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My Setback was for my Survival

images-51Day Five: Survive
My Friend,
There appears to be a victimization of the gospel where many Christ-centered folk spend a large amount of time trying to market the New Year. They say things like “this year God is going to do this,” “it’s time to come home to that,” or my all-time favorite they make the year rhyme with some spiritually heavy word like possession, stronghold, or destiny, et al. Now I realize that these catch phrases are purposed to help, not to hurt and to draw, not to dissuade; but what happens when your life is a catch phrase that doesn’t begin on a high note come the New Year? For some of us, the transition from the last day in December to the first day in January is not always the smoothest or most comfortable. Furthermore, who really remembers what catchy name was assigned to the year by the time they get to let’s say March or April?

This year my church has decided to drop the tantalizing, entertaining, and charismatic catch phrase and focus more on how each day of 2011 that we live is a new day to give God better worship, praise, and adoration. It equates to a total lifestyle change where our focus is not on the problem, but on the positive results of our living each day in God’s will. This understanding is better understood when considering David’s return to Ziklag in the book of 1 Samuel.

The bible says,
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters,; but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV)

This story is an epic account of how in the midst of setbacks, we must still trust God. In the text David is embattled because at his arrival to the safe haven of the south of Ziklag, he sees that city had been burned to the ground and there was absolutely nothing left. On top of all of that, all of the women and children are gone. It is at this moment that all the men who were in war with David begin to lift up their voices and weep. The men cried so much and for so long they were weak in their bodies. These warriors, these men of God, these people who ought to have been celebrating a victory, gathered in the pavilion of their destroyed city and cried until they couldn’t control themselves.
And here is where God spoke to me for you. I can only imagine that when the clock hit midnight and you were welcomed into the year 2011 you were happy, excited, and victorious. But for some, after the New Year sunk in there existed one setback after the other. Somebody has already realized that they have reached a point in their lives where they are dissatisfied with much of the problems that they allowed to seep into the New Year. I know that you are expecting the great in year 2011, but you have got to come to some reconciliation that even if I encounter a setback in my life, my finances, my situations, my relationships, my children, or my health that God has me exactly where God needs me to be because He is preparing me for my survival!

Unequivocally, you have to come out of this feeling that you can’t make through your setbacks and it is time to move to your survival. I know times have been difficult. Yet, there is no need to have a pity party. There exists no need for you to cry day after day or night after night. Just let it go and lean on God. How is this possible? Because your life, as the believer, is destined for greatness, you just have to put your faith into action. Faithful survivors know how to encourage themselves in the midst of adversity. The text illustrates that even at the point of self-destruction, David was able to encourage himself in the Lord. David did not allow his setback to be his final position.

Those of us who have transitioned from setbacks to survival know that when our faith is put into action that though the enemy meant it for evil, God meant it for my good. Survivors can testify that no weapon formed against me will prosper. Those of us who have been through something, but made it to a point of survival know all things are possible to them that believe. When you have done this you realize that the long road from your setbacks to your survival was paved with your ability to encourage yourself. Please go to the comment section now hit and let me know if this week’s message was helpful to your current situation?

Have an awesome week,

22The Reverend Jarrett Britton Washington, M.Div., MACE
Pastor-New Bethel AME Church
South Carolina
jbrittonwashington@gmail.com



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  1. Adrianne says:

    I am definitely inspired. Even when Satan tries to discourage me or have me believing what I see, I know that through faith God has something even better on the other side of through! Thanks for this word! The most amazing thing is this morning before I read this I looked in the mirror and encouraged myself! Thank you Jesus for confirmation that I’m on the right path!

  2. M.Tennessee says:

    just awesome everthing that you have written has been AWESOME man of GOD!

  3. Erika says:

    I think your message today was powerful & definitely applicable. In relation to your message on survival the part I have been struggling with (and looking for literature on) is at what point can one get out of “survival” mode?

    The thing about survival mode is it can get wearisome on the body & spirit, even when trying to stay centered in the Lord. It also seems like living in “survival” mode all the time is counter to “living in abundance”. (non-material)

  4. Ashley says:

    This message spoke to my spirit. I have had some setbacks and I have tried to move past them, however they still seem to sneak back into my thoughts. I will archive this message for future readings. I needed this confirmation to keep pushing and Trust God. Thanks

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