It is one thing to obey [God] when it seems logical and necessary, but it is quite another when the obedience calls for something that doesn’t make sense. Obedience doesn’t always hinge on understanding.
God is concerned with what we are. We want to learn a thousand things because there is so much to learn and do. But He will teach us one thing, perhaps in a thousand ways: “I am forming Christ in you.”
The telltale sign that your giftedness is engaged in an activity is that you take joy or satisfaction in doing it.
What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, . . . Jesus asks, ‘Do you love me?’ We ask, ‘Can we sit at your right hand and your left hand in your Kingdom?’
My six year study on how God transforms lives and what difference such transformation makes to the individual in the world they influence indicates that the absence of brokenness is the missing link between faith and impact.
Only when we reject everyone but Jesus as the ultimate source of living water for our thirsty souls will we be free to see others as opportunities to put Jesus on display, no matter how they relate to us.
When you want something bad enough, you make the time—regardless of your other obligations. The truth is most people just don’t want it bad enough. Then they protect their ego with the excuse of time. Don’t let yourself off the hook with excuses.
A seemingly happy life may be empty. A seemingly difficult life may be devoted to a great cause. We have purposes larger than ourselves. Unlike your experiencing self—which is absorbed in the moment—your remembering self is attempting to recognize not only the peaks of joy and valleys of misery but also how the story works out as a whole. That is profoundly affected by how things ultimately turn out. Why would a football fan let a few flubbed minutes at the end of the game ruin three hours of bliss? Because a football game is a story. And in stories, endings matter.
One of the crucial mistakes I’ve made is to judge God by the present condition of my dreams. When my dreams seem to thrive, I figure God is for me and that He must indeed be strong and able. But the test of faith comes when the path to our dreams look like it’s swerving off course. . . . It’s not hard to confuse God’s favor with our personalized version of the American dream. But God’s favor is far bigger than that. It was God’s favor that led Jesus to the cross of Calvary.
Are you willing to let God use your pain to someday help someone else who is hurting? Are you willing to endure knowing that your experience might just save someone else? If you’re looking to impact your world, resolve to let God use your pain and embrace the power of suffering.