Many of us are facing problems, adversity, trials, and circumstances that are causing concern, trouble, and worry in our lives. They can seem like giants that are slowly and surely overpowering us. Our current Northstar teaching series is addressing a few of these giants and how we can respond and have victory over them.
What is the first thing you do when you are faced with a giant in your life? Typically, we’re afraid, we’re uncertain about the future, we doubt, we forget, we question ourselves, we blame and we look for a scapegoat. We say, “If only.” If only I had more education, or better parents, or I didn’t make that investment or start that relationship. And, we naturally wonder why God is on the sidelines as we face our “Goliath.”
I’ve experienced these feelings and thoughts and I’ll bet you have too. Because we all have our giants. We all have opponents. We all have fears. Maybe it is a physical giant such as aging, the pain and problems of getting older, or a disease or disability. Or our opponents can also be ourselves, the inner giants that we are struggling with. It may be something no one knows about but you. Whatever form or function they take, giants can result in feeling discouraged, defeated, helpless, and hopeless. When you are overwhelmed with giants, it takes all the strength you have to just barely whisper a prayer.
We may be persuaded out of too many failed fixes or attempts at change to abandon, turn back, retreat, or hesitate from doing continued battle. We might even surrender.
I hope you will consider the following very carefully if you are facing a giant today and when a giant pays you a house call sometime down the road.
First, trust in the promises of God. God can and will produce good out of every giant you face. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28. Paul does not say that everything will come up roses, but that God will produce a good result. Whatever your variables or severity, God will engineer it into a good result. So, we already know the outcome will be good even when it seems like no good can come of it.
Consider 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” Here is what to take away from this verse. God has not singled you out for special or unusual giants; the ones you face are being faced by many others. God understands your threshold and will not allow you to be tested more than you can withstand. Regardless of the giant, God will provide a way to escape from it. And you will endure.
Learn to rely on the power of God. The truth is, we cannot defeat giants on our own strength. When the Israelites found giants in Canaan, God did not tell the Israelites that they would have to fight them. Notice what He said in Numbers 13:2: “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites.” Notice God said that He would give them the land, which He did 40 years later. They were going to win.
The Israelites were worried for much the same reason we are today, because we think we have to defeat the giants of life on our own strength. God never intended for you to defeat giants on your own strength. One of the reasons He allows these giants into our lives is so that we might learn to depend upon Him. When facing a giant, surrender it to God by saying, “God, I can’t do this without you.”
And remember that you don’t need to bring anything extra to the plan. You don’t need more of something. In 1 Samuel 17:47, David said, “And everyone will know that the Lord does not need weapons to rescue His people.”
God will use what we have to accomplish His plan. David knew that God would provide everything he needed to do God’s will. In this case, it was five smooth stones. If I was there, I would have hesitated for about a second before I would have taken King Saul up on his offer to wear the king’s amour. Fast forward to today. We may have faith that God will give us victory over our giants, but we still worry about how and when He will do it. So we hedge our bets because we can find it difficult to let go of our fears and trust completely in God. But, that is exactly what God wants us to do.
Whatever giant you are dealing with now, it is not a permanent condition. It is actually a meeting place where you come to the knowledge and understanding of the God of all your strength.
So, come to God just as you are. Jeremiah 19:11 says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
A future without giants.