Life is filled with many challenges which at times become overwhelming. However, by sharing five tips based on biblical wisdom, a pastor declared that overcoming these is possible.
In an article on The Christian Post, which is an excerpt from his upcoming book "Overcoming When You Feel Overwhelmed: Five Steps to Surviving the Chaos of Life," Jentezen Franklin, New York Times bestselling author and senior pastor of the multicampus church Free Chapel, said that the Apostle Paul has already discussed this topic through his letters to the early Christians in the New Testament.
In the verses 1 Corinthians 9:24, 2 Timothy 4:7 and Hebrews 12:1-2, Franklin declared that the apostle compares the race of life to playing in the Olympics, claiming that Paul himself had lived through the time of this athletic event in the ancient days.
Overcoming the Overwhelming
Given the numerous societal issues and spiritual warfare that Christians are battling today, the minister shared five tips to overcome these.
First, mastering the craft.
As Solomon advises in Ecclesiastes 9:10 that a person must do everything his hands find to do "with all his might," Franklin said that believers must strive to be the best that they can be in everything they do. Like an Olympian who trains so hard in his sport in the sole aim of winning the top prize, Christians must strive as well to master their craft and be the best in their fields.
Next, striving to win.
Like the ancient Olympians, who trained to win the gold as it was the only definition of success at the time, the pastor said that Christians must "live with a winner's mentality."
"We must not be comfortable with less than winning. Put your heart and soul into the dreams God has called you to achieve and the lives He has entrusted you to reach. There's no trophy for participation here. Either you win or you don't. Go for the gold!" he pointed out.
Third, taking responsibility in their efforts.
Franklin said that believers must not depend on others in running in their spiritual races, just as the ancient Olympic Games never had team events and athletes only played with sports on individual level.
He added that as written in Romans 14:12, everyone will have to give an account to God for everything he did while on Earth in the Judgment Day. People will be judged according to their deeds and not based on what his parents or relatives did.
Fourth, not quitting.
Franklin revealed that in the ancient days, athletes who wanted to play in the Olympics were required to take a ten-month training before the competition. A month before the game, a preliminary training is held to determine the participants who could join the actual games. Once chosen, athletes are not allowed to quit anymore.
In such way, the minister urged the Christians to also persevere in running their own races, as Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7.
Finally, remembering those who are "cheering" for their success.
Just like the Olympic crowd that cheers for the athletes, Hebrews 12 speaks about the "great cloud of witnesses," cheering for a follower of Jesus in the race of life.
Continue Aiming for The Prize
Franklin added that the chapter also states about the Lord Jesus Christ standing at the "finish line" of life, sitting at His judgment seat to judge the person according to his deeds. Given this truth, the pastor encouraged the Christians to prepare themselves for that day.
In conclusion, he emphasized the significance of fighting for excellence in the race of life.
"It's time to stop settling for second best and get your eyes on the eternal prize. Instead of being fearful of or paralyzed by the knowledge of what will happen in the last days, remember that God is preparing you for this. Now is not the time to slow down, but the time to continue enduring and aim for the prize," Franklin declared.