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Intersection of Life and Faith

Stay Afloat During Tough Times

  • Whitney Hopler Live It Editor
  • 2002 2 Aug
Stay Afloat During Tough Times
Life in our fallen world is full of crises and tragedies, and no one can go through life untouched by tough circumstances. Some people sink under the weight of challenges into the depths of despair. But others stay afloat to achieve success in life.

No matter what problems you may be facing, with God, there is always hope. Here are some ways you can stay afloat during tough times:

  • "Say yes to responsibility regardless of the circumstances." Don't worry about what you don't have; instead, focus on the knowledge, resources and opportunities God has given you. Don't waste time comparing yourself to others or blaming your circumstances for your problems. Remember that God will always provide what you need to do the tasks He has called you uniquely to do. Decide to trust Him and step out in faith whenever He asks you to do something, and be committed to following through. Keep God's purposes in mind and never give up, relying on God's grace for strength along the way.

  • "Say no to temptation and then get as far away from it as you can." Remember that God is always watching you because He loves you and cares deeply about your life. Consider whether you would like God to see you doing specific things before you decide to actually do them. Make up your mind in advance to resist when you encounter the temptation to make an alluring but wrong choice. Discipline your thoughts so you're focused on what's eternal and significant rather than what's temporary and frivolous.

  • "Say no to despair." Realize that God has a purpose for allowing you to undergo tough circumstances. Seek to discover ways God wants you to grow in the midst of your challenges. Find ways to serve others who are also hurting. Forgive people who have hurt you and seek God's forgiveness for yourself.

  • "Always say yes to God." Know that people on God's side will always win in the end. Decide to trust Him. Give Him control of all aspects of your life, knowing that He will make much more of your life than you ever could alone.

Adapted from Unsinkable: Getting Out of Life's Pits and Staying Out, copyright 2002 by Pat Williams. Published by Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Book House Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.,, 1-800-877-2665.

Pat Williams is senior vice president of the NBA's Orlando Magic. He has forty years of professional sports experience, has written twenty-two books, and also serves as a motivational speaker. He and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of nineteen children, fourteen of whom have been adopted from four foreign countries.

How has a challenging circumstance recently threatened to sink you into despair? What decisions have you made to stay afloat, and why? How has God helped you? What encouragement would you like to offer others who might be feeling hopeless? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.