Steven Furtick - The Secret To Framing Your Situation
Don't you let the enemy tell you any different - You have a future. God knows the plans He has for you, plans to give you a hope and a future. There's laughter in your future. There's connection in your future. There's friendship in your future. There's joy in your future. There's growth in your future. There's creativity in your future. There's fruit in your future. Say that out loud. There's fruit in my future. I feel the anointing. I'm going to stay right in this flow. There's a flow in the Jordan River that was cut off when God spoke. There's a flow right now of the Holy Spirit, and I decree every doubt, every dysfunction, every destructive tendency caused by sin that works in you against the purpose of God that is greater, must be stopped now in the name of Jesus.
I declare it. I believe it. I stand for it because, watch this, in the future when you're living in Canaan, and you've wiped out these Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and cellulites (I always like to put that in and see if you're paying attention) in the future, he's framing. You know how powerful this is? He's framing their current uncertainty. "How are we going to get through this Jordan"? You just got through it. He's framing their current confusion. "How are we going to beat these giants? They're stronger than us". All those questions are going through their mind, but he gives them a different frame: in the future.
Now I'm thinking about when I get through this, which means I'm going to get through this. Now I'm thinking about what God has on the other side of this, not just how much it hurts while I'm going through it. We can get too focused on the future where we start doing the opposite of what Jesus said in Matthew 6 where we're concerned about tomorrow not knowing that our Father knows where to put the worms so that the bird can find it as it flies with its instinct. God's going to guide us by His spirit to the provision that we need for the season that we're in. And all of that is true. But Joshua knows what we are about to fight is so big that we need a preview of the future. God Just Did That So he said, go get a stone. That's something that God just did. You need to get ahold of something that God just did.
Wow. God just helped me sleep through the night and I was in so much pain I didn't sleep the night before. God just did that. God just gave me the $84 that I needed for that bill. God just did that. God just gave me another sunrise and when I saw it, I was reminded that he's not going to leave me in this low place forever. God just did that. Say it out loud: God just did that. God just did that. God just did that. We just went through something that was a mile wide, the Jordan River, and God stopped it 20 miles away in a town called Adam. God just did that. My God did that. My personal savior, Jesus Christ, just forgave me of that sin. He just did that. It wasn't possible for me, but it's possible for Him. God just did that. And once you get that in your spirit, begin to think about in the future, watch this! Here comes the question! Because this is the frame: He's showing them, "God just did that". That's a present awareness. He's showing them that there's going to be a future that is a hope and an expectation. And he says, "In the future, when your children ask you…"
Wait a minute, I'm going to have a question in my future that is going to be asked by a generation that has yet to ask the question. They don't know the answer yet. I don't know the answer yet, but God has already gone into your future! How am I going to recover from this? Who is going to love me? How is God going to send it? When is God going to do it? Don't know. But in the future, when your children ask you "what do these stones mean? Tell them," verse seven. Are y'all following along in the scripture because this'll be better if you follow along? I'm about to frame it a different way. "Tell them, Oh man, it was horrible. We spent so many years in the wilderness. And the water was at flood stage in the month of May. And we had to cross over and we didn't know how and we'd never been this way before, and it was so confusing. And oh man, it was so hard because we knew we had to fight these big giants and we were having anxiety attacks and panic attacks, and we didn't have any pills for it, and we just had to get through it".
"And then Joshua called us and we were trying to get onto the next place because we've been in the wilderness so long and we got through the Jordan. But man, when he made us go back and get these stones. Those stones are heavy, man. That's why I still got this bursitis today". But, no. It didn't say any of that. That's why I want you to pull it up and fact check me. Reframing Your Situation "When they ask the question". Questions set direction. "In the future". That means you're headed somewhere. I can't get that out of my heart. You're headed somewhere. God is taking this thing somewhere. Not where you expected, it never is. Not how you expect it, not when you expect it. But what he saw all along. When you're in the middle of it, it is very difficult to know what it means. I thought I knew why my dad was lashing out at our family when he was dying of ALS. I didn't know that the doctor had upped his prescriptions to the point where it was causing paranoia.
I didn't know that. I thought it was wrong for him to talk to me and my mom the way he did. And it was. But now that I reframe it with the information that I have, maybe I could have done something different. Maybe. "Why is he acting like that," I wondered so many times. "Why would he act like that after all I've done for him"? But the question I never really asked or never knew to ask was "what's going on that I don't know that's causing it that we can control"? because he had a horrible disease and I couldn't control that. "But what can I do? How might he be right even though what he's doing is wrong"? I know that's a tender topic for many of us. But when we're in the middle of a relational conflict, when we're in the middle of a crisis. And many of you are. And look, I'm not trying to explain your experience, only God can do that by his spirit for you. Paul says that the mind of God knows... the spirit of God knows the mind of God. And God's spirit is in you.
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, neither has entered the heart of man — the things God has prepared for those who love him". We always stop there. Why? I think it's 1 Corinthians 2:9, forgive me if I got it wrong. God has revealed them by his spirit. For the spirit of a man knows the thoughts of a man. And God knows his toward you even when you don't. God's thoughts toward you are holy, pure, loving, wise, kind. His intentions are good. His purpose is always working. Now, when the Bible says that Joshua called them for a conversation Expectation and Appreciation and he didn't frame the situation with the fight that they were about to face, he framed it with the faithfulness of God. An expectation for what God was going to do in their future and an appreciation of what God just did. I think those are two great frames. Frame your day. Frame your season. Frame your struggle even, with two things: expectation, God is going to do a great work in my future, appreciation, God has been faithful in my past.
I love the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness. Oh God, my father, there is no shadow of turning with thee. Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not as Thou hast been Thou forever will be. Pardon for sin". God did that. "A peace that endureth". God just did that. You follow me? I know you're feeling this because I am. I feel like it's for you. I don't feel like God gave me this today just to record it for me. I feel like God gave it to me for you, for your situation, for your tears, for your trauma. That the Lord still wants to help you frame this current situation with appreciation for what He's doing even as you deal with the frustration for what he won't do. Paul had some of that too, didn't he? "I asked the Lord to remove this thorn and he wouldn't, but he gave me his grace". That's all right. Frustration and grace can coincide. Just don't frustrate the grace of God by refusing to receive his love, his peace. "Pardon for sin, a peace that endureth. Your own dear presence to cheer and to guide. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow".
That's what God wants to give you. That's your frame. Bright hope. Bright hope. For all of your tomorrows. So get those stones. Put them up on You Are Stronger Than You Think your shoulder. You're strong enough. You're stronger than you think you are. You keep framing the way that you see yourself by the things that you say about yourself, "I'm weak. I'm inexperienced". Jeremiah tried to do this. "I am only a youth". Moses tried to do it. "I am not eloquent". Gideon tried to do it. "I am the least in my tribe. I'm the lowest on the totem pole". God said, "You're a mighty warrior". What does God see within you that he wants to reframe by His spirit through faith? "In the future, when your children ask you, what do these stones mean? Tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. That ark represents God's presence". That ark represents God's presence. Present. The present moment, the middle of it. The miracle that God is going to do in your future is contingent upon your recognition of his presence here and now.
God knows what you're in the middle of. God knows what's ahead of you. And he knows what's behind you. But Joshua gives us a lesson. And he frames the conversation, not by the fight that's ahead of them, but by the future that God has prepared for them. Yeah, you're going to have to fight for it. Yeah, you're going to have to get help for it. This isn't the whole story. It wasn't just that easy. But we are going to choose to focus on the faithfulness of God. That's why you've got to get a notebook where you can write down your gratitude sometimes. The little ones, take a stone out of the middle of each day and go, "God helped me today. Oh, I remember when Abbey smiled at me. That thing she said. Thank you, God. Oh, that was so nice Holly made me that sandwich on that low-carb bread. Thank you, Lord. With bacon, but the bread was low carb. Ah. God, it was such a blessing to get to watch Graham wrestle. It was such a blessing to get to be with my son today". And sometimes, it's not as easy because we're also processing pain. But even as you're processing pain, you can frame your life with faith.