“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”/ Genesis 2:15-17
Got to spend some time with my buddy Troy in the Word yesterday preparing for a Bible study. It was probably like 15 minutes in and we were both just sitting there jaw dropped just completely mind blown at the truths we were seeing about God in His Word. I guess the main reason we were so taken back is thinking about the times we don’t spend in God’s Word. Even sending these messages daily, a lot of days I’m just picking verses that fit my life not opening up God’s Word and seeing what life-giving truth He has for me. After actually opening up His Word and digging into it, I highly recommend that route! After a couple of hours we both left strengthened, sharper, and just daggum excited about life and the LIFE God has given us! I make that challenge to you to dig into God’s Word because I know how easy it is not to and what life is like without that truth so I encourage you to dig in and I ask you to continue encouraging me to do the same. That’s what we’re here for, to encourage and push each other forward in life and closer to the Lord.
We were digging into the Gospel to share over the next couple of weeks at our Bible study that foundation story of Good News that God has given us to build our lives on. Like I said, we can both admit that spending time in the Word isn’t something we do well so we both kind of looked at each other, thinking, “the Gospel, where do we even begin?” For such an important truth in our lives, the story of Jesus Christ that gave us life and life eternally, wouldn’t you think if it’s something you’re going to build your life off of or claim yourself as a follower of Jesus, then you should probably know every piece and every root to the Gospel that you so strongly believe right? Yeah, well me and Troy learned quickly yesterday that we’ve spent so much time claiming and thinking our life was founded on the Gospel but soon found out that there is so much more to it this beautiful story than we could ever imagine. It’s pretty much like claiming to be an astronaut for NASA because I mean it sounds super cool when you tell people. They think you are the highly skilled space man who knows how to get to space and that obviously puts you in a another stratosphere when others here that. But, when you get strapped in to the driver’s seat of that space craft, do you even know how to drive it? Do you even know the first move to make in cranking that rocket up? Have you ever even been to space? It sounded cool and others may have thought more of you but this big time truth you claim to tell everyone and put as the foundation to your whole life and all your beliefs on, it’s easy to claim you’re an astronaut, it’s easy to claim you follow Jesus Christ, but in all honesty can you even drive the space ship of the Gospel that God has given you as a vehicle not just to carry you up to eternal life one day, but eternal and abundant life here and now? Pretty convicting truth.
We didn’t know where to start with the Gospel because we were astronauts with no clue how to drive the rocket, so we figured, “hey, let’s start at the beginning, in Genesis.” We noticed something really cool about God in these verses. In the context of these verses God had just created the earth, all the animals, every part of everything and created the first man, Adam. God being perfect and Holy, created man in perfection, He created us to be with Him and walk in perfect fellowship with Him. Think about that, God being the good God He is wanted nothing but good for His creation of man. Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden, another beautiful part of God’s perfect creation and when I say He walked in perfect fellowship with God, He literally physically walked and hung out with God in the Garden.
So in these verses we see God’s goodness, love, and grace on full display to the first man and what’s cool is that God still feels this way towards me and you today. He put Adam over taking care of the Garden and working in it. He gave him purpose in life and a chance to serve the God who created Him through serving the Garden as a caretaker. Then we see God tells Adam, ” You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;.” Now we see that God has given us purpose, He then gives us provision by giving access to eat of any tree in the Garden. And think about that for a second, God’s creation is perfect and the Garden was perfect, just imagine how good that fruit was that God provided Adam access to!!! It was probably a whole lot better than what we find at grocery stores these days. So in God’s immense love for man, He provides Adam and us with purpose in life, giving us direction to move in and the chance to serve. Then in God’s love we see Him give provision giving us everything we need to continue striving and serving out our purpose on this earth, and some super delicious fruit!!! It’s so cool looking at that God told Adam point blank the way to complete and abundant LIFE with God, He provided Adam with everything He needed to live this perfect life and walk in perfect fellowship with the awesome, perfect and powerful Creator. LIFE to the fullest.
God has provided us with the same Word of LIFE from Him, He’s given us everything we need to see how to walk out life in the fullest and highest of ways. He’s given us the keys to the space ship, He has shown us everything we need to know through His Word on how to drive that rocket into space and whip through the stars. He has given us EVERYTHING to lift us up BUT, then in verse 17 God mentions there’s one tree not to be eaten of. The tree of knowledge of good and evil. We see how God wants nothing but the best for us, He wants nothing more than for us to have life and life to the fullest and in His love He gives us the keys and instruction to LIFE.
I saw this at first, and you can easily think, well if God wanted the best for us and Him being the creator, why would He put this forbidden tree in the Garden that causes death? God didn’t create this tree as bad, but God being all-knowing and sovereign as He is, He knew that the serpent, Satan, who had resisted God many times before was there waiting to tempt Adam and Eve to resist God too by eating of the tree. This is such an awesome picture of God’s grace to us, He doesn’t hide His commands from us. He tells us point blank through His Word the way to life and encourages us to walk in it. And in His grace, God knowing about the upcoming meeting with Satan’s temptation, He gives Adam a warning not to eat of this tree. He tells Adam straight up that eating this tree will lead to death. How awesome is that? We serve a God who loves us so much that He doesn’t just tell us about the good life with Him but He warns us of the temptation and attacks ahead from the evil one. “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).” Satan brings sin and death into the world, he’ll do anything he can to entice us and tempt us to resist God and follow him instead. Satan is the “evil” part about the tree, he is the darkness that it talks about here in 1 John. “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).”
God created us with perfect fellowship with Him, He created us as perfect and good, to live with God who is completely and fully light. Eating of this tree would give Adam and Eve the knowledge of evil when all they knew was good because all they knew was God. God is light, perfect and holy, sin and darkness make it impossible to come before God in perfect fellowship because that darkness of sin separates us from God. It causes a division between us and God. We see God’s love and grace towards us so deeply in this passage and how powerful His Word is. His Word literally breathes life into me and you, points us in the direction of our perfect and loving Creator. His Word also warns us against the schemes from the evil one, Satan. God warns us because He doesn’t want us to experience sin, separation from Him and all the havoc that darkness brings into our lives. God wants nothing but good for me and you, He wants nothing but perfect fellowship with Him, a life to the fullest. I pray this elevates and brings you to a higher and mightier view of God and His loving and faithful relationship to us. I also hope this challenges you like it has me to dig into God’s Word to experience more of Him and the life He brings to us, but also prepare you for the temptations and attacks from the evil one.
What’s crazy is this is only the beginning of the story of the Gospel. The root of who we are and who God is, and also showing our need for Him. I highly recommend digging into God’s Word and not just say you’re a Christian. Actually find out what God has done, who He is and why this good news of the Gospel truly is soooo GOOD! It’s easy to claim to be an astronaut but can you even drive the rocket? Can you even get to space? Challenge your beliefs and challenge your faith. See what God has for you, after seeing this, you know it’s nothing but GOOD!!!
This is a God Gold message that I had sent out awhile back and after reading it today felt the need to wipe the dust off and get it out to you again. Lately, going through interviews and having to share my testimony with people, with each opportunity to express it to someone, I’ve been more blown away each time. Saying it out loud and sharing my story with someone of how I was once this sinner living in complete darkness, then God got involved. Brought me into view of Him in the most random and amazing of ways and ever since that first moment He walked in, the years with Him have been drastically different than the years without Him. Telling it once again today, I wanted to cry. So often I complain, worry, and am fearful of so many things in my life but when I look back for just a second at the work of God’s hand in my life, it just leaves me stunned. How? Why?
I don’t say that to say look at me, I say that to help bring light on your story, the story of how God has worked in your life. Your testimony is such a powerful tool to not only relate to and tell others who still don’t have a relationship with God about how awesome He is, also to look back for a second as a reminder of the seas He’s parted in your life. Moments when you thought your situation was impossible and God stepped in to show you with Him, there’s no reason to fear or worry because impossible and God don’t mix. Take some time and think about your story today and what God has done in your life. Maybe there is someone who needs to hear that same message of love and hope that changed your life. Maybe you need to hear it and be reminded of the amazing works God did in your life yesterday can happen once again because God is unchanging and eternal. He changed your life then and He more than capable to do it again. Spending some time thinking about what God has done brings confidence and peace for what He is doing now in your life. God is still writing your story and just think of what He’s already written?!! Who knows what awesomeness He’ll bring to the blank pages of your future!!! It’s truly amazing how powerful our testimony is. Not because of anything we’ve done but all because of what God has done. Like it says below, I still write these with the same purpose, “because I struggle just like all of us do and if there is anything, I can share from my walk to help someone get closer to the Lord then that’s stinkin awesome! The gift of eternity and having a relationship with the Lord is too big and awesome not to share!”
Share it with someone today or just share it with yourself! I love you and am extremely thankful to be able to share with you how awesome God is!!!!!
“(I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I know I use the example of my testimony a lot but it’s the one I know best lol. I’ve been on both sides. When I lived in the darkness, I had no regard for sin or many cares for the endgame. Being wrapped up in sin it led to going even farther down that road. I had a feeling of freedom. Freedom to continue doing whatever I wanted or made me feel good cause I wasn’t living for anything but myself. I was scared to know more about God because I knew I would have to make changes. Give up the things that my flesh enjoyed and stop living for myself. Turning around on the path and walking the other way towards God and away from sin, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but man is it worth it. The feeling of freedom is still there it’s just different. The first feeling was lonely, sad, and was leading me to a dead end. God’s freedom has made me more joyful, peaceful, hopeful, and more driven because the road leads to new life and eternity. I don’t have the weight of my sins keeping me down cause the weight has been lifted. I have the freedom to fight sin and travel closer to the Lord. Nothing I’ve done deserves this gift of life. I’m not trying to give the impression I’ve got it all figured out and I’m perfect with no sin in my life now cause I’m the farthest thing from that. I just finally realized God’s presence in my life and that walking towards Him is a tough walk because that means I have to walk away from all the “good times.” That’s why I send these messages because I struggle just like all of us do and if there is anything, I can share from my walk to help someone get closer to the Lord then that’s stinkin awesome! The gift of eternity and having a relationship with the Lord is too big and awesome not to share!”
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
So many times throughout God’s Word, we see this picture of humility being displayed in different people’s lives and the impact that humility brings not only to their own life but the HUGE Kingdom impact that was brought through their humble service for a God much bigger than themselves. On the other hand, we also see this picture of pride and selfishness being played out amongst these same men and women of faith from Old Testament to new. We see it first in Adam and Eve, being told specifically by God not to eat from the tree in the Garden. They were tempted by the serpent, Satan, “oh just try it out, no big deal, you deserve this apple.” Satan tempted them with lies and in their pride, elevating themselves above this holy and perfect God who created them, God gave them clear instructions on what not to do for their good but when they raised their position to equal or greater than God and listened to the lies instead of God’s truth, they fell. They fell and in their own pride resisted God causing a chain effect of sin and resisting God rooted in each person who’s walked this earth after them. Pride is at the root of every fall we see from man throughout the Bible. It’s pride that tells us lies about who we are in comparison with God and others and it’s pride that causes us to stumble into a life of no impact except fulfilling the selfish pleasures “I” desire.
So many times we hear Jesus talk about humility, serving with humility and giving us the biggest lesson of humble service by laying His life down on the cross. I mean wouldn’t you say that if humility wasn’t such a big deal then Jesus, being fully God and man, God in the flesh, at anytime He could have used His divine privileges in this world to reign supreme in power as King of this world, having anything He ever wanted. But instead this picture of humility was played out in every part of His life giving us the example as which to base our lives on.
Jesus’ example began at birth, instead of coming into this world in the biggest and coolest of ways. Think about it, if you’re God coming into the world wouldn’t you want to let everybody know you’re here. Riding in on clouds, a parade of angels following you in, using the stars as huge spotlights like an introduction into a basketball game. A band of angels playing some of Davids classic hits from Psalms, I mean seriously think of all the ways He could have came into this earth. It’s God, you’d think it’d be pretty hype but instead Jesus’ example began as that of a humble servant, being born in a barn literally surrounded by farm animals and all the great smells I’m sure came with them, no spotlight, no big parade to elevate Him above the world. He became a man, in a body of flesh, undergoing the same fleshly struggles and temptations that me and you endure so instead of Jesus showing us His Godliness He became like one of us, lowering His authority to the lowest level and took the form of a humble slave. Jesus knew what would be played out in the days to come but He remained humble under God’s plan and was obedient to see it through. He endured the death of a criminal, Jesus Christ charged as a criminal, hung on a cross beside criminals, dying a death that criminals deserved. But the thing is, His life was perfect in every way. Despite enduring temptation in every form from the serpent, Satan, He endured it and walked perfectly. He was obedient to God by putting Himself under God’s authority and even though He didn’t deserve the death He got, His humility spoke loudly once again, God in the flesh, laying His life down taking the death that WE deserved so we didn’t have to. He could’ve got out of it, He could’ve avoided it, but He endured it. He laid His life down before God and man and what happened next? The magnitude of His example and this act of service He displayed to me and you, it’s still giving life to the lifeless, giving freedom to people in bondage, the impact Jesus had on this world starting and ending with His humility has been changing the world and the lives in it ever since that first moment in the manger as a baby.
So I read this and thought oh yeah, be humble, serve others, yeah that’s what I need to do but it’s bigger than just some instructions to live a better or happier life. When looking at it in the lens of the Gospel, how humility has been the foundation of God’s plan since the beginning to fight against evil and pride. It changes everything we think we know. It’s not just something to do it’s who God made us to be. Jesus set the example on which to live from, putting ourselves aside and living as humble slaves to God, being obedient to His ultimate plan.
It’s crazy when you think about humility is mentioned so much throughout God’s Word and was mentioned so much by Jesus. In Jesus’ sermons and teachings, humility was always the first thing mentioned. When you look at His example you see humility before anything else. There’s a reason for that!! With humility as the foundation of our lives, we don’t place ourselves on the same or higher playing field than God. All that stuff mentioned at the beginning of the passage, those commands in which to live by, all are impossible to live without first coming to God in complete humility. Being obedient to God can only happen when our position is under His powerful authority. So often I see instruction like this and think I gotta do this or do that then I’ll be pleasing to God, nooo!!! Jesus died that death and took every spot of sin off our record with God so we’re already pleasing to God because of Jesus. Nothing we can do is going to change that. Our standing and identity with God is set in Jesus Christ, we are seen as righteous because of Jesus.
We don’t have to base our life and relationship with God off what we do because we’re good, Jesus has made us good with God, so what now? We give our lives to the One who gave His life for us. I’ve walked so many days of my life, even recently focused on me, my wants, my plans, me me me. It’s a life that holds back the fullness of joy and peace that God has given us. Our pride is our downfall, has been since the garden. So let’s lay entitlement, greed and pride aside, even when the world says “nah man that’s what’s it’s all about in this life.” The Serpent has just gotten louder over the years, Jesus example and truth tell us what this life is about. Humility. Our behavior, actions, decisions and the Kingdom impact that God works through our lives into others is all stemmed from humility. How we humble ourselves before God says everything about how we treat our fellow man, how we lay our lives aside, even below others and serve them, it all stems from our humility. To be truly great before God, be nothing. Humble is the foundation, everything God builds in our lives from then on out is off that foundation. When pride is the foundation, everything built is from our hands and it may seem nice for a minute but it doesn’t change lives, it doesn’t show people Jesus, it doesn’t give us freedom and victory over the struggles of this world. Only humility, and only Jesus can bring impact that lasts eternally. Humble is the example. Humble we go to God. What happens next through a life humbled before God? I don’t know but seeing the examples of the humble men and women of faith that came before us and wha God did through their lives when they laid their life down humbly before Him, I grantee it’ll be much better than anything we could come up with. Can’t wait to see what God is going to do through lives humbled before Him!!!! It’s going to be soooo awesome!!!!
Found this old God Gold today that I had sent out awhile back! As we begin our weeks today, I pray this changes the “ugh Monday” perspective and helps us all see the awesomeness and power of God we have in our lives with each moment. I know for me it begins in my thought life, I feel defeated before I even walk into what the week holds, the constant busyness, the work days, all of the to-do’s you’re drowning in that have to get done. When thinking about those things in our perspective and listening to the lies the devil plants in our heads, yeah, things can get tough. Anxiety, worries, depression, and the feeling of defeat all can run your life if your thoughts are focused solely on that.
But wait!!! Despite all the craziness and lies that are thrown at us, we don’t have to give in and give up. We serve a God who is too great, too powerful and too BIG to let our little problems keep us down any longer. Think and mediate on these verses today about God. Keep them in the forefront of your thought life and every time anything negative starts to creep in and you want to feel like the defeated victim. Remember what God says, He will strengthen you and help you through any situation, when you focus on God and who He is instead of your problems, you begin to see that the moments you aren’t focused on God is your biggest problem. No matter what you’re going through just know that God is right there with you, fighting for you, giving you His strength to draw from, He is providing and helping you in every way possible. He will uphold you, keep you lifted above the lies that you’re defeated, He will lift you up to living in complete victory! Don’t focus on your fear and problems this week, focus on God and what He is capable of doing in your life which is literally anything!!! It’s funny when your eyes move in focus to Him, our BIG BIG God, the little problems and stuff that we face where we usually feel defeated. Our belief and view of God being so big shrinks all that struggle and our behavior and actions are that of victory, love, peace, and joy!!! Sounds like a week with God and His powerful Word in sight is a whole lot better than any week could have! Keep this promise from God close today, hold tight to it and let it lift your eyes to Him!!!
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Just had a thought for ya today. I read this verse then this song came up on my way home from work and I was speechless. As a human, with all my little problems, bad habits, doubts, weaknesses, and sin, despite all of that fun stuff I’m just a creature who was created by the Great I AM! I have a relationship with God almighty. I’m a creature who is abundantly loved by such a faithful Creator. Whatever you have going on in your life, just think about that today, live in that, love in it, and share it with others who may not have realized it yet. I’ve never been so humbled and thankful to be able to send you the God Gold messages!
Hope everyone has a great Sunday! I’ll be honest, the pic of old Velma Lou has nothing to do with this message except she just puts a smile on my face every time I see her so hope she has the same affect on y’all! Love you!
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
7 My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
8 O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge. Interlude
9 Common people are as worthless as a puff of wind,
and the powerful are not what they appear to be.
If you weigh them on the scales,
together they are lighter than a breath of air.
This is a piece of Old Gold that I had sent out awhile back before heading off a mission trip to Rwanda. I was extremely young in my faith and had no idea what to expect or how God would use me. Learning this lesson helped a ton with this trip, putting serving and planting seed in a clearer perspective. This lesson is bigger than just opportunities like that, it’s an everyday lesson we can use in any area of our life. I’m excited to share it with you and I pray it can be an encouragement to you today!
Ecclesiastes 11:5-8/ “As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good. Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.”
Coming up on a mission trip in two days, my thoughts have been nothing but how can I serve these people the best, how can I bring a lot of people to Christ, how can I feel proud about what I’m doing? Those questions are just questions and in all reality, I will never know the answers. God works in such a mysterious way through the Holy Spirit and it’s not some game-plan or math problem we can figure out the answer to. All we can do is read and apply His Word, stay in strong prayer, and have faith that everything will work out according to His will which is basically sow your seed. What I tend to forget is when sowing seed and expect immediate growth. That’s like a farmer putting out seed then sitting in a lawn chair saying “okay I did my part now I better see a plant soon!” When the spirit is at work there’s no telling what is going to happen. Instead of only seeing a field yielding tons of crops, look back when that field was just a bunch of dirt, living in darkness. I used to be just dirt and I know I’m going to have a lot more days ahead of being just dirt no matter how much I want stuff to grow. If we are going to expect all the seeds we plant to grow we are going to be so disappointed because it’s up to God to allow the harvest. All we can do on our end is plant, rejoicing His name in the dirt and in the harvest. Don’t expect things of yourselves whether you are in the mission field, in the church, or just in your everyday life because we will never be satisfied in what we can produce. Continue having all your faith in what God produces, even when the field looks like just dirt, God is working through it with the power of the Holy Spirit for the most random and biggest harvest you’ve ever seen, and for the glory of His Kingdom.
“Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him. Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.“/John 4:27-35
These verses from John 4 come from the story about Jesus meeting the Woman at the Well. It’s a story that I have went back to time and time again in my short Christian life because there is so much to take away from it. Today, I was thinking about a situation that I’m going through where God was teaching me some awesome lessons then this example of Jesus hit me!!! I’m so excited to share this awesome Word with you today and I also highly recommend going back to read John 4 it it’s entirety, you won’t be disappointed.
The context of this story is that Jesus and His disciples are in the middle of His earthly ministry that only lasted a few years. They are on the road traveling to Galilee, I’m sure you can imagine, Jesus was a busy man. He had many people to see, miracles to preform, and down the road saving the world. It’s odd though because in verse 4 it says, “Now he had to go through Samaria.” So you’re probably thinking Samaria was on the way to Galilee and He had to cross through there to get to His destination but nope. Samaria was actually out of Jesus’ way, if He used a GPS it would tell Him this was a detour from His journey. If Jesus is in the middle of what was the most world changing ministry ever known, why would He take a detour. Notice in the verse that it says, “Now He had to go,” why did He have to go through Samaria? In verse 34 Jesus answers why He goes where He goes, the secret to why He does everything He does. “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” Jesus gets fed not from physical food but He lives and is fully filled by doing God’s Will.
Jesus’ example here is so so awesome! So often in my life I get caught up wanting to do what I want to do or dreaming about doing great things for God in the future. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, having vision for your future, but when I looked at his part of the story I was stunned that with what Jesus had ahead of Him and the short time He had to minister, why would He take detours to talk to a woman at the well. Not only that but the Samaritans were seen as the lowest of the low in Jews eyes. Jesus wasn’t operating out of anything but God’s will so instead of getting caught up in the awesome things God was going to use Him for down the road, Jesus was focused on following God’s will right then, each moment every second. Dreams and having vision for what’s to come is awesome, it helps us strive for more but sometimes it can be easy for us to get caught up in the future to the point we forget about what God wants to use us for in the present.
I have made this mistake more lately than ever so seeing Jesus’ example here is so convicting but also perspective shifting. I want to look to a better tomorrow where I’m doing all these awesome things and am this greater version of Jordan but in the meantime I lose focus on the right now. Jesus stops to talk to this woman at the well which turned out to be Him witnessing to her. A woman that had many husbands so she was basically a prostitute in this time, there’s so many things about why Jesus stopped to do this that doesn’t make any sense in our human eyes. It says the disciples came back from town where they were gathering food and supplies to find Jesus talking to this woman. They were “surprised” and probably thinking the same thing we are. Why? They ask Jesus if He wants some food which He probably needed but God’s will was too great to even stop to eat. God’s will filled Jesus like nothing of this earth could and God’s will was being played out right in front of them.
Remember Jesus stopped to talk to this Samaritan woman who was a prostitute and an enemy to the Jews. Jesus took this detour to Samaria when He didn’t have to but “he had to.” We sit here surprised thinking, “Jesus why? This makes no sense?” Although God’s will may not make sense to us horizontal thinking and seeing humans. Look at this. Jesus witnessed to this woman at the well telling her of the “living water” that she can have with Him, a water that never runs out but last eternally. The woman was so thrown off at first, when feeling convicted about who she was tried to change the direction of the conversation but Jesus kept speaking truth to her and her eyes were opened to see the beautiful message of the Gospel, to see the Savior right before her eyes. So she took off to town telling everyone! “I know this may sound crazy but you’ve got to see this man who knows everything about me, I know that sounds crazy too but He may be the Messiah.” So as crazy as Jesus’ actions have sounded, as crazy as they seemed to this woman at the well, and as crazy as it probably sounded to the people in the town, we begin to see the purpose God had behind it all. All these people come out of the town to see Jesus and looked what happens in verses 39-41,
“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.”
What looked so crazy was actually God’s will being fulfilled by Jesus. The disciples asked Him to eat because that actually makes sense but with the people coming Jesus tells them of what matters much more than filling ourselves with our hunger for things of this world. Doing the Will of God, that’s it. I sit here so much and try to make sense of God’s will, try to figure it out but God’s Will is simple. It may not make a lick of sense but just keep moving with Him through life and you will step into situations and opportunities that you could’ve never dreamed up on your own. It’s great to have great intentions for the future of what you’re going to do and who you are going to be but to live in God’s will, it’s not a “one day” thing, it’s attacking everything that God has placed in front of you with all you’ve got. Go to Samaria and take some detours from what makes sense, talk to the woman at the well, who cares if she’s looked down upon by everybody else or maybe a prostitute, tell her of why you’re there and the Living Water that she can have access to through Jesus Christ. Just don’t waste these precious opportunities that God has given you right now in front of you, there’s a reason you are where you are and no matter how bad you want to be that 5 years down the road version you’re dreaming of or doing some awesome work for God then. The path to get there to the person God wants you to be starts right now, attacking each moment with God right now. That’s how you get to what happens down the road, it’s doing the work of God and living in His will that makes dreams become reality. Good intentions are great but they won’t get the work done. They will just hold you back from the wild, awesome work God has set right in front of you. “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”/ John 4:35
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”/ James 1:22-25
Ran across these verses a couple of days ago and I felt convicted when I started typing out a message to you about not just hearing God’s Word but hearing then applying it. I applied this truth and MAN!!! I’m telling you, God’s Word has never been more real to me!! The reason I’m so excited is because there has been so many days where I send these messages and I am just plugging in verses that fit my experiences that day or verses that I know I can type a lot about. I bet you think since I send these everyday that I don’t have this problem but you’re definitely wrong. I struggle with this just as much as the next person. I just want to be honest here with you so that if this is something you struggle with then that’s okay but let’s dig into this awesome Word and see if we can move past glancing or hearing God’s Word. Let’s read it, chew on it, think about it intensely and try to squeeze every ounce of truth that God has for us out of it.
So does anyone do a daily devotion or set out some time in your day to, let’s say read your Bible for 10 minutes? I’m sure a lot of us do something along those lines but let’s ask this question and be honest with yourself. If someone came up to you at the end of the day and asked, “what did you read this morning?” Honestly, I know there’s a lot of days I answer that as a big fat IDK! Maybe you can remember exactly what you read, so this same person comes back to you and asks, “how did you apply it to your life?” UH OH!! Once again be honest with yourself and once again I sit here convicted because I have went so many days reading and picking up knowledge but that’s all it is. Just stuff swimming around in my brain. It’s convicting to think about all the time we waste in our precious lives, living in struggle mode and feeling defeated when God has given us His Word as instruction to help us on this journey. His Word helps us see Him in a bigger light and when we are walking in His light, things are much different than a life depended on what we have.
It’s so easy to glance right over Bible verses and speed through our “quiet times” everyday. We do it more to check off our Christian checklist than actually applying the lessons God gives us to learn through applying it. I’m preaching to myself on this so if your toes hurt from getting stepped on then good! That means we’re both learning something here that will really help us. With the easy thing to do being just reading the Word, then going about our day like nothing happened. We tell ourselves we’re good because we spent that time reading our Bibles and we can tell you all about it but does anything change in your life? Probably not. We walk through everyday with this checklist mentality and James says when we do this we are only fooling ourselves and honestly hurting ourselves. I thought about the days I used to have conditioning for basketball before basketball season started. The purpose of all this running was to get in shape and prepare ourselves for all the running we’d do when the actual games started. I also remember when one of our coaches had us do drills, he wasn’t too good at paying attention to everybody so we’d take any chance we could to not do the drill all the way. We’d get by with it without him ever knowing but do you think we were as ready as we could’ve been when the season came around? Nope! We thought we were helping ourselves by not having to run as much but in all honesty we were hurting ourselves.
It’s the same way with reading God’s Word. Knowledge is all good and well but knowledge without action is just knowledge. Sure you can recite some verses or answer some Bible trivia questions but how does that help prepare you for the season of life you’re living? It doesn’t. James is telling us here to not just glance at God’s Word but look deeply into it. It’s not just reading and closing the book or your Bible app, it’s looking intensely into what God is speaking to you. I prayed over these verses asking God to open my heart and mind to help me see what message He wanted me to see and how can it be applied to my life? I can’t remember the last time I did that and guess what! I saw this Word deeper than I’ve seen God’s Word speak to me in a long long time. I’ve spent so long trying to look the part and sneaking by doing the minimum, it was crazy the difference.
Just like basketball conditioning God gives us His Word to help us, to make us better, stronger and more equipped for anything life throws at us. How awesome is that? God gave us His Word on paper to help us? When you think about it like that in the truth of it it makes you wonder why we don’t strive for the maximum out of His Word. When we look deeply into God’s Word seeking desperately to find the message He has for us in each word and JUST DO IT! That’s where true knowledge comes from. True knowledge is tied to experience. To see God’s Word the in the biggest ways, JUST DO IT, and you’ll be amazed at what you see God do in your life. Then we begin to see why God left these scriptures for us, going out and applying God’s Word in your life, deeply believing it and acting on it, that’s where you see God’s Word is life that He breathes into us. Instead of being deceived by our “do enough” attitude, God shows us where we need to get better, and through that gives us the Word to grow, learn, and move forward in our lives past our struggles and whatever else comes our way. It’s God’s perfect Word that sets the believer free from all of the self-imposed limitations we put on ourselves by being only knowledgeable hearers.
That last part of verse 25, where it says “if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” It’s easy to look at that and think well if I just do enough then God will rain down some blessings on me. I guess that’s the religious checklist mentality coming back. It’s not do enough and God will bless you. The blessings that God brings to someone who hears and applies His truth to their lives is from what happens when applied. That freedom and life that God breathes into us when we deeply meditate on His Word and JUST DO IT mentioned in the last paragraph that’s the blessing to be had. Living out God’s Word is the biggest blessing because you’ll begin to see and know God more deeper than ever before. His Word opens up your heart and mind to see His truth, you’ll no longer look at your circumstances as tough or impossible. With God’s vision those circumstances are just opportunities to get better, learn, and get stronger than you were before they arrived. Seeing God so intimately and clearly shines His powerful and consuming light to every situation, when you think you usually would feel defeated and hopeless. God’s light shines on that old darkness showing you He has made you victorious even before the victory is in sight. Those lies the devil likes to throw in your mind to hold you back, God’s truth squashes every lie and shows you with Him, you are free from all that stuff that used to get you down. The Holy Spirit that dwells within you speaks God’s truth above those lies, reminding you of what God’s Word says.
When we deeply seek God the message God has for you in His Word, and then hold tight to it, living under His truth, everything changes. The blessing from God comes from not just hearing, but hearing and living. He’s given us no excuse to stay in the same place tomorrow that we were in today. His Word is an aid to push us forward in life, to grow us and strengthen us, and it’s sitting right in front you. Let’s not hold ourselves back anymore from the powerful life-changing truth that God has given us access to. No excuses, JUST DO IT!!!!!!
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. “/Hebrews 11:1
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,”/ Hebrews 12:28
Hope you enjoy this little video about faith! I was at work today and had my own run-in with faith. I was working as a cashier and a lady came through my line. I said, “hey, how are you doing today?” You know, you usually get the same responses, “good, how are you?” Maybe every once in awhile you’ll get an older person that goes on and on about the weather and the occasional crazy conversation when somebody walks through with some personality to em. This lady just cut it to me straight. She responded, “well, it could be better, found out today that the job I’m working is going to end next month.” I noticed something immediately, she wasn’t complaining when she said that, her confident tone was sounding like it was no big deal. I got to talking to her more and I told her, “I hate to hear that, hope everything works out.” I didn’t really know what to say to be honest but she told me that she was buying those groceries getting ahead on the upcoming situation in her life. She said she had mouths to feed so she had to make it work. Then she said something that stuck with me when I was trying to be nice and offer my condolences to her, “the Lord is going to take care of us, He always does, just gotta keep going and trusting in Him.” Living in the Bible belt of the South it’s not unusual to hear someone say the Lord is in control or just got to keep having faith in the Lord. This woman wasn’t just casually throwing around her faith though, I could tell by her confident tone, the way she was handling things preparing for her kids to make sure they had food to eat, and the fact that she kept saying it.
That random encounter with her today put everything in a whole new world of perspective. She had probably some of the worst possible news and she wasn’t sitting around pouting about it, she was moving in her faith, she was speaking her faith. I can’t say if I got that news with not even kids that depend on me that I would’ve reacted that way. Most likely I would’ve been freaking out. This lady was so confident in what God was going to do that she wasn’t moved or shaken when resistance came in her life. She stood firm in the Lord, she wasn’t sulking or acting like a victim. She was still getting the job done and even though she couldn’t see the Lord’s provision in future employment, her finances, or how she would feed her kids, she had faith. She had faith in God’s loving and faithful provision that she was literally using what God had blessed her with and preparing for the next blessings God was going to send her way. She was living like a sponsor for the Christian Nike brand, “JUST HAVE FAITH.” There’snot one but if there was you know what I’m saying. I literally looked at the next guy in line and he had on Nike pants that said “Just do it” in huge letters. So it hit me, “Just do it, JUST HAVE FAITH.”
This woman gave me a stronger faith by just being and hearing her example. Instead of giving up, living defeated and sitting and sulking in her misfortune. She JUST HAD FAITH, and she continued to live and walk in what she knew God was going to do in her life. It’s amazing to me that an encounter that simple can be such a lesson for us all but that’s how God works. As simple as God works, that’s as simple as we are called to live. Just keep moving and battling no matter how hard the hits may seem at the current moment because each and every trial we face we can look to God who will give us plenty to get through it. We just keep stepping and walking through the storm knowing the Lord has us and by the time we get out He has an even bigger blessing awaiting us. Maybe it’s an answered prayer, a breakthrough, or you just learn so much through the battle you faced in the storm, now God has made you stronger, wiser and ready for the next time you get some bad news. Faith doesn’t enable but it points our eyes to the One who is able showing us that with God, we’re unshakable.
“A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.”/ Proverbs 16:9
Heard this verse in the sermon this morning and the Lord shed so much light to so much of my life through this powerful truth. I pray that God can use this message to reach you and move you closer to Him. I write about “being stuck” a lot because it’s something that can so easily happen to us in our lives. It happens to me all the time to be completely honest but who wants to be stuck? Not me! Then how come so often we find ourselves stuck, stuck in our problems, stuck in our addictions, sins, at the end of the day just stuck in ourselves? It can happen to any of us and the scary part is sometimes we become so stuck that we are completely blinded to how stuck we really are, the effects we have on people around us, and even though we tell ourselves little comfortable lies to justify and rationalize our current standing in life and it’s problems. We can fool ourselves all day long but we’re still right where we started, stuck.
The preacher this past Sunday morning mentioned the fear of failure and how it can effect us. The biggest effect this fear of failing causes is in our faith. So now we’re stuck, stuck in our itty bitty faith. I find myself sometimes so scared to do something at the thought that I might fail that I decide not to do it. Or I tell myself, “well I’ll just do it later.” The biggest thing I struggle with in this procrastination to move in my faith is planning. I’ll build this perfect, huge, really awesome plan, I’ll spend a ton of time on it (procrastinating), and when it’s time to execute the plan, I make excuses like, “it’s not perfect enough, it needs to be just right before I test it out.” We can plan, hype it up like we’re doing something really awesome but you have to ask yourself, am I really moving anywhere?
One of the biggest excuses I make for sitting still in the areas of my life that it’s obvious God wants to change, He wants me to move forward past them, He wants me to trust in His guidance and strength to conquer the areas of my life that is holding me back from being better and living a life that gives Him all the glory! Sometimes I say, “well what if God doesn’t want me to go that way or do this thing?” Don’t get me wrong, we are supposed to seek God’s guidance and discernment in every situation but we aren’t supposed to use God’s will as a crutch to our lack of faith. The freedom that God gives us as believers comes in knowing that even if we go the wrong way, if we make the wrong decision and fail, God is always there. The powerful creator of everything has His hand in every part of our lives and He is in full control all the time. God doesn’t tell us to sit back waiting on the Heaven’s to open up with a deep voice coming down saying, “Jordan, my son, go this way, do this.” God says to move in your hearts, seek His will and guidance the whole way through but just move. Fear of failing and not being good enough can have a crippling effect on our lives. The good thing is when we do fail, when we do go a way we’re not supposed to go God is like bumper cars. You’re driving one direction chasing after another car to bump and a car comes out of nowhere bumping you, so you were going straight ahead now your knocked facing another direction. God has a way of working through our mistakes and struggles showing up outta nowhere like a bumper car. We think we’re going the right direction and BOOM! God redirects you sending you east instead of west.
What excuses do we have to stay still and stuck in our lives when God says just move in the plans and passions your heart takes you and if it’s not where He wants us He will redirect us to the right direction. That truth gave so much freedom to me and the parts of my life I’m stuck in. I’m scared I may fail, more importantly fail God but we see God the biggest when we take those steps of faith out of our struggle into the unknown, those are the moments where we learn to lean on God, we learn to depend on Him and the faithful provision He provides in our lives. God didn’t give us this life to spend it sitting stuck in fear at the thought of messing up. God promises us that He will direct our steps, He will lead us to victory even if we do take a few steps our way and fail, we can trust that God will redirect us into His ways, into His victory, and into the freedom He has given us no matter how many times we’ve messed up in the past. It’s God’s faithfulness that will set us on this adventure of life in the most awesome ways, our faithfulness is only to step and trust. Here are some promises from God that show us even more why being stuck in our fear of failure is so daggum crazy;
“But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.”/2 Corinthians 2:14
You see what God does!!! Lead us captives in the victory of Christ!!! And when we move and live in this promise, the people around us get to see and smell the sweetness, freedom, and victory of Christ!!!! This thought convicted me a lot, “is my fear of failing and moving forward with God in my life worth holding me back from experiencing the fullness and victory of Christ? Am I that selfish that I would rather sit comfortably in my fear, scared to mess up and move forward knowing that when I give up my fears and my life to trust God on this journey that others around me who are even more stuck and chained up by their fear by not having God to lean on, when they see God moving in my life they will see another way, they will see freedom and life in the fullest?” Think about that the next time you decide to sit still, others lives and eternities are stake and that makes moving that much more important!!!! If you fall down, God will pick you up and set you in the right direction. If you go the wrong way, BOOM!!! God redirects you to His path and His ways!!! So what are we waiting for?????
I’ve sent this video out as a God Gold of the Day many times but each time the truth in it is magnified even more. How can it be? Me and you, we’re Barabbas in this story, just an undeserving sinner who doesn’t deserve freedom. How can it be that Jesus loved us to the extreme of dying the death that we deserved so we could have the eternal, free gift of life from the Heavenly Father. That doesn’t make any sense right? How could somebody love us so much that they literally die for us knowing we may never accept this free gift or love Him back, but Jesus loved anyways and set the chains of Barabbas free. He set the chains of me and you free. The gospel is the most beautiful story a human heart can ever hear written by the ultimate Creator of this world and the author of our lives. I’ve written so many God Gold of the Days on here and sent messages out but no gold from God is any greater than this. I find myself overlooking the importance of the messages God decided to make a thing and not seeing it for the opportunity it truly is, a chance to share the greatest news of all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His love for us. This is the only reason I send these messages out to you to tell you that I’ve struggled and I still struggle but there is a difference in my struggle now. That difference is Jesus. For all who read this and think any of the thoughts that I too have had, “I’ve done too much bad, I don’t deserve anything good especially not Jesus.” Hey Barabbas, yeah you, Jesus doesn’t care about your past or what you’ve done, He loves you just the way you are in all your brokenness. What you’ve done doesn’t matter in the Gospel message, neither does what you do now, the only part that’s important is what Jesus has done because He’s given us the free gift of life through Him so our days of despair and hopelessness are gone. Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day with the only reason being to tell you that it is done, it’s finished, you’re free from that former life and by accepting this free gift of eternal life with Jesus your new life begins. As Jesus rose up from the grave from death to life, receive Jesus Christ and His love into your life, accept Him as your Lord and Savior, from death He rises you up to LIFE.
I share these messages everyday because of Jesus, He brought me from death to life, hopelessness to hope, and guess what? He can do the same with you!!!
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”/Romans 10:9
P.S.- If you want to know more about Jesus and receiving Him into your life, you can contact me on the God Gold of the Day Facebook page, the blog page under “contact”, and at (864)784-3592. Call me anytime, day or night and I’d be excited to talk to you! And if you’re reading this and you’ve already made this decision to follow Jesus, share this with somebody who hasn’t, tell them about this Good News, just get the Gospel out there!!! Don’t worry about what they may say or if they say no, we’ve been called to plant the seeds, God takes care of the growing. This news of what Jesus has done for us is too big and there’s too many lives at stake to keep it hidden.
““Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.”
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
Do you ever feel what David is talking about in verse 2 of this Psalms? “I am overwhelmed by my troubles.” I would dare to say we all have at some point of our lives, maybe everyday you feel this way. This life is jam packed with it’s fair share of troubles, especially when you’re a child of God. Being a child of God makes us an enemy of Satan and the closer we move to God the bigger that target on our back gets so when the devil sees that target, BOOM!! He attacks. He attacks in every way imaginable, spreading lies in our thoughts, tempting us to go against God and do things that God would strongly advise us not to do, and being the “humans” we are, we are so easily enticed and deceived to fall into these attacks, and the troubles of life.
Troubles come in so many different ways but instead of getting into all that, what I’ve struggled with lately is how I respond to the troubles I face. What I’ve noticed in my struggles with troubles the struggles and attacks from the devil in my life is that I focus so much of my thoughts and energy on that, when all that bad comes my way, I just want to lay down, give up, play the role of the victim. I’m so focused on the bad I become like David mentions, “overwhelmed by my troubles.” When I really sat back and looked at it, I thought, “c’mon man, are you serious?” Jesus tells us so many times through the Gospels that followers of Him will face troubles, He faced SO many troubles and attacks while on this earth and living a life with the ultimate goal being to strive to walk as Christ did, in the example He set. Why do I act surprised when troubles come? First lesson; troubles, attacks, they are going to come so don’t be surprised, lean on the Lord and be ready to stand firm in the storm.
Hebrews 2:18 says, ““Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.”
So how do we respond to getting knocked down? I thought about my time playing high-school basketball and playing at a small 2A school, I was usually the biggest guy on our team. I was tall but man I was skinny as a rail. Almost every game we played teams that had guys just as tall or taller than me and they had some muscle to em. There was so many games I got thrown around like a rag doll trying to guard those big ol jokers. It wasn’t much fun to say the least. There was one game my junior year where I had to guard a guy who was 6’6, probably 275 at least, he was being recruited by Division I schools for football so yeah I had a lot to look forward to. I had been thrown around by guys like him throughout my freshman and sophomore year so something clicked inside of me. I didn’t want to play the victim card anymore and make excuses saying he was bigger than me. I was sick and tired of getting knocked down and wanting to stay down so first chance I got to guard him, he drove to the basket and I threw my body at him fouling him as hard as I could. I doubt he felt it much but I wanted to make sure he knew I was there. Turns out he wasn’t too happy about the foul so the next play, I got the ball at the free throw line, made a move to drive to the basket, BOOM!!!! He lowered his gigantic shoulder into me and put me through the floor. Usually I’m nothing but a big, quiet, nice guy even on the court, but this hit had me fired up. I slammed the ball against the ground and got up to stand looking into his chin (he was big), and the rest of the game I ran my mouth and hit him every chance I could. I just figured if he got mad that easy then being one of their better players I could get him focused on me instead of destroying us.
I’m sure we’ve all had a moment like that where we got sick and tired of getting knocked down, losing and being the victim so you get mad and ready to fight. This is the coolest part about what this verse in Hebrews tells us and what David speaks of in verse 22. In the sports world or life, getting mad and fighting the problem with everything we got seems to be the way to go. You can read a million self help books that will tell you exactly that. But when we face troubles and attacks from the devil in our lives, we don’t have to waste our time or energy fighting a fight that’s not ours to fight. David says, “cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.” When you get mad and won’t to fight after being knocked down, respond with taking it to the Lord, through God and God alone do we have what it takes to endure and get through the surrounding storms. So often I either fight with what I got or give in but God tells us to do neither, He says press into Him and lean on Him. Give Him your troubles and He will be faithful in providing everything you need to get through them and keep fighting. And with our identities in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are one with Him. In Hebrews it says Jesus knows exactly what you’re going through so when you cast your troubles on Him, He is there to literally give you exactly what you need. He is there at all times to help in our time of need.
I so often either respond to troubles as a victim or I go and try to fix everything on my own. How comforting is it that we don’t have to be a victim because Jesus has declared us a victor through His victory overcoming the struggles He endured. We also don’t have to try to fix it on our own because He is there with us, He’s been through it all so He is there to help give us what we need to overcome with Him. What’s even cooler when taking our troubles to the Lord, you start looking at your troubles and remember how as a victim you used to focus on all the bad so much that by the end of it, things just got badder and badder? With Jesus, walking as a victor, all that trouble doesn’t seem so bad anymore. When we realize that God really isn’t going to let us be shaken by anything, we can focus on His truth and power, then we begin to see “trouble” through His eyes and it’s not even trouble any more. It looks like a door just got slammed in your face but God says hold up, the door is open, keep on walking because there’s another door. Instead of getting knocked down and doors closed, usually my response is to sit behind those doors all day wallowing in my self-pity, but God uses the trouble as a lesson, a “test” and He gives us everything we need to keep moving through the doors into what He has for us in this life. Trouble isn’t all that troubling when you give it to God. He shows you how to get past it, and the lesson He’s teaching you through it which strengthens you for the next storm that comes up in your life. It’s crazy how everything we see as “bad” is completely reversed when we cast our cares on God, trust in His strength and provision, seeing life through His eyes. So when you get knocked down, stand up and fight by giving it to God. It’s amazing what He will do next.