#156 (21/11/04)
Crafting Your Future: Part lll

The Message

By: Robert H.Schuller

Special Guest

Marilyn McCOO & Billy Davis,JR
Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. are the winners of seven Grammy’s Music Awards.They came here to share with us about the new book with interesting title, “Up, up and Away.”.And the subtitle is “How we found love, faith, and lasting marriage in the entertainment world.”

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful... "
" Now Thank We All Our God "
" O For a Faith That Will Not Shrink "

" DUTCH MEN’S CHOIR - "My Lord is My Shepherd "
" DUTCH MEN’S CHOIR - "Don’t Build Your House"
" DUTCH MEN’S CHOIR - "Hymnus"

PAM THUM - "You’re Everywhere"

Acticle of The Message

Our messages these weeks are focused on the future because we are setting the stage for January 2005, when I will be launching my latest, newest and best book ever written called, Don't Throw Away Tomorrow. My son, Robert, had three great sermons the past three weeks on Crafting Your Future. And today, my message is picking up that mood. My title is, Face Your Future With Hope, and my Bible text is from Psalm 32:8, God is speaking,

"I will instruct you in the way you will go. I will counsel you with my eye upon you."

Yes, fifty years ago in this month of October, my only son was born. And it is also fifty years ago this month, that I got a call from Norman Vincent Peale saying, "We want a church on the West Coast. We think you can start it and, we will give you $500." That is the greatest thing that happened. So this coming January 2005, we will launch the fiftieth anniversary year of the beginning of this ministry, which began with two people and $500. But we couldn't lose!  This ministry could only have a fabulous future because we had a message that the world needed fifty years ago and the world needs it today more than ever.

People ask what will the next fifty years be like. I tell you, they will be sensational.  This church service today is being aired this very morning in the Russian language, the Arabic language, the Chinese language, and, yes, the English language.

Now what is the message that we bring to our country, to the world? With God's guidance, you can face your future with Hope.

It is summed up in this Bible verse, "I will instruct you in the way you will go. I will counsel you with my eye upon you." (Psalm 32:8)

That's good news because you see, without God's guidance, we become stoics. Stoicism is, "I'm worried about what is going to happen, but I'll see it through." Stoicism is very non-positive, non-creative, non-enthusiastic, non-energy and non-goal setting.

Without God's guidance, there is fatalism. That is the only way to live life and face the future if you have no Divine guidance. The world without the God that we know in the Bible the world without the kind of a God that we see in the life of Jesus the world without positive thinking is a world that goes into denial, escapism, sensuality or pure secularism without any spirituality. Then you face the future with fear and that is where many people are today who listen to us in the many different countries and languages.

When secularism is the basic philosophy of your life, you are headed for confusion, that's for sure. To whom do you listen? In whom do you believe? What values do these people throw away? Confusion of priorities, the confusion of goals, all add up to a lack of definitive direction.

Fifty years ago, I began this ministry with a direction and a destiny, so there was no confusion. As a child, we sang a hymn in the country church in Iowa,

"Precious promise God has
given to the weary passerby.
All the way from earth to heaven
I will guide you with my eye." *

You see, life really comes down to a choice. Either you choose to be guided and led by a wisdom that is more than you are, or you choose a life where you guide yourself, make your own decisions without consulting others, without changing your mind, because your ego can't handle that.

People who never change their minds are either perfect or stubborn. Are you confused? Then you know that confusion brings conflict, and conflict consumes creative energy and wastes it. Yes, you need guidance to choose what way to go, what values to live by

I was in high school when I had to memorize these words from Shakespeare in English literature.

"You shall seek all day ere
you find it, and when
you have found it, it is
not worth the search.

Without guidance from God, what are your values?

In my new book, "Don't Throw Away Tomorrow," I use new material, except a few of my favorite stories that have influenced me so much in my life. One story, which I told thirty years ago, is about the little boy who was so good and did extra things for his mom. She decided to reward him and she gave him a quarter (which then was a lot of money). She told him that he could go to the store and buy anything he wanted. So he went to the little toy store and he looked at balloons. Oh, he liked balloons, but he looked at a coloring book. No, maybe a toy car no finally, he saw the bright colored whistles. Yes, he would buy a whistle. He loved whistles. That's just what he wanted. Excitedly, he gave his twenty-five cents to the clerk, left the store and blew his whistle. Oh, he was having fun. He blew it all the way home, but before he got to his house, already bored with his whistle, he stopped blowing it. With a tear in his eye, he threw the whistle away as he said, "I didn't want a whistle after all!" Is that where you are today?

I've lived a wonderful life with God's guidance and direction. I have never looked back at the decision I made for Jesus Christ in my calling to be a pastor. I have never had to say, "Why did I buy that whistle?" When God guides, He satisfies. My wife, my son, my children, all recognize God's guidance in their lives. So today, I sound a solid trumpet call to the world that you can have a direction in life, but you need Divine guidance and God is there to guide you.

In a world so confusing in its culture and lifestyles, it is so easy to get lost. My daughter, Carol, her husband, Tim, and their family were traveling here this summer and they were just entering the Mojave Desert when they got lost. But it started so innocently. They were traveling on the major highway and they stopped at a rest stop. They probably should have filled up on gas, but decided they had enough to get to their next scheduled stop. But an old duffer in charge of the rest place said, "Where are you going?" They mentioned where.

"Are you taking the main road?"


"Well, you will miss really seeing the desert. Everybody takes the main road. You should take the side roads, then you'll really see the beauty that is here. It's gorgeous. Be a little adventurous!" He said, "I've lived here all my life. I wish more people would take the side roads." Then, pointing his finger, he said, "Just take that road."

So Carol and Tim did, without a map! Yes, the desert was beautiful. It was fun. Then they came to a fork in the road. They didn't know which one to take, but one road looked like it had a little heavier car track; it wasn't big, but it looked safer, so they took it. Some time later, there was another fork and then they realized they were really lost. They looked at the gas tank. You don't want to run out of gas in the desert. That's a universal principle. They began to be very concerned, yes, scared. And the children all added to the rising tension in the car. Not one guidepost, not one marker! In each direction there were miles and miles of desert. It looked all the same. It was time to say a prayer, "God, You lead." Then they chose a turn and it was the right turn and they found the main highway.

Is that where you are today? Are you lost in a desert? How do you get out of it? Read the Bible verse of the morning. Turn to God. He says, "I will instruct you in the way you will go." You need that. I need it.

It is that simple. God has designed us as faith creatures. He has designed us to believe. So I trust God. I believe in Him. At today's age, I believe in God more strongly than I ever have in my earthly life.

How does God guide?

(1) In the Bible, God guided His people through angels. I have never had an experience with an angel. I have people who have been angels to me, but I've never seen an angel. I'm not going to deny angels exist just because I didn't see them. That would be quite non-humble. The Bible says God guides people through angels, then also, (2) through prophets. People who have a vision and they begin to tell you what you can do, what you can be, where you can go, how you can do it. You may think that person is only a nice encouraging person, but he might be a prophet.

God guides

(1) Through angels

(2) Through prophets then

(3) God guides through dreams. A dream that becomes a passion you would die for. Your dream is the reason for living. It is your purpose for being alive on planet earth. That is how God has especially guided me. It has been one dream after another.

Then God guides through (4) a sense of duty. This is my testimony. I've always done what I've done because I had to do it and I knew in my heart it had to be done and it had to be done this way and in this time. When there is a sense of duty, then it is God guiding you. Wow.

(5) Finally, God guides through circumstances that happen, unplanned, unpremeditated. People call that an accident, but it changes your whole life.

I have interviewed many people these past thirty-five years on the Hour of Power. Hundreds and hundreds of them went through accidents. Everybody would say they had bad luck, but for them it turned out to be good luck. Almost everyone, without exception, said that they wouldn't have wanted to miss their so-called hardship for anything. I wrote a line this morning, "We are guided by the set-ups in life." We get set up for this and set up for that. But here's the line. God sets up the set ups in our life! That is how God guides. God guides through circumstances.

The wonderful thing about our faith is that God guides us. He doesn't coerce us. He lets us reject His guidance if we want to. Yes. If God forced us to follow His guidance, then we would be puppets or fearful believers, not enthusiastic followers. God says, "I will guide you" not, "I will force you." "I will guide you not, "I will manipulate you." Yes, "All the way from earth to heaven, I will guide you with my eye." (Psalm 32:8)

I ask you today to have faith in God. It is a choice. It is a decision, not a debate. Choose what kind of a person you want to become. When your life ends, will you face your future with fear? I invite you today to face your future with hope!

A very dear friend, Ruben Amerkhanian, died yesterday. Ruben joined this church over thirty years ago. The day before yesterday a telephone call came that he was dying from cancer. Arvella and I went to be at his bedside at our last time with him. Twenty-four hours later he was gone. I said to Ruben, "Ruben are you ready to go?" He nodded his head, "Yes!" He couldnt talk. He gripped my hand so hard. If he could have spoken, I know what he would have said. He would have said, "I'm marvelous." The family members were all present and one of his daughters shared a story, "About twelve years ago when you met Ruben at church and you asked him, 'How are you doing, Ruben?' He said, 'Okay.'" And you said, "Okay? That's not good enough. You have a wife and children and faith. You should say something better than 'okay.'" Ruben asked, "Well what should I say?" You said, "I think you'll be led by God." He looked at you and said, "Well, I'm marvelous!" You responded, "Now that is good. That gives me energy, too."

Ever since that day, his kids told me when anybody asks him, "How are you, Ruben?" His answer is, "I'm marvelous!" Even when he was undergoing his chemo treatments he would whisper, "I'm marvelous." It never failed, all his life, even at the end. "I'm marvelous!"

"I will instruct you in the way you will go. I will counsel you with my eye upon you." (Psalm 32:8)

Precious promise God has
given to the weary passerby,
"All the way from earth to heaven,
I will guide you with My eye
." *

I pray now for all people who are tuning in who have never been Christians. You need Jesus Christ. All you have to do is make a decision. Make this decision, "I am going to become a believer, not a prover, but a believer I'm going to believe all the way from earth to heaven. And God, I know You will guide me. Thank you, Lord. Amen"

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