Thankfulness in Disappointment

By Pastor Joell Haugan, CBWC Church Planting Resource Team

Phil Keaggy wrote a song many years ago that had the lines:

Disappointment – His appointment,
Change one letter, then I see
That the thwarting of my purpose
Is God’s better choice for me.

In our lives we often face disappointment; and we Christians can get all upset and bothered by events that, in the grand scheme of things, are really only a small blip on the radar of life.  We often get all worked up, fretting, to and fro-ing, and complaining that God has let us down!

Actually, it might be that your disappointment is because you were on the wrong track anyway (like the lyrics above).  Or, that it is just a bad thing that happened in your life…that happens.

Regardless though, we need to take a deep breath and look at the bigger picture.  Actually, that process is called “counting your blessings”.  So, take the disappointments that come your way, change the first letter to an “h”, … and then let the blessing counting begin to get a better picture of just how great things really are for those who follow Jesus!

Joell

Playoffs

The NHL playoffs have begun and I’m a tad excited. I really enjoy hockey. It’s fast paced, intense, kinda dangerous, and on TV every night! Unfortunately, I’m not home every night to watch the six hours of NHL hockey. It would probably be better if I were playing six hours of hockey per night… but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be interested in the games and I’d not be able to get out of bed for a week. hockeyskates

The Playoffs are “sudden death” or, more optimistically, “sudden life”. Players, coaches, and fans all know that if they lose the series, then they are finished. It’s over. Get out the golf clubs.

For many players, there may only be one chance in their career to get a chance to play in the Stanley Cup Finals, and each year 29 out of the 30 teams fall short of the glory of the Cup. Twenty-nine teams are losers. It’s not a very nice or fair system.

The Bible teaches that all of us fall short of the glory of God…in other words, every single one of us is a loser. Only one player ever has lived His life in such a way as to win, but he ended up drinking from the cup that took his life. However, the amazing thing about Jesus’ victory is that He invites the rest of the players on the planet to share in the victory! Which then means that every one of us who simply joins Jesus’ team actually ends up sharing in the victory and, in other words, is a winner! We all end up experiencing sudden life!

Pastor Joell Haugan
CBWC Church Planting Advisory Team

This article is reposted with permission from Pastor Joell’s blog.

What’s the difference between a leap of faith and a step of faith?

Now, I’m just making a distinction between the two phrases, so don’t go running to Webster’s to see if I’m right, but I’m suggesting that true Christian faith is more of a “step” than a “leap”. Leaps of faith often are considered for no reason at all. People might just jump off a bridge, expecting God to save them…only to wake up dead.Flickr-Hugo-stoplight

Others will fight against obvious evidence to the contrary and insist that something came out of nothing (the universe, for instance) or believe that a loved one couldn’t have committed a crime, even though they’ve been found guilty not just beyond a reasonable doubt but beyond all doubt.

Leaps of faith actually aren’t faith at all. You could substitute the word “folly” or “stupidity” instead of “faith”, and it would be more accurate.

Steps of faith, on the other hand, are logical, reasoned, and evidence based moves. For example: going through a green light at an intersection is a step of faith. You are trusting that the drivers coming perpendicular to you know that red means stop… and that the light is functioning correctly.  However, you do not know this for sure. You don’t know the mind of the other driver… and you can’t see the light from the other angle.  You are stepping out in faith, knowing the training that all drivers must take, knowing that the city maintains their lights, and knowing that the manufacturer is trustworthy. But you really don’t know for sure.

There may be be mechanical failure in the other car or the lights. A hacker might have messed with the light programming. The other driver might be drunk or texting. You are taking a step of faith.

The Christian life is to be lived with such information. The Bible gives us the foundation for helping us to learn about things that we can never prove (who The Father is, how Jesus loves us and dies and rose again, how to rely upon the Holy Spirit). We learn from each other through their experiences in the faith. We are tutored in things of “faith” in our churches.  We see God’s handiwork in nature.

All of this is not proof, but it is evidence… very good evidence that leads us to take a knee in the presence of God and defer to Him to be in charge. It’s a step of wondrous, mystical, rational faith.

Avoid the leaps… they hurt.  Take that step!

Pastor Joell Haugan
CBWC Church Planting Advisory Team

This article is reposted with permission from Pastor Joell’s blog.