#218 (29/01/06)
Don’t throw away tomorrow

The Message

By: Robert H. Schuller

Special Guest


Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" Heavenly Father, Grant Your Blessing "

CCA CHORUS – “Let it Shine”
" O Praise the Lord "

DEVON GUTHRIE – “Climb Every Mountain”

The Message

Happy New Year!! "This is the day that God has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

It was in 1955 when Mrs. Schuller and I came to California with an impossible dream. It was a fantastic dream, to give our entire life to building one church, only one, for the glory of God and for the greater glory of His kingdom all over the world.

As I went to bed the other night, I prayed and I received ideas in my mind and I awakened in the wee hours of the morning and said to Arvella, "Don't bother me, just give me paper and a pen. I've got to write." So I went to my library with a yellow pad and pen and this is what came out. I feel that it is from God so I am sharing it in the same way this message came to me, without reworking or polishing it in any way...

Life is one long lucky road.

Let's get real as I share with you this message. I've been there and let me tell you, life is one long lucky road. Lucky? Yes. I'm talking to those of you who call yourself a secularist. Life is one long road, up or down, good luck or bad luck, but to the believer life is all "good luck." Christians use the word "blessed."

"All things work together for good to those who love God and keep His commandments." (Romans 8:28)

To you who say you've never experienced God, or, you believe God is up there someplace and, yes, you believe in Him, but you really haven't had Him in your life. You are so wrong! Everybody listening to me has experienced God in what you can all call "good luck." That is not a fantasy that is a reality.

For fifty years I preached possibility thinking and I still do. You have to make the good things in life happen. You have to be responsive and responsible. You have to have courage, faith and determination. I've lived possibility thinking. It works. I'll preach it the rest of my life. But let me put a little frosting on the cake. In the final analysis it comes down to luck. After all you've done, all you've paid for, you have to admit life is one long lucky road. And if you've never experienced something lucky in your life, then you can be an atheist. People say, "He's a lucky guy." Yes, but I would call him "blessed." But let's just look at the reality of luck in life.

This is my testimony. God is real. Let me show you how God blesses you on life・s lucky road. How does good luck happen?

(1) God blesses us without consulting us first

Yes, God blesses us without consulting us first. We get an idea. We didn・t ask for it. We get a dream. We didn't plan it. Boy what a lucky idea I had. God blesses us without consulting us first.

(2) God blesses us without our approval

Secondly, God blesses us without our approval because He knows we wouldn・t agree. We would see the price or the peril or the pain or the problems and we would show Him all of these difficulties and obstacles. So God doesn・t seek our approval. God doesn・t want an argument. He gives us the dream.

(3) God blesses us where we need it the most

Thirdly, God blesses us where we need it the most and we could never guess where that is, but He knows. That is why God doesn・t consult us. That is why we don・t often see or sense the blessing. You can talk to God right now and if God would say to you, "I・m going to bless you ... I・m going to give you the blessing you asked for, what blessing do you want Me to give to you?" What would you ask for?

Often as I meet people in my travels around the world, I give people blessings and the one I most often use is, "May God bless you where you need the blessing most and He knows that better than you."

Make a list of all the blessing's you would like. List the blessings you hope for one, two, three, four ... up to ten. I know some of you would put chemotherapy as number one. Many would put at the top of their list more money to get your bills paid. I know others would list as the number one blessing that you would rise to the top in your job. List all your blessings. Someone・s list will include, "A hope that a certain somebody would fall in love with me because I need him or her." Now, when you are finished listing all the blessings you could possibly hope for, then show your list to God and say, "God bless me where I need it most!" And guess what, nine times out of ten, it is not number one, it・s not number two, it・s not number three or number four, it may be something you never even thought of. It might be, more than anything else, the blessing you need the most is more faith or more trust.

Recently at our Volunteers・ Breakfast, sitting at my table was Don Eyers. He has been a committed volunteer and dear friend for many, many years. Don reminded me of that one Saturday night at 6:00 PM, as he and his wife were preparing to go out to dinner there was a knock at the door. But when they opened the door, two men with a gun broke in and forced them to lie down on the floor. Don said, "My face was in the dust. They took our cash, our watches and our jewelry. They didn・t shoot us, but I can still remember the steel touching my skin, the gun on my temple. We were so shook up, we didn・t feel like coming to church the next morning, but we did anyway. And Bob, in your message you threw out a line. You had tested it with your wife, but she said, .don・t use it, it・s silly.・ You used it anyway. The line was, When your face is in the dust, all you can do is trust.・" Don said, "I use that line so often and pass it on to people."

God blesses us where we need His blessing the most. He knows us a lot better than we do. He knows the future. We don・t. So we are blessed with surprises of joy and we say, "Oh you wouldn・t believe the great thing that happened to me!"

(4) God blesses us by not giving us what we want,
but what we need

God blesses us by not giving us what we want, but what we need, so life is one long lucky road. Our values, too easily are not priced right in our mind. We put too high a value and pay too big a price for lots of things. God knows they aren・t worth it. That is why He doesn・t give it to us. God loves you. So we don・t get the job we want or experience the relationship we hope for. Or get the invitation to the event when others got an invitation. Why didn・t we? We don・t see that missing that particular event is a blessing. What we call "bad luck" is "good luck."

(5) God blesses us where we need it most
when the timing is right

God blesses us where we need it most when the timing is right. God knows we all need to learn humility, but we don・t want to wait. We want it now. But God knows we need humility because without it, the blessings of good luck would spoil us.

I must tell you that every time before I got a big blessing, I went through pain. God was making sure that I could be trusted with the big blessing He was going to give. I would have to be humble enough to be patient. Life does have its hurts and disappointments, but in time we will see rejection as important conditioning in the same way that soil preparation is important to the farmer. Our souls need to be prepared so that we can be trusted with the big blessing God has for us.

(6) God blesses us with "good luck" coming out of what
we thought was "bad luck"

At my stage of life I can see that every time I・ve had "bad luck" it always turns out to be "good luck." I sometimes had to wait thirty, forty or fifty years to sense it and see it. My life has been one long "lucky" road ... up and down ... up and down. But "good luck" always comes through pain or tears or hurt or hardship or trial or testing. For all of life is birth and death. It is living and dying. It is beginning and ending.

Every end is a new beginning! Yes, death is the first phase of a great new birth that is happening. It is like the pain of childbirth. Wow. There is no newness of life without change ... and change is almost always painful. But God knows that pain is always the prelude to new birth. So pain is proof that I・m alive. It is a sign of progress. Yes, all of life is "good luck."

"All things work together for good, to those who love God and keep His commandments." (Romans 8:28)

Ah-ha! This is an "ah-ha" moment. Now we can see very clearly how ...

(1) God blesses us without consulting us first ...

(2) God blesses us without getting our approval ...

(3) God blesses us before we pray for it ...

(4) God blesses us even though He knows we probably won・t like it at the beginning ...

(5) God blesses us without checking our schedules and our calendar

(6) God blesses us always.

"Good luck" or "bad luck" ... if your face is in the dust, all you can do is trust! Trust tomorrow. Yes, we trust God anyway! We live with hope through life・s stages of trial, trouble, and yes, terror, knowing that God will have the first and last word and both will be good.

I・ve learned in more than fifty years of ministry that when we go through the storm, we cry out, "Where is God?" And I・ve walked with many of you as a pastor through the storms, as tragic as anything you can imagine. And you cry out, "Where is God?" I・ll tell you where He is. He is backstage in your life designing a rainbow. Look! And I hear you say, "I saw a rainbow in the middle of the storm." Listen! Do you hear the birds sing? Breathe deeply and smell the fragrance of fresh raindrops on the green leaf.

To you, my friends and church family, that is my life. That is my testimony. Life has been one long "lucky" road. That is why I could never, ever be an atheist. "Good luck ... bad luck."

"All things work together for good for those who love God and keep His commandments." (Romans 8:28)

That is why I urge you to take the Bible seriously and know that Jesus knew what He was talking about. And that is why I say to you, "Be an optimist! Always!"

So I close this message with the title of my book! Don・t Throw Away Tomorrow!

Prayer: O God, I can be thankful every day. I can be hopeful when I・m hurting. I can be optimistic when tomorrow looks bleak and black. Yes, good luck or bad luck, God loves me. He really does and I・m experiencing Him through moods and memories. God is loving me in my laughter, my tears, my labor and my leisure, my rising up, in my lying down, in my birthing and in my dying, until I come to stand before Jesus in that day in which there is no sunset and no sunrise, only eternal life and light and beautiful music forevermore. Amen.

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