Some people love challenges. They’ll look at something new. Something hard. And they’ll take up the challenge of doing it just to get the satisfaction or thrill of knowing they can do something they’ve never done before. Something hard. Challenging. Exhilarating.

Just so you know, I am not that way at all. I am 1,000,000,000,000% a comfort-zone type of guy. I like doing the doable. That means it’s easy and doesn’t demand a whole lot of  my time, effort, or thinking. When it comes to what’s new, difficult, or challenging, you can generally count me out, folks. I’m not touching it with a ten-foot pole!

I won’t do the difficult—not unless I’m forced to—because life already has too many difficulties and challenges. I don’t need to  add to them. I don’t need any more trials or challenges!  I’m heading into my golden years and I love to relax, take it easy, and do what I love doing most. Can you guess what that is? It’s studying  the Bible and writing. I just love spending time with the Lord because He talks to me a lot of times—not audibly, but in my spirit—and He tells me lots of really neat stuff. Stuff that I’ve just got to share with you. This blog is a perfect example of the stuff God gives me when I spend time with Him. I love Him. I love what I’m doing. But I dread doing the difficult.

Here’s a question for you. When the Lord asks you to do something difficult…no, strike that. When the Lord tells you to do something difficult, something you really don’t want to do, something you think is impossible to do, something that’s a Are you out of your mind? I can’t do that! type of thing; what do you do?

Just so you know, you’re not the only one who’s had to do something really really hard. You’re not alone. We’ve all been there and done that. The biblical characters weren’t any different from us. In fact, they were exactly like us: human. I’d like to draw on their life’s experiences and, from beyond the grave, as it were, let them share with us what we’ve got to do when the Lord gives us our Mission I M possible. By God’s grace, we can do what God’s counting on us to do! Here’s how.


Yay! You’ve read my last post in this series and you’ve decided, like David, it’s high time to obey the Lord. You can’t put it off any longer. It’s been killing you. So you’ve said a prayer, taken a deep breath, and taken the first step towards obeying God. Good for you! God’s so proud of you, I’m sure! I know I am!


I wish it weren’t that way, but that’s just how nasty the devil is. You think God’s gonna be with you (and He is) and things are gonna go smooth (not necessary). Everything’s gonna turn out alright (eventually, but not always at first sight). But the devil is gonna do everything he can to stop that from happening. He’s fought you this hard and this long, preventing and prolonging your obedience to God. Do you think he’s gonna stop messing with you now that you’re actually obeying God? Not on your life! The devil’s gonna work harder to make things even harder for you. To make it look like it’s not gonna work. It ain’t gonna happen. You can’t do it.  It can’t be done. You may as well stop now before you make a bigger mess and fool of yourself, the devil says.

What are you gonna do? Who are you gonna believe and follow? Think the Lord led you wrong and gave you something truly impossible for you to do? Not on your life, mister! The devil’s a lying to you and you’d best not listen to him. Make the difficult choice and continue obeying God. You know what you’ve got to do. Keep focused on the mission. Get it done. And don’t let anyone or anything stop you from doing what you know you’ve got to do. Don’t get sidetracked or distracted. Shut the devil up. Don’t let him get into your mind and convince you you can’t get ‘er done. Keep leaning on God for grace, courage, and strength. Take it one step at a time. Keep doing what God’s telling you to do, even if you’re doing just a little bit at a time. As long as you do that you’ll eventually get ‘er done.

This reminds me of one of our Lord’s disciples named Peter. It’d been a really long day with the Lord ministering to gobs and gobs of people (Matthew 14:13-23). Evening was setting in. Jesus fed the five-thousand. Dusk was on it’s way—a beckoning reminder to all that it was time to wrap things up and call it a day. So Jesus sent His  twelve disciples in a boat across the Sea. He would stay on shore for a while, send the multitudes of folks on their way, then He would stay a while and pray by Himself. Eventually, He’ll meet up with the disciples on the other side.

It wasn’t long before things took a terrifying and disheartening turn for the worse (Matthew 14:24-33). A storm came up while the disciples were at sea. If you’ve ever been at sea or on the shoreline while it was storming you can very well imagine what was happening to the disciples as the waves and winds beat mercilessly against the boat, threatening to sink it. The disciples, I’m sure, to a man, were panic-stricken as they frantically bailed water out of the boat, rowed against the winds, and hung on for dear life. Wow! What an awful time to be alone, on your own, and not have Jesus around to bail you out! Talk about baaaad timing! I can see tempers flaring and mouths running loose. Why did Jesus send us across the sea at such a lousy time as this? This was one bad call!

Jesus, I’m sure, was very well aware of what was happening to His disciples out on the sea. But He continued praying until He was done praying. Finally, sometime between 3 AM and 6 AM, Jesus came to His disciples walking on the water! Remember it’s storming really bad. It’s dark. The disciples have been rowing for a good 7 to 9 hours. They tired and tuckered out. They weren’t in the best of moods.

Suddenly, in the faint moon light, they saw someone walking towards them on the water! It’s a ghost!, they all cried. But Jesus assured them it was He Himself for real (Matthew 14:25-27). I’m sure the disciples’ moods were instantly changed by the sight of their Lord. With Jesus came hope and the miracle of certain survival!

Well, Jesus was still a ways off from the boat. Even though the voice was familiar, the form wasn’t entirely clear to the disciples. Peter, for one, wasn’t totally sure that it really was Jesus. People can’t walk on water! That’s impossible! But ghosts can! This guy’s got to be a ghost!  Peter’s unconvinced it’s really Jesus. So he decided that if it was really Jesus walking out there on the water, then, Jesus had better prove it by telling Peter to come to Him walking on the water (Matthew 14:28). Peter must’ve figured if Jesus could walk on water, then he could too! Like I said in my intro, some guys thrive on challenges. So Jesus gives the order. Come!

Amazingly, for a guy who must’ve battled fear many times while out on the sea  during a storm, Peter mustered the courage and faith, got out of the boat, and started walking towards Jesus! Peter was actually walking on water! He was doing something that was ordinarily, humanly impossible! Like Jesus told us, WE CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE AS LONG AS WE BELIEVE (Matthew 17:20, Mark 9:23).

Now everything to this point has been unimaginably, excruciating difficult. But walking on water will be Peter’s worst nightmare. Now he’s got no boat protecting him from sinking. The other disciples aren’t close enough to him to hold on to him. He’s gonna survive this storm and walk on water strictly on his own faith. Nothing else is holding him up. He’ll sink if he gets skeptical. He’ll drown if he doubts.

Peter does fine as long as he keeps his eyes on Jesus. As long as he stays focused on Christ he’ll succeed.

But, like many of us, Peter succumbs to the temptation of looking around at the awful circumstances that he’s faced with. He takes his eyes off of  Jesus, looks at the winds and waves, and, you guessed it, he begins to sink.

Matthew 14:29-31 tells the story this way: So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.  (30)  But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.  (31)  Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt Me?”


Do you wanna know how to do the difficult? Just do it and keep your eyes focused on Jesus. Concentrate on getting the job done.

I know that’s easier said than done. But I’m no armchair theologian. I’ve been there and I know what it’s like to be really, really scared. But I tell you this. Like the disciples rowing frantically and fearfully in the sea, Jesus will come to you in the midst of your fears and help you! You’re never alone! You belong to Him and He will not leave you on your own. He’ll always come to the rescue. Let these truths sink into your heart and mind and let them anchor your ship in the troubled storms of life.

The alternative isn’t pretty. If you take your eyes off of the Lord and look at all the obstacles, difficulties, and fears that the devil’s putting in your way, you’re gonna get scared. Naturally. And when you’re scared you’ll begin to lose your faith. You’ll start doubting God. Friends, YOU CAN’T DO THE DIFFICULT WHEN YOU’RE FEARFUL AND DOUBTFUL. THE DIFFICULT CAN BE DONE ONLY IF YOU BELIEVE AND KEEP ON BELIEVING. YOU’LL LOSE FAITH WHEN YOU’RE LOOKING AT CIRCUMSTANCES INSTEAD OF CHRIST.

Keep your eyes, mind, and entire being focused on Jesus and the mission and you’ll accomplish the mission. As long as you do that, like Peter walking on the water, all the bad stuff that’s happening around you, trying to stop you, will not be able to stop you from accomplishing your mission. You will succeed when your mind and entire being are set on obeying the Lord.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you were encouraged and emboldened in the Lord. I pray God help you stay focused and give you the grace to look at nothing else but Him. He’ll get you through as long as you’re depending and focused on Him. God bless you dearly.


We all like to have things our way. It’s a natural and normal thing that comes with being human. It’s not necessarily the best, safest, or healthiest thing for us. God has a better way. His way. But sometimes people just can’t tell us differently or convince us otherwise: our way is the best way! It’s this stubborn, inextinguishable belief that’s a huge part of the reason why we like having our way.

As you know full well by now,  things don’t always go the way we planned. It’s a real downer and a source of frustration, disappointment, anger, and tears. But that’s life. And we find a way to go on.

But when things don’t pan out the way God said they would, then that becomes a really really difficult thing for me. I’m a believer. I take God at His Word. When He makes me a promise and I take Him up on that promise, I fully expect Him to do what He said He would do. And when He doesn’t, I go through a serious time of reflection and questioning. Is God’s Word true or not? Of course it is, silly! Then why didn’t it work?

I like to have answers. Sometimes the answers are easy. Sometimes hard to fathom or digest. Sometimes there aren’t any answers. At least, not right now. Maybe down the road. Maybe never. But whether I understand the reasons or not, I’m still a believer. God expects me to continue believing Him. Continue serving Him. Continue praising Him. And since I’m a preacher, God expects me to continue preaching the Word of truth and life.

Thanks for giving me a few moments of your time. Allow me to share with you some of the things God showed me recently  about the troubles we go through from time to time.


When things don’t pan out the way we thought they would, sometimes it’s a matter of chastening. Nothing’s working out right because God’s chastening us and trying to call our attention to the fact that we need to repent and get things right. Sometimes, the law of reaping and sowing is taking effect and we’re suffering the bad effects or results of the bad things that we’ve done.

Sometimes we haven’t done anything wrong and things still go wrong. You’re doing all the right things. You’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You haven’t messed up or misbehaved. Why is this happening to me, God? What the heck is going on?

If you really want to know, grab yourself a seat and sit down because this answer is gonna blow you away. Things are falling apart on you and going wrong because you haven’t done anything wrong! A genuine trial is in progress. What is a trial? A trial is a set of troubles or sufferings that God is using to build Christian character in you. It doesn’t mean you sinned or did something wrong. It simply means God wants to make you a better Christian. There’s always room for improvement. And that’s what a trial is. It’s what I call a soul-improvement time or opportunity.

James 1:2-4 puts it this way, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  (3)  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  (4)  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

You see, trials have this purpose in mind: to make you a mature Christian and complete, not lacking anything. Complete? What does that mean? It means God made us Christians to have a whole bunch of things. Virtues. Character traits. The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 contain a lot of these character traits. They’re important because they’re what Christians are supposed to be. We’re not supposed to be the heathens that we were before we got saved. Being a Christian is a transformation process—a type of personality change—where we become like Jesus. In fact, that’s one goal of the Christian life: we’re supposed to grow and get better and better until we become like Jesus.  He Himself told us in Luke 6:40, Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher. Jesus, brethren, wants us to become just like Him. This takes a lifetime of growth and learning. And trials are a crucial part of this transformation process.

When things aren’t working out the way they’re supposed to, get alone with God. Ask Him what’s going on. Did you do something wrong? Is He chastening you? What is He trying to teach you? If you haven’t done anything wrong and God hasn’t shown you anything wrong, chances are, God’s allowing these troubles in your life to improve you and make you a better Christian.

There are three things that you need to know about trials. (1) The first thing you need to know is God generally works on one thing at a time. Sometimes He picks your faith and goes to work on that: He uses your trial to teach you to trust Him and keep on trusting Him no matter what happens. Sometimes He singles out your anger and gives you a chance—not to be angry like usual, but a chance to not be angry and instead do the Christian thing and be nice, be kind, be sympathetic and understanding. Sometimes He picks on your patience. It seems to be in rather short supply lately, so He gives you lots of delays in traffic and people who move intolerably slow. You’re tempted to get frustrated and impatient. But the thing that you’ve got to remember is God put these slow-moving people and circumstances deliberately in your way so that you’ll use this opportunity to become patient. Do you see what I mean? A trial focuses on one thing at a time.

When things are going really troublesome for you, instead of blowing up right away and getting exasperated with God and people, take a deep breath, calm down, and ask God what good work He’s trying to do in you today. He’ll let you know if you don’t already know. Then cooperate with Him. Let God do that work of self-improvement in you.

And this brings me to the second thing you need to know about trials. (2) A trial doesn’t end until God finishes what He sets out to do in you. If you cooperate and make the change that God’s looking for, the trial ends quickly. Resist God’s work and the trial drags on. And on. And on. Friends, the trial will end when you’ve changed and improved. God works incrementally. He doesn’t expect 100% on the first go-round. Maturity and growth take time. It’s incremental. You don’t have to be perfect and be a complete angel before the trial gets done. If God sets out to do a 5% improvement in your compassion, that’s when the trial will end—when you’re 5% more compassionate than before. Do you see what I mean? A trial is designed to do one special thing and accomplish one special goal. And when you’ve accomplished God’s goal, that’s when the trial ends. So if the trial is still in progress, if it’s dragging on and on, it’s because God’s purposes haven’t been accomplished yet: you’ve still got some changing and improving to do.

And this brings me to the third and final thing you need to know about trials. (3) Every trial you go through will eventually come to an end. Sooner or later, you’ll fall in line with God’s plan, you’ll make the change, because you want the trial to end. God promised you your trial would end. He said, You will get it. You’ll have what you prayed for. So matter how painful or frustrating the trial may be, endure it with rejoicing just like James 1:2 tells you because you know the trial will eventually end one of these days. God gave you a promise and He will not lie. Believe and obey. And you’ll see God’s promise come true.

So what do you do when life doesn’t pan out and things just aren’t improving or getting any better? Ask God and learn what He’s wanting to do in your life—what areas of your personality, thoughts, or life He’s wanting to change or improve. Concentrate on making the change. The sooner you change, the sooner things pan out just the way God said they would. God bless you with His grace and ever-loving presence.