Facing Life’s Challenges with a High View of God

By Terri Burroughs – BSF Board Member

What a year to study the book of Genesis! I saw God’s hand in every chapter as the world around me faced one crisis after another. We all know people who are still suffering, burdened by loss or struggling in their physical, mental or emotional health.  

This past year, I watched my dear friend Mike say goodbye to his wife Mary after a prolonged illness. Gripped by grief and loss, this couple spent her final days on earth  encouraging others toward the goal of Christ. They were determined to use every minute of her life for God’s glory.  

As we worked our way through Genesis, I asked myself, “How do people like Mike and Mary come through the crises of life with a sense of peace, hope, and joy?” I’m not talking about stoicism or optimism, but those who confront the brutal facts of their reality without surrendering to defeat.  

Digging into God’s Word

Take Joseph. How did he survive his brothers’ betrayal and go on to thrive despite the many years of enslavement and unjust imprisonment? 

What was at the root of Abraham’s willingness to leave everything familiar to him? Or his readiness to sacrifice Isaac at God’s command? 

What caused Job in the midst of life’s deepest loss to declare of God: “Though he slay me, yet I will trust in Him”? (Job 13:15) 

Have you ever wondered why Peter got out of the boat when Jesus said “come,” even though it made no sense? (Matthew 14:28-29) 

Are you humbled by our Lord Jesus Christ’s anguished choice to be obedient to God the Father even to the point of death? (Matthew 26:37-39) 

The The Profound, Yet Simple Answer 

In 2 Timothy 1:7-12, the apostle Paul described one of the characteristics these resilient people of God share.  

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. … I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

Paul had a high view of God.  The same high view as Abraham, Joseph, Job, Peter and my friends, Mike and Mary.   

So, if a high view of God enabled Abraham to pass the test and Paul to run the race victoriously, the question is, “How can you and I cultivate a view of God that enables us to stand firm and not be moved in impossible, exhausting, frustrating, hurtful and sometimes even dangerous situations?” 

This passage teaches that our view of God influences our perspective, helps us to embrace God’s purposes and anchors the hope we have in the person of God. 

As I learn from the people of God in my own life, their testimonies continually affirm these truths. Like the apostle, Paul they know the God in whom they believe. They recognize He alone is at the center of the universe.  

They know that while there is nothing wrong with the questions “Who am I?”  “What is my identity in Christ?” or “Why is this happening to me?” they must ask these questions within the context of “Who is God?” 

A high view of God is about getting the order right. It’s about guarding against the circumstances, situations, people, places, things, and attitudes that can diminish our view of God.  

When we believe and have confidence in God as the Creator and Sustainer of all, the Sovereign Lord of history, we shift our perspective from “me” to “He.” 

Shaping our Confidence

As we approach life with a high view of God, everything begins with the person of Almighty God. He is our confidence!  

Because God is sovereign and there is nothing outside of His will, we can trust that nothing is wasted in the lives of those in whom He reigns supreme.  

Because God knows and deeply cherishes us, we can stand boldly before His throne where we will always find mercy and grace.  

Because God is omnipresent, we can seek Him anywhere at any time. We never have to feel lonely.  

Because God is omniscient; and His thoughts and actions are perfectly informed by perfect knowledge, we can trust Him.  

Because God is the standard for what is good; and has given us a framework for living, we can approach life with clarity. We can act with integrity. We don’t have to react to the emotion or the circumstance. 

Because God can transform all things, you and I can change. We are not limited by our past and can grow to our potential. 

How can we walk through the disappointments, uncertainties, crises, and tragedies of life with a sense of hope, joy, peace, and confidence?  

For my friends Mike and Mary, the answer is knowing God, clinging to His truths and embracing His purposes. Personally, my hope is believing His promises and trusting in His goodness, sovereignty, and power.

Through the Father in Genesis, the Son in Matthew, and the enduring gift of the Holy Spirit we find a firm foundation; an anchor to weather any storm.  

Terri Burroughs

BSF Board Member – Former Banking Executive

Terri Burroughs has been involved with BSF since 2007 where she served as an Administrative Leader, Group Leader and Teaching Leader for the Raleigh/Cary Evening Women’s Class; and as Area Advisor for BSF classes in Eastern N.C. and Myrtle Beach, S.C. In addition, Terri has served on the Global Advisory Council for BSF and worked with the Headquarters Training Team and BSF Leaders from around the world. In 2020 Terri joined the BSF Board of Directors.

Terri spent more than 20 years as a banking executive where she led business operations, human resources, and learning and development teams. She has been recognized for her work in developing and implementing performance improvement initiatives among diverse work groups and has consulted with corporations in measuring the return-on-investment (ROI) of these types of initiatives. Her work in this area has been featured in industry publications. She has also served on the Board of Visitors for UNC-Children’s Hospital.

Terri and her husband Terrence are active in their church. Their daughter Mattie is engaged to be married.

 

161 Comments

  1. God’s timing is always right on time. I was just asking God for His strength. Thank you for allowing God to use you to share His message. I’m in a spiritual battle and I know the battle is the Lord’s. The insecurities, uncertainties, and questions I have had. God holds me. I learned this this past year. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is faithful. Praise God in Jesus’ Holy Name!!! He wants me to trust in His enduring faithful love. God bless you in Jesus’ Holy Name.

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  2. Thank you Terri for mentoring encouragement and love. It’s been very difficult not knowing, not seeing, not touching my family for over a year, but God kept us all alive, except the special one He wanted(my aunt). Just so thankful and grateful for hope, patience and forgiveness. God never fails!

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  3. Terri, Thank you for reminding us who we are in Christ Jesus! Not our strength, but His enabling! Not our will, but His will be done! Not our peace, but His! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!

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  4. Amen! I have been encouraged by Terri’s blog. I am empowered to study and abide in the word of God more.

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  5. God bless you Terri for sharing! 🙏💕

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  6. Loved this blog Terri! Always a joy to revisit the attributes of the awesome, active, living God we serve! Looking forward to my 21st yr in BSF and continuing serving as a CL with His children! God bless you and thank you for your work and leadership in BSF!

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  7. Amen… Praise God our Lord and Savior for the encouraging Word. Having a high view of God! Well say. Blessings to you Terri B. and thank you. What a great question, “ So, if a high view of God enabled Abraham to pass the test and Paul to run the race victoriously, the question is, “How can you and I cultivate a view of God that enables us to stand firm and not be moved in impossible, exhausting, frustrating, hurtful and sometimes even dangerous situations?” I intend you use this question as a conversation starter to encourage others. Blessings

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  8. I really enjoyed the blog this morning. I really needed encouragement as I am going through some health issues.I truly enjoyed studying Genesis also and I too could see God’s hand in every chapter. Thank you for the great reminder The Almighty God is our confidence. Please pray for me as I will be undergoing more testing to find out why my stomach continues to make too much acid.

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  9. “How? A high view of God!” Worship music and singing is such a powerful way God has turned my attention back on him and who he is in the hard times. Thank you for sharing the powerful truth of turning “me to He”.

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  10. To God be the glory for the truth we receive through His word even setting us free in the seasons we experience in this life and for the power to believe in His Son through the help of His Holy Spirit. Shalom

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  11. Very encouraging. Thank you for the reminder that because God is, because God knows and because God can, everything will be alright.

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  12. Thank you, Terri for sharing Truth and encouragement!
    Smithfield, NC – EW

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  13. Amen! Thank you Terri for this fruitful encouragement! I needed this, its was so enlightening for me and self reflecting; a great reminder of Who God is & to keep a high view of in ALL circumstances! Im keeping my eye on the prize my loving, omniscient, omnipotent, (and so much more) God in heaven ! This reading came at the right time for me. Thank you!!

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  14. Thank you so much for the encouragement. I found Genesis to be a painful book to study but I faithfully pushed on. After finishing the study I was feeling lonely and asking myself what will I do this summer thinking I would take a break and then BSF provided some summer studies. I am beginning my third study and am reminded that what I need each day is to know God more, done with asking him to remove this and that from my life. I can’t begin to even thank all of the people involved in the ministry.✝️🙏

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  15. Thank you Terry, one’s view of God determines how you live your life and react to different life circumstances. Having God as one’s anchor brings hope, patience and a sense of peace.

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  16. Great article and reminder for us to stand firm and to separate ourselves from the world. Especially in this last year with the toxic environments that surround us. It’s hard to keep our heads above water when faced with what the world calls our social “norms” that we see on TV or in daily living. Or even in family settings when the people we love most take a step towards what the world loves and a step away from our loving God. But I believe by the Grace of God and studying His word, He will help us navigate through these environments and lead us to live the life He wants for us. I am so thankful for BSF and the great leaders and am looking forward to studying Matthew this year.

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  17. Your encouragement is well taken and I will continue to believe that which cannot be seen or heard but which is readily accessible. All it takes is the faith that we have been so deliberately given to understand despite our own weakness.

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  18. Thanks for allowing me to see again that God is sovereign. God’s sovereignty was the overall theme I learned from the study of Genesis. God is in control; always has been and alway will be. I will trust in my God, my Lord and Savior, Jesus and the Holy Spirit that guides me daily.

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  19. This is insightful and edifying particularly for those that are struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. God is still on the Throne of mercy.

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  20. Thank you dear Terri and the BSF team for sharing this vital but true information. Yes, indeed, our God is an awe-inspiring God. He uses anyone (including me) for His vessel’s of honor. I am so grateful He selected me with no oral and written interview questions requirements before joining His vineyard to teach. What a privilege I have in Him.

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  21. Am truly inspired by this. Be blessed

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  22. Thank you Terri. Indeed just knowing and acknowledging who God is is precious. My husband of 38 years passed on. It was sudden and painful. But in the pain and loss I am comforted as I remember all that God is and know that ZZ believed in His Creator. I don’t fully understand but I God is real.

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  23. What an encouragement! Because He is Sovereign, we can fully rest knowing that He is working all things for our good! Jesus Christ, our very firm foundation!!

    “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭28:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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  24. Thank you! This is what I needed.

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  25. Me changing into HE through THE FATHER, SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT is wonderful thougt. Thankyou sis.

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  26. I really enjoyed this Blog! Thank you for taking the time to write such an excellent piece, which is inspiring for me and glorifies God. What a beautiful child of God you are, Terri, reflecting His wisdom and love for us!

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  27. Great message ! Thank you so much Terri …☺️

    “Because God can transform all things, you and I can change. We are not limited by our past and can grow to our potential. “

    Praise the Lord !🙏🏻

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  28. Thank you for the encouraging word. I desire to cultivate a high view of God in everything

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  29. Every time we see people suffering drastic circumstances we all question our Lord-WHY? We question our own understanding. Our new minister from Joplin, Missouri said that watching the relief efforts after the Joplin tornado 15 years ago caused him to always trust God more. Resolving to take the high road as Jesus wants us to is truly living in Christ as an example to others.

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  30. These precious thoughts and words are just what I needed to read just now. I’m shifting my focus from what causes me anxiety to God who has me firmly in His grip. Thank you!

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  31. I am so encouraged by the statement , “ A high view of God is about getting the order right “.I must guard against circumstances and things that might diminish my view of God.
    Thank you for the reminder Terri

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  32. Marvelous study! I love it. Love Him!
    Thank you.

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  33. Thank you for reminding me of the attributes of God. I realized I have been very ‘me’ focused lately leading to feelings of anxiety and unrest. It’s time to refocus on God and His people. Good bless you and your precious family. Thank you for what you’re doing to further His Kingdom.

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  34. Thank you for sharing.

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  35. Thank you and Amen!!

    Reply

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