Posts Tagged ‘difficulties’


But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” (Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭13‬ NLT)

When I was a Youth Pastor, my Pastor and mentor, Gary Elrod, kept all his sermons in yearly binders, called them his “recipe books” that he could draw from. In my office today, I have the same thing. But in that line up of binders, going back to 1998, is one small, red binder: 2002, the hardest year of my life.

Just because we walk the Christ Life path does not guarantee us a life free from pain, or even a sustained season of it. But our mindset must be on the God who not only brings us into the valleys, but also has plans for us on the other side of them! So we can do as Paul did, letting go of whatever things have held you back or haunted your mind, and then pressing on with a confident reassurance of a new season while being held in the mighty hand of God!

On my sermon shelf are plenty of binders that stretch past that little red one. I keep it as a reminder that, as the Bible says, “it came to pass…” Allow God to convict, correct, heal, and guide your new year. Resolve the old and make room for the new life ahead! You are loved!


All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah.” (Matthew‬ ‭1‬:‭17‬ NLT)

Dalits are the lowest of the low in the Hindu caste system, often mistreated and discriminated against, and Kalpana Saroj vowed to overcome it. In spite of severe poverty and an attempted hit on her life by a jealous local mafia, Saroj wound up becoming a highly successful businesswoman and a multimillionaire.

The road to success often passes through valleys of great difficulty. In our text, 42 generations committed to the trek from nomadic homelessness to deported slavery to ushering in the savior of the world. By surviving the harshest parts of life, each of those names listed in Jesus’ family line are the overcoming heroes of mankind!

As you are wrapping up this year and about to embark on a new one, resolve the challenges you currently face as a season of growth. These seasons will always come and go. But keep in mind that God will always guide you through it, even leading you into the better places of His plan for your life! Keep it up, hero! You are loved!

And always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15 NLT)

In April 1979, firefighters Larry Brewer, 28, and Dirk Sutterfield, 23, responded to a major fire at the Sun Oil Co. In the process, both were horribly burned but survived. Now, over 30 years later, both are grateful for the lives they’ve continued to live. “We’ve both been blessed to have lived a lot of life since then. We got to see our kids grow up, and now we get to see our grandkids grow up. I really think the accident made me learn to stop and smell the roses and for a young man, that was a great lesson,” said Sutterfield.

As Paul begins to wrap up his teaching to the Church about how to live holy and pleasing to God, he adds in at the last minute, “Oh, and by the way, try to live thankful.” Although the last of his character teaching, it is one of the most important he could’ve listed! To be thankful is to be looking at God more than at yourself, which is as it should be.

What are things you are thankful for? What bad things in your life turned out to be wonderful? Remember those as you live! Life is sweeter for the memories that make us smile, even if to just be glad that it’s behind you! You are loved today!