Back to the ground, eyes closed, face bruised, mouth guard tossed.
You are slowly drawn back to consciousness.
You hear the referee counting 5 - 6 - 7-...
Weak. But determined.
Your will wills your knees to find strength.
Slow. But determined.
Arms flailing limply.
The referee’s whistle flares.
We live in a world which I am convinced is a continuous wrestling match.
We come face to face with varying situations daily. Some send off- kilter uppercuts, some deliver punches we see coming and can hold up a defence and then, there are those that take us completely by surprise.
Many things vie for our attention and often come at us. Each raising its head to make us lose focus.
● Negative or controversial local, regional and international news continue to blare out through our airways
● Videos, shorts, reels, snaps, tweets, threads all come through our social media and digital platforms
● Our harmonious interpersonal relationships are threatened daily
With our minds, communities, societies and world as the incubators for our “wrestling rings”.
What has been our response to these situations? What do you do? How do these situations make you feel?
The truth is, these external stimuli have the power to affect us deeply and knock us to our knees, but, what can we do to overcome them?
Here are three ways to conquer it all and find the courage to get back up using 2 Corinthians chapter 4.
Acknowledge your reality and flip the script
The first step in conquering anything in life is to be present, identify and acknowledge what exactly is going on at the moment.
Let us use the Apostle Paul, who would have had his share of ‘misfortunes’ recorded in scripture to guide us in this instance.
Paul was honest about his reality in 2 Corinthians chapter 4 verses 8-9,”We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;”
Paul’s reality: “We are troubled on every side… we are perplexed…Persecuted…cast down”.
Paul’s response: “...yet not distressed;...but not in despair;…, but not forsaken;…but not destroyed;”
He was present. He identified and acknowledged his current situation.
Did his acknowledgement change his situation? Of course not.
But, Paul flipped the script. While he was experiencing his reality, he decided to counter it by altering his response to it.
Easier said than done, right?
Right. But, it made him more self aware and positioned him to act, positively.
More often than not, when we experience anything that affects us negatively, we immediately activate the “fight or flight” emotional and cognitive response. This is a coping strategy of our body because it is easier to succumb to our reactions and feelings regarding all we are exposed to; but, what does that profit us?
Let us consider identifying and acknowledging our situations for what they are, even when it seems ‘hopeless’, and finding a way to see them positively.
Trust a loving God
After acknowledging our reality and shifting our perspective, we should shift the focus from us and look to God.
If I may be honest, we were never called to be superheroes, especially on our own and in our own strengths.
And Paul knew that.
Paul also spoke openly about his limitations. He knew he was a mere human who believed in a sovereign God. In 2 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 7, Paul highlights the frailty of man to “earthen vessels”.
But he continued to highlight that our “earthen vessels” are filled with the “treasure” only God gives.
When the situations rage on and we are faced with the internal question, “do you have any fight left?”, we should place our reliance and trust in our loving God.
Why? Because He sees the bigger picture and He knows what the situations we go through mean in the grand scheme of things.
God is indeed bigger than what is happening in the world and in our lives and will give us the tools to navigate all areas of life. Yes, think about 1 John chapter 4 verse 4, “Greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world”.
He loves us and wants us to trust Him.
Trusting God will bring out the fighter in us to overcome anything in the world (John chapter 16 verse 33 (KJV)).
Give yourself grace
After going through those two steps, it is time to exercise a little grace.
We have an unfair thought of ourselves!
I think we beat up on ourselves too often to be perfect- DO IT RIGHT, GET IT RIGHT, ACT RIGHT!
But, we should give ourselves the opportunity to feel, admit our realities and trust God.
Giving ourselves grace in a situation gives God more power to operate through us.
Here is an encouragement by Paul for us to hold on to the end, regardless of all that comes at us, 2 Corinthians chapter 4 verse 17 highlights “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”
Life comes with its share of negativity and external stimuli which have the possibility to affect us and get us down. But, it is how we react and process them that influence the outcome.
I pray we will find it within ourselves to acknowledge our realities and limitations, change our perspectives, trust God and give ourselves grace while we endure.
Jhenelle has been a born again Christian for almost 17 years. She is grateful for the opportunity given by the Lord to mix all her passions, dreams, giftings and skills together.