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“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where everything in your life has come apart?  Nothing is going right.  Failure haunts your every decision and the only way out is up because you have already hit the bottom.  There’s strife in the family.  Your career is about to change because the market or company has shifted and your services are no longer needed.  You can’t get a loan from the bank.  You’re so broke that you can’t even pay attention!  To make matters worse, you go to your car and find a flat tire, a dead battery and no credit cards. Even your instant money card is “eaten” by the computerized teller machine.

It seems that the walls of life are crumbling around you and the foundation on which you stand feels like it is in a California earthquake!  The only help you’re getting is from friends who talk from a comfortable, secure announcer’s booth, giving unrequested commentary on your life.

Does that sound familiar?  There are many people who run from their present situations looking for a new one: a new family, a new wife (or husband), a new career, or a new location, sometimes even a new church.  They have one objective: get out of the current circumstance and start over.  Believing that it is easier to run, they turn into jumpers, bailing out — most often without a parachute.  Usually, though, this strategy leads only from one losing situation to another.

Do leaders ever have seasons of challenges?  Sure, but successful leaders are those who take the lemons served and make lemonade.  Great illustrations come from individuals who have overcome difficult situations with grace.  Look at the book of Philippians.  Written from prison by the apostle Paul, the theme of the book, is “Joy.”  Now go figure that.  Transformed lives are the result of changed attitudes, like, “let this mind be in you…” Try on for size today, the second chapter of the book and wrap your mind around how Jesus handled his life and ministry even when he didn’t get what he really deserved (i.e., adoration, worship, recognition, honor, etc.), by the very people he had come to save.  Leadership is not the top of the mountain; it is the mantle of the mountain climber.  Others are watching you climb today. Where are you taking them on your journey?  Around the mountain again or to the top?

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