May 04, 2020 19 min read

Everyone that aims at mastery must strive for it. There is always a price to pay or a cross to carry for a crown. To have a victory one must fight a battle. In this article, I have provided 16 Survival Strategies that one can adopt to outlive the troubles of life.

1. Knowledge - To have knowledge is to be aware of something. When you understand that there is a great battle or war that is on for "the man that is born of a woman", you'll sure prepare or arm yourself for it. Your knowledge of the battle tells you that it is not a joke, but a battle of life or survival. For the believer and follower of Christ, the Child of God, the battle is two-faced. One is the battle of life; the other is the battle to make it to heaven at last.

Every average human is on a sustained battle or struggle for life. Life itself is a struggle. The Word of God says that man is born unto "troubles" (Job 5:7; 14:1; Ecclesiastes 2:22-23). As a consequence or punishment for disobedience to God's Word, humanity through Adam was subjected to a life-long battle or struggle to eat or survive (Genesis 3:16-19). Man has to labor, struggle, exert energy, and sweat for sustenance or survival on earth. The casting down of the devils to earth and their wicked activities joined to compound the things that man has to battle or weather through to survive. These last days have witnessed all intensification of the battle for the survival of man. Today, one has a lot to battle or struggle with to survive or continue to exist on earth - circumstances, fellow human beings, and the unseen wicked forces (Ephesians 6:12).

It should be noted that many have been "slain" or "maimed" in this battle, both the battle of life and that of going to heaven. Without knowledge, every preparation of man for whatever battle is futile. A careful look at the wayside of life will reveal to one either the carcasses of those slain in the battle or the "maimed" that are waiting for death. At the time of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan land of promise, many could not make it. They could not contend with the various forces that confronted them on the way, including "unbelief', and so their carcasses littered in the wilderness. It is still so in our time. Many who could not contend with forces that confront them in life or on their way to heaven have had their carcasses littered either here on this earth or in hell.

2. The Battle Is Winnable - Notwithstanding the fierceness or intensity of the war or battle we are into, the truth we must know and believe is that it can be won. There have been people, who fought life battles when they were faced or confronted by the same, and they won. They did not only survive, they "lived" or enjoyed life till their time was up. In the case of the battle to make it to heaven, there are those who fought it before us and made it to heaven and are there now enjoying the bliss of heaven and the presence and glory of the Lord (Cons. 2 Timothy 4:6-8; Hebrews 12:1-3; Luke 16:20,25). Many people, men, and women have fought and won various things that confronted them in life. And if they did, we too can. It only takes developing the right mind, attitude, and strategies.

3. Belief In And Determination For Victory - The beginning of survival or winning the battle of life is the belief that one can survive or make it no matter the situation, and the determination to do so at all costs. Apostle Paul's belief in the winning of the race to heaven made him determine to do so at all costs (Philippians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 9:26-27). That belief and determination were his driving force to work hard and to endure all he had to race. And with that, he could say, shortly before his death, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith, henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness..." (2 Timothy 4:6-8). He did not allow anything that confronted him to deter, hinder, or move him because he was determined to make it. Determination is the quality of being committed to doing or achieving something without any intention to fail. The statement or confession of the determined is always, "I must", "I can", "I will". The knowledge of the fact that somebody had won or survived the struggle or battle before helps to build "belief" and "determination" in a person to face the struggle or battle. If we can believe that we will survive or win the battle of life we will surely make it.

4. Faith In God - As we believe and determine that we can survive or win that battle of life, in the face of al the oppositions, we will need to have implicit faith or trust in God with whom "all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). We must believe or trust in Him and have Him always on our side or with us. This will mean that we must always do "those things that please Him" (John 8:29; 1 Peter. 3:10-13). And with God on our side, nothing shall be impossible for us - every battle must be won. Let us have faith in God to face or fight the battle before us.

5. Willingness And Readiness To Do Anything Legitimate - If we must survive in life, eat, have basic necessities of life, and become what we should, we must be willing and ready to do anything legitimate. We must look for "Whatever our hands find to do" and get into doing it "With all our might". The wisdom of God says, "In all labor there is profit". There are too many profitable things we can get into doing with the intellect and strength God has blessed us with and which may require little or no money to begin. All it takes is our willingness and readiness. Some of those profitable things may appear common, mean, or shameful to some people. This is where self-crucifixion or mortification of pride and ego will come in. Those who are bent on survival in life are always "deaf" and "blind" to how people see them and what they say. But those who bother about such things never make it. If we must survive the battle of life, we must be willing and ready to remove shame or pride from our lives (Mark 8:38). With our God-given strength and intellect and any little amount of money we may have or can get from friends, etc., (where the money is required), we can always start something. There are too many things people can do to survive or live that does not require a lot of money and yet can yield great dividends.

When we are willing and ready to do or engage in any legitimate thing, job, trade, etc., we must surely survive or live. God is always ready to bless and proper such, especially if there is faith in Him by those involved. But if any person will want to preserve his/her pride, shame, ego, personality, or dignity while desiring or dreaming to survive or make it in life, let the one know that "The talk of the lips will only tend to penury" (Proverbs 14:23 ). One wonders the type of pride, ego, or dignity a hungry, needy, and poor person seeks to preserve that should not make him engage himself into a gainful business to live.

6. Diligence - Diligence is another thing that is very relevant to or necessary for our survival in this battle of life. It means no other thing than to "Do it with your might". Diligence is "steady effort or careful hard work". It is not enough to be willing and ready to do anything legitimate to live or survive; one must be diligent in that.

If people must patronize our goods or services, we must make such goods and services to be to their taste, attractive and satisfactory. We must see that such goods or services are ready when and where the people (customers) need them. And also we must be available in the place of work of business when people need us. Most businessmen and women work towards killing their own businesses or work by not being diligent. When this happens, you see them pointing accusing fingers, blaming the devil, witches, and wizards, their "uncles", etc., for the failure. They begin to run after 'prayer people' or market deliverers to stage magic for their return back to business. But prayer without diligently working to succeed is equal to failure. We must know that there is time for everything. We must not sacrifice the time for a particular thing for another.

The Bible says that if you are diligent and careful about whatever you do, you will stand before kings and not ordinary people. No matter how small your 'labor", business or work is, there must be profit in it if only there is diligence - hard-work and carefulness. Whatever we feel or see that we can do to earn living or to survive, let us do it diligently, that is, with all our might, carefully and very well. Also, those in academics, Gospel ministry, etc., must apply diligence in whatever they do if they must succeed or make it. It should be noted that although it appears that our emphasis was on surviving in life or winning the battle of life, the strategies or principles adduced or suggested are equally relevant to the battle of making it to heaven.

7. Persistence - Injunctions and testimonies on importunity or persistence abound in the Holy Scriptures. If we must survive or make it in life or to heaven; we must not easily give up. We must be persistent people. In everything or battle, one is engaged in, there must be challenges and intimidations, but with courage and persistence, victory or success is always sure: most people in Bible times would not have made it if they had given up hope. They made it because they persisted. There is always a trial moment or a 'dry season' in every business or thing one is into. But at the end of the trial or 'dry season' is always a testimony or 'rainy season'. But if one becomes intimidated, frightened or discouraged by the events of the trial or dry season and backs out, then the person will not get to the rainy season or have a testimony. All those who have made it to championship or victory in life or anything never had it easy at the beginning or early stage. There were challenges or intimidations, but they continued. They persisted and along the line, they got to where they were going or got what they were looking for. Anything is possible with determination, faith in God; hardworking/carefulness (diligence), and persistence. Let us employ them, and we shall survive or make it in life.

8. Patience - Patience is another virtue, principle, attitude, or strategy that is very necessary for those who must survive or make it both in life and to heaven. It is always those who are patient that obtain the promise of God. Patient people always scale through trial periods or dry seasons and get to victory or to the rainy season. It is the patient farmer that gets to the time of harvest and enjoys the fruits of his/her labor. It takes patience to be persistent. The reason is that it is not every labor or business we engage in that begins immediately to yield our desired dividends. We must then apply the virtue of patience and some endurance to be able to persist until we get to the "rainy season" or where the "rabbit" is. Many who lack patience have made "haste" in what they were into and could not get to the rainy season of their business. They jumped into another thing and continued to jump until they become "Jack of all trades and master of none"; "rolling stones that gather no moss". With that, they become frustrated, discouraged, and finally defeated or maimed in the battle of life. We need to be patient in whatever we do. Let us remember that patience is the ability to accept delay, suffering without complaining.

9. Contentment - Contentment is another virtue or strategy that will be of great help to us if we must live, survive, or make it in life or to heaven. Contentment means to be or feel satisfied with what one has, not over-stretching or enlarging his/her desire or appetite beyond the ability or resources. Contentment means cutting your coat according to your size. It means to live within your means. The Lord seriously warned His people against covetousness but encouraged them to be content or contented with what they have. This will save them from "hurtful lusts" that can pierce the soul. If we must not steal, fall into some other temptations; we must learn to cut our coats according to our sizes. We must learn to live within and not above our means. We must learn how to manage the little we have to sustain ourselves and those with us. We must know that these are hard times and every person is struggling to survive. No one is finding it rosy, except those that are following or making it through the fast ways or cutting corners. The bottom line here is, let us adopt the virtue of contentment, living within our means and being happy and praising God in it while expecting a better tomorrow. Many have gone into sin, died before their times, and gone to hell because they lacked contentment.

10. Prudence - Prudence is an act of showing carefulness or thoughtfulness for the future. The simpler way to explain prudence is, being careful with what one has at present or at hand to take care of the future or tomorrow. It means managing today's surplus for tomorrow's scarcity. When there was surplus harvest in Egypt, at the time Joseph was Prime Minister, the Egyptians stored part of the surplus food they had in times of plenty, to survive at the time of perceived future famine, and it helped them. The ant uses the summer or dry season when it has clement weather, to prepare for the winter or rainy season, when it cannot freely crawl about, so as to still live or survive in the rainy season (Proverbs 6:6-8). And God says we should go to it (ant) and learn its diligence and prudence.

Many people waste their "rainy season", without storing some "rains" only to suffer and lament in the dry season. In the time of plenty or surplus, they forget future scarcity, consume everything and waste some, only to cry, lament or begin to look at people in a time of scarcity. If we must survive, no matter what the times or seasons are, or what the times present, we must be prudent people. We must avoid wastage and extravagance in spending or eating. Let us be people who eat only when we are hungry and not as a law (it must be three times a day). Let us be people who buy things or do things that are absolutely necessary and not because others have or did it. God hates wastage or extravagance. Moses was very wroth with Israelites who gathered more manna than they could eat and left it overnight only for it to spoil and become wasted (Exodus 16:16-20). Remember, each time you waste money or food, it will affect tomorrow or someone somewhere and somehow. Let us be prudent in every area of our lives, it will help us and help others.

11. Temperance - Temperance is listed among the fruits of the Spirit of God in the life of His children and among the things we must add to our faith in order not to be barren or unfruitful (2 Peter 1:5,6). The question then is, what is temperance, and how does it affect survival in life? Temperance is the practice of controlling and restraining one's behavior. It is the same thing as being temperate, disciplined, or self-controlled. In the Bible, Paul observed that "every man that strives for the mastery (championship) (to win or survive victoriously), is temperate in all things". He said that he himself employed temperance in his life and ministry in order to make it to heaven, and not to be a cast-away after he would have preached to others. He kept his body - his taste, appetite, or fleshly urges under control. He did not give the body whatever is demanded because he knew that it was not everything that his body desired or demanded that he could afford or that was lawful or expedient (1 Corinthians 6:12-13; 9:25-29; 10:23).

It takes temperance (self-control/discipline) to survive or make it in life or to heaven in the times in which we are. The reason is that it is not everything that our bodies are attracted to/desired that we can afford. And it is not all such that are lawful, expedient, or edifying. There are things we may be attracted to but which we cannot afford by our strength or resources. There are such that may be unlawful either before God or by the laws of the land. Some may even be lawful but may not be expedient or edifying. If we must then do without such things, temperance will become a necessity. With the increasing iniquity, moral decadence with the associated indecent dressing among women, wild display of wealth by some, etc., it will take temperance for one to stand, not falling into the temptation to sin. When we prayerfully cultivate the virtue of temperance in our lives, it will help us a lot.

12. Caution - This is another strategy or principle that those who desire to survive or make it in life must have and practice. Many have gone to their grave earlier than schedule or failed to make it to heaven though they entered the race or road to the place, all because they lacked the virtue, practice, or exercise of caution.

Caution is being careful to avoid danger or mistake. The times in which we are, are those foretold by the Scriptures as later/last days in which perilous things and people would abound (2 Timothy 3:1). Perilous is from the word, Peril (danger). Perilous means are dangerous or troublesome. All around us are Perils, dangerous things, dangerous people, and dangerous spirits. If any person desires and wants to survive or make it to heaven, the one must be a vigilant, watchful, and careful person. We must not trust everything and every person. We must look before we leap. We may have to choose the longer route than to follow the shorter route that may end us up either in the early grave or hellfire. It is better to take a longer route and get to where one is going than to take a short-cut (route) and never reach.

The wise person will always choose the route that has fewer risks, especially spiritual risks. Jesus said, "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36-37). You may not be making it monetarily in the place where you are, but you may be making it spiritually - that is where God is with you (Emmanuel). To be cautious includes to be spiritually sensitive to be able to perceive the prompting or warning of God's Spirit who knows and sees more than we do and can guide us into safety and progress or against danger (Cons. Romans 8:14 and Acts 20:22-23). Once again, if we must survive or make it, we need Temperance and Caution.

13. Being Loveable - To survive or make it in life, people must have need of another's help, support, or assistance, one way or another. The scriptures recognize it and advised on it (Romans 15:1-3; Galatians 6:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Acts 20:35). The truth is that it takes "brotherly" or human love for people to help, assist or support those in need (1 John 3:16-17; James 2:15-16; John 15:12-13). Survival requires that people must be willing and ready to help, assist or support one another, especially the less privileged, the disabled; the weak; the poor; etc., and to do so, love is required.

Love is required to do good, yet observation has shown or revealed that it is sometimes motivated. There are human beings that are easily loved by all. This makes people be easily willing and ready to help, assist, or support such. They readily attract people's sympathy, compassion, and attention. When such lovable people are into trouble, danger, problems, or need, almost everybody will be concerned and willing to help, assist or support (Acts 9:36-40; 14:19-20; Luke 7:2-5). On the other hand, we find the "unloveable" the "not-easy-to-be loved by people." These are people who others find difficult or struggle to love. This difficulty or struggle to love them affects people's willingness and readiness to help, assist, or support such people in their times of danger, need, or trouble. Their case may be obviously begging for help, support or assistance, yet help, assistance, or support may not be forthcoming from people, because the love that moves people to act towards them is not easily manifesting. Examples of this abound, and we are aware of it.

People's lifestyle, character, behavior, or attitudes can make them either lovable (easily loved) by others or "unlovable" - difficult or not easy to be loved. There are people whose characters, behaviors, lifestyles, or attitudes endear them to people or attract them to people and there are those whose lifestyle, characters, behaviors or attitudes put off or repel others. These are people that have bad testimonies or reports among the people with whom they live or stay. When people find it difficult to love a person they will also find it difficult to help, assist, or support him/her in times of need or danger/trouble. In such a situation, even though God commands and expects people to bear the burdens of such people, help, assist or support them as we have seen above, that commandment and expectation of God will become a difficult one to be obeyed towards such fellows.

This is not to be an excuse for anyone to hate any person or fail to help, assist, or support them because of their lifestyle, character, attitude, etc. I have only stated an existing fact to motivate all to avoid acts, characters, etc., that can make them "unlovable", or make others struggle to love, help, assist and support them in times of need, such as we are. There are some of us that have relations, friends, etc., that could have been of great help, assistance, or support to them in life, but their lifestyles, characters, behaviors, or attitudes have put such people off from them.

14. Prayerfulness - If we employ all the survival or winning principles/strategies discussed in this series without being prayerful men, women, boys, girls, businessmen/women, we may still not survive or make it in life. If we must make it through God in life, we must add prayerfulness to all our strategies for survival (Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Philippians 4:6; 1Peter 5:7). It is a prayer that attracts God to us and our situations.

Faith in God is expressed through prayer, among other ways. Some of the virtue or principles discussed in this article are achievable only by the grace or enablement of God. And no matter how we labor in anything we lay our hands upon to survive if God does not give the increase we only labor in vain. Similarly, no matter how cautious, vigilant, watchful, and careful we maybe if the Lord does not watch over us, it will all be in vain (Psalm 127:1).

No person who desires to survive or make it in life or to heaven, as a Child of God, can afford to be a prayerless person or be weak, casual, or formal in prayer. We must be ready to, among other things, take up and wield the weapon and instrument of prayer (Ephesians 6:11-13, 18). Prayer will bring to us the grace, strength, and intervention we need from God to face the challenges of life and going to heaven. So we must be willing and ready to pray always and that with FAITH, for a faithless prayer is as good as no prayer. Having heard or known all these things, happy will you be if you apply them (John 13:17).

15. Being And Remaining A Child Of God - Being and remaining God's child at all times, in all places and in every situation one finds himself or herself is what God demands. Through Adam or by creation we became God's Children (Luke 3:38; Malachi 2:10; Acts 17:28-29). Through sin, we lost the identity and became Children or offspring of the devil (1 John 3:8; John 8:44). By repentance from sin and faith in Jesus as "the only begotten Son of God" and our Savior, we regain Sonship of God (John 1:12-13; I John 5:1).

However, remaining a child of God at all times, in all situations and in every place one finds himself or herself, is one of the ways to survive or escape the perils of the times, place, and the world in which we find ourselves. The way to do so is stated in the scriptures (2 Timothy 2:19; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Isaiah 52:11). It is to touch no unclean thing; to avoid sin in all its ramifications; to remain God-fearing and God-loving; not joining the ungodly in their ungodly ways and practices, not depreciating in faith in Christ as the only Saviour and Lord, not depreciating in God's faithfulness and ability and not depreciating in God's Word. It is to remain zealous towards the things of God, including His service and support of His programs, in times, places and situations we find ourselves. To remain God's child includes remaining trusting in Him and prayerful too. And it means to be a follower of "that which is good" (1 Peter. 3:13).

16. Your Work Being Acknowledged And Known By God - The Scriptures tell us that the Lord knows and cares for His own children always, even in famine or perilous times and places. In every place, time and situation He knows them that are His. His eyes are always upon them, no matter where they are and what is happening. He also knows how to deliver them from temptations or danger to protect them and provide for them their needs (Cons. 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 Peter 3:12-13; 2 Peter 29; 2 Cor. 1:9-10).

The good work that you do helps to draw god's attention to you whenever you are in need. Elijah was a man who did not suffer lack in the time of famine in the land of Israel (1 Kings 17:1-16). His work before God distinguished him and helped to sustain him, even when others are crying for help. The time in which we live now are times of intense economic distress and time of various forms of perils (dangers), spiritually, physically, sociologically, etc. (Cons. 2 Timothy 3:1-5; I Timothy 4:1-2). The circumstances of our countries appear to be assuming a worse or alarming proportion. Example, the present global economic meltdown, harsh economic policies and measures of the government that are taking great tolls on the masses; the activities of armed robbers, terrorists, ritual killers, kidnappers, rapists and the like, which continue to send many to eternity earlier than divinely scheduled or ordained; series of sundry accidents on the roads, in the air, sea, homes and other places with scores of people left either dead or maimed. All these have made the times and places we find ourselves "Perilous"{dangerous). Yet our work for or before God has the ability to offer us a solution and distinguish us from the rest of the people.

When the Lord brought judgments upon the land and people of Egypt, He knew them that was His and found a way to protect and preserve them. No matter how perilous or difficult time or place may be, the Lord knows His own and knows how to deliver, protect, and provide for them. When it seems that there are no ways of escape or survival, the Lord suddenly provides an escape route, a solution, or a way for His children. Nothing can happen to or harm His own child, except that which He allows (Lamentation 3:37; 1 Peter 3:13; Romans 8:31), and He knows how to make a difference between His children and others. Finally, seeing that the Lord knows them who are His, no matter the place, time or situation and that He will always have a way to keep, protect, deliver and provide for them, the conclusion is that we should strive to remain His own at all times, in every place and any situation. With that, we need not fear what is happening or not happening.



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