Saturday, August 6, 2022


                        Pastor Max Solbrekken in Ukraine Wheatfield during 1992 Crusades


The Key To Success!

by Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

History has proven that pessimism kills, negativism destroys, but optimism gives opportunity the chance to knock on your door. There is nothing as dull and lifeless as pessimism and nothing quite as refreshing as optimism!

A pessimist breeds pessimism and discouragement in the lives of others while an optimist is able to multiply the glow that is in his heart to the lives round about him.  The pessimist is a crepe hanger and a prophet of gloom while an optimist is a Herald of good tidings and a bringer of Joyful News.

Pessimism is born of unbelief and is a negative force while optimism is born of faith and is a positive force.  A pessimist has no faith in God, in his fellow man, and many times, no faith in himself while an optimist has reached out to touch God, has confidence in those with whom he fellowships and has self-confidence.  

Not everyone that is optimistic is a born again Christian and not everyone that is a pessimist is an atheist, but it would certainly be an advantage for a pessimist to be an atheist and also for an optimist to be a Christian because God is a positive Being while Satan is a negative personality.


We know that the goal of every Christian is to become Christ-like and it is a foregone conclusion that workers of iniquity have followed in the footsteps of their spiritual father, the devil.  The more you read God's Word, spend time in prayer and communion with God and the more you serve Him, the more you will become conformed to His image and the longer you live in sin and the deeper you go in the wrong life, the more you will become like Satan.  Don't let anyone fool you - you will reap what you sow! (Gal. 6:7,8)

A person who is always pessimistic and negative in his thinking and a constant complainer, murmurer, and criticizer certainly cannot know God because the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.  People who are constantly gossiping and murmuring are certainly not exemplifying the spirit and nature of Jesus Christ.

The diabolical power of negativism, pessimism, and defeatism has invaded nearly every avenue and walk of life.  Some people are never satisfied, not in the least bit thankful for what they have and have no desire to give praise, worship, and thanks to God.

The Bible states: "This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, unthankful, unholy, without natural affections... " (2 Tim. 3:1-3)

The negative attitude is especially harmful in the church because it prevents normal growth due to the fact that discouraged, disgruntled church members do not win souls or go out of their way to encourage people to attend church.  

                   THE BUILDERS & WRECKING CREW! 

Almost everywhere we find two groups, The one is comprised of builders, optimists and those who are loving, kind, cheerful and expecting from God and looking for service to do for God and his fellowmen.  The other one makes up the wrecking crew.  It takes no brains, ability or skill to smash things or destroy.  

You will find the dedicated worker and then there will be the dedicated agitator and obstructionist, on the job, in the unions, in the schools, universities, and even in the church.  It takes skill to build a building, put in the plumbing, do the wiring and complete the finishing.  It takes months to complete a building but in days it can be demolished by a caterpillar operator who knows only how to demolish.  A deranged arsonist with a few sticks of dynamite or a pail of gasoline and a match can destroy the same building with all its sophisticated equipment in a matter of a few hours.

Let us never be guilty of tearing down, wrecking, or destroying what someone else is doing for God, country or fellowman.  Let us be on the building crew who are always doing something to bless humanity.  


Jesus, the very Son of God was put on public trial and display by the high priests, King Herod and the Roman Governor. Accusers gave false witness, soldiers mocked and blasphemed Him. He was condemned by the authority of the official religious and civil rulers, and even low-caste servants slapped His face! 

They all took part in humiliating, ridiculing, deriding, false accusing, despising and putting to death the Holy, impeccable, incomparable, righteous and perfect Saviour of the world, and they did it in the name of religion and piety!  

Corrupt, immoral, inhuman and senseless you say - and I reply "A Big Amen" - but be careful, history has a strange way of repeating itself again and again.  Always, my friend, be sure you are on the side of the builders - never in the ranks of the wrecking crew!


 Jesus made a very revolutionary statement when He said, "...the children of this world are...wiser than the children of light". (Luke 16:8)  We as Christians, can learn a few things from the world.  Jesus said, "Ye are in the world but not of the world".  We live in a real life situation, rubbing shoulders with sinners even though we do not let their sinfulness rub off on us.  

We are lights in a darkened world, showing forth the glow of Jesus through our daily walk.  What did Jesus mean when He said, "The children of this world...are wiser than the children of light"?  Let me ask you a question to answer the first one.  Why did Jesus say, "Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves"? (Matt. 10:16)  

Many Christians are lacking in wisdom!  They may be long on zeal, knowledge and doctrine, but short on how to present themselves and promote the Gospel to this world! We have the greatest message ever delivered to the Human Family. The Creator of the world loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to deliver us from the Evil One called the Devil and SAVE us from eternal damnation!

Some Christians who represent our Lord are apologetic, backward and fearful.  I believe it's about time the church of the living God got a new enthusiasm, a new outlook on life and a new image.  It's one thing to say this, and it's another thing to put it into practice!  

How can you inject new life into millions of lukewarm, out-of-touch with God church members who are only enduring their salvation instead of enjoying it?  I know it looks hopeless, but it can be done!


What the Church desperately needs in this crucial hour is a re-evaluating of her beliefs, purposes and goals.  After looking at the old hill called Golgotha and a time of deep meditation as to why Jesus had to suffer, bleed and die for a Christ rejecting world - the church needs to take a long, hard look at the empty tomb until it realizes that our Christ was, is and always shall be a victorious champion of liberty and freedom and that Jesus Christ is the solution to man's problems, the answer to his perplexing questions and the fulfillment of his needs.  

We as His ambassadors and representatives have a story to tell to the nations.  We have a blessing to share to this world's untold millions who are at this time dying yet untold.

The masses of church members across this world desperately need a spiritual blood transfusion, a mighty revitalization, a good old-fashioned revival and a restoration of apostolic peace, love, joy, power and spiritual gifts.  Yes, it can be done - I believe it.  I am an optimist - I believe it can be done!


I realize that humanly speaking, this is an impossible task but remember, "Man's Extremity is God's Opportunity"!  And also remember the immortal words of Jesus when He said, "With men this is impossible but not with God, for with God all things are possible". (Mark 10:27)  

Again, the words of the angel to Mary back up my statement - "For with God nothing shall be impossible". (Luke 1:37)  Mary asked the angel how it could be that she a virgin should bear the Christ child seeing she had not known a man sexually.  The angel answered, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee...For with God nothing shall be impossible".  

Jesus realized man's limitations for He knew how weak man is, "knowing what is in man". (John 2:25)  Man is weak but God is strong.  Man is natural but God is supernatural.  Man is finite but God is infinite.  Man is mortal but God is immortal and man is limited but God is unlimited.  

Jesus was saying that when man has come to the end of his abilities, resources and limitations, God stands ready to answer the SOS and come to his rescue, for with man so many things are impossible but not with God for all things are possible with God! Amen.


 There is a saying that goes like this: "Faith is the key to the kingdom of God.  Yes, faith is the key to the kingdom of God, but prayer unlocks the door".  Jesus said, "All things are possible to him that believeth". (Mark 9:23)

There are no closed doors where there is faith.  There are no impossibilities and defeats where faith is in the driver's seat.  Faith is the key to the storehouse of God's manifold blessings.

Jesus said to numerous people during His earthly ministry, "Thy faith hath made thee whole...Thy faith hath saved thee...According to thy faith be it done unto thee...Go in faith...How is it ye have no faith?...Where is your faith?...Oh, ye of little faith..."  

It is recorded that Jesus marvelled at the unbelief of some and also marvelled at the faith of others.  To a heathen woman who would not be denied, Jesus said, "Woman, great is thy faith.  Commenting on the faith of a Roman Centurion, Jesus said, "I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel".  

On another occasion, Jesus rebuked them and said, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you"?  He was provoked with them for not having the faith to set a demon possessed boy free.  He expected them to exercise authority and dominion over sickness, disease and devils and drive them out in His name.  He wouldn't always be with the Church, so He said, "How long shall I be with you, and suffer you?  Bring him unto Me".  

Jesus gave His power to His Church and that power was to be stronger after His departure than during His earthly ministry because He was going to the Father to oversee the entire operation from there as well as to send the Holy Spirit to the Church.  Therefore Jesus said, "It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you". (John 16:7)

Again, "He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father, And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it." (John 14:12-14)  

One of the most staggering promises Jesus Christ gave the Church is found in Matt. 17:20, when He said, "If ye have faith of a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."  The mustard seed is the smallest of all seed, yet it produces a great tree.  

Jesus said that if we had just a little bit of faith, we could move mountains - not mountains of earth necessarily, for that would have little value for the individual Christian, but mountains of doubt, unbelief, fear, worry and defeat.  Insurmountable objects of difficulty topple as faith makes a way when there is no way.  

Praise God for victorious Christian living in a world filled with unbelief and fear!  Let us join with the disciples of Jesus in praying, "Lord increase our faith".


 The Bible definition of faith is given in Heb. 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen".  The first lesson we learn from this scripture is that faith is in the present tense.  Faith is in the Now!  "Now faith is..."  

Faith is now - today, right now!  Faith is relevant, applicable and fashionable right now.  Faith is as modern and up to date as the newest fashions.  Faith never grows old, gets out of style or becomes out dated.  In fact faith gets stronger with age!  

Even though you cannot feel, see, smell, taste or touch faith, it is a substance nevertheless.  It is a reality.  Now Faith Is!  It is a present day up to the minute reality - as real as any of your five natural senses.  It is even more real since faith is born of God and a spiritual force.  

In fact the scripture tells us that when the four men could not get near the house where He was preaching because of the great crowd, they opened up the roof in order to let the palsied man on the bed down before Jesus.  He saw their faith!  

The Bible says, "When He saw their faith, He said unto him, man, thy sins are forgiven thee". (Luke 5:20)  Faith is action.  Faith has feet and faith is living, vibrant and life-giving.  The writer of the Hebrews tells us that faith is not only the substance of things hoped for, but also the evidence of things not seen.  

Faith believes the work is done even though the outward appearance of the situation denies it.  Faith holds on when all natural hope is gone - when the doctor has given his negative diagnosis and all natural minded men are waiting for death to claim its victim.  

Faith sees the sun breaking through the clouds when the storm is at its worst - realizing that soon the darkness will leave and the sun will shine - that tomorrow will bring a better day because your trust is in Christ - that next week will be a better week and next year will bring good things to you simply because you hold the hand of the one who holds tomorrow in His hand! 

Let me give you an example of what Heb. 11:1 means.  We were in a great revival Crusade in Swan River, Manitoba, under the gospel big tent in 1965.  One night they led an old man to the altar for prayer in the healing line.  He had been totally blind for many years.  Before prayer, I asked him of his faith in Christ and if he had come for a miracle or had he come only for prayer.  

His answer told me he had faith.  He said, "Young man, I'll have you know that I have come over 100 miles to get healed"!  There was a finality in his voice - no doubts, but simply an expectant, definite, determined knowledge that this was it and they wouldn't have to lead him around by the hand like a dog anymore.  

As I laid my hands upon him and prayed, I sensed the mighty presence of God upon him.  As I was praying, he began to shout, "I'm healed, I'm healed, I'm healed"!  My fingers covered his eyes and he couldn't see a thing but in his heart he knew.  He knew - yes, he knew.  That's faith!  That's the evidence of things not seen.  When I removed my hand from his head and he opened his eyes, he began to shout and rejoice, saying, "I can see, I can see, I can see"!  

His eyes were opened.  He was healed.  He saw all the people clearly.  He could see the cars outside the tent (the flaps were up).  As he walked outside after the meeting, he looked up at the sky, rubbed his eyes and asked his friend, "It is always so bright outside"?  (It was a dark, sultry, cloudy day, with threat of rain).  

His friend replied, "You've seen nothing yet.  Wait till the sun begins to shine"!  When did the miracle happen?  When I took my fingers off his eyes?  No!  When he shouted, "I am healed"!  That's when the work took place!


Faith never gives up, wavers or throws in the towel.  Faith holds on until the light breaks through, until the answer comes and until reality rises on the horizon of human need.  Faith does not recognize impossibilities, but rather rejoices, knowing that with God all things are possible. (Mark 9:23)  

Let me share two examples with you.  First, the raising of Lazarus from the dead:  At the grave of Lazarus, Jesus was not a bit concerned or flustered.  He spoke with authority when He said, "Take ye the stone away". (John 11:39)  The fact that Lazarus had been dead four days and had begun to decompose did not deter the Master.  He knew Lazarus would rise again.  That is faith!  Praise God.  

Second, the raising of Jairus' daughter from the dead:  Jesus was on His way to heal the daughter of Jairus at the request of the ruler of the synagogue, when someone arrived to bring the sad news that the little girl had just died.  Here is the Bible account.  "While He yet spoke, there came from the ruler of the synagogues' house, certain which said, Thy daughter is dead.  Why troublest thou the Master any further?"  

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, "Be not afraid, only believe". (Mark 5:35-36)  The news had been brought of the death of the little damsel and yet Jesus continued in His course of deliverance.  He dismissed the bad news with the words, "Be not afraid - only believe."  

Then He proceeded to raise her from the dead.  What faith and what confidence!  When all looked utterly hopeless, Jesus was at His best.  Let us take an example of faith from Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith! (Heb. 12:2)


The Bible says, "Great peace have they which love Thy law:  and nothing shall offend them". (Ps. 119:165)  Many people become critical, hard hearted, bitter and filled with self-pity because of economic struggles, broken marriages, sickness and pain. 

The Bible states: "And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.  But He answered her not a word.  And His disciples came and brought Him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.  But He answered and said, I an not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  

"Then came she and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, help me.  But He answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.  And she said, Truth, Lord:  yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.  Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith:  be it unto thee even as thou wilt.  And her daughter was made whole from that very hour." (Matt. 15:22-28)

Here is an account of humility, perseverance and faith.  This woman would not be denied and she did not get offended.  When Jesus called her and her daughter "dogs", as the Samaritans were called by the Jews, hear what she replied:  "And she said, Truth, Lord:  yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table".  She received an answer to her prayer.  Her daughter was healed!  Hallelujah!


"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth, For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our Life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory.

"Mortify therefore your members, which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which  things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 

"But now ye also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him: but Christ is all in all." (Col. 3:1-11)

Jesus said, "Except a man be Born Again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God... Verily, verily, Except a man be born of water (Word) and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." (John 3:1-7)


Jesus promised: "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever, Even the Spirit of Truth ... but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come unto you." (John 14: 16-18)

JESUS said: "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve Me, let Him follow Me: and where I  am, there shall also My servant be: If any man serve Me, him will My Father honour." (John 12:25, 26)

He spoke about His own death, "..except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die.."  Then, He said, "If any man serve Me, him will My Father honour." That is awesome. We are not looking for honour, but God  honours those who truly love and serve Christ!

 None of us are able to come to God on the basis of who we are or what we have done, but only by God's grace and because of what He has done for us, are we able to receive God's miracles. God the Father sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to REDEEM us through His shed blood on Golgotha's Cross! He alone purchased our total forgiveness and justification through His triumphant resurrection from the dead!

Satan is the adversary of God and the enemy of humanity! He is a deceiving, conniving LIAR. Jesus called him a thief, liar and murderer. He told the first lie and is the inventor of all lies, deception and condemnation! The word Satan means Enemy and the word Devil means Liar.

The GOOD NEWS is that Jesus Christ defeated him conclusively and destroyed him and his kingdom of darkness! The Bible says: "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested to Destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3: 8). 

JESUS said: "The thief cometh not but for to Steal, Kill and Destroy. I am come that you might have Life and have it more abundantly,"(John 10: 10)

St. John declared: "And this is the record, that God hath given us Eternal Life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to His will He heareth us: And we know that if He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we Know that we the petition that we desired of Him." (1 John 5: 11-15)

Real faith recognizes how little we are and how big He is - and then appropriates His promise to us His children, and receives graciously from His hand as a Son would receive from his father!   Amen.