FILLING IN POTHOLES
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Your biggest mistakes can become your greatest learning points.
Timothy struggled with being too passive, hidden, and intimidated. The apostle Paul, his mentor, encouraged Timothy by reminding him that God does not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, and love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:6-7). Paul wrote these words based on his experiences that God’s power is most evident in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Taking these statements to heart, Timothy developed, with God’s help, into one of the outstanding leaders in the Bible. God transforms your difficulties into effective service for His glory.
I have learned some of the greatest insights from people on my staff, who often process decisions very differently than I do. Sometimes, the best ideas have begun as a plan I felt would never work when initially suggested. My low points in life and in ministry have usually become the launching pad for a wonderful new season or an incredible change that God wanted to make. I just did not recognize it in the moment. The importance of listening to God and people with good advice cannot be highlighted enough. Weaknesses are not a reason to despair. Avoid the temptation to wallow in self-pity or to step out of running the good race.
Growing up in Minnesota, spring driving included rumbling over large potholes that were a direct result of rugged winter weather. Have you ever checked the low temperatures in Minneapolis in January? ‘Wind chill factor’ was not a phrase that I embraced. Even the pavement had some winter scars. The freezing temperatures (yes, we had to plug in the heater to our car at night so it would start in the morning) and the use of salt to melt ice, extensively damaged the roads. In the spring, however, even the deepest potholes were repaired. The Bible states, “God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). Whether struggling in marriage, chronic illnesses, devastating tragedies, or financial hardships, there is a common thread. God can heal, and He has the ability to help us rise above the level of our challenges and disappointments. Your most difficult moments can become the place where you meet with God in a fresh way and discover profound levels of His grace.
Ultimately, God created us in His image, but all of us have rebelled against Him in different ways. God sent His Son, Jesus, to provide the forgiveness we need. The greatest rescue mission was accomplished when Jesus died, paid the full price for our sins, and overcame the grave. You cannot earn your way to heaven, but you can receive eternal life when you put your trust in Jesus. Have you given Him the steering wheel of your life? Jesus can bring you wholeness and peace with God forever.
Have you experienced a time when God redeemed your weakness and displayed His strength?
For more from Pastor Jesse Bradley and Activate Media Ministries, visit www.activatelife.org