Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to
explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly
Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This
morning we seek to understand the meaning of the startling spiritual surprise.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Startling Spiritual Surprise
"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which
God has prepared for them that love him." First Corinthians, Chapter 2, Verse 9.
Brothers and sisters, today we consider learning how to make spiritual use of all of those things that
cause us so much distress. We shall learn how "to feast upon uncertainty, to fatten upon
disappointment, to enthuse over apparent defeat, to invigorate in the presence of difficulties, and to
exhibit indomitable courage in the face to immensity, and to exercise unconquerable faith when
confronted with the challenge of the inexplicable." We hope that these truths will be applied to our
lives to the fullest extent possible, after all Jesus said, "in this world you shall have tribulation, but
be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world," and with His Spirit of Truth, we can overcome the
Ordinarily in the mortal life, uncertainty fills our minds and souls with anxiety, at best uneasiness
and at worst down right panic. Yet we are continually confronted with uncertainty at all times in our
lives. While we may hope for certainty in our mortal lives, all we get is uncertainty. We can never
be sure what the next moment will bring. Will it be pleasant or will it unpleasant? We leave home
with the expectation that we shall return, but by no means is this guaranteed. Such thoughts create
more than a little uneasiness.
And yet most of us thrive in this sort of environment admittedly with some emotional casualties.
Something that is so constant must have a purpose. We know that living in this kind of environment
has a profound effect upon our minds and souls. What is this effect and purpose? In this case the
effect and purpose are the same even though one is cause and the other is effect. Here we view the
eternal perspective where effect and purpose are the same. The effect is an exquisitely faith-charged,
trusting, and hope-filled soul; and the purpose is to produce this very effect. It seems almost too
simplistic, but faith, trust and hope can only be produced by uncertainty. The constant bombardment
of our souls with bombs of uncertainty causes our souls to cry out for help, and the loving Father
responds with faith, trust and hope.
With these sorts of results, it is possible to learn to feast upon uncertainty even in the mortal life. It
is like in a similar manner when we look forward to an enjoyable event, and reflect that feeling back
into the present moment while we wait for it to unfold, except this uncertainty that we are referring
to is much larger in scope. If we truly value faith, trust, and hope, then we can look past the moment
of uncertainty and look toward the values of faith, trust and hope that are being generated and allow
this foresight to comfort us, even encourage us. As Jesus says, pain may endure for the night of the
present, but joy comes in the morning of the future.
Now let us consider disappointment. Disappointment is an emotional feeling, a let-down. It signifies
the realization of the failure to get what was expected. In other words, something happened that was
not expected or wanted. It is simply the human response to the failure to achieve the meaning sought.
We are all familiar with disappointment. It is pervasive, and we experience it every day in some
small or great way. Most of the time we shrug it off, and it is soon forgotten as we confront other
issues in our life. But disappointment has another and higher purpose other than to make us
miserable. Often times we lack the insight to realize that the disappointment is for our own good.
In our everyday experiences as time has passed, we become thankful that we were disappointed over
something that meant so much to us in the past, but now we realize how blessed we were to have
escaped from the evil that time has brought to fruition. Gradually the emotional response moves from
negative, to neutral, and finally to positive. Often times, our level of emotional maturity lacks the
acumen to discriminate between what feels good to us and what is good for us. What's good to us
is not always good for us. And it requires time to see this truth.
But how do we learn to fatten over disappointment? As we continue to suffer, as the soul continues
to be assaulted with the arrows of disappointment, it again cries out to the Father for help. The Father
responds with the revelations of truth, stating that nothing of spiritual value is ever lost, and as this
truth is grasped, disappointment turns into a feeling of satisfaction, even joy. And we can readily
began to see that as time progresses and this mounting sense of satisfaction and joy accumulates in
our souls, we come to appreciate the great spiritual law that all things work together for good for
those who do the Father's will. When we realize the nature of disappointment subject to the Father's
will, we indeed began to thrive on it, as it were to "fatten upon disappointment."
Next let us consider the spectacle of defeat. Defeat affects our temporal status. Whereas
disappointment is an emotional reaction, defeat is an actual temporary state. It is literally the failure
to achieve a task that had value and meaning for us that we were desirous of achieving. We are
familiar with defeat in some small or great way, as the emotional state of disappointment is always
tied to it. Defeat in its purely temporal sense involves issues of self esteem, and we feel somehow
that we have lost status when we fail to achieve our objective. But in the spiritual sense and eternal
sense, defeat does not carry such negative connotation.
We are experiencing beings in every sense of the word. The fact that we are means that we have to
gradually discover everything. A growth process is involved. There are delays of time and handicaps
of space. Some failures are due to insufficient growth, due to insufficient knowledge and wisdom.
Defeat is destined to bring about a real change within ourselves. It almost invariably causes a change
in attitude or a course adjustment. If we had the proper insight we would see that if we are intent
upon pursuing a wrong course and don't realize it, only failure can correct our course. Failure then
becomes the correction needed. If we are really desirous of achieving our goal, really want to make
progress, really want to become perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect, then our only reaction
to defeat, in reality a course adjustment, can only be enthusiasm. The experience of knowing that we
are on the wrong course allows us to wholeheartedly modify our attitudes and our decisions. We can
than begin to see that defeat is an act of mercy when subject to the Father's will.
Now let us consider we invigorate in the presence of difficulty. Our natural reaction is to shrink from
difficulty. Difficulty means effort, struggle; persistence, conflict and finally mastery. Again we are
experiencing beings and are unfinished products. We grow by the decisions that we make. And these
decisions require the wholehearted support of the whole self in order to be effective. Difficulty is the
quality that insures that we are sincere, that we have given our best effort, that we have persisted.
Without these difficult stimuli, no growth can take place. So again if we are serious about growth
and development, and once we realize that the only way to achieve that growth and development is
by wrestling with difficult challenges, then our only emotional reaction has to be one of invigoration.
Having addressed difficulty, let us consider the courage in the face the face of immensity. In our
lives, we are confronted with challenges that appear enormous, and we strain at the thought of
attacking them. We can think of one hundred and one things that challenge us without the apparent
power to defeat them. But we can exhibit indomitable courage in the face of immensity. If this is so,
how can we learn to exhibit this unyielding courage? Well first of all, we start any journey with a
single step. We don't have to confront the whole problem at once. We break it down into its
component parts and attack each part at a time. The courage to do this becomes more understandable
when problems are viewed in that light. We know that if some task is essential to our growth and
development, then there exists no barrier that can withstand our continued assault upon it. Eventually
it will give way.
Courage is simply the attitude that understand this eventuality, and refuses to allow emotional
attitudes to the contrary to prevent its assault upon the Father's eternal command: to be perfect even
as I am perfect. Nothing can prevent our souls that are wholeheartedly dedicated to doing the Father's
will from achieving the goals set for it by the heavenly Father.
Finally we consider the exercise of unconquerable faith when confronted with the challenge of the
inexplicable. Now this last attitude is the heart of the matter. As we grow and develop, we will
always be confronted in some way with the inexplicable. There simply is no way that we can explain
something that we have no experience with. Faith, then, becomes the technique that stands for
unrevealed potentials that are wrapped up in our souls that can comprehend the inexplicable if we
only wholeheartedly believe. This faith in the final analysis is our guarantee that we will overcome
all obstacles and barriers that stand in the way of our becoming perfect even as the Heavenly Father
is perfect. Faith will impart that peace that passes all understanding, as we ponder the inexplicable.
It will soothe our anxious feelings and will eventually unravel those potentials that are essential to
comprehending the inexplicable.
In summary, all these spiritual attitudes are possible of obtaining while we live in the flesh because
Jesus, the son of man and the Son of God, expressed them in his mortal life. And all this power that
he used to master the mortal life are wrapped up in his Spirit of Truth, which he has given to each
of us. It is there for our use, it multiplies our power. All we have to do is ask for its power when we
are confronted with the uncertainties, disappointments, the defeats, the difficulties, the immensities,
and the inexplicabilities of life. "In liaison with God, nothing--absolutely nothing--is impossible."
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the startling spiritual surprise. We
hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.