Life’s challenges can appear overwhelming at times, and pain plays a part in all of our lives. But our race is a marathon, not a sprint. A marathon with HURDLES! So how do you keep going when all seems lost. Today we’ll talk about moving from pain to purpose.
Before we do, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — A few minuted to sit in my study together and encourage one another. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
Hope is not lost! No matter how bleak the circumstances may seem today, there is a next step you can take. If you can breathe, there is hope. We can give our burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of us. That’s a promise found in Psalm 55, verse 22. Your storms are only temporary, but the blessings of God last forever! We’ve all been in situations that appear to be impossible. But when people walk with God, the impossible becomes possible!
God isn’t limited by our circumstances. We may not be able to see the resources He has to give us, and we may not understand the reasons behind the challenges we face. But, IF we face them with God’s strength and wisdom, we will have God’s blessings, His provision and His direction.
Today’s verse says REJOICING IN HOPE, ENDURING IN TROUBLES, CONTINUING STEADFASTLY IN PRAYER
How can we REJOICE IN HOPE when all seems lost? By placing our hope in GOD, not in the circumstances. He can make a way where there seems to be no way. He is known to work in ways that we cannot see or even comprehend to change circumstances. It’s when the circumstances are massive and appear overwhelming that we need to look to our God – because He is bigger than the circumstances. He is the God of HOPE. And because He is the God of hope, He can fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. His hope allows us to trust in Him at all times, to pour out our hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us.
I remember one afternoon last week at the Hertz Arena when I stepped outside for a break. As I stood across from the makeshift helipad where we had watched Coast Guard helicopters deliver people they had rescued, I heard a voice behind me. A hurricane victim was sitting on the curb of the sidewalk outside the arena, singing “Amazing Grace.” Her voice clear and strong, she proclaimed her hope in God with the famous hymn. She kept on singing, song after song of praise and thanks. Her faith and her joy were like the brilliant beacon of a lighthouse on a dark and stormy night, and a number of the folks outside the arena were listening. She didn’t see her answers … yet. She was still living in storm shelter, but the storm had passed and she was rejoicing in her hope. Her songs reminded me of the psalm that says, “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever sing for joy.” The Hertz Arena wasn’t her refuge, God was!
I cannot say if she knew what her next steps would be, but she was moving from pain to purpose with her expressions of hope in God.
ENDURING IN TROUBLES is often (if not always) the key to winning the victory over the battles of life. The longest hurdle race in track and field is the 400-meter hurdles, and takes place over ten hurdles positioned 35 metres apart. Life would be a lot easier if we knew when our hurdles were coming, or if we knew there would only be 10 of them! But even though life’s hurdles don’t follow those rules, it is still the folks who are able to jump them and continue moving forward that win their races. Don’t listen to the voices that tell you can’t make it. I believe that God will do the impossible in my life as I walk with Him. It HIS voice we need to listen to!!!!
An older “expert” once said of another younger coach, “He possesses minimal football knowledge and lacks motivation.” In case you’re wondering, he was referring to Vince Lombardi. The parents of Enrico Caruso believed his teacher, who said he had “no voice at all, he just cannot sing.” They urged him to be an engineer. Walt Disney was fired from a job he once held for “lack of creative ideas.” Thomas Edison’s teachers gave up on him. They said, “He’s too stupid to do anything.” But they didn’t listen, they just kept jumping hurdles. They ENDURED IN TROUBLE. They PRESSED ON. Let the hope of God give YOU the strength to ENDURE IN TROUBLE. We move from pain to purpose by jumping the hurdles in our path and continuing our race. Endurance is the key to finishing the race, endurance is the key to victory.
CONTINUING STEADFASTLY IN PRAYER is the key to knowing what God is directing. He says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” As we speak with God in prayer, He gives us instruction. He gives us direction. He teaches us things we need to know to overcome the next hurdle. AND He keeps His eye upon us. We’re never alone, never running with only our own strength. Our steps are established by the LORD, when we delight in His way; and even though we may stumble, we will not fall, for the LORD Himself upholds us with his hand. We move from pain to purpose by continuing our dialog with God, listening to His counsel and obeying His direction.
Foxholes are filled with people making promises to God, and so are hurricane shelters. One of the biggest hurdles is NOT walking with God when life is overwhelming. In times of crisis lots of folks ask God for His help. No, the biggest hurdle is keeping our eyes on the finish line when we think the time of crisis has passed and we’re finally out of the woods. When we think we’re capable of handling things in our own strength.
Don’t give up on God. We move from pain to purpose only as we REJOICE IN HOPE, ENDURE IN TROUBLES, and CONTINUE STEADFASTLY IN PRAYER.