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It is in the midst of seeming hopelessness and defeat, that you must find your own resolve and have the sheer courage, strength and will to win.

I woke up one day with the agonizing pain of misery and disconnection from life. I felt like a failure. This was a time where I found no pleasure in whatever I was in relation to – work, friends, hobbies, passions, even blessings… All of it seemed vanity for me. I went on continuing the hours of the day, and days of the week, feeling down and empty, feeling nothing but a loser and expecting no one to lift me up. These were the winter seasons of my soul.

Every time I am in my strong days, I feel invincible, like nothing can put me down. I feel spiritually charged and I’m happy. I feel like I’m on the top of the world with God. Then I set my sails to go to where God might be leading me, so I pursued fellowships, trainings, retreats and the like. But sooner or later, the illusion of strength stops. The burning fire is put off by cold water.

I see many believers experience this. In one way or another, the fire in them just fades away. And then they complain about what have happened, blaming the problems that have tripped them, or the emotions that has consumed them, or the heart that has deceived them. Emotions are vital for our survival, but when it halts us to the feelings of hopelessness, then it’s a sign that something stronger must be injected into our hearts – the URGE TO FIGHT AND NOT GIVE UP!

I indirectly thank God for problems. It can be personal, family, career, financial, social, or spiritual problems, but the considered greatest of these is the problem rooted from assuming defeat in the battles and struggles of the inside soul. There are two attitudes in facing a difficulty: first, assume defeat, lose hope and eventually die – spiritually, emotionally and physically. The tendency then is to swim into the mud and cry despondently. The second approach is to get your feet up, BE STRONG, SHOUT – at yourself (admit the blame), at the enemies (that pushed you down the mud – the Accuser), and to the Lord (so He might hear your cry) BUT for courage’s sake, walk out of the mud!

M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, has offered remarkable insights on this subject:

It is in this whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has meaning. Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure. Problems call forth our courage and wisdom; indeed they create our courage and wisdom. It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually… It is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Those things that hurt, instruct.

David encouraged himself when he experienced hopelessness and when there was no one to lift him up. Further enough, when we look into the root word of encourage, we find “courage.” Imagine yourself trapped in a dark room for a long time. If you find a ray of light in that closed room, it will give you a sense of what’s out there. So you fight to get out. In a war, there’s no guarantee that you would not get deep wounds, but if you pick up your sword and fight, at least, you would not lose your life immediately by losing hope. It’s exhausting but the encouragement is worth your life.

The concept of fighting is seen in almost any hard situations we face everyday. In my case, I’ve seen the Accuser always thwarting me in my growth. He assumes that if I get in countless mess, I would always give up and give in. But the strength of the effort in getting my feet back on the ground is proportional to the strength of character I gain and will to win that I learn. It is always a battle. It’s in my stubborn spirit that I would not give up. I’ve faced life-threathening problems as I’ve embraced death before and so this fact of knowing that I am still alive gives me the hope that I would continue in life. Of course, the scars would be there, but they will serve as markers of the fights I’ve been into.

On another subject, internal courage must be first set in order to regain vibrant relationship with others. I cannot be understanding to the needs of my friends and loved ones and be consumed by my own problems at the same time. There’s a time reserved for inner contemplation before I maintain healthy relationships. Shortcuts are to be avoided here. I have to have courage first. I cannot converse with a friend who has the same downcast spirit as me, we will fall together. The real strength that arose from hopelessness is essential. It can be an inspiration to someone.

I dream of a noble character and abundant future, so courage is what I choose, otherwise, the death of my dreams.

How about you, have you allowed problems to shape your armor and be resilient or have you allowed them to rust your soul as you stay in your safe, comfortable, “aahh” zone?