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3 Keys to get through tough times in Business!
From my series "In it to Win It in Business"
In business, sometimes you find success right away and sometimes you don't. You are always looking forward to a successful business. No one wants to be in a business that is failing. Sometimes you feel like quitting because it is just too hard and as hard as you try, you are not finding the success you are looking for.
I am sure you can identify with how this feels. It is just discouraging.
I too have felt this way many times and the thing that has always helped me, is to remember this one main thing, “God is always in control.” All the time, he is in control. Sometimes he allows us to go through the dry times because it builds our faith and our character. It allows us to grow in our trust in the Lord. One of the things you have to realize is, when you are going through these things, it is going to be challenging, but you have to keep your head in the game. Yes, it is going to be hard to make that next step. That is just the way life is. There are many times in business when there are dry times. Success does not just happen and sometimes it does not happen right away. But then there are times when things are just moving and shaking. There are three key things to remember when we are going through a dry time. These three things are to, re-focus, re-assess (assess the situation you are going through) and also re-align ourselves. These three areas are essential and important for us to move forward.
Think on this, when you are driving through a dark tunnel and your car lights are dim, you cannot see well. You begin to search for some ray of light to guide you through. That is how it is when we are depressed or discouraged. We are just looking for a ray of hope, something that says, keep going. So, when we get into a dark place, we have to re-focus on the Lord. Re-focusing on the Lord, gets you back into focus on His power, his care, and his purpose for your life. When you are focused on your circumstances you forget that he is right there.
Once your eyes are on the Lord, he is able to bring you out of the situation with a clear focus, so you are able to move forward. I like to remember this scripture from Matthew 14:22, About Peter walking on water. When we are moving along in our element, being successful and doing great, we are “walking on water.” With our eyes on the Lord, we can do it. We do not see anything but Jesus and our mission, and we are just moving forward into the unknown.
Jesus told Peter to come on and go. Peter said, “Ok Lord, I am ready to go”. He did not see anything but Jesus and he thought he could do anything. This is our faith at times. It can be so strong, that nothing fazes us. However, on the flip side there are somethings that come along and knock us off our feet. Then you start to doubt, get afraid and limit your ability to move forward. When that happens, you feel like you are sinking as you start to doubt. We have to realize, it is not always going to be a walking on water experience. This is when you have to re-assess your circumstances. Sometimes the Lord allows us to go through these things so we can. Sometimes things move so fast, you do not have time to think. There are times I have gone through dry periods where the Lord wanted me to be still, because I would just be on auto-pilot. With the routines of the day, we are like robots. You see what is going on, but do you really see? You hear your kids talking to you, but do you really hear? Because, in your mind you've got dinner to cook or you've got to do this for this person , that for another person, and you are just going.
Sometimes the Lord might be speaking to you and you still do not hear because you are on auto-pilot.
God wants us to be hear now, because he is a here now God. He wants us to enjoy the journey. I know for me, it is like stop and smell the roses sometimes. Stop and smell the aroma of the coffee. Be here now, instead of always being in worker bee mode. It is so easy as women to get caught up in that worker bee mode where we have to get things done because we are multi-takers, all the time. Always trying to figure out how we can squeeze more into that day. I think as Christians we want to make sure we are always good stewards of our time. So that is the reason why we are always jamming it up with things. The Lord cannot say, I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing, we may think. However, it is important that we remember to be here now. That is the quality time we spend with our Lord and we might have a prayer life, go to church, do our bible studies and things like that, but God wants to have a walk with you relationship. So he can talk with you and give you understanding, give you joy, give you peace and give you a sound mind. The only way we can do that is to focus on it and to enjoy every experience and to discern it for what it is. Sometimes situations can come up that are not meant to discourage you but they are meant to encourage you. If you do not have the proper understanding you can miss your opportunity. You can miss a blessing. The knowledge of the holy is understanding. It is important we remember that.
Do you believe that God wants you to be successful in your business? It is to his glory, isn't it? Whatever we do for him, he gets the glory for that. We are doing it according to his purpose. We have to remember God is always working on our behalf, he goes before us, he makes the crooked ways straight. If one door closes, guess what, he has another one to go through over there. But the only way you are going to know what that is, is by keeping the focus on him. One thing I like to remember is that God wants you to find your true purpose. Sometimes opportunities come, but not all opportunities are your opportunities. Sometimes it could be the enemy trying to jam you up so you are not doing the work you are supposed to do. You have to be able to discern that.
Romans 8:28 talks about “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”. One of the key points is his purpose. Sometimes you may feel that God is calling you to this business but you wonder why it is not working, the doors are closing and you do not know why they are being shut. First of all, he says he opens doors that no man can shut and he also shuts them too. If you have knocked, sought and asked and the doors have not been opened to you, it is because it is not his purpose for you. That is where it comes back to re-focusing and realigning and asking the Lord; What is it that you want me to do? He knows the gifts he has given you and you know what he has given you, you know the passions and desires and the things you really like to do. Do you think that it is all for nothing? He gave it to you for a reason because it all goes together for his purpose and plan for your life. Sometimes you have to think about why are we in business? Are we in business just to make money or are we in business because we like the accolades and attention we receive from that business? What is our true motivation? That is a personal question you have to ask yourself. We want our motives to be pure. He looks at the motives of the heart. If it is all about "the money", you can chase money all day and never get it. It is fleeting. Easy come, easy go. What God gives you is lasting and it is well beyond riches. He gives you fulfillment, he gives you your purpose and who wouldn't like, to be fulfilled in their business? Knowing you have done something good for someone today. He said the greatest of us will be servants for all. Those that serve one another, those that love one another, those are the greatest. At the end of the day, he does not care how much money you make, Because he has promised to provide for your needs. The blessing of the Lord makes us rich and there is no sorry with it.
Where are you right now? Think about that. Are you sinking? Are you trying to climb back in the boat? Have you not gotten in the boat yet? Are you still waiting by the shore, saying hey Jesus come get me! We have to always reassess where we are at so we can go forward. It is very important. I like the fact when Jesus called his disciples and he said let us go to the other side. God wants to take us to that place, he does not want us to stay where we are at. It is all about moving forward. When Peter was in the boat and he told him to come out of the boat, the disciples were still in the boat. And I am sure he was edging them up saying come on, you can do it. When we feel discouraged and we feel like we cannot go forward and we do not want to go backward. You have to team up with like-minded people, people that are trying to serve God's purpose too, that have gone there, been there, done that, and guess what? They will encourage you. They will encourage you to move forward. Sometimes you just need a spotter, somebody to help you to keep focused, you can do it, move forward. Keep pointing you in the way of Jesus and being a cheerleader for you. Those are the people you want to surround yourself with because guess what, we all get tired. You go through that because as we live life. circumstances happen where we have to re-focus on Jesus and when we surround ourselves with people who are encouraging and keep us supported, that is what we are here for. To love one another. Especially women, we are relational, we need to be around each other and we need to encourage one another. It is important. A like-minded person will help you keep going with that. Amen.
Try to think about this, when you re-align your passions and gifting that God has given you, you will start to see opportunities. As I was doing the lesson this week, the Lord was really impressing on me the fact that sometimes it is good to take an inventory of the gifting he had. It is not too late to re-invent yourself. You always hear this term, 're-invent', but that is really finding out who you really are. You move your life from one year into another but God has really been trying to move you on to something else but maybe you have been too fearful, or you just did not recognize this. People may have told you all along that you are really good at something and you should think about using that gift, but you don't think so. Yet God gave that gift to you for a reason. It is important to say to the Lord, ‘you gave this to me, what do you want me to do with it, how can I bless someone with what you have given me? At any age, you can start again. You can re-focus on the things God has given you. There are people who start in their 50s and 60s. Sometimes God has to say enough, and shut the door on everything until you focus on him so he can take you to where you need to go. Everything he does is for you. We have one life on this earth and then there is eternity, so let’s try to do this right. Amen. Praise God.