Howard Hendricks, professor from Dallas Seminary, told a story. One Sunday morning, a pastor asked one of his congregants how she was doing. She replied, “Well, okay. I guess under the circumstances.” He asked her, “What are you doing under there?”

Once I became a follower of Christ, God allowed the one thing in my life that I never, ever in a million years thought He would allow. It was this one trial, hardship that He used to enable me to live above and not under my circumstances.

How about you? What has God allowed into your life that you don’t understand? Is it a betrayal, divorce, adultery, addiction, a prodigal, financial hardship, sickness? Whatever it is, God promises if we love Him, He will use it for our good and His glory even if we can’t see or understand what He’s doing. (Romans 8:28)

I want to share with you four things that God showed me from His Word that enabled me to live above my circumstances.

1) Recognize the reality of our own sin and the sin of others against us.

We live in a very broken world. In relationships we will sin against others, and they will sin against us. This can be a very painful reality, but God does not want to leave us there. He has given us Himself as the help we need to over come the pain of being sinned against and the pain that our own sin causes. (Romans 3:23, Psa 147:3, Psa 107:20)

2) Be responsible for your own feelings and how to process them through the grid of God’s Word with His help.

We need to stop blaming and start accepting that we can trust God in each and every situation we find ourselves in, even if it’s not our fault. God will enable you to forgive those who have hurt you. (Matt 7:3-5, 1 Pet 2:23)

3) Respond to the life God has given you.

Own your life. Pursue God. Trust God knows what He’s doing in your life because He loves you. God will be faithful to sustain you as He promised. (Phil 2:12-13)

4) Realize it is the power of God, as you live in relationship with Him, that enables you and empowers you to live above your circumstances.

These four steps are the “how” to be empowered to live for God and be filled with the joy of God in spite of hardship. Life is hard, broken and messy, but God didn’t leave us there. He came. He lived a sinless life. He died on a cross as a sacrifice for the sins of all. He was buried and rose again to resurrected life. He offers us the free gift of salvation. He empowers us through His Holy Spirit the ability to live our life through His resurrection power. (Eph 3:20, 2 Cor 9:8, Rom 4:21)
Will you let Him have every hurt, every misunderstanding, every unanswered prayer and allow Him to enable you to live on the heights.

He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on the mountains heights.
Psalm 18:33