New Year!! "This is the day that God has made, let us rejoice and be glad
today is the first Sunday of our 50th Anniversary
year in ministry. Our Jubilee Year! And what do we say as
we look at these past fifty years? What words do we use?
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
how do you celebrate a fiftieth anniversary? I've done that
with my wife when we celebrated fifty years of marriage,
but how do you celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of your
job? And that is what we are doing in the year 2005. Yes,
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.
what have I learned in these fifty years? As I went to bed
the other night, I prayed through all of the possibilities
of what would be my opening message of the 50th
Anniversary year. 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.
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."
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.
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.
is my testimony. God is real. Let me show you how God blesses
you on life’s lucky road. How does
good luck happen?
God blesses us without consulting us first
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.
God blesses us without our approval
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.
God blesses us where we need it the most
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
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."
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.
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."
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!"
God blesses us by not giving us what we want,
but what we need
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."
God blesses us where we need it most
when the timing is right
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.
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
God blesses us with "good luck" coming out of what
we thought was "bad luck"
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.
end is a new beginning! Every 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."
This is an "ah-ha"
moment. Now we can see very clearly how ...
God blesses us without consulting us first ...
God blesses us without getting our approval ...
God blesses us before we pray for it ...
God blesses us even though He knows we probably won’t like it at the
God blesses us without checking our schedules and our calendar
(6) God blesses us always.
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?"
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.
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."
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!"
I close this message with the title of my new book! Don’t Throw Away Tomorrow!
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