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Seeing Problems As Opportunities

Seeing Problems As Opportunities

This is from my book, Victorious Mindsets. We are working on a revised version of this that will have new content. As I was reviewing the book, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed this one. Be blessed as you read it. 

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My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).

“Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” This is the first step toward abundant provision (lacking nothing). We can start an incredible journey by rejoicing in difficult situations.

I used to be a blockage-focused Christian. I constantly thought I was the victim of those things which seemed to block my dreams, peace, and joy in Christ. Whether it was a difficult person or a frustrating circumstance, I would think, “If only this would change, then I would be able to soar in my life.” Fortunately, I discovered a higher mindset that transformed how I saw everything.

I remember when the Lord said to me, “Steve, you have been blockage-focused concerning your problems, but I call you to see these things as stepping stones instead. Your proper response to difficulties will catapult you into your prophetic destiny. I want you to see these things not as problems, but as opportunities to see how big I am.”

At this time, I also learned who Tigger was. This bouncy, optimistic cartoon tiger from Winnie the Pooh became a role model for my life. He embodies the words of Jesus, “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy” (Luke 6:23). “That day” refers to a difficult time of life. God spoke to my heart and instructed me to leap for joy in my private prayer time about those things I formerly saw as blockages. I would focus on something seemingly troubling, start jumping, and say, “Woo hoo! This is an opportunity to see how big my God is!” Then I would think about another thing and do the same. It was (and is) so freeing to leap and rejoice about things like personal weaknesses, family issues, financial challenges, uncertainties about the future, unresolved circumstances, difficult people, and other problems. Let’s see possibilities and open doors rather than blockages. Praise God.

LIES TO OVERCOME REGARDING THIS MINDSET

  • When this difficulty is over, then I can return to joy.
  • The challenging circumstances in my life are always an attack from the devil. 
  • I am a victim of all the things happening to me. 
  • I am stuck in life and there is nothing I can do to change that. 
  • The conclusions I make about problems are unimportant.

DECLARATIONS TO STRENGTHEN THIS MINDSET

  • I see problems as opportunities to see how big my God is.
  • I have the Tigger anointing and radically leap for joy as part of my joy plan. 
  • I have an unusual ability to see opportunities in apparent problems. 
  • I inspire others to walk in great joy. 
  • I don’t deny the facts of negative circumstances, but I believe in truths greater than the facts. 

PRACTICAL WISDOM

  • Harness the power of personal frustration – What is happening in us is more important than what is happening through us. If we can identify what God is doing in us during a particular season, then that season will be maximized and often shortened. One way to find a season’s purpose is to identify what we are frustrated about and identify what God is doing in relation to that frustration. Are we frustrated with a family member? It is likely an opportunity to learn to forgive, to inspire, or to communicate at a higher level. 
  • Develop a training mentality toward your lifestyle – The prophetic culture creates vision for the future. Whatever the specifics of a prophetic word are, the general theme of the word says, “Think bigger about your future. You are more important than you think. You are being prepared for significant influence.” When we realize this, then most “problems” actually become a training opportunity for our prophetic future. 
  • Keep improving your skills – As we face problems, we are also faced with the opportunity to discover new solutions and improvements. This will help us find more effective and efficient ways to do things. For instance, if we are having a problem financially, we will feel the pressure to develop greater skills to help us earn more income or to be a better steward of the finances we have. 

For more on this teaching, please listen to my podcast here.

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ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND

Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.