How To Ask The Better Question In Any Situation.

I was out of town visiting family in DC when I received a text message from a friend. The message caught me way off guard. It simply read, “John Paul Jackson just died.” John Paul Jackson

John Paul Jackson was a very powerful prophet in the Body of Christ. He played a significant role in speaking into the lives of countless people, churches, governments and nations. When I read those words I was deeply saddened. I was also immediately taken back to a prophetic word he had spoken over Anna and I 13 years ago.

John prophesied in great detail exactly what we are finding ourselves doing in life and ministry today. That encounter brought an uncanny level of accuracy that confirmed what God had already spoken to our hearts about moving to Upstate NY.

Just before I received that text message and a reminder of what God had prophetically promised to us, I had been asking myself a whole slew of internal questions. Honestly, I was tired and a bit discouraged at how slow some of the progress was coming with the vision God had given me for my life and our region. There was a whole bunch of things I could’ve and should’ve been celebrating, but nevertheless I was getting overwhelmed by what was not yet happening. With each defeating question another debit was being withdrawn from my emotional account.

 Whether we are conscious of it or not, each of us ask ourselves a TON of internal questions each day.

Commuting into work, before going into a meeting, before making a phone call, as we slow down to rest, before we quiet ourselves to pray internal questions are firing off at a rapid rate.

Some of these questions are good and some of them can be deceptively misleading. And worse, some can drain us of the very energy and endurance needed to keep going forward.

question image

Common questions we all ask ourselves are:

  • “Do I like this opportunity?”
  • “Am I happy here?”
  • "Did I make a wrong turn somewhere?"
  • "Am I missing something?"
  • “How do I feel about this moment?”
  • “What do I want out of this relationship?
  • “Is this dream even possible?”
  • “What do people want from me?”
  • “Can I even see my future clearly?”

All of these are valid questions that should be asked. BUT they should never be the final question we ask ourselves.

In every situation there is an infinitely better question to ask. “What has God promised?”

I don’t ever want to turn off my own self-awareness or even self-assessment of what’s going on around me. But I never want to permanently land there!

I don’t just need my perspective on my life, I desperately need God’s perspective on my life! I can’t simply camp out on how I feel about a difficult situation, I have to remind myself what God has said about it.

God has a PROMISE for every PROBLEM we face.

I was reading Hebrews 10 recently and it reminded me of this powerful principle. The believers of that day were being intensely persecuted. And when I say intense, I mean something like this…

33 Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. 34 You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.

I’m thinking plenty of them were asking internal questions like, “How much of this can I take?” “Is this really worth it?” “Does God see what I’m going through?”

You get the idea. Evites for the pity party could’ve been already designed and ready to be sent. BUT the writer of the book of Hebrews reminded them to hold on with patient endurance and not to throw away their confidence in the midst of their trials.

And the million dollar question is, "How in the world do we do that??" Here's what I've been learning to do...Look back and remember the promises God has spoken to you. His will is in His Word (the Bible). And He has personal promises He's spoken over you as well.

There is always a much BETTER question to ask in ANY situation...“What has God promised?”

If I will learn to focus more on what He has said than on what I feel I’ll learn to stop throwing away my confidence and patient endurance will be on the menu every day.

When we forget to remember what God has promised, it’s the same as throwing away our confidence.

Today, ask yourself the better question.

Don’t drain away your endurance. Don’t throw away your confidence.

You are going to want to keep them for what lies ahead.


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image credit: Huntington Disease Youth Organization