Do You Feel Trapped?
- Whitney Hopler Live It Editor
- 2002 5 May
Remember that nothing is impossible for God. He even parted the waters of the Red Sea so the Israelites trapped between the sea and a crowd of hostile Egyptians could emerge victorious from tough circumstances.
Here are some principles to keep in mind when you feel trapped:
- "Realize that God means for you to be where you are." Either God led you into your current circumstances, or He allowed them to occur as the result of some choices you made. Remember that His goal is a good one - to build your faith. Also remember that He promises to always be right beside you, no matter what your circumstances.
- "Be more concerned for God's glory than for your relief." When you're overwhelmed, stop asking how you can get out of your situation. Instead, ask how God can be glorified in it. This will change your perspective so you can see the potential in the situation. Consider what you can do in the midst of your particular situation to bring glory to God, in ways such as thanking Him for ways He has answered your prayers in the past and praising Him for His character. Understand that God's plan for how He will deliver you from tough circumstances may be different from what you expect, but that He will do so in the best way.
- "Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord." Be aware that you will often have to contend with evil spiritual forces who would like to see you trapped forever, but that you can always overcome them by God's power. Focus on God rather than worrying about evil. Choose to obey God in even the smallest decisions in your life, striving to be honest and faithful, rather than giving into deceitful temptations that will ultimately make things worse, not better.
- "Pray!" Pray frequently and specifically about your circumstances, and expect God to answer your prayers.
- "Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work." Rather than wasting time and energy trying to solve a problem by yourself, be patient, and trust God to act in His timing. Know that He has a good reason for waiting whenever He chooses to do so.
- "When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith." Know that God often guides moment by moment, giving you just enough information to take only the next step forward. Then He often waits to see whether you will take that step before revealing more of what He wants you to do. So show God that you take His guidance seriously by acting on what you already know He wants you to do.
- "Envision God's enveloping presence." Take comfort in the fact that God can transform your past, present, and future. He uses your past failures to help you grow, loves you in the present, and guides you wisely into the future. Visualize God with you right now, and remind yourself that He was with you yesterday and He'll be with you tomorrow.
- "Trust God to deliver in His own unique way." Know that God will choose the best way to deliver you from your current circumstances. Expect Him to act powerfully, working as He often does through ordinary people and events, or even through a supernatural miracle.
- "View your current crisis as a faith builder for the future." Choose to believe that God will actually do what He has promised. Ask God to use your current experiences to build a more mature faith in you, that will serve you well in the future.
- "Don't forget to praise Him." Thank God for what He has already done for you, and demonstrate confidence that He will continue to act in love and wisdom.
Adapted from The Red Sea Rules: 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times, copyright 2001 by Robert J. Morgan. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., Nashville, Tn., www.thomasnelson.com, 1-800-251-4000.
Robert J. Morgan is pastor of the Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tn., where he has served for more than 20 years. He is the author of 10 books. He and his wife Katrina have three daughters.
Do you feel trapped by your current circumstances? If so, what situation(s) are causing you to feel this way? How are you trying to rely on God in the middle of your tough circumstances? How has God delivered you from tough situations in the past? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.