Discover and Become Everything God has Created You to Be!
In life there will be times when we feel like we have gotten the wind knocked out of us. It is going to feel like we are being kicked while we are already down on the ground. It will seem like there is no joy in the present and no hope for the future. The question is, how will we live in the midst of such circumstances? Some may say there is only one way to live when all of that is happening to a person – just survive and hold on until things get better.
The Bible, however, is full of stories of courageous men and women who despite their circumstances lived lives of excellence and greatness regardless of what their circumstances looked like. Just like how a scuba diver is unaffected by the lack of oxygen in the water around him, many individuals throughout the Bible and throughout history discovered a way to live victoriously - in control of their own thoughts, words, and happiness even when everything around them seemed out of control and quite unhappy. Many of us at some point in our lives allowed our thoughts, words, responses, and personal happiness be dictated to us by what was happening around us. Maybe some of you are still living this way. There comes a day, however, when we come across an individual that inspires courage and hope; he or she teaches us and models for us the amazing ability of the human mind to be in control of what is thought and said. We begin to believe and understand that we do not have to dwell upon a thought simply because it entered our mind. Nor do we have to be a chameleon and simply blend in with our circumstances (i.e. if my circumstances are miserable then I guess I need to be miserable too!)
We live this way maybe because we think that is what others expect of us. Subconsciously we may be saying to oursevles, "If someone knew what I was going through, then of course they would expect me to be discouraged, depressed, and defeated." This is simply not true, though. We hear stories all the time of people experiencing tragedy but in the midst of that tragedy they remain optimistic, cheerful, and hopeful for the future. Again, this is possible because although we cannot always choose what is happening around us or to us, we can choose the thoughts that we continually dwell upon, we can choose the words that proceed from our mouths, and we can choose our overall disposition.
One of my favorite persons in the Bible who personified this is Joseph. Joseph came up with the short end of the stick on several occasions. He was plotted against, sold into slavery, falsely accused, wrongfully imprisoned, and forgotten about by someone who promised to help him. Just when things seemed like they could not get any worse in Joseph’s life, they did – and not just once, but several times. But how did he respond? How was his daily performance affected by his eroding circumstances? It seems like the worse things got, the better he became. It seems as Joseph’s circumstances became more and more terrible, he only became more and more incredible. As his situation deteriorated and plummeted further and further, he only rose higher and higher to each new occasion, consistently taking the higher road in all of his dealings.
How was Joseph able to do this? The whole world seemed to be against Joseph at times, but he lived with the character and the demeanor of a champion. Joseph was not affected by outward appearances and circumstances because he knew God was in control and that at the end of day God had the final say in his life. Despite what others may have said or done to him, God was the one writing the history book for all mankind. Nothing could happen to Joseph and nothing can happen to you that is apart from God’s knowledge or ability to intervene. God is not surprised by what happens to His people. He orchestrates our circumstances. He does not allow anything to be done in vain. He promises to use everything that happens to us for our good and for the advancement of our lives in the future. Others may intend to harm us, but God will use those situations and circumstances to help us. Others may try to push us backwards, but God uses those circumstances to catapult us forward. The darker our past and our present may seem, is all the more reason to get excited about how bright our future will become.
So be strong, stay focused, keep your eyes on Jesus, listen for His voice, and know that the dry seasons of your life are preparing you for the glorious Spring and Summer seasons when amazing things will sprout forth from your life. Allow God to use this time to develop Godliness, character, and perseverance so you can run your race with endurance and excellence for all the days of your life. God has not abandoned or forgotten you. On the contrary, He loves you so much that He is training and equipping you for the amazing future that He has so graciously and perfectly prepared for you.
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Becoming A Champion
Leading Small Groups
Additional Teachings & Videos
Biblical Financial Freedom
The Existence of God
God's Amazing Grace
Why Jesus Came to Earth
Love is the Greatest
Make Room for Greater Things
Making Disciples & Leading Small Groups
The Mercy of God
The Names & Titles of God
The Peace of God
Prayer - A Biblical Outline
Proverbs - The Benefits of Wisdom
Spiritual Identity & Destiny
You're the Salt of the Earth