How You View Your Situation Can Determine Whether You Succeed Or Fail

Your perspective in life determines your outcome. How you perceive things makes the difference in whether you succeed or fail. You can either see the glass half full or half empty. You can view your situation as a setup or a setback. You can look at how big your God is or how big your problem is.

Your failures in life don’t have to actually be failures at all. One of the most feared and successful fighters in the world today, Conor McGregor, looks at every fight as either he wins or he learns. Defeat doesn’t even cross his mind even if the actual result of the fight is a loss. McGregor acquired this mindset from his coach, John Kavanagh. In fact this way of thinking is the title of Kavanagh’s new book, Win or Learn

In life we are going to experience some tough times. Jesus even said “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” In other words it’s not a matter of coming across tough times in our lives, it’s a matter of whether we are going to let those tough times overcome us.

So how are you perceiving things? Are you looking at that job loss as a setback or a setup to the greater that God has for your life? Are you looking at that bad report from the doctor as loss of hope or an opportunity for healing? Are you looking at that debt as an insurmountable hurdle or a gateway to your financial freedom? 

You can either go through life looking at the glass as half full or as half empty. Whether you overcome that mountain before you is based on your mindset. Your progress in life is determined by your perspective. The choice is up to you.


You Hear It Before You See It


So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~ Romans 10:17 NKJV

I find it interesting that in the physical world the speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound. In other words, you see something before you hear it. You see the lightning before you hear the thunder. You see the firework before you here the sound that it makes. You see the baseball player swing the bat before you hear the crack that it makes when it hits the ball.

While on the contrary, in the spiritual realm, we hear the word of God before we see the hand of God. We have to have the faith to believe for something before we actually see it happen. God spoke the world into existence. We hear the sound of a mighty rushing wind. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah told Ahab “there is a sound of abundance of rain” before he actually saw the rain. We are told to walk by faith and not by sight (See 2 Corinthians 5:7).

It’s like when a woman is giving birth to a child. For nine months, she can’t see the baby inside of her but she knows that it is there. She can feel the baby inside of her, she just can’t see it yet. She can hear the baby inside of her, but she can’t see it yet. Even though she can’t yet see the baby inside of her, she believes that it is there.

Sometimes what we see in our lives contradicts what we have heard in God’s word. That’s where faith comes in. The writer of Hebrews tells us “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (See Hebrews 11:1) Just because we don’t see it yet, doesn’t mean that what we heard isn’t going to happen. Don’t lose hope because it hasn’t happened. Hold onto your faith. And don’t stop believing.

If you wan’t to dive deeper into this thought, here is a great message from Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church, on this subject.

Sometimes You Just Have To Walk Through It

Have you ever come across a situation in your life where there was no avoiding it? You wanted to be able to side step it but there was no way around it. You wanted to avoid it but you just had to walk through it.

Everyone of us has come to a pivotal moment in our lives where we had a crucial decision to make. We could either take the path of least resistance or we could hit it head on. We could take the long way around it or we could put our head down and walk right through it. 

It’s human nature to want to take the path of least resistance. It’s in our DNA to avoid conflict. Who in their right mind would rather go through something than to go around it? But sometimes in life it’s better to push through the conflict than to proceed to go around it. It’s better to fight through the situation rather than to avoid it altogether.

Recently Steven Furtick, Pastor of Elevation Church, mentioned something profound when it comes to these moments in our lives. He said “Sometimes your harvest is found by walking through something you would rather walk around.” This is so true. Sometimes in order to get what God has for us in our lives we have to go through our situation instead of going around it.

The Israelites had to go through the Jordan River in order to get to the Promise Land (See Joshua 3). David talks about going through the valley (See Psalm 23:4). Even Jesus, though he didn’t want to (See Luke 22:42), had to go through the cross. 

So what is it that you’re facing today? What is it that you have been avoiding? What situation currently in your life would you rather walk around? Go through it. Because your harvest could be waiting for you on the other side.

God Speaks To Your Today From Your Tomorrow 

Have you ever been in a transition period in your life? What am I kidding. Of course you have. It’s called life. We constantly find ourselves stuck in the middle between where we used to be and where we are going to eventually end up. It can be a period of uncertainty. It could be the time between jobs. It could be the time between graduating from college and going into the business world. It could be the time between being married and settling down and starting a family.

I think we can all agree that in times like these there is a feeling of angst. We suddenly find ourselves trapped in a period of waiting. Waiting for a phone call about that job we applied for. Waiting for the test results to come back on that scan we had a week ago. Waiting for our prayers to be answered. Waiting on God to move on our behalf. 

There is only one problem with that last one. You see the whole concept of waiting on God constitutes that God is somehow a prisoner of time. But that just isn’t true. God is outside of time. God created time. God is not subject to time. Time is subject to Him.

It is hard for us to grasp this concept since all we have known since the beginning of our existence here on earth is this concept of time. We have always measured our life by time. We refer to it by years, months, weeks, day, hours, minutes, and seconds. From the very moment we are born the clock has started. 

Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church put this concept into perspective when he said “God doesn’t speak to your today from your current situation, because He’s already been in your tomorrow.” God doesn’t wait, like we do, for things to happen. He doesn’t get surprised or shocked or caught off guard. God doesn’t get caught up in the past. He isn’t confined to the present. He doesn’t look forward to the future. God sees it all. Past, present, future at the same time. Because time doesn’t control God, He controls time.

So the next time you find yourself caught in a period of transition and you’re waiting on God. Stop your waiting and start moving. Take heart that God has taken care of your today because He has already been to your tomorrow.

Do You Have What It Takes To Accomplish The Goals You Have Set?

My wife and I have been earnestly working on getting out of debt and we are currently down to the last loan. During this time we have been listening to a various outlets seeking advice on what is the best way to become debt free. One of those outlets has been Dave Ramsey. 

If you are not familiar with Dave Ramsey, he is well known for helping people all over the United States gain financial freedom. Although he can be a little intense his methods, when applied properly, have proven to be successful over time. 

One thing that I have taken from Dave Ramsey was what he pointed out in these obscure verses in Proverbs. The verses say “Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.” (Proverbs 6:4-5 NIV) At first glance, these verses don’t seem like they make much sense but the lesson that can be learned from them will help in accomplishing your goals in life.

If you have ever watched National Geographic or the Discovery Channel, you would have probably come across a scene where a group of gazelles are grazing in an open field. What the gazelles don’t know at the time, lurking off in the distance is their main predator, the cheetah. But all of a sudden, like clock work, one of the gazelles heads pop up and senses that their is imminent danger. Then the gazelles take off running as fast as they can in order not to become prey to the cheetah. 

The verse in Proverbs tells us to “Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter.” The gazelle has to run with everything it has in order not to fall prey to the cheetah. In order to free itself, the gazelle can’t become passive in its attempt to escape. It has to be intense in its pursuit of freedom.

Now Dave Ramsey uses this example, what he calls “Gazelle Intensity,” when talking to people on how to get out of debt. But I believe this example can be applied to anything we do in life. If we want to accomplish something in life, we can’t be passive about it. We need to attack it with intensity. Just like the gazelle running from the cheetah. If we want to reach our goals in life, we can’t just go at them half-heartedly. We need to put everything we have into the pursuit of them.

So what is it in your life that you are trying to accomplish? What goals have you set for yourself that you’re trying to reach? It could be becoming debt free. It could be getting your Masters degree. It could be becoming a home owner. It could be starting a family. It could be being able to retire. Whatever it is don’t be passive about it. Attack it head on. Don’t hold anything back. Be gazelle intense.

What I Learned About God’s Love From A Squirrel 

My father-in-law has a couple bird feeders in his backyard. For a while now he has had an issue with a squirrel getting into the bird feeder and eating all the seed that is meant for the birds. My father-in-law wasn’t willing to accept the squirrel eating all the bird seed, so he went about trying to put a stop to it. He did what every true American does nowadays when you have a problem needing solving, he Googled it and he watched some YouTube videos. The solution: hanging a slinky around the middle pole of the bird feeder so that the squirrel couldn’t climb up it. This worked for a little while. The squirrel would try getting up the bird feeder but would grab on to the slinky and fall back down it. But as relentless as my father-in-law was to put a stop to the squirrel, the squirrel was more relentless in getting to the bird seed in the feeder.

This somewhat silly story of the war between my father-in-law and a relentless squirrel reminded me of God’s relentless pursuit in loving us. Probably the most famous verse of all of scripture, John 3:16, shows just how far God was willing to go because of His love for us. God was willing to sacrifice His only son because of His relentless love for us. The apostle Paul writes about the extent of God’s love in the 8th chapter of Romans where he says “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In other words, nothing can keep God’s love from getting to us.

Just like the squirrel wasn’t willing to give up its pursuit of the bird seed no matter what my father-in-law threw in its way, God’s love for you cannot be stopped. No obstacle, no hinderance, no barrier can prevent God’s love from getting to you. No matter how you may feel, God’s love never fails. No matter how many times you may have failed, God’s love for you remains constant. God’s love is not based upon the condition you are in, because God’s love has no conditions. God’s love never fails, never gives up, and never runs out on you. God’s love is relentless.

The End Justifies The Means

You ever wonder why women decide to have children? Other than the obvious fact that if they didn’t the human race would cease to exist. So why do women choose to carry a child for nine months and then go through the excruciating and grueling pain of child birth? It’s because they know that what lies on the other side of their pain is worth it. Go ahead. Ask any mother out there and I’m sure they will tell you that the pain of the labor was well worth it as soon as they held what they were laboring for.

The end justifies the means. When you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, you have no trouble going through it. It’s only when there is no end in sight that you begin to lose hope. You can push through the pain when you can see the purpose in it. In other words, you can’t progress through the pain if there is no purpose to it.

This is why Jesus was able to endure the cross. He was able to push past the betrayal. He was able to push past the shame. He was able to push past the abandonment. He was able to push past the pain. Because there was purpose in all of this. The author of Hebrews tells us just what that purpose was (See Hebrews 12:1-3). That purpose was you and me. Jesus was able to push through the pain because He was focused on the purpose of saving you and saving me. And I’m sure if you asked Him today, He would say it was well worth it.

Are you having trouble pushing through the pain? Look for that light at the end of the tunnel. Look for the purpose in it. Does the end justify the means? Because if it doesn’t, move on to something that does. But if it does, keep pressing on!

A Model Of Consistency 

Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come. ~ Dwayne Johnson

In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. That is a lot of times of constant repetition of the same thing over and over again. That’s why it’s fascinating and mind boggling to me that people show up to the gym for a week, maybe even a month, and are disappointed because they haven’t yet seen the results that they expected. You can’t show up to the gym for a few months and expect to look like the guy who has been showing up for years. Olympic Gold medalist, Apolo Ohno, said it this way “One thing guys have to remember is consistency… You can’t make up for three years of eating poorly in just one workout.” In other words it took years being a model of consistency to get you in the shape you’re in, why would it take any less to get you out of it?

I probably won’t get many likes or shares or comments on this post because this language of consistency isn’t very sexy. Everyone today wants to see results instantly. They want to become successful overnight. That’s why there is Instagram. And instant messaging. And even instant coffee. Because we’ve reached a day and age where waiting for a fresh pot of coffee to brew is too long. Today, being labeled a model of consistency is almost like putting a black mark on your record.

The truth is success in life comes from being consistent. Yes there are people who become overnight sensations, but the overwhelming majority of successful people are persistently consistent. Only 8% of American millionaires inherited their wealth. Compared to 67% of high-net-worth Americans who are self-made. 

You see whether you like it or not, the main ingredient to being successful in any area of life is being consistent. So if you want to accomplish something, don’t just pick it up and put it back down. Stick with it! Become a model of consistency.

If God Can Use A Donkey, Then He Can Use You

There is a story of this man named Balaam who was being paid to curse God’s people, the nation of Israel. You can read the whole story in Numbers 22, but for the purpose of this blog, I’ll give you the “Spark Notes” version of the tale. Probably dating myself a little bit here but for those of you who don’t know what I am referring to when I mention “Spark Notes” these were the abbreviated versions, notes per say, that gave the recap and pointed out the main points and characters of books that I, and many others out there, were forced to read in our English classes in high school. Without these notes, I’m not sure how I would have passed those English classes. But I digress. Now back to our story. So Balaam was going to curse God’s chosen people, the Israelites. But God had warned him not to. So while Balaam was on his way, God sent an angel to stop him. The donkey Balaam was riding on kept veering off of the path and eventually came to a halt. Balaam didn’t know why his donkey was acting so strangely because he couldn’t see the angel. God opened the mouth of the donkey and it started talking to Balaam. Now I don’t know about you but I would have found that really weird if a donkey was talking to me, probably be like Doctor Dolittle or Shrek, but apparently not Balaam because he responded right away to his donkey. Anyhow God finally opened Balaam’s eyes so he could see the angel. Balaam ended up blessing the Israelites instead of cursing them. God used Balaam’s donkey that day to not only save Balaam’s life but also to save the nation of Israel.

The morale of the story here is that it doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, what skills you have or don’t have, God can and will use you to accomplish great things in this life. If God can use a donkey, He can surely use you. God doesn’t call the qualified, He equips the unqualified. The greatest ability is your availability. I know that is true because if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be writing this blog right now. I’m not the most qualified and I definitely didn’t have the ability, but I made myself available and God equipped me to do it. If you would have polled all my English teachers and asked them which student in their classes would most likely end up writing a book, I guarantee I would have been the last person on the planet they would have picked, in fact they probably wouldn’t have picked me at all. But I did it. Not because I had the ability, because God knows I didn’t, but because I made myself available. Not because I was qualified, heck I have a degree in Mathematics, but because God equipped me to do so.

So the next time those thoughts of doubt begin to creep into your head that you can’t be used to do great things in this life, just remember if God can use a donkey there is nothing that can hold Him back from using you. He can use anything! So He most definitely can use you.

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