“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 8:35-39
The mindset of the whole world is fixed firmly upon the pessimistic, dressed up as the realistic. You’ll find that people will always speak about a problematic situation as being improbable, unworkable, or unfixable. They’ll cite the odds against something occurring as planned as evidence that it shouldn’t be attempted at all. This is a world that set up the ‘glass half empty’ expression as the litmus test for a person’s worldview. You know the one: if you see the glass as half empty, then you’re a pessimist, if you see it as half full, then you’re an optimist. Presumably if you claim you ordered a cheeseburger then you’re a surrealist, and if you try to find out who’s stolen half of your drink then you’ve been watching too much CSI…at any rate, no one stops to consider that, whichever way you look at it, there’s room for more in that glass. Why not just fill it up again? It’s the hallmark of a truly hopeless culture that the ability to see the glass as half full is considered proof of pie-in-the-sky optimism.
The mind of Christ doesn’t allow for naysaying or cynicism. The planning for any venture must involve a proper consideration of the nature of God, because to know God is to glimpse a tiny fraction of His majesty, and His overwhelming presence. To know God is also to appreciate the extent of His love for us. We are His beloved. Once we factor in both the favor that we can expect from the Father and the awesome power of the one with the ONE, then we cannot help but believe in His ability and desire to help us succeed. It’s our privilege to trust Him totally, and total trust requires total commitment to the cause.
One thing that the world always gets wrong about our faith is assuming that it comes from an irrational place. God is the least irrational person there is – and it’s perfectly rational and sensible to review the likelihood of success before starting something new. However, we do so in order to calculate the shortfall that God will be making up, because instead of looking at the odds against something, God will always look at the odds for something. A 10% chance of success is cause for celebration, because “the things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27)—and Jesus said that shortly after telling his disciples that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Those he spoke to were dismayed at what appeared to be awful, awful odds laid out before them… which forced Him to remind them that His Father could, and can, and does do anything His heart desires.
We trust that, as we continue in our walk with God, the odds for become greater. What needs to happen to bring an idea or a vision for something to fruition? What is the proper time frame for success? What are the priorities we need to address? Addressing the answers to these questions is vital planning, and will factor into how we should come before God in prayer. The intentions of the Kingdom of Heaven are our resources here.
The fact is that passion counts the cost in an entirely different way, and there is too much passion in the Holy Spirit to allow us to be trapped by negativity and self-deprecation. Dreams are not fulfilled by the sensible amongst us, and God loves the impossible—the truly passionate are actually energized by being told that the thing they want cannot be done, and there simply isn’t anyone as truly passionate as the Father. Passion and lateral, creative, positive thinking are literally a match made in Heaven. Like water, passion works its way around barriers and obstacles, seeping into the spaces between objects, always finding a way through. And, like water, when there is no way through passion simply builds up pressure behind obstacles until it blows them apart.
Above all then, passion is resourceful, and God is the greatest resource that the truly passionate can tap into. He never lies, and He can only do what is right: moreover, He loves us unconditionally, and performs multiple impossible tasks before breakfast just because He can. When you’re truly passionate about a project, and you have that kind of resource to rely upon, your confidence should be through the roof! It shouldn’t matter in the slightest what the odds are against your success, because this is the material you have to work with. This confidence, built upon love, trust, passion and faith, should be our ‘stance’ in every circumstance.
Some say it’s wise to know your limits. But wisdom is defined as correctly applied knowledge: and when your knowledge involves the presence of God, then there are no limitations to what can be accomplished. If Jesus had listened to His friends at Bethsaida, then at He would have turned away the multitudes that He was ministering to so that they could find their own dinner, because there was barely enough to go around the disciples. Instead He fed all five thousand of them anyway, and using the same amount of food.
Passion led by the faith of your renewed mind should always choose our direction, and when we are met by an obstacle, we need to simply allow it to serve to increase the size of the dream we’re chasing. If everything is God’s—and it is!—then so are these obstacles. They’re not stumbling blocks, they’re stepping stones, and a cause for thanksgiving!