Two Timeless Truths from 2020

If nothing else, 2020 has either taught us or reminded us of two timeless truths. First, we are not in control. “Control” is really nothing more than an illusion. We do not have control over anything really. Oh, we think we do, our lives feel safer that way, until BAM! something unexpected happens.

I am reminded of a verse from the book of Proverbs; “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Prov 27:1) No matter how diligently and wisely we plan, we never know what a day holds.

But we can sure make plans, can’t we? Remember how booked (and even overbooked) our 2020 calendars were in January 2020, then by mid-March events were being canceled left and right. Sports seasons were canceled, travel plans were canceled, church services & events were canceled, family events were canceled, and concerts were canceled.

Our lives changed unexpectedly, and our lives went sideways in a few short weeks, proving once again we are not in control. Which reminds me of the second timeless truth, we may not have control over tomorrow, but we know the One who is already in our tomorrow. 

God is 100% sovereign, but that is not the same as 100% of everything that happens is God’s plan. Evil exists. Stupid exist. Bad decisions exist. Faulty DNA and rogue cells exist. Our world is deteriorating, yet we cling to the hope that somehow “we” have control, or that since God is sovereign, only good things we happen for us and to us. 

But in the midst of all the chaos, God always has a plan. The key to understanding his plan is to let go of the lie that we are in control, and therefore, since we are not in control, we need to run full speed toward the only One who is in control, who can calm the storm OR calm us in the midst of the storm.

God being sovereign and being in control, doesn’t mean bad “stormy” days won’t come, but it does mean that even on the darkest, stormiest, bad day, we are not alone. God was already there waiting for us. It means he is not ever caught off-guard, overwhelmed, perplexed, or bewildered. He may choose to calm that storm, or He may choose to calm us, but either way, He is in control.

If you are not walking in peace, then it is directly related to how you view the need for control and how you tie that to being safe and secure. It is much easier to have peace when you choose to relax in knowing the One who is already in your tomorrow, regardless what may come. God’s promise is not to rescue us from our struggles, but rather to place Himself in the middle of our struggles with us.

As we enter 2021 hopeful and moving forward as best we can, let’s remember God is in control. Whether He chooses to calm the storm, or calm us, let’s continue persevering, and moving forward.

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Feel Like a Failure? God ALWAYS has a Plan

Failure. Have you ever experienced the kind of failure that you thought you would never be able to recover from, or maybe even where those closest to you told you could never recover? And maybe, it was so devastating that is changed your reality, and circumstances. And furthermore, maybe you are still paying a high price for your failure.

There is rarely a week that goes by I don’t receive a message from someone who has messed up in some huge way. One of the first things I always remind a person is that “everything Satan wants to use to destroy them, God wants to use to make them the person He wants them to be”. God is not done with them. And God is not done with you either.

We all need to deal with the issues and failures we are facing. We are personally responsible for our choices and the consequences of those choices. Taking personal responsibility is the first step on the path. God being willing to forgive, heal, and restore does not remove consequences or the need to take personal responsibility, it just means that God is wants to restore you.

Each of us has had those days when all needed to be reminded that the Bible is full of messed up people who God used for great things. Noah was a drunk. Abraham was too old. Isaac was a daydreamer. Jacob was a liar. Leah was ugly. Joseph was abused. Moses had a stuttering problem. Gideon was afraid. Samson had long hair and was a womanizer. Rahab was a prostitute. Jeremiah and Timothy were too young. David had an affair and was a murderer. Elijah was suicidal. Isaiah preached naked. Jonah ran from God. Naomi was a widow. Job went bankrupt. Peter denied Christ. The Disciples fell asleep while praying. Martha worried about everything. The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once. Zaccheus was too small. Paul was too religious. Timothy had an ulcer…AND Lazarus was dead!

So today I’m sure there is someone reading this article and you think you are done because of something you’ve done; that your failure is beyond forgiveness or recovery. You are not done because God is not done. Do not walk way. Do not give up. God always has a plan.  It might be a painful journey, but God always has a plan.

I just wanted to remind you today that God is for you. God will use every single thing the enemy wants to use to destroy you, to make you the person He wants you to me, if you will just let Him. Surrender to Him. Trust Him. I’m for you. They are many people rooting for you. This is not the day to give up. This is the day to dig in, come clean, get honest, embrace the pain, and begin your journey toward hope, healing, and restoration.

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