In August 1978, the first successful transatlantic balloon flight became a reality when Double Eagle II touched ground in a barley field in the small village of Miserey, France. But success in this accomplishment did not come easy. During the years from 1873 through 1978, thirteen attempts had been made---all ending in failure. After an unsuccessful attempt in 1977, in which Double Eagle ended up in Iceland, Double Eagle II was successful in making that historic six-day trip from Presque Isle, Maine, to Miserey, France.
What made the difference between the unsuccessful trip and the successful one? One difference was the addition of another man. A second difference was experience. Maxie Anderson, one of the crew, put it this way: “I don’t think that you can fly the Atlantic without experience, and that’s one reason it hadn’t been flown before. Success in any venture is just the intelligent application of failure.” Did you catch that? Success is just intelligent application of failure.
Booker T. Washington said, “A measure of a man’s success is not what he achieves, but what he overcomes.” Success requires resilience. Many times a successful ball team is one that has bounced back from having a bad season or experiencing several losses. They learn from their mistakes how to improve their game. Life has it way of giving us losses and missed shots so for that reason we must learn from our errors. And the person who can do this will overcome his losses with success.
Lorne Sanny, when he was the president of the Navigators, had the following to say, “If you are suffering without succeeding, then someone will succeed after you…If you are succeeding without suffering, then someone suffered before you.” We are like a tea bag: not much good until it has gone through hot water.
Even Jesus, “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). Of course, He did this for our sakes.
If you want to determine whether or not an air tank of the kind divers need is usable, you test it. Of course you do not test it when it is empty. No, you test it by applying pressure to it. And the pressure used in such a test is far beyond what would be considered normal. Only under intense pressure can hidden flaws be exposed. And under the pressures of life we are tested severely to see if we will break or hold.
Success, many times, will test our integrity. Praise detects pride or humility. Wealth tests the flaw of selfishness. Education tests our pride. Hearing the Word of God tests our faith. Failure tests our resilience.
A cliché’ says it well: “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Even Christ had to experience humility before victory. He had to experience death before resurrection. His Lordship came after He suffered much pain and agony. Our success comes when we understand that we have to do our part in it. For more info and service times you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
R. C. Sproul tells about a burglar who watched as a family packed their car and left town. He moved in quietly and rang the doorbell just in case. No answer. He picked the lock. As he squinted in the darkened den he asked nervously, “Is anybody home?” “I see you…and Jesus sees you too,” someone answered. The voice didn’t sound right. So the thief asked again a little louder, “Anybody home?” “I see you…and Jesus sees you.” By this time the burglar knew something was up. He shined his flashlight at the voice, but relaxed with relief to see a parrot on a perch. Convinced his night’s work could begin he switched on the lights and saw the biggest Doberman attack dog known to man. The Doberman’s lips silently curled, saliva dripped on the carpet and a deep growl began to roll from his black throat. The parrot looked at the dog and said, “Attack, Jesus, Attack!”
We must stop fretting over people who do wrong and seem to get away with it. They will get caught! You can bet your bottom dollar on that truth. And their pain will be greater than any payoff they may have received.
When I was a kid, getting into trouble was as natural for me as breathing. Honestly, I didn’t go looking for trouble it just sort of followed me around. I’ll never forget the time I was in the back yard shooting my Red Ryder B.B. gun. A little sparrow landed on the fence. So I took aim, pulled the trigger, missed the birdie and hit the window behind it. Quickly I ran into the house, put my B.B. gun away, and hit the books like a straight- A student. I was studying rather hard when a knock came on the door. My Dad answered and I could hear some serious discussion going on. Finally, my Dad came into my bedroom and said, “Son, why did you shoot our neighbor’s window? Come here now! You apologize and tell him you will fix it and…DO NOT TOUCH YOUR B.B. GUN AGAIN UNTIL I TELL YOU SO!” The tone of his voice spoke volumes: he was serious.
But a few days later I was playing in the backyard when a family of chirping birdies lit down. “Get your B.B. gun! B.B. gun!” a voice yelled in my head. Almost immediately another still small voice said, “Hey, remember what your Dad said? You better obey him or you’ll be in big trouble!” Since nobody was home I thought I could pull a fast one and no one would ever know. The temptation was too great. I ran inside, grabbed my gun, crept outside, took aim, squeezed the trigger and HALLELUJAH, the great sharpshooter bagged his prey. I was jumping with glee; the impossible had happened. I hit a bird! Running over to pick up the birdie I wanted to share this victory with someone. About that time my Dad drove up and being so ecstatic I forgot his orders. Holding the bird by the foot I ran toward my Dad shouting, “Look Dad, I just shot this…” I learned a big lesson that day: “Be sure your sin will find you out!” For more info you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com. We invite you to come worship Jesus with us this Sunday at 10:00 a.m. right here in West Sacramento.
A vine clings to an oak tree and in so doing finds the protection in times of trial that preserves it. If a violent storm should arise and the vine is on the side of the tree away from the wind, the tree serves to protect the vine from the wind, which would otherwise tear it away and rip it into shreds. If the vine is on the exposed side of the tree, the wind serves only to press the vine closer to the tree it already clings to.
In the storms of life, God will at times set Himself between us and the fury of the storm and so protect us from it. At other times, He will expose us to the storm so that its ravages may serve to press us closer to Him. Yes, we have now entered into a new year with great expectations, but the storms of life will continue to rain upon us. That’s one thing we can count on. And we can also depend on the Lord to be the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will continue to keep and protect us from the horrific storms of life. What He did for us in the past He will continue to do for us in this new year. He won’t get weary with us.
I especially like how Nahum expresses the nature of God: “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7). It would pay us to examine his words, because they are true and uplifting to the spirit, mind, and body. They will bring peace in times of trouble. Just think, “The Lord is good,” meaning that’s His personality. He is “a strong hold in the day of trouble.” We can depend on Him to defend and keep us through each trouble. He will not allow us to be crushed. And there is peace knowing that “He knows each and every one of us, by name, who trust in Him.” We are His dear children and He is our loving Father. He calls us by name.
Students of nature say, when the time comes an eagle will stir up the nest and turn her young ones out into mid-air, forcing them to use their wings. It may seem like a cruel thing to do, but the eagle knows what is best for her children. O.K., I’m going to say it. In a similar manner God allows His children to be disturbed by troubles to bring about an urgent sense of need for spiritual growth and maturity. Yes, there comes a time when we need to be teachers of the Word instead of students. We need to get off of the milk and get into the meat of God’s Word. And God presses us to do what He wants us to be.
When a wood sculptor wants to create a work of art, he starts with a log and begins to fashion it with a sharp chisel. He meticulously cuts and shapes that log until finally he has his finished product. The log, which might otherwise have been burned in a fireplace, has become a beautiful masterpiece that can be displayed on the mantle over the fireplace. God’s working in our lives may sometimes be painful, yet His ultimate purpose for us is to produce a masterpiece. Let’s make 2014 the year we change our attitude by allowing God to do His best work in us. This article was originally written by Pastor J.C. Myers, III on December 31, 2013. You can get more info online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.