Ever lose the desire to fight? The moment everything around you seems like it’s spinning out of control. You lose control of your life, the will to continue fighting and struggle to feel like an achiever.
It’s those darn obstacles. You don’t plan for them. But they are there. They trip you up, discourage you and keep you from accomplishing your goals.
Obstacles come in many formats.
Recently, I had a Pastor tell me the last couple of months were the worst in all his years of ministry.
Another Pastor told me he’s been thinking of closing his church doors.
Another has been struggling to grow his church while having major health issues.
Another Pastor has been having issues with his Board. It’s gotten so bad, they had to call the police.
What do you do when obstacles become overwhelming? How should you respond?
What do you do when you pray, pray, pray and things only get worse.
We all face challenges and then there are those extended seasons of difficulty, obstacles that challenge your integrity, your patience and your faith.
In these obstacles the issue does not go away, the stakes are high and if we don’t resolve this issue it will cost us something. Possibly our family, our ministry, and our hope.
3 Types of Obstacles
How do you overcome those seasons?
In a moment, I want to share with you 10 keys to overcoming these obstacles.
But first, I want you to understand that there are three types of challenges.
- The first you are responsible for. These are the challenges that come from miss management or from a bad decision. They can also come as a result of ignorance or a lack of knowledge. The obstacle rises up because you are not properly equipped for the challenge. One example is seeing a decline in church attendance because you don’t have an assimilation system. The Pastor is not doing anything malicious, but his lack of knowledge is affecting the organization.
- The second is a result of God trying to grow you. In this challenge, God’s main purpose is to grow you beyond your comfort zone. These are the situations where God removes a crutch we love leaning on. He removes a high giving donor or a key staff member. The purpose is to remind us that it is him we can rely on.
- The last reason we face challenges is because there is an enemy. Jesus talking to Peter said, “The enemy has asked to sift you like wheat.” Satan asked God permission to attack us. In these circumstances, there are two courses of action – 1. Pray. God alone can handle the enemy. He can protect us from the enemy and he walks with us in these storms. 2. Endure – I believe these moments are like rollercoasters – all you can do is hold on and endure the ride. But the good news is that every obstacle has a beginning and an end. All you can do on a rollercoaster is hold on and enjoy the ride.
10 Proven Strategies For Overcoming Obstacles
Below are the 10 strategies:
- Key #1: Don’t loose hope – when your in the battle for a long stretch of time, the tendency is to begin feeling like the fight will never end. Or we will never win. We give up too quickly. We need a daily reminder that eventually the fight will be over.
- Key #2: Don’t lose your drive – recently I spoke with a Pastor who was considering closing the doors of his church. I could tell he was beaten up and did not want to continue the fight. But if he gives up prematurely he will never see God’s deliverance. You never know how far you are from the finish line. So don’t stop running.
- Key #3: Don’t fight alone – You need someone to encourage you, pray for you and give you a fresh perspective. Storms have a tendency of giving us blurry vision. We don’t see clearly. Leaving us in need of a guide to help us walk through the storm. Find someone who has been where you are, and is where you’d like to go. Remember our weak moments are an opportunity for someone else’s strengths.
- Key #4: Learn from others – “A wise person learns from his mistakes, a wiser person learns from the mistakes of others.” – (name of person who said this). I have a Pastor friend who has over 30 years of ministry experience. I am in my mid-thirties. He’s been doing ministry just as long as I have been alive. I go to him before I make any major decision. You need to find someone who can help you get further faster because they have more experience than you.
- Key #5: Elevate your thinking – Albert Einstein said “you can’t solve a problem on the same level it was created” What that simply means is you have to grow… It’s possible that God is using the current storm to take you to the next level.
- Key #6: Know when to quit – There are some problems you can’t solve and some obstacles aren’t worth the cost to overcome it, so know when to quit. It does not make you a quitter, it makes you prudent.
- Key #7: Guard your heart – Some obstacles cause us to be discouraged, frustrated or lose faith. When I was 10 I took a Karate class. The first thing the instructor taught us to do was learn how to fall. Why, because if you know how to fall – it may hurt, but you won’t cause permanent damage. Learn how to fall so that it won’t have a lasting impact on your heart.
- Key #8 God is Sovereign – If all you see are storm clouds, eventually you may forget what it’s like to see the sun. In the middle of your storms don’t forget that Jesus walked on water, meaning he stands on the things that drown us. So don’t forget that God is greater than our situation.
- Key #9 Move On – Be more than your scars. I’ve meet people who have been so deeply hurt that is has changed them dramatically. They spend their entire life protecting themselves from hurt. The problem is that although they don’t experience pain, they don’t experience joy either.
- Key #10 Learn to smile – There is something about a smile that expands the heart. Even though you are in pain, a smile removes the pain for the moment. A smile does not mean you have overcome your obstacles. But it does mean your obstacles have not overcome you.
So what obstacle are you currently overcoming!
I’ve got 3 of them. And each day I find myself praying for my needs while thanking God for what he has provided for me. I have 2 handsome little men, an amazing wife. I get to do what I love for a living. I am in good health. In the storm, learn to implement these strategies so that you can overcome whatever obstacle is in your life.