Obstacles are Opportunities in Disguise

By Ryan Dawson

Over the past few weeks, we have been exploring our journey with Jesus through our Onward sermon series.  Last Sunday we learned that the way of Jesus is narrow, the journey is hard, but the reward is glorious.  Jesus never promised us that life would be easy, in fact, He promised we would have trouble in this life, but we can have hope because in the end He will set all things right.  

We all face obstacles in life, and although obstacles can be very challenging, they provide an opportunity for growth.  Every obstacle conquered is an opportunity gained because we grow best through adversity.   It reminds me of this fable…

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.  The peasant learned what many of us never understand. Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

For us these obstacles can come in many shapes and sizes.  It might be a health issue, a relationship conflict, financial challenge, loss of a job, ministry or leadership issue, death of a loved one or some other challenge.  Of course, scripture affirms again and again that obstacles are opportunities in disguise because they are opportunities to grow and trust Jesus.  

In Romans 5:3-5 the Apostle Paul tells us: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”  

Despite the challenges we are facing in our lives, there is hope, because we know the One who loves us and empowers us to overcome every test and trial.   This is true for us as individuals, as families, and as a church.  So, we look to Jesus because when we are weak, He is strong, and He will help us overcome through His Spirit who lives within us.

Today, I want to encourage you to see the obstacles you are facing as opportunities to grow in faith and character.  God is with you, and He will give you what you need to overcome every obstacle in your path.  You are not alone, and you have been given everything you need in Christ to experience victory.  When we have this kind of perspective it makes a huge difference in the kind of people we become.

Blessings, Ryan