CONSIDER IT ALL… WHAT?!
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:2-3
Debbie and I get off the plane in Philadelphia on Wednesday night. We are scheduled to lead a three-day marriage conference at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in King of Prussia, PA. As we gather up the luggage, we have two carry on bags and three checked bags, we venture outside to catch our ride. It takes us about forty-five minutes to get to the hotel. As we unload the bags for hotel check in, I notice something very disturbing: my carry on bag is not in the van. My carry on bag has my laptop, my ipod, my cell phone charger, and ALL MY SPEAKING NOTES FOR THE CONFERENCE!
Panic set in as I thought, what am I going to do!? My friend and I drove back to the airport, hoping and praying that someone found my bag and turned it in to Lost and Found. To my chagrin, Lost and Found had not seen the bag. In so many words, they told me the bag was probably long gone. Nevertheless, I left them my name and Debbie's cell number - my cell phone was almost out of battery power, and I had no way to recharge it.
As I walked through baggage claim one last time, hoping I would see the bag against a wall somewhere, I said, "God, I thank you that my bag is gone. I thank you that it contained my computer AND ALL MY NOTES [I needed to make sure the Lord knew that]. You told me to consider it all joy, and by faith, I choose to do that. Use this for good somehow. Please convict the person who took my bag and have them return it to me. In Jesus' name. Amen."
I went back to the hotel facing an immense amount of work as I would have to recreate a weekend's worth of talks. Whenever I started to get angry or overwhelmed with the situation, I chose to keep thanking God for this trial. We called some friends and asked them to pray for the bag to be returned.
At dinner, Debbie said to me, "Jeff, I am so proud of the way you are handling this. If I had lost all my notes, I would have to be on medication." Within a few moments of that humorous comment, her cell phone rang. It was a strange area code. The lady on the other end of the line asked for Jeff Schreve. Lo and behold, she had my bag! Debbie and I were ecstatic. She was so sorry for accidentally taking it - somehow it got mixed up with their bags - and drove it over to my hotel within the hour.
Tears came to my eyes as I thought how good the Lord is to answer prayer and how faithfully He works when we praise Him and thank Him, regardless of the bleak circumstances.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Are you facing some great trials today? Has an unimagined and unplanned catastrophe struck your life? Do you wonder what to do?
Don't get angry and let the devil use this trial to steal your peace and joy. Make the choice to rejoice and thank God. Consider this a test to help you get stronger in your faith. The worst of situations is the best of times for God to work a powerful miracle. Keep praying and keep praising, it makes all the difference in the world.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Because of God’s amazing love, He puts guardrails in place to show the way and to protect our hearts in a secular world. In this timely series, Pastor Jeff Schreve shares 7 truth-filled messages that will equip you to live your life firmly planted in God’s truth no matter how difficult it may become.
Moses is dead. Joshua is now the new leader of Israel. Needless to say, Joshua has some BIG shoes to fill. He must rise to the challenge as he trusts the Lord and walks by faith. The same is true for us. In this series, Pastor Jeff Schreve shares powerful insights from the Book of Joshua that will help us walk in victory and possess our Promised Land!