There is Treasure in Your Trial. Plus notes from video blog.

There is Treasure in Your Trial. Notes from video blog.  Check out my special message to you on video  and then check out the notes below.

The Ephesians must have asked Paul “how are you, and how are you doing

 “And [pray] also for me, that [freedom of] utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news (the Gospel), For which I am an ambassador in a coupling chain [in prison. Pray] that I may declare it boldly and courageously, as I ought to do.  21Now that you may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord [and His service], will tell you everything. Ephesians 6:19-21(AMP).

The Ephesians must have asked Paul “how are you, and how are you doing.”  His answer is a treasure map. Here is a formula for success in a brutal environment.

1. What you are is infinitely more important than how you are. “I am an AMBASSADOR in chains.”  I have the unspeakable honor of being the official representative of a Kingdom.  I am a royal, political and military prisoner.”   It is not ease and comfort that make life bearable and it is not trials and tribulations that make life unbearable.  My identity in Christ is more real than anything else.  

2. What you are doing is infinitely more important than how you are doing.  You have a daily defining moment. Every day, you must impose your mission on your circumstances. The life that knows it is here on purpose, and for a destiny is unstoppable.

3. Find your voice. “And [pray] also for me, that [freedom of] utterance may be given me.”  He did not ask for freedom from jail but for freedom and boldness to open his mouth in jail.  You may wish you were free, but God has placed you there for miracles.

4. The eternal weight of glory: I am convinced that Paul’s jail time inspired the following verses: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

When Paul said, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”, He had no idea how right he was!  No doubt Satan was elated to see Paul neutralized in jail. However, elation turned to horror. Paul would start writing.  More than half of the New Testament came from Paul’s pen and how can you calculate the wreckage to Lucifer from those writings?  Lift up holy hands and begin to rejoice right where you are.  There is treasure in your trial!

Hell in the Hallway: Handling the Torture of Transition.

hell in the hallway

Hell in the Hallway:  Handling the Torture of Transition.

A wise man once said, “When God closes one door He opens another, but it can be hell in the hallway.”  That private hell is a reality to millions of God’s people around the world.  Transition is everywhere and it seems to be coming faster and fiercer than ever.

Transition is God’s way of telling you that promotion is coming.  However, you and I are interested in the promotion but God is concerned with making us like Christ. 

Since He makes the rules let us surrender to the work He wants to do in us in the hallway.

Hebrews 12: 11 “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.”

If you are going through the torture of transition right now there are some rules that you must obey to lessen the pain and shorten your time in the hallway.  I did not make up these rules.  They are not my opinion, they are they universal experience of God’s heroes throughout the ages.

Here are the official rules for handling your hell in the hallway:

1. Leave clean:  Acts 13: 2 “while they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”

Satan hijacks divine transitions.  Be it a job, friendship, or a church it is urgent that you leave clean.  By that, I mean your departure should be as peaceful and blessed as possible.  Change location but avoid cutting off relationships lest you damage the Kingdom of God.

What should have been a launching out to greater works instead becomes a sordid affair of accusation and division.  Mishandling transition has destroyed vital relationships.  If you look around, you will see that the real barriers to revival are not the evil in the world but offended Christian leaders who cannot work together.

Leave clean or you will take the class over again.   James 1:4 “but let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Recently, longtime friends who were like family suddenly offered bizarre excuses and then cut off communication.  We love them!   We diligently searched our hearts and we found not a clue of what offended them.   Then it occurred to us that this was a pattern in their life.  Sadly, this will lengthen their time in the hallway and force them to retake this class.

2.  Don’t stare too long at the door that is closing or you will miss the one that God is opening.

Often we think that we should only have a bad reason to make a transition.  God can call for change when things are great and you love the people you are with.  These are the doors that we don’t want to close.  However there is a grave danger of being the last one to leave the party.

1 Samuel 20: 2: “Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!”3 But David took an oath and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the Lord lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.”

David and Jonathan were best friends but God was calling for change.  Jonathan wanted everyone to be one big happy family in the palace.  Had David given in to his friend he would have been murdered.

God wants to open that new door sooner than you think.  He just wants you to let the hallway do its work.    Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.”

Quit pushing for promotion and start pulling on God.