As you know, we all go through adversity. There’s not one believer that is immune to attacks, tests, and trials. It doesn’t matter how spiritual you are. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in this; we’re all subject to attacks from time to time.
Satan designs each attack to do one thing – get you to quit! He wants you to turn your back on God, and he wants to get you to come to the place that you say, “It’s just not worth it any more.”
But what if there was a way to turn obstacles into opportunities and setbacks into stepping stones? That’s what I want to talk to you about in this letter, how you can turn your pressure into progress!
After years of opposition, having been arrested, beaten, imprisoned and shipwrecked, the Apostle Paul writes a letter to the Philippians. In Chapter 1, verse 12, listen to what he wrote, “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.”
Paraphrasing Paul, what he said was, “The things that I have gone through didn’t cause me to quit, didn’t cause me to throw in the towel, didn’t cause me to say ‘it’s not worth it’, didn’t cause me to quit going to church, didn’t cause me to quit tithing, nor did it cause me to quit praying.” He said, “All it’s done is cause furtherance of the Gospel.”
And I want you to know that the pressure you may be facing will only do one thing – it will cause you to progress and experience advancement.
How did this happen in Paul’s life? Why was he able to overcome in times of adversity? The answer is found in Philippians 1:18. Look at it from the Message translation, “So how am I to respond? I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on! And I’m going to keep that celebration going because I know how it’s going to turn out.”
When you’re under pressure, always ask yourself this question, “How will I respond?” Because how you respond will determine if you fall flat or you go forward, whether you will cave in or whether you will rise up.
So, Paul says, “How will I respond?” And the next thing out of his mouth is, “I have decided.”
How are you going to respond to adversity? Ask yourself that question and then make a decision to stand and stick with that decision all the way through. As for me, I have decided to follow Paul’s example and I’m declaring by faith, “I cannot be defeated.”
If you lay hold upon the powerful principles that this man has demonstrated for us, then when you’re facing your toughest battles, you too will see pressure turned into progress.
Don’t fall for the false idea that the reason you’re under attack is always because you’ve done something wrong. So many believers automatically think, “What did I do wrong to cause this attack?” Sometimes that is the case, but not always. Yes, if there is sin in your life, get it out. But most of the time, attacks come because you’re doing something right! You made an advancement! You’re progressing!
The Apostle Paul said that because of the abundance of revelations he had received, a messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him. He was advancing and the messenger of Satan was assigned to shut him up, but he couldn’t do it.
I shared Paul’s story with you, now let me share my story with you. I experienced a fresh, new anointing coming into 2015. We’ve had people healed and delivered all over the world, and as a result of it, Satan tried to stop the progress.
On April 23rd, while I was preparing to go on stage to speak to our International Directors and a special group of partners called the President’s Cabinet, I was looking over my notes and I became totally disoriented! I looked down at my handwritten notes but I didn’t recognize them.
When I got up to speak, I started repeating things that I had already said and even repeated some of my points over and over.
My wife, Carolyn, knew something wasn’t right. She came up to the platform, asked me to pray for the partners and then to close the service. After the meeting, Carolyn and both of my daughters told me how I was repeating myself and that I needed to go to the hospital. I didn’t know what they were talking about – I had no memory of it!
That evening in the emergency room after many tests, the doctors told me I had experienced what they called a Transient Ischemic Attack, which is commonly referred to as “warning stroke.” I had major blockage in the arteries that take blood and oxygen to the brain, and they kept me in the hospital for 3 days.
During those 3 days in the hospital, I chose to consider it a wake up call and I decided how I would respond. I decided that all the devil has done is push me to another level, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Thank God there was no permanent damage and as a result, I didn’t have any after-effects of any kind. Not only that, although they didn’t treat this when I was in the hospital, Jesus did, that blockage was totally gone by the time I was released.
In fact, since I left the hospital and came home, I took a short sabbatical, began a new exercise program and a new way of eating. I’m in great health and my stamina is better than it’s been in years and years. I fully intend for the rest of my life to be in the best health of my life.
I’ve turned my pressure into progress and you can do the same thing. Whatever you’ve been going through, whatever opposition you’ve experienced, you can turn pressure into progress.
The God of the breakthrough has broken through for me! I’m going to say it again, every advancement that you make in your walk with God will bring along with it new attacks from the adversary. You could say it like this, new levels, mean new devils.
Every time you experience an advancement in your walk with God, you can count on it, adversity will come to try and stop that advancement.
Every time you experience a fresh anointing, right along with it, will come adversity to try and shut you up.
I’ve always said, it gets the darkest just before the dawning. My family has heard me say for years, “When you feel like you can’t take it anymore, that’s always an indication that Satan just fired his best shot. If this one doesn’t get you, he’s done, he’s finished, and you win!”
That’s where many of you are right now. You’re under attack, not because necessarily you’ve done something wrong. You’re making advancement. And there is a breakthrough on your horizon!
All Satan did by throwing Paul in prison was push him to another level. All Satan has done by attacking my body is push me to another level. Determine right now that all Satan has done by attacking you is push you to another level!
I recently spoke a powerful and revealing message at my home church where I shared my story about how God enabled me to overcome and progress in the face of this attack. I want you to get this teaching resource because I know that it will be a great encouragement to you. In the message, I take you through the Scripture and show you how God can turn your pressure into progress!
As you give this month and support our ministry outreaches, I will send you this message as my thank you.
Your faithful giving is an act of faith that positions you to overcome Satan’s attacks. It’s also seed planted in good soil that will produce a good harvest. A harvest of changed lives around the world and a harvest of blessing for you.
To give securely online, simply visit www.jsmiaustralia.org/offering to receive a MP3 or CD.
Are you determined to stay in faith? Then let the Lord know that giving up is not an option.
You’ve come too far to give up, to turn back. Your breakthrough is on the horizon! God is going to cause you to flourish, abound, and increase!
P.S. Never forget that Satan is consumed with the idea of shutting you up, stopping you if possible. However when you know this and recognize his tactics, then you have advantage over him. Giving up and quitting is not an option. Don’t ever allow him to deceive you into thinking God is behind the attack. He’s not. God is the victory giver. God’s the anointing giver. God is the God of the breakthrough. I’m praying for you and believing for your pressure to turn to progress!