THE ROYAL MISFIT

Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools; we're the Messiah's misfits. 1Corinthians 4:10

The Cocoon

A leaders strength is not best displayed in success, but in the confident (but hidden to the world) ability to rally hopeless people after many defeats.

There is rousing celebration in heaven when our love and faith bring hope to others.

We can truly only grasp this from ourselves suffering defeat and watching God orchestrate this process over and over in our own lives. Our human heart craves to fly for the world to see, but The Father must recalibrate this carnal desire to align with His heart of servant leadership.

God achieves this Masterful work inside the dark cocoon of transformation – where to our earthly senses seems dark and cold and we’re cut off from the “images/idols” we always imagined to be success.

To see everything new we must first be able to identify what’s old. It requires freshly calibrated eyes of faith to see Him in the midst of overwhelming darkness. Natural light (of this world) destroys the metamorphosis inside a cocoon. It exposes us to elements destructive to the process. While the world remains fascinated by butterflies: gazing at them, watching news about them, idolizing them, serving them, learning from their teaching and trying to fly like them under their own power, eyes of faith see nothing more beautiful and worthy of our focus than plain, unsightly cocoons. Being with Him, learning His voice and knowing His ways has to become our everything. Then and only then can we become humble enough vessels to fly for His glory and navigate by His Spirit to help fulfill the Kingdom of heaven on earth.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. (James 1:2 MSG)

Warriors of Peace

Mention the Ten Commandments and witness a collective duck and cover from flying salvos of guilt and shame. Understandable! The letter of the law kills, but we are ministers of a New Covenant that brings life.<2Cor 3:6> So, let’s bring Life to the Sabbath.

God created the heavens and the earth in six days, “And on the seventh day God finished His work; and He rested…” <Gen2:2a> God took glory in His good, finished and perfect work, and later commanded us to “Remember the Sabbath Day, keep it holy.” <Exodus 20:8>

Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Masterfully, the word “sabbath” and “rest” are the same basic Hebrew word, Shabbat.

This is not rest as we normally think of it. It simply means the ending of activity, the cessation of effort. God was not tired by His creative work, He did not need to rest to restore strength. He did not stop because He was fatigued; Mankind was His last creative effort and He stopped because He was finished and wanted to enjoy. Therefore true sabbath is not the keeping of a special day, but the ending of a specific effort.

Old Testament references to Sabbath were symbolic, predictions, a picture of the coming One who would end man’s effort and bring peace on earth. God finished His work of creation (the word “finished” used twice in Gen 2:1-2), and it was perfect. After the fall when the curse of sin fell upon the earth, redemption of sin was required by yet another perfect work. Jesus on the cross taking sin upon Himself stated once again with His last words, “It is finished.” It was the ending of our effort to be righteous, we can now rest in Him. Jesus is our Sabbath.

“The Day” we are born again is “The Day” we enter Sabbath rest. In Christ we are made perfect for God to enjoy, and by His work it gives us freedom, power and authority to carry forward the Good News. Our new birth is meant to bring peace on earth goodwill to men. We become the Body of Christ commissioned to bring heaven to earth. We no longer labor in the law, but rest in His Spirit. Salvation is the 7th Day where our labor ceases and we rest in His perfect work. We are instructed to keep it holy (made whole; set apart from thinking we can achieve anything outside of Christ <John 15:5>).

“For it is God who works in you…” <Phil 2:13> Jesus stated, “…but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” <John 14:10> “…The Son can do nothing by Himself…”<John 5:19> Paul cries, “Not I, but Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…”<Gal 2:20> A life in Christ is to cease from dependence on one’s own activity, and rest in dependence upon the activity of Another who lives within. This is the fulfillment of the Sabbath.

Guarding your peace is the spiritual battle, and don’t be deceived… fighting for peace is war! Without peace the believer is powerless and unable to hear the Father’s voice or conduct the King’s business. Therefore everything of this world is designed to allure, distract and capture your attention to the chaos and unrest that destroys your peace. Without a spirit at rest, we have nothing to give to others besides adding to life’s turmoil. We can’t be the light of the world when our own world is dark or dim. Only a spirit at peace can calm a storm. When we’re frenetic we fall prey to the work of our own hands. We have no ability to bring calm, healing, or freedom to our marriage, children, relationships, neighbors, work environment or ministry without being in a poised and prepared state of spiritual Sabbath.

Are you able to overcome the situations life throws at you everyday? Are you confident in the whole armor of God? Are you panic-proof? Are you flowing with fruit and abundance? God’s rest is designed to produce this. He makes it available for this purpose and it’s the only thing that can do it; there is no substitute. If by our best efforts we can barely rise to a level of coping, it’s because we’re depending upon our own effort and still learning to keep the Sabbath Day holy.

God understands. He created us and knows exactly the way we operate. Therefore He designed an adequate provision for our weakness, teaching us how to operate in an entirely new way, to no longer look to oneself but to look to the One who lives within; to expect Him to do something through you, using your mind, your will, your emotions, your feelings, but it is He who does the work. However, without intentionally entering into this process by faith and relying upon His work, we’ll never experience it. We must die so He can live.

We are called to a life of purpose with a spirit at rest; to guard our hearts. It’s an impossible assignment without keeping the Sabbath Day holy, (The Day we entered His rest) and keeping focus on The Day we’ll meet Him face to face. It is a spiritual/eternal worldview and the only lens by which we can see what the Father is doing. Even when diligently at work with our hands on the plow, a spirit at rest brings heaven to earth. Such a spiritual being is purpose-filled and can effectively love even their enemies, make wise decisions, change an atmosphere, be present and able to ignore interruptions that are intent on stealing a moment. Such a spiritual being is a light, a healing presence that calms storms and bears fruit. It is neither natural or normal. It is in fact, a supernatural inhabitation of human behavior scripture describes as “Life in the Spirit.” Hallelujah!

God uses trials to teach us to place our trust in Him and mature us into approaching each new challenge with sheer joy.<James 1:2> After all, warriors are eager to fight. Rising above the carnage this world heaps upon us is our calling. Overcomer’s must have something to overcome to display faith to others. Soldiers can’t be moved, they stand victoriously on The Rock in the midst of ever-increasing turmoil, steadfast in their purpose to battle test their faith.

The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few — the world grows more chaotic while the King seeks warriors of peace in every shape, size, gender, color, ethnicity, age and denomination. God’s ultimate desire is for His Sabbath Warriors to rise up in one spirit and reflect the beauty of His Kingdom on earth; shelters in a storm. This is anything but a defeated people, but humble, fearless lovers of a lost and hurting world; warriors of peace.

A spirit at rest is the secret of human fruitfulness. As you consent to this, a wonderful thing will begin to happen. You will find a peace beyond comprehension in the only place it truly exists: Jesus Christ.

Remember the Sabbath Day, keep it holy.

“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” <Matthew 11:28-30>

Babies Learning To Fight

Apostle Peter’s intentions were to protect Christ against soldiers sent to capture and kill Him, and Jesus said, “PUT AWAY THE SWORD!” We’re no different than Peter. It’s a natural instinct to protect the things we hold dear – or things we believe are important to God. This same scenario occurs countless times per day in our lives. Consider that Jesus is saying to us, “put away the sword until you learn who, what, when, where and how to fight.” Pick up love instead. After all, do you even know who the enemy is? For example, who was the enemy in this story? The soldiers coming to crucify Christ? Or Peter? It was the soldiers who were fulfilling the will of God while Peter was misguidedly trying to stand in the way of eternal redemption. Peter’s intentions were good, but he was a pawn of the enemy attempting to stop the very blood of Christ from being shed to set the captives free.

How often are we attempting to defend Christ by doing what seems obviously right, yet oblivious to the greater spiritual implications of the Master plan? Jesus could only do what He saw the Father doing, and He understood that He must drink the cup of suffering, whereas despite Peter also knowing this, he reacted out of natural instinct. Like us, Peter wanted to quell what appeared as evil without consulting and yielding to the Ultimate Authority. We ourselves are challenged to put away the sword until and unless we are abiding in the Father’s instructions. This is a monumental challenge for those who firmly believe they are fighting the good fight, but lack the primary attributes of doing so; humility that comes from an unwavering repentant life. God actually “opposes” His own children who lack such humility <James 4:6). The other critical evidence of Kingdom efforts are the fruits of His Spirit on display.

Let’s apply this to politics and how most Christians choose to fight. Imagine if the monumentally immense negative energy and resources focused on opposition went instead towards what we’re actually commissioned to do: demonstrate the unconditional love of Christ to the world. Given the incalculable volume of goodwill this entails, it’s impossible to fathom the miraculous transformation of the world. Simply the inertia transfer of negative weight upon the world would change the entire spiritual climate. I also submit that per 2Chronicles 7:14, it would cure political and economic concerns by looking to God as the only hope. If only a fraction of this type of unity were ignited, we’d lose the defeated compulsion of pawns who look to government for solutions. We’d be Kingdom warriors bringing heaven to earth. We’d be an unstoppable force for good; an empowered Body of Christ wielding faith to move mountains, the living embodiment that Jesus is the answer, love never fails and that there is a hope stratospherically more eternally grand than the fleeting madness of seeking temporary political or economic solutions. We’d actually be… the light of the world!

Evil exists under God’s sovereignty, and on earth this will always be. Just like satan has license to steal, kill and destroy, so does the will of man. However the governing authority OVER that license is given to us, believers, through the Holy Spirit to overcome and alter the course of evil. In fact, it is our sole purpose in life to know God and fulfill this specific calling. It doesn’t mean we don’t fight against evil, but rather we first do the business of humbly repenting and overcoming the evil within us (the very evil that loves to point fingers at the sin of others). Then and only then will the King dictate the moment-by-moment plans of who, what, when, where and how to fight. In my lifetime, I believe the enemy has effectively implemented a grand ruse to veer the body of Christ away from its purpose. The presence of God has become void by ensnaring us in distracting battles of flesh and blood that drain our spirit from seeing His greater plan. We’ve hijacked the sword using our own power and lost connection to the Father’s business.

Here’s a real kicker… when Jesus resurrected, why did He pursue Peter?!? (the very one who denied Him, screwed up royally and despite good intentions was overzealous and hence disconnected to the Spirit of God). I believe Jesus, our Gracious Redeemer, knew that Peter was utterly defeated. Peter knew how to feign being holy & whip out his sword, but was relying upon an outward display of strength instead of an inner spiritual strength of listening, knowing and trusting God. Christ does not want anyone in this position! The will of Peter had to be completely broken from “assuming” he knew God’s will, to walking in a new way that empowered and commissioned him to fulfill his destiny. Peter is no different from any of us who pridefully imagine that we know how to fight, yet remain far from mastering life and living in victory. After Peter was finally broken and repentant, he became willing to surrender his natural instincts for spiritual truth, and became useful to the Kingdom.

After Christ resurrected and appeared to Peter and his fellow workmates, they were empty and frustrated at their daily job, (can anyone relate). He told them to throw their nets on the other side of the boat – a preposterous notion that entirely went against their “natural instincts,” yet they were humble enough to know that it’s wise to take advise when your natural instincts have failed time and again. They complied, and their nets overflowed with more than they could handle. For our future to match the abundant life promised by our Father, we have to learn to surrender our way for His – even when it doesn’t make sense. The most important battle is not what you think it is, but rather learning to be repentant, humble and obedient. 2Chronicles 7:14 “promises” that if we do this, He will take care of everything else – yes… including the political and economic challenges that defeat the spirits of so many.

Walking this out is so foreign, so against natural instinct, so counterintuitive to the patterns that control our lives, it requires becoming a baby again and relearning to walk. Jesus states in Mark 10:15 “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, will never enter it.” For a fresh anointing we have to surrender all that we know, place it on an altar, and relearn. As for instructions on how to do this? Jesus is the answer, His living Word the Truth, and He intends direct communication for marching orders.

God’s family is filled with fathers, mothers, sister and brothers, and although submission to leaders is vital, we should be cautious of looking solely to pastors for Kingdom directives given they struggle with this no different from the newly saved. In fact becoming like a child and relearning after years of accumulating knowledge poses a far greater challenge for them – and that somehow their “position” gives them rank in the Kingdom. The playing field in the Kingdom is equal and those who will become the greatest, will be the most humble. Besides, no one can enter the Kingdom without a direct relationship to the King, so make Jesus the pursuit of your heart.

God has new wine, (divine blessings) but has no intention of pouring it into old wineskins.<Luke 5:37-39> Many will defend status quo Christianity and pridefully swing their swords. Sadly the days of people using the name of Jesus to point a condemning finger at a sinful world are far from over. Believers will justify their addiction to arguing over petty differences, and of course… insist that it’s all about the local church. Some will remain stuck, finding it impossible to submit to something beyond their understanding. I pray these barriers continue to crumble and fall as our Kingdom Family unites encouraging one another to pursue The Way.

Victorious Kingdom warriors look far different: a band of humble, obedient and spiritually victorious misfits. Our agenda is love and we actually revel in the wild variety of unique God-colors among us. We are fiercely protective of preserving a spirit of peace that holds the power to calm storms – and not just for our own lives, but as the peacemakers to the world. We don’t ignore the bad, but focus on the good. Although our bodies are passing through this world, our spirits reside in the Kingdom of Heaven. We take our thoughts captive instead of giving them reign to cause fear and rob our destiny. We’re living sacrifices who adhere to the motto that, “It’s not about us.” We have wisdom enough to know that beyond the lust of the flesh, religion is a powerful tool to imprison us. The Holy Spirit is our Life Force. We don’t whimper or complain about trials, but consider it sheer joy for the honor of each new assignment to conquer and demonstrate the overcoming power of our God. We’re a band of nobodies attuned to the voice of God who says “STOP & NO” as readily as “YES & GO!” We keep our spirits in an unrelenting state of praising Jesus who binds us together as One. We don’t fight like the world does. We are like babies learning to fight with the most powerful weapon on heaven and earth combined, (and that we barely know how to use)… love.

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Matthew 7:21 It is not everyone who keeps saying, “Lord, Lord” that will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who actually does the will of my Heavenly Father. 

Jer 17:5-8 This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and whose hearts do not trust in the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited dry land. But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted by the riverbank with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

The Invisible Prison

Imagine a prison with invisible walls. The walls are no less restrictive than concrete and metal, actually proving to be more pernicious given they can’t be seen… and thus the prisoners are oblivious to their captivity.

Now consider that this prison is the very world in which we live. Most would say such a prison so expansive and beautiful is no prison at all, yet somehow its Creator thought otherwise – to the extent of sending His Son to save us from it. This world is full of sin and death, whereas, His world is full of forgiveness and Life. This world is cruel and unkind, whereas, His world is full of love and grace.

Although the earth was created by God, the fall of man placed it under a curse of spiritual forces. These forces use every means to distract us from seeing the goodness, kindness and mercy of God and distorting our perspectives into actually blaming God for evil – or even questioning His existence altogether. The choice facing all mankind is whether or not to use our God-given free will to engage in this spiritual war – to choose the freedom offered by His bloodshed on the cross to overcome the lies and deceptions intent to keep us imprisoned.

Jesus brought heaven to earth by bridging the gap between God’s world and ours, calling it the “Kingdom of Heaven.” For many this freedom is pursued as a religion. Although the organizational structure of meeting, worshipping and serving Jesus together is a critically valuable component of the Kingdom, believing the local church is the whole answer often leads us to seek protection from this world by creating a prison within a prison.

The local church is not the Kingdom of Heaven, nor was it ever meant to be an exclusive hideout from the world, but her purpose is to be a hospital for the wounded and a training camp for warriors learning to live freely and victoriously in a Kingdom not of this world. We do a grave disservice to reduce our reflection of the Creator to the local church with lovely weekend services – complete with denominations pitted against each other remiss of even enough love to work together in their communities. Our God has something far more grand and glorious in store.

Jesus spoke incessantly about “The Kingdom,” some eighty-four times – more than He spoke about any other topic. “The Kingdom is like,” “The Kingdom is like,” “The Kingdom is like…” one should conclude Jesus was “trying” to instill in us a fascination with His Kingdom. The Kingdom is the great equalizer… it cannot be put in a box, you can’t land on it, describe it, there is no religious checklist, we must rely on hearing God’s moment-by-moment direction, it’s full of mystery… and where I believe all the beauty and excitement of His glory and abundant life contained.

It must be painful for the Father to see His children accepting the freedom of salvation, yet remain in captivity. Jesus explains mere entry into the Kingdom “requires” simple child-like intrigue, posing the greatest challenge for seasoned believers and Pastors who are heavily invested into the knowledge of their faith – and surely the reason most church leaders have little to no fascination with it.

As we emerge from prison to seek His Kingdom, although it contains the wonder of all the possibilities of a miraculous God, it can be like being released into the eye of the storm. It’s quiet and peaceful, but eerily so… because we’re so accustomed to chaos, the noise of this world and a set of instructions to follow. The thoughts in our head begin to be exposed as lies and lose their power to bind us. The Kingdom is sparsely populated so we quickly notice that we’re extremely vulnerable, we feel alone and have a deep new desperation for God, yet the encouragement from others is often muddled. In fact, even the best-hearted people struggle to relate to radical all-consuming lives of faith. It’s so unnatural, nonsensical and impractical that others tend to either keep their distance or try to help by advising we should smarten up and return to safe cover at (fill-in-the-blank) “prison within a prison.”

The Christian life was not meant to be safe, risk-free or alone. Jesus didn’t die to give life for the purpose of hiding out safely awaiting His return. We are called to fearless adventures of faith, to face giants and reflect the love of Christ in radical, unconventional and even dangerous ways that bring hope and comfort to a world gripped by fear — those either oblivious to, or seeking religious asylum from, the invisible prison. Jesus came to set the captives free to live in His Kingdom. The more all of us humble ourselves regarding the ways of the Kingdom and break free from the confinements of status quo Christianity, the more we will begin to reflect the power and glory of an awesome God, exuberantly and patiently awaiting His earthly Kingdom to rise and shine.

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Above all else, seek first the Kingdom of  God and live righteously, and He will provide everything you need. Matthew 6:33

“The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” Mark 1:15 

And Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you repent and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the Kingdom of Heaven [at all]. Therefore whoever humbles himself as a child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Matthew 18:3-4

Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.         Matthew 7:14

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.  Matt 7:14

Pain Gain

I’ve had quite a bit stripped from me in the past few years – as many of us have. I regret to admit it was very much like prying good things out of the clinched hands of resistance. I know it’s wrong to hold things tightly, but God has been patient and kind. During this past year the Holy Spirit has led me through a journey of mourning the things I loved. I attempted to share the process with friends, but got blank stares. After all, it’s awfully morbid to purposefully mourn things that are very much alive. Aren’t we instructed to be grateful and revel in all things good?

I mourned my wife, kids, marriage, health, career, car, computer, mind, physical capabilities, surfing, golf, human approval, etc. – things I value that bring me joy – even the dreams I have for my life. It was a process of placing everything on an altar. It was hard, even grueling sometimes – especially mourning my wife and kids!

I believe mourning is a healthy exercise to condition a proper perspective of the temporary nature of everything. Outside of eternity, nothing is assured and we’re unable to properly steward any of it, or discern its proper value, unless we truly grasp its temporary nature. It has given me a new perspective and continues to do so. Only up against losing something can we truly value it. In the same manner, putting our flesh to death is the only way we can experience life in Christ.

Mourning proved a healthy process given it bore fruit in my spirit. I felt more alive. For example, I couldn’t even look at my wife or kids the same. I fell in love with them on a completely new level – even reveling in the things that once annoyed me. I knew if I lost them, I’d give anything to endure even their worst flaws just one more time. I realized the gift of health rather than the annoyances of ongoing ailments. I realized the honor to live in a time and place that allows me to pursue my dreams. I realized the profound gift that everything both good and bad, truly is. The Spirit inspired that by taking the U out of mourning, it’s morning – the dawn of a new day where you will see everything different.

 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting… sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better. A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time. Ecclesiastes 7:2-4

Wisdom is attained by an eternal perspective on fleeting circumstances.

 “Teach us to number our days that we may attain a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12

As Christ expressed: “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.” Matthew 5:4 (MSG)

God Owes Me! Right?

About To SnapWHAT IS YOUR “HIDDEN ATTITUDE” TOWARDS GOD? You know, the one that wonders why God isn’t keeping His promises. What about the enduring bitterness that He allowed certain things to happen in your life? Or resentment towards the problems you’re facing today? Where’s the miracles? Where’s the healing? Where’s the provision? AREN’T THESE PROMISES?  God owes us, right?!?

Such attitudes leave believers bitter against God for not providing their needs. We attempt to hold God hostage to His Word – remaining distrustful and annoyed until He makes restitution by giving us what we want. In reality, God deliberately chooses not to provide everything promised in his Word in order to give us the opportunity to walk by faith rather than our understanding. In addition, it gives us the opportunity to submit ourselves to the Master Plan – that no matter what He does, He does it for good. <Rom 8:28>

When adversity hits us personally, it’s easy to reject the principle that problems serve a higher purpose because selfishness blinds us to His ways. We miss the point:  the very heaven God intends to bring to earth is what He’s doing in-and-thru each of us.  In other words, our light in the midst of darkness shines brightest in the middle of our own personal valley. Our greatest testimony is celebrating God regardless of His refusal to respond as we’d like. This is our ultimate display of faith and act of worship. 1Thes 5:18 Be thankful in all circumstances,  for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

God creates a “tension” by promising something and not delivering upon it – at least not in the time and manner we expect and want. How could God be so cruel? When we react with frustration and anger towards God, we separate ourselves from knowing His intended purpose. Problems without purpose are hell. Problems with purpose give us power to overcome and bring heaven to earth. When we fail to grasp this principle, we miss the opportunity to overcome the most basic problem of human nature – bitterness towards God. 

Problems hold greater purpose than answered prayers. The Apostle Paul says “consider problems a sheer gift!”  Why?  Because they teach us (eternal) spiritual principles that transform our life, when (temporal) answered prayers are quickly forgotten. God does not serve us, we serve Him. The problems He allows are gifts to draw us nearer to His refuge and strength. 

Life is a battle. To be an overcomer… we need something to overcome! God can deliver us at any moment, and when He fails to do so it’s a sign that there’s a deeper lesson to learn. Instead of regurgitating “why God” questions and harboring bitterness towards the only source who can save us, we possess the power to change everything by releasing God’s (temporary) injustices towards us and walking by faith. Freedom is found in repentance to trust and enjoy His Master Plan.

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James 1:2-4
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
 
Hebrews 12:15
…Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time.
 
Job 21:1
… The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!