The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah…
(From The Climb sung by Miley Cyrus)
So are you ready for “The Climb”? Apparently Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana is, because obviously in her vast and expansive 16+ years of life, she has picked up that our time here on earth is much more than just a vanity fair.
And I’m guessing you have too, right? I’m not sure at what point it hits us, but over the course of time we realize that we have challenges and difficulties to overcome, and oftentimes it feels like we are scratching and clawing our way over a 14,000 foot massive peak.
Have you ever done any serious climbing? I’ve had the privilege of living in Colorado my entire life, and with 54 or so mountains that are 14K and above, we know about the climb.
As I listen to Miley Cyrus’ song and watch the video, I realize that there are some incredible similarities between climbing a real mountain and overcoming life’s difficulties. So if you would indulge someone who has reached some of the highest peaks in the nation and also had my share of battles with life, I’d like to offer a strategy that can make your climb a success every time.
First and foremost, you must know what kind of mountain you are dealing with. Underestimating the elevation, terrain, and wildcard factors will trash your attempt and leave you discouraged.
So what kind of ‘mountain’ are you facing right now?
- A stack of broken relationships and a heap of loneliness?
- A giant hill of habits and addictions that make you feel like you are literally chained to pain?
- A loss, a setback, a disappointment that seems impossible to get past?
- A massive pile of bitterness that robs any hope of joy and happiness in the future?
Secondly, remember that whatever your situation, know this…any mountain can be successfully climbed if you have three things.
- A companion
- The right equipment
Of course everyone is struggling with mountains in their lives, but for the Christian, the climb gets a whole lot easier.
Because we have a permanent companion:
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
This is a promise from Jesus that He has already climbed every possible mountain, therefore you can find courage in the fact that He knows the exact path to overcome our struggles. There is no hurt, disappointment, betrayal, or loss that you will go through that He hasn’t already experienced - and that’s the kind of companion you need!
And the right equipment? God has outfitted us with spiritual armor that no struggle on earth can break through. Check out this gear:
Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out (Ephesians 6:13-18, The Message).
Finally, remember that you can take on the climb with complete confidence. Here’s the way Jesus describes it:
I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move. Nothing would be impossible (John 17:20).
This is where you can find limitless confidence. Have faith and believe that whatever mountain you are facing, with your companion and equipment, you will reach the summit and experience views of the world that make it worth all the blood, sweat, and tears.
MileyHannah? I have to agree, those are the moments you’ll remember most.
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
At any given point in time, you have friends that are struggling with their mountains. This week, take some time to find out what’s really going on with them, and take the opportunity to share this Soul Fuel. For those who don’t have a relationship with Christ, share the gospel and encourage them to trust in Jesus as their only hope of salvation so they can make “The Climb” of life!
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
Lane Palmer serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.