Step Towards Transformation

Focus On Your Blessings , Not On Your Burdens.


Sermon Preached On Sunday 12th June , 2016

We All Love When A Dream Comes To Pass: We Get The Promotion, Move Into The New House, Meet The Right Person. We Know That’s The Favor Of God.

But With Every Blessing Comes A Burden. Life Is Full Of Contradictions:

  • It’s A Blessing To Move Into That Bigger House; It’s A Burden To Have More To Clean.
  • It’s A Blessing To Have That Baby; It’s A Burden To Get Up In The Middle Of The Night.

God Blessed Me With A Ministry, Opportunity, Influence, But With This Big Blessing Came Big Burdens: More Critics, More Opposition, More Funds To Raise, More Responsibility.

The Mistake We Make Is, We Want The Blessing Without The Burden; That’s Not Reality, They Come As A Package.

The Key Is To Learn To Enjoy The Blessing While The Burden Is Still There. Some Burdens Are Not Going To Go Away. Not Being Negative, But You’ll Never Get To A Place Where You’re Problem-Free: Nobody’s Talking About You, No Conflict, No Traffic, No Bills. If You’re Always Trying To Pray Away The Burdens, You’ll Be Frustrated; God Wouldn’t Have Given You The Blessing If You Couldn’t Handle The Burden. It All Boils Down To; What Are We Focusing On?

But Br Melwyn,

  • “When My Baby Gets Out Of Diapers, When There Is Not So Much Work, Then I’ll Be Happy Again”; Remember That Child Is A Gift From God, Some People Would Give Anything To Have A Baby Like Yours. Don’t Stay Focused On The Burden And Miss The Blessing.
  • “When These People Stop Talking About Me, Then I Won’t Be Upset”; The Reason They’re Talking About You Is Because You’re Making A Difference.

God Has Blessed You With Influence; With That Blessing Comes Opposition.  It’s A Part Of The Package; Don’t Be Frustrated By It.

  • “If I Didn’t Have To Deal With These Coworkers, Take All My Time And Energy, Then I Wouldn’t Be Stressed Out”;

You Prayed For A Promotion, God Answered Your Prayer, Gave You A Management Position. Don’t Pray For A Bigger Blessing If You’re Going To Complain About A Bigger Burden. The Problem Is, You’re Focused On The Burden; You Need To Change Your Perspective, Start Looking For What’s Right, Seeing What’s Good. You Have The Grace To Be Where You Are With A Good Attitude; Not Sour, Discouraged, “Why Is This Taking So Long?” No, Enjoy Where You Are On The Way To Where You’re Going.

Life Is A Journey; After You Accomplish This Goal, There’ll Be Another Mountain To Climb, Another Set Of Burdens To Deal With. Don’t Get So Caught Up In Where You’re Going That You Miss The Beauty Of This Moment; Enjoy The Season That You’re In. If We’re Not Careful,

  • We Won’t Enjoy Our Teens; We’re In A Hurry To Get Out Of School.
  • We Won’t Enjoy Our 20s; We’re Stressed Out, Trying To Find A Job, Meet The Right Person.
  • We Won’t Enjoy Our 30s; We’re Pressured Raising These Kids, Trying To Be Good Parents.
  • We Won’t Enjoy Our 40s; We’re Trying To Get Into Management, Get That Promotion, Make Sure We Have Savings.

At Some Point, You Have To Put Your Foot Down, And Say, “This Is The Day The Lord Has Made. I’m Going To Enjoy Where I Am Right Now. I May Have A Few Burdens, But I Know It’s Because I Have Big Blessings, Because God Has Been Good To Me.”

You Could Be In One Of The Best Seasons Of Your Life And Not Realize It, Because You’re Focused On What You Don’t Like, How Long It’s Taking, Somebody That’s Not Doing Right. Instead Of Enjoying The Blessing, You’re Letting The Burdens Weigh You Down.

Illustration: A Doctor Was In A Hospital For Many Years. At One Point He And His Wife Had 3 Children Under The Age Of Six. This Doctor Was Working 80 Hrs A Week At The Hospital.Then He Would Come Home And Had Babies To Deal With. Diapers To Change And Kids Waking Up In The Middle Of The Night. He Was Very Stressed Out. One Day A Very Elderly Patient Of Over 50 Years That He Had Known For Many Years Came In For A Check Up.She Had Recently Lost Her Husband. This Doctor Was In A Hurry That As Usual, Running Late To The Next Appointment. Just As He Was About To Leave , This Elderly Lady Asked If She Could Speak To Him For A Moment.The Doctor Thought It  Was Going To Be A Medical Question , Some Big Health Issue . But She Said” Dr. I Just Want To Know How Are You Doing?”.This Doctor Was Surprised. He Apologised For Being In Such A Hurry. The Doctor Explained How Things Were Really Hectic At Home And How He Was Busy With The Little Babies At Home And Also At The Hospital. He Said” I Am Just Frustrated, Right Now, I Wish Had More Time. I Cant Wait Till I Get Through It.”.The Doctor Knew That This Elderly Lady Had Just Lost Her Husband And Being Polite  He Asked Her How She Was Doing.

Her Eyes Lit Up. She Said “Oh Doctor, I Would Give Anything To Be Where You Are To Be As A Young Parent. I Would Give Anything To Hear The Pitter-Patter Of My Children. I Love To Change Their Diapers, To Put Them To Sleep. How I Long For To See Those Days. She Looked Into The Doctors Eyes And Said..”One Day You Are Going To Miss The Very Thing You Are Trying To Hurry Through.

The Doctor Left That Day With A New Perspective.He Could Not Wait To Go Home To Change The Diapers. He Looked Forward To Get Up To Getting Up In The Middle Of The Night And Putting His Children Back To Sleep.

What Happened? He Went From Focussing On The Burden To Focussing On The Blessing

Are You Trying To Hurry Through A Season, Focused On What You Don’t Like, Upset, Frustrated? There’s A Blessing In That Season. God Wouldn’t Have You There If Wasn’t Something Good. If You Would Change Your Perspective, Instead Of Focusing On The Burdens, Start Focusing On The Blessing, Then You’ll Enjoy Your Life, And Not Just Endure It.

Illustration: I Heard About This College Student, She Wrote Her Parents A Letter: “Dear Mom And Dad; There Was A Riot On Campus. From The Smoke I Inhaled, I Developed A Life-Threatening Lung Disease. At The Hospital, I Met A Parking Lot Attendant; We Fell In Love. Our Baby Is On The Way. After One Month, When He Gets Off Of Probation, I’m Going To Drop Out Of College; We’re Going To Move To Alaska And Get Married. Signed Your, Loving Daughter.” At The Bottom, There Was A Ps; It Said, “None Of This Is True, But I Did Fail Chemistry.” She Wanted To Make Sure Her Parents Had The Right Perspective.

Could It Be, The Things That Are Bothering You, Stealing Your Joy, In The Big Picture, It’s Not As Bad As You Think? You’ve Magnified It, Made It Bigger Than It Really Is?

You Need To Shift Your Focus From The Burdens To The Blessings,

  • From What You Don’t Have To What You Do Have,
  • From What’s Wrong In Your Life To What’s Right In Your Life.

Maybe You’re At A Challenging Time At Work;

  • Instead Of Complaining, Focusing On The Burden, The Right Attitude Is, “Lord, I’m Grateful To Have This Job. I Know People That Are Unemployed. Father, Thank You For Blessing Me With This Opportunity.”
  • Instead Of Complaining About Your Spouse, Focusing On What You Don’t Like; “Lord, Thank You For Blessing Me With My Spouse. They’re Not Perfect, They Have Some Flaws, But So Do I. I’m Grateful That I Have Somebody In My Life To Love.”

If You Stay Focused On The Burdens, On What You Don’t Like, Over Time, It’s Going To Sour Your Relationships. A Mature Person Knows How To Enjoy The Blessing While The Burden Is Still There.

Don’t Put Your Life On Hold Waiting For Everything To Be Perfect, Then You’re Going To Be Happy, Start Being Your Best; The Way To Pass The Test Is To Be Your Best Right Where You Are, In The Mist Of The Difficulty, When You’re Not Being Treated Right, When The Medical Report Wasn’t Good.

Life Is Flying By; We Have No Guarantee That We’re Going To Be Here Tomorrow. Make The Most Of This Day. There Will Always Be Something To Deal With, Worry About: People, Traffic, Opposition, Health Issues. If You Stay Focused On Your Burdens, You Won’t Enjoy Your Blessings.

In The Book Of Luke, An Angel Appeared To A Young Lady Named Mary. He Said:

Luke 1:27-32 (NIV) 27 …The Virgin’s Name Was Mary. 28 The Angel Went To Her And Said, “Greetings, You Who Are Highly Favored! The Lord Is With You.” … 31 You Will Conceive And Give Birth To A Son, And You Are To Call Him Jesus. 32 He Will Be Great And Will Be Called The Son Of The Most High. The Lord God Will Give Him The Throne Of His Father David

You Couldn’t Get Any More Favored; You’ve Just Been Told That You’re Going To Give Birth To The Savior Of The World. Mary Was Blessed, But With That Blessing Came A Burden, A Contradiction; She Was Favored, But Misunderstood, Controversial, Talked About. Everywhere She Went, People Whispered, “There’s That Young Lady; She Says She’s Having A Baby Without A Man, Yeah Right, We’ve Heard That Before.”

On One Hand, She Was Excited, Couldn’t Believe It Was Happening; On The Other Hand, Her Life Was Much More Complicated. She Had To Tell Her Fiancé What Happened. I Can Imagine She Said, “Joseph, Honey, When You Have A Moment, We Need To Talk.” He Says, “Fine, Let’s Talk Right Now.” She Says, “Well, I Don’t Really Know How To Tell You This, But Somebody Stopped By The House The Other Day, And Now I’m Pregnant. It’s Not What You Think; It’s All Good, I’m Faithful, But I’m Going To Have A Baby.” After She Picked Joseph Up Off The Floor, He Said, “I’ll Tell You What; We’ll Just Call Off The Wedding. I Won’t Tell Anybody, I Won’t Embarrass You, Let’s Just Go Our Separate Ways.”

Heres My Point: You Can Be Favored And Have Complicated Situations, Be Talked About, Frustrated. Don’t Let The Fact That You Have Difficulties, Opposition, Things You Don’t Understand, Make You Think That You Don’t Have God’s Blessing;

It’s Just The Opposite. The Fact That Those Things Are Coming Against You Is A Sign That You Are Favored, Blessed; That’s Why You Have Some Burdens, It’s A Part Of The Package.

Mary Could Have Stayed Focused On The Burden, Tried To Prove To People That She Was Faithful, Protect Her Reputation, Lived Stressed Out. She Didn’t Do That; She Accepted The Burden As A Part Of God’s Plan. She Knew, With This Big Burden Comes A Big Blessing.

Here’s The Whole Key: She Was Ok With It. She Didn’t Get Upset, Live Worried; She Stayed In Peace, Kept Doing The Right Thing, Running Her Race, And God Brought The Promise To Pass. Mary’s Life Would’ve Been A Lot Easier If The Angel Had Not Appeared To Her; She Wouldn’t Have Had To Deal With The Opposition, Ridicule, Stress. But, She Would’ve Never Reached The Fullness Of Her Destiny.

Sometimes, God Will Ask Us To Do Things That Are Difficult.  It’s Much Easier To  Stay In Our Comfort Zone, Play It Safe, But God Loves You Too Much To Let You Miss Your Destiny. He’s Saying Today, “You Are Highly Favored. I’m Going To Take You Further Than You Can Imagine, Open Doors That No Man Can Shut.”

You Can Handle The Blessing, That’s Easy; The Question Is, Can You Handle The Burden?

  • Will You Do Like Mary And Keep A Good Attitude, Knowing That That Difficulty Is A Part Of The Package?
  • Will You Keep Yourself Encouraged, And Not Be Frustrated By The Process?

What’s Interesting Is, Mary Never Asked To Have This Baby. She Never Prayed That She Would Be The One To Carry Jesus. She Was Not Looking For Fame, She Was Happy With Who She Was. She Was About To Get Married, Making Wedding Plans; It Was One Of The Most Exciting Times Of Her Life. Right In The Middle, She Was Interrupted; Now, She Has To Tell Friends And Family Members That She’s Pregnant Outside Of Wedlock.

It Went From Being A Very Celebratory, Exciting Time To Being A Very Stressful, Discouraging Time. But You Never Read Where Mary Complained. She Never Said, “God, Why Is This Happening To Me?” At One Point, It Almost Seemed Like The Burden Was Bigger Than The Blessing; She’s Having A Baby, But Nobody Knows Whose Child It Is. They Didn’t Hear The Angel; All They Know Is, This Young Girl Is Supposed To Be A Virgin, But Now She’s Pregnant, She’s About To Have A Child. That Said One Thing To Them; She’s Not Telling The Truth, She Hasn’t Been Faithful.

It Was A Heavy Burden To Carry Having Your Reputation Tarnished, Having To Make Excuses To Family And Friends. It Was Embarrassing, Humiliating.

It Would’ve Been Different If Mary Would Have Prayed, “God, Please Let Me Have This Baby,” But She Didn’t Do That. The Reason God Chose Mary Is Because He Knew He Could Trust Her, That She Would Carry That Burden With A Good Attitude, Without Complaining. As God Was Searching For Who It Would Be, When He Came To Mary, He Said, “There’s Somebody I Can Count On To Be Uncomfortable For A Season To Carry Out My Purpose, To Not Understand What I’m Doing, To Have Her Plans Interrupted, Have Her Life Not Make Sense Temporarily, So I Can Bring About The Messiah.”

We Talk A Lot About Us Trusting God And Believing That He’s In Control, That’s Important, But My Question Today Is; Can God Trust You? Can He Count On You To Be Uncomfortable For A Season, To Go Through Things You Don’t Understand, To Have It Take Longer Than You Thought, Yet You Still Have An Attitude Of Faith And A Smile On Your Face, You Still Come To Church, You’re Still Good To Other People?

Like Job, Your Attitude Should Be :

Job 13:15 (KJV) 15 Though He Slay Me, Yet Will I Trust In Him

The Burdens You Have To Carry, The Child That’s Difficult To Raise, The Trouble At Work; When God Laid Out The Plan For Mankind, He Passed Over This One And Another And Another, And When He Came To You, He Said Like With Mary, “I Can Trust Them. I Know What They’re Made Of; They’re Not Weak, Complainers, They Don’t Try To Figure Everything Out. I Can Count On Them To Bring About My Purpose.” When You Face Difficulties, The Burden Seems Heavy, You Didn’t Ask For It, Keep The Right Perspective; It’s Because God Can Trust You.

“Why Am I Having To Raise This Child That’s Hard? This Is Not What I Had Planned In Life.” Do You Know How Many People God Passed Over Before He Got To You? He Chose You Because You Can Handle It; You’re Strong, Tenacious, Filled With Can-Do Power. Other People Would’ve Given Up. Complainers Would’ve Gotten Bitter, But God Looked At You And Said, “I Can Count On Them.” Put Your Shoulders Back, Hold Your Head Up High; If It Was Easy, Anybody Would Do It. If You Were Ordinary, You Wouldn’t Have An Extraordinary Challenge. If You Were Average, You Wouldn’t Be Facing Goliath. The Reason The Burden Is So Big Is Because You Are Big, A Giant Killer, A History-Maker. You Were Destined To Leave Your Mark On This Generation. 

When You Face Tough Times, Things You Don’t Understand, The Pressure Seems Strong, Remember; That’s Not Random. God Chose You Because He Knows You Have What It Takes, You’re Not Average. He Passed Over People With Less Faith, Strength, Tenacity. He Chose You On Purpose. He Knew, When The Going Got Tough, You’d Get Going, When It Was All Said And Done, You’d Still Be Standing Strong, You Wouldn’t Let The Critics Talk You Out Of It, That You Would Have A Mary Spirit, That Said, “I May Not Understand It, It May Not Seem Fair, I May Be Uncomfortable, But Bring It On, Let It Happen; I Am Well Able. God, I Not Only Trust You, But You Can Trust Me.”

Our Attitude Should Be,

  • “God, You Can Trust Me To Stay Faithful When I Don’t Feel Like It, To Do The Right Thing When The Wrong Thing Is Happening.
  • You Can Trust Me Like Paul And Silas, To Sing Praises In A Midnight Hour.
  • You Can Trust Me Like Esther, To Not Compromise Even Though My Life Is On The Line.
  • You Can Trust Me Like David, To Face Goliath Without Fear.
  • You Can Trust Me Like Abraham And Sarah, To Believe Even When It Seems Impossible.”

I Know That Today, I’m Looking At People That Not Only Trust God, But Can I Tell You, God Can Trust You. He’s Hand-Picked You, Given You Grace For Every Season, Strength For Every Battle. Sometimes, When The Burden Seems Heavy, You Didn’t Ask For It, It Doesn’t Seem Fair, You Have To Keep Reminding Yourself; The Reason It’s You, And Not Somebody Else, Is Because God Can Count On You. You Have What It Takes. I’ve Learned, The Bigger The Burden, The Bigger The Blessing.

Like With Mary, People May Be Making Fun, Making Light, Don’t Worry, Your Time Is Coming; The Baby Is En Route, The Promise Is Headed Your Way.

When You Give Birth To That Promise, You’re Going To Forget All About The Burden;

  • The Blessing God Has Coming Your Way Will Far Overshadow Anything That You’ve Been Through.
  • The Blessing, Joy, Fulfillment That Comes From Staying Faithful, Enduring Hardships, Passing The Test, Is More Rewarding Than You Can Imagine.

You’ll Say Like Paul,

2 Corinthians 4:17 (NKJV) 17 For Our Light Affliction, Which Is But For A Moment, Is Working For Us A Far More Exceeding And Eternal Weight Of Glory

If Mary Were Here Today, She Would Tell You, “It Was A Heavy Burden To Carry The Messiah, But It Was Well Worth It.”

The Burdens You’re Having To Endure, One Day You’ll Look Back And Say, “I Wouldn’t Change A Thing. I Didn’t Like It, I Was Uncomfortable, But God Used It To Propel Me Into My Destiny. Yes, It Was A Heavy Burden, But It Brought Me Into A Heavy Blessing.”

Illustration: This Is What Happened With David. He Was Anointed To Be The Next King Of Israel, Chosen By The Prophet Samuel To Lead God’s People. He Went Out And Defeated Goliath, And Overnight Became A National Hero. He Was Highly Favored,

But With That Big Blessing Came His Share Of Burdens. King Saul Was Jealous Of Him; He Spent Months Chasing David Through The Desert, Trying To Kill Him. David Could’ve Said, “God, I Thought You Anointed Me To Be King. You Didn’t Tell Me With This Blessing Came This Burden, That Even Though I Was Doing The Right Thing, This Man That’s Supposed To Be My Friend Would Make It His Life Mission To Try To Keep Me Off The Throne.”

That Was All A Part Of God’s Plan; God Hand-Picked David Because He Knew He Could Trust Him. Other People Would’ve Gotten Bitter, Discouraged, Tried To Take Revenge; Not David. He Wasn’t A Complainer. He Knew He Had Grace For Every Season. He Kept Doing The Right Thing, And At The Right Time, God Took Care Of Saul, And David Took The Throne.

It’s Easy To Handle The Blessing; We Love Giving Birth To The Dream, Taking The Throne, But God Is Looking For People Who Can Not Only Handle The Blessing, But Who Can Handle The Burden. People Who Won’t Give Up Because They Had A Bad Break, Came Down With An Illness, The Business Didn’t Make It; You Wouldn’t Have That Opposition If You Weren’t Highly Favored. That Saul Wouldn’t Be Trying To Stop You If You Didn’t Have Royalty In Your Blood. The Enemy Wouldn’t Be Working Overtime If You Weren’t About To Take The Throne.

Don’t Get Discouraged By The Burden. Keep Doing The Right Thing; The Blessing, Baby, Health, Promise Is Coming, Victory Is On The Way. I Know God Can Trust You With The Blessing; Make Sure He Can Trust You With The Burden. Paul Said This:

1 Corinthians 16:9 (AMPC) 9 For A Wide Door Of Opportunity For Effectual [Service] Has Opened To Me [There, A Great And Promising One], And [There Are] Many Adversaries.

With Every Wide Door, There Will Be Plenty Of Opposition. Instead Of Being Discouraged By It, You Can Be Encouraged, Knowing That That’s A Sign That New Doors Are Opening, Breakthroughs Are Headed Your Way, Favor Is In Your Future.

Our Attitude Should Be,

  • “I Am In It To Win It.
  • I Am Not Going To Get Discouraged Because It’s Taking Longer Than I Thought. I’m Not To Give Up Because People Have Come Against Me.
  • I’m Not Going To Live Frustrated Because I’m Disappointed, Lonely, I’ve Had Some Tough Times. No, I Know I’ve Been Armed With Strength For This Battle, I Know That The Forces That Are For Me Are Greater Than The Forces That Are Against Me.

Like Mary, You May Be Carrying A Burden That You Didn’t Ask For; Remember, It’s Because God Can Trust You.

Keep The Right Perspective; You Are Highly Favored. Your Time Is Coming.

The Burden You’re Having To Endure Is Going To Pale In Comparison To The Blessing God Is About To Release.

I Believe And Declare That You’re Going To Give Birth To Promises That Are Going To Take You Further Than You Have Imagined. God Is Going To Propel You Where You Could Not Go On Your Own. Like David, You’re Going Outlast The Opposition, Take Your Throne, And Become Everything God’s Created You To Be In Jesus Name. Amen

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