Sunday, December 30, 2007

Secret of New Year Breakthrough



“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and pressing forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3: 13, 14).

A tragedy happened to a pastor’s family along the highway. The pastor and his wife were in the front seats of their mini van. Six of their children were in the back. When their gas tank was hit by a piece of steel, their mini van burst into flames, killing 5 of the children and wounding the 6th. The pastor and his wife miraculously survived. Helplessly watching her children die, the mother turned to her pastor-husband and said: “This is what God has been preparing us for all of our lives.”

What a faith! That kind of godly trust despite what happened did not come at the moment of tragic impact. It has been there developing for very long periods. To develop that kind of faith in God takes a lot of time and discipline. It’s the kind of spirituality that enables Christians to press on and grow at a deeper level within their lifetime.

Leaders do face personal problems or tragedies like everyone else. Jonathan Edwards was fired from the pastorate. Billy Graham preached to millions when his son was a prodigal. John Wesley and Abraham Lincoln had difficult wives. Charles Spurgeon suffered from obesity and severe depression. Nelson Mandela saved Africa but he was not able to save his broken family. John Osteen founded Lakewood Church while being a divorced pastor. In all of these examples, we have yet to meet a successful leader who continually dwelled on past difficulties and tragedies.

Personally, being a Christian leader and pastor myself, I know how hard it is when faced with personal crises. I knew the extreme difficulty of standing up for God’s ways under terrible circumstances. This year 2007, I experienced an unspeakable pain and suffering at the hand of one I trusted so much. I was badly hurt. Then, as I moved on, it dawned on me that all of those past experiences in my family, my church and seminary years etc. were all part of God’s training for me for this “big event!” I can also say, “This is what God has been preparing me for all of my life!” Indeed, I needed to be equipped enough to pass this test of faith and “press forward” in Christ.

Friend, today, this new year 2008, may be the day to turn the disappointments of your past into God’s re-appointments. Do not be held hostage by anything negative from your personal history. Press on towards a breakthrough for your future!

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