(Unsplash/Riccardo Chiarini)

Wow! God moved in so many miraculous ways this past week in Russia at the National Pastor's Conference. At this conference I had the privilege of spending time with hundreds of pastors and their wives—great Christian leaders with a vision to see people living victoriously for God. I was grateful for the opportunity to encourage them and lift up their arms as they carry out the calling God has placed on their life with devotion and tenacity, in spite of the obstacles they face. Hearing about their victories and struggles reminded me just how important it is for us to cultivate a walk with the Lord that is so deeply rooted in trust in Him and His faithfulness that no obstacle, no struggle, and no storm could ever shake us from our foundations in Him.

Jesus Himself warned us that we would experience trouble in our lives and ministry, but in the same breath He gave us this great hope: "In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

If Christ has already overcome all the trouble we will ever face, why, then, do so many cower when the going gets tough? It breaks my heart to see so many Christians and Christian leaders today all over the world allow themselves to be pushed around by the storms of life. They believe the lies the devil tells them—lies about themselves and the situations around them—and then lose their confidence. They hide instead of facing their problems head on. They allow their fear to paralyze them. They do their best just to make it through each moment, day, week, month, and year, never giving thought to the possibility that they could and should be walking in victory.

As Christian leaders, we are called to live our lives as an example to others of God's love. God doesn't want us living lives of defeat and weariness but rather a life of victory and strength.

Christ's promise in John is rooted in this Old Testament truth from Deuteronomy 31:6: "Be strong and of a good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, it is He who goes with you. He will not fail you, nor forsake you."

When we walk in His power, confident that He is with us, never leaving or forsaking us, it will cause a fundamental shift in our approach to life and ministry. Lives will change, starting with ours.

You see, God didn't create us to be pushed around by the storms of life. God created us to be the storm.

Christian leaders, I encourage you to not stop on account of fear. Instead, press on and trust God!

Don't let your faith waver because things are hard. Let God show off in your life!

Don't just listen to the world hate on Christians. Live a life that makes them want to be one!

Don't let life push you around. Take control of the reigns and make your life what you want it to be!

Don't get caught up in the storm. Be the storm!

Today I encourage you to take time with God and let Him take you out of the storm of your life and make you a force to be reckoned with through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you.

You're beautiful. I see Jesus in you!

Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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