Let me listen to someone for a few minutes, and I can tell you if their life is feast or famine.  It doesn’t take very long at all to get an accurate picture, and if you don’t believe me, just be quiet and listen to the next person you meet. I just got off the phone with a man whom I have prayed sometimes daily with for well over a year now, who told me from the very first time I talked to him that his body was shutting down, his organs weren’t working, and the doctors said thus and thus. And with all the prayer and encouraging him, his report just goes from bad to worse.  It’s pretty safe to say he is living in “famine”, and not “feast”.

Exactly who determines if a person’s life is feast or famine?  Is it God?  Is it the devil?  Or is it the person?  I submit to you that it is the person.  Now, chance happens to everyone, and how we react to it determines the outcome.  If life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade and sit back and enjoy a cool tall refreshing glass of it, or you can moan and groan about how sour those lemons are.  Let me give you a clue: life is what you make of it.  I’ve known people in wheelchairs with missing limbs that are absolutely limitless, and I’ve met perfectly healthy and complete people who are pathetic invalids.  What determines the difference?  It’s in the mind.

It is written in Proverbs 15:11-15,

 11  Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

 12  A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.

 13  A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

 14  The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.

 15  All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.

            Before you go off on me and say, “You don’t know my circumstances, Pastor Jerry…”, let me tell you, years ago after getting out of the service, things were bad for me and I was homeless for a period of time.  But I didn’t STAY homeless.  My mind was telling me how bad things were, and I was just like any other person down on their luck, feeling sorry for myself.  But there was something deep down inside of me that didn’t like being homeless, so I decided to do something about it, instead of sitting around saying, Oh, woe is me….

Everyone’s circumstances are different. I won’t go into mine, but having decided to change my situation, it took some following through with action, and things didn’t improve just  overnight.  Using my pocket knife and cardboard to make stencils of numbers, and getting my hands on a can of black spray paint, I went door to door asking if I could paint people’s house number on the curb for a dime.  Most said yes, and I set to work, and did that until I had enough money to rent a furnished room.  Once I had an address, I started applying for jobs and someone hired me to work in a gas station where I pumped gas and did oil changes using the station’s tools.  Being young with little usable experience for anything in civilian trade, about all I knew anything about was my knack for fixing stuff, mostly clocks and watches.  Oh yes, and fixing guided missiles, but there wasn’t any call for that at the time. Saving a dollar here and there bought my first box of hand tools consisting of end wrenches, sockets, a couple screwdrivers, pliers and a hammer.  You gotta have a hammer if you’re going to fix stuff, right?  And I still have them.  Especially the hammers.

My circumstances gradually changed, and I soon got a job in a shop that built race cars. They saw a young kid that was eager to learn, so they taught me to operate machine shop tools and build engines.  You never heard me complain how hard life was, because life was what I was making it.  That was YEARS before I came to the LORD.  Every new thing I learned opened more opportunities for me to prosper.  There is an old saying, “A jack of all trades and a master of none.”  But that wasn’t MY saying.  Mine was “A jack of all trades, and a master of every one of them.”  And that’s what I became.  Has life been a continual feast for me?  Well, not back then, but since I came to the LORD?  Yes!  The Bible is right, you need to seek knowledge.  And all my life I’ve been hungry to learn, and it has served me well.  Now I use that knowledge to help others get their lives in order.

You can live your life feeling sorry for yourself, being the sole proprietor of your own pity party, and maybe find someone else feeling sorry for themselves to join you, but nothing will ever change for you.  Yes, life is hard, but hard is not always bad.  It’s easier to stand on concrete than it is to stand on quicksand.  Look at it like this; when you’re on the bottom, everything from there is only UP.  Once you determine you’re done with “famine”, half of the battle is already won.  Now you need a plan aimed at “feast”.  It won’t just fall on you like ripe apples on a tree.

First off, you have to stop TALKING FAMINE!  You may say, I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention.  And it may be the fact, but you must start talking the TRUTH!  And the only real truth out there anywhere is God’s Word.  So now what?  You get into God’s Word and learn the truth, not only about who HE is, but who YOU are as well.  Did you know Jesus loves you?  Maybe you’ve heard that, but just hearing stuff doesn’t change a lot of stuff.

I kind of built my life upside down, in that when I was young it was ME taking charge of my life and shaping it, but at age 45 the bottom fell out of my bucket, and I was dying of cancer.  It was then that seeking God became the most important thing in life, and rightly so, because I wasn’t saved.  Oh sure, I went to church every week, but I was the most important thing in my life back then, you can ask my wife.  NO!! Don’t ask my wife!!  Got saved, check that off the “to do” list. God filled with the Holy Spirit, check THAT off the “to do” list.  Now what?  Getting knowledge has always been a priority in my life, but now, getting knowledge of God’s Word became foremost, and that’s what took me from “famine” to “feast”, or more accurately, “continual feast”.

Proverbs 15:15 again says, All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.

            How can you have a merry heart if things go wrong around you?  Glad you asked.  Once you’ve given the LORD the full control of your life, that is, putting HIM in the driver’s seat and you going along for the ride, your road to God’s Kingdom will not always be smooth, because the devil likes to shovel potholes in your path, but remember Who is at the wheel….He knows the destination for you, and EXACTLY how to get you there safely, and you can just, well, let me put it like this: you can have a merry heart and enjoy a continual feast with the LORD.  Here, let me encourage you with Psalm 91, it goes like this:

 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 

 2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

 3  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

 4  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

 5  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

 6  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

 7  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

 8  Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

 9  Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

 10  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

 11  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

 12  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

 13  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. 

 14  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

 15  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

 16  With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. 

            Now tell me, which does that sound like to you, feast, or famine?  Sounds like FEAST to me: a CONTINUAL FEAST!  No matter how much crap the devil throws at you, you can have a merry heart and a continual feast.  I like that!  I like that a LOT!  You see, if you seek after God with all your heart and all your strength, you don’t have to sweat the small stuff.  And believe me, to God, it’s ALL small stuff, like dust on the scales.  Less than that, actually.  So choose today to stop living in “famine”.  God wants you to have a CONTINUAL FEAST WITH HIM!  You are His special guest at His table, don’t miss your invitation!  He’s calling you RIGHT NOW!