Imagine yourself walking with a friend through the woods. All of a sudden you come to a clearing and see two armies, one on each side of you. Between both armies stands the biggest, largest and strongest man you’ve ever seen. He puts the World’s Strongest Man competition on ESPN to shame. A man from one of the armies, your side, approaches you and tells you and your friend that if one man can fight this giant one -on -one and kill him, we will win the battle. After he walks away, you immediately say to your friend, “Is he crazy? Look at the size of that man. No one will ever take him down. Let’s get out of here!” You start walking away and your friend says, “Hold up! Are YOU crazy! Look at the size of that man. He’s about 8 men put together. And his forehead is the size of an elephant.” Your friend then begins walking towards the large man; you get scared and say, “Umm, that’s basically what I said. What are you doing?” With a sling out and few stones twirling in his hand he looks at you and says, “What an easy target!” And goes on to slay the giant. That’s right…this is the adapted version of David and Goliath.
What a difference perspectives can make. Most of the onlookers saw only a giant. David, however, saw a mortal man defying Almighty God. Goliath was a target too big to miss! With God on his side, this was an opportunity he could not pass up. God gave David the perfect opportunity to test his faith, courage and strength…..and succeeded.
How many times in your life has God given you that opportunity to do something for Him, but you had a different perspective and passed at the chance? Probably more than we can count. Each day God puts opportunities in front of you. Some you try and succeed at, and some you don’t even think twice about and turn away from them. Galatians 6:10 says “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good.”
Let’s look at another example in the Bible – Paul. Paul endured many hardships throughout his ministry. In everything he did Paul always considered what his actions communicated bout Jesus Christ. Being put in prison would cause many people to become bitter or give up. (Believe, me it’s definitely true. I would know). But Paul looked at it from a different perspective and saw it as an opportunity to spread the Gospel of Christ. Paul realized that his current circumstances weren’t as important as what he did with them. I was encouraged by Paul, after reading the book of Acts, to do just that. Instead of complaining about the deteriorating conditions in “the hole,” which I did when I first got in here, I began looking at each obstacle or struggle as a means of growth. I did my best to turn the negatives into positives, with each one an opportunity. Back on March 15, if someone told me I would be spending the next 4+ months in “the hole,” I would cringe and find some way to get out of it. But now looking back, it wasn’t all that bad, and I used the opportunity for spiritual growth, character building, and even shared the Word of God to my two cellies. What a great opportunity it was, and I give God all the glory!
Now I know there are those reading this who are not in prison, but there are still plenty of instances of discouragement in your life – times of indecision, financial burdens, boss issues, illness, family conflict, church conflict, or the loss of a job. How we act in such situations will reflect what we believe. Like Paul and David, look for ways to demonstrate your faith even in bad situations. Don’t look at them as bad or even scary situations, but see them as opportunities to do God’s work in your life. Whether or not the situation improves, your faith will grow stronger. Focus on what’s in front of you, and someday you will look back and say, “God saw me through that and I am grateful.”