Pastor E.A. Deckard
by Pastor E. A. Deckard
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times

“Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.” -Stephen Covey

“The evil influence of Satan would destroy any hope we have in overcoming our mistakes. He would have us feel that we are lost and that there is no hope. In contrast, Jesus reaches down to us to lift us up.” -James E. Faust

Forward Thinkers, Hollywood writers spend millions of dollars creating movie scripts about people overcoming difficult beginnings and pulling out last minute victories in the face of adversity. I could save Hollywood millions of dollars and eliminate the creative thinking departments because, I know hundreds of people whom have had to overcome bad starts and stand with the will power to keep going till they won. Matter of fact, chances are you have had to overcome some bad starts yourself as you read this article today.

Forward Thinkers, today I will encourage you through this “Forward Thinking” article to release the will power to stand after a bad start.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 King James Version (KJV)

8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Forward Thinkers, Paul reminds us that no matter what we are going through or dealing with we will not be defeated because we’re on the winning team. The fact that we’re on a winning team gives us confidence to keep believing things will turn around in our favor. Forward Thinkers, it is very important that you connect to the right team.

Forward Thinkers, Paul encourages us to have the will power to stand even after a bad start because, we are connected to Jesus. There is no defeat in Jesus; examine His track record. Jesus always comes out on top. Forward Thinkers, there have been times where things looked impossible until Jesus showed up and performed the “impossible”. Forward Thinkers, remember in order to guarantee yourself a victory, never go into a battle without connecting to Jesus first.

Forward Thinkers, Paul often quotes the Prophet Isaiah from the Old Testaments; “keep the New Testament church encouraged through difficult times”. Forward Thinkers, the key to will power is faith and faith only comes through the Word of God.

Forward Thinkers, worry, fear, and doubt have never produced “faith”; but worry, fear, and doubt can produce defeat in the face of adversity.

Forward Thinkers, when we are dealing with difficult situations that is not the time to run from God but this is the perfect time to run to God. There is nothing new under the sun; everything we are experiencing today, there is a solution and a word of encouragement found in the Word of God.

Forward Thinkers, Paul quotes Isaiah (Isaiah 28:16) “So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.” In Romans 9:33, as it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

Forward Thinkers, do you see the power in trusting God? Did you notice that those who trust God will operate with will power to stand after a bad start? Paul reminds us that the Prophet Isaiah gives us three powerful outcomes produced from trusting God.

  1. We will never be put to shame
  2. We will never panic under pressure
  3. We will never be disappointed

Forward Thinkers, I don’t know about you but I think this is great news and a winning formula.

Forward Thinkers, the question is where is your faith? Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” It is very important we understand the value of placing our faith in the Creator and not in the creation.

Isaiah 40:29-31 New International Version (NIV)

29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint

Forward Thinkers, we may experience a bad start causing us to become weary and weak but if we keep our faith in the Lord we will end up with wings and soar to victory.

Forward Thinkers, Russell Wilson, the winning Super Bowl quarterback last year, had a terrible start last week in a game to determine if his team would make this year’s Super Bowl. Wilson threw 4 interceptions and his team was down 16-0 to the Green Bay Packers. He led his team to a remarkable comeback victory and threw the winning touchdown in overtime and despite his bad start he is going back to the Super Bowl. Once again, I remind you, it is not where you start but where you finish that matters most.

Forward Thinkers, one of Russell Wilson’s teammates made the following statement after the comeback victory, “I feel like our team story is full of adversity and pushing through it and that’s what showed up today.”

Side Note: Many fans, wearing Seattle Seahawks jerseys, left the game early while the team was still losing. Some fans were still in the parking lot when the team started making its incredible come back but they were denied re-entry to the stadium after they heard the roar of the fans that remained faithful and stayed in the stadium. Notice only those who kept the faith witnessed the comeback.

Forward Thinkers, when experiencing a bad start remember these four stages of dealing with a bad start.

Sold Out: In the bible we see both Jesus and Joseph were sold out by people close to them but remember Forward Thinkers, what the enemy thought would defeat them, God turned around for their good. Forward Thinkers, you may get sold out by those around you but keep the faith, God will turn your enemies into your footstool.

Left Out: There are also records in the bible of both King David and Paul being left out and viewed as unworthy but remember, no one can cancel the anointing God has on your life. Forward Thinkers, it’s the anointing attached to the assignment that keeps you from being defeated after a bad start.

Counted Out: Both Jesus and Lazarus were counted out and given up on after it appeared their lives were over but if we keep watching we will see that they both got back up and won. Forward Thinkers, many may count you out after a bad start but make sure you’re not one of the many.

Walk Out: The fans of the Seattle Seahawks football team, and the butcher and the baker from the bible in jail with Joseph all walked out on them after a bad start but God promises He will never leave us. Forward Thinkers, once again we must put our faith in God and not in man.

Russell Wilson said after the game when he was down and experiencing a bad start he remained calm because he knew what was inside of him made him more than a conqueror. In conclusion today Forward Thinkers, I need you to remember after a bad start that what is inside of you is enough for you to still win.

Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, 16711 Ella Blvd. Houston, Texas, 77090. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at or the church website

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