Today’s devotional: overcoming life’s impossible challenges

Are you faced with an impossible challenge in your life—a problem for which there simply is no solution? It sounds trite to suggest that one’s attitude can make an impossible task possible. But in this Nehemiah Notes devotional, Blaine Smith argues that simply maintaining a positive attitude can make a much bigger difference than you think in your ability to deal with life’s challenges.

Smith is particularly interested in the way that we allow others’ negativity and criticism to sap our willpower. He cites the famous “spies in Canaan” account as an example of a time in Bible history when negative attitudes almost sabotaged God’s people:

It may not seem profound to say that our attitude affects our approach to challenges. In a general way we all recognize this to be true. Yet most of the time we fail to appreciate the extent to which this is true. Our pessimism can literally shut down our creative energy for solving a problem. Even more typically, it channels that energy in the wrong direction. When a problem seems difficult, we can be incredibly clever at convincing ourselves it has no solution. Once we reach that conclusion, we interpret all the evidence we see as proof we’re correct—that the problem is indeed beyond hope. Having established that, we can overlook obvious solutions which may be staring us in the face….

We are creatures of suggestion, and we easily and unconsciously absorb the positive or negative outlooks of those around us.

We see fascinating examples of both types of influence occurring throughout Scripture. It’s interesting, for instance, how frequently in Scripture individuals manage to convince one another that a situation is hopeless even though God sees it in a very different light. The spies whom Moses sent to Canaan are a classic example of how this negative “groupthink” occurs (Num 13). Even though God had promised that Israel would conquer Canaan (Num 13:1), ten of the twelve spies sent to investigate the land concluded that the obstacles to success were simply too great. We sense that these men, as brilliant as they were, used their intelligence to convince each other that the mission would be too difficult for them. In effect they talked themselves out of faith.

Smith goes on to describe the different ways, through relationships and consistent devotions, that we can develop a positive outlook about the challenges that life throws our way.

Thinking positively won’t magically solve your problems… but it does play an important role in motivating us to work to overcome them. If you’re faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge in your life, have you allowed criticism and negative thinking to convince you that the situation is hopeless? Or are you facing it with confidence befitting a child of God?

3 Responses to “Today’s devotional: overcoming life’s impossible challenges”

  • samuel says:

    Oh, God i thank you that am going to the university on 4th August, though it seems impossible to others, but me and You, all things are possible through Jesus Christ who loved me

  • Martisha says:

    God, you are awesome and I will always trust you no matter what it looks like. You always win and with you I am victorious!

    • Taylor says:

      Lord thank you for all u have blessed me with. Please help me to have a positive attitude throughout my day because I know that through you all things are possible. Thank you for coming into my heart lord. Amen