Make obedience your battle strategy. The most effective battle strategy in every situation is simply obeying whatever God leads you to do next. Choosing to obey, without delay, strengthens your dependence on God and gives you access to supernatural resources and results that have eternal value.

Enlist an army of friends to help you. Ask God to help you identify friends whom you can trust to encourage and support you during your battles. Caring, trustworthy friends help keep you honest, see the big picture during your struggles, and share your burdens to lighten your load. Rather than assuming that your friends know how to help you, ask them for the specific types of help you need. Try to stay away from people who tear you down and surround yourself with people who strengthen you.

Be generous even while you’re suffering. If you answer God’s call to be generous all the time – even in the midst of difficult circumstances – you’ll experience God’s blessings as a result. Choose to be generous with your resources (time, money, and energy) and to freely give other people grace, mercy, and forgiveness. As you bless others, God will bless you.

Find refuge in God’s Word. Turn to the Bible – God’s Word – to reliably guide you to the truth during your battles. While your circumstances are constantly changing, the Bible remains the same. You can always count on God to speak to you through His Word, guiding your decisions and behavior. So engage the Bible regularly by reading it, meditating on it, speaking it, singing it, or studying it.

Escape the weight of bitterness. Ask God to show you any bitterness that may have crept into your soul during your suffering. Then let go of your bitterness by following God’s command to forgive people who have hurt you, and by regularly expressing gratitude to God for who He is and how He has redeemed you.

Speak words of strength. Since words contain the power to bring either healing or destruction into your life, make sure that the words you speak to yourself and to others in your life reflect biblical truth, build people up (rather than tearing them down), and express a worshipful attitude toward God.

Become outrageously brave. Invite God to use your fear during battles to help you develop more courage. As you take the opportunities that God gives you to trust and rely on Him completely during suffering, fear will have less power over you and you’ll gain the faith you need to overcome it.

Adapted from Beautiful Battlefields, copyright 2013 by Bonita Stern. Published by NavPress, Colorado Springs, Co., www.navpress.com.

Bo Stern knows the most beautiful things can come out of the hardest times. Her Goliath came in the form of her husband’s terminal illness, a battle they are still fighting with their help of their four children, a veritable army of friends, and our extraordinary God. Bo is a teaching pastor at Westside Church in Bend, Oregon.

Whitney Hopler, who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for many years, is author of the new novel Dream Factory, which is available in both paperback and ebook formats. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.

Publication date: June 18, 2013