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March 2016

There is much debate at the moment over where the price of oil should be. Some analysts are convinced it will rocket to $50 or more shortly, while just as many are sure that it will drop back to $25 any time now. Let’s not lose focus on the one underlying issue: Not that long ago oil was trading for over $100 per barrel. Roughly speaking for every dollar the price of oil drops equates to roughly $1 Billion extra that consumers have to spend. So whether oil is at $25, or at $50 there is significant savings for the average American whenever they stop to fill up.

This savings is slowly being translated into higher savings rates, accerlarated debt reduction and more cash available to enjoy. While the lower price has resulted in less employment in the oil industry, ultimately the greater benefit is to the general economy. At either price, the American public wins.

“Strength is measured in commitment and faithfulness.” J. Randall Gladden

Society would have us believe that strength is purely physical. We are presented with images of muscular toned individuals. Even I am impressed with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Real strength in reality is quite different.

Real strength is the ability to face life’s challenges head on. Amazing strength is the ability to encourage those around you while facing the challenges.

So how do you get this kind of strength? You can’t exercise or take a supplement. Will power will only carry you so far. So what is the ultimate source?

In preparation for entering the promised land, God instructed Joshua over and over “Be strong and of good courage”. They were about to enter a season of challenges and battles to receive the blessing that God had prepared for them. It wasn’t handed to them. They had to fight to get it.

The biggest battle wasn’t with the inhabitants. It was against their own fears. God had a plan. God had their back. When they went to Him, He showed them how to succeed.

God allows us to face challenges for a number of reasons. In the process we are transformed. He is glorified. Lives are changed. Paradigms are destroyed.

Our battle is not against the challenges we face. It is with our own fears, concerns and emotions. Strength is realizing that the Lord God of the universe has your back.

I have a quote one of my staff gave me years ago that I keep in my office. “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations”.

Life presents us with a series of great opportunities to trust God and achieve amazing things. Our only requirement…remind ourselves that the Lord God has a plan.

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