Trials are Good!

4/17/2005 6:40 AM
—S=Scripture, O=Observation, A=Application, P=Prayer—-

S: ?Not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD. They
run and prepare themselves through no fault of mind.? ?But
I will sing of your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your
mercy in the morning. For You have been my defense And
refuge in the day of my trouble, To You, O my Strength, I
will sing praises For God is my defense, My God of mercy.?
Psalm 59:3, 4, 16, 17

O: Fascinating that David sees the bigger picture. People
are waiting outside his door to capture and kill him. He
knows it. And he takes the time to write this stuff down.
He writes it down because he sees the bigger picture. He
writes it down because he sees that things are NOT always
going to be like they are right now.

His words, ?In the morning?.? express that things will get
better. Life goes up. Life goes down. David understands
this bigger picture and in the midst of the trials, he
stops to praise God. Great!

In the midst of all that, he also stops to analyze himself.
David understands that he has done nothing wrong for Saul
to be chasing him like he is. David did the soul-searching
that so often needs to be done and he comes up clean. He
was honest and not fooling himself.

John Maxwell, in today?s reading of Matthew 4, expresses
this about Jesus? wilderness experience. ?During this time
[wilderness, trials, problems], our motives get purified,
our backbone solidifies, and our calling gets clarified.?

A: Maxwell is right. When the Salem Project was shut down,
and it affected me so hard, I had to become bitter or
better. In that whole process, I became less Roger-focused
and more God-focused.

I came to the realization that this was not caused by my
fault, rather it was something I could do nothing about.
And in the midst of that, in one of the lowest times of my
life, I learned to praise God through those low times. It
was VERY hard to do, and not something easy to learn.

But it also purified my motives for church planting,
clarified my vision, and made me a stronger person and a
stronger leader.

So, what am I being challenged with today. Probably the
biggest issue I?m dealing with right now, is the process of
alignment. It?s a struggle for me in the leadership aspect
and the organizational aspect of it all. BUT I know that
this is going to stretch me. I must keep my life clean, my
motives pure, I must strengthen myself ? physically,
emotionally, spiritually and mentally, and I need to
continue to clarify the calling God has placed upon my

P: Lord, I know that you are moving me into a new realm.
The stretch from a small church into a medium-sized church
is huge for me. All of college and seminary were about
teaching us to do church according the small-size church
model. I pray, Lord, for the Holy Spirit to guide me. I
pray for the Holy Spirit to focus me. I pray for the Holy
Spirit to teach me.

Please send me to good mentors for this kind of thing,
Lord. Please send me to good mentors for learning. Please
don?t let me get distracted and don?t let me get off track.
I pray for clarity. I believe you are leading me. I know
you are directing me to walk with you.

I want to focus my relationship with you and I want you to
teach me leadership and guide me into the amazing things
you have planned for me. Please continue to lead. Please
continue to guide. Please continue to make me like you. I
pray for your heart, Lord. I love you.