Thursday, December 02, 2010

We never make progress without problems

I found this article encouraging and wanted to share it:

By Rick Warren
"The key to overcoming a roadblock is to keep our eyes on the goal – no matter what comes our way."

Many of us followed the story of the trapped Chilean miners. It was reality TV at its best – because it was reality! But the story of these miners hasn’t ended with their very public escape last month. Six of the miners have proposed to their girlfriends. Another miner has been embroiled in a messy love triangle.

But the story of Edison Pena has been one of the more interesting. Most remember him as the miner who kept the spirits of the others up by singing Elvis songs. What some people may not know is that he also ran up to seven miles a day through the twisting mine shafts during the 69-day ordeal. "I ran to forget I was trapped … I became two people: the weak person who wanted simply to give up and the person who chose to be strong – to run and survive. Eventually, I chose to live," Pena told the New York Daily News. Last Sunday he put that training to the test in the New York City marathon. When the race started, few figured he’d be able to complete it. But he did – in less than six hours.

You may not be tackling the New York Marathon this weekend, but you’ve got much more important goals. Maybe it’s to start a church, maybe it’s to grow your church, maybe it’s to meet a particular need in your community or in the world. But like Edison Pena you’ve hit a roadblock. For him, it was being stuck in a mine shaft. For you, it’s a financial collapse, a church fight, or unexpected red tape.

We never make progress without problems. It just doesn’t happen. We can’t reach our goals without bumps in the road. Yet the key to overcoming a roadblock is to keep our eyes on the goal – no matter what comes our way. Moses understood this. When he left Egypt, he could have easily gotten discouraged. He had a ticked-off Pharaoh following him, no plans for food or shelter in the desert, and he was leading a group of 2 million complainers. You think your obstacles are rough! I bet they don’t compare with that. Yet Moses kept his eyes on the goal. Hebrews 11:24 says, “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” (NIV)

Moses had eyes of faith. He kept his eyes on the goal no matter what. Of course, Jesus is the best example of this. The Bible says, “For the joy set before him [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2b, NIV) When the pain of the cross got too high, he kept his eyes on the prize. He kept his eyes on you and your need for salvation.

God's purpose for your life is always greater than the problems in your life. And the problems that you're facing right now in your ministry have an eternal purpose. They have a long-range benefit. If you look at them as short-range problems, you're going to get discouraged. But if you look at the long-range benefits, you will see God's purpose and not be discouraged. So stay focused on your goal. God has something big in front of you.

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