Overcoming adversity is no small task. One thing you can count on in life is that challenges will come: One day you can be sitting back, enjoying the view from the mountaintop, and the next day your emotional world can be completely rocked.
The Bible says that we are not to be “surprised when these trials come as though they are something strange.” (1 Peter 4:12)
But it’s not enough to anticipate adversity—it’s what you do in the face of it that determines the outcome.
You can tell yourself “I am an overcomer!” when all is going well, but what about when you can barely pull yourself out of bed in the morning?
There are qualities that every overcomer shares. Develop these qualities and you will be thoroughly equipped to rise to every challenge and overcome adversity.
- They find joy in the moment. The main reason why many people struggle with overcoming adversity is that they are under the misconception that they must follow whatever feeling is ruling at the moment, and wait until joy decides to find them. But it doesn’t work this way—you have to seek joy out. Meaning, you have to decide that joy is available, even when you’re facing a challenge. An overcomer decides to enjoy more time with her children when she’s laid off from work, or catch up on her favorite books as she recovers from an illness or injury. An overcomer knows that you can at least find joy in knowing that God will use whatever you’re facing for your good at some point.
- They remember that this too will pass. It’s easy to get swept up in the emotions of the present and think that your situation will always be like it currently is. But this is a fallacy. There is a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Each season is either a reaping or a sowing. An overcomer knows to determine what season he’s in and to be patient with the harvest.
- They expect God’s grace and goodness. God is good. All the time. He will never leave the righteous forsaken (Psalm 37:25). So if He is good all the time, you may be wondering why you are going through such a trying season. I don’t know the answer, but here’s what I and overcomers do know: that God knows what He’s doing and He will give you all the grace you need to endure until you see His goodness come to pass. You will eventually overcome adversity.
- They learn from it. Most people don’t like going to school, but they do it because they know they need to learn something. You can apply the same thinking to your trials. Those who overcome adversity know that most challenges teach valuable lessons that help in future areas that you never would have been prepared for had you not gone through your trial.
- They stay optimistic. Overcomers fight the urge to get mad, sad or down about their situation. Are they tempted? Of course they are. But they make the choice to believe that God is good and tomorrow will be a better day. And if it’s not, well than they are at least one day closer to it being better. Those who overcome adversity are optimistic forward thinkers
- They are willing to reinvent themselves. Overcomers recognize that they need to constantly renew their mind (Romans 12:2). And in doing so, they open themselves up to reinventing themselves on a regular basis. Their motto is “If you’re staying the same, you’re moving backwards.”
- They don’t back down in the face of adversity. Overcomers may not be aggressive fighters on the outside, but they are solid in their resolve to never back down. No matter the fear or the odds, overcomers will keep pressing forward, knowing that even if they fail or fall, they are still moving forward.
- They use obstacles as opportunities. When faced with an obstacle you have the choice to let it stop you or use it as an opportunity to be resourceful and creative. Those who overcome adversity choose to embrace the obstacle as an opportunity to grow. Be open to other possibilities and you can change your future in more ways than you can even imagine.
In Henry Cloud’s book: “It’s Not My Fault: The No-Excuse Plan for Overcoming Life’s Obstacles”he talks about the dangers of blaming others and how you can use a trap as a launching pad to overcoming your adversity. It’s a great read!
To overcome adversity you must have the mindset of an overcomer. These are not hidden secrets for only a select few. With the same thoughts and mental fortitude, you too can have the mindset of an overcomer.