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. I can attest to this..it was my 4th time studying genesis, but this time every lesson was so alive to my circumstances, until I faced sudden death of my spouse..
    It was holding a high view of God’s promises, and His word that held me in perfect unimaginable control.. this is the word He deposited in my spirit all thru’ MY WILL IS GOOD AND PERFECT.. BELIEVE..!

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  2. God certainly can transform all things and changes my thinking, renewing my mind and makes me grow more Christlike. What a Mighty God we serve!!
    Matthew 26:37-39 moves me in a profound way every time I reflect on the agony of my Lord and Saviour at Gethsemane. Oh, what great obedience to the Father and LOVE so deeply unfathomable!
    Thank you LORD!! You are worthy of all honour and glory!!

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  3. Thank You Terri,

    For post with such beautiful thought ” “Facing Life’s Challenges with a High View of God,”
    I am deeply moved by this inspiring thought .

    God Bless you

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  4. Lord we thank you for Terri and choosing her to serve you. Strengthen her in these difficult times keep her securely on the path you have her on . Lord we thank you for BSF and making Your word available to all who long for the truth.

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  5. As a widow, who best childhood/ lifelong friend died only 2 weeks before my precious husband, I have experienced tremendous and life altering grief. My faith has never wavered but my desire to go forward without them has. COVID and a life threatening condition along with hip replace surgery has knocked the wind out of this once very active and vibrant 72 year old gal. I have drawn closer to the Father through long hours in the Word, through prayer and through connecting with other believers. I have yet to regain my zest for living and this troubles me. I will wait patiently because I know how my story ends, but the last three years have been so difficult. Your article will be saved and reread often. Thank you for sharing! tt

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  6. Thank you for reminding us of what God represents to us as believers! Because of who God is we as believers can overcome any situation life presents us. God’s death on the cross, his grace and mercy provides a way for us to become new creatures in Christ. As you stated we don’t have to be bond by our past! Praise God!

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  7. Such a great reminder of who God is and holding on to this as we weather the storms of life. Thank you Terri.

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  8. Thanks for reminding us of the greatness of our God.

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    • Amen Monica!

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  9. I Need to shift from me to Him, because only He is sovereign and good and powerful and all knowing!

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  10. Thank you Terri! this is indeed encouraging. Thanks for opening my eyes to the fact that to keep my focus on God know matter the situation, is to know Him as the truth, faithful and sovereign Lord who is the creator and sustainer of His creation and is in control.

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  11. To God be the glory!

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  12. Thank you for your words of faith and hope. They put a smile on my face and peace in my heart.

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    • “Peace in my heart …” Such a wonderful gift!

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  13. Thanks for sharing! Enjoyed the post!

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  14. Thanks for sharing! The studies of BSF have taught me how God works through even the most dysfunctional families, there is hope for all of us!

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    • Gayle, that is so true. I can’t wait for Matthew! God used that study in a wonderful way in my own family. His Word is so precious

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  15. Dear Mrs. Burroughs
    I want to thank you for your message of hope and encouraging guidance. I have been involved in BSF as a leader from 2004, and in leadership since 2005. We immigrated to Canada from SA in 2003 and God gave me BSF to guide and teach and encourage me. Thank you again for helping me focus on our Almighty Holy God that is truly holding everything together. I needed this focus this morning again.

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    • Linky, thank you for your service in leadership! Thankful for the many faithful men and women He has called into BSF

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  16. TY Terri! Life has turned me inside out these past three years. I have been angry, hurt, devastated, near giving up & in terrible grief. Your article really hit home as to how powerless I am w/o walking w/God. Trusting Him when the times have been almost too hard to handle has become my only way to keep hope alive. I am getting ready to begin Christian counseling. Your article (sent to me by my BSF going sister, really hits home. I want to be like Mike & Mary & believe my way to carrying on in the midst of whatever trashed or grief, darkness or light envelops me! TY fir your sensitive, simple yet profound article.

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    • Dear Susan, thank you so much for sharing! Praying for you as you begin counseling. Asking our Heavenly Father to go before and sit beside. Thankful for you!

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  17. Profound
    My view of God will help me remain resilient.

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  18. Thanks Terri, I was truly blessed from reading your blog.

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  19. Thank you, Terri! Your article is inspiring and beautifully written. Copying and placing in my Bible.

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  20. I find this to be remarkably helpful…..clear and very well done. Thank you!

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  21. Thank You! I just finished a summer study on the Armor of God!! We have to be Amored up all the time to overcome Evil! Ephesians 6:12-20.

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  22. Thank you Terri for sharing the high view of God. Yes, Yes and Amen, God is Faithful.

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  23. Thank you, Terri for this straight forward and practical devotion. It was a balm to my soul.

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  24. This blog beautifully defines an unnamed connection I have felt all my life. How simple to say I have confidence in God, but how profound to see the blessings that flow out of that precious connection. Thank you for the profound explanation of confidence in scripture and application in our lives.

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  25. I am so thankful for gifted writers that speak clearly and truthfully. So thankful for BSF and these posts. Thank you.

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    • Thanks for sharing Mike & Mary’s testimony. It is so encouraging to me. I am looking forward to getting there

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      • Mildred, I too pray for faith and focus like Mike and Mary

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  26. Thank you for giving me this perspective at this moment of time. Wrestling with some decisions and not seeing the bigger picture. So grateful that the God we serve is not only cognizant of issues we face but cares beyond measure. We are blessed to be a part of HIStory.

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  27. Before has transformed my thinking about God. Given me a new energy to serve as God is not looking for perfect people, He is perfecting those who are willing to serve.

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  28. Thank you for the encouraging and inspring words.

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  29. Hi Terri! Really enjoyed your article, I’m studying Job right now and find his attitude towards his difficulties are in line with what you’ve shared! Keep that sweet smile and enthusiastic personality that is sure to rub off on others! Betty Carr BSF DW Fayetteville NC, Donna Wiggs TL! I don’t expect you to remember me you meet so many people!

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  30. Re: Blog
    Terri, Thank you for your spiritual insight in your Blog !! I read it on a day when my mind was ‘overly busy’. ( I’m sure it was the enemy’s attempt to distract me from the word). However, reading and repeating aloud; ” GOD is my confidence” helped so much for reassurance that HIS help is always there (24-7) to “weather my storm” !!
    With sincere appreciation and Blessings, Marion

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  31. Thank you so much for sending this article. Even though a Christian for many years and going through Genesis this year, we need to be reminded constantly of God’s care while going through trials. There is nothing in this life that we cannot face knowing that God is sovereign over all our affairs. God continue to bless BSF.

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  32. Thank you for your Godly perspective. It is what we all need.

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  33. Thank you for these inspiring and encouraging words! As a new D-OT, I hope to keep more of Him in my eyesight and less of me. BSF is so blessed to have you as part of the board if directors, steering the ship. Thank you!

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  34. I just studied Tamar and how this Canaanite woman learned about the God of Israel; when she was married to Judah’s son ER.

    She was faithful thru such tribulation bUT Judah was saved by her testimony and met his half brother in Egypt. What a revelation !

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  35. Praise be to GOD for this testimony thats so needed during this pandemic when so many people we know are dying. May the LORD use Terri’s story to strengthen us all and renew our hope in a FATHER who loves us more than we will ever know.

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