Steven Furtick — I'm Glad It Happened
I just wanna share with you nine verses of scripture, and finish something that I started back in 2014. It seems like, to me, that New Year's Eve is a perfect time to finish your business. And I started something in 2014, I preached a little message about holding on to the promise of God through the storms of life. And I called the message from something that the Apostle Paul said during a shipwreck that he survived. I called the message, "It Will Happen". That was the first message.
This year, God gave me a sequel to that message that I preached a few months ago in our church, and it was about making sense of setbacks. And that after you have survived the storm, you have to find out why you survived. It was for a reason, so we followed Paul from the Adriatic Sea, where he was adrift with no hope of being saved, all the way to a little strange island called Malta, where God used him to perform miracles and release healing. Not without difficulty, but destiny never is. It's difficult by design. That way, when God uses you, you won't get confused about who is doing the great things, and you give Him the glory, and so, we preached that message this year, and that message was called, "It Had To Happen".
And I've heard a lot of good feedback about those messages, but tonight, I wanna complete the trilogy. And I wanna finish this series of messages from Philippians 1:12-20. We're gonna follow Paul all the way to Rome. He's crossed the Mediterranean. He's left Malta after three months of ministry. He's now, according to many scholars, under house arrest in Rome, where the Book of Acts incidentally ends, but his ministry didn't end where the book did. And I wanna pick up on this letter that he wrote from the prison in Rome, and just read it to you. I'm gonna take my time to read it, because the context of this message will determine whether or not you can receive it at a level that will make it effective in your life.
And starting in Philippians 1:12, Paul says: "Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains..". — Not in spite of my chains, but the power of God is being released through the thing that you might pity me for. Because of my chains, because of my confinement, there is a great purpose unfolding where I am positioned. "As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of love, knowing that I am put here..."
See, when you understand that God is positioning you, you don't fear what people might do to you, because there is not a situation that they can put you in, that God will not show up in the midst of. Don't make me preach, 'cause I'm just trying to read the scripture, and I hadn't even really set it up appropriately yet, and I only got so long on this clock. But as those Hebrew boys who went into a fiery furnace, if a fourth man won't step in. Just when it gets cranked up seven times hotter than it's supposed to be, and the only thing that's gonna fall off in the fire is the ropes that had you bound. God lets you be in the fire to set you free.
And so, he said, "The former..". Philippians 1:17: "...preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains". This is a cool part that only an old man can say: "'But what does it matter?'" I lived long enough to let some of my concerns fall off of me. Now, I have a sense of priority, and I'm not concerned about what they say. And I'm not concerned about their motives, because God's intention is always more powerful than human motive. "'The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this..". "...because of this..". "...I rejoice". Not because of a new car, but because of a calling. Because of this I rejoice. "Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God's provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death".
Now, I read all that just to go back to Philippians 1:12, where I started. "Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me..". — what has happened to me — "...has actually served to advance the gospel". All right. It Will Happen, It Had To Happen, and my message for you tonight, if you can say it with Paul by faith, is this — It Will Happen, It Had To Happen, but tonight, look at your neighbor and say, "I want you to know, I'm glad it happened".
Now, this one's gonna be kinda tough to get with this, because there are really two reasons that we put on this praise party. One year, I turned to Holly. I said, "We're getting too old to try to stay up on New Year's Eve without accountability. Let's have church on New Year's Eve". And it really serves two purposes, if you allow it to. It serves the purpose of allowing you to reflect, and expect. So two questions I wanna hang over your head as you sit there tonight on whatever campus, or around whatever screen, however you're viewing this, I wanna ask you two things. Are you where you want to be? And are you ready for what's next? God brought you here tonight to give you the opportunity to reflect, and to expect, so as I reflect, am I where I want to be? And as I expect, am I ready for what's next?
Now, as you reflect, you gotta understand that reflection must be done correctly in order to be productive. There is a way of reflecting on your life, and I think this is why some of us avoid looking back, that can leave you paralyzed in a sense. There is a type of reflection that does not energize you, there is a type of reflection that can bring you into a state of resentment. As you look back over what happened to you, for you, this year, there may be a temptation for you to reflect to the point of resentment, and there may be some people this year who were supposed to support you, and maybe you expected them to be standing by you, but you find yourself a little more lonely at the end of this year. Even going through your photo stream on your phone, I found, can be dangerous, 'cause some of the people that I'm scrolling through that I felt one way about in January, I feel differently about them in December, because — and you have to be careful, you have to be careful if you wanna go back on the timeline, you may feel some things.
And when you reflect, it's important that you avoid resentment on one level, but I think also you should be very careful when you reflect, because not only can you begin to resent opportunities that you didn't get, or maybe ways that you were not acknowledged, which can bring you into a state of resentment, but you also gotta watch out for regret. This is like the devil's R&R. You know, regret and resentment. Now, they're really the same. Regret is just resentment turned inward. It's when you take a look where you said you would be on December 31st, 2017, and the scale says something different than your list said 365 ago. Or, it can be when you are thinking about all of the dance recitals you missed, or it could be that you think about how you promised to be more faithful in church this year, but you didn't quite make it happen, but you did get here tonight. High-five your neighbor and say, "You're ahead for 2018. You already got a gold star on the Jesus Christ chart".
Now, there is a type of reflection that leads to regret, there is a type of reflection that leads to resentment. But the right kind of reflection will lead to resolution. The right kind of reflection, as demonstrated by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1, from, I believe, a Roman prison cell, which was really a rented home where he was allowed to see people, but remember now, he's been waiting for a trial for maybe as much as four years. And still, after four years of bouncing around from prelate to prelate, from governor to governor, there's still no resolution for his situation. Yet, Paul exhibits the kind of attitude in Philippians 1 that I am striving to see manifest in my own life. As he reflects, he demonstrates that your spirit does not have to be a reflection of your situation. What I'm trying to say is, you do not have to allow your outlook to be defined by the events that brought you to this point.
Paul proves it clearly in Philippians 1:12-20. And really, I see him in Philippians 1:12-20 correcting some of the rumors that have apparently begun to surface in Ephesus about his situation. I don't mean to say Ephesus, I mean to say Philippi, but really, everybody, every church that Paul started has started to talk a little bit. I can almost hear them whispering behind his back, "Did you hear about Paul? He still hasn't had his trial yet. Looks like his ministry is over. It's horrible what happened to Paul. He was only trying to help. But, you know, he probably pushed it a little too far. He kept on preaching to the Gentiles, and the Jews told him to stop it, but he wouldn't stop it, and then he told those Gentiles they didn't have to get circumcised, and well, you know. He probably — if he would've toned it down a little bit. You know, if he wouldn't have appealed his case to Caesar, he might've got set free by Festus. Did you hear what happened to Paul? It's horrible what happened to Paul. Terrible thing what happened to Paul".
You can almost hear them whispering from the church at Philippi, which Paul founded a decade earlier, but now, some things have happened. And not only has time passed, but it seems that Paul's ministry has come to a grinding halt. There is to be no more movement during this period, and I can almost hear the whispers from the church at Philippi, when Paul speaks up in Philippians 1:12 and says: "Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually, " Actually. I know what you've heard, but forget what you heard for a minute. Let me set the record straight. And you know I hear the Spirit of the Lord saying tonight, that before you leave 2017, you need to set the record straight about what really went down this year. You need to set the record straight.
As a matter of fact, we came tonight to give God praise for what He brought us through. And we came tonight to make our commitment to Him that we will follow Him throughout the course of this year, no matter how the road might wind, or where it might lead us. But we also came to set the record straight to let the devil know that everything we went through this year was just proof of the promise and the power and the unlimited potential of the ever-ruling, ever-reigning, ever-present God. Tell your neighbor, "I came to set the record straight". I don't know what you heard, you might've heard that I was on the way down, but I came to set the record straight. There's some things I need you to know before January hits my watch.
So one thing I'm trying to do, before I make a New Year's Resolution, I wanna make a few revisions. Paul wants to make a few revisions. Let's talk for a moment about the revision. The revision, I've noticed a lot of times that when we write a song or when I write a sermon, the magic happens not on the first draft. Or the second draft. Or the third draft. But it is in the revision that the potential of the song or the sermon is revealed. Oh, I love that, 'cause when I think about it, I think that maybe there are some things this year where I'm getting the story wrong, and I need to see it differently. It's not looking good for Paul. It's not looking like he's gonna make it. It's embarrassing when your pastor is in jail. I would imagine. Hope you never have to find out firsthand what that's like. Not planning that. But remember now, he's been driven across the Adriatic Sea, three months in Malta. Now, he finds himself in Rome, and he's still waiting, and the situation is still unresolved. But he's not.
Resolution is not an event, it is a decision. And as Paul reflects from Rome and looks at what's happening, he understands that, well, sometimes people will misjudge your situation because they do not know the back-story. And so, he is informing them, he's taking the opportunity to inform them about what is apparent, and what is actual. I love it, because sometimes what's happening on the surface is not the real story. And so, Paul is focusing here not on what is happening to him, but what is happening through him. The story that you tell is dependent on the point-of-view that you have. And so, while others are looking at Paul's life from the outside-in, they are judging him a failure. While others are looking at Paul's life from the outside-in, they're saying he's going down now. While others are looking at Paul's life from the outside-in, far away from Philippi, across the Mediterranean Sea, it doesn't look good for Paul. But Paul is not looking at his situation from the outside-in, he's looking at his situation from the inside-out. Now, the inside is where the Spirit of God lives. And if the Spirit of God lives in you: "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world".
So it means that no matter what resistance is against me — somebody shout, "I'm glad it happened". There are some things that I went through this year that I didn't like. There are some things that I went through this year that hurt. And I'm not saying that they didn't hurt, they hurt. I'm not saying that they didn't hurt, they hurt like hell. You should've left your kids home, it's New Year's Eve. I'm not saying that I would've chosen them if I had had the opportunity. But now that I've been through it, there is something that I learned through, what I went through, that made me who I am, and I'm standing today. Y'all didn't come to give Him praise. Somebody shout, "I'm glad".
They probably felt sorry for Paul. They were probably signing petitions to their senators to get Paul out of prison. Paul said, "Stop all your petitions. Don't feel sorry for me. I know I got these chains on me. But I'm freer than all y'all". Now, I didn't like it at the time, I didn't get it at the time. It didn't make sense while I was in it. But I've been here long enough to recognize, and I've been through enough storms to know, and I held onto the planks of the boat and made it across the sea, and saw God's provision at a level that now I can tell you that actually, God is up to something.
Paul says, "I'm not a hostage". I want you to say that, because this is a revision that you need to make, because some of you have made yourself the victim of 2017. And we need to make some revisions, because you cannot leave 2017 like a victim and go into 2018 like a victor. And you've got to make a decision tonight, you've got to revise some of the stuff in your story, and take a cue from Paul. I was confused at first, because he said, "I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me," but then he gives no detail about what actually happened to him. All he talks about is what God did through the events that he could've been bitter about. I'm not a hostage. Don't feel sorry for me. In fact, Paul might say, "I always wanted to go to Rome to preach the gospel. I didn't think I'd have to drag these shackles through the streets to do it, but it actually works out pretty good, 'cause all these guards have to listen to me preach any time I open my mouth".
I'm not a hostage. I'm not a hostage to your opinions. I'm not a hostage to what went wrong. I hear Paul saying, all the way from Rome, shouting across the Mediterranean Sea, shouting all the way into 2017, just before midnight, Eastern Standard Time, shouting to Elevation Blakeney, shouting to University City, shouting to Lake Norman, shouting to the overflow in Ballantyne, shouting to the e-Fam watching online. I hear God shouting into your iPhone 10, I hear this message, I hear Paul saying, "I'm not a hostage. I'm a weapon". See, I made up my mind. Anywhere God puts me, there's a purpose for it. I'm not a hostage. You better shove your neighbor right now, say, "I'm not a hostage". I'm a weapon, formed in the fire, held steady in the hand of God, and aimed at the darkness. Somebody shout, "I'm a weapon". Watch out, devil. Every time you come on me, you make me sharper.
I'm loaded now. I'm focused now. I'm aimed now. I know what matters now. Feels like the Spirit of God is breaking out on this side of the church. Somebody thought you were trapped. It's not you that's trapped, it's the enemy. You've got the devil on-the-run. Don't you back down. Let's set the record straight. I came here in chains, but because I'm here, somebody's gonna get set free. God put me here. Not Caesar. Not Festus. It wasn't the boat that brought me here.
Progress is relative to priorities. I'll ask a question. It's kinda a stupid illustration but it's late. Where's that progress? Come on now, it depends on what destination I intended to arrive at. Just because I step toward you doesn't mean that's where I had in mind to go. So I might have been going the wrong way if I really needed to get over here. 'Cause I was thinking all night how cool it would be to preach from up here. Just all the way up at the top. See, this might be progress. I can't tell yet because progress is relative to priorities. I didn't come tonight to do cardio. I already got my workout before we came. Write down the word. Did you write down revision? Because there's some parts of your story you need to rewrite before we go into a new year. Because if you carry the mentality that you are trapped in a situation or trapped in what they thought or trapped in what they did or trapped in the event somebody shout I'm glad it happened.
And here's why. Number two. 'Cause I'm focused on the results. I don't have to like the event to celebrate the result. I don't know if you saw it, but Paul said it clearly. He said as a result. That's 13a if they wanna reinforce it with screen support. As a result. I was talking to one Crossfit dude. We were talking about exercise a minute ago. One crossfitter in the whole New Year's Eve praise party. He was meeting me at an event that I was preaching at. He said he was coming. He was a little late. He wasn't too late. But he was apologizing because apparently, he likes to be prompt. He said so sorry. I had a great workout. To me, that's paradoxical in nature. Great workout. I never felt that way about a workout. I said what was a great workout? What made it great? He said I threw up three times. Brain damage. Twisted value system. But I get it. What he enjoyed wasn't how he felt during the routine of working out. You don't have to like what it felt like to appreciate the change that it is creating. And a lot of us when we assess a year, we assess it by how much we enjoyed the different experiences in that year.
I was reading an interesting book by the Heath Brothers. They have written several books. They're more sociological in nature but they're also good for business. It's most recent book "The Power of Moments". It gave a snapshot of what psychologists call the Peak End Theory. Here's what they say. When we assess our experiences we don't average our minute by minute sensations. Rather, we tend to remember flagship moments. That's the peaks, the pits, and the transitions. They used the example of Disney World. They said if you were rating your experience at Disney World minute by minute on a scale of one to ten you're average rating would probably be 1.7 and no one would ever go. If you think of all the lines that you stand in and all of the heat that you endure. It's a small world after all. What a blessing. But you don't assess the experience by what did they say? You're minute by minute sensations. Rather we tend to remember the peak and the end. Or the peaks, the pits, and the transitions.
So when I say to you how was this year for you don't be so quick to call it a bad year just because you went through some hard things. I'm trying to get you by faith to accept whatever God allowed and not only that but to now see how it actually can serve to advance the gospel. If that's not your priority, if God is not your focus then you have no way of measuring your progress against a standard that you have not set for your life. Paul isn't writing about how wonderful the food is. Paul is not writing about how strong the wifi signal is in the Roman prison system. What he's talking about is the results. He's saying I don't necessarily like what I'm going through. And I'm not saying that it's fair. That's not the point. The point is that God is achieving a purpose through this. That is making it clearer and clearer what He put me on the Earth for.
So touch somebody and say I'm making progress. I'm making progress. As long as I know I'm making progress I can endure anything. I'm glad it happened. I was reminiscing with a friend about something that happened earlier this year. What happened was so horrible at the time we didn't think we could make it through. But you know when we were talking about it and looking back on it we realized that some things are so much better now. Come on now. How many of you can relate? Somebody broke up with you and you thought you couldn't make it without 'em and then you looked 'em up on Facebook and you fell on your knees and thanked God that they broke your heart. Oh, thank God they weren't interested in me. Look what could have been. Look what the Lord has done.
I don't always understand the reason but I praise God for the result. This takes faith. Can you praise God for the result of a situation that is not yet resolved? Not to say ten years later I'm glad it happened. But while you are still sitting in a Roman prison cell can you say: God, if you're gonna get some glory out of this, I'm glad! Paul might've talked to Lazarus. He might have. I don't know when Lazarus died the second time. Now the first time he died was weird. 'Cause Jesus knew he was sick and he was about to go to him but he delayed his trip to let him die. Weirdest thing in the world for the Son of God, the Savior of humankind, the compassionate Christ, the one who combs the hair of lambs on his lap as he sings lullabies to the lambs — You know, the Jesus you always hear about. He said something so shocking to his disciples when they came to him with the news that Lazarus who he loved had died.
I wanna put it on the screen 'cause you won't believe it's in the Bible if I don't show it to you. He told his disciples plainly. "Lazarus is dead". Watch what comes next. Not weeping. Not tears. But "for your sake I'm glad". I'm glad it happened. I'm glad I didn't get there in time to heal him. I'm glad because now I get to show you a level of my glory that you could not see if I had shown up and done what you thought I should do. I'm glad it happened.
I looked at my friend. I said, you know I wouldn't choose what we went through but I don't think I'd change it either. I don't think I would change it. See, I'm glad it happened whatever it may be for you. I'm not talking about the promotion, of course, you're glad that happened. I'm not talking about the miracle breakthrough that you got the check in the mail, the tax refund. Of course, you're glad that happened. I'm talking about the thing that other people feel sorry for you about. Having the faith to say I'm glad for my weakness. It led me to deeper strength. Being quiet at the praise party. I know how to preach you into a little bit of a frenzy. I can do that anytime. This is the deep work that requires mature faith to be able to look at something.
When I grew up in the Methodist church we used to have in the youth group we had prayer request and praise reports. This is old school. Why don't we bring that back in the church? That would be wonderful Pastor Steven. No. People are too crazy and I will not give them the mic. OK? Alright. That's good. But Paul would've messed up praise reports and prayer requests 'cause the praise reports is where you put the good stuff and the prayer request is where you put the bad stuff. But Paul has reached the point in his life now where he's at I don't know the difference anymore. My prayer requests have become my praise reports. 'Cause I know y'all are praying for me to get out of prison but I gotta be honest with you. I'm running a revival and I'm not sure I'm ready to leave yet. So could y'all bring the prayers down a little bit 'cause I think there's something God still wants to do while I'm in this prison. Are y'all clapping to be polite or do you really believe that some of the things that you would have prayed away are the instruments of change?
See, Paul has no problem rejoicing because he knows the result. He knows the result. When I showed Graham Rocky IV I wasn't nervous when Drago won the first three rounds. Why? I know how this ends! Some of y'all need to look at 2018 before it even gets started and declare in the face of the Devil: I'm not nervous. I'm not worried. I'm not anxious. I'm not freaked out, stressed out, maxed out. I know how this ends! In fact, take 18 seconds right here and praise Him for how it ends before it ends. Oh, the Devil hates this! He hates when you get glad about what your eyes have not seen and your ears have not heard. God is going to get some glory out of everything I've gone through! The more I've gone through the greater the glory! Shout about that!
I'm glad about it. I'm glad about it. I'm not glad about the pain. I'm glad that in the pain is a purpose. I'm glad about it. Somebody say I'm glad about it. I'm glad about it. I cried enough about it. I spent enough time wishing it would go away. But now I'm standing here with my praise intact, in my right mind. I'm glad. I'm glad they rejected me. Showed me that God was enough and I don't need 'em. Where'd y'all go on that one? I didn't hear anything... So Paul makes a resolution now. He made the revision. He set the record straight. He said I want you to know what was really happening here. 'Cause y'all are feeling sorry for me but don't feel sorry for me. I'm getting results. God's getting some glory through my life. Don't feel sorry for me.
Aren't you glad that the storm stripped away everything that you really didn't need so you could know what was core to the essential nature of who Christ made you to be? Aren't you glad that you're not going into the next year carrying dead weight of worthless relationships? Aren't you glad that God closed some doors? So that you wouldn't spend years of your life in the wrong room. I'm glad it happened. I am glad it happened. I'm glad. I might not be able to smile when I say it but I'm gettin' there. I'm glad. I'm glad it happened. He said I made a resolution. How 'bout this. Just one New Year's resolution. This is the only one you really need. I mean do everything you wanted to do. Save the money. Put the kid to college fund. Go to the moon with Elon Musk. I don't care what you do. But do this too. This is 18b. "Yes, and I will continue to rejoice".
Now that's the resolution. I worry about that word rejoice because I think that you might think that it only means this or this. No, he's making a decision or a resolution because remember resolution is a decision, not an event. I'm not waiting to see how this turns out before I make my decision about my faith. So I reflect and I expect and Paul says I don't know how this is gonna turn out yet. They might kill me. I don't know what you're going through right now but it ain't this bad. That's why I brought Paul to the praise party. 'Cause if I say this crap you might just think I haven't ever been through anything. But you haven't had your life on the line for the gospel. Not yet. So Paul says I want you to know I made my resolution and I will continue to rejoice. Oh, Paul did you get good news? Are they about to release you? Don't know. Resolution is not an event. It's a decision.
Now watch the decision. It's verse 20. Verse 20 he says — We gotta get 19 as well. It's just too good. I can't do this to 19. I can't leave 19 sittin' right there just lookin' all pretty. "For I know that through your prayers and God's provision of the spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened". Somebody say I'm glad it happened. I want that ringing in your spirit so you go out really confessing it and really declaring it and really living in that state of rejoicing that is not dependant on the outcome of your situation. I know that what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.
Here's the Word. "I eagerly expect..". How many remember I preached a whole sermon on the Greek word that Paul made up because he couldn't find a word in the lexicon that described how he felt about the situation. 'Cause he couldn't say "I have a good feeling about this. I don't know I'm enthusiastic Bill". It wasn't one of those things. It was a from the gut gladness that only comes when your sole priority is the glory of God and nothing else holds weight in the court of your reasoning. So he made up a word from three different words. Remember? Apokaradokia. Three words. Apo- to look away. Kara - head. Dokia- stretch. Paul said I'm chained to the floor but these chains make a good sermon prop. 'Cause my feet are bound but my mind is free. I can't change my situation right now but I can make up my mind. And here's what I've decided and I need about 130 people who will make this decision. I eagerly expect, In other words, I stretch my head for my future.
I can see we need some exercise. Stand up. I'ma help you with your New Year's resolution. You wanted to exercise more. We're gonna do it before you hit the parking lot tonight. High five your neighbor say I'm glad it happened. I'm glad it happened. I'm glad it happened. Now I want you to do me a favor. Everybody. Every campus. Even the cool people who are too cool to high five your neighbor every time I tell you to high five your neighbor. I want you to turn around 180 degrees. Now if you are geometrically challenged you should be facing the opposite direction of a moment ago. Alright. The Word of God on this pulpit represents the promises that God has made to you and the future that He has in store. We came tonight to reflect but also to expect.
You can't go into what's next that has your name on it — Your next assignment, your next breakthrough, your next level of influence, your next season of real joy. You can't go into it facing this way. What happened, happened. It happened. Whether you wanted it to or not. Whether it was your fault or not. It happened. Acknowledge it. There were some disappointments this year. Some stuff that broke your heart. But you cannot experience the purpose of God in 2018 with your head in your past. I hear the spirit of God saying tonight it's turnaround time. It's turn around time. Don't turn around yet. Messin' up my illustration. Paul said I eagerly expect, what? That what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.
Now I want you to turn 90 degrees. 90 degrees. Just 90. Just 90. Just 90 degrees. I don't care which 90. Just 90. Preferably so you're facing someone else. Could you face somebody? Hey. Now shut up don't strike up a conversation. Listen. Listen to me. You can't go into this next year facing your past and you can't go into this next year facing other people. You cannot look to them and compare yourself to them and compare your situation to theirs. Not in going to the future that God has for you. Paul said I want you to know that what has happened to me, what God has for me is for me.
Sometimes we are so busy comparing our situation to the situation of others. We are locked in cycles of resentment and regret. But it's turn around time. Somebody shout it's turn around time. Now I want you to turn another 90 degrees and we all should be facing forward. This is where I'm facing. I got my eyes — Put the camera on the pulpit. I got my eyes on the Word that God spoke to me. My eyes are on the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. I got my head out my past. I got my feet in my lane. I got my eyes on the prize for which God called me heavenward in Christ. I'm glad it happened. I'm glad for the dangers, the toils, the snares. I'm glad for the battles. I'm glad for the blessings. I came tonight to give you praise for all of it, God. All things work together for the good, cause I'm called!