Summary: Words of encouragement when difficulties come our way
FACING LIFE’S GREATEST CHALLENGES
It is a fact that every day of our life contains many challenges. How we face those challenges determines whether they are destroyers or developers In the book of Numbers twelve spies were sent out to view the land that God promised them. We all know the outcome of that mission. Ten viewed what they saw as obstacles. Two saw the potential for victory. Because the people decided to believe the majority report, they wandered for forty years in a desert only eleven days journey from the Promised Land.
This story from the Bible serves as an ongoing lesson on the importance of trusting God alone for success. When things seem impossible, God has a way out of that wilderness of failure.
I wish to share three hurdles in life that all of us must face if we are to be overcomers in life’s challenges.
I. GUILT: THE GREAT MOTIVATOR
I recall the story of Lady Macbeth with the blood stains on her hands that could never be removed. That is a true picture of guilt. It keeps me from thinking objectively; it follows me wherever I go; it keeps me awake at night; it threatens my job and hinders me from doing my best; it destroys my relationships with others. Oh, what can I do to get rid of this awful pressure that continually dogs my every step?
Most people do not see guilt as a gift from God. When Adam and his wife took of that tree something happened that made them conscious that something was not right. They immediately set out to find a way to correct that problem. They discovered that they were naked and made fig leaves to cover themselves. Being naked was the way that God created them. They decided that God’s work was not good enough so they made a covering of fig leaves. The point is, that what they were facing was guilt, and they found themselves driven to get rid of it. Guilt always motivates even the most passive of humans. Guilt is God’s way of getting us to act.
Only God can take away our guilt. He has made a covering that is all sufficient, but we, like Adam, try to cover our own and like Lady Macbeth, it still remains. Proverbs 28:13 tells us “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall find mercy”. one of the Ways that we cover our sins is by excusing them. Another way is by ignoring them. Yet another way is to blame someone else for them. Adam used all of these excuses to justify his disobedience. We are indeed true sons of Adam and do the same things as he, but guilt, despite all of our efforts, still remains. We may for a time find a way to forget them but God has them written down and doesn’t forget.
It is my conviction that guilt is what God uses to convict us of our sin, Since only God can remove guilt, if we do not turn to God when guilt is present then it will stay with us. God promises to completely eradicate our sin, but we must face up to it, admit failure and ask for pardon. There must also be the determination for God to effect His change in you. That’s what we call repentance.
In the book of I John chapter one, this portion of scripture deals more perfectly with this subject. It tells us that when we are walking in the light God’s continual cleansing is taking place. There is something about walking in fellowship with God that makes us sensitive to things that most people don’t see as wrong. I recall an incident at work that the Holy Spirit spoke to me about. We have certain areas to park in at the hospital and most of us have tags to identify us as employees. I drive my wife’s car to work and doing so allows me to park in the visitors section. God reminded me that I am an employee and it is not a good testimony to my fellow workers. Even though legally, I can do it, I am violating an important spiritual principle by my liberty.
That brings us to this. God’s purpose in guilt is to drive us to the only one who can free us from it. Adam eventually admitted his sin.and received God’s covering. The coats of skins represented God’s forgiveness and the removal of Adam’s guilt.
Guilt is truly the great motivator but it is great when it drives us to the Savior of our soul,
II. FAILURE: THE GREAT TEACHER
Since early childhood there had been injected into my mind that I was destined to be a failure all of my life. Of course my father meant well by saying this to me because he thought it would drive me to succeed. I think that it worked because fear of failure has been a motivating force in my life. Failure causes negative feelings in most of us. People turn to suicide because they can’t face failure. Failure, like guilt, either becomes a destroyer or a developer.