The predictions for 2016 say we are in for difficult times. The high fluctuations of the naira to the dollar exchange rates, fuel scarcity, insecurity, no jobs, the list of woes seem endless. We know that ordinary life is somewhat challenging and at times a big struggle, but 2016 seems to be a year that will present many of us with challenges on several fronts. How can we face this with courage?
We are likely to be tested and tried at every turn, and there is no escaping it; problems have to be dealt with, whether we want to or not. There is no need to throw up our arms in defeat or feel hopeless and distraught. We have to brace up and take courage, and reach out for the strength from deep within each of us.
Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not the one who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
A sound statement to take to heart, and be guided by as we face the challenges of 2016. We must do all within our power not to let the circumstances we find ourselves in overwhelm us and make us lower our standards or ambitions. We must continue to dream, and dream big; and no matter what the physical senses tell us, we must keep our eyes on the prize which is to surmount all the challenges that come our way.
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”- Philippians 3:12-14
The important questions to ask are:
- Are you bold enough to tackle all the challenges that life brings?
- Do you crumble and fall flat each time you are faced with challenges?
- Given what they say this year portends and what we have seen so far, are you able to say to yourself, “I will overcome”?
- Have you resolved to try your best and to face each day with faith that it will all turn out okay in the end?
As much as I do not like to admit it, it is actually the challenges we face on life’s journey that makes it interesting, and in it lies the beauty of the journey of life. It is not that you will not be faced with difficulties, however it is how you handle each difficult scenario of your life that matters, and as the saying goes “what does not kill, only makes you stronger.” With each passing day, there is hope for us all, even though the road may seem bleak at times. We must handle each situation as they arise, asking for guidance and strength from our maker.
As we face these uncertain times, unsure of what the future may bring, let us thank God for the opportunity of our life, for our ability to face each day with courage, because “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” – Philippians 4.13; “and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God.” –Romans 8:28. We only have to follow the will of God in our lives and truly follow the path that has been laid out for us. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Always remember that life is worth living, no matter what life throws us within our lifetime. Yes, many problems will arise in your lifetime, but the point is that you face them squarely, give it your all, and at the end of it you will come out victorious.