Your Church +Portland


The ABC's of Getting Back Up


First of all, I want to thank everyone who has encouraged, supported and believed in me through what has been one of the toughest times of my life and for all of us in the Klassen household. It’s in times like this that you rely on those who, out of nothing but pure love, step in and carry you when the load is too much. I’ve come to realize that no matter how much we think that all we need is God, I remember reading somewhere in the Bible where God told Adam that it was not good for him to be alone. Yes, we all need friends and we all need each other. I’m thankful for you.

Getting back on your feet isn’t easy, and it takes time. Sometimes it seems like it takes longer than other times, but I think that has a lot to do with how hard you were hit. Not all of us can pull a Rocky Balboa when in the ring of life – you know, the classic 10 count and you get back on your feet when the ref calls ‘nine’, get up and knock the living phooey out of your Russian opponent. I read that in the making of Rocky IV, the Russian opponent (Dolph Lundgren) in one of the boxing scenes actually connected with Sylvester Stallone’s face and put our beloved Rocky in the hospital for 9 days! I guess that’s why they get paid the big bucks. Hearing that helped me realize something. Like Stallone, no matter how hard the hit you can’t lay in a hospital bed forever. You’ve got to get back up on your feet and finish your movie.

I was reading in Romans 4 about Abraham and his journey of faith. He trusted God and left family members and friends to set out on a journey to a city God called Him to. A city that didn’t actually exist yet. Abe left his secure home and inheritance to live life like a vagabond on his way to fulfilling his assignment. God promised him a nation, a nation that would begin through his offspring. Yet after years of trying to have kids Abe was only getting older, as well as his wife Sarah. This was making the God given promise appear to be an impossibility, until a few angels showed up at his tent door one day and let him know that in one year they would have their promise. So in Romans 4, Paul recounts Abe’s faith in God. His faith wasn’t about perfection but rather it was a faith that didn’t quit…a faith that God honored with His promise.

In verses 16-20 of Romans 4, I call it the ABC’s of getting back up.

Accept the fact that it’s dead. Abe realized that there was no way Sarah could get pregnant nearing 100 years old…so he accepted it…but that didn’t mean he quit trying! Getting back on your feet starts with letting go of what knocked you down, accepting the fact that it happened, and that it’s over. When you can begin letting go, you begin grabbing hold of something greater. Laying there and going over the ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’s’ of why you shouldn’t be where you’re at makes for some interesting scenario’s but in the end it doesn’t help you get up. Sure time can heal, but time doesn’t heal everything. Nothing heals faster than allowing yourself to accept the fact that not only did something precious die, it’s dead. Sometimes that’s really tough to accept, but your faith won’t come alive until you start. Even if accepting it starts with just a small step at a time.

Believe in God’s nature. Abe found something out about the God he served. When God gets involved, He gives life to what is dead and does something new. Part of getting back on your feet is knowing this about God’s nature. When we are willing to accept our loss, willing to accept the fact that we’re knocked down, then God speaks something into existence. He creates the win. It’s at that point that through God’s incredible grace that new life begins. New strength. Renewed purpose. A fresh way of seeing and the unfolding of God’s promise. You begin getting your mojo back.

Contrary to all hope, get your hopes up. It’s said of Abe that against all hope, he believed in hope. Hope paints the picture of something better and puts the necessary strength back into our muscles as we imagine ourselves in that painted portrait. Robert Schuller once said, ‘Let your hopes not your hurts shape your future.’ There actually is a better day coming. If you can paint that picture, hope will reveal that you’re stronger than you thought and braver than you imagined. It translates in English to an, “I can do this” and with those words the painting comes alive putting something in motion that never before existed – a better day. Abe’s hope, coupled with his faith in God not only enabled him to become the father of a new nation, but Paul says Abe became the father of many nations. There’s just no telling how big your win is when you get your hopes up.

I see a win in our horizon.
Pastor Shian

Pastor ShianComment