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When I was seven years old, my dad bought me my first bicycle. It was used, but I didn’t care. I was so happy! It’s a memory that will always be with me. I don’t know what it cost my dad, but I do know that in those days, he made a very modest living as a church planter (pioneer) and had three boys. My mom had a full-time job outside the church and my dad took painting opportunities to keep the family and church going. Even to this day, I value the tremendous sacrifices that my parents made for us and the ministry.

I rode my bike to my best friend’s home and parked it behind his mother’s car. You guessed it — she backed right over the bicycle. She felt really bad and I went home crushed. Later that day, my best friend and his mom arrived at our home and delivered a brand-new bike! My earnest mistake as a kid led to a turnaround that I could never have imagined. When I hear the song, “He turned my mourning into dancing again, He lifted my sorrow,” I remember what it was like to be happy, then sad, then happy again.

You would think that I learned that lesson permanently, but sometimes I still resort to feelings and thoughts that are the opposite of what they should be. When I find myself facing a disappointing situation, I often resort to a reaction that, at the moment, doesn’t take into consideration that things could turn out significantly better. I may grieve over something “used,” when God may indeed want to give me something “new.” I can still choose to respond more like a stranger than a son!

I do know this: when I lead with my emotions, I open the door for trouble. But when I’m led by the Spirit, I discover remarkable hope and a peace that strongly affirms God is at work—no person or no thing can prevent His plan from coming about! Troubled? My advice is to go right to the supervisor of the complaint department … Jehovah Jireh!

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing … To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.” -Psalm 30:11, 12 (NKJV)

served as the president of The Foursquare Church from 2009-2020.