Bethel's Bill Johnson: How to Thrive Amid Disappointment, Tragedy
Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel church in Redding, California, says when negative circumstances come, he doesn't accuse God. Rather, he chooses to only dwell on information about God that affirms His goodness. In that way, he's able to praise Jesus even amid tragedy in life.
"Being able to live in the midst of disappointment is how we've done well," Johnson says. "On the surface, at a distance, people may get the wrong idea, that it's just all miracles and breakthroughs. We had 10 people close to us in the church die in 18 months. How do you weather that? How do you navigate that ... contending for a breakthrough, and just not getting it, without blaming God?
"The only way I know to do it is, I don't hold God hostage to one particular answer. Let's just say finances, that if God is really good then I'm going to get a breakthrough here. And what happens is, people unintentionally hold their entire esteem in view of God's nature, presence, purpose—all that stuff is hinged on that one answer. So they withhold themselves from giving themselves completely to God in the meantime. ... What we have to do is learn how to celebrate all that God is doing right now."
To listen to the entire discussion, titled "Are you growing weary while waiting for the promise?" click here.