To become a billionaire, you have to specialise in solving $10 billion dollar problems.

These problems either: 1) Affect a billion people or 2) Affect a small group of people who are willing to pay a high premium to solve them.

But here’s the exciting thing.

Every problem in your life can be upgraded to a billion dollar problem.

So if you’re feeling thirsty and need a drink of water, solving that problem affects 1 person; you.  But upgrade that problem to helping 1 billion people get a drink of water and you’ve found a path to becoming a billionaire.

Don’t hide from your problems. Embrace them,  examine them…and then dare to upgrade them to billion dollar status.

(Inspired by Naveen Jain’s fascinating article)

“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” – Paul

Now faith…belief, assurance, trust, confidence, fanatical conviction…is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.

Patience…endurance, perseverance, persistence, doggedness, staying power, tenacity, long-suffering, willingness to ensure, moxie, backbone, grit, stomach, guts, keeping your cool, fortitude, doing a 20 mile march, embracing the climb, relishing the grind…produces character, and character produces hope.

And laziness, the unwillingness to work or expend energy, is the opposite of having “faith and patience”.

So either you’re living your life with faith and patience…or you’re just being lazy, no matter how hard you appear to be working.

Selah.

While the world pushes you to get dressed, to get more, to protect and defend yourself more…your personal challenge is quite the opposite.

Your daily challenge is to strip off all the layers of armour…to expose yourself more, to dare to be vulnerable and fully yourself.

#1 Show them what it looks like to truly be yourself (remember: show NOT tell)

#2 Give them Permission to do the same

Lack of time, lack of money, lack of energy, lack of skill…

The “lack” feels like an obstacle, but really it’s an invitation to strip your idea down to its basic components…and eliminate the irrelevant.

You’ve got 3 decades’ worth of shepherding obscurity.

You’ve got 3 years worth of performing in the presence of pressure and persecution.

You’ve got a week-long rollercoaster ride from “Hosanna” to “Hallelujah”.

You’ve got a day of brutally cruel irony called “Good Friday”; good for the Mission, bad for the Messiah.

You’ve got a 48+ hour trip to hell, where spirit has been severed from body and forsaken by the Almighty.

But then, on the morning of the third day, you get a resurrection experience that eclipses all that preceded it.

It started in Bethlehem, when a young woman called Mary found her engagement plans derailed by the announcement that she was going to have a baby. It continued with her fiance Joseph who found out he was about to become a father and a husband at the same time. And it carried on all the way down the road from the village life in Nazareth to the throes of labour pains in a smelly animal stall in Bethlehem. Shepherds in the field found it making travel plans for them to go see a baby in a manger. Herod found it bringing unwelcome guests with even more unwelcome news about a new threat to his kingdom…whilst his wise visitors found themselves baffled by the absence from the palace of the one they’d come to seek. Joseph found it waking him in the night to make a hasty getaway with his wife and son to Egypt. Mothers found it embracing them with grief as their two year olds were torn from their grasps and slaughtered.

A decade later, the scribes and pharisees found it bewildering them, through the insightful questions of a curious 12 year old boy. And his parents found it terrifying them, as they frantically searched for their son for days in the midst of a crowded city. Centuries later, readers would find it astonishing them, through the unwritten chapters about the next 18 years of this inquisitive 12-year old’s life. And at age 30, the boy’s strange cousin John would find it suddenly shifting the spotlight off the man in the river, and onto the unknown stranger in the crowd.

For the next three years, this stranger would find it spreading his name and fame before him, as he went about delighting wedding-goers, disrupting funeral services, cleansing lepers, feeding multitudes…telling stories about a Kingdom in which nothing was impossible. And for the next three years those kindly teachers from the Temple would find it frustrating them and compelling them to scheme against this upstart from Nazareth.

A tax collector found it calling him out of a tree and emptying his bank accounts to pay back everyone he’d swindled. A farmer in the Gadarenes found himself losing two thousand pigs as the collateral damage of the Demon-possessed man’s deliverance. A multitude found it changing their tune from the Palm leaf-welcoming strains of “Hallelujah”…to the blood curdling screams for crucifixion.

Judas found it tempting him to take a sum of money he couldn’t afford to keep. Peter found it taunting him to a three-time denial that he’d sworn he would defeat. Pilate found it marveling him at the silent composure of the accused in his court. The angels found it stunning them as they beheld their Commander stripped naked, flogged, nailed to a cross…and yet not beckoning them to come to his rescue. One thief found it prodding him to taunt this “King of the Jews”. Another thief found it humbling him to ask this King for mercy in the life to come.

And when his dead body was laid in a tomb, all of creation was given cause to mourn it…his failure to meet their expectations…and his commitment to exceed them.

Selah.

You know the “you” you hope you’ll eventually be? Be that “you” today.

“Having done all to stand, stand…”

Powerful things start to happen the moment you arm yourself with the decision to take a stand.

Don’t just talk about it and don’t just believe it.

Put on your armour, take a stand and hold your ground at all costs.

Quietness: a state of freedom from storm or disturbance. The near or complete absence of sound.

Confidence: the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.The state of feeling certain about the truth of something. A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

“…In quietness and confidence shall be your strength”.