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“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James‬ ‭1:12‬‬

I hung up the phone and hung my head. Had I done enough? Was there something more I could have said…or said now to help? Psychologists have coined the term “Messiah Complex” to refer to individuals who have a firm belief that they are responsible for the physical, emotional or spiritual well-being of others. At this point I was in full blown “Messiah Mode!”

The phone call was from a friend who had been struggling for years with relationship issues, self-doubt and fear. On the other hand she was compassionate, understand had, on the surface anyway, a deep love for Jesus. The last few months had been tough. Her family life was hard, her job ended, and God seemed unwilling or unable to help. Her phone call was short but not sweet. She’d had it with God and with living the illusion that he existed and cared about her. She asked me to leave her alone and not bother to pray for her because prayer is worthless.

I have to admit, I don’t blame her. There have been so many times in my life when I’ve struggled or seen the struggles of others and asked the “Why?” question.

There aren’t easy answers. He’s wonderful and confusing all at once. Yet, for me anyway, one thing I’ve noticed is that God’s greatest blessings often seem to come during, or on either side of life’s greatest trials. Had I not known the depths of despair, I never would have experienced the strength of his peace.

I’ll respect my friends desire for distance, but I’ll continue to pray that she sees the God I see. I don’t understand him, but I’m nothing without him. As Peter said when many were leaving Jesus because he disappointed them, “Where else can we go?”


For those of us in the business of serving people we know all to well the meaning of the word ‘burnout’. Burnout is defined as “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

Burnout is the culprit in the demise of many relationships from families to ministry to any other service related activity. It is , I believe, the reason many pastor families break up; the suicide rate is so high in the armed forces, and emergency personnel (police, fire, etc). Could it be a major contributing factor to substance abuse as well.


The Apostle Paul describes two types of people in Galatians six, those empowered by human emotions and those empowered by the Holy Spirit of the Living God. Living by the power of the Holy Spirit gives us two things (maybe more). One is the strength to do good when we are unappreciated and expectations exceed our ability to meet them. Secondly we live in the constant reminder that God will eventually reward us for our efforts.


Feel overwhelmed and under appreciated? Remember it’s not your strength or power, but God working through you. He’s never held us responsible for results, he only promises to reward our efforts in his time. Press on mighty warrior!



I’ve read this verse a thousand times. I’ve written about it. I’ve taught on it. But today as I was reading the final days of Christ’s life on earth I was hit by a new truth. Okay, new only in the sense of perspective.

Jesus promises to be with us. ALWAYS.

  • With us when we are under attack;
  • With us when we struggle with finances;
  • With us when illness attacks our bodies or the bodies of loved ones;
  • With us when we struggle with addictions;
  • With us in through divorce;
  • With us when we did that sin…again:
  • With us when we feel lonely and rejected;
  • With us in the storms of life;
  • Add your struggle here…

The thing is, this phrase is stuck at the end of what is commonly called the Great Commission but it’s truth goes far beyond evangelism. It’s a lifestyle. He doesn’t promise to remove the hard times. He does promise to walk with us along the way.

What’s your struggle today. Jesus is with you whether you feel him or not.


Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

It amazes me how many times the challenge to be patient and have courage occurs in the Bible. It’s almost like our Heavenly Father is trying to tell us something!

When you think about it, the two go hand in hand. When we are impatient we tend to react instead of act. We lash out verbally. We take action without seeing all the possibilities or ramifications of our actions. We take unnecessary actions and later need to suffer the consequences. Think about it. It was one act of impatience the forced Moses to flee into the wilderness after his outburst of anger killed an Egyptian. It was one act of anger (impatience) that led him to strike the rock rather than speak to it as God commanded him. One forced him into the wilderness, the other forced him to stay in the wilderness.

While impatience can be thought of as acting too quickly, fear keeps us from acting at all. God often seems to link patience and courage together for a reason. One (patience) allows us time to listen to him. The other (courage) requires action! We don’t serve a stagnant God. He doesn’t change in character but if you’ve ever noticed a sunset you realize he rarely does things the same and always does them with excellence.

Courage is waiting for God’s timing and moving forward as he moves us.

Patience and courage. One gives us time to seek God’s wisdom, the other moves us forward with his blessing.

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