How to Overcome The Overwhelming Circumstances of Life

This post is part 5 in the "Believe & Behave" series. 

Read: Isaiah 14:24-27

Not long ago I was preaching in a church not far from our home. The congregation is small, and so it functions very much like a family. The services are somewhat informal, where the congregants are allowed to give updates on their lives and circumstances. I was pleasantly surprised when the pastor asked for prayer requests. A lady sitting in the back row raised her hand and started to tell her story. Her prayer request was occasionally interrupted with tears, but she finally got her story out. She unashamedly acknowledged that her former spouse was taking her to court. She said she had no money to hire a lawyer. Her children were young and very much needed her care. All she wanted was the congregation to pray for her. And that’s exactly what the pastor did.

I have heard similar stories expressed multiple times during my years of pastoral ministry. Not all of them were as public as the woman just described.

  • A man once reported to his family that his doctor was suggesting surgery within the week. He agreed that the advice seemed sound; yet he felt weak and powerless by the very thought of “going under the knife.”
  • A woman once stated that she was putting in more and more hours at her job. Her supervisor refused to hire more help. That meant that increasing demands from a small work force were falling on her. She acknowledged that most days she felt overwhelmed and powerless.

Surely you know the feeling. You’ve probably been there on numerous occasions yourself. Those days, weeks and months when you feel overwhelmed, exhausted and barely able to think clearly. You feel helpless, lost, like there are no answers to your situation and your world is spinning out of control.

You are not alone.

So what can we do when our strength seems to be exhausted? What can we do when life circumstances overwhelm us? When everything seems out of control?

For starters, take time to read our text for the week from Isaiah 14:24-27 and notice a couple of important facts.

  • God has a plan that cannot be upended by human will. (cf. ISA 14:24 & 27a)
  • God is so powerful that He rules over every nation and every circumstance in life. (cf. ISA 14:25 & 26b; EPH 1:11)

Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 14 is one of several references to what theologians identify as the "omnipotence of God." Omnipotence means that God has the supreme power to do anything He desires within the context of His will.

There are some things that God simply can’t do! He can’t lie, He cannot engage in evil acts. To do so would be contrary to His holiness, His perfection and His will. In addition, God’s omnipotence does not work in isolation. Any time the Bible refers to God’s supreme power, it is also assuming that God acts powerfully in accordance with his perfect goodness and redemptive plans.

So how does the omnipotence of God relate to your overwhelming circumstances? The next time you feel overwhelmed by health related issues or challenges in your job, remember this:

Even though you sometimes feel powerless, you always have access to God's great power!

You can gain access to God's supreme power as you engage in three daily, moment-by-moment action steps. 

  1. REPENT.  Acknowledge any behavior where you rely on human strength as your primary source of rescue. Although the word “repentance” is not used in Isaiah 14:24-27, it is implied by the very use of the prophet’s oracle. He was calling his readers to repentance.
  2. TRUST. Express faith in the power and goodness of God in your life. In fact, in the privacy of your own home or while driving to work praise God out loud for His omnipotence. Tell the Heavenly Father that you are trusting in His power to work through you.
  3. ASK.  Request God's wisdom, insight, and SUPERNATURAL POWER to get you through your overwhelming circumstances. 

In the middle of your overwhelming circumstances, you can be certain that God is working to make you more and more like Jesus, your Savior and King! (cf. ROM 8:28-29)

Trusting in God’s power does not mean that all of your problems will be whisked away! Remember that this God who is all-powerful also has a plan for your life that you may not see at this moment of time. Yet He is always good, no matter what your outcomes may be. Trust in Him.

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