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A company I did some work for was supposed to be sending me 2 coupons for free products as part of my  compensation.  I got an empty envelope instead, and weeks of foot-dragging ensued before the right person got the memo, after which I got FIVE coupons.  I won’t be able to use them up before they expire, so now I can be a blessing to someone else with the extras.

A friend sent me a link to one of those spin-and-win contests.  The prizes were, predictably, mainly stickers and those little rubbery bracelets, but they did have ONE cool prize that would be the least-won one.  I asked God for it, spun the wheel…  and wasn’t even surprised when I won the good prize.  (For the benefit of new readers:  in the “pre-God era,” there could’ve been 1000 good prizes and one bad one and that’s the one I would’ve gotten.)

In the post “God answers a prayer in spectacular fashion” on 8-25-13, I described a zoo visit that I had asked God to make “the most spectacular one ever,” and He did, and then some.  On 8-16, I went to the zoo with the same people, and made the same request to God, although it didn’t seem possible to have a better visit than last time…  because nothing is impossible for God.  As you’ve already figured out, it WAS better!!  We were at the display for a critter that is legendary for NEVER moving but we REALLY wanted to see some action from, and, having looked at all of them and found them all asleep, we were moments from bailing, so under my breath I said, “Please Father, let one of them move so that my friend doesn’t leave disappointed.”  INSTANTLY, one of them started moving!!  We went rushing back, and this animal kept moving around for so long that finally we’d seen all we wanted and left.  But wait, there’s more:  When we came back by the display later, I followed the urge to check again, although the very thought that another one would be moving was ridiculous…  and one of them WAS moving!!  We ran around to where we could see him, and…  we ended up seeing ***SIX*** more of them doing a variety of things, including a male that was making what we learned was a mating call, when we never knew they made ANY sounds, and a sweet baby, the first time we’d ever seen one put on the exhibit.  God gave far more than I asked for or expected, or could have ever imagined happening, so much so that if we didn’t have pics no one would believe it.

But wait, there’s MORE:  Although the big cats are notorious for hiding, I asked God for us to have another great experience with one.  And yes, we had an even more incredible big cat experience than we did last year, which ended when the keepers brought him back into the building;  10 minutes later and we’d have missed him…  if I hadn’t insisted that I saw a path that wasn’t on the map, and been RIGHT, we’d have never made it.  God came through beyond belief, as He so often does.

And most amazing by far:  I’ve reported several times that my dictation software produces words and phrases when I’m not speaking, with “hey” and “hello” being the most common.  On 4-20, I got a gibberish line when I was trying to dictate, and the word “love” was part of it.  The word had the underlining that means that alternate wordings were offered for, in this case, a word that I had not said.  The alternates were, “love, love you, love bye, love you bye, love mom, love you mom.”  More astonishing, the popup banner with these phrases stayed overlaying the page after I left that email and went back to the main inbox with the dictation OFF, which I’d never seen before.  It looked like…  what else could I see it as?  A message from my mother (who passed away several years ago), with God’s help of course.  That seemed pretty impressive until, on 8-5, I was composing an email, and although I was not speaking, words started appearing.

“You just get A message (gibberish) miss you much”

Luckily, I screen-capped them fast, because the last couple of words then changed:

“You just get A message (gibberish) miss you see you”

There is no doubt in my mind what that was; my mother again.  I am very blessed.

My roommate had somehow tweaked his back, you know the way you do when you bend or twist just a little bit wrong and suddenly you’re in agony.  He was resisting any attempts to get him to use anything to try to improve it, because he was so sure, based on nothing, that only time would fix it.  When *I* get the same back problem, having someone push hard and crack it will fix it;  I kept trying to get him to try it, but he kept insisting that his only option was days of pain so bad that he couldn’t sleep.

God will often let people suffer the consequences of what my mother always called “stubborn stupidity” in the hopes that they’ll learn something, but sometimes He’ll take action to fix the situation.  All my roommate needed was to have his back cracked, and he refused to do it, so God caused him to:  have sweat run into his eyes, stand up and start walking while rubbing his eyes, trip over a chair he hadn’t noticed, fall, twist midair to protect the package he had in his hand, land on his back…  which then cracked and was FINE.

God ALWAYS has a way, even when we can’t see a way.

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all go through difficulties, things we don’t understand. it’s easy to get discouraged, and think, “why am I having these problems?” but being a person of faith doesn’t exempt us from difficulties:

Matthew 5:45 (NKJV)

45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

no matter how good of a person you are, no matter how much you honor God, you’re going to have some rain. Jesus told a parable about this:

Matthew 7:24-27 (MSG)

24-25 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
26-27 “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”

what’s interesting is, the same storm came to both people, the just and the unjust. if the story ended right there, you would think, “it doesn’t make a difference to honor God; the same thing happens to me that happens to everybody else. I built my house on the rock, yet I’m in this storm.  I got a bad medical report, my child got off course, I lost my biggest client.” no, that’s not the end of the story. if you judge it too soon, it may seem like it doesn’t make a difference. here’s the difference; when you honor God, the storms may come, but you have a promise that others don’t have. when it’s all said and done, you’ll still be standing. in difficult times, you have to remind yourself, “this is not the end. my house is built upon the rock. the enemy doesn’t have the final say, God does, and He says when it’s all over, I’ll still be standing.” you may get knocked down, but you won’t get knocked out. you may suffer a setback, you may have to go through a few things, but don’t get discouraged, don’t get bitter, it’s just life. it rains on all of us. the promise God gives us is that if you’ll stay in faith, when the smoke clears and the dust settles, you will not be the victim, you will be the victor. you will still be standing.

all of us can look back at things that should have defeated us. that divorce, bad break, should have given you a nervous breakdown, but look at you, you’re still standing; happy, whole, restored. that addiction, that partying lifestyle, should’ve killed you, but because of your praying mother, you’re still standing, clean, sober, free. that sickness should have been the end, the medical report said you were done, but God said, “I’ve got another report; it’s not over, you’re still standing.” or maybe you lost a loved one, didn’t think you could go on, thought you’d seen your best days, but God breathed new life into you, lifted you up out of the pit, put a new song in your heart, and here you are today, still standing. when you go through some things, you see the goodness of God, you see Him lift, restore, promote, heal you. when you have this history with God, remembering what He has done, you don’t get discouraged by every difficulty, fall apart because of a disappointment, get upset because people are talking about you. you know God brought you through in the past, and He’s going to bring you through in the future. you may be in a difficult time right now; you need to look back and remember what God has done for you. remember how He has made a way where you didn’t see a way, opened doors that never should have opened, put you at the right place at the right time, promoted, healed, restored you, if He did it for you once, He can do it for you again.

your house is built upon the rock. you have this promise that no matter what comes your way, when the storm is over, when the trouble has passed, opposition has ceased, one thing you can count on; you’ll still be standing. you have the DNA of Almighty God. the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you. you may get knocked down, but you’re not going to stay down. there is something in your DNA that says,” get back up again. that’s not where you belong. you are a child of the most high God.” God designed the palm tree to withstand the storm. unlike most other trees, the palm is able to bend so it doesn’t break. there’s a certain kind of palm that can bend to where it’s almost touching the ground. during a hurricane, it may stay that way for five or six hours. it looks like it’s over, done. I can imagine the hurricane huffing, puffing, saying, “I may not be able to break you like the oaks, or the pines, but at least I can keep you all bent over, keep you from ever standing up again.” the hurricane thinks it’s winning the battle, but in a few hours, when it runs out of strength, when the winds die back down, you know what happens, the palm tree stands right back up to where it was again. why is that? because God put bounce-back in the palm tree. it may get pushed over, but it’s only temporary; it’s just a matter of time before it stands right back up.

Psalm 92:12 (NIV)

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree

it could have said we’d flourish like an oak tree, be big and strong and have wide branches. it could have said we’d flourish like a pine tree, be tall and impressive and be able to see for miles. but the reason God said that we would flourish like a palm is because God knew we would face difficulties, that there would be things in life to try to push us down and keep us from our destinies. so God said, “I’m going to make you like a palm; I’m going to put bounce-back on the inside.” you may go through a season where the winds are blowing, a season of loss, disappointment, dealing with an illness. but don’t get discouraged, it’s only temporary. at some point, those winds will stop blowing, and the bounce-back put in you by your Creator will cause you to straighten right back up to where you were before. don’t believe the lies that it’s permanent: “you’ll never get well. you’ll never overcome that addiction, get out of that legal problem.” no, your house is built upon the rock. you may be a little bit bent over now, you may have some difficulties, but when that storm passes, be encouraged, you’re going to stand right back up to where you were before.

what’s interesting is that when the palm tree is bent over because of the hurricane, you would think that that’s damaging the tree and making it weaker, but research shows that it’s just the opposite. when the tree is being pushed and stretched by the strong winds, it’s strengthening its root system, and giving it opportunities for new growth. after the storm, when the palm tree stands right back up, it’s actually stronger than it was before. when you get through that storm, when you straighten back up, you’re not going to be the same, you’re going to be stronger, healthier, wiser, better off, ready for new growth. God never brings you out the same; He makes the enemy pay for bringing the trouble. what’s meant for your harm, God will use to your advantage. that difficulty is not going to do defeat you, it’s going to promote you. it’s not going to break you, it’s going to strengthen you. you’re not only going to still be standing, you’re going to be standing stronger than ever. no matter how hard those winds blow, they cannot uproot, topple, or break you. sickness doesn’t determine your destiny; God does. He is the one that breathed life into you, made your body. if it’s not your time to go, you’re not going to go. God has the final say, and He said no weapon formed against you will prosper.

Psalm 34:19 (NKJV)

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Proverbs 24:16 (NLV)

16 For a man who is right with God falls seven times, and rises again

there’s the bounce-back. now you have to get in agreement with God. don’t have a weak, defeated mentality; “why did this happen to me? I don’t understand it.” I can tell you why it happened; because you’re alive. it rains on everyone. the good news is, because you’re the righteous, you have something in you that the unrighteous don’t have. like that palm tree, there’s bounce-back in your spirit. no matter how hard those winds blow, they cannot defeat you. if you’ll stay in faith, you’ll be able to say, “I’m still standing. sickness had me down for a little while, but I came right back up; still standing. went through a slow season at work, had a bad break, but it didn’t defeat me, it promoted me. I came out stronger; I’m still standing.” or maybe, “I had a breakup in a relationship, someone walked out on me, broke my heart. didn’t think I’d ever be happy again, but look what the Lord has done; brought somebody better into my life. I’m still standing, stronger than ever.” you may be down, but it’s temporary; there’s bounce-back in your spirit. when it’s all said and done, you’ll still be standing strong. when your house is built upon the rock, it doesn’t prevent difficulties, you may have some storms, you may go through some bad breaks, but because of the bounce-back in your spirit, when it’s all over, you’ll still be standing, not the same, but increased, promoted, better off than you were before. Isaiah said:

Isaiah 59:19 (NKJV)

19 … When the enemy comes in like a flood

that means, when you feel overwhelmed, you lost your house in a hurricane, you got a bad medical report, a friend did you wrong in a business deal. what does God do? sit back and think, “too bad, told you it’s going to rain, told you life was going to be difficult”?  no, when the enemy comes in like a flood, God raises up a barrier. in other words, that injustice, that bad break, that sickness, it gets God’s attention. He doesn’t sit back, He goes to work. it’s like as a parent; if you see anything bothering your child, if someone or something is giving them a hard time, you don’t think twice, you stop what you’re doing and immediately go to help. I’m the nicest guy in the world, I’ll do anything for you, but if you mess with my children, you’ve got a fight on your hands. that’s the way it is with our heavenly Father. when the enemy comes in like a flood, God steps up and says, “wait a minute, you’re messing with the wrong person, that’s my son/daughter; if you’re going to mess with them, you’re going to have to first mess with Me. Who am I? I am the all-powerful Creator of the universe.” when God said, “let there be light,” light came at 186,000 miles/second. God says to your enemies, “you want some of this? go ahead, make my day.” you’ve got to realize; in the tough times, you’re not alone. you’ve got somebody fighting for you. the most high God has got your back. now you’ve got to get your fire back. you can’t go through life focused on who hurt you, what didn’t work out, how unfair it is; that’s going to keep you down. shake off that weak, defeated mentality, and have a warrior mentality. a warrior doesn’t complain about opposition. on the contrary, a warrior likes a good fight, it fires him up. this is what David did. he suffered a major setback. while he and his men were out protecting the borders of Israel, doing the right thing, fulfilling their purpose, it began to rain:

1 Samuel 30:1-2 (NIV)

30 David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way.
3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.

it was the worst day of their lives. it looked like it was over. it looked like they were done. it would have stayed that way if it had not been for David. he did something that we all must do if we’re going to see the bounce-back. instead of staying in the ashes, focusing on how bad life had treated him, that warrior spirit began to rise up. he thought, “I may be down, this may be my worst defeat so far, but this is not the end of my story. I am the righteous. I’ve got bounce-back in my spirit. my house is built upon the rock. I have the promise; when it’s all over, I’ll still be standing.” he started encouraging himself, reminding himself of who he was and whose he was. then:

1 Samuel 30:8 (NIV)

8 and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”
“Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”

1 Samuel 30:17-19 (NIV)

17 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. 18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back.

David’s greatest defeat turned into one of his greatest victories. we all face unfair situations, things that seem like they’re going to bury us, but if you will have this warrior mentality, and go after what belongs to you, the enemy won’t have the last laugh; you will. he may hit you with his best shot, but his best will never be enough; the forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you. you may be down right now, it may be raining in your life, but because your house is built upon the rock, because you are the righteous, there is bounce-back in your spirit. when it’s all said and done, you’re still going to be standing. when you’re in a tough time, you can’t sit around thinking about the bad break, how unfair it was, “I can’t believe I got this sickness, I can’t believe they left me, I can’t believe this weight is on me”; you can either let that sickness crush you, you can let that defeat, bad break, disappointment finish you off, die under the weight of it, or you can have this warrior mentality, and do what you’ve got to do. push. scoot. stretch. squirm. wiggle. refocus. get your second wind and beat it.

Psalm 18:39 (NIV)

39 You armed me with strength for battle

I’ve found, the more difficult the battle, the more strength you’ll have. your strength will always match what you’re up against. are you letting something defeat you because you don’t think you have the strength to overcome it, the strength to deal with that financial problem, sickness, that child that’s off course? if you’ll have this warrior mentality, and do what you can do, God will help you do what you can’t do. when you do what you’ve got to do, you’ll discover a strength that you didn’t know you had. you are not weak, defeated;  you’re a warrior. you’ve got resurrection power on the inside. you may be down right now. those winds may be blowing. but like that palm tree, you’re about to come back up again. you’re not going to stay down, you’re not going to be the same; you’re going to be stronger, healthier, better off. this is a new day. things are changing in your favor. God’s done it in the past, He’s going to do it again in the future. you need to get ready; a bounce-back is coming. you’re going to bounce back from sickness, loss, bad breaks, debt. those winds cannot uproot you. they don’t have the final say; God does. because your house is built upon the rock, no matter what comes against you, when it’s all said and done, you will not be the victim, you will be the victor. you will still be standing.

3 in 2 days, after none for a year and a half… God has my full attention.  Something is happening in my brain, and I have to wonder if something big is coming that this is getting me ready for, especially considering the dream I just had, together with the one I reported in “Did God send me a dream?” 19 days ago;  this stuff  all feels connected.

For the sake of completeness and consistency, I’ll list the previous 17 “eyelid image” episodes:  11-1-10, 11-19-10, 11-24-10, 1-21-11, 1-28-11, 1-29-11, 3-22-11, 2 on 5-28-11, 10-5-11, 10-30-11, 7-20-12 , 10-22-12, 2 on 11-13-12 and 2 on 7-18-14.  This time, I saw…  wait, first the dream:

I was somewhere like a big dorm room, with a bunch of balloons up against the ceiling as if there had been party. I pulled down a little dark-purple heart-shaped metallic balloon (you don’t have to be Freud to see this as representing love), and inexplicably said, “Father, if this is all going to work out, please turn this balloon blue.” Immediately, the color started to fade, and ended up sky-blue; there was suddenly also a sky blue tint to everything else in the room. Pretty big sign there. The owner of the room complained that I had ruined his posters; I can see his point, but it was, after all, a MIRACLE.

Next, I was at my roommate’s desk, on which I spotted a book with a lot of little bits of colored paper sticking out of it;  upon inspection, it turned out to be a record of a bunch of my religious stuff, none of which he knows about. It was obvious from what was there that he had been snooping and spying on me. When I accused him, he was only slightly apologetic; he announced that it was necessary because I was CRAZY, and I needed help. I told him, no, that God and all of my experiences with Him were REAL, and suggested that he go into the nearby room that was now all blue and ask its owner what he had just seen happen there. Naturally, he refused; there is no man so blind as one who will not see. He was very insistent about my being crazy (which is basically what he thinks about all religious people, which is why I don’t tell him anything). And then, security guards showed up, and a psychiatrist, which made me think that I might at that point have “magically” been relocated to a mental hospital. I was able to push pass them out the door… and then, I began to FLY.

As a final barrier, it suddenly turned out that I was inside a gigantic outer room.  I heard my roommate telling someone to turn on the fans and cause updrafts so that I could pretend that I was flying, and I said “no, this is real,” broke out a window with my elbow, flew through it, and started circling high above what had now turned into a MALL. I was calling down to them, to everyone down there, that this was REAL, that God was REAL, look at what I was doing, and that this was all the proof they needed. A bunch of little white dots came swirling and swarming up from the mall; I somehow “knew” that they were little porcelain angel figurines, inexplicably coming in thousands from all parts of the mall to join me, as… moral support, maybe? Eventually, I came down, and was being sort of jostled by the crowd, and I think the security guards were trying to get to me, because apparently my having just been flying was not sufficient proof that I was experiencing God and not insanity; a dark-haired man in a security guard uniform who may in fact have been a security guard led me away to safety…  and I can’t tell you how excruciatingly rare it is for anyone to help me in a dream, in fact a standard theme of my dreams is that I’m constantly searching for help and can’t find it.  (A dark-haired man also helped me in that other recent dream;  was it the same one?)

The only thing I remember after that was speaking into a microphone in a miniature amphitheater with people sitting around me, except they kept leaving until everyone was gone… and since I was speaking about the greatness of God, I assume that this final bit was the part of my subconscious that’s afraid that if I stand up to preach nobody will listen. I expressed astonishment that people wouldn’t have any interest in what I had to say when they just saw me FLYING, and the security guard who’d saved me said that people have short memories. I think I protested that it had only been 5 minutes.

When I woke up, in the darkness behind my closed eyelids I could see tiny white dots that at first glance might have appeared to be a starry sky…  except, the dots were moving around, and I instantly knew what they actually were; the angels. I opened my eyes, and closed them again; the image persisted.

The “blue miracle.” The escape. The rescue.  The power of flight. The flights of angels, both in the dream and in the eyelid image, which was a first. 3 images in 2 days, after a year and a half of nothing. This is a ton of hardcore stuff in a very short period of time. There’s never been any confusion in my mind that the eyelid images are a gift from God, valuable both in themselves and as a sign that He is expanding and improving me. For the angels to appear in the dream as well as the image shows me that God was present in that dream. Ignoring the anxiety part, the dream showed me with a rescuer, and massive angelic support, and overcoming enormous obstacles and opposition with Divine assistance… AND, with God responding to my request for proof that everything would work out in a wildly bigger way than I had requested, where the “everything” is the damaged relationships in my life… especially with the EMF.

And further proof of that, should any be necessary: My roommate and I have been slowly struggling back from a period in our relationship that was worse than I had ever believed possible, as if the wreck of my social and emotional life via the EMF and my “friends” wasn’t enough. We’ve been talking about going out and doing something fun together for longer than you’d believe without it ever happening. It finally got to the point where we felt very pressured to do something, but there really isn’t anything available that we both want to do, or that we don’t have a failed history of trying to do. There used to be a place that we went to several times in the year or 2 after we met that we both LOVED, in fact it was the first place we ever went to after we met, but it closed down 15 years ago. Neither one of us had thought of it in forever. And then, ALSO today, I received a coupon in the mail for… a new branch of this place that I didn’t even think existed anymore, which is opening up right near my house!! And he came home… having just seen the sign for this same place!! Now, for the first time in YEARS, we’re suddenly EAGER to go do something together, and as a bonus it will bring back those fun early days before we started trying to live under the same roof with financial dependency on each other. The TIMING!! I have absolute faith that this will be the thing that gets us back on solid ground again, which is one of the things that is necessary, not just for a good quality of day-to-day life, but for the missing people to successfully return back into our lives… especially the EMF.

 

For the benefit of new readers:  One of my many oddities is that I am unable to see images in my mind.  I have vivid dreams with the normal, real-looking visuals, but when I close my eyes and try to see something, the best I can manage are fast, dark flashes.  3.5 years ago, God gave me my 1st “waking image,” aka “eyelid image,” where when I was awake but with my eyes closed I could see an image. These images appear without any effort from me, and they are not images of my choosing, although they are sometimes things that I would generally like to see.  The can be either static or moving, realistic or surreal.  The first one was dark and dim, but later ones were better.  The previous 15 were:  11-1-10, 11-19-10, 11-24-10, 1-21-11, 1-28-11, 1-29-11, 3-22-11, 2 on 5-28-11, 10-5-11, 10-30-11, 7-20-12 , 10-22-12, and 2 on 11-13-12.  I’ve skipped over a year and a half without one;  I don’t know why, or why the other, smaller chunks without one happened, although I think that periods of heavy stress were part of it.

I vaguely think that I might have had one recently and forgotten to record it, although I’ve DREAMED that I needed to write one down, too, so I can’t be sure.  I AM sure that, early this morning as I was trying to get to sleep, God gave me my 16th and 17th eyelid images.  The first one was barely discernible, black against nearly black;  it was like a cartoony ferris wheel full of crude figures spinning around.  The second one was still very dark, but a little clearer.  It was like a jumbled frieze of crude figures.  Imagine something like this:

Joseph_Johnson_Frieze_2169x660

except there were multiple rows, and they were MOVING, as if they were…  fighting, maybe?  The other interesting element is that I had a dream that referred to the EMF after I saw them;  multiple past images were either after dreams of him or actually showed him.  Considering how rare dreams of him have become, and how long I went without the images…  VERY interesting

I have no idea what it means, but I know that any new ability comes from God, so I’m recording it.

 

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all face situations that look permanent, in our health, our relationships, our career. it’s easy to think that that’s the way it’s always going to be. “I’ll always struggle with this addiction.” “I’ll always have to deal with this depression.” “I’ll always be at the same level.” “I’ll never break out of this rut, do something great.” but just because it seems permanent to us, doesn’t mean that it’s permanent to God. God doesn’t allow you to get into anything that He can’t bring you out of. even if it was your own fault, you brought the trouble on yourself, God wouldn’t have allowed it if He didn’t have a way out. He knew how to get you out of the trouble before you got in the trouble. He knows the end from the beginning. He had the solution even before you had the problem. it may look to you like it’s never going to change, but God is saying, “it’s temporary. you’re coming out of that sickness, chronic pain, loneliness, debt, addiction, legal trouble; it’s not going to last forever. it didn’t come to stay, it came to pass.”

God has already made a way for you to escape. He has already planned your coming-out party; It’s just a matter of time before you see the breakthrough, healing, abundance, restoration, new levels. the scripture says in Job that God has set an end to the difficulty, trouble. God is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He has already set an end to the sickness, addiction, injustice at work. your coming-out date has already been established. now when thoughts tell you, “it’s never going to change, you might as well accept it, this is as good as it gets,” no, you have to remind yourself, “I will not always be lonely. God has set an end to this loneliness. He is bringing somebody great into my life. I will not always struggle in my finances. God has set an end to this lack. He has promotion, increase, abundance, coming my way. this child that’s off course is not always going to cause me heartache; the Creator of the universe, the one who spoke worlds into existence, has already decided the final date. this addiction, these bad habits, are not going to hinder my life; God has already put the end on His calendar, my time is coming. freedom, wholeness, victory is in my future.” The scripture says:

Isaiah 58:9 (NIRV)

9 You will call out to me for help.  And I will answer you.

if you will stay in faith, there will come a point where God says, “enough is enough. that’s my son/daughter; I didn’t create them to live with addictions, sickness, lack, mediocrity, being taken advantage of, I created them to be victorious, healthy, free, to lend and not borrow.” God may have allowed it, but He wouldn’t have let you get into it if He couldn’t bring you out of it. He has already set the end to this sickness, legal problem, family situation, struggle. you don’t know, that end date could be today, this week, this month. what if you knew that on August 22 of this year that was the final date that God set for the difficulty? you wouldn’t drag around discouraged, thinking, “oh man, I never get any good breaks, I’ll never get over this illness.” no, you would go out each morning with a spring in your step, a smile on your face talking, acting like it was going to happen. that’s what faith is all about; you’ve got to believe it before you see it. you’ve got to act like it’s true before you see any sign that it’s happening.

if somebody asks you, “are you still dealing with that sickness? are you still under the weather?” don’t give them a 20 minute update of everything wrong with you, how bad the medical report was. your answer should be, “yes, I’m still dealing with it, but can I tell you, I’m coming out, I’m getting better, God is restoring health unto me, the number of my days He will fulfill.” “well, are you still struggling in your finances, you’re still in debt?” “yes, I’m still there, but I’m coming out, it’s only temporary, I will lend and not borrow.” “are you still with that same company, that same position? I thought you wanted to do something better?” “yes, I’m still there, but I’m coming out, my new job is on the way, God is opening doors that no man can shut.” you’ve got to get in agreement with God. He is saying, “where you are is not where are you’re staying.” you’re coming out of the drought into abundance. you’re coming out of fear and worry and into peace. you’re coming out of depression into joy. you’re coming out of constant struggle, bad breaks, into the favor of God. you may not see how it could happen, but don’t believe those lies; the end date has already been set. David put it this way:

Psalm 23:4 (KJ21)

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

he didn’t say, “I stay in the valley, I built a house in the valley, I’m stuck in the valley,” he said, in effect, “I’m coming out of this valley.” the valley is temporary; you’re supposed to go through it, that is not your permanent home. but if you let it get permanent in your thinking, it will keep you from your destiny. every one of us is going through something: health issue, financial difficulty, a struggle at work. too often, we settle in the valley, and think, “I’ll always struggle, have this back pain, have strife and division in my family, that’s just who we are.” we put our stakes down, and build our house in the valley. I’m asking you to do what David did; pack up your belongings, pull up your stakes.  the valley is not your home. you are just passing through; you’re not a citizen of the valley, you don’t belong there, you’re illegal in the valley. you are not a citizen of debt, cancer, mediocrity. that’s a temporary position. you may be there for a season, but the good news is, your day of departure has a ready been set. God has already purchased your ticket.

you may be in the valley of sickness right now, the medical report doesn’t look good, but take heart; your ticket says, you are headed for good health, you will live and not die. you may be in the valley of struggle, lack, not enough, but your ticket says you are headed to more than enough, overflow, abundance. maybe you’re in the valley of loneliness, you don’t have much company; stay encouraged, your ticket says that divine connections are coming, new friendships, the right people. perhaps you’re in the valley of disappointment; something didn’t work out, you went through a breakup, business didn’t make it, a friend betrayed you. don’t stay discouraged; don’t let the self-pity and bitterness take root. that is not your final destination; your ticket says, “beauty for ashes,” “what was meant for your harm, God will use to your advantage.” if you will be a prisoner of hope, Zechariah said:

Zechariah 9:12 (ESV)

12  Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

God will pay you back for the unfair things that have happened. we are not supposed to stay in the valley:

Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)

5 … Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

your ticket says, “new beginnings.” don’t get stuck in the valley. don’t put your stakes down in disappointment, loss, heartache, thinking you’ve seen your best days.

Psalm 84:6 (TLB)

6 When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains!

that means, when you’re in the valley, if you’ll stay in faith, knowing that God has you in the palm of his hand, He will take your tears and turn them into pools to refresh you. you’ll have the strength you need for every situation.

Genesis 15:13-14 (KJV)

13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

what’s interesting is God is the one that sent them into slavery. He said, “I’m taking you into a place that’s going to be difficult.” if that was the end of the story, that doesn’t sound like a good deal. we’d think,”God, don’t do me any favors.” the truth is, that that setback was a setup for God to do something greater. God brought them out with great substance, with more than they had before. when you go through a difficulty, a disappointment, you may not understand it, but God wouldn’t have allowed it, not only if he couldn’t get you out, but God is going to take it one step further and bring you out with great substance, better off than you were before. God never brings you out the same; if you’ll stay in faith, He will bring you out with greater substance, joy, peace, resources.

Psalm 66:12 (NLT)

12 Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.

you may be in the fire, flood, famine right now, well, get ready, your next step is great abundance. God is going to do more than you could ask or think. when you go through a difficulty, when you face a bad break, you may not understand it, you may not like it, but God wouldn’t have allowed it unless ultimately He was going to use it to your advantage. recognize that it’s a setup for God to do something greater. when God told Moses to tell Pharaoh to let the people go:

Exodus 10:20 (NLT)

20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart again, so he refused to let the people go.

here God was the one that told him to let the people go, yet God wanted Pharaoh to say no.

Exodus 14:4 (CEB)

4 I’ll make Pharaoh stubborn, and he’ll chase them. I’ll gain honor at the expense of Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.

Exodus 14:4 (NLT)

4 And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army.

there are enemies that God will allow into your life, not to defeat you, not to make you miserable, but so that God can receive great glory. you may be in a tough time, but when God brings you out, when you beat the cancer, break the addiction, when your marriage is restored, when you pay your house off, when you accomplish your dreams, everyone will know it wasn’t just you, it was the favor of God. God wants to show out in your life, make you an example of His goodness. but we pray, “God, keep me out of all the difficulties. God, don’t let me face any opposition.” but if that happened, number one, we wouldn’t grow like we should. our character is developed in the tough times; that’s when our faith is tested and strengthened. and number two, if we never had obstacles to overcome, if we never faced impossible situations, we wouldn’t see the greatness of God’s power. when we have difficulties, a lot of times we think, “why is this happening to me? what am I doing wrong?” no, you may not be doing anything wrong; God just may want to show out in your life. He may want to use that situation to bring Him great glory.

John 9:1-3 (ESV)

9 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

John 9:6-7 (ESV)

6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

for the rest of his life, that man was a testimony to the goodness of God. your situation may look impossible, the obstacle looks too big, the sickness too bad, the business too slow, the marriage too far gone. no, get ready, you’re a prime candidate for God to show Himself strong. God specializes in cases that look too big, impossible, no chance. that way, when He turns it around, you will give Him great glory at the expense of your enemies.

Exodus 10:20 (NLT)

20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart again

that tells me that God is in control, even of our enemies. when Satan wanted to test Job, he had to ask God for permission:

Job 1:11-12 (ESV)

11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.”

when Saul was persecuting the church, he had to get permission from the chief priest to arrest believers. he was headed to Damascus, thinking, “I’ve got permission to make their lives miserable,” when:

Acts 9:3-4 (NKJV)

3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

even though he had permission, God stopped it. there are times when God will give the enemy permission to test us, but just like with Saul, God will stop it. God can stop the cancer, the addiction, the legal situation. every one of us can look back and see times where we know God stopped it. God doesn’t let you get into something that He can’t bring you out of. whatever comes against you, God can stop it. He can stop the accident, addictions, family trouble. the enemy is not going to have the last laugh; you will. David said:

Psalm 129:1-2 (TLB)

129 Persecuted from my earliest youth (Israel is speaking), 2 and faced with never-ending discrimination—but not destroyed! My enemies have never been able to finish me off!

that difficulty is not going to finish you off. that bad break, disappointment, sickness, is not the end; God has the final say, and He is saying, “you’re coming out with greater substance, better off than you were before. as a child of the Most High, God has put something on you where you cannot be defeated. the medical report may not look good, business is going down, the odds are against you, but:

Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV)

17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper

it may form, it may look impossible, but the good news is, God will stop it. it’s not going to prosper. like David said:

Psalm 129:1-2 (TLB)

129 … My enemies have never been able to finish me off!

stay in peace. God’s got your back. He is fighting your battles. He has done it in the past, and He’ll do it again future. in the story of the three Hebrew teenagers:

Daniel 3:14-15 (NKJV)

14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? 15 … if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”

I’m sure they prayed, “God, please keep us out of the fire, this is dangerous, we could be killed in there.” they wanted God to do it one way, but God chose to do it another way. sometimes, God will deliver you from the fire; other times, God will make you fireproof and take you through the fire.

Daniel 3:20 (NIV)

20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.

it looked like it was over, like they were done. but God never lets you get into something that He can’t bring you out of.

Daniel 3:27 (NKJV)

27 … they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

the only thing that fire burned off were the cords that were holding them back. the King came to check on them:

Daniel 3:24-25 (NKJV)

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”
They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

the King said, “from this day forward, we are all going to worship the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.” your enemies cannot finish you off; they don’t have the final say, God does. you may feel like you’re in the fire right now. you don’t see a way out, but stay encouraged; where you are now is not permanent, it’s temporary. you’re coming out, not the same, but better, with great abundance. when you come out, all of your family, friends, and enemies will know; the favor of God is on your life. you’re going to be a living testimony of God’s goodness. now remember; the end of the difficulty has already been set. the end of the trouble, lack, addiction; the final date has already been established. the good news is; it could happen this week. get up every morning thanking God that it’s on the way. if you’ll do this, you will be coming out of sickness, depressions, addictions, lack and struggle. the tide of the battle is turning. you might as well start planning your coming-out party. God is going to bring you out with great abundance, joy, peace; great victories are in your future.

An anonymous commenter shared the following quote:

“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success . . . Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” – Nikola Tesla

God made us in His image, so…  are His feelings anything like ours?  Did He feel thrilled, joyful, etc, when He created us?  Is part of why He created us that He is essentially a Great Inventor who loves the act of creation?  There’s no way to know, but I hope He DID feel these things, and that He still feels them when He looks at us…  especially when He sees us “unfolding to success” in the destiny He has arranged for us to achieve.

He gives us so much;  it’s wonderful to think of what He might be getting in return, along with our love and faith.

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