Air1 Radio Features – May 2011

Setbacks

Are you experiencing setbacks? Why do our hearts melt when tested? Is it because we fear what we don’t know, or because we fail to trust the God who knows all things?

Research has proven that no one drowns gracefully. We all struggle to stay afloat. At times, accepting what we cannot undo, with true humility, is the only good option. Being humbled by life is always awkward, even embarrassing, but if we trust God in the struggle, it eventually yields the eternal fruit of a fully blessed life.

Long ago, I settled in my heart to live as an optimist. I want to enthusiastically wade through disappointments. Paul the apostle understood this when he wrote, “now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…” (2Corinthians 2:14a) Trust God! He’ll never fail you!

Emotional Roller Coaster

Are you riding an emotional roller coaster? One moment you’re overcoming, and the next you’re being overcome. The psalmist wrote, “I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.” (Psalms 31:7, NLT)

It seems that we have a choice to be overcome by joy or by despair. If there were nothing to overcome, then we’d have no reason to fight for joy. Like ripened fruit, it would just fall from the trees of life. But that’s not the case.

We’ll have to fight in order to receive the joy God has prepared for us. At times, we’re fighting fears and doubts, on other occasions it’s lies and circumstances.

Whatever it is, fight for joy…it’s absolutely worth fighting for!

Out of Control

Are your circumstances out of control? What happens to us may seem completely out of our control, but how we view life is always our choice. I can choose to see my life from God’s life-giving point of view, or be limited by the narrowness of fear, unbelief and ignorance which only leads to anger, panic, and despair.

We each have the choice to look up, past the distracting struggles that keep us stuck in the past, bound in the present, and lacking hope for our future. We must be committed to go forward, whatever comes our way, choosing to remain “…steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain in the lord.” (1Corinthians 15:58)

Look up! God sees you! He will help!

Bringing Out The Best In You

Are you facing major trials? Feel like giving up? Please don’t!

Trials are meant to bring out the best in us, not the worst. They throw the pass beyond our reach, but not beyond God’s intent and grace. It isn’t an accident when we feel completely inadequate to meet our own needs. God’s the only one who can make up the difference in every dimension of our lives.

When you’re struggling, continually reach out to Jesus to receive the grace you need. Oswald Chambers writes, “God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome.” The discouragements of yesterday don’t disqualify you, the setbacks of today can’t sabotage you, and the failures of tomorrow won’t finish you. You were created to be victorious…to overcome. Live your purpose!

 

Humility Leads To Success

Everyone wants to be successful! But most people miss one of the great paradoxes of life. They mistakenly believe the doorway to success is through their strengths. It’s not! Our strengths are far more dangerous than our weaknesses, providing the easiest way for us to fail. In our weakness we learn to lean upon Jesus, in order to receive the strength we need.

Humility comes from embracing our weakness, and delighting in God’s strength. It’s only when we embrace this captivating quality, the humility of Jesus, that the irresistible grace of God is released in us. ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ (1Peter 5:5b) if pride is resistible, then humility must be, irresistible.

Humble yourself! It will activate the irresistible grace of God in your life.

 

How God Uses Celebrities

Most people’s desires are not God’s desires. We’ll do anything to change the way we look—to change only the shell—when God wants to transform the pearl within us. Outward transformation will never make us whole. And since the kingdom of God can only be accessed from inside your spirit, it follows that the wholeness we’re looking for will come from within, when we surrender our lives to Jesus.

Don’t waste your time wishing for a new life; ask God to give you a new perspective on the life he’s given you.

One of the key ways God uses celebrities: is to show us that you can have everything in the physical world and still be unfulfilled. Embrace the life God has freely given you, not the life you wish you had.

 

Reminiscing Our Pain

Have you been severely wounded? At one time or another, all of us will be.

But, at some point, we’ll have to decide: are we on a journey to be healed and help others, or attached to remaining a patient? We may be hurt, but are we more committed to being healed, or reminiscing our pain?

When we hold on to a bitter perspective, we become unwilling to understand, forgive, and be healed. A far better way is to exchange your pain for his peace—to allow God to have his way.

We were created to meet Jesus in the middle of our storms. Frankly, few of us have time for him outside of the storms of life. If you let him, God will give you the “…peace that goes far beyond your understanding.” (Philippians 4:7)

 

Forgetting What You Have

Do you appreciate all you have?

I once read about an elderly American woman who died of starvation, alone in her apartment, because she didn’t have any money. Yet when the police examined her belongings, they found over $100,000 in cash buried inside the mattress she died on. She forgot what she had!

Amazing gifts have been buried deep inside each of us. Remember them! Extraordinary opportunities are all around us! What have you overlooked, that’s right in front of you? Ask God to show you!

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his spirit…” (1Corinthians 2:9–10, NLT)

Let God show you what you’ve overlooked!

 

Respond Well Department

I once heard some jolting news that could have been received as sad and disappointing. But God in his mercy quickly reminded me of my only responsibility. I am only in charge of the respond well department; because he is in charge of everything else. Wow! What a relief! For a moment, I thought I might be in trouble. Then I got my eyes back on Jesus!

The world says, “Be in control!” the word says “Give God control!” (Ephesians 5:18, NLT)”

Every challenge in life is designed to reveal our weakness and God’s strength—to make us realize not just how desperately we need Him, but how absolutely sufficient His grace is in each of our lives.

God’s given us everything we need to love the life He’s given us. (2Peter 1:3)

 

Living Optimistic

Are you optimistic about your life, or pessimistic?

Long ago, I settled in my heart to live as an optimist. I want to live life enthusiastically wading through every disappointment.

Paul the apostle was also an eternal optimist. He once wrote, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…” (2Corinthians 2:14a)

There’s no aspect of our lives that’s ever been an oversight to God. The psalmist wrote, “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret…” (Psalms 139:15) God has never made even one mistake concerning our lives. “…I am fearfully and wonderfully made…and that my soul knows very well.” (Psalms 139:14) We have each been given an infinite potential by a gracious God. Let’s purpose to live our potential!

 

No Shortcuts

In life there are no shortcuts, only detours.

Even if we’re momentarily pleased by one of life’s circumstances, it’ll be short-lived. May we each accept the obvious: God desires to change us, not change the world around us. In life, if we can’t appreciate what we have, we’ll never be pleased with what’s ahead.

There’s actually no faster way to get to where your heart wants to be than by accepting and embracing the will of God for your life. It’s the express train to fulfillment!

The primary reason we don’t love the life God’s given us is because we don’t know God. We don’t trust Him, and inevitably we begin to play God ourselves. It always ends badly. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” (Proverbs 3:5a) Let God be God! He’s really good at it!

 

Lousy God

I would be a lousy God! I know this is true based on how I treat my friends when they’re in trouble. I tend to want to bail them out of every crisis they encounter. So, if I were God, I’d spoil the whole planet. Not only do I not know what’s best for me, I rarely know what’s best for others.

God’s infinitely more interested in fixing us than in fixing our problems. As a matter of fact, and this may surprise you — at times, he’s the author of our problems. While we’re saying, “God, stop the problem!” he’s saying, “stop the whining, and begin to understand what I am allowing.”

Rest in God! Trust him completely! Stand your ground! Fight to receive all he has for you, and believe that he will never, ever, desert you!

 

Pain Reveals Purpose

When Jesus faced the greatest trials of His life, He didn’t try and manipulate His Father in Heaven to lighten His load. Instead, Jesus realized that His pain further revealed His true purpose in life. Jesus once prayed, “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour.’ But for this purpose I came to this hour.” (John 12:27) He’s saying, “My pain reveals My purpose!”

Being created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26) was the beginning of our purpose. Finishing that work is now our destiny. Anything that keeps us from fulfilling God’s ultimate purpose—being conformed to His image—must be disregarded and treated as a distraction. Tragically, most people live and die distracted. Don’t let it happen to you! Be committed to live only His purpose for your life.

 

Created For A Fight

We were born for trouble; created for a fight! Through trouble our soul is formed, shaped, and molded into the image of an untroubled God. I get a kick out of two overstated expressions, “Don’t give me any good news, it only weakens me” and “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.”

If your troubles were completely removed, you’d merely eliminate your purpose in life: which is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. “For whom God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” (Romans 8:29) defining your purpose in life reduces frustration, increases your focus, and keeps you on track to fulfill God’s will for your life.

It’s a fight God Himself will help you win!

 

The Easy Life

Would you like your life to be easier? All of us would!

Yet, as I look back over my life, my consistent appeals for God to make my life easier have not fallen on deaf ears due to indifference; the all-knowing, all-caring God has merely dismissed my fleeting appeals as narrow-minded, showing lack of foresight. He knows the easy life would destroy my potential; therefore, He makes my life purposefully challenging.

Only by pressing the olive is the oil poured out; only by crushing the flower is the true fragrance released. Only as Paul and his companions were “pressed out of measure… insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2Corinthians 1:8, KJV) did they experience the “sweet-smelling aroma (and become) an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.” (Philippians 4:18)

 

Train Your Soul

You may never train a lion, but there’s one thing you need to train: and that’s your soul!

Each day I try and train my soul to embrace every second of my God-intended life. From God’s point of view, all days are created equal. There is no best day in heaven. A perfect God has flawlessly crafted every molecule and every moment of my life. If I’m attached to my dream for my life, it will slip through my fingers. But, if I embrace God’s plan, I can begin to live the pleasures of eternal life right now.

Train your soul: your mind, will and emotions to embrace the long-term value of every circumstance in your life. A soul without self-control will blind us from seeing life as God intended.

There are no accidents, only divinely crafted opportunities!

 

Pleasures That Satisfy

If pleasure’s the goal in life, then everyone wins something…a measure of pleasure! The devil’s happy to give us the pleasures of Connecticut and Vermont Avenues, as long as he gets to keep boardwalk and park place. But, if you’ve ever played Monopoly, you know that Connecticut and Vermont Avenues are basically worthless, while boardwalk and park place are priceless.

The devil offers counterfeit intimacy—through some shallow, momentary pleasure. It’s pleasure, but without eternity—a forgery of what we’re created for: which is a personal relationship with God.

Only God’s way leads to life: “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever.” (Psalm 16:11, NLT)

The only pleasure that truly satisfies is the pleasure that comes from God.

 

Blaming God

Are you blaming God for the challenges in your life? It’s really a dead end!

When we stop blaming Him for our lives and begin to thank Him for the magnificent, daily opportunities He gives each of us, then Jesus truly becomes our Lord, and life becomes a joy, not a joke. This happens when we reign in every thought and humble ourselves before our Creator. (Philippians 4:8) when we do this, our lives are seen as a grand adventure, and not a burden.

Surrender your heart to Jesus as lord! Let him remove every excuse for not loving the life he’s given you! The kingdom of God is within you. Ask God to reveal it! Either I have the kingdom of God living in me or I don’t have it at all. I will search again!

 

No Bad News In God

How would you like everything in your life to work for your good? It can happen! It’s actually God’s will!

God promises that all things will work together for our good, if we love Him more than anyone or anything else—if we’re committed to do His will and purpose more than our own. (Romans 8:28)

When we completely love and submit to Jesus as Lord, we can stand on the promise that there’s no bad news in God. But this can only happen if we have faith beyond our lifetime here on earth.

If eternity is in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11), then all of life’s challenges will work for our good. We will be stretched, at times beyond what we think we can handle, but all that happens to us will be for our benefit.

 

Purpose Of Prayer

Are you waiting for God to answer your prayers? It’s a waste of time! Wait on God, not what He can do for you! The purpose of prayer is not to get answers, but to get to know God! That’s our greatest need! It’s not even that God would heal our mind or body. Even miracles are not our greatest need, if we refuse to turn our attention back to God.

Every temporary desire will be followed by other requests. At some point in life, I must learn to find my contentment in God alone!

Don’t obsess over what you don’t have. Many people battle depression because of what’s not happening in their lives.

God doesn’t want to coddle you, He wants to comfort you.

Don’t live waiting for tomorrow to begin. Learn to live hoping today will never end.