Monthly Archives: February 2018

“Transformed by Trouble”

An inspirational book that has made a difference in my life is The Purpose Driven LifePurpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I have recommended it numerous times to those who are finding their faith or looking to build a better foundation of faith.

There are 40 parts broken in to five sections of purpose. With so many people I know facing unimaginable obstacles in their lives and the unfathomable pain and grief they are going through, I wanted to focus today on #25, “Transformed by Trouble.”

Warren writes several things I feel are worth mentioning.

  1. “God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character.”

  2. “We learn things about God in suffering we can’t learn any other way.”

  3. “You’ll never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got.”

Read those once again slowly and think about each of them. If you are under attack or are undergoing any suffering or pain in your life, you may struggle a bit in finding truth to these three points. But I’ll tell you this: these truths should begin the process of speaking life into the reality you find yourself in. Keep in mind, your current reality can be either temporary or changed. You decide.

1000 Tips 168 reality temp or changed

Correspondingly, I’ll add this to each point above:

“God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character.” The topic of one of my speeches is titled: “Out of Chaos Comes Character.” With a purpose behind each problem, what is it we are to learn from our hardships? The character we build is derived from the chaos in our lives. We have a choice whether we excel with excellence or decline with defeat.

“We learn things about God in suffering we can’t learn any other way.” When suffering, we are more available to hearing past the normal noise, seeing past the normal tunnel vision, and leaping to a new fountain of faith. Suffering offers opportunities for growth – unique opportunities we may otherwise not experience.

“You’ll never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got.” When you hit rock bottom, or close to it, sometimes the only thing you got left… is God. The world and everyone you know can abandon you, but God never will. You can abandon God, but it does not work the other way around. Problems and suffering make us regain focus on what is important. Who knows? They just may be the catalyst of regaining a faith lost or a rejected relationship.

As Pastor Warren points out, troubles are a great form of transformation! And they are. When you find yourself going through troubled waters, audit your situation. You have several choices. You can swim with the current, you can fight the current, or you can head for shore. Sometimes, you can just stand up and walk out because your troubles are shallow and easily drain away. Other times, they may be deeper and require someone to throw you a life preserver. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Trey Campbell, tcampbell@southwestern.com
Follow on FB: www.fb.com/leadmeforward1

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The ridiculousness of irony and the reality of our situations

At what point does irony succumb to the ridiculous? This recent headline caught my attention:

Norwegian flight carrying 60 plumbers turns back due to broken toilets

plane toiletYes, it’s true. A flight bound for Munich had to return to Oslo and circle the airport until enough fuel was burned off to land safely because… the toilets were broken. Coincidentally, 85 passengers on the plane were in the plumbing industry, 60 of which were actually certified plumbers.

Isn’t that a headline that smacks of irony? It’s ironically funny. That’s the way life is sometimes – for better or worse. And that’s the way our spiritual life is too. God has a sense of perfect irony. He designed us to laugh at ourselves and be laughed at. And I’m sure he gets a laugh because of us all the time. Just like that headline, we can be ridiculous too!

When something comes up in our life similar to the plumbers on a plane with broken toilets, how do you react? Do you laugh and reflect on the situation and move on or does it affect your mood and attitude for a day or more? Are you like Jonah, who tried to flee from God to get out of his divine appointment, or are you like Nehemiah, who took charge of a problem that was not his and made it a divine appointment? 

Quick case study:
Jonah: God told him to go to Nineveh to preach against the wickedness that consumed the city. Jonah instead bolted to Joppa where he boarded a boat. We all know how this story ends: rough seas, thrown overboard, great fish, swallowed for three days, vomited back up.

Nehemiah: He was the cupbearer for King Artaxerxes in Babylon. Upon hearing the disrepair of the holy city of Jerusalem, Nehemiah took action. Against all odds, he led a mission to rebuild the walls of the city – and once there, did it in 52 days!

How often are we like the headline we started with – caught in a mess we both can and can’t control? In the actual article, it explains how the toilets had to be fixed outside the plane. In that case, no matter how much knowledge and technical experience the plumbers on board had, there was nothing they could do about it… except laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. And that is what we must do when presented with the craziness of this world that is both within and beyond our control.

Take a page out of Nehemiah’s book. Take on the things beyond your comfort level, beyond your experience level, and beyond your position. Like the plumbers on the plane, you may be qualified, but the situation may dictate it is not your time. But if it is your time, make it happen!1000 Tips 167 bridge and reward

There is a bridge between faith and initiative. There is a reward for obedience through action. Seek your reward in ways only you can through both your faith and obedience.

Trey Campbell, tcampbell@southwestern.com
Facebook: www.fb.com/leadmeforward1

Article: https://www.thelocal.no/20180130/norwegian-flight-carrying-60-plumbers-turns-back-due-to-broken-toilets