God refines us by fire.
Remember that God is omniscient (He can answer your most trying questions), omnipotent (He is strong enough to overcome your biggest obstacle), and omnipresent (wherever you go, He is there with you). Understand that, no matter what difficulties you may encounter, God will work it out for your good by using it to strengthen your faith. Realize that God has a purpose for allowing any hardship into your life, and that purpose fits with His overall plan for your life. Always ask God what He wants you to learn through the hardships you experience. Know that God uses adversity to: get your attention, remind you of His great love for you through discipline when you need it, help you examine your life, teach you to hate evil as He does, cause you to reevaluate your priorities, and test you. Keep that God help you bear any hardship He has allowed in your life. Never hesitate to take your problems to Him in prayer. Seek the peace that only God can give by: depending on Him completely, praying often, asking for greater faith, and focusing on God rater than on your circumstances.


Fight your battles on your knees, and you’ll win every time.
Understand the vital importance of prayer: It’s through prayer that God releases His energy, power, and protection to help you live the kind of life He wants you to live – regardless of your circumstances. Spend time with God in prayer on a regular basis. Ask Him to guide your decisions, guard your emotions and renew your thoughts, help you overcome evil, give you the courage to share the Gospel message with others, apply Scripture to your life, remember and express thanks for all He has done for you, and bring glory to His name.


The Bible is the sourcebook of life.
Look to Scripture for guidance in all your decisions. Seek to hear God’s voice more clearly by: confessing all known sin in your life, being patient, resisting pressure from other people, persisting in prayer, leaning on God’s promises, and waiting for peace for taking action. Study the Bible and meditate on passages you read. Ask God to give you a hunger to read the Bible more faithfully and a mind to understand it more clearly. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you interpret and apply the Word well. Seek to live the kind of life that will leave a strong legacy of faith to benefit others after your time on Earth is done.


Adapted from Living the Extraordinary Life: Nine Principles to Discover It, copyright 2005 by Charles F. Stanley. Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com.   


Dr. Charles Stanley is pastor of the 16,000-member First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga., and is head of the international In Touch ministries. He has twice been elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention and is known internationally from his radio and television program In Touch. He has written many best-selling books.