5 WAYS TO THRIVE IN DIFFICULT TIMES
No matter how well we plan, life will not always be rosy. This is because we are not totally in control of what is thrown at us. While we enjoy the beautiful moments that life has to offer, we also encounter troubling times which can be hard to explain.
Although we may be careful enough to prepare for some conflict situation that may arise, sometimes these difficult moments are unexpected and totally out of our control. We cannot totally predict life, which makes some of the difficult moments in our lives unforeseen and unavoidable.
When we are faced with difficulties [expected or not expected], our first reaction is to search for a solution. However, we must be mindful not to merely survive hard times. We must learn to thrive through adversities. Here are some ways we can make progress even in difficult situations:
1. Acknowledge there is a ProblemOne of the biggest temptations we have when we face something tough is to live in denial. Denial is a defense mechanism that most of us initially use, to help us cope. There is this part in everyone that makes us want to just “wish it, faith it or pray it away,” without ever admitting that the situation exists. It is a mistake to deny that there is a problem in a time of crisis. We risk heavier consequences for pretending everything is fine in moments of crisis. Taking responsibility in moments of crisis begins with acknowledging there is a problem that needs to be fixed.
Admitting there is a problem is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it is the first step in finding a solution. On the other hand, pretending everything is perfect further escalates the consequences of the crisis.
In the city of Capernaum, the centurion admitted that his servant was sick and pleaded with Jesus for healing on his behalf. The servant eventually got healed by Jesus [see Matthew 8:5-13]. This is proof that miracles happen when we take our problem to God instead of pretending these problems don’t exist. Analyze most of the miracles that Jesus performed. They were mostly all a result of acknowledging that the problem. Think about when Jesus turned the water into wine, when He fed the 5,000, when He raised Lazarus from the dead, when he healed the woman with the issue of blood, and much more.
2. Be OptimisticWhen you are faced with an unpleasant circumstance, you must realize that it is up to you, and the Christ in you to take responsibility over the situation and experience Victory. Instead of focusing on the overwhelming nature of the problem and concentrating your energy on statistics that shows how difficult the circumstance is, you can choose to be positive.
Being optimistic in difficult times empowers us to rise up to the challenges and conquer them. On the hand, being pessimistic makes us feel powerless against difficult situations. As the American
philosopher Nicholas Butler puts it, “optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.” When we choose to see the silver lining in a dark sky, we empower ourselves for greatness.
In the life of Abraham, we see that being optimistic can make the impossible happen. Although his wife Sarah was above the age of child bearing and Abraham was also advanced in age, he chose to receive God’s promise of a son by activating his faith with a positive mindset and they eventually gave birth to Isaac [see Genesis 18].
3. Embrace ChangeSometimes we experience a crisis situation and it feels like we are doing our best to overcome the problem but the issue persists. This may be because we are trying to use methods that are no longer effective to conquer these challenges.
We must learn to embrace change and seek new ways that are effective and efficient to resolve the situations we are faced with. One of the ways we can embrace change is by keeping an open mind. By doing this, we are open to learning and improving upon our methods, in search of better outcomes. We must be humble enough to accept new strategies that are more efficient and effective instead of sticking to our old ways. The longer you have done something a certain way, the more difficult it may be for you to adjust your sails. You will need to reactivate your trust and faith in order to believe that there may be a better way of doing something.
Being close minded can be very costly. When we choose to be close minded in times of crisis, we run the risk of becoming a problem instead of the solution. In the wilderness, the Israelites decided to remain closed minded to God’s instructions and stuck to their old ways of complaining and this made their journey to the promise land even longer and more difficult [see Deuteronomy 1:19-45].
4. Do not dwell on the crisisOne of the ways we can thrive in a crisis situation is to not dwell on the crisis itself. By not letting the circumstance to consume us, we can focus our time and energy on finding a solution. To achieve this, we must train our minds to see beyond the loss and heartache of an unpleasant situation.
As Christians, we have to recognize that dwelling on the crisis keeps us stuck in the past and makes us blind to our victory in Christ. Our focus must remain on God and in His wonderful promises throughout these troubling times. When King David lost his son, it was a very painful moment in his life but instead of dwelling on his sorrow, he decided to worship God [see 2 Samuel 12:18-22]. Like David, it is possible to see beyond our grief and pain and to look at the Greater One who has the power to heal and to restore.
5. Meditate on God’s WordWhen we look at world, we see cases of hunger, poverty, war, disease, natural disaster and political instability. Sadly enough, the world will always have its troubles. As believers, despite all the unpleasant news, there is hope for us. We are never helpless in this world. We have been blessed with the most powerful weapon in world-the Word of God. The Word of God has the power to transform a difficult situation to a favorable one. By meditating on God’s Word, we show faith in God’s magnificent power. For this reason, we remain triumphant in this world.
In the Bible, we are encouraged to meditate and act in accordance to God’s Word daily. Doing this makes us prosper and have good success [see Joshua 1:8].
In the end, what determines if we thrive or not in moments of crisis is our attitude and our faith in God. Responding in a positive manner and believing in God’s Word concerning us makes us triumphant over every difficult situation.