Reverend Dr. William H. Curtis

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Faith Gets You Through

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

Faith in God is not a flight from reality. Exercising your faith is not a way of numbing yourself from human lived experience. Instead, faith is refusing to allow seasonal truths to make you forget eternal promises. With faith, the hardship and the struggle and the difficulty of your current circumstances can never make you forget God’s character, His goodness, His power, and His plans for your life.

Glory is the finish line you pass over after having endured the suffering of the present time. Knowing this, you can’t live just wishing and wanting for God to take the pain away. Your faith brings more to the table than that. It brings a conviction that eternal promises pull you forward when pressure is wearing you out. Your faith means when your heart is about to faint, you remember the goodness of God and it energizes you to keep on pushing. The promise gets you up when the pain keeps pushing you down. The promise keeps the forward motion when the frustration makes you want to stop.

Again, your faith is not an invitation to take flight from reality. It is a gift graced to you to filter reality through a heavenly lens. You’re not ignoring anything about your current difficulty when you exercise faith; you’re just choosing to believe God through it all. You’re not denying the struggle; you’re just pulling on the grace. You’re not ignoring the facts; you’re just living on the promises.

Faith is not some esoteric utopian hope. The reason I can say I know that troubles don’t last always is because there’s nothing in my lived experienced stronger than the resurrection of Christ. And if He could get up from the grave, if He can defeat death, and rob the grave of its victory, then there’s nothing in my life that He can’t transform and turn around. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

The only thing that brings about this kind of certainty and authority is the faith that comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Release Your Grip on the Old

"Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ."

Philippians 3:7 (NIV)

Never forget when facing an ocean of trouble that you are passing through.

I know when you consider the word ocean, you understand the largeness and the intimidation of what you’re facing. But do you also understand the surety and the confidence of how you’re going to face it? You’re passing through.

It’s an ocean of affliction—expansive and arrogant, intimidating and daunting, potentially perilous and admittedly scary. But here’s how you’re going to face it. Here’s how you’re going to endure it. This is what you do while you’re waiting on change to settle in. You keep reminding yourself that you are passing through this season.

Now, what this calls for is your continual push. You pace yourself forward. You endure. You preach to yourself, “It’s just one more day, and if all I can give God this day is one thing, I can give him the offering of my push.”

Don’t project tomorrow’s pressures and responsibilities. Focus on being a good steward of the push you have today, because the promise over your life is this: while you may be facing an ocean, you’re just passing through.

If God is promising me that I’m passing through, then I’ve got to meet His promise with my necessary push. I may not have much to give, but I’m going to keep on pushing. I may even do it with an attitude, but I’m going to keep on pushing. I may be feeding my own mentality and emotions with doubts and cynicism, but that’s all right, because God has put the promise on my life that despite the ocean in front of me, I’m going through it. If I can keep that truth central in my thinking, then no matter what emotions, no matter what attitude, no matter what disposition, no matter what doubt, no matter what fear I may have, I’m at least going to give God my necessary push.

A woman once rushed up to the famed violinist Fritz Kreisler after a concert and said to him, “I’d give my whole life to play as beautifully as you do.” Kreisler replied to her, “Well, I did.” In the same way, your whole life should be a continual push forward. It is not about intermittent bursts of faith and isolated events of deliverance. It is a continuum where we are offering our life, our faith, our patience, and our sacrifice as we wait for changes to unfold.

No matter what stands in front of you today, give God your determination to push through it.

Release Your Grip on the Old

"Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ."

Philippians 3:7 (NIV)


When Paul said, “Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ,” what was he talking about? Among other things, he was referring to his cultural status, his learning and exposures, his possessions and materials. Christ gave Paul the capacity to think of all of that as nothing when compared to what Jesus has done to define and bring meaning to his life.

Spiritually speaking, you don’t wear anything—except your salvation—that can’t be taken off if necessary. No certain mindset, no human attachment, no regimented discipline, no painful experience, no mistake or regret, no choice or action, no way of doing things. You don’t wear anything that can’t be disrobed for what God has for you next.

So stop wearing certain things like they alone define you. Jesus was as much Savior with a towel around His waist, on His hands and knees, washing the disciples’ feet, as He was with an outer robe draped across His shoulders while seated at the table teaching the unsearchable riches about the kingdom of God. He was as much God without His outer garment as when He wore it healing sicknesses and performing miracles.

Likewise, you don’t lose your identity because God makes you take off something that prevents the gift He wants to give you next. You are not the things you put on. You are the person Jesus leads through the shedding of unnecessary layers in the acceptance of others and the guided transitions that He manages in your life.

Acceptance of the next phase in life requires some degree of shedding what is behind. When it is time to mature, some things can’t be negotiated for coexistence. They have to be cast away when it’s time to grow, transition, make progression, or accept elevation. Sometimes you have to lay down what you used to consider gain, and count it as a loss for the sake Christ, in order to progress to what God has in store for you.

So don’t be afraid or intimidated to release your grip on what you think defines you. Allow God to strip it away and leave only what matters.

Wait for the Lord

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

Psalm 27:14 (NIV)


There is a discipline in knowing how to steward that strange ambiguous time between when a promise is made and when it is fulfilled.

The promise of positive change is great. The evidence of coming change is exciting. But the completion of change is sometimes slow in its pace.

Waiting for change fatigues us as we continue to have challenges and opposition and difficult experiences in the waiting time. The struggle to stay faithful to God while waiting on change to affect transformation can be tough. When God has answered my prayer, but the rollout is taking a while, what do I do?

The invitation is to find the strength to stay faithful while change is settling in.

In these times of waiting for change, what have you been praying for? What attempts have you been offering towards bettering your life? What disciplines have you employed? What steps have you put in place? What realities have you faced? What emotions have you taken control of?

These suggestive questions are designed to grab all of us around this thought: God has expectations of us while we wait for change to settle in.

When there’s not yet a noticeable difference in circumstances, when change is unfolding slowly, when there are still fatiguing battles to fight, you and I have to stay true to our belief in God’s presence. We’ve got to stay anchored in our conviction about His power. We need to stay certain about His divine purposes.

We’ve got to be defiant and say, “I’ll never give up my spiritual conviction because I know God knows what He’s doing. I know He’s working all things for my good. He’s never going to abandon me. He promised never to leave me. He’s always going to be with me, wherever I am. His plans are eternal, His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in my weakness. He will always supply my needs. He’ll prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. He will consistently anoint my head with oil. He’ll make my cup run over. He will fulfill all of these promises and more because He is faithful.”

And until change settles in, you and I must stay faithful as well.

Wait—expectantly, hopefully, and confidently—for the Lord.

God Knows What You’re Capable Of

"And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability."

Matthew 25:15 (NKJV)


The servants in the parable of the talents were given money to steward based on the level of their ability—not their entitlement, not their enthusiasm, but their ability.

The invitation, then, is not just to live excited about God releasing talents and resources into your life. It is so much bigger than that. The invitation is to raise the level of your stewardship to the level of God’s confidence in your ability.

The owner had an acute ability to know the capacity of his servants and then to give talents to stretch and challenge that capacity.

God’s belief in your ability creates an invitation: whatever you think is your ceiling, take God’s graces and attempt to raise it. Whatever you think is your human limitation, take the opportunities that God places in your life and push the border of that limitation. You are capable of doing more than you could have ever conceived.

The life God has given you is not to be stewarded based on finding your place of comfort. Your life ought to develop a path and a purpose and an agenda and aspirations based on God’s belief in your ability, not your own. God believes in you more than you believe in yourself.

Can you bring your stewardship to the level of God’s belief in your ability?

You can’t go by calculated risk and comfortable losses. You have to be guided by spiritual conviction and faith. You have to live with confidence in God’s belief in your capacity. It doesn’t matter what you think you can do. You’ve got to try what He thinks you can do, because He knows what you are capable of.

You can’t be afraid of failing. You can’t be afraid of outgrowing previous plateaus, partnerships, or platforms. You can’t be afraid of trying what you don’t know. You have to give God a better offering than that. Push your stewardship up to the level of God’s belief in your capacity.