appointments. Where would Elisha be without Elijah? Or Timothy without Paul? Find a godly mentor that will speak truth into you even when it’s not what you want to hear; someone who will keep you accountable, pick you up when you fall, and be your biggest cheerleader.

Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. 

“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” –Proverbs 19:20:21

STEP 5: BE THANKFUL IN ALL THINGS

I am certain that the key to success is a grateful and thankful heart. No matter where you are on your journey there’s always something to be thankful for.

Thankfulness causes reflection upon things God has helped you overcome in the past. When you praise Him for these things, it builds your faith that He’ll do it again. Your thankfulness is a gift to Him. It turns His hand of favor toward you. It opens closed doors and breaks the power of the enemy.

“Thanksgiving brings us into the manifest presence of God and connects us with what He is doing and saying in the midst of our circumstances.” –Bill Johnson

“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!” –Psalm 106:1

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These five steps aren’t the ‘be all, end all.’ But they will certainly nudge you in the right direction. And believe me, the mountain is always worth the climb!

I pray God will reveal His plans to you, bring your dreams into alignment with His, and pull your mountains down low. I pray your heart of thanksgiving will build your faith in Him and make you unstoppable! And I pray for courage to take that first step. He’s got you, dear one! God Bless!

 

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Can you Build Faith Like You Build Muscle?

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Photo via faithandfitness.net

God has allotted to each a measure of faith. –Romans 12:3

The Lord impressed upon me recently an powerful analogy of faith. He showed me faith is like a muscle in both function and development. As I began researching the muscular system and studying God’s Word about faith, I was amazed at the similarities.

God has given each of us a measure of faith. It’s up to us on what we will do with it. The same way we build guns of steel, we can build mountain-moving faith!

Do you want to know how? If so, keep on reading!!! We are going to uncover three functions of faith and discover two keys on how we can build more faith.

FUNCTION

Action

The primary function of all muscles is movement. Likewise, faith causes us to move. 

I recently heard a message preached by Bill Johnson, the pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and he said prayer is removing the obstacle. Faith is going in and taking possession.  You may have heard the old saying, prayer is asking for rain, but faith is carrying the umbrella. This picture shows us faith is always accompanied by action.

Muscle without movement is dead. In the same manner, faith without action is dead!

“Faith, by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead… Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” –James 2:17, 21-22

Position

The secondary function of our muscular system is the maintenance of posture and body position. Did you know that the muscles responsible for our body’s posture have the greatest endurance of all muscles in the body? Those muscles hold us upright all day and they seldom tire or weaken.

Similarly, it is our faith that holds us steadfast at all times. Our faith grounds us like a deeply rooted tree which will not be shaken when the winds blow. Paul illustrates this perfectly in the verses below.

“Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming. ” –Ephesians 4:13-14

Did you notice the call to the body of Christ to be unified in faith and that our stature belongs to the fulness of Jesus Christ? When Jesus fills our stature, nothing can shake us!!! Faith is literally our back bone!

“But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let now that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” –James 1:6-7

Perspiration

The final function of our muscles is the generation of body heat. When we exert ourselves more than normal, the extra muscle contractions increase our body temperature. As a result, with strenuous exercise, we sweat. We perspire in an effort to cool us down.

By the same token, our faith in the name of Jesus stirs a fire within us. It should burn in our hearts just like the prophet Jeremiah spoke of in the scripture below. Our faith should cause us to declare His name everywhere we go. To pour out the living water of Jesus that is within us.

“But if I say, ‘I will not mention His word or speak anymore in His name,’ then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” –Jeremiah 20:9

GROWTH

Resistance

Skeletal muscle is the most adaptable tissue in the human body. Muscles grow as a result to trauma to the muscle fibers due to intense exercise or resistance training. As part of the repair process, new muscle protein strands are formed causing growth of the muscle.

Resistance is one of the two main keys to building our faith, as well. Matthew Henry, a renown bible commentator,  states, “Afflictions are God’s threshing-instruments, designed to loosen us from the world, to separate between us and our chaff, and to prepare us for use.” Resistance and afflictions teach us to trust God as a good Father. It teaches us to lean on Him and not on our own understanding.

But even though resistance will come, God promises to never give us more than we can bear. Like any good personal trainer, God always proportions the resistance to our strength. It may not feel good in the moment, but our faith pushes us through and we come out much stronger than before.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance.” –James 1:2-3

Repetition

Muscle growth occurs when the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown. A single bout of exercise stimulates protein synthesis within 2-4 hours after the workout and may remain elevated for up to 24 hours. However, it takes weeks to months for the muscle growth to physically manifest.

Just like you can’t build guns of steel overnight, you can’t build mountain-moving faith overnight either. Building muscle requires much repetition and building faith requires much repetition. There are many scriptures throughout the Bible that support this, and I’ve listed a few of my favorites below.

“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” –Romans 10:17

“And the word of the Lord will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” –Isaiah 28:13

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” –2 Corinthians 3:18

Do you see all these repetitions? Faith grows by getting God’s Word deep within your soul. Faith grows by searching Jesus out through the scriptures and communicating with Him  daily. Any serious body builder knows it takes commitment, dedication, and an established training routine to be successful. So, if you want to build mountain-moving faith, you must have a similar passion to daily seek the Lord with your whole heart.

When you seek Him with your whole heart, there you will find Him. And there He will begin building precept upon precept, truth upon truth. You see… He has to open your eyes to see and your ears to hear first. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Then He will begin opening blind eyes and deaf ears through you. 

With Jesus All Things are Possible!!!
I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me!!!

I don’t know about you, but I am pressing in to Jesus with everything I’ve got! And if you want mountain-moving, miracle-working faith then I encourage you to press in to Jesus with everything you have too! How awful to hear the words, “O ye of little faith.” Let us be a people known for our GREAT faith! 

Luke 17:6 says, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.” A mustard seed is tiny, tiny, tiny. Almost the size of the tip of a sharpened pencil. But did you know that the mustard seed, when planted and cultivated, grows into a big tree and ‘that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches‘? (Matthew 13:31-32) God has given us all the seed. It’s up to us on what we will do with it. Now that’s something to think about!

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Photo via http://www.faithasamustardseed.com

Be Blessed!

 

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