Monday, May 10, 2010

A Great Victory

Immediately [Paul] preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.” –Acts 9:20

Saul was the ultimate anti-Christian. He was so against the teachings of Christ that he petitioned for special permission to capture and imprison Christians and went around “breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples (Acts 9:1-2).”

And God turned him into one of the greatest soldiers in His army. Talk about a victory. Saul does a complete 180 and starts spreading the news he was trying so hard to stifle, going on to write over half of the New Testament.

I don’t know about you, but this gives me hope. I have noticed again and again that the Lord tends to take our biggest obstacles and make them His greatest victories.

I was in the Air Force for eight years and was discharged for a minor offense. I came home and tried to find direction, attending church with my parents out of obligation, but I was not walking with the Lord, and God was the last thing on my mind. I intended to finish my computer engineering degree and land a six-figure computer job. Of course, the Lord had a different plan.

When my pastor announced they were visiting Pinecrest to lead worship, I heard a voice tell me to go too. I thought it was my conscience telling me to be nice to my parents. I didn’t realize until later that it was God.

While I was at Pinecrest, I heard the Lord tell me to ask about being a student, and my mom suggested I talk to the Dean. I walked over to Joanne Picataggi to ask about school and said, “Hi.” She looked at me and said, “Do you want to go to school here? You’re accepted.” My stunned answer was, “OK.”

I applied and was accepted, but I didn’t know how I would pay for tuition. The day before I left for school, I received confirmation of my approved funding for Pinecrest from the VA (Veteran’s Administration). Now, I’m graduating from my third year at Pinecrest.

There I was—defeated. I was discharged from the Air Force. I had drunk away what little savings I did have and was stumbling around blind with no direction, when God set my path and took complete victory over my life.

I want to encourage you, especially if you’re going through rough times, if you feel blind and lost and don’t know where to go or what to do next: trust the Lord. He has a great victory planned. I didn’t think getting discharged was a great victory, but look what the Lord has done. Have faith in what the Lord can do for you.

- Chris Hannan, Third Year graduate

Chris and Hannah Hannan

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