Summary: We are all challenged during our lives, but it is in the midst of it that we need to find our faith in an unfailing God


ME (INTRO & ORIENTATION) Introduce myself to them and let them get comfortable with me.

25 years of ministry

We planted 7 churches

We have send out and trained hundreds of leaders over the world.

At one stage my podcast was downloaded between 30000-60000 per sermon

But in the midst of this

So no close to five years ago

I got ill while preaching, I had a death experience etc

We were building cash R11 million

But the wheels of the wagon came off…

WE (IDENTIFICATION) Make an emotional connection through what WE are thinking and feeling.

We all want to be successful

We want to be winners

We want to make a difference

Difference between Courage and Discouraged

Pastor Jim preach a sermon many years ago about how to encourage yourself in the Lord

Pastor Russ Austin our North American Apostolic team leader said: You will loose ore in life than you will win

Cheat mode - Comrades marathon years ago Taxi

GOD (ILLUMINATION) Introduce the biblical truth into the discussion

Joshua 1:

6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

And so, I just want to encourage you today. What’s been on my heart is through the struggle–we all go through them–realize that God is taking you

maybe to a whole new level in your Christian walk,

maybe to a whole new area in your ministry.

You see the struggle is no time to cry and blame God. That’s the worst thing you can do.

Turn your attention toward God.

God will use anything that the devil sends and He will get good out of it. The struggle is what gives us strength many times. (Applause)

One time a mom and her little boy were out in the back yard and they were looking at this little butterfly. And the little butterfly was struggling to get out of this cocoon. It was so hard and it was so difficult for him. And the little boy was just so impatient. Only his head was out. He was trying to get his wings out of the cocoon. But he couldn’t seem to do it. And it was just taking so long. This little boy said, "Mom can’t we help it? Can’t we make it easy on that butterfly?"

See, he didn’t realize that that’s not the way God had ordained it.

And all of us, and I’m the world’s worst, is we want a quick fix from God. God, we’re in trouble, come zap me with your magic wand. But you know, sometimes it happens like that, maybe when you’re a new Christian.

But as you go on down the road in our Christian walk, many times God wants to see how mature you are. He wants to take you to a new level. He wants to see if you’ll turn your focus completely toward Him. He wants to see if you’ll spend a little more time in studying His Word. Will you find His scriptures? Or are you just going to turn around and remain a baby and just cry and pout in the midst of struggle?

See it’s not always easy; but it’s the struggle that’s giving us strength. And finally, that little boy talked his mom into opening up the cocoon. And sure enough she opened it up with a little knife. And sure enough the little butterfly couldn’t fly. The little boy didn’t realize that God has ordained through the struggle of coming out of the cocoon that the butterfly would push his wings and through that struggle is where he would get his strength.

And many times it’s the same way with us. If we’re going to remain babies all the time, you know, we’re going to whine and cry in the midst of problems. If we’re going to become strong, we’re going to fight life through like daddy said. We’re going to fight through each struggle. In our struggles we’re going to turn our attention more focused toward God and when we come out of it, God is going to have enlarged our vision, enlarged our dream, enlarged us in our time of distress.

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