Keep Choosing Joy
Having the amazing blessing of knowing his family, I know Chad Stewart was one in a million. I’ve heard so many times over the last nine years “I never knew your dad but I feel like I did through you.” I completely understand that now. To feel a loss you never knew to begin with can only be a God-given experience. This world experienced of great loss of a bright light three months ago. A loss that affects every day and every minute of so many lives. So many lives I cherish more than anything. Three months ago, my heart shattered into a million pieces and I’ve learned “God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling.” Mr. Chad, what’s been learned through your life and through your family will forever be the launching pad of so many great callings, including mine.
10 Things I’ve Learned from Chad Stewart
1. Never underestimate God.
Even in the little things, God is in the BIG THINGS business! This summer I have had my mind blown every day. It is the most exciting journey I’ve been on. God never ceases to amaze me! Don’t ever think that He can’t do it or that He won’t do it! Never be afraid of surprises! God surprises me everyday! Never be too cool to be amazed. Though I know God can do it all, I am amazed every time He does. He chose to do it, He doesn’t HAVE to do anything!
“The spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4
2. Be faithful always.
It may seem small now but when you obey God and live the life He has called us all to live, you will be blessed and your life will have a ripple effect. Always be faithful. In every task, in every relationship, in every step God gives you and takes you! Trust God and be trustworthy. Showing God your faithfulness in the little things shows Him you will be faithful in the big things. He will give you what you can handle and what you will do!
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” Luke 16:10
3. God will always bring the good out of every situation.
Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But one day, we will see all the good the Lord has given us. Our God is close to the brokenhearted. Not every day is a good day but every day has something good in it. That’s God. He is GOOD! And ALL the time He is good. Any Stewart smile will teach you that in a heart beat. Nothing makes God not good. Nothing. satan is like a prowling lion ready to pounce at any moment. But what makes God good (along with so many other things) is that satan never had this situation and if you allow God in your life and you believe that God is good, satan will never have hold of any situation you’re in. Because God is in control and He is GOOD!
“He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for His own glory.” Isaiah 61:3
“For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” Psalm 100:5
4. Help others always.
1 Corinthians 13 in the MSG says “Love cares more for others than for self.. Isn’t always “me first.” There are times it’s not convenient to help someone else, there are times when helping someone causes you to lose money, there are times when helping someone isn’t easy and has no benefit to yourself. But love is sacrifice and love is putting others first. Love is helping others always because that’s what Christ did for us!
“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” Hebrews 13:16
5. Love profusely.
Love really isn’t an option for us. Love is all over the Bible. Jesus loved us so much that He died for us. Is that too much love? Love your family. Love your friends. Love so much that everyone who knows you thinks of you as their best friend. Love so much everyone feels close to you. Love so much that nobody ever questions your love for them. Love hard. Love a lot. Love with passion. Love with commitment. Love with loyalty and trust. There is no such thing as loving too much. At the end of our lives if they say they loved too much, where will that put you? What if they say they didn’t love enough? That’s when we’ll have a problem.
“Love never gives up. Puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
6. God fulfills His promises.
Every thing God says in the Bible is true. He will fulfill His promises! He will not cause pain without bringing something new (Isaiah 66:9) God promises to make something good out of the storms that bring devastation to your life! (Romans 8:28) God doesn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow nor sun without rain. But He did promise strength for tomorrow, comfort for the tears, and light for the way! He will keep you from harm and watch over your life. (Psalm 121:5) The same God who carries you through the storms can be trusted to carry those you love.
“Blessed is she who has believed that The Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” Luke 1:45
7. Work hard.
Working hard will get you far. One of the most amazing things I first knew about Chad Stewart was all that he had accomplished. My mouth literally dropped. Whatever the Lord has us in, we are called to work hard. Not to work for men, but to work for Him! Everything that we do should be for the glory of God. God should be in everything we do and be the reason we do anything. Everything we do should be intertwined by working for the Lord. Work hard for Him and you will see the results in His Name!
“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.” Ephesians 3:7-8
8. Be a light and a “there you are” kind a person.
“There are two kinds of people in this world.. the kind that light up a room when they enter and the kind that light up a room when they leave.” One with a “here I am” attitude and one that walks in with a “there you are” attitude. Put others first always. Be the light the world is missing. You should walk into a room looking at others not seeing who is looking at you. Walk into a room with a light and always leave the people better than you found them. You take care of others and someone will take care of you. God’s cool working things out like that!
“You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14
9. You are not alone.
This world wants us to feel alone. satan uses social media, movies, advertisement, etc. anything he can get his hands on to try and make us feel alone because He knows God promises us that we will never be alone! He will never leave us or forsake us! When we go through deep waters, a blazing fire and a deep valley we will not be overcome! We are not alone! When we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, God will be there! When we are broken hearted and kicked in the stomach, He is right there! He will never leave us!
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
10. God comforts us so we can comfort others.
I’ve always been told everything happens for a reason. I’ve said it, you’ve said it! We’ve all heard it and said it. I believed it, I trusted God for it to be true. But I think I believed it only because so many people have said it. Some things get to the point where if everyone is saying then it has to be true, right? I’ve seen God work. I’ve seen something happen and then later understood why. But I’ve never really fully grasped why I lost my dad. Many good things have happened, I wouldn’t be where I am today had it not been this way but I still never would have said I knew why I lost my dad. I found my reason three months ago. God comforts us so we can comfort others. I lost my dad because three precious babies and an amazing wife need to know and see life will be okay.
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
I could sit for hours and tell you all I’ve learned these last three months. Hours and hours. The amazing life lost three months ago was a life that will continue influencing through his sweet children and amazing wife and his amazing legacy. This is not the end of Chad Stewart and I cannot wait to see the mountains that continue to be moved and the launching pads of great callings that are continuing to be developed! B, Catie Cate, Sissy, and Bo bo- I love all of you for eternity! All glory to God in the Highest!