New Year!! "This is the day that God has made, let us rejoice
and be glad in it."
was in 1955 when Mrs. Schuller and I came to California
with an impossible dream. It was a fantastic dream, to give
our entire life to building one church, only one, for the
glory of God and for the greater glory of His kingdom all
over the world.
I went to bed the other night, I prayed and I received ideas
in my mind and I awakened in the wee hours of the morning
and said to Arvella, "Don't bother me, just give me
paper and a pen. I've got to write." So I went to my
library with a yellow pad and pen and this is what came
out. I feel that it is from God so I am sharing it in the
same way this message came to me, without reworking or polishing
it in any way...
Life is one long lucky road.
get real as I share with you this message. I've been there
and let me tell you, life is
one long lucky road. Lucky? Yes. I'm talking
to those of you who call yourself a secularist. Life is
one long road, up or down, good luck or bad luck, but to
the believer life is all "good luck." Christians
use the word "blessed."
"All things work together for good to
those who love God and keep His commandments." (Romans 8:28)
you who say you've never experienced God, or, you believe
God is up there someplace and, yes, you believe in Him,
but you really haven't had Him in your life. You are so
wrong! Everybody listening to me has experienced God in
what you can all call "good luck." That is not
a fantasy that is a reality.
fifty years I preached possibility thinking and I still
do. You have to make the good things in life happen. You
have to be responsive and responsible. You have to have
courage, faith and determination. I've lived possibility
thinking. It works. I'll preach it the rest of my life.
But let me put a little frosting on the cake. In the final
analysis it comes down to luck. After all you've done, all
you've paid for, you have to admit life
is one long lucky road. And if you've never experienced something lucky in
your life, then you can be an atheist. People say, "He's
a lucky guy." Yes, but I would call him "blessed."
But let's just look at the reality of luck in life.
is my testimony. God is real. Let me show you how God blesses
you on life・s lucky road. How does good luck happen?
(1) God blesses us without consulting us first
God blesses us without consulting us first.
We get an idea. We didn・t ask for it. We get a
dream. We didn't plan it. Boy what a lucky idea I had. God
blesses us without consulting us first.
(2) God blesses us without our approval
God blesses us without our approval because He knows
we wouldn・t agree. We would see the price or the peril
or the pain or the problems and we would show Him all of
these difficulties and obstacles. So God doesn・t seek
our approval. God doesn・t want an argument. He gives
us the dream.
(3) God blesses us where we need it the most
God blesses us where we need it the most and we could never guess where that is, but He knows.
That is why God doesn・t consult us. That is why we
don・t often see or sense the blessing. You can talk
to God right now and if God would say to you, "I・m
going to bless you ... I・m going to give you the blessing
you asked for, what blessing do you want Me to give to you?"
What would you ask for?
as I meet people in my travels around the world, I give
people blessings and the one I most often use is, "May
God bless you where you need the blessing most and He knows
that better than you."
a list of all the blessing's you would like. List
the blessings you hope for one, two, three, four
... up to ten. I know some of you would put chemotherapy
as number one. Many would put at the top of their list more
money to get your bills paid. I know others would list as
the number one blessing that you would rise to the top in
your job. List all your blessings. Someone・s list will
include, "A hope that a certain somebody would fall
in love with me because I need him or her." Now, when
you are finished listing all the blessings you could possibly
hope for, then show your list to God and say, "God
bless me where I need it most!" And guess what, nine
times out of ten, it is not
number one, it・s not number two, it・s not
number three or number four, it may be something you
never even thought of. It might be, more than anything else,
the blessing you need the most is more faith or more trust.
at our Volunteers・ Breakfast, sitting at my table was
Don Eyers. He has been a committed volunteer and dear friend
for many, many years. Don reminded me of that one Saturday
night at 6:00 PM, as he and his wife were preparing to go
out to dinner there was a knock at the door. But when they
opened the door, two men with a gun broke in and forced
them to lie down on the floor. Don said, "My face was
in the dust. They took our cash, our watches and our jewelry.
They didn・t shoot us, but I can still remember the
steel touching my skin, the gun on my temple. We were so
shook up, we didn・t feel like coming to church the
next morning, but we did anyway. And Bob, in your message
you threw out a line. You had tested it with your wife,
but she said, ．don・t use it, it・s silly.・
You used it anyway. The line was, ．When
your face is in the dust, all you can do is trust.・"
Don said, "I use that line so often and pass it on
blesses us where we need His blessing the most. He knows us a lot better than we do. He knows the future. We don・t.
So we are blessed with surprises of joy and we say, "Oh
you wouldn・t believe the great thing that happened
(4) God blesses us by not giving us what
but what we need
blesses us by not giving us what we want, but what we need, so life is one long lucky road. Our values, too easily
are not priced right in our mind. We put too high a value
and pay too big a price for lots of things. God knows they
aren・t worth it. That is why He doesn・t give it
to us. God loves you. So we don・t get the job we want
or experience the relationship we hope for. Or get the invitation
to the event when others got an invitation. Why didn・t
we? We don・t see that missing that particular event
is a blessing. What we call "bad luck" is "good
(5) God blesses us where we need it most
when the timing is right
blesses us where we need it most when the timing is right. God knows we all need to learn humility, but we don・t
want to wait. We want it now. But God knows we need humility
because without it, the blessings of good luck would spoil
must tell you that every time before I got a big blessing,
I went through pain. God was making sure that I could be
trusted with the big blessing He was going to give. I would
have to be humble enough to be patient. Life does have its
hurts and disappointments, but in time we will see rejection
as important conditioning in the same way that soil preparation
is important to the farmer. Our souls need to be prepared
so that we can be trusted with the big blessing God has
(6) God blesses us with "good luck"
coming out of what
we thought was "bad luck"
my stage of life I can see that every time I・ve had
"bad luck" it always turns out to be "good
luck." I sometimes had to wait thirty, forty or fifty
years to sense it and see it. My life has been one long
"lucky" road ... up and down ... up and down.
But "good luck" always comes through pain or tears
or hurt or hardship or trial or testing. For all of life
is birth and death. It is living and dying. It is beginning
end is a new beginning!
Yes, death is the first phase of a great new birth that
is happening. It is like the pain of childbirth. Wow. There
is no newness of life without change ... and change is almost
always painful. But God knows that pain is always the prelude
to new birth. So pain is proof that I・m alive. It is
a sign of progress. Yes, all of life is "good luck."
"All things work together for good,
to those who love God and keep His commandments." (Romans 8:28)
This is an "ah-ha" moment. Now we can see very
clearly how ...
(1) God blesses us without consulting
us first ...
(2) God blesses us without getting our
(3) God blesses us before we pray for
(4) God blesses us even though He knows
we probably won・t like it at the beginning ...
(5) God blesses us without checking our
schedules and our calendar
(6) God blesses us always.
luck" or "bad luck" ...
if your face is in the dust, all you can do is trust!
Trust tomorrow. Yes, we trust God anyway! We live
with hope through life・s stages of trial, trouble,
and yes, terror, knowing that God will have the first and
last word and both will be good.
learned in more than fifty years of ministry that when we
go through the storm, we cry out, "Where is God?"
And I・ve walked with many of you as a pastor through
the storms, as tragic as anything you can imagine. And you
cry out, "Where is God?" I・ll tell you where
He is. He is backstage in your life designing a rainbow.
Look! And I hear you say, "I saw a rainbow in the middle
of the storm." Listen! Do you hear the birds sing?
Breathe deeply and smell the fragrance of fresh raindrops
on the green leaf.
you, my friends and church family, that is my life. That
is my testimony. Life has been one long "lucky"
road. That is why I could never, ever be an atheist. "Good
luck ... bad luck."
"All things work together for good
for those who love God and keep His commandments." (Romans 8:28)
is why I urge you to take the Bible seriously and know that
Jesus knew what He was talking about. And that is why I
say to you, "Be an optimist! Always!"
I close this message with the title of my book!
Don・t Throw Away Tomorrow!
O God, I can be thankful every day. I can be hopeful when
I・m hurting. I can be optimistic when tomorrow looks
bleak and black. Yes, good luck or bad luck, God loves me.
He really does and I・m experiencing Him through moods
and memories. God is loving me in my laughter, my tears,
my labor and my leisure, my rising up, in my lying down,
in my birthing and in my dying, until I come to stand before
Jesus in that day in which there is no sunset and no sunrise,
only eternal life and light and beautiful music forevermore.