Life is full of unexpected problems, obstacles and setbacks. Things don't always go as planned. To successfully overcome many of these difficulties, you must have resourcefulness — the fifth law of success! Youth 83 Editor-in-Chief Herbert W. Armstrong shows in his booklet, The Seven Laws Of Success, that definite laws govern true and lasting success in life. In this series of studies we're backing up that booklet with additional important and useful information that will, if applied, help you to be an outstanding success. We have covered the first four of these laws and learned how to apply them in our lives. They are: setting meaningful and worthwhile goals in life; preparing yourself to achieve them through study and training; doing your best to keep in good health; and driving yourself forward to accomplish your goals with enthusiasm and energy. Important as these laws are, they are not enough. You also need resourcefulness. But what exactly is resourcefulness? Why is it essential for success? How can you develop and apply it in your life? Before beginning this study, be sure to get your Bible, a pen or pencil and some paper. Reading and writing out the Bible verses in this study will help you to remember the important principles you'll be learning. 1. Can everyone expect to have problems in life? Job 5:7, 14:1. Did many heroes of the Bible face seemingly insurmountable problems and obstacles during their lives? Hebrews 11:32-38. The quest to reach our goals and to succeed in life will not always be easy. As with the men and women of God in ages past, we will encounter obstacles and problems. How you react to and deal with difficulties is crucial to your future success.
How would you solve the problem of finding the volume inside a light bulb? (Photo by Hal Finch)
To be successful, you must be able to make the right decisions and take the right courses of action to hurdle the obstacles that prevent you from accomplishing your goals. This often requires resourcefulness. Resourcefulness is the ability to deal promptly and effectively with difficulties. In an emergency, it's keeping calm, quickly assessing the situation and taking the right action. It often involves devising a creative, ingenious or unique solution. 2. Did David show resourcefulness when confronting the Philistine giant Goliath? I Samuel 17:4-11, 38-40, 48-49. King Saul and the Israelites were fearful, not knowing how to successfully respond to Goliath's challenge. When David learned of their plight, he did not panic. He kept calm and took decisive action! David knew he would have little chance of defeating the giant if he was burdened down with Saul's heavy armor. Besides, David had not been trained to use such armaments, and so the traditional method of fighting in armor would be totally unworkable. A new approach was needed. David decided to use his own tried and tested weapon — a sling. He boldly and courageously confronted the giant and slew him with one well-placed stone that sunk deep into his forehead. 3. Was David also resourceful in fleeing from King Saul, who viewed him as a rival to the throne and tried to kill him on numerous occasions? Read and summarize the following scriptures: I Samuel 23:19-29, especially verse 22, 24:1-22, 26:1-25. 4. Did David and his friend Jonathan devise a clever and ingenious method to communicate a message when direct communication was dangerous? Read and summarize I Samuel 20:1-42, noting especially verses 19-22. It required imagination, daring and resourcefulness for David to flee from the king of a mighty nation and to remain hidden from an army combing the countryside in search of him. Each time Saul was about to capture him, David used his wits to escape the life-threatening crisis. A resourceful person thinks his way through, over or around the obstacles or difficulties that block his path. If one method doesn't work, he tries another. A resourceful person is fully alert and aware of his environment and thinking about what is occurring around him. He will accomplish what needs to be done — by strategy, skill or a new approach. He is alert to other possibilities and realizes that usually several solutions exist. The American inventor Thomas Edison is said to have once asked a mathematician to calculate the cubic capacity or volume of a light bulb. The mathematician measured the bulb, calculated its curvature and pondered his data. Mr. Edison returned and saw him still poring over his data. "Haven't you finished that yet?" Mr. Edison asked. "Here, let me show you how to do it." Mr. Edison then took the bulb, filled it to the brim with water, and poured it into a square basin. It took him only a few minutes to find the answer. To be resourceful, we must think and be observant, for often a solution can be staring us in the face, but we don't notice it! 5. How did Jesus Christ, the most resourceful person who ever lived, display this important trait when answering the cunning questions of His enemies? Luke 20:20-26, John 8:3-11. Whenever the Pharisees and other religious leaders sought to trap Christ in His words, He would successfully turn the tables on them. He would use their clever questions to His advantage, often to illustrate an important spiritual principle or truth. 6. Did Christ resourcefully overcome even the most severe temptations? Matthew 4:1-11. Did He allow any obstacle to keep Him from reentering the Family of God? John 17:4-5. Christ ingeniously answered Satan's clever challenges by quoting the appropriate scriptures. He successfully overcame all obstacles and finished the work that His Father sent Him to do. 7. When faced with a difficult problem, is it wise to avoid jumping to conclusions — to refrain from making rash decisions? Notice the principle in Proverbs 21:5. Take the available time to carefully analyze the situation and get the facts. A hasty solution could end up not working because you have not really understood the facts pertinent to the problem. 8. Is it advisable to seek expert advice about how to handle a crisis or emergency? Proverbs 11:14. There is an old saying that "two heads are better than one." Advice and assistance from others — especially from your parents, teachers and experts in a particular field are often of great help in solving a problem or overcoming an obstacle blocking your path. A competent adviser can often steer us in the right direction by giving us idea s we would not think of ourselves. 9. Is it also important to seek God's inspiration, as well as direct intervention, in overcoming difficulties and problems? Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 50:15, II Chronicles 14:9-13. No matter how intelligent, alert or resourceful a person may be, he or she still needs God's help to be truly successful. The real-life heroes of the Bible were not only resourceful, they also relied on God to help them surmount the sometimes humanly insurmountable obstacles they faced. 10. Is there any need to fear or panic when faced with difficulties, if one is striving to do God's will? Isaiah 41:10, Proverbs 11:8, Psalms 34:17-19, 46:1. 11. Will God give us, if we ask, the wisdom we need to make the right decisions in resourcefully overcoming any obstacle in our path? James 1:5-7, Proverbs 2:6. No matter how urgent the crisis or how bleak the situation may appear, if we are doing our best to please God, He will show us the way out. Ask God daily to give you the ability to resourcefully solve the problems you encounter in life!