Have you ever felt like you wanted to give up? Quit the job that makes you unhappy or end that relationship that’s just too hard? I know I have. What about your teenagers? Do the pressures they experience at school and in sports occasionally feel overwhelming to them?
Sometimes when I look in the mirror I only see my limited natural abilities, my inadequacies, and deficiencies. And when I look around, I can be tempted to view my less-than-perfect circumstances as obstacles. If I am not careful, I might get discouraged and say, “If only things were easier I could… “
However, when I read God’s Word, I am reminded that the greater one, Christ, is living in me, and with His ability as well as access to His wisdom and guidance, I have everything I need to fulfill the plans He has for me.
In Hebrews 13:21 it says God will “equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” How encouraging!
We will all encounter obstacles. We can choose to either let them define us or trust God to overcome them. For some of us, this may be inspiring and for others it may sound like just another Christian cliché.
It’s easy to be discouraged when our focus is on our situation and ourselves. The remedy is to fix our eyes on Jesus and be encouraged by the stories of others who have faced trouble but with Christ have made it through.
Maybe you have heard of Simone Biles. Her electrifying performance at the 2016 Olympics Games earned her five medals – four gold and one bronze. She’s also the first woman ever to be the all-around world champion three years in a row.
One might be tempted to look at her achievements and think it came easy. Assume she’s led a charmed existence and that her gold medals were just the cherry on top of an already sweet life. However, the road to Rio was a bumpy one as she shares in her new book, Courage to Soar.
Simone began her life in a broken home. Her birth mother was unable to care for her and her siblings because of drug and alcohol addiction. Then, her birth father abandoned the family. Money was scarce and there were times when even the stray cat had more food than she did.
Later, her grandparents, who encouraged her to pursue gymnastics, adopted her.
When Simone began to train and compete at high levels she experienced incredible pressure, especially from the media. She was at times subjected to harsh, unfounded criticism, including body shaming.
Through years of hard work and determination, she relied on her faith and family to stay focused and positive.
Now that is encouraging! Both for me and my struggling teen.
My children and I may not have the same obstacles that Simone had, but we do have the same God that walks with us through troubles and trials. When we don’t think we have what it takes to overcome, we can draw strength from the One who has a plan and purpose for our lives. (Jeremiah 29:11).
In what areas have you, or your children, felt like giving up? How does it effect you to know that you have everything you need in Christ to overcome your circumstances? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Courage to Soar
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