Archive for the ‘Perspective’ Category

February 6th, 2015

Forgiveness and Memory

“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.’” Genesis 50:15 (ESV)

Forgiveness is tested by memory. Only God has the capacity to forgive and forget. We have the capacity to forgive, but we struggle with forgetting what happened to us. Inevitably, something will trigger the memory of the pain of our past.

Remember, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and Joseph experienced quite a ride before becoming second in command in Egypt. Joseph had revealed himself to his brothers. He had forgiven them in private before God, then he went public with his forgiveness and even provided for the needs of his family. Their father, Jacob, dies and it triggers the pain of the past. Joseph has already forgiven his brothers for their mistreatment, but they now fear retribution as a result of Jacob’s death.

Forgiveness has an Encore. After you have forgiven the one who offended you, wounded you, neglected you, or betrayed you, something may come along and trigger the memory of the pain in your past. Though you do not have the capacity to forgive and forget, by the grace of God and in the power of the Holy Spirit, though you remember, you can choose to forgive.

  • “‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50:20-21 (ESV)

Joseph demonstrated a depth of spiritual maturity and embraced God’s perspective on his current reality. Instead of billowing in bitterness, Joseph addressed the encore of forgiveness by reassuring his brothers and being gracious to their children.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, February 6th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Forgiveness, Joseph, Perspective.
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January 16th, 2015

My Redeemer Lives

“‘For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!’” Job 19:25-27 (ESV)

When you are going through a season of adversity the natural proclivity is to turn inward. You slide into the posture of being consumed with how you are feeling and how you are doing and drift into self-pity. Pain has the power to redirect your focus.

Job unveiled his inward thoughts and the agony of his soul. He expressed his hurt and his disappointment with his current reality. Job was surrounded by three so-called friends who just didn’t get it. They were not a productive source of encouragement and comfort. Job made a decision to shift his thinking. He embraced a healthy and beneficial perspective by declaring, “For I know that my Redeemer lives.” Job acknowledged the sovereignty of God and the redeeming love of God.

How desperate is your situation? What has captivated your mind and dominated your emotions? What kind of season are you in currently? Declare by faith that your Redeemer lives. Articulate the reality of God’s sovereignty and the certainty of God’s redeeming love. God is for you. God knows where you are and what you are feeling right now. Your Redeemer lives. Run from your fear, anxiety, and anguish. Deliberately run to your Redeemer.

Look how far God has brought you. Calculate where you would be without His grace, His mercy, and His persistent pursuit. One day you will see God. One day you will stand before God to give an account for your life. Your Redeemer lives inside of you so that you can join Him in redeeming others.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, January 16th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Job, Perspective, Redeemer.
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January 12th, 2015

Proper Perspective

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’” Job 1:20-21 (ESV)

Have you ever wondered why God allows bad things to happen to good people? When you read about the life of Job and the severity of the adversity he faced, you come away feeling that life is unfair. Job was upright, blameless, turned from evil, and feared God. He had experienced tremendous familial blessing and financial blessing. Job was a godly man who had it all and then lost it all.

His story is heartbreaking and his response to adversity is inspiring. Instead of being bitter, resentful, and angry, Job chose to praise God in the midst of his suffering. Job demonstrated the value of having a proper perspective when going through seasons of adversity. He acknowledged the frailty of his own humanity and the reality of God’s sovereignty. Job declared, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job chose to bless the Lord in the midst of his severe trauma, grief, and loss. Instead of magnifying what he lost, Job recognized what he had left and magnified the Lord.

Job is a model to follow. You don’t want to go through what he went through. However, you can respond to adversity the way Job did by living life from God’s perspective. Ask God to help you see your circumstances from His eternal perspective. Instead of focusing on your circumstances, focus on the Creator who loves you and who will give you the grace to match what you face. In brokenness and humility, cry out to God and receive His divine enabling.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, January 12th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Job, Perspective, Sovereignty.
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December 3rd, 2014

Loss of Perspective

“Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, ‘So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.’” 1 Kings 19:1-2 (ESV)

Loss of perspective leads to confusion. Elijah confronted idolatry and the forces of evil with courage and boldness. He aggressively opposed the prophets of Baal and Asherah. Elijah was able to raise his hands in victory after the fire of God fell on Mt. Carmel to consume the sacrifice. The public victory had been won.

Privately, Elijah shifted from faith in God to fear of the wicked woman, Jezebel. Elijah confronted the prophets with utter courage and now is running for his life as a coward because of a threat from Jezebel. Elijah displayed confusion as a result of losing his perspective. He falls into deep depression.

What are some causes of depression? Frustration can lead to depression. Frustration over the circumstances you find yourself in can lead to depression. Sometimes frustration related to a strained relationship can cause depression. Fear can certainly bring you down into the pit of despair. When you stop viewing life through the eyes of faith and start viewing life through the eyes of fear, depression seeps in. Fatigue has a way of opening the door to depression. When you are exhausted, you can quickly lose perspective. Then, of course, there is the bandit of financial pressure. That kind of perpetual pressure can lead you down the alley of depression.

Do you currently have God’s perspective on your life and on your circumstances? Have you experienced any level of depression in recent days? There’s hope!

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Depression, Fear, Perspective.
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August 18th, 2013

Being Content

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12 (NIV)

The landscape of living in a fallen world is littered with inconsistencies, fluctuation, and instability. Selfishness and sin permeate our planet. People let us down. Deception, injustice, and greed fuel the choices made throughout the earth on a daily basis. Sound hopeless? Don’t lose heart.

Paul understood the cultural current of living on a broken planet. He experienced the extremes of life including being a persecutor of the church and then becoming a preacher of the gospel. Paul knew adversity on a first name basis. Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 for a snapshot of his resume of rejection, ridicule, and rigorous suffering. While incarcerated by the Roman government, Paul writes this personal love letter to the church at Philippi to remind them of his love for them and to encourage them in their faith.

You may not be able to control your circumstances, but with Christ’s help, you can control how you respond to your circumstances. You may not be able to control how people treat you, but you can control how you respond to their treatment. Contentment is learned in the laboratory of life. God works through the daily grind in your life to form you and to fashion you. Don’t miss what God is seeking to do in your life in the midst of your adversity.

Are you learning the secret of being content in any and every situation? What’s the secret? “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13 NIV). Christ Jesus is the curator of contentment!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, August 18th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Contentment, Perspective, Trust.
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May 3rd, 2013

Remember God’s Perspective

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

Perspective is everything. When you view life from your own perspective, the view can be incomplete. In our humanity, we may only view ten yards at a time on the football field. God sees the entire field of our lives. God is not limited by time or space.

God is eternal. God was never born and God will never die. God is not decaying nor growing old. God is immutable in that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). In other words, God is.

God is omnipresent. There is nowhere God is not. God is omniscient. There is nothing God does not know. Nothing ever occurs to God. Nothing catches God by surprise. Nothing happens without God’s permission. God is sovereign. He rules and He reigns.

From our human perspective, a thousands years is a long time. For us, it is more than twelve times our life expectancy. God views a thousand years like a day. From God’s perspective, a day is like a thousand years. God does not operate in the confines of our human perspective. God is not limited by our finite comprehension of His eternal nature.

Choose to live your life in light of eternity. Realize that there is more to this life than what you see. There is life beyond the grave. Every moment counts. Therefore, make every moment of your life count

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, May 3rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category End Times, God's Power, Perspective.
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February 6th, 2012

Forgiveness and Memory

“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.’” Genesis 50:15 (ESV)

Forgiveness is tested by memory. Only God has the capacity to forgive and forget. We have the capacity to forgive, but we struggle with forgetting what happened to us. Inevitably, something will trigger the memory of the pain of our past.

Remember, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and Joseph experienced quite a ride before becoming second in command in Egypt. Joseph had revealed himself to his brothers. He had forgiven them in private before God, then he went public with his forgiveness and even provided for the needs of his family. Their father, Jacob, dies and it triggers the pain of the past. Joseph has already forgiven his brothers for their mistreatment, but they now fear retribution as a result of Jacob’s death.

Forgiveness has an Encore. After you have forgiven the one who offended you, wounded you, neglected you, or betrayed you, something may come along and trigger the memory of the pain in your past. Though you do not have the capacity to forgive and forget, by the grace of God and in the power of the Holy Spirit, though you remember, you can choose to forgive.

  • “‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50:20-21 (ESV)

Joseph demonstrated a depth of spiritual maturity and embraced God’s perspective on his current reality. Instead of billowing in bitterness, Joseph addressed the encore of forgiveness by reassuring his brothers and being gracious to their children.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 29: Genesis 48-50)

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, February 6th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Forgiveness, Joseph, Perspective.
Interact No Comments
January 16th, 2012

My Redeemer Lives

“‘For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,27 whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!’” Job 19:25-27 (ESV)

When you are going through a season of adversity the natural proclivity is to turn inward. You slide into the posture of being consumed with how you are feeling and how you are doing and drift into self-pity. Pain has the power to redirect your focus.

Job unveiled his inward thoughts and the agony of his soul. He expressed his hurt and his disappointment with his current reality. Job was surrounded by three so-called friends who just didn’t get it. They were not a productive source of encouragement and comfort. Job made a decision to shift his thinking. He embraced a healthy and beneficial perspective by declaring, “For I know that my Redeemer lives.” Job acknowledged the sovereignty of God and the redeeming love of God.

How desperate is your situation? What has captivated your mind and dominated your emotions? What kind of season are you in currently? Declare by faith that your Redeemer lives. Articulate the reality of God’s sovereignty and the certainty of God’s redeeming love. God is for you. God knows where you are and what you are feeling right now. Your Redeemer lives. Run from your fear, anxiety, and anguish. Deliberately run to your Redeemer.

Look how far God has brought you. Calculate where you would be without His grace, His mercy, and His persistent pursuit. One day you will see God. One day you will stand before God to give an account for your life. Your Redeemer lives inside of you so that you can join Him in redeeming others.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 8: Job 17-20)

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, January 16th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Job, Perspective, Redeemer.
Interact No Comments
January 12th, 2012

Proper Perspective

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’” Job 1:20-21 (ESV)

Have you ever wondered why God allows bad things to happen to good people? When you read about the life of Job and the severity of the adversity he faced, you come away feeling that life is unfair. Job was upright, blameless, turned from evil, and feared God. He had experienced tremendous familial blessing and financial blessing. Job was a godly man who had it all and then lost it all.

His story is heartbreaking and his response to adversity is inspiring. Instead of being bitter, resentful, and angry, Job chose to praise God in the midst of his suffering. Job demonstrated the value of having a proper perspective when going through seasons of adversity. He acknowledged the frailty of his own humanity and the reality of God’s sovereignty. Job declared, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job chose to bless the Lord in the midst of his severe trauma, grief, and loss. Instead of magnifying what he lost, Job recognized what he had left and magnified the Lord.

Job is a model to follow. You don’t want to go through what he went through. However, you can respond to adversity the way Job did by living life from God’s perspective. Ask God to help you see your circumstances from His eternal perspective. Instead of focusing on your circumstances, focus on the Creator who loves you and who will give you the grace to match what you face. In brokenness and humility, cry out to God and receive His divine enabling.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 4: Job 1-5)

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, January 12th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Job, Perspective, Sovereignty.
Interact No Comments
August 18th, 2011

Being Content

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Phil 4:12 (NIV)

The landscape of living in a fallen world is littered with inconsistencies, fluctuation, and instability. Selfishness and sin permeate our planet. People let us down. Deception, injustice, and greed fuel the choices made throughout the earth on a daily basis. Sound hopeless? Don’t lose heart.

Paul understood the cultural current of living on a broken planet. He experienced the extremes of life including being a persecutor of the church and then becoming a preacher of the gospel. Paul knew adversity on a first name basis. Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 for a snapshot of his resume of rejection, ridicule, and rigorous suffering. While incarcerated by the Roman government, Paul writes this personal love letter to the church at Philippi to remind them of his love for them and to encourage them in their faith.

You may not be able to control your circumstances, but with Christ’s help, you can control how you respond to your circumstances. You may not be able to control how people treat you, but you can control how you respond to their treatment. Contentment is learned in the laboratory of life. God works through the daily grind in your life to form you and to fashion you. Don’t miss what God is seeking to do in your life in the midst of your adversity.

Are you learning the secret of being content in any and every situation? What’s the secret? “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13 NIV). Christ Jesus is the curator of contentment!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Contentment, Perspective, Trust.
Interact No Comments