Tag: difficulty

What to do when everything else fails?

We all have problems some more than others. How do we deal with our problems?
Some people internalize their problems and these manifest into various illnesses – headaches, digestive problems, cancer and arthritis to name a few.

Others take their problems out on whoever they can – at home they quarrel, fight, at work they find fault in everything, they are very bitter and complain about everything and everybody.

On the job it affects your performance – you make mistakes, you miss deadlines and if you are a supervisor or manager you jeopardize your relationship with your team.

I thought that I would share the following excerpt taken from the Bible in One Year by Nickel Gumbel:

When all else fails – Keep praising God in spite of every difficulty

2 Corinthians 1:1-11
Are you experiencing trouble in your life? Have you been hurt, disappointed or mistreated in some way? Have you suffered loss or bereavement? Are you under great pressure? Are you facing great temptations or difficult personal relationships?

Paul was the founding pastor of the Corinthian church. In this, his most personal letter, he reveals the heart of a leader. He reveals his feelings as a man of flesh and blood who knows what it is to go through trouble (v.4), sufferings (vv.5–8), distress (v.6), hardship (v.8), pressure (v.8) – the word Paul used means to be pushed down under great weight.

He had been in despair (v.8), he had felt like he had ‘been sent to death row’ (v.9, MSG), he had faced ‘deadly peril’ (v.10). As well as physical persecution, he had faced criticism, ridicule, sickness, depression, bereavement, injustice, disappointments, temptations and difficult personal relationships.

Sir Winston Churchill said, ‘The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.’ By this definition Paul was definitely an optimist!

He starts the letter with praise – not for the problems but for the positive benefits that have come through them. What are these benefits? How can you and I see the benefits in every difficulty?

You will be comforted
‘The God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles’ (vv.3–4). The word for comfort means to encourage, cheer, come alongside. He is the ‘Father of compassion’ (v.3). He is not aloof from suffering. He comes alongside us and suffers with us.

You will be a help to others
If you are in a time of suffering right now it may not seem much comfort – but one day you will bring great comfort to other people. ‘He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us’ (v.4, MSG). Those who have faced difficulty in life make the most effective ministers.

You will be changed
Hardship ‘produces in you patient endurance’ (v.6). Like gold refined by fire or a vine pruned to produce more fruit, difficulties lead to patience, endurance, steadfastness and perseverance. They lead to character transformation.

You will not be alone
Paul writes ‘Just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort’ (v.7). The word he uses for ‘share’ comes from the Greek word koinonia which is the word used to describe the closest possible relationship. As we are going through difficulties together we should experience an extraordinary closeness of relationship as we comfort and encourage one another, ‘Your hard times are also our hard times’ (v.7, MSG).

You will learn to trust God
When things go well it is easy to become self-reliant. But when everything goes wrong and we reach the end of our tether, we are forced to trust God. As Paul puts it, ‘Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally’ (v.9, MSG).

As Oswald Chambers wrote, ‘God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crisis they are the ones who are reliable.’

You will be rescued
Paul writes, ‘He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us’ (v.10). As we look back and see that God has delivered us in the past, we can be confident he will deliver us in the future.

Your prayers will help others
Prayer is powerful. God really does answer prayer. One of the best ways we can help other people is by praying for them ‘As you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many’ (v.11). When your prayers are answered God will be glorified.

Lord, thank you that there is a reason that you allow us to go through trials and troubles. Help us to see the benefits in every difficulty. May we experience your comfort and learn to rely not on ourselves but on you. Lord, as I look to the months ahead, I cry out to you for help …

As a supervisor or manager I urge you to email me for a free Life Coach session.

Most successful people have coaches why shouldn’t you?


How to deal with insurmountable problems?

I find the following excerpt taken from the Bible in One Year with Nicky Gumbel quite interesting and practical. Hope you think so also.

 Intercession for deliverance (from your problems)

2 Kings 19:14-20:21

Sometimes in our own lives we are faced with seemingly insurmountable problems.  This is a great model of how to deal with them.  Hezekiah did not despair.  He did not panic.  He did not give up.  He turned to God in prayer.

This account of Hezekiah’s prayer and God’s deliverance is recorded three times in the Old Testament – see also Isaiah 36–39 and 2 Chronicles 32.  The events of this period are corroborated by Babylonian sources.

When Hezekiah received the threatening letter and was faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem, ‘He went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord’ (19:14).  He prayed to the Lord, ‘O Lord … you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.  You have made heaven and earth.  Give ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see … Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God’ (vv.15–19).

Hezekiah’s intercession begins by consciously recognising who God is.  As Andrew Murray says, ‘The power of prayer depends almost entirely upon our apprehension of who it is with whom we speak.’  When we intercede we are speaking to the one who alone is, ‘God over all the kingdoms of the earth’ (v.15).  He has the power to resolve these seemingly insurmountable problems.

Hezekiah’s prayer was for God’s honour and glory, ‘so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God’ (v.19).  Jesus taught us to start our prayers, ‘Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come’ (Matthew 6:9–10)

I love the expression, ‘He … spread it out before the Lord’ (2 Kings 19:14).  He spoke to God about the problem.  The apostle Paul writes, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:6–7).

The prophet Isaiah sent a message to Hezekiah saying that God had heard his prayer.  He delivered the people from the threat of the Assyrians in answer to Hezekiah’s intercession.

Hezekiah also prayed for his healing.  He was ill, at the point of death (2 Kings 20:1), and he interceded on his own behalf:  ‘Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord’ (v.2).  Again, God answered his intercession: ‘I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you … I will add fifteen years to your life’ (vv.5–6).

Hezekiah experienced God’s amazing blessings in answer to his intercession.  However, the passage ends with a note of warning.  When envoys came from Babylon, Hezekiah showed off all his treasures (vv.12–15).  He appeared to be taking the glory for all that the Lord had given him.  Isaiah told him that as a result, ‘nothing will be left’ (v.17).  If we take the glory for what the Lord does for us, it is at our own peril.


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