As we journey along life’s path it is imperative to understand that beyond the current events of your ministry and life, good or challenging, the fact remains that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
But what does that mean? Does God change his mind about you based on your temperament or attitude? Does He love you differently when you are going through difficult times in life and ministry or when hardship manifests in various ways? Does He not love you when you mess up and sin even though you know the truth? Does God get mad at you so when you pray according to His Word that He says, “No.” to your prayers?
The answer to all these questions is an emphatic, “No.”
I learned this by way of experience as I had many questions after a life event. I have served the local church for several years in both volunteer, executive leadership, and pastoral roles. I have seen multiple tragedies and disappointments in others lives, like you may have too. However when tragedy and disappointment came knocking on my door, I had to make some decisions.
It was in April 2015, my 8-year-old son died from a malignant inoperable brain tumor. I was left with the aftershocks and the rubble all around me. While sitting in my chair a few days later in prayer, I had this question come to my heart. Will you react or will you respond?
There is a distinct difference between the two. As a ministry leader, we have two ways to approach the disappointments and challenges we are faced with every day. Reacting is the typical approach many take because it is in human nature to react to the emotion that is felt. Responding to them takes more time and requires a prayerful position to hear from God and then respond accordingly to what He says in His Word.
As a ministry leader, we have two ways to approach the disappointments and challenges we are faced with every day. Reacting is the typical approach many take because it is in human nature to react to the emotion that is felt.
I quickly learned that fear sees the mess and the rubble of life’s personal disappointments while faith acknowledges the rubble and mess but knows God will take care of it and put it all back together again.
I was reminded of the passage of scripture in Matthew 8:25-26 where it states “The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ Jesus responded, ‘Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!'” The question, “why are you afraid,” is the reaction to what they saw. Jesus was more concerned about the condition of their HEART than the massive storm that surrounded them. Fear became the reaction however faith should always be our response. Faith originates out of the heart, not our minds.
Faith to the believer is like gasoline to your vehicle, without it, you won’t be able to function. The vehicle’s function is to take you from one place to another but without gasoline, the vehicle cannot properly serve its function. Without faith, it is somewhat impossible to continue serving your function and purpose. Faith is the spiritual fuel that takes your spiritual vehicle from one place to the next and allows you to continue seeing your purpose developed. Faith will see what nobody else is seeing or paying attention to.
Without faith, eventually, you run out and become dry then fall into the trap of isolation. Maybe you are there right now. Isolation is the devil’s tactic to keep you in discouragement. I have good news, your disappointment or discouragement does not define you or your purpose. The church or ministry you serve will grow and become the effective agent of spiritual change in your community. You will see hundreds and thousands of people get saved as you minister the uncompromised Word of God.
It is in our human nature to ask questions when things go wrong. Perhaps you are in a season right now where you are asking these questions I started this blog post with and you’re wondering who your anchor really is.
We all have anchors in our life that keep us grounded. It is important we understand and choose the right anchor to hold us steady, versus the wrong one that will keep us drowning. In crisis events or a difficult life period it is important we choose the right path. Choosing the right path when going through challenging times will ultimately lead you into a place of faith, peace, joy, and more, but the wrong path will lead you down to a path of fear, anxiety, hopelessness, sadness, and more. In choosing the right path we must look at our identity.
It is this understanding of identity that becomes a defining moment of the greatest change in your spiritual life. Your measure of Faith cannot increase until you have a realization of who you really are spiritually. Have you ever been in a dark room and you turn on the light from your phone so you can see your next step and where to go? When you hear the Gospel which is Good News it becomes a light to your path and who you really are goes from dormancy to life. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The revelation of God’s Word once received by faith and applied in our lives becomes a deliverance tool of a mindset of old thinking and takes you into a new lifestyle of who you really are.
The life of who you were before CHRIST is not WHO you are WITH CHRIST right now.
“And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6.
We are His children no longer a part of the old but rather a part of the new life God intends for us to live. Let me encourage you today to choose Faith in God over fear by allowing your Identity in Christ to become a revelation to you. Without revelation then all you have is information and information does not cause real heartfelt transformation. Open up your heart today to God and allow Him to fill you now with His peace and joy.