Grace under pressure

This is something we would all like to have, but it’s so easy to wallow in misery, to be discouraged, to focus inward on our own pain and loss rather than reaching upwards towards God and outward towards our fellow human beings. One person who could easily have fallen into that pit was Annie Johnson Flint; she had arthritis that was so severe that she was crippled and wheelchair-bound, in constant pain, and she suffered the devastating losses of all the people that she loved the most. Because she was a powerful woman of faith, she was able to keep reaching up to the Lord, and to focus, not on her suffering, but on Him, and on creating beautiful hymns and Christian poetry. Here is a wonderful example, that shows the possible benefits of living under pressure:


Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length.
Pressed so intensely it seems beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll;
Pressed by foes, and pressured by friends;
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod,
Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings,
Pressed into faith for impossible things;
Pressed into living a life for the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.

2 Corinthians 4:8
We are troubled on every side, yet not
distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not
destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the
dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus
might be made manifest in our body.

You can read more about the life of Annie Johnson Flint here:


Many of her beautiful writings are available here:


Next time you’re in a pressure-cooker of pain, stress, and troubles, will you let it crush you, or will you hold tight to God, and turn it into something wonderful like Annie did?


How bad do you want it

from JO’s sermon this week:

the dreams God has placed in your heart, promises He’s spoken to you, are not going to come to pass without opposition, delays, people trying to talk you out of it. there will be plenty of opportunities to get discouraged, lose your passion, think that it’s not meant to be.

but if you’re going to reach your destiny, you have to have a made-up mind. if you give up after the 1st, 5th or 30th time, what that really means is, you didn’t want it bad enough. there should be something you’re believing for that you are relentless about, not moved by how impossible it looks, discouraged by how long it’s taking, you don’t give up because people told you no. your attitude is, “if I have to believe my whole life, I’m not going to stop believing, take no for an answer, settle for mediocrity. I’m going to keep pursuing what God put in my heart.”

you can’t be passive and indifferent; you have to have a holy determination. it’s more than just your will, it’s a fire on the inside, a knowing that it’s supposed to be yours. when everything says it’s not going to happen, instead of getting discouraged, you kick into a new gear. normal people would give up, settle, but you’re not normal; you want it on another level.

when David was 17, the prophet Samuel anointed him as the next king of Israel. but David didn’t go to the palace; he went back to the shepherd’s fields, where it was lonely. he was overlooked, mistreated by his family. when he finally did go to the palace to serve King Saul, Saul became jealous of David, and tried to kill him. David had done no wrong, yet he had to live on the run, hiding in caves, spending months out in the desert.

he could have been discouraged, “God, this isn’t fair, You anointed me to be king, nothing is working out.” but David didn’t have a give-up spirit, feel sorry for himself, let circumstances talk him out of it; he had a warrior mentality. his attitude was, “I am not quitting, settling for mediocrity. I know there is greatness in me. I’m going to become who God says I am.”

one reason he took the throne is, he wanted it bad enough. how bad do you want what God has put in your heart? bad enough to outlast the opposition, overlook some insults, do the right thing when the wrong thing is happening, keep pursuing even when circumstances say it’s not going to happen? many of the difficulties we face, delays, times it’s not fair, that’s simply a test; God is seeing how bad do you want it. this is what weeds people out; if you’re overcome by problems, let circumstances push you down, people talk it out of it, you’re not going to have the strength or the courage to sustain where God is taking you.

you have to be like David; don’t have a weak mentality, have a warrior mentality. you have to be more determined than the opposition. if you give up every time things don’t go your way, you didn’t want it bad enough; you have to dig your heels in, and say, “I am in this for the long haul. I know what God has spoken to me: I will get well, accomplish my dream, meet the right person.” you’re not moved by what’s not working out, how long it’s taking, who’s not for you; you know Who is for you, the most high God.

in Mark 10:

Mark 10:46-48 (NIV)
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

they saw Bartimaeus as insignificant; “you’re just a beggar; Jesus is not going to be interested in you.”

Mark 10:49-52 (NIV)
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

there were other blind men on the road that day, other sick people in the crowd, yet Bartimaeus was the only one that was healed. why? he wanted it more than they did. he wanted it so bad, he didn’t let people talk him out of it. when they tried to push him down, discourage him, he shouted even louder; if he would have listened to them, he would have missed his miracle.

are you letting people talk you out of what God put in your heart? “you can’t get well, you saw the report. you’ll never get out of debt, you’ve reached your limits. you can’t start that business, accomplish your dreams, you have too much opposition.” let that go in one ear and out the other. ignore what they’re saying; they don’t determine your destiny, God does. but if Bartimaeus would have been passive and indifferent, “I’m blind, it’s just a bad break,” he wouldn’t have received his sight. he had this passion, fire on the inside, that said, “this is your time.” he rose up and took that step of faith.

if you’re going to see what you’re believing for, you have to be willing to do what other people won’t do. other people may not believe when it looks impossible, settle where they are, get discouraged, tell you, “don’t bother praying, believing, no use getting your hopes up, you’re wasting your time.” you have to say, “God, this looks impossible, but I know You can do the impossible. the odds are against me, but God, I know You are for me.” “I put in three applications, all three companies turned me down. I don’t think I’ll ever find a job”; you don’t want it bad enough. “I dated two girls; both of them told me I wasn’t their type. I don’t think I’ll ever get married”; you don’t want it bad enough. there are several million other girls out there. “I want to get well, but the medical report says I’m not going to make it”; when the odds are against you, you have to want it on a new level.

how bad do you want to get out of debt? bad enough to not buy things you can’t afford, not try to keep up with your friends, honor God by tithing your income? how bad do you want that promotion? bad enough to get to work early, do more than what’s required, take that online course to sharpen your skills? “I don’t want to take another course, or more work, I just want the promotion”; you don’t want it bad enough. you have to stand out in the crowd.

the scripture says, “Daniel distinguished himself.” he was so excellent in his work, so sharp, had such a great attitude, that he stood out among all the other young men; the king put him in a position of great leadership. but it doesn’t say God distinguished him, made him excel, stand out; it says he distinguished himself; he was willing to do what the other young men wouldn’t do. it wasn’t so much that he had more talent, skill, it was the fact that he wanted it more than they did.

how bad do you want your children to stay on the right course? bad enough to bring them to church each week, get them up and dressed on your day off, and have them in children’s classes? we don’t think twice about having to get our children up for school, dressed, fed, ready sometimes by 7 in the morning; schooling is incredibly important. but I could argue that their spiritual life is even more important; when they grow up learning to honor God as a person of excellence and integrity, knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, surrounded by favor, those seeds planted in them will affect them for the rest of their lives. every time you bring them, you’re showing them by example to put God first place.

how bad do you want your marriage, relationships to work out? bad enough to bite your tongue when you feel like telling them off, clean up a mess that you didn’t make? there are new levels in front of us, but much of it depends on how bad we want it. God is not going to do everything for us; we have to do our part.

when Lazarus died:

John 11:23-39 (NIV)
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”… 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

Jesus could have moved the stone, he’s God; he wanted to see how bad they wanted it.

you can pray, “God, help me to feel better, I don’t have any energy, I’m always so tired”; are you eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, or living stressed and worried? if you’ll roll away the stone, God will do what you’re asking. but you can’t override natural laws and expect to live a blessed, healthy life. do you want to get well bad enough to not drink 43 colas a day, and sleep 3 hours a night? do you want to break that addiction bad enough to not hang around those people that are pulling you down, causing you to compromise? “I know these friends aren’t good for me, but I like being around them”; you don’t want it bad enough. God is not going to free you until you roll away the stone. when He sees you doing all you can, then He’ll make things happen that you can’t.

but if you’re not willing to do the natural, He’s not going to do the supernatural. your destiny is too important to spend it with people that are not making you better. who are you allowing to influence you? are they challenging, inspiring you, pushing you forward? you don’t have time to waste with people that bring out the worst in you. life is flying. by we don’t get a do-over; this is it. “what if I hurt their feelings?”; what if you miss your destiny? what if they keep you from becoming who you were created to be?

they may not want it bad enough. they may be ok with mediocrity, compromise, barely getting by in life; that’s their choice, but that’s not who you are. you have seeds of greatness; you’re destined to leave your mark. you weren’t created to fit in, be average, live with addictions, dysfunction, lack, struggle; you were created to stand out in the crowd, be a cut above. do your part, and distinguish yourself; be willing to do what others won’t do. yes, it takes discipline, you have to say no to carnal desires, but the pain of discipline is less than the pain of regret.

it’s hard to bite your tongue, not say what you feel, but that pain is less than the pain of having someone you love walk away. it’s hard to lay off the junk food, things that are not good for you; that pain is less than the pain of not being healthy. it’s hard to break away from a friend that’s pulling you down, but that pain is less than not reaching your dreams. one of the saddest things is to come to the end of life, and wonder what I could have become: what if I wouldn’t have let those people talk me out of my miracle, if I would have broken away from those friends that were causing me to compromise, treated my spouse with respect, taken that step of faith in my career, not played it safe all the time, where would I be? you don’t have to wonder; you can start right now. it is not too late to become who God’s created you to be.

the question is; do you want it bad enough? stir your passion up. make this decision; “I am not going to live complacent, accepting mediocrity, passive; I’m going to pursue what God put in my heart, take steps to grow, come up higher in my relationships.”

the difference between a dream and a wish is, a wish is something you just hope happens, but a dream you put actions behind. the scripture says, “faith without works is dead.” wishing isn’t going to get you anywhere. the people that succeed don’t always have the most talent, education, opportunity; many times, they simply wanted it more than others. you have to pursue what God put in you; being passive and indifferent will keep you from your destiny.

Jesus said, “those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled.” here’s the principle; if you’re not hungering after anything, you’re not going to be filled. are you hungry to get well, accomplish the dream, meet the right person? you can teach people to have faith, encourage them to believe, but you can’t make people be hungry; it has to come from the inside. you have to know you are a person of destiny, that there is something bigger in front of you. do you want it bad enough, or are you coasting? have you let people talk you out of it, bad breaks, disappointments, steal your passion, cause you to settle? “my business didn’t make it, that’s why I’m down”; how do you know your next business is not going to make it? “the medical report says I’m not going to get well”; there’s another report, it says God is restoring health back unto you.

are you hungry for it? you may have had some setbacks, but you have to be relentless when it comes to what God put in your heart. if you let people, delays, disappointments, talk you out of it, then you didn’t want it bad enough. sometimes we talk ourselves out of it, it’s too hard. it’s amazing what we’ll do when we want something bad enough; we’ll do things that we wouldn’t normally do. quit telling yourself it’s too hard, you’ve had too many setbacks; you can do what you want to do. don’t miss your destiny because you didn’t want it bad enough; what God put in you is worth fighting for, being uncomfortable for a season, having to stretch, try again, doing what others aren’t willing to do.

the question is; how big is your want-to? you can break that addiction if you really want to, forgive that person that hurt you, make your marriage work, write that book, accomplish your dream, if you want to bad enough. your will is one of the most powerful things you have. when you make up your mind to do something, God will breathe on your efforts, and give you strength that goes beyond your natural ability. it’s not just willpower, it’s the blessing of God helping you, but it kicks in when God sees you doing all you can do, taking steps to come up higher, forgiving the person that did you wrong, trying again after a disappointment. that’s when you’ll see God make things happen that you couldn’t make happen.

I wonder if you’ve convinced yourself you can’t do something that you really can do; “I don’t have the discipline, talent.” God is saying, “you can do it, it’s in you, but you’re going to have to dig down deep and put forth the effort.” it may not be easy, but your destiny is calling. you have greatness in you; don’t let people talk you out of it, circumstances convince you that you can’t. there are new levels in front of you, great relationships, healing, promotion, abundance. my question is; how bad do you want it? are you hungry, with a made-up mind, relentless? because your want-to is big enough, like Bartimaeus, you’re going to see God suddenly turn things around, like David you’re going to outlast the opposition and take your throne,  break barriers that have held you back, and step into a new level of your destiny.

(No new sermon this week.)

Of course, we can actually SAY, “All glory to God,” and similar phrases, but I’m not talking about that; what I’m considering here is what are the things that we can do DO to bring glory to the Lord.

As with any question of this nature, first and foremost we need to check the Word, so here’s what the Bible says:

Joshua 7:19
My son, I beg you, give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession to Him

(Even when we sin, we can still give glory to the Lord by openly and honestly confessing our sin.)

Matthew 5:16
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

John 15:8
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

Philippians 1:11 NLT
May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation–the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ–for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

1 Peter 2:12 ESV
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

1 Peter 4:11 (NKJV)
11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ

And MAYBE (the meaning of the original Hebrew is uncertain):

Psalm 50:23 (NKJV)
23 Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;
And to him who orders his conduct aright
I will show the salvation of God.”

I think we need to be VERY careful about veering away from Scripture for determining spiritual truths, but I feel confident that in this case, we can do so a little bit. I think we bring glory to God anytime we do anything with excellence, or at least give our best shot at excellence: every time we sing a song, paint a painting, do a good job, or at least work hard, at pretty much anything, even cleaning our homes, or behave as true Christians the way God wants us to, by doing good deeds, helping people, and behaving with Christian virtue no matter what is going on around us. If you have any other ideas, or if your church teaches some additional things, feel free to leave a comment. 🙂

Hearing in your spirit

from JO’s sermon this week:

just as we have physical ears, we have spiritual ears. God doesn’t speak to us out loud, normally, like we see in the movies, He speaks to us in our spirit. many times, He will speak things that contradict what we see with our eyes: maybe you’re facing an illness, it doesn’t seem like you’ll ever get well; you’ll hear a voice saying, “you’re healthy, whole, strong.” or you’re struggling in your finances, can’t seem to get ahead; you’ll hear that voice saying, “you’re blessed, prosperous, have more than enough.”

it’s just the opposite of what it looks like, but God calls you what you are before it happens: when you’re sick, God calls you well. when you’re addicted, God calls you free. when you’re barren, can’t conceive, God calls you a mother.

in the scripture, Abraham didn’t have any children, yet God called him the father of many nations. Gideon was insecure, afraid; he said, “God I can’t lead the Israelites, I come from the poorest family.” he saw himself as weak, unqualified:

Judges 6:12 (NIV)
12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

you’ll hear things in your spirit that don’t make sense to your mind. you’ll think, “I’m not free, I still have this addiction. I’m not blessed, I have all these problems.”

Judges 6:15 (NIV)
15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

Abraham said in effect,” I’m not a father of many nations, I don’t even have one child.” but if you’re going to see it come to pass, you have to believe what you hear in your spirit and not what you see with your eyes, walk by faith and not by sight. your circumstances may look like you’ll never get well, get out of debt, meet the right person, but if you’ll listen down in your spirit, you’l hear a voice saying, “healing is coming, you will lend and not borrow, new doors are about to open, favor is in your future.”

don’t let what you see with your eyes talk you out of what you’ve heard in your spirit. God is saying to you what He said to Gideon; “you are a mighty hero, you’re going to accomplish big things, go further than you’ve imagined.” He’s saying to you what He said to Abraham; “you’re going to have those children, conceive, your baby is on the way.” He’s saying to you what He said to David; “you’re going to defeat that giant. yes, that obstacle is big, but you have greatness in you. you are anointed, equipped, empowered.” He’s saying to you, “that sickness is not your final story; restoration is coming, things are about to turn in your favor.”

now quit being discouraged about what you see, and start being encouraged by what you hear. the scripture says, “the things we see are only temporary, but what we hear, what God speaks to us, that’s permanent.” one translation says, “the things we see are subject to change.” that sickness may look permanent; the truth is, it’s subject to change. one touch of God’s favor, suddenly you’ll be well. that addiction you’ve struggled with for years, looks like that’s your destiny; don’t believe that lie, it’s subject to change. you may feel like you’re stuck, not getting good breaks, seeing any growth; stay in faith, it’s subject to change, God has the final say; He said, “the path of the righteous, your path, gets brighter and brighter.” if you’ll listen, you’ll hear that voice saying, “new levels, opportunities, relationships are coming.”

in 1 Kings 18, there was a great drought; it hadn’t rained in over three and a half years. the crops had dried up, the food supply was limited, people were worried, they didn’t know what they were going to do. the prophet Elijah came along and told the king, “I hear the sound of an abundance of rain.” there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, everywhere he looked it was dry, barren, no vegetation, it had been that way for years.

that’s the way God is; in a drought, God will talk to you about rain. in lack, He’ll talk to you about abundance. when you feel insignificant, like you could never make much out of your life, He’ll talk to you about greatness, put things in your spirit that seem impossible to accomplish. when you’re lonely, don’t think you’ll ever meet the right person, He’ll talk to you about a divine connection.

He speaks to your spirit about what’s coming, but very often, it’s just the opposite of what our circumstances look like. you heard abundance, but all you can see is lack. you heard healing, all you can see is sickness. you heard new levels, all you can see is more of the same. the question is, whose report are you going to believe; what you saw with your eyes, or the report of the Lord, what you heard in your spirit? like Elijah, I hear the sound of breakthroughs, freedom, healing, new levels, abundance.

God is about to do a new thing, exceed your expectations. you may not see any sign of it, everything looks the same; get ready, what you heard is on the way. “I heard in my spirit to start my own business; all I see is this job I’m working at, I must have heard wrong.” stay encouraged; it’s coming. your circumstances may say you’ve reached your limits, gone as far as you can, just settle there. that’s one report; if you believe that, you’ll get stuck, but if you’ll tune that out and believe the report of the Lord, what you hear down in your spirit, that will override what you hear in the natural.

when you get in agreement with God, you’ll become what He says about you. maybe you’re facing an illness; God says, “by his stripes you are healed.” believe the report of the Lord, and healing is coming. you’re struggling with an addiction; God says, “whom the son sets free is free indeed.” believe His report, and freedom is coming. what you hear will override what you see. when Elijah heard the sound of an abundance of rain, that drought had been going on over 3 years, no sign of rain. he could have thought, “I’m not going to tell anyone, they’ll think I’m crazy,” but Elijah had the boldness to announce what he heard to the king.

here’s the principle; it’s not enough to just believe what you’ve heard, you need to announce it. if you’re sick, tell someone, “I’m healthy, whole, I will live and not die.” they may look at you and think, “what do you mean, you saw the medical report, there’s no sign of you getting better?” when you announce it, it sets the miracle into motion. your words have creative power; you give life to your faith by speaking it out.

the scripture says, “let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” if you want to get well, say so. do you want to break that addiction; say so. if you want to accomplish your dreams, say so. there may not be any sign of it, but you need to announce to people, “I’m blessed, free, we’re going to have this baby, move into that new house, our son is going to do great things.” “are you sure? I thought your son was off course, running with the wrong crowd, getting into trouble?” “yes, but that’s temporary, subject to change. that’s what you see with your eyes, but what I heard in my spirit is, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

if you’ll start announcing what you heard, not arrogantly, like a know-it-all, but in humility, with a quiet confidence, that’s your faith being released, allows God to do great things. just because people don’t believe, or even your pastor doesn’t believe, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. experts may say there’s no way, banks say you’re not qualified, friends say you’ll never move into that house; like with Elijah, there may not be a cloud in the sky, and yet you have the boldness to tell people that it’s not only going to rain, but it’s going to be an abundance of rain.

don’t be surprised if you have some naysayers. but you’re not announcing it to get people to agree with you, so they’ll encourage you, “let me believe with you”; that’s great when it happens, but that’s not the primary reason. you’re announcing it to show God that you believe what you’ve heard, and to show the enemy that all the forces of darkness are not going to talk you out of what God put in your heart.

the enemy doesn’t know your thoughts; he’s not like God. God knows our thoughts before we think them, our words before we speak them. God is all-knowing; the enemy only knows what he hears you saying. be careful what you let come out of your mouth: “I’ll never get well, I’ve had this sickness forever. I can’t accomplish my dreams. I’ll never break this addiction.” you’re giving him way too much information, showing him your doubts, fears, weaknesses. but when he hears you saying, “I am blessed, healthy, strong, I hear the sound of abundance, favor, promotion,” all he knows is, you’re on your way up. he cannot keep you from what God has in store.

when you hear yourself saying, “I’m going to conceive my children. I am free from this addiction. my family is being restored,” those words go right back down into your own spirit, and help you to stay encouraged. but if all you hear is how bad the drought is, it’s never going to rain, that negative report is going to keep you from the abundance that belongs to you.

you need to start, not only announcing what God put in your spirit, but thanking God for what you’ve heard; “Father, thank You that my baby is on the way, I’m coming out of debt, I’m free from this addiction, new doors are opening in my career.”

Elijah was on top of Mount Carmel. he told his assistant to go look on the other side of the mountain to see if there was any sign of rain. the young man came back and said, “there’s not a cloud in the sky; it’s not going to rain.” Elijah didn’t get discouraged, think, “God, I must have heard You wrong”; his attitude was, “I’m not moved by what you see; I know what I’ve heard.” when you know what you’ve heard, you won’t be upset when circumstances don’t line up, get discouraged over a negative medical report, give up on a dream because you’ve had some setbacks. like Elijah, you’re not moved by what you see; you know what God has spoken to you. you’ve heard: God is restoring health back unto you, whatever you touch will prosper and succeed, the spouse, favor, rain is coming.

maybe today you’re in a drought; it’s barren, things haven’t worked out. yes, you can hear rain in your spirit, but it’s been a long time, there’s no sign of it happening. that’s the real battle; are you going to let what you see talk you out of what you’ve heard, let circumstances, what people say, what hasn’t worked out, convince you to settle where you are, give up on what you’re believing for? no, get your passion back; stir your faith up. God did not create you to live in a drought, constantly struggling, stuck in one level; that is not your destiny. promotion, health, the right people are coming; what you heard is on the way.

I love what Elijah did; when the young man told him that it wasn’t going to happen, instead of accepting it, he told him to go back and look again. every time he came and said, “still nothing, no rain,” Elijah had him go back and look again. on the 7th time, the young man came and said, “this time, I saw a small cloud.” Elijah was so convinced it was going to happen, instead of changing his mind, being talked out of it, he sent the young man back until he saw it.

God will speak things to your spirit that contradict what you see with your eyes. don’t let people talk you out of it. instead of you changing your mind, tell them to go back and look again; at some point, they’re going to see what God has spoken to you.

but the people close to you, those you allow in your inner circle, they need to be for you; you can’t afford to have doubters, naysayers, telling you that you can’t get well, the problem’s too big, you can’t accomplish your dreams. your destiny is too important to try to convince people what you’ve heard. Elijah didn’t debate with the young man, try to persuade him, he kept sending him away until he finally saw. if you’re going to stay in faith, you may have to send some people away for a little while, distance yourself from that relative, co-worker, that’s always telling you what you can’t become.

God will put things in your spirit that seem too big to accomplish, impossible, you don’t have the resources, connections, influence. but when you know what you’ve heard, and don’t let people talk you out of it, God will open doors that no person can shut, make things happen that you could not make happen.

will you have the boldness to believe what you’ve heard, even though the circumstances say it’s not possible? you heard you’re going to have a baby, but the medical report says no way. you heard you’re going to get your master’s degree, but no one in your family has attended college. you heard your business was going to take off; right now, you can barely pay your bills. God puts things in our spirit as a seed. if we dismiss it, think, “no way, that’ll never happen,” it won’t take root. but if you say, “God, I don’t see a way, but I know You wouldn’t have put this in me if You didn’t have a way. I want to thank You that favor, healing is coming, that You’re bringing the right people, causing things to fall into place, taking me where I could not go on my own.” you don’t have to figure out how it’s going to happen; all you have to do is believe.

this assistant said, “I see a little cloud.” it turned into a big cloud; before long, there was an abundance of rain. Elijah saw what he heard in his spirit. you may not see how you can accomplish your dreams, get well, break that addiction; you know what you’ve heard, but there’s no sign of it. all it takes is a little favor, one good break, right person, healing, and suddenly you will see what you’ve heard.

when people are not for you, don’t get discouraged; they may not celebrate you until after the abundance of rain. that’s ok; the main thing is, don’t let their doubt keep you from what you’ve heard. some of the things God puts in your spirit are not going to make sense to other people; you have to be willing to be misunderstood, talked about, criticized.

God told Noah to build a huge boat because there was going to be a great flood. what’s interesting is, it had never rained up to that point; the Earth was watered from the dew on the ground. people had never seen rain coming down from the sky. Noah was building this boat, not by the ocean, close to the shores where he could easily push it in, he built it out on dry ground. it wasn’t a little fishing boat; God had him build it 450 ft long, a football field and a half. I can imagine people walking by and shaking their heads. it’s not that different today; “you’re telling me you’re going to have a baby, it’s been 20 years, and the medical report says no way? you’re going to touch the world, and you’re a teenager on a farm, with no money, education, support? your child’s going to do great things, and he spends half the school year in detention?”

people may not understand, they may think you’re not accepting reality. in one sense, it’s not their fault; they didn’t hear what you heard. don’t expect them to cheer you on; if you had to have them to fulfill your purpose, they would agree with you. if they don’t, then you don’t need their support, encouragement. don’t let them talk you out of what you’ve heard.

the enemy will use people, sometimes people you love and respect, to plant doubt and negativity. “are you sure you’re going to get that promotion? there are three more qualified people in front of you. I just don’t see it; maybe in 5 years.” “Noah, are you sure it’s going to rain? and by the way, what’s rain?” God is going to put things in your spirit that have never happened, your family has never seen; new levels, promotion, influence. you are coming into a time where you’re going to see unprecedented favor, things bigger than you’ve imagined.

but while you’re believing for it, don’t be surprised if you’re misunderstood. don’t be upset by the naysayers, people that are not for you; they can’t stop your destiny. just keep announcing what you’ve heard, thanking God that it’s on the way. if you’ll do this, what you’ve heard in your spirit is going to override what you see with your eyes. God’s about to do something that you’ve never seen. you’re coming into an abundance of favor, promotion, creativity, health, a new level of your destiny.

(No new sermon this week.)

May was a very interesting month for me, angel-wise. Here are several noteworthy angel events from the past month:

An angel wing over me as I slept:

I woke up, and behind my closed eyelids I saw a sparkling, diaphanous covering of white light, arching maybe 3-4 feet above me, that started out of my sight behind me, and continued on out of sight below the level of the bed on the far side, which is where I was facing. It covered the entire length of my body, vanishing past the edge of the foot of the bed. I don’t know if it was a lingering dream or a vision, but when I opened my eyes, it was there! I saw it for 2-3 seconds, long enough to see that there was a faint patterning that suggested feathers; what I felt in my spirit was that it was an angel’s wing that was over me. It was so powerful that it had penetrated into my sleeping brain, and woken me up after showing it to me as a dream image or a vision. I definitely got the idea that it was a covering, protection, something like a tent over me keeping me safe while I slept. (If you’re a new reader, and wondering safe from WHAT; I’m periodically plagued by demonic presences in my home)

A vision of an angel next to my bed:

In the vision, it was a darkened room that I believed to be my bedroom, with a darker shadow of my bed and a vague dark shape of me on it. Standing over me, inclining slightly down towards me, was a tall, VERY slender, glowingly-white angel. The shape indicated a simple white robe with no hint of the body under it, there were the shapes of folded-in wings at the shoulders and upper body, and tousled hair close to shoulder-length; I had the strong impression that this was a FEMALE angel. Interestingly, she had a thin, bright-gold halo, which I’ve never seen before, and certainly is not in the Bible anywhere, because it was invented by medieval artists to indicate angels and saints, which otherwise typically looked like regular humans. I had a moment of wondering if I should open my eyes, and if I did would I see this angel over me, or would opening my eyes just end the vision and give me nothing? In the end, I kept my eyes closed, and when the vision ended, I opened my eyes and didn’t see anything… But I have no doubt that she was THERE.

Spark angel against the blanket:

While I was getting into bed, a little white spark angel (some angelic appearances look just like sparks, so that’s what I call them) appeared on the blanket to the right of my right calf, even though I was still getting in and shifting the blankets around, and I actually saw him MOVE with the movement of the blanket, as if he was physically connected to it and so being lifted and shifted along with it. There is no doubt in my mind; not only was he real, but he was PHYSICALLY there in some way, not just a reflected or hallucinated spot of light that would NOT have moved along with the physical world. I had never even imagined such a thing, and if I WAS imagining that spark, I would expect it to remain in the imagined location regardless of what was moving around it, or just to vanish because of the movement.

I had no perception of weight on the blankets, so he had to have a physical connection in proportion to his apparent size, or maybe not really having weight is just part of how this works. It was like a minuscule firefly was there for just a couple of seconds. Of course I thanked him for being there. A minute or so later, I saw him maybe 3 feet above the bed, down more and to the left, and then in the few minutes after that, I saw him 2 other times, one time closer to the door, and the other time was to the left of the bed, towards the foot. It’s not uncommon for me to see these angelic sparks, either white or red, near me when I’m in bed, but this was the first time I saw one so many times at once, and the first time I saw this particular demonstration of physicality.

2 huge angels with wings in my prayer closet:

Two different times recently, when I’ve just gotten into bed, I’ve seen a HUGE white light form filling my prayer closet area, with the distinct impression of WINGS.

What is the meaning of all of this? I have no idea. I have no explanation for any of the individual occurrences, or why I’ve had this marvelous clump of unusual ones. As always, though, I’m EXTREMELY grateful that God keeps sending these angels to me, grateful for their presence, protection, and assistance. They come from God, so they can only be here for my benefit; that’s all I really need to know.

If you have had any recent experiences with angels, feel free to post them below. 🙂

Just One Good Break

from JO’s sermon tonight:

sometimes, we don’t see how we can accomplish our dreams; we don’t have the connections, resources, experience. it’s easy to get discouraged, and think, “I’ll never get well, look at the medical report. I’ll never break this addiction, I’ve had it for years. I can’t get out of debt, I’ve gone as far as I can.”

it may look like it’s not going to happen, but what you can’t see is, you’re just one good break away. just meeting one right person, just one phone call, contract, healing, and what seemed impossible will suddenly become possible. you don’t need a hundred things to go right; just one touch of God’s favor, and doors will open that you couldn’t open. just one person being for you will catapult you ahead. just one breakthrough, and suddenly you get well, free from the addiction, depression is gone.

you may have situations that don’t look like they’ll ever change, but stay encouraged; God has already arranged good breaks for you, things that you couldn’t make happen. you weren’t next in line, you didn’t have the experience, but out of nowhere, the contract came to you.

He’s already lined up the right people to help you; you didn’t ask them, try to win them over. for no reason, they will go out of their way to be good to you; they’ve been ordained by God to move you into your destiny. you don’t have to worry about how it’s going to work out; God can cause one person to like you, say, “promote them,” and suddenly you’ll go to a new level. instead of thinking, “it’s a long way off, I don’t see how it can ever happen,” turn it around, “Father, thank You that I’m just one good break away; one touch of Your goodness, and things will change in my favor.” when something doesn’t work out your way, it’s because God has something better in store; you may not be able to see it at the time, but that’s when you have to trust Him.

God knows how to have the right people be for you. when somebody is not for you, don’t get bent out of shape; God has the right people already lined up, that will want to help you, are ordained to open doors that you couldn’t open, use their influence to thrust you ahead. you don’t need everyone to be for you; you just need the right people to be for you. God is going to cause people to be for you that are in a position of authority, can override your critics, cause things to fall into place.

you may feel like you’re falling behind, you could never accomplish what God put in your heart, other people discount you, don’t give your credit; don’t worry, God knows how to make up for lost time. just one touch of His favor will catapult you years ahead. just one person opening a door, just one phone call out of the blue, and you look up, and you’re 50 years down the road.

people don’t discount you anymore; now, they look up to you. God is going to cause you to be seen in a new light, give you respect, credibility, influence, that’s going to make up for the time it looks like you’ve lost. but those years where you were not being noticed, not seeing good breaks, having much influence, were proving years, where you were showing God you could be trusted, did the right thing when the wrong thing was happening, being your best when you weren’t seeing growth, going to work with a good attitude even though nobody was giving you credit. those were important years; without you being faithful, and showing God that you could be trusted, you wouldn’t be ready for what God has in store. you have to be prepared for where God is taking you.

you’re not falling behind; you’re in training. if it’s taking longer than you thought, it’s because God has something big in your future. don’t slack off, get tired of doing the right thing; if you’ll keep passing the test, the scripture says your due season is coming. that means, God’s not only going to bring you out, He’s going to thrust you ahead; you’re going to come out promoted, increased, further than you’ve ever imagined.

as a teenager, David was out in the shepherd’s fields taking care of his father’s sheep. it was boring; year after year, all he did was feed the sheep, clean up their waste, make sure that they were protected. it was dirty, smelly, lonely, nobody thanked him, nobody knew that he killed a lion and a bear to protect those animals. he could have slacked off, had a bad attitude, “God, it’s not fair, I’m wasting time out here.” instead, he kept passing the test, doing the right thing when nothing was changing.

one day, the prophet Samuel came to his house to anoint the next king of Israel. he looked at David’s seven brothers, who were older, had more experience, more training, some of them were in the military, big, strong, muscular; they looked like kings. Samuel passed by them, and eventually came to David, the forgotten one, the one that had been overlooked, discounted, seen as less than. Samuel said, “this is the next king of Israel.”

God doesn’t choose the way people choose. people look on the outside; God looks on the heart. God found a man in David that He could trust, that had proven he’d be faithful when things weren’t going his way. God knew, if He could trust him to take care of sheep, He could trust him to take care of His people. when God promoted David, brought him out, He made up for all the years it looked like he was losing out in the shepherd’s fields. he went from being a shepherd to being a king. nobody voted for him, this wasn’t a democracy; if it was, he wouldn’t have received one vote, he wasn’t on the radar, nobody in Israel knew who he was. his father didn’t believe in him, his brothers tried to belittle him.

but when God is ready to promote you, He doesn’t take a vote, check to see who likes you, who’s for you, how popular you are; it’s an appointment. it’s up to God: not your boss, neighbors, critics, relatives. promotion doesn’t come from people, it comes from the Lord. when it’s your time to be promoted, no person can stop you, no bad break, disappointment, enemy. God has the one and only vote, the final say.

quit worrying about who’s not for you; “why won’t these people give me credit? I’d be further along if my co-workers would quit leaving me out.” your co-workers can’t hold you back; other people cannot keep you from your destiny. they didn’t know you before you were formed in your mother’s womb, lay out the plan for your life, crown you with favor, put seeds of greatness on the inside. quit focusing on who’s not for you, and start focusing on Who is for you; the most high God is breathing in your direction, has you in the palm of His hand. His plans for you are for good. Him being for you is more than the world being against you.

David’s life was set on a new course by just one person; when Samuel came to his house and anointed him king, his whole world changed. what’s interesting is, David didn’t have to go after Samuel; Samuel came after David.

you don’t have to go after the blessing; keep honoring God, and the blessing, phone call, right person, healing, promotion, will find you. we spend too much time trying to make things happen, then we get frustrated because it’s taking so long. but you can’t make things happen out of God’s timing, make people like you who are not supposed to like you, open a door that God has closed. stay in peace, knowing that God will cause the right people, breaks, opportunities, to come knocking at your door. when it’s your time, Samuel will show up.

Samuel looked at all of David’s brothers before he saw David, but God did not choose any of them; God was showing us that what has your name on it won’t go to anyone else. quit being upset because that co-worker got the promotion that you really wanted; if it was supposed to be yours, you would have gotten it. or that friend married that man that you really like, that doesn’t seem fair; if you were supposed to marry him, then she wouldn’t have. that means that God has somebody better for you.

you don’t want what’s not supposed to be yours; there’s no grace for it. sometimes, God will close a door that we can’t open, but there are times that we’re so stubborn, that if it’s not going to stop our destiny, God will let us have it our way; this will never end up going well. don’t try to beat the door down. be determined, pursue your dreams, but be smart enough to realize; what God wants to be yours will come to you. it won’t be a constant struggle.

yes, there’ll be opposition, you’ll have to work hard, fight the good fight of faith, but there will be a grace that causes things to fall into place. the Psalmist said, “God will work out His plan for your life.” you don’t have to work it out, struggle, live worried, try to fix every problem, straighten out every enemy, make everything happen in your own strength; you can live from a place of rest, knowing that God is fighting your battles, lining up the breaks you need, has the right people that will help you, solutions to problems that you can’t see right now.

He’s already figured out how to solve it. don’t waste your time worrying; He’s on the throne, can see things you can’t see, promised He will work out His plan for your life. it may not seem like it’s going to happen, but you’re just one good break away. you’ll look back and say, “wow, God, You’ve amazed me with Your goodness!”

David said:

Acts 2:26 (MSG)
26 I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope

where have you pitched your tent? “I’ve had a lot of disappointments, I’ll never get well, I can’t accomplish my dreams, it’s been too long”; the problem is not that God can’t do it, the problem is where you pitched your tent. as long as you’re thinking of all the reasons why it’s not going to happen, how impossible it is, that’s going to limit you.

why don’t you pick up your tent, move out of the land of doubt, negativity, self-pity, it can’t happen, I’m too old, I never get any good breaks; that’s the wrong neighborhood. pitch your tent in the land of, “with God, all things are possible, goodness and mercy are chasing me down, what was meant for my harm, God is turning to my advantage.”

you are just one good break away from God catapulting you to a new level; just one right person showing you favor will change the course of your life. just one touch of God’s goodness, and you’ll beat the cancer, break the addiction, see your family restored.

in Acts chapter 3, there was a man that had been crippled since birth. every day, his family would carry him to the temple and set him beside the gate, so he could beg; he’d been doing this for years. one day, Peter and John came walking by; the man held out his cup, wanting money. Peter said, “I’m sorry, we don’t have any money for you, but in the name of Jesus, rise and walk.” Peter took him by the hand, pulled the man up; instantly, he was healed. he was so excited, he took off running through the temple, thanking God.

when the man woke up that morning, he thought it was just another ordinary day; he’d go to the temple, sit by the gate, and beg, like he’d done for years. he had no idea that when he went to bed that night, he’d be able to walk, he was just one good break away from having his whole life changed. just one person ordained by God to speak healing, and he would do something he was told he could never do.

you may have some big obstacles in your path today, things that have held you back for a long time: sickness, addiction, depression, loneliness. it doesn’t seem like it’ll ever change. you could get comfortable, accept it; no, get ready, God is about to surprise you. He’s already spoken to the right people, lined up the healing, freedom, promotion.

it’s going to happen suddenly; you didn’t see it coming. you woke up one morning, expecting more of the same; you never dreamed when you went to bed that night, you would be healed, free, promoted, vindicated. the good news is, it could happen today, this week, this month; your whole world could change for the better. now do your part; pitch your tent in the land of hope. give God something to work with. that’s not just being positive, that’s your faith being released.

Acts 3:9-10 (TPT)
9 When all the people saw him jumping up and down and heard him glorifying God, 10 they realized it was the crippled beggar they had passed by in front of the Beautiful Gate. Astonishment swept over the crowd, for they were amazed over what had happened to him.

God has some things in your future that are not only going to leave you amazed, but people around you are going to be amazed.

you were not created to live in dysfunction, with addictions, constantly struggling. that may be how it’s been in the past, but that’s not how it’s going to be in the future; God is about to do a new thing, break bondages that have held you back, free you from those addictions, increase you to where you have more than enough. that sickness is not permanent; healing, wholeness, victory is in your future.

what you’re facing may look like it’s never going to change. people have told you no, the odds are against you. you’re just one good break away; just one touch of God’s favor, and suddenly you’ll get well, be free, be promoted. I’m asking you to pitch your tent in the land of hope; get up every morning with expectancy, knowing that the most high God is working out His plan for your life. if you’ll do this, God is about to surprise you, make things happen that you didn’t see coming. suddenly: healing, breakthroughs, the right people, the fullness of your destiny.

Manasseh is coming

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all go through things that are not fair, situations that cause heartache and pain. we were doing the right thing, but somebody walked away, we came down with an illness, a child got off course. it’s easy to get discouraged, think that’s our lot in life. everyone has disappointments, but if you’ll stay in faith, not get bitter, God will bless you in such a way that you don’t remember the pain of the past.

yes, you went through difficulties, things you don’t understand, but now you’re so blessed, fulfilled, happy, you don’t dwell on who hurt you, what didn’t work out, how you weren’t raised in a healthy environment. you may not totally forget it, but it’s not on the top of your mind like it used to be; you don’t wake up thinking about it, go through the day bitter, you’re too blessed to be angry, hold a grudge, think about what didn’t work out.

this is what happened with Joseph. he went through a lot of unfair things: he was betrayed by his brothers, thrown into a pit, sold into slavery. it’s one thing to have people come against you, but this was his own family, the people that were supposed to love him; it made it much more painful. Joseph was falsely accused by a lady, and put in prison. while he was in prison, he interpreted a dream for the Pharaoh; Pharaoh was so impressed, he put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt. Joseph ended up bringing his whole family to Egypt, including his brothers, the ones that threw him into the pit. he gave them a place to live, provided them with land so they could grow their crops. one day, Joseph and his wife had a baby:

Genesis 41:51 (NIV)
51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”

(Manasseh sounds like, and may be derived from, the Hebrew for “forget.”)

Joseph had been through all this heartache, betrayals, lonely nights, injustice, but now God has blessed him in such a way, he was so fulfilled, grateful, he didn’t think about the heartache he’d been through, live bitter because of his brothers, upset because he’d spent years in prison. he was so blessed, favored, he didn’t have time to be angry, try to pay people back; he was too overwhelmed with the goodness of God.

you may have gone through situations that weren’t fair, you did your best, but a dream didn’t work out, your marriage didn’t make it, you lost a loved one. it was painful, thoughts whisper, “it’s never going to change, this is as good as it gets, just learn to live with it.” no, get ready; Manasseh is coming. God is going to cause you to forget, bless you in such a way that you don’t remember the pain; it’s not going to be at the forefront of your mind. you’re going to be so filled with gratitude for God’s goodness, all He’s done for you, you’re not going to think about what you’ve been through.

we talk a lot about letting go of the past, forgiving people that hurt us, not reliving disappointments; that’s important. but sometimes, it’s hard to not think about what went wrong; you wake up, the heartache automatically comes to mind. through the day, you want to be happy, but you feel that heaviness reminding you of what you lost: the sickness you’re dealing with, the addiction. we do our best to tune it out, but it can be an ongoing struggle.

stay encouraged; there will be a day where God causes you to forget. you’re going to give birth to Manasseh; you’re not going to wake up thinking about the hurt, you’re going to wake up thinking about the goodness of God. you’re not going to go through the day discouraged by the loss, weighed down by heaviness; God is going to turn it around, to where all you can think about is how grateful you are. you’re going to have a deep satisfaction, a joy, that you can’t explain. what happened? you gave birth to Manasseh.

“I’ve been through difficulties, and I still remember the loss, sickness, heartache; it didn’t happen for me.” you may not realize it, but you’re pregnant; Manasseh is coming. God hasn’t forgotten about you. He’s seen the heartache, lonely nights, injustice. God has collected every tear that you’ve shed. you may not be able to forget on your own; the good news is, God is going to cause you to forget, turn it around in such a way that you’re overwhelmed, don’t have time to think about the hurt, you’re so grateful for the goodness of God.

God not only brought Joseph out of slavery, that would have been good, but He had his brothers come and be at the mercy of Joseph. he was in charge of the whole nation, blessed with land, resources, opportunity. Joseph had influence, favor, his children were blessed. God didn’t just bring him out, He brought him out in an exceptional way, where he didn’t remember the pain of the past.

we all have things that we need to forget; a bad break, mistake, closed door. it brought heartache, but do your best to not dwell on it; when the thought comes up, try not to think about it. at some point, God is going to do something out of the ordinary, that causes you to forget. you’re not going to have to struggle with it in your thoughts; your mind is going to be so filled with God’s goodness that that negative memory doesn’t have any space to come back up.

Isaiah 61:7 (MSG)
7 Because you got a double dose of trouble
and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
and your joy go on forever.

God didn’t promise we wouldn’t have difficulties; sometimes we have a double dose, more than our share. the good news is, trouble doesn’t have the final say; the betrayal, sickness, loss, is not how your story ends. God is not only going to bring you out, He’s going to bring you out with double: double the joy, peace, influence, fulfillment. it says, “your joy will go on forever”; that means, the trouble is temporary. the sickness, loneliness, addiction, depression, it’s not going to last; the pain is temporary, but the joy will go on forever.

you may have been through a lot in your past, maybe you have things coming against you now, and you don’t see how it could ever turn around. get ready; Manasseh is coming. God has something ahead of you where you will be so blessed, fulfilled, prosperous, that you will live out of a place of joy, gratitude, where you think, “God, You’ve amazed me with Your goodness, done more than I could ever dream.

you’re not going to wake up thinking about the haters; you’re going to wake up thinking about how blessed you are. you’re not going to go through the day bitter because of bad breaks; you’re going to go through saying, “Lord, thank You for Your favor, for being so good to me.” you won’t go to bed discouraged, dwelling on what didn’t work out; you will lie down in peace, with your mind filled with gratitude, so focused on the greatness of our God.

we’ve all had things that could steal our joy, cause us to lose our passion for life, settle for mediocrity. God is saying to you today, “Manasseh is coming. there is something in your future that’s going to erase the pain of the past.” God is not going to just bring you out, heal, restore, vindicate you; that would be good, but that wouldn’t make you forget the pain. God is going to do something out of the ordinary, unusual, that you didn’t see coming. when Manasseh shows up, you’re going to say, “wow, God, I never dreamed I’d be this blessed, meet somebody this great.”

don’t put a question mark where God has put a period. we’re not going to understand everything that happens; life is not always fair. you can’t make people do what’s right; God’s given us free will, and sometimes people make choices that hurt us. what the brothers did wasn’t fair to Joseph, he hadn’t done them any wrong; the good news is, God is a God of justice. He knows how to not only heal the hurts, that would be good enough, we’d be grateful to be restored, but God is so amazing, He’s going to cause you to forget the pain of your past.

when you go through a bad break, injustice, you become pregnant; Manasseh is conceived in your spirit. maybe you weren’t treated right growing up, a friend betrayed you, you’re taking the treatment, trying to beat the illness, life has thrown you a curve. the good news is, you’re pregnant; there’s a baby coming. something out of the ordinary; an explosive blessing, divine connection, supernatural healing. you couldn’t have made it happen, weren’t next in line. what was that? Manasseh, God blessing you in such a way that you forget the injustice, pain, what you’ve been through.

somebody may have walked out on you, that’s not easy, the hurt is real, but it is not the end; God has the final say. He is going to bring you someone so great, loving, kind, fun, good looking, well off, you’re not even going to miss that person that left you. Manasseh is coming. God is going to pay you back. now get your hopes up; quit believing those lies that you’ve seen your best days, been through too much, you’ll never be happy. God has something amazing in front of you: amazing people, opportunities, resources. He has something that you’ve never seen, more rewarding, fulfilling, than you’ve ever dreamed.

I love that it says, “God will cause us to forget,” because sometimes we can’t forget on our own. if you ever had something happen that really hurt you, you lost a loved one, someone walked out of a relationship, an unexpected illness, we can do our best to let it go and move forward, but those negative thoughts keep coming back; “you’re a victim, it’s not fair, it’s never going to change.” we can’t totally forget on our own; that’s why God is going to bless you in such a way that He causes you to forget.

in the scripture, Ruth lost her husband. she was devastated; she was a young lady, now a widow, her dreams were shattered. I can imagine, every morning when she woke up, that was the first thing on her mind; “Ruth, you’re a victim, life’s not fair.” one day, she was out working in the fields, minding her own business; God caused Boaz, the owner of those fields, to notice her.

you may have gone through a situation, it’s not fair, you don’t see how it could ever work out, but you don’t know who God is going to cause to notice you; God knows how to cause you to stand out, look good. a dozen people can bypass you; God can cause the right one to notice you, and say, “wow, look at her, she’s amazing! look at him, he’s outstanding!” God will cause them to see you the way He wants them to see you. right now, God is causing the right people to be attracted to you, the right opportunities, breaks, to track you down.

Ruth had gone through all this heartache; she thought she’d seen her best days. when God caused Boaz to notice her, he was one of the wealthiest men in that area. they ended up falling in love, getting married, had a child; Ruth never dreamed she’d be that blessed, own those fields with her husband, have children. now, when she woke up, those thoughts telling her she’d never be happy didn’t come anymore; God had blessed her in such a way that He caused her to forget the pain of the past.

God has some blessings coming your way that are going to cause you to forget what you lost, who hurt you, what you’ve been through. you’re going to give birth to Manasseh. you may have had a double dose of trouble; get ready, a double dose of favor is headed your way.

this is what happened with Job. everything was going great, then the bottom fell out; he lost his business, children, health, had big boils all over his body, very painful. Job was a good man, loved God, lived with integrity, but just because we honor God, doesn’t mean we’re not going to have difficulties, things we don’t understand. what Job couldn’t see was that God had allowed the difficulty; Satan had to ask God for permission to test Job. God only let him test him up to a certain point.

when you go through difficulties, things that don’t make sense, you have to remind yourself; God is still in control. the person that hurt you, betrayal, unexpected illness, is not a surprise to God. don’t get bitter, start complaining; it’s a test.

Job didn’t think he could ever be happy; negative thoughts came, and he made the mistake of believing them:

Job 7:7 (CEB)
7 … my eyes won’t see pleasure again.

he was saying, “I’ve been through too much, it’s all downhill from here.” he was so discouraged, he didn’t want to keep living. but even though he’d given up, complaining, cursing his future, God hadn’t given up, still had a plan. Job didn’t realize he was pregnant. when God allowed the difficulty, test, at the same time, God planted a seed in Job; he conceived Manasseh.

in Job 17, Job said, “my eyes are dim from weeping; I am but a shadow of my former self.” maybe, like Job, you feel like a shadow of what you used to be. at one time, you were strong, healthy, full of energy, but now you’re fighting that illness, dealing with the pain, feel tired and weak. or at one time, you were blessed in your business, had more than enough, successful, but now things have gone down, you’re struggling, barely making it. perhaps at one time you had a great marriage, you were happy, excited about life, but things have changed, you’re just going through the motions, trying to keep it together. it may not look good, but what you can’t see is, Manasseh is coming.

being half of who you were is not how your story ends; the scripture says, “the path of the righteous gets brighter and brighter.” not less and less. the good news is, your water is about to break; it’s not long before you’re going to give birth. God is going to do something, not to just restore you, bring you out, He’s going to bless you in such a way that you forget what you’ve been through.

Job thought that his life was over; he was complaining, negative. but some scholars say that that trial only lasted 9 months, the same amount of time that a woman is pregnant. then, God turned it around and brought Job out with double; just like Isaiah said, he had a double dose of trouble, so God gave him double blessings. he came out with twice the cattle, sheep, joy. the scripture says, “after this, Job lived a hundred and forty years, and saw his grandchildren down to 4 generations.” after the loss, trouble, sickness; that means after the divorce, unexpected illness, you’re going to see years of health, happiness, favor. Job was so blessed, fulfilled, he didn’t think about what he had been through.

Joseph was 17 years old when his brothers betrayed him, 30 years old when he took the throne. those 13 years weren’t easy, it was difficult, but if you study the rest of Joseph’s life, after he was 30, took the throne, you don’t read anything about him having problems, armies coming against him, betrayals; the difficulty was for a season. after the betrayal, after he was falsely accused, after spending time in prison, Joseph lived to see three generations in peace, stability, abundance. he was so grateful, happy, he didn’t think about his brothers betraying him.

Isaiah said, “God will restore double, and your joy will go on forever”; the trouble is temporary, the joy is permanent. you may be in a tough time today; get ready, Manasseh is coming. there is something in your future that is going to cause you to forget what you’ve been through. you may not be able to forget on your own; the good news is, God is going to cause you to forget. right now, He’s working behind the scenes.

you may not see any sign of it, but I can assure you, you are pregnant; you are going to give birth to blessings that catapult you ahead. God is about to do something unusual, out of the ordinary, to make up for what you’ve been through. like with Ruth, that loss is not the end; the right people are going to notice you. like with Job, those bad breaks are not your destiny; double is coming. like with Joseph, those years of heartache are not your final chapter; you are coming into years of health, happiness, favor, growth, abundance, the fullness of your destiny.