Your Trial Has a Purpose
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. -1 Peter 4:12-13
The last couple of years have been some of the most exciting and fulfilling years of my life. Things haven’t always been easy but God has been faithful throughout the trials and testing. During this blog, I want to share with you some of the lessons I have learned during my personal journey. I pray that as you read this blog… that you would walk away with understanding in regards to why we go through the things we go through when we attempt to do something great for God.
Life was good. My wife and I had been youth pastors for 4 years. We were at a great church with a huge youth facility, a great youth group and team of faithful volunteers. We lived in the church parsonage next to the church. We were full time ministers.
Then God met me on a Saturday afternoon in the church playground and began to speak to me clearly and I heard the Holy Spirit say… “I want you to plant a church.” When I heard this something on the inside of me leaped with joy! I know my purpose. I closed my eyes and imagined what it would be like. I saw hundreds of people worshiping Jesus. I felt so alive!
When God calls you to do something you will feel His pleasure.
I told my wife and others around us. Some looked at me funny. Some tried to discourage me. Others cheered me on. A month later, we moved to northern Virginia to plant a life giving church. When I arrived here, a lot of people asked me why I was here. People asked me why I was going to plant a life giving church. I told them… “Jesus told me to.” It was a hard task. We weren’t being sent out from another church. We were parachuting into northern Virginia. Yes, I knew a few people but the culture had changed so much. I was blessed to connect with local pastors who met with me and encourage me to go for it.
My first year I chose to work a job at a bank and got acclimated to the culture. I learned the in and outs of northern Virginia. I learned what was acceptable and what wasn’t. It was a fun season. After choosing to move to Winchester, Virginia the city God had called me the trails began.
Beginning with my sisters death… I felt the devil was trying to take me out. It was a low blow. To be honest I almost quit. I almost shut the church plant down. The pain was unbearable. But Jesus healed my broken heart. I had been on the other side of it as a pastor so many times before. But to experience loss especially so close to home really hurt. Soon our finances were also under attack. I lived by faith not by sight. I began designing websites for clients. God also sent us partners that support us monthly. This resulted in learning to trust in God’s faithfulness. Not once did God not provide.
The Lord taught me to be completely reliant on Him as my source of provision.
The next thing God taught me was to make my life about Him not about me. He used the fire to purify my motives. It was about the cause of Christ and serving others and meeting their practical and spiritual needs. God clarified His vision for my life.
This revelation changed everything. People who were on our launch team left. New people joined our team.
God began increasing my hunger for the supernatural.
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My spiritual gifts became alive and were stronger than ever. I was a prophesying machine and hundreds received prophetic words from the Lord. People were getting healed. Miracles were happening! The gift of evangelism was also activated.
God gave me an intense fire to win souls. Our church is not us but for those who are in need of healing and those who need an encounter with Jesus.
In the midst of my trials the Lord has dealt with my heart. He has taught me to be a better husband, a better father, a better son, a better brother, and a better pastor.
Your trial has a purpose.
Embrace your limitations. Embrace the trials and the testing. God is doing something eternal in you. Think inside the box. Don’t you dare give up. God has great things He wants to do. It will require you to step into the unknown. Press into God like never before. Ask Him to create an appetite for the supernatural.
A faith that has been tested is a faith that you will stand in the darkest of nights, the roughest of storms, and during the longest trials.
Without faith you cannot please God. You are on the offense. Not on the defense. You are doing better than you think you are. You are going to make it.
God is waiting on your to take your Next Step!
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God bless you!
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