The title says it all. The three things we need to live in a state of Victory despite our circumstances.
Vision gives us hope. It allows us to see beyond our current circumstances whether it be poverty, ill health, homelessness, divorce, debt or any other adversity that plagues us as believers. It allows us to search for and find refuge from the storms of this world and the attacks of the enemy.
Vision allows us to see, as God says through Jeremiah in chapter 29:11, a hope. A plan. Prosperity not harm. A future.
Vision allows us to see beyond our circumstances.
Those who know me personally know my circumstances. I’ll share some with you all here as it is a part of my testimony. Six years ago in 2009 my life was finally coming together. My wife and I were working hard to build a business which was succeeding to the extent we were able to own our own home, give away to the less fortunate without thinking about it and plan for a baby despite our advancing years.
All that changed 1st April 2010. Routine surgery went horribly wrong for my wife. Infection set in and she became sick to the point of being only days from death when we finally sought a second opinion. The doctor we went to and his team quite literally saved her physical life, but the psychological damage was done, as was the financial. Due to her failing health we had to give away our business – it was incurring debt we could not service and the prayerful decision was to give it over to someone we could trust to offer the same level of care we had offered to our patients. By March 2011 we had some answers. The infection was exacerbated by secondary incurable infections which modern medicine can hold at bay but not yet cure. Weakened, she could not work. As a foreigner in South Africa, a white, male, tertiary qualified and business experienced foreigner I was unemployable at that level of the business world. I took a job in a call center so we had some income, and God provided the balance we needed from most unexpected and unlikely sources.
People we knew to be wealthy beyond our dreams accused us of “temerity” when we asked for assistance. People we could never have imagined could assist us gave out of their lack into our hands and bought us time for my wife to begin to recover.
In time, a vision emerged. A new business which is now growing. But the time was not without cost. We sold our home, our car and everything not nailed down to minimise the strain on us and our benefactors. Tragedy struck in the form of cancer in our family to not one, but two members being struck down within months of each other. It seemed our hopes were in vain, but the Vision remained.
More than that, the vision grew. What began as a medical practice has grown into a medical center with other practitioners operating and cross-referrals going on daily. We all benefit and the vision continues to grow.
So we reach humility:
Humility is the ability to receive guidance and gifts given in Love. Humility is acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses equally bluntly and allowing God to step in and build us in our weakness, provide for us financially and keep a roof over our heads.
He has been faithful in that. We have never been without a home where we have been welcomed and loved, and there is the possibility of more to come if we will humble ourselves to receive it.
Receiving a blessing from others is hard when you’ve always been the conduit in the other direction. Humility gets twisted into humiliation by the accuser. This is simply not the case. To receive from someone giving out of God’s command to them is to Bless that person. It requires the Godly Humility to recognise we cannot do this alone and we need to have help in this world. God moves through people to help us. His Blessings – especially financial ones – come through other people. A place of Refuge is often provided by the most unlikely, or at least unexpected sources. Accepting it is to give a Blessing in return to the giver.
It’s a gift we must learn to walk in to draw close to God.
Finally we have Courage.
Courage is the hardest step. It is the determination to move forwards in the direction the Vision has shown and the Humility has provided guidance for.
But we are often comfortable in our situation. It’s familiar. When Peter walked on the water to Jesus in the storm he acted out of courage. He had the vision that trusting Jesus was the right first step. He had the humility to cry out to Him for help because he could not save himself. He had the courage to step over the side of the boat onto the water.
The other 11 disciples were comfortable in peril. They clung to the boat despite knowing it was sinking. The knew in the raging storm they would die if they didn’t do something extraordinary, yet Peter was the only one with the courage to act on the Faith of God inside him, and as a result he walked on water to Jesus. Even when he began to sink he cried out to Jesus, not to the men in to boat to throw him a line.
Courage despite the circumstances.
Three small concepts at first glance.
Three exceptional steps to getting from drowning in problems to walking on water.
And the best part? Jesus is right there waiting to take our hands and lead us over the troubles to safety.