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5 Tips to Face Challenges with God’s Help

Whenever we want to run from something, we must train ourselves to run to God.

Face Lifes Challenges

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Trouble is, there are a lot of difficulties in life that we simply don’t want to embrace. Some things seem too hard to take on—we’re afraid we’re not strong enough, we fear suffering, we don’t want to be embarrassed.

Sometimes, like Jonah in the Old Testament, we have a tendency to run from what we don’t want to face. Yet the Bible portrays God as a refuge where we can find safety: “He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield” (Psalm 144:2).

So what does God ask us to do instead of rationalizing our behavior or bolting for the nearest exit?


1. Hold Him close.
It’s easier to recognize a disconnect between the truth and whatever we tell ourselves when we’re very, very clear on what the truth is! Bible reading, prayer time and service to others helps clarify our vision. We can also request His help in opening our eyes to see where we might not be completely honest. We can frequently pray, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

2. Admit there’s a problem.
Paul speaks for all of us when he says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15). We’re always more focused on staying on track when we recognize that we frequently fall off it!

3. Remember what fear tells us.
Fear is often a sign that in some way we aren’t trusting God. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment” (1 John 4:18). Whenever we fear, we need to think of it as a red flag that signals we’re likely to run!

4. Recognize the signs of rationalization.
One of the key markers is the word but (as in, “I did wrong but…”). Try to go for a whole day—and then an entire week!—without blaming anyone or anything. Look only for the plank in your own eye (Matthew 7:4) and figure out its true dimensions.


5. Reconcile frequently.
We can’t have a good relationship with God until we face—and clean up—the messes we’ve made with or for others. “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). 

Whenever we want to run from something, we must train ourselves to run to God. “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent” (Psalm 27:5). To do this we must be honest with ourselves and honest with Him. And we must never give up hope. After all, even Jonah (Jonah, chapter 3) got a second chance!

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