Pause with me and ponder stories of people who have overcome circumstances. History is filled with these heroes.
- A man in prison named Dietrich overcomes risky circumstances as he does what he believes pleases God. Mr. Bonhoeffer overcomes by penning invaluable resources. One of his best known is The Cost Of Discipleship. Also Letters and Papers From Prison. Fascinating works of character and insight. Finally, he overcomes the circumstance of being hanged and dies with dignity.
- A woman overcomes her disappointment over a life she’d rather have had. She addresses continually – difficult circumstances for decades as she wields her authority to bring about strategic solutions and peace. Her incredible character makes Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth one of the world’s greatest leaders.
- An actor overcomes the odds – and wins to preside over a country, and then over a devastating war of aggression. With circumstances beyond imagining, in the face of grave danger, President Zelensky applies creative strategy and fresh thinking to preserve his country’s freedom. Volodymyr has won respect of world leaders and citizens everywhere.
- Medical students overcome the strain and sleeplessness of grueling requirements – only to graduate to residency with even more pressures – unknown to the patients they care for. With strategies and discipline, these trainees becomes physicians – to train others and help the sick, suffering, and dying.
- A mother overcomes circumstances of losing her child to leukemia.
- Children overcome circumstances of poverty and lack of opportunities. Some become leaders in government and business.
- After a spouse dies – or perhaps walks away, the remaining partner overcomes circumstances to support and raise the family, launch children into a level of success, and find a new purpose.
These previous life summaries are only a few of many examples of people who overcome circumstances. Even regular people are heroes in life when they develop noble character and rise up to address challenges that seem insurmountable. Incidentally, you and I are in that group. Haven’t you overcome circumstances you were overwhelmed with. I know I have.
People overcome circumstances every day. In fact, having problem-solving abilities and higher functioning capacities marks humanity more than any other creatures on the earth. God created mankind to rule His beautiful creation. And so, He gave men and women – and even children – the ability to overcome circumstances.
It may surprise you to consider – circumstances don’t dictate or limit character. Something else does.
What Dictates Character?
Since circumstances do not dictate character, what does? By exercising diligence, discipline, and courage to trust and obey God even in the most challenging times – this wields character. This kind of investment is worth every effort. So, don’t skimp about proactively getting to know God, getting into His Word, and including Him as your Friend and Companion each day.
It is more accurate to say that character is both forged and practiced. The person who invests in these two practices develops noble character which prepares them to overcome circumstances.
You’ll never be sorry you put energy and focus into relationship with God. Conversely, you will regret forever if you decide God is not for you. Please don’t make the miscalculation so many have about God. And please don’t miss what God created you for. He loves you deeply and has unique purpose for your life.
Consequently, you have power over your character. The only thing that limits character is if you refuse to exercise this power.
From real history to fiction stories to superhero movies – we just love hearing how others have overcome circumstances. Perhaps that’s because we also must overcome.
There are helpful ideas that empower people to become strong, courageous, disciplined, and persistent. Let’s explore some.
1. Choices Overcome Circumstances
You have choices – just like everyone. God made people with free will. Choices are a responsibility more than a right. When people choose well, then life goes better.
- His Word, an incredible guidebook, gives good principles that make life better. God provides through His Word.
- Similarly, the privilege of talking to God and seeking His face, wisdom, and direction is an effective way to overcome circumstances. God provides through His active interventions and relationship.
- And then, God’s Spirit lives inside you – if you believe on Jesus. You can’t live your life well without God. Mt. 19:26 says, “With man this is impossible, but with God – all things are possible!” God provides power and intimate close-up hope!
- Encouragement from others helps. God made people to help you overcome circumstances. Whether family or science inventions or helpful businesses services or medical services / medications or a friend who sits down over coffee with you. God provides through people.
Patterns of good choices filter down into the smallest components of life: your private thoughts, a spoken word, a sent email, an attitude, a deed carried out.
Every time you invoke your ability to choose well, you solidify excellent skills and patterns to overcome circumstances.
2. Thankfulness Overcomes Circumstances
Being grateful is a character quality that supports a peaceful contentment and assurance God is working on your behalf.
The person who practices thankfulness has learned the secret of inner peace. Incidentally, it’s like practicing cheer – sincerely from your heart.
A thankful person is aware of blessings and beauty all around them. They dwell on these gifts from God. Furthermore, they are also aware of special ways God shows Himself each day. It’s easier for a thankful person to enjoy intimacy with God.
1 Thess. 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances because this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.” Thankfulness makes you like Jesus.
Every time you invoke thankfulness, you solidify the character of Christ in you to overcome circumstances.
3. Faith Overcomes Circumstances
Faith is the bedrock of knowing God. And – yes – it is definitely possible to know Him a bit more each day. When you exercise faith, it’s like exercising a muscle. The more you work that muscle, the stronger it gets.
Faith is sincere trust in God for – –
- Forgiveness and eternal life.
- Details of every day.
- Problems that need to be solved.
- Strength to go forward.
- Healing when your heart has been broken.
- Courage when you’ve been slandered or mistreated.
- Discipline to obey – no matter what.
Scripture strongly announces – “Without faith, it is impossible to please God!” (Heb. 11:6a) That statement is astounding!
Every time you invoke faith, you solidify the privilege and power to please God!
4. Hope Overcomes Circumstances
Hope flows from God’s mercy and loving kindness. It’s a strong marker of God’s power and His deep commitment to your life. Incidentally, it’s hope that assures you Jesus is actively –
- Addressing everything – big and small.
- Making all things new. (Rev. 21:5)
- Conquering everything that stands in your way.
- Your Companion and dearest Friend.
- Everything God’s Written Word claims because He is the Living Word of God. In other words, when you take in words of Scripture off a page, you take in the very life of Christ.
And you? Be radical! Have the audacity to hope in God, alone.
Every time you invoke Hope, you solidify that God is Alive and Active – AND – intimately involved in your life!
5. Love Overcomes Circumstances
God loves you deeply. Therefore, you can relax into your life, knowing your Creator designed you uniquely from every other person. In other words, you can know your individual purpose as you remain in God’s love. And you can share His love with others.
God’s love changes people. God’s love is powerful. Consequently it transforms you. And as you share God’s love with others, it starts doing the same thing for them.
Since love has a unique power, you are able to accomplish things you couldn’t otherwise. Love drove Jesus to the cross. If you love another person, then you can serve them and endure many things on their behalf.
Every time you invoke Love, you pattern your heart and life after the heart and life of God, Himself. You partner with Him to overcome circumstances!
Incidentally, do you know what the word “invoke” means? Here are some definitions:
- A call for something with earnest desire.
- To declare something as binding.
- To bring about.
SO – As you invoke each of these qualities, you earnestly declare your involvement is binding – and your confirm you will bring about what is needed to overcome circumstances.
Application Thoughts And Questions
- What circumstances are in your life that you need to overcome?
- Reflect on choices, thankfulness, faith, hope, love. How will you apply these qualities to overcome your circumstances?
- Pensively journal about each of these five qualities. What do they look like in your life?
- Are you practicing these qualities to become strong, courageous, disciplined, and persistent?
- We said – the only thing that limits character is if you refuse to exercise the power God gave you over your character. Are you using your power correctly?
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