Sarah Jakes Roberts preached a sermon encouraging believers to hold onto God's promises and plans for their life in the midst of depression, anxiety or fear.
Roberts, a New York Times bestselling author and the daughter of Bishop T.D. Jakes, preached a sermon Friday titled "Getting More Out of Life" at the Los Angeles-based nondenominational church, One: A Potter's House Church, that she co-pastors with her husband, Touré Roberts.
Some Christians have an unhealthy belief that their circumstances cannot be changed, but "you've got to believe there is more," she said, imploring congregants who have this mentality to alter their perspective.
“The issue that most of us have is that we're in these circumstances, we're in our lives, we're in our communities, we're in our relationships, and we have given up on the belief that there is something more connected to the moment we are standing in,” the 33-year-old pastor said.
“We fall into the thinking that there is perhaps something random or coincidental about the experiences that we have possessed. But the reality is that there is always something more connected to it."
Some Christians, Roberts said, have the wrong mindset and display an attitude of staying where they are most comfortable to avoid failing in life.
“Maybe my job at the moment at the grocery store is to be a light. Maybe my job when I'm at this facility that I work in is to make sure that I am helping them to create better strategies. What is ‘the more’ connected to this moment?” Roberts said.
“You got to believe that there's more. Some of us do believe that there's more; we just think that ‘the more’ is assigned to other people. That for us, we could just sit down and live in this trapped space because being trapped is better than failing at more."
Typically, in situations when Christians convince themselves that they do not have the potential to do something more with their lives, Roberts said, they convince themselves that they do not believe that they are able to do any better, which stops them from fulfilling their potential.
Christians often miss opportunities to be in relationships, apply for job promotions, write a book or start a ministry due to fear.
“Believing in more is expensive. Believing in more requires vulnerability. Believing in more means I've got to be willing to take risks and to get it wrong,” Roberts said.
“I hear God saying that if you are ever going to discover ‘the more’ that God placed in you, then you're going to have to believe that there is more. You're going to have to begin to pull levers that you would have never pulled, have relationships that you would have never had ... you're going to have conversations and communication that you would have never had before because you believe that there is more."
Roberts said she strives to apply to her own life the notion that there is always more.
“Anytime I finish preaching a message, I go back through my head and I think to myself, ‘What more could I have done?’ Because next time I get an opportunity to share the Gospel, I want to tap into ‘the more,’" Roberts noted.
“When I'm serving my children, when I'm serving my husband, I'm thinking to myself, ‘What more can I add to your life? What more can I do to make you feel seen? What more can I do to make you feel valued?’ Because I recognize that part of my posture in life is to believe in more. I believe in more. I'm not able to give up."
Roberts explained that even before she began to pursue her dreams, she had a mindset that recognized her own self-worth and her potential.
“Even when I was depressed, as a teenager ... when I dropped out of college, I still believed in more. I was waitressing at a strip club, still believing in more. I was going circling jobs in the newspaper because I still believed in more," said Roberts.
"God I don't believe that this is the end for my life. God, I don't believe that the statistics are right. God, I'm going through a divorce but the divorce can't go through me because I'm believing for more."
In order to believe that "more" lies ahead in the life of a Christian, Roberts stressed that believers must begin to think outside of their circumstances.
“I'm trying to show you that there's more of God's Spirit in you than there is the spirit of grief, then there is the spirit of insecurity, then there is the spirit of doubt, then there is the spirit of worry. I'm not saying it's not there. I'm just saying that God's got more,” Roberts preached.
“I'm not saying that depression isn't real. I'm just saying that God's got more than depression. God's got more than anxiety. God's got more than fear. God's got more than ego. God's got more than pride. God's got more. I know you got a lot on you. I know you got a lot of shame. I know you've got a lot of worry. But I'm telling you that God's still got more grace. God’s still got more mercy. God's still got more anointing."
"I believe in God's more."
Earlier in the sermon, Roberts shared with the audience John 16:7, where Jesus tells His disciples that He is preparing to die. She noted that "Jesus had spent time with His disciples, He's performed miracles, He's healed the sick; the blind see, the lame walk," but it was time for Him to face his fate at Calvery on the cross.
"This is what we would call a modern colloquialism — a plot twist for the disciples," Roberts pointed out.
"The disciples thought they would be following Jesus and just being a part of Jesus' ministry. But, Jesus had come to the point where He allows them into an extra layer. And that extra layer means their job is done in following Him. It's time for Him to go to the cross. It's time for Him to go be with His Father."
The disciples, Roberts said, were left "holding exposure, experiences, but no leader as they had known it."
"The disciples have experienced more, but now they are living in the threat that the more that they have experienced is going to be taken away," Roberts said.
"Has anyone ever been there; where you finally are living in the more, but for some reason, you lose the job, you move to another city, someone passes away, and the more is being taken away?" Roberts inquired.
The disciples, Roberts said, were filled with grief after hearing that Jesus needed to die.
However, later in her sermon, Roberts noted that despite foreshadowing His departure through death, Jesus still leaves the disciples with "something powerful to marinate on."
"Jesus tells them that 'though I am leaving, I'm sending you help and when it's all said and done, you're going to be glad that I sent you the help,'" Roberts said, paraphrasing the Bible verses.
"The disciples are already living in more. And Jesus says that when it's all said and done, if you survive this sorrow, that even the more that you're experiencing right now, is not going to be anything compared to the more that's on the way," she added.