Have you ever had this phrase “be of good courage” spoken to you while in the middle of one of your most difficult moments in life? Were you really encouraged or you just wanted to tell the person to be quiet and leave you alone?
A good guess is your first natural reactions when life throws a curveball at you or someone did something bad to you were that you felt hurt, angry, you cried, you wanted to fight back or perhaps you even thought of a way you could get revenge against the person who caused you emotional pain and discomfort.
If you be honest with yourself, it’s seldom a case where your first response was to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39) which is also known as “to refrain from retaliating when one has been attacked, insulted or injured [emotionally, spiritually, etc] by another.”
It’s hardly an occasion where your initial counter action was to just forgive the other person (Matthew 6:14-15) and then move on.
Short of forgiving and moving though is that when you choose to nurture hurt and anger, not only do you lose focus and are pushed deeper into the valley of painful suffering but the result is that it interferes with your relationship with God.
A True Story
A couple months ago Shelley learned through a friend that while in attendance at a meeting, a particular individual cast accusations of wrongdoing towards her. Shelley thanked the person for making her aware of what was said about her but knowing within her heart that what she was accused of was not the truth, she made no ‘fuss’ but simply went about her business and continued to perform her duties.
Time passed and then a few days ago, the matter came up again but this time during an evaluation session with her boss. Shelley’s story has a hint of sadness to it in that while no one bothered to address the matter in real time when it happened it was now being used against her in her performance evaluation meeting.
By all account no one bothered to investigate the matter and to hear her account but they simply went on and accepted one side of the story. To have the matter brought up now months later as a complaint against her in her PE session not only conveyed feelings of anger and frustration, but opened the wound again to the point of tears, sadness and heaviness in her heart.
The question then is, how does Shelley avoid losing her focus or what do you do to regain your focus after a curveball is thrown at you?
Steps To Regain Focus When Life Throws A Curveball
A good place to start is to remind yourself of what Jesus said in John 16:33 KJV, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have [perfect] peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: [distress and suffering], but be of good cheer; [be courageous, be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.”
That is the promise that none of us will escape situations or circumstances in this world that would not bring the sour grapes of pain, distress, suffering to the point where we cry many tears.
1.) Acknowledge how you currently feel about the situation
Once you acknowledge your feelings [and this works best when you are truly honest about your deep inner feelings and not necessarily the pleasant, conciliatory or diplomatic version], you can then move on to the next step.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for this reminder in your word of the dangers that I am likely to face in life. I acknowledge that I have absolutely no control over the circumstances or situations that comes my way but that I have the blessed assurance of your protection and peace that I have in you with the passing of each new day. I confidently stand on your word that you have overcome the world and when I put my trust, faith and confidence in you that I too will overcome. Amen.
2.) Allow yourself to be conscience-stricken about your action and your attitude
This is a very critical step and often times it is the one that is overlooked. Clearly, if your attitude is wrong in your response to a curveball or an unpleasant situation in life such as when someone did you a disservice, repentance is a must.
Unconfessed sin is what separates a person from God and where there is separation from God, spiritual death will ensue.
Lord I repent of the error of my ways of not trusting in you and allowing myself to harbor anger and thoughts of revenge and retaliation in my heart towards the person/s [call person/s by name] who have done me wrong. I now receive your blessing of perfect peace, the joy of your salvation and happiness in my heart in Jesus’ name, amen
3.) Commit yourself to forgiving [yourself and others]
In his book Forgiveness Is Power, William Fergus Martin wrote “Forgiveness is freeing ourselves from wanting to punish.” He further emphasized that “We experience what we intend for others.” [when we fail to exercise forgiveness]
It is more beneficial to your personal growth and development when you forgive yourself and others than it is to hold on to the wounds in areas of your life. Just think about the wisdom you gain from the unpleasant experiences in life when your attitude is one that is quick to forgive.
Dear God, I willingly commit my selfish ways of carrying unforgiveness in my heart against myself and others [call person’s name/s] I acknowledge that forgiveness is your will for me and that when I forgive I allow your blessings to flow unhindered into my life and as such the feeling of heaviness leaves and my heart will feel lighter. I will be happier, more at ease, and confident. I now accept your peace and freedom that forgiveness brings in Jesus’ name, amen.
Life is no bed of roses and some things are unavoidable in life. Inevitably, you and I will have tribulations of varying degree as we journey through life. The key however is not to give up but to understand that you have the power in your hands to overcome whatever tests or trials you encounter. The steps and the prayers here are guidelines which you can repeat as often or as seldom when life throws you a curveball.
Your Turn to Talk It Over
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section below this post: –
- Was this post helpful? If yes, in what way?
- What is your response normally when you get hit with a curveball in life?
- What other steps would you like to see added to this list?