The first time you do something exceptional, people are impressed and they show their appreciation.
- However, when you do it often people stop appreciating and begin to expect you to be always exceptional.
- When this happens, you are in danger of viewing what's extraordinary as ordinary.
- Don't take what's extraordinary for granted because it's been done for so long.
Christianity is the only major religion to have as its central event the humiliation of its God - Bruce Shelley
Jesus's crucifixion was a devastating loss as the disciples and other believers had confidence that He was the Messiah and He would overcome the Roman Empire.
- Although it seemed like Jesus had lost whilst He was being humiliated on the cross; reality was that all hope had not been lost.
- The enemy celebrated prematurely; he forgot that God always has the final Word.
- God allowed the devil to have a sense of victory for a short while as He knew Jesus was going to overcome and resurrect from the dead.
- The crucifixion of Jesus was used to show that the devil did not possess any of God's qualities; omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.
1 Corinthians 2:8
- The above scripture has been quoted so many times.
- Excessive use of something doesn't imply in depth understanding.
Jeremiah 29:11 decoded:
- A detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.
- Something to be desired or approve of.
- A sudden accident or catastrophe that causes loss.
- A period of time following the moment of speaking or writing; time regarded as still to come.
- Feeling of expectation or desire for something to happen.
For I know the detailed proposal I have for you, says the Lord. This proposal is detailed with things you desire and not sudden accidents or catastrophes that cause loss. This follows after my Word which gives you expectations for what you are desiring for.
God's proposal for your life:
1. Things you are desiring for
God knows everything you want, need and desire.
- His proposal takes into account the things you are praying and hoping for.
- God's proposal will come to pass at the appointed time.
- God will give you a feeling of expectation for the things you desire for.
What do I do when life moments do not look good and I am experiencing disasters?
- Do bad experiences trump God's promises over my life?
- Do challenges make God a liar?
- Life contradictions make people walk away from God.
Dilemma of faith; when life doesn't match what God has spoken over your life.
- Human beings define wins and losses in moment to moment terms.
- However, God isn't like Man. He has an eternal perspective on life and doesn't base it on moment to moment terms like we do.
- Isaiah 46:10
- God knows the end from the beginning and knows that His detailed proposal for your life will stand and be established.
- He knows the end from the beginning and this guarantees us victory despite how hopeless the situation appears.
- God will do what He pleases.
God has already set you up for victory.
- When you watch a game that you already know the outcome, you will not be stressed.
Often times your calling is contained in your challenges - Ps Steve Furtick
The shortest route is not always the best route as it can bypass the best lessons - Zechariah.
God always waits and ensures that your blessings come with a preparation package first.
- He wants you to be prepared so that the blessings do not become a snare or hindrance.
Most of our prayers are shortcut prayers.
- God will allow you to go through the process as long as it takes until you are prepared and ready for what He has for you.
- John 16:33 - take heart, Jesus has already overcome the world.
- When Jesus said this to the disciples, it was disheartening for them as they had invested their lives in serving Him and had hoped He would liberate them from the Roman Empire.
- Jesus knew that His death would result in the salvation of many and the disciples would play a key role in spreading the Good News.
- There is always a win in your loss.
How do you remain hopeful and believe God when everything is contradicting His Word?
- What is your reaction when things are going against what you have been praying and hoping for?
- Always remember your view of wins and losses are different from God's.
- God remains true and faithful regardless what you are going through.
The biggest challenge is our faith.
Two types of faith:
- Faith for something
- Faith in someone
If your faith is for something it can be easily shaken.
- When your focus is on achieving or receiving something and it doesn't come to pass, your faith will be shaken.
- However, if your faith is in the God who has promised you the something, your will not be shaken as you can trust Him regardless of how long it takes.
- Your faith for something is limited as it is dependent on many things.
- Your faith in God who is trustworthy should be unshakable.
Don't base your faith in God for things but faith in Him and His faithfulness.
- God's promises will come to pass when the timing is right.
- Choose to trust God even if or even though things don't come to pass as you had hoped for.
- Learn to submit your plans to God and follow His plan for your life, step by step.
God wants you to trust Him wholly.
How do you move from having faith for something and have faith in God:
1. You need to track God
Do not forget what God has done in your life.
- David had confidence to fight Goliath because he could track God in his life during the time he fought the bear and lion and conquered.
- In the face of challenges, remind yourself of what God has already done in your life.
- When you are able to track God in your life, it helps strengthen and deepen your trust in Him.
You need to focus on God's character and not His actions.
- God is consistent.
- Don't focus on the methods God has used to see you through in the past but His faithfulness in all seasons of life.
God often uses moments of failure to teach us things we would have not learnt had we not gone through them.
- Deuteronomy 8:2.
- The wilderness was meant to be a six weeks trip but God made it 40 years to ensure that the Israelites characters were refined.
Challenges are there to:
- Humble yourself and ensure you don't fall - Proverbs 16:18
- Challenges test you in order to know what's in your heart. God will never bless you if He sees that the blessing will draw you away from His presence.
What we often define as a loss it is God's means to mould your character.
- God will never give us something that will do more harm than good in our lives.
The way you can guarantee you loss to become a win is to know who God is and accept His will.
The fishermen experienced a loss the night before but their faith in the Words of Jesus converted their loss into a win.
- Faith in God needs to follow after a loss for it to become a win. It's not time to lose your faith.
God can and will use our losses to fulfill His purpose for our lives.
2. Develop an obsession to know God
- Spend time with God for you to build an intimate relationship with Him.
- Create a culture of remembrance of what God has done in your life thus far.
God has a better perspective on life as He knows the end from the beginning.
The enemy knows he cannot change what the blood of Jesus did on the cross but he can temper with your testimony if you allow him to.
- He knows if he stops you from remembering what God has done in the past, you will stumble in your faith.
There is no logical reason why you have peace despite what you are going through.
- Allow God's peace to guide your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
You need to desire to have an intimate relationship with God.