In Pastor Steven Furtick’s daily devotionals, he has talked a lot about remembering where you come from. As I began to dwell on that subject, I got a little bit nostalgic and watched a sermon of mine online from the summer of 2012 entitled “Lessons from a Thorn”. Then I began to think about what I have come through.
Let me say, first of all, that I am not discrediting my roots. I was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia. I am the only child of two parents who sacrifices more than I’ll ever know to give me what matters. I grew up in a small church that invested more in me than I’ll ever know. They gave above and beyond to help me pursue God’s call on my life. Those are my roots.
The hymn writer said, “Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come. There’s no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.” I can honestly say I haven’t been through some horrific things that someone who is reading this has experienced. I know about depression, financial hardship, joblessness, divorce, but I realize that God still has been me and has seen me through. When I didn’t know where my next dollar would come from, God the Provider gave me what I needed. When anxiety attacks almost paralyzed me, God the Healer gave me what I needed and carried me through. When I felt like a failure because I didn’t have a successful pastorate or first marriage, God carried me through and reminded me that my life is not over. There is still more for me to do.
I challenge you today to remember what you’ve been through from the perspective that you are now on the other side. You are not defeated! God has brought you through victoriously! Now, go encourage someone else with the truth that God has seen them through some things and will not break His promise to continue.