Life for many of us often is full of obstacles. Many times we are faced with obstacles in our families, our finances, our health and a host of other issues. I've learned over the years that I either can overcome my obstacles or my obstacles can overcome me.
Jesus said in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you will have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Jesus makes it very clear that in this world we will face difficulties. (NKJ)
Throughout my life I have faced many different obstacles and challenging situations. For example, growing up as a child and on into my teen years, life was a bit challenging. I never knew my biological dad and that created a void in my life. Whenever Father's Day came around, I would feel very sad because I didn't have a father to spend time with on that special day.
Also, not having a car while growing up and a constant lack of money was very discouraging to me at times. Our mode of transportation was Ben Franklin Transit and rides from friends and family members in their car.
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I despised poverty growing up -- and I still despise it today -- because I know firsthand what it does to people's lives. It is by the grace of God that I didn't turn to drugs, alcohol or sexual activity to fill the void in my life. My faith in God and my relationship with him is what gave me the strength and the ability to overcome these obstacles.
I was very blessed to have godly men in my life as I grew up -- men who were fathers figure to me. Their influence in my life has played a major part in who I am today. As a result of their mentoring, I kept my eyes on the Lord and realized that he was my source. Even though things were tight at times, God always seemed to provide for us.
As a teenager, I developed a daily habit of reading the Bible and spending time in prayer. This is where I got my strength to overcome the issues in my home life.
My involvement in my church also played a major part in my ability to face the challenges of life. The wisdom that I received from my leaders was priceless.
Now, and over the past 15 years in ministry, I have faced what appeared to be insurmountable difficulties ranging from people problems, personal problems, financial problems, health problems and family problems.
My commitment and devotion to the Lord and his faithfulness is the only reason why I haven't lost my mind. I've also learned that problems have a way of bringing out the best or the worst in us. I have had the best and the worst brought out in me.
I know that some of you reading this article are facing what seem to be insurmountable difficulties. No matter how big or small your problems, I hope that my story has encouraged you to overcome your obstacles.
* Marlando Jordan is associate pastor at Word of Faith Center in Kennewick.
Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.