Episode 11

Count It All Joy!

God’s always in control! Nothing bad happens to you without His consent, knowing you can handle it and that it will perfect you like gold going through the fire. Barry’s stories bring this to life!

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Show Notes

When you’re under attack, God says to count it all joy and to give Him the glory. But how do you do that? We’re going to tell you how He will use your faith — even in the midst of your struggles —to move everyone watching you closer to Jesus!

Host Barry Meguiar is a car guy and businessman who hosted the popular TV show, Car Crazy, on Discovery Networks for 18 years. He loves cars, but he loves Jesus even more!

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Episode Transcript

When you’re under attack, in the midst of your struggles, God says to count it all joy and to Give Him the Glory. But how do you do that? We’re going to tell you – right now!

On our IgniteAmerica.com website, we post ignite America Certified Statistics . . . that are ‘Take it to the Bank’ statistics! Truth is – most of the statistics you hear today – are almost worthless. Because you can find a statistic that will support anything you want to say.

That’s why we’ve gone the extra mile to give you Certified Statistics, that are supported by 3 or more major research studies . . . and they’re all footnoted. So whether your preaching a Sermon or writing a dissertation, THESE are statistics you can stake your life on.

And it appears that God is allowing all of this chaos to get our attention – because most Americans are now living in fear . . . and wondering where God is. We know this statistically! And from a soul winning viewpoint, fear is a good! Over 80% of the un-churched are now looking for someone to tell them about God. That’s fantastic!

The problem – is that fear has also permeated the church. The research tells us that higher a percentage of Christians are living in fear than non-Christians. It’s Crazy! This could not be more diabolically opposed to the Love and Joy and Peace that God has Promised us. Most Christians are NOT living in the Good News of the Gospel.

So if you’re a Christian in a bad place right now and worrying, this message is for you!

I know of what I speak! This is not Academic for me! I’ve been there and done that. I’ve been moments away from a corporate take-over, I was in ICU when the doctors gave up on me saying I had no chance to live, and we lost one of our adult daughters two years ago.

And those are just some of the highlights, from a lifetime of struggles and obstacles, like most of us have, that built MY faith into Rock Solid Faith. So – I know what I’m talking about. God never leaves you or forsakes you.

And through it all, Karen and I have grown from being double minded, still worrying, faith believing Christians in our early marriage to watching God work miracles in our lives – in spite of our lack of whole-hearted faith – knowing our hearts and grooming us for bigger things, bigger struggles – much bigger struggles . . . and, over the years, our faith has grown to Rock Solid Faith!

As we look back, we realize that we could never have the ‘Child Like Faith’ that we have now, like a child we just believe, if we had not had those challenges in our lives. If we had not had those moments of isolation and despair and thoughts of there being no way out. Believing that even God couldn’t solve our problems. It’s called hopelessness! I’ve been there!

I remember those times like they were yesterday. One of them lasted for 2 and a half years. We had civil war in our family business that was about to end our family business . . . and I went on a two-and-a-half year search for a solution with potential investors or new partners or anyone who could inject wisdom and peace into our turmoil.

I’d never prayed harder or more diligently in my life – for two and a half years I prayed for an answer!!! And one day driving my car listening to Christian Radio, the minister yelled as me asking “Who’s Your God”. My immediate response was, I know who my God is. And then he railed at me again asking “Who’s Your God”. At that point, I reached over to change the radio station, but not before I heard him say “I’ll tell you Who Your God is! Whatever Fill’s Your Prayers is your God”. It was like shooting a bullet into my forehead, I was so shaken.

I had been praying almost non-stop, for two and a half years, but I’d been praying for my business. My Prayers were filled with prayers for my business. My Business had become my God. I couldn’t believe it. I knew better. How could I let that happen? How could I let my business become my God?

I couldn’t wait to get home and on my knees and call out to God, asking Him to forgive me – and promising I would never do that again – that it didn’t matter if I lost my business – all I wanted was my connection to Him, my relationship with Him . . . and to never have anything separating me from Him – ever again. I just wanted more of Him!

I completely stopped praying for my business. And, the family civil war ended about a week later, with me praying and loving on my uncle in the Hospital. It was a miracle. And a huge lesson. Don’t let any problems, no matter how big they are, interfere with your relationship and your love and your faith in God! God is everything and everything else is nothing! Keep your eyes on Him and everything will be fine!

I graduated college with Proverbs 3:5 being my favorite verse: Trust in the Lord with your whole heart, and lean not unto your own understanding, in all ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.

I loved and still love this verse. It was the easiest verse in the Bible for me. I was taking a small family business into the mass-consumer market and had not a clue what I was doing. I had no understanding to lean on, so leaning on Him was easy – and I always sought and followed His Lead. That part worked great!

But when the troubles came, and boy do they come to a little company trying to enter the mass consumer market, that part about “Trust the Lord With Your Whole Heart” becomes a whole lot more difficult – and I failed miserably.

At one point, I closed the door to my office and yelled at God: After all I’ve done for you, why do you keep jerking me around? I was so mad . . . and God is so patient, even when He’s not obligated to be patient, when He knows our heart is longing for Him. I wanted to believe. Even Paul once prayed, Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief! That’s where I was!

Here’s the bottom line on worry: If you’re praying about a problem and still worrying about that problem, you’re what God Calls ‘Double Minded’ – and you can’t EXPECT Him to answer your prayers.

In James 1:5, God speaks to Christians who lack wisdom and He Promises to answer your prayers, UNLESS you’re worrying! Listen to what He says: Ask in faith, with nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and tossed. A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways. Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.

If you’re worrying, He owes you nothing! Millions of Christians are not having their prayers answered because they’re praying and worrying at the same time. That’s like oil and water. They don’t mix! You either have faith or you don’t have faith. And it’s impossible to please God without Faith!

Half-Hearted faith doesn’t cut it. I tried – all the way up to 99% faith. Here’s the problem: At 99% faith, you still have 1% Doubt, which keeps you worrying and double minded and unable to know for sure that God is going to save your bacon. He might, but He might not. That’s not where you want to live. In fact, Satan loves 99 percentors, because discouragement is right there – knocking on the door.

The Children of Israel were out of their minds excited to follow Moses out of Egypt, until they got to the water and their jubilation turned to anger . . . boy were they mad at Moses. – until the waters parted and God led them safely to the other side, where they immediately built an alter and began singing songs.

The famous Pastor/Evangelist and founder of Teen Challenge David Wilkerson preached a message on this entitled Right Song/Wrong side. You can find it on YouTube.

He points out that the Children of Israel should have been singing to the Lord before He parted the waters, not after. When you have un-wavering faith, you celebrate the miracle, before the miracle.

I mention earlier I should have died more than a decade ago. In pre-dawn hours, they were racing me to surgery – and my daughter Nicole was running as fast as she could to keep up with me, knowing my thoughts on un-wavering faith.

I was on my back on the gurney, feeling the bumps in the tile floor and watching the can lights in the ceiling whizzing by me in a blurr – while Nicole kept yelling at me. Dad, this is your testimony!

What! This is my testimony? And then it hit me, she was saying Dad, you already know you’re going to be fine before the surgery. This is your testimony! This is what it means to have un-wavering, whole-hearted faith. This is WHEN you sing the song on the right side. And I did – as I hit that door and went into surgery with a smile on my face.

And by the way, the surgery was a success. I’m still alive!

What do you think that did for my faith? What else could possibly have built my faith – more than having that life and death experience – and knowing before I was FINE again, that I was going to be FINE again!

This is just one of the many challenges I’ve faced, and- don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t want to do them again, but I thank God for every one of them, honestly . . . because they’ve given me AND Karenx – whole-hearted – unwavering faith. And it’s priceless! Thank God for the tough times.

James 1 says it this way: When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. I’m living proof of this scripture!

And by the way, no matter what you’re going through, Romans 8 reminds us that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the Glory that will be revealed to us in Heaven. And we’re going to be there in a twinkling of an eye!

We call them on-fire Christians. You know who they are, the ones that are always happy, full of joy and telling people about Jesus. Guess what? Every one of them have been tested to their outer limits.

But there’s an easier, faster way to get to unwavering, whole-hearted faith. It doesn’t have to take decades to get there!

One of the most known and miss-understood Scriptures in the Bible is Romans 8:28 . . . you know . . . where God Promises you to make everything in your life work for good – and you wonder why He hasn’t done that. It’s because you have to read the entire scripture – that says He’ll make everything work for good – but only FOR THOSE- get this – FOR THOSE who love Him/for those who live their lives for His Purpose.

There’s no argument on what God’s Purpose is . . . He came to seek and save the lost. What He’s saying here is this: If you love the Lord thy God with all your heart and all your mind and all your soul and all your strength, you will live for His Purpose to seek and save the lost – to move everyone, every day closer to Jesus.

And THAT’S when He’ll make everything in your life work for good. Do you understand what I’m saying here? That’s end of worry and the beginning of un-wavering, whole-hearted faith. And you can get there so easily by simply living your life, starting today, for His Purpose. And if you need help, just go to IgniteAmerica.com

If you’re in a bad place right now, I don’t care what it is, God’s right there! And He wants to honor your faith and use your faith, in the midst of your struggle, to bring Him Glory and to move everyone watching you closer to Jesus. Listen to me: There’s no stronger witness than the joy of a Christian in-the-midst of their struggle. And it brings purpose to your struggle. And it brings an end to your struggle.

No matter what – your job is to move everyone, every day closer to. Jesus. It’s the Great Commission – for all of us!

But Here’s the Shocker! Winning the lost is not the Number One reason God mandated that you share your faith – why He Made you His Witness. This is Incredible Information – if you’re not already sharing your faith!

Isaiah 43:10 tells us: Thus saith the Lord, I appointed you as my witness – so that YOU will believe. What? I would think He would say ‘So that they will believe’ BUT NO – So that you will believe. If you want to have unwavering, whole hearted faith – Guess What – sharing your faith is how you get there!

Here’s why: When you follow the Nudge of the Holy Spirit and take the time to pour out God’s Love on someone you know or don’t know – and the person opens up and reveals their need – and then you experience God speaking through you directly to that need – and you see a life change happening before your very eyes! I mean – WOW!!!

You have to experience it to understand it. But there’s nothing that rivals that kind of intimacy with God, knowing He just spoke through you to change a life! And there’s nothing that will ignite your Prayer Life and Bible Study faster – effortlessly!

Nothing will ever again shake your faith in God and His Faithfulness and His Ability to use you AND YOUR TESTIMONY of trusting God through YOUR most difficult problems to give Him Glory and to move everyone, every day closer to Jesus.

Faith Under Fire is a Blessing from God . . . where you shout your faith – and conquer your problems – and un-wavering, whole-hearted faith – becomes automatic – for the rest of your life!

See you next time!

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