How to Deal With Obstacles in Life Faithfully
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When you’re facing obstacles in life, it can be hard to know what to do or where to turn.
It feels like everything is going wrong and you don’t know how you’re going to make it through.
But you can overcome any obstacle in life if you have faith.
In this blog post, we share some tips on how to stay faithful when times are tough and how to find the strength to keep moving forward.
Overcome Any Obstacle – Is Your Obstacle Your Opportunity?
What do you do when you’re facing obstacles in life? How do you deal with those obstacles?
Most people don’t like barriers. That makes sense. After all, when you’ve set a goal that you’re trying to accomplish, the last thing you want or need is something standing in your way.
Obstacles in life seem to make us stand still; they keep us from getting where we want to go. They cause us to lose whatever momentum we’ve built up.
At worst, they become the roadblocks standing in the way of allowing us ever to get there at all.
With all this in mind, it’s no wonder obstacles look so daunting.
What if obstacles in life weren’t as bad as you thought? What if the thing you’re facing right now might hold the solution to the very problem you’re trying to solve?
Consider this for a moment: What if what you’re looking at is not as much an obstacle as it is an opportunity?
Our emotions can hold us back, making us think a constraint is a stopping point instead of a new beginning.
God uses so many different avenues to get our attention, sometimes we are aware we have wandered, and other times we are shocked to find we are off the path He set for us.
But in every instance, He is merciful and provides a way back.
If we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that many of our issues are not as big as they first appeared. And once we get over the emotional hurdle and begin seeing things for what they really are, we can start finding solutions.
We can begin seeing that maybe that obstacle is the vehicle!
It can be easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of our lives and forget that there are always opportunities for growth and change.
When we focus on the negative, we see that obstacle instead of that opportunity.
But if we take a step back and see things from a different perspective, we may find that the “obstacle” is actually an opportunity in disguise.
God uses so many different avenues to get our attention, sometimes we are aware we have wandered, and other times we are shocked to find we are off the path He set for us. But in every instance, He is merciful and provides a way back.
Overcome Obstacles in Life by Rethinking Them – 9 Steps
Read on to find nine simple steps that will help you keep your emotions in check as you reach out and embrace obstacles and begin to see them as opportunities.
It’s time to see the opportunities you never imagined were there and to travel new roads you’ve never been down before.
Holding tight to His hand – or better yet, resting in His arms.
1. Take a Minute to Reconsider & Reconnect
Whatever you’re doing when you hit the obstacle, stop. When you stop, you give yourself time to consider the options without all the emotions flaring up.
You guard yourself against acting impulsively in a way you might come to regret later on.
To do this, start by taking a deep breath or two. Define the emotions you’re feeling, then wait for them to calm.
Identifying whether you’re sad, angry, or frustrated will help you to find a calm place faster.
Once identified, we can address each emotion differently. For example, ask yourself what you’re angry at if you are indeed angry. If you’re sad, accept the sorrow as being a natural part of the disappointment of meeting something that keeps you from your goal.
As challenging as it might be, don’t try to rush through the feeling or push it down.
The best way to use this setback as fodder for out-of-the-box thinking is to embrace the emotion, no matter what it is.
Own it and feel it. Pray about it.
Once you think it’s settled, you’re ready to move on.
Move on with God as the One that lights your path. Where is He shining the light right now?
This process may take an hour, a day, or a week, depending on how substantial the complication is.
2. Accept Where You Are in Him
Realize obstacles in life happen. They just do! They happen to me and they happen to you!
The more you fight them, the worse they’re going to seem. It’s like standing in quicksand; the sooner you come to accept the situation and stop fighting against it, the better it’s going to go for you.
It’s the struggle that pulls you down.
So, take a minute to tell yourself this is a natural and healthy part of the process. Remember, the emotions you’re feeling are legitimate and real.
It’s where you are, right now, at this moment. But the feeling won’t last forever.
Look closely at your faith walk, are you abiding the best you understand?
Be in His Word, in prayer, and in relationship with other believers.
3. Flip the Switch with His Help
After acknowledging the emotions of the moment, choose to let them go.
It’s time to switch over to the logical side of your brain, where you store wisdom and experiences. That’s where you’re able to process what is happening and consider your options.
Next, take a step back and look at the obstacle from an outside point of view. That means looking at it as if you were a stranger standing on the outside looking in.
What would they see right now? Question your assumptions to find a unique solution.
Then pray and see if God is giving you peace about that solution. Never run with your first instinct! Take it to the Lord in prayer first. If you are married, obviously be in conversation with your spouse throughout this process and be in agreement.
4. Get Creative & He Can Flow Through You
Here’s where a little flexibility is going to go a long way.
Start examining the alternatives.
Be as creative as possible and don’t discount anything offhand for being ‘too silly’ or a ‘dumb’ idea.
His ways are not our ways and obedience is not always comfortable.
Sometimes it’s those unique ideas that are going to get you thinking along a different path entirely – His path!
God gave us each an innate creativity. He can and will work through us when we ask Him.
Sure, it’s normal to feel some disappointment at this point. Chances are you’ve had your path all planned out.
But when you consider all the new possibilities, it’s easy to get excited about trying something new. Use this energy to fuel you toward the next step.
And remember – what we can achieve through following the Lord’s leading is always better than what we create in our own strength.
5. Embrace the Lesson, He is Always Growing Us
Every obstacle in life holds something from which you can learn. Ask yourself what you gained in facing the roadblock.
How are you looking at the world differently? What can you share with those around you about your experience?
When you cannot only ask these questions but also answer them, you’re discovering the meaning of the lesson. You haven’t wasted your experience, and you can see that even roadblocks hold a greater purpose.
6. Break Things Down
Frequently our problem with obstacles in life starts with trying to take on too much at once. To overcome any obstacle moving forward, re-examine the goal you were trying to accomplish.
How can you break down your goal into smaller steps?
By focusing on these more modest goals, you’ll find it easier to move ahead. Also, you won’t be quite so overwhelmed by the bigger picture.
This style of goal and habit setting is a low-stress way to reach huge success.
7. Admit You’re Only Human
When we rest in our weakness, He can use us to move mountains. Everyone makes mistakes. By permitting yourself to fail, you’ll accept obstacles that sometimes occur due to human error.
In some ways, these feel like the worst sort of obstacles because it’s easy to get caught up in a spiral of negative thinking when this happens.
You may even start questioning your abilities and wind up wanting to give up on your goal altogether.
Here’s where it becomes crucial to keep things in perspective.
By acknowledging you are only human after all, you’re able to admit when you are wrong and move on.
What’s more, you’ll be better able to accept when you make mistakes again in the future, because after all, you will. We all do.
When we let our guard down and admit our own humanness, others’ imperfections and quirks become so much more tolerable.
8. Reconsider the Goal – Get Aligned
In the end, it might be that the obstacle was connected to what you were trying to accomplish in the first place.
It might be the goal either wasn’t well thought out or isn’t what you needed to do at all. It might be time to consider the original premise all over again.
Is God using this obstacle to tell you something?
Sometimes the obstacle comes because you’d made a shift in what you were trying to do. Have you somehow changed your goal midstream?
It might be you need to rethink your plan of attack entirely. When this happens, your obstacle has instead become an opportunity to move in a direction that suits your purposes better and aligns more closely with His plan for you.
9. Don’t Forget to Celebrate!
It might seem odd to be thinking about celebrations when talking about obstacles.
However, consider this: when you celebrate your accomplishments, you embrace the journey you’ve been on, barriers and all.
Even if you’ve stalled out completely, you can celebrate the progress you made and the work you’ve done.
This is worth acknowledging, and the emotions here are worth considering.
Then when the party is over, ask yourself where you want to go from here.
Choosing a new goal part can be a component of the celebration. That’s also something to get excited over.
What does He have in this for you?
Final Thought on Obstacles in Life: Ask for Help
As a note, you never have to do hard things alone. Through practicing and disciplining ourselves to abide in Jesus, we are never on our own.
When you’re facing an obstacle, it’s okay to ask for help.
Mentors and support systems are integral to the process of working your way through difficulties.
The benefit of a mentor is clear.
They may not have been in this position before, but God will often use their wisdom and insight to lead you through to the next stage of development.
Support systems are made up of those friends, co-workers, and relatives who can act as the bulwark to shore you up when you feel like you’re falling flat on your face.
This group should only ever be made up of people who support you wholeheartedly.
That’s not to say they’re all cheerleaders or ‘yes-men.’
A sound support system is willing to speak up when they see you heading in what they perceive to be the wrong direction. They’re also there to encourage you and to remind you why you’re working toward this goal in the first place.
Finally, don’t discount professional help where it’s needed.
If you find you’re having trouble separating your emotions from the process, you might need a little bit of help in working things through.
There’s nothing wrong with seeking advice from a counselor or medical professional if you find you’re overwhelmed and unable to proceed.
In the end, by embracing the obstacles you meet in trying to attain your goals, you’re likewise embracing a new way of thinking.
You’re adjusting your mindset to one of success; success in obedience.
You’re accepting there are different ways to do things, and that the things standing in your way are more often new opportunities than an exact stopping point.
You’re looking at life in a way that allows you to go places you never thought possible before.
The key here is in abiding in your faith.
Your emotions shouldn’t be what’s holding your back. Of course, it’s okay to feel what you do when you meet with an obstacle. The key is in not staying there when it’s time to move forward again.
And you WILL move forward again if you keep following after the One that knows the path He has set for you.
Cate Leach is the creator of Blessed Reject, a brand that is focused on helping women overcome emotional trauma, rejection, and betrayal. Additionally, Cate is a Personal Protection for Women expert and offers in-person and online workshops to educate, empower and equip women and children to defend themselves. Online seminars for your company available. Cate is a stay-at-home guru who has been working and educating her seven children and two grandsons at home for over 25 years.
These are such good tips. Obstacles can be frustrating until we remember God has purposes for them, whether to change our direction or wait seeking Him until the way is clear again.
Amen Barbara! Cate did such an amazing job on this post and so timely!!
So true Barbara, sometimes the obstacle is just the thing He has for us!
I’m thinking right now about Romans 8 and asking myself if ANYTHING (even a pandemic?) can separate us from the love of God.
Grateful for today’s reminder here that there is no obstacle too great for God to overcome.
Nothing can! If I could get rid of the actual illness and keep the social isolation right now I would. It is causing so many people to spend time with family, go out for walks and so on! In my town, people are actually putting teddy bears in their windows so the little kids can spot them all when they go for walks with their parents. I am loving how people are coming together in all this! God is definitely coming through!
I so agree, Diane! A lot of beauty is happening as we are forced to slow down!
So timely. And #7 is one I need to keep reminding myself of instead of forging ahead in my own feeble stregnth.
I am glad you enjoyed Cate’s article Lauren! #7 is one I need to remind myself of as well!
This: “It’s okay to feel what you do when you meet with an obstacle. The key is in not staying there when it’s time to move forward again.” Great advice. We don’t need to run from those feelings, but we don’t need to linger in them either.
Amen! So many times we believe it is wrong to feel a certain way! Those feelings are perfectly normal! We just cannot let them consume us! Thank you Lisa!