Tags: Life's | Transitions

Life's Transitions

Monday, 20 August 2007 12:00 AM

At the age of 40, I have recently been cast into a new role as pastor of a church with more than 22,000 members. I have subsequently begun to consider how the Bible remains constant in our lives, even as life is perpetually changing and taking us down new roads.

What a humbling experience it has been for me to stand in the pulpit of my father each week and look out over an audience to see the faces of people who have taught and mentored me through the years.

Pressure? Yeah, a little.

But I have seen God reveal himself to me in so many new ways as I have entered this phase of ministry. Life has placed me in an astonishing new role, and the Bible has become my refuge and strength in ways I never imagined. Related to this dramatic change in my life, I have been contemplating Bible characters who were suddenly thrust into new roles and given unforeseen responsibilities. I've tried to focus on how God ministered to these people even as their lives were dramatically changed.

One of the great examples is Joseph. This man was betrothed to be married to a wonderful young woman when he learned that she was with child. I'm sure he was troubled by this revelation. But Joseph, thrust into this potentially devastating situation, was a man of character and great faith.

Instead of walking away, he understood that God had a plan in the virgin birth of his son through Mary. And it was through his faithfulness that God greatly blessed his life and he was accorded the extraordinary responsibility of being the earthly father of Jesus.

I also love the story of Joseph of the Old Testament. His jealous brothers sold him into slavery and he was later falsely accused by Potiphar's wife, and yet he remained true to his fervent faith.

Shortly after the darkest of times, God blessed Joseph and he ultimately became a ruler of Egypt and a striking picture of forgiveness. After the birth of his second son, Joseph made a wonderful statement: "For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction" (Genesis 41:52).

My friends, even when we face new trials and challenges, some wherein we may confront afflictions and hardships, God is uniquely at work in our lives.

The story of Gideon is also pertinent. At a time when Israel was "impoverished" and in bondage to the Midianites, God looked down on a young man threshing wheat to lead Israel from its affliction, calling him a "mighty man of valor" (Judges 6:12).

Gideon initially thought the Lord had the wrong man, saying, "I am the least of my father's house."

I'm sure we have all felt similarly inadequate when God takes us down new paths or brings new challenges into our lives. But God's ways are always perfect. And in seeing how God used Gideon to defeat the enemies of Israel, we learn how he will use us when we surrender to his perfect will! And finally, I think of the remarkable life of Paul.

Throughout his days, Paul faced incredible, often life-threatening challenges. In the book of Acts, Paul is seen bringing stirring defenses of the faith to throngs of Jews and Gentiles, appearing before a Roman Court, addressing the Sanhedrin and preaching to King Agrippa.

Continually he used these situations to glorify God.

Has life led you down unexpected paths? Are you facing unanticipated trials?

The Bible has a way of cutting to the heart of our circumstances. I would encourage you to pour yourself into the word of God. Relive these and other wonderful stories to see how God fulfills his promises to his children and be encouraged in knowing that he remains the true and living God who is miraculously at work in our lives.

When we walk down new corridors of life, may we continually recall Psalm 119:105: "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

This weekend, we will be starting a brand new series on our national broadcast network. The series, titled "Preparing to Build, Seeing the Vision, Living the Dream," focuses on building your life on Jesus Christ. The broadcast airs Sunday at 11:00 p.m. on the ION Network and Family Net, at 8:00 a.m. on Sky Angel and at 10:00 a.m. on Daystar TV (all times ET). It also airs on the INSP Network on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m., and on many local stations around the country at various times.

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At the age of 40, I have recently been cast into a new role as pastor of a church with more than 22,000 members. I have subsequently begun to consider how the Bible remains constant in our lives, even as life is perpetually changing and taking us down new roads. What...
Life's,Transitions
761
2007-00-20
Monday, 20 August 2007 12:00 AM
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