When You Are Backed into a Corner

When my children were little I told them about a trap I built when I was a kid to catch rabbits. So to illustrate how it worked, I built a trap to show the kids how to catch a rabbit. First thing the next morning we checked the trap hoping to find a rabbit. But to our surprise, we didn’t snag a rabbit but a possum. The closer we got to the trap the more the cornered possum would hiss and show his sharp teeth. He was cornered and ready to attack.

How do your respond when you are backed into a corner?

I have often said, “When a person is backed into the corner they will either come out swinging or they will display the grace of God.” I think too often we display behavior and attitudes that are more like a carnal believer than like the Savior we follow. There is a thin line between properly defending yourself and displaying a quiet and calm spirit.

Speaking of responding with Grace, the late Roy Hession said it better than anyone I know. He said;
“Every person who crosses us, every person who discourages us, is God’s way of breaking us. It creates a deeper channel in us for the life of Christ. The only life that pleases God is His life, never our life. Our self-centered life is the exact opposite of His. We can never be filled with His life unless we are prepared for God to bring our life constantly to death.” (Calvary’s Road)

How we respond when pressed reveals our level of brokenness and maturity. All of us have occasional weak moments, but regularly challenging those who disrespect us is an indication that we may be walking in the flesh.

Living in a contemporary world that is constantly more hostile and intolerant of believers, our flesh is constantly challenged. The moment we say to the Lord, “I want to live for you, obey you and become all that you want me to be,” the Lord begins the work of breaking us. He allows circumstances to come our way that will reveal who and what we are trusting in, other than Him.

Peter is an example of the typical “on fire and committed’ believer. He very boldly declared that he was willing to go to the mat defending His Lord. But the Lord knew what was inside of him and knew that only failure and challenge would reveal Peter’s self-centeredness. He knew if Peter was going to be a successful apostle his dependence upon the flesh would have to be exposed.

The Death Process
It is called a death process. When Jesus declared that we must take up our cross and follow Him, He wasn’t speaking of us dying on the cross. He was referring to a spiritual death process that only the cross could produce. “For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus sake, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal body.” (2 Cor. 4:11)

It is only through various trials, failures, and sometimes suffering, that we experience the death process. These events and incidences are designed to show us our self-sufficiency and expose our hypocrisy. It’s a stripping from us all that we are holding onto for security and worth. Then we are given the privilege to surrender and abandon our own life and exchange it for Christ’s life and sufficiency.

Bottom Line
During every test and trial responding with Grace is our goal. When we respond with Grace we are acknowledging whatever is going on, it’s OK. God in control, and we choose with an act of our will to trust Him. But when we acknowledge that “every person who crosses us, every person who discourages us, is God’s way of breaking us”, then we will realize that God is at work in our life to “create a deeper channel in us for the life of Christ.”


Have you ever heard the saying, “Adversity makes you stronger?” We would all agree that the statement on some level has validity. However, our real-life experience teaches us that adversity often leaves us confused, angry, hurt or depressed. Depending on the level and intensity, adversity often puts us in a weakened and vulnerable position. We are weakened because we don’t know what to do next and vulnerable because we often have a sense of desperation.

I believe the Lord has a purpose for us experiencing adversity. Here are three things to consider.

It’s about perspective
Adversity in and of itself has no value. The value to us lies in our perspective. We basically have two choices when adversity comes. One is a perspective of doom that keeps us in a confused, angry, hurt and depressed stage, or a perspective of hope that will allow the Lord to teach us a life lesson that will indelibly mark our life to the good.

The first step to getting out the “adversity funk” is to decide to change your perspective. Instead of living in an overwhelmed mode, decide to get up, dust yourself off and be intentional about discovering a good side to the situation.

It’s About Being Positive
Immerse yourself in positivity. I don’t mean the touchy-feely kind of emotion. But I am referring to the faith kind of positivity. You can be genuinely positive because you have the promises of God’s word to give you hope. Whatever situation you are facing God promises that He is “able to do exceeding, abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:29) In other words, there is no situation too hard for God.

It’s Time to stop talking and start listening
I had a good friend who had a bad habit of finishing my sentences. When I would engage in a conversation with him he would inevitably finish my sentences for me. He thought he knew where I was going in the conversation, so he would attempt to complete my thoughts. But most of the time he was wrong. He had terrible listening skills. I would often think, if he would just be quiet and listen we could make a decision.

Sometimes we are just like that with God. Because we so strongly believe in consistent prayer, we sometimes don’t take time to be quiet and develop spiritual listen skills. Once we bring our case to God, we are to leave it there, then rest and listen.

Bottom Line
God wants us is to fully trust Him through our adversity. When we worry, that’s a sign of a lack of trust. Taking things into our own hands is an indication that we know better than God.

When we face adversity, our perspective should be to look for God in the midst. He is there, but we must look for Him. Then we are to display a positive attitude based on the promises of God. The promises are for us, and they are based on absolute truth. Then we are to be intentional about listening for His voice. He promises us, “call upon on me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you know not. “

The proper response to adversity is God’s way of deepening our fellowship, teaching us valuable lessons and building our character.

Believing God


“He that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarded of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

The above verse pretty much sums up the Christian life.  All God asks of us is that we believe Him, trust Him in every situation, even when the outlook is grim.

We see this principle played out throughout the Scripture.  When Jesus was teaching the 5000 in the countryside the disciples wanted to send them home to eat. Jesus wanted them to look to him and trust him in the situation. Jesus then miraculously multiplied the fish and feed the whole crowd with leftovers.

When Lazarus died the disciples and Lazarus’s sisters wondered why He didn’t come sooner.  But Jesus wanted them to trust Him even though it meant the death of Lazarus.  Jesus then proceeded to raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus wanted them to trust in Him, even in the face of death.

Enoch is probably one of the greatest examples of trusting God.   The Scripture says, “By faith Enoch was translated.”  Because of his faith and trust in God he didn’t even have to die, God just took him up to heaven.  Enoch trusted God and he had no Bible, no songbook, and no teacher, no indwelling Holy Spirit but yet he trusted and believed God.  We have all those things but find it difficult to trust Him when we are in difficult times.

There are benefits when we choose by an act of our will to trust God.  Listed below are three benefits for you to consider.

  1. God will control our lives.  For the believer who chooses to go it on his own will soon realize his life is spinning out of control. That’s when Satan steps in and attempts to manipulate and gain a foothold in our life.   Faith says I can’t do it on my own, apart from Him I can do nothing.  To allow God to control our lives we must surrender our rights and expectations and trust every area of our life to His control.
  2. We can live in the light.  The world is searching for meaning and significance. They are groping in the dark looking for something to make sense of their life.  When decide to trust God, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God will provide light and understanding.
  3. The walk of faith and trust protects us from our enemies.  The Scripture says in Isaiah 54:17 the “No weapon formed against us shall prosper.”  The Hebrew in this verse indicates that “No plan, no instrument of destruction, no satanic artillery shall push you or run over you, but it will be done away with.”

Certainly there are many more benefits of trusting and walking with God.  I would like to encourage you to take a personal inventory to determine if you are trusting God in every area of your life.   If not, acknowledge your lack of trust and then determine with God’s help to trust Him in everything.

Faith ends where worry begins, and worry ends where faith begins.–George Mueller