Photo above: The Hertford Bridge in Oxford, England. Used by Permission. © Tom Ley 01302 782837

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rising Above Circumstances, Part 1

By Gary Roberts
Robertson School of Government

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight

Most non-believers and many Christians are circumstance focused, evaluating their situation in the workplace based upon the naturalistic evidence provided by the senses. This walking by sight isolates us from God’s power. As we approach Memorial Day weekend, one of the “signature” elements of servant leadership as demonstrated by our military men and women throughout history is the ability to rise above the storm of circumstances. By its nature, life presents many painful external situations that we cannot change, but we do possess the ability to transform our reactions with God’s help. This is a fertile area for Christian growth through the implementation of applied consecration principles that contribute to character development (dying to the self).

Many Christians mistakenly say to God, “First change my circumstances and how I feel, and then I will believe or obey.” A clear spiritual law is that we must have faith in God, in spite of our circumstances and the evidence of the senses. In essence we choose to follow and believe God in spite of how the intellect directs us. Once we act on faith, God will either change our circumstances or he will transform us and provide the ability to cope and transcend. In certain cases, we learn to cope within the pain and suffering, preparing us for future trials and Kingdom service. God will fulfill our true needs (not our wants) at just the right time (not on our time schedule). The reason for this is to perfect patience and endurance in our character.

A related point is the importance of maintaining our commitment to excellence in helping others in the midst of the storm of trial. When we willingly and unselfishly share our time, talents, resources and encouragement when we are suffering, it is a powerful act of faith and trust in God that will not go unnoticed by unbelievers. The light of God will shine brightly in the darkness. As evangelist Joel Osteen notes, God recognizes our efforts and stores up blessings to be dispensed later in our lives when we are in great need. Most people follow the selfish and self-defeating principle of how they can be blessed, rather than on how they can become a blessing to others. Agree with the word of God rather than our senses, and watch His power released in your life!

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