Overcoming Hurdles

Written by Cheryl Staley
Overcoming Hurdles
How many times do we pray for Yahweh to end our struggles? I know I used to, yet over the years, the more struggles I have been through, the more I realize just how vital they are to my spiritual growth.
All the trials the Father has put in my path have forced me to learn to deal with conflict, worry, fear, anxiety, selfishness, impatience, defending myself, and just how to deal with people in a godly way. Those trials have strengthened the core of who I am today. Had I wished them away, I would have been wishing away strength, perseverance, endurance, selflessness, patience, peace, and so much more.

When a trial is put in front of us, it is like walking up to a fork in the road. We have a choice to walk the “narrow gate” or “wide gate.” We are offered the choice to pray, believe, trust, and be patient, or to complain, worry, murmur, and doubt. The narrow gate is surely the harder choice, yet the end result is rewarding if we pass each obstacle with dignity and confidence knowing our King is walking right beside us. The wide gate is easy (most everyone around us takes this road, many times even Christians), yet it leads to spiritual emptiness and death.
 
I love to look back at the many trials from my past, because it allows me to see and remember God’s faithfulness. He took care of me in every situation and created waters to part for me when I stayed faithful and kept my eyes on Him. How can we say we trust our King with our lips, yet doubt him when the hard times press in? I can now use those miracles Yahweh brought into my life to encourage others to stay strong through their hard times. When they hear my situation and what God did to bring me through it, it brings them hope in their moment of weakness and trial. When we are able to find the beauty in our circumstance, we can turn our pain into a testimony of hope for others. I’ve been told that my ministry through worship is inspiring not because of any talent or anointing, but because I continue to praise the Father in the midst of my trials.
 
I love to look back at the many trials from my past, because it allows me to see and remember God’s faithfulness.
Sometimes I beat myself up for those times when I was weak and doubted Him even for a moment. Many times I feel so much like an Israelite. “God, how can I complain and not believe you can provide for me when you just parted the sea right in front of me last week?” But I’ve learned that when you conquer a trial, it’s like jumping over a hurdle. You gain strength when you see you can actually do it, because He’s given you the strength to do it. Yahweh knows how high to set the bar, giving us no more than we can handle, yet challenging us at the same time. Every hurdle (trial) after that, He keeps setting the bar higher and higher. When you make it over each hurdle, it gets easier the next time around to go higher and conquer something even greater. But if we don’t make it over the hurdle the first time around, the next one seems to be more difficult, but in reality it isn’t. This is when we begin to blame God and say, “This is too much for me to bear.” Then He sovereignly looks at us and says, “My child, if you had only passed all the other tests, this one would not seem so hard.” He wants our faith. He wants our trust. He wants us to fully let go and let Him be God.
 
Our trials are a battle between our spirit and flesh to see which one will win. It’s normal and natural to go through the process of working through your spirit battling your flesh, but when you start to feel anxiety or defeat, you must silence the enemy and recognize the war. Come into agreement with the promises you have in Scripture. When you feel paralyzed with fear, anxiety, bitterness, anger, etc., that is your indication that your flesh is winning and you have not made it over your hurdle. Start over. You will have to go back to the first hurdle and conquer it before moving on to the next, but you will have gained so much spiritual growth!
 
In my opinion, passing trials is one of the greatest things we have to offer others. You may not think that passing your trials gives you much to offer others, but it does. It offers hope. It says to others that you serve a big God and do what you say you believe! It shows off Yahweh’s power! It brings humility to those who are complaining about their situations, which may not be as trying as yours. It shows the fruit of the spirit is being perfected in you.
 
People are looking for people who don’t quit. When we quit, we cripple the body. You will always be farther along than somebody else and someone will always need what you have. We can’t wait to reach a place of perfection before we begin ministering to others, but we can surely start by seeking to pass our own trials. I want to look back at my life and see a long row of hurdles in a beautiful progression, each one taller than the next showing my King He’s worth going higher and higher for!
 
…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
 
If a godly character is what we are after, then why do we wish away our trials? Have you ever considered it pure joy when you are facing a trial? Try it.
 
Cheryl Staley,
 
October 2015