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Evergreen Life: Flourish in Every Circumstance

Evergreen Life: Flourish in Every Circumstance

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Evergreen Life: Flourish in Every Circumstance

133 pages
1 hour
Aug 25, 2020


The abundant life Jesus gives us remains constant in every season and is not moved by outside circumstances. Pressure quickly reveals if we really are believing what Jesus accomplished for us!


Scripture compares those who trust in God to evergreen trees, which never lose their leaves regardless of the season. In fact, many pine cones only release their seeds after passing through fire or freezing cold. The trial reveals life. Likewise, God has planted the seed of his word in each Christian, and sometimes it's through hard times that the seed germinates and God's life becomes really evident in our lives. 


Jonathan Brenneman wrote these twenty-three devotionals while living in Rio de Janeiro Brazil and facing a lot of pressure! During this time, he and his wife escaped armed robbery multiple times. Their car was wrecked twice in the same year due to highway robberies, and his wife escaped a kidnapper. Their bank account was emptied a few different times due to crime and a broken legal system. They faced a death threat against their family and a kidnapping threat against their daughter. Around the same time, friends living on the same street lost a little girl who was kidnapped and killed. These trials came on top of rocky relationships, cross-cultural challenges, a busy schedule without much sleep, facing corruption and fraud, flying bullets, and more!


Jonathan's writing is extremely encouraging and overflows with hope and joy. These writings also contain a few testimonies of physical healing. Are you facing financial loss, injustice, or other stressful circumstances? Or maybe you know somebody who is? The truths found here have the potential to fill your heart with hope and produce an overflowing joy and stability in the middle of craziness!

Aug 25, 2020

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Evergreen Life - Jonathan Brenneman

Evergreen Life

Flourish In Every Circumstance

Propiv Press

Lancaster Pennsylvania, USA

Evergreen Life

Flourish In Every Circumstance

By Jonathan Brenneman

Evergreen Life

Copyright © 2019 by Jonathan Brenneman. All rights reserved. This book is protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America. This book may not be copied or reprinted for commercial gain or profit. The use of short quotations or occasional page copying for personal or group study is permitted and encouraged. Permission will be granted upon request.

Propiv Press, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA

Unless otherwise indicated, scripture quotations are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


We don’t need to watch action movies! Real life is enough in Rio de Janeiro! We’ve seen public buses set on fire, tanks rolling down the street, police armored vehicles with cracked glass due to their most recent battle with drug dealers, and people running from shoot-outs in desperation. We’ve heard hundreds of gunshots in just a few hours. We have a phone app called Where’s the shooting to help us avoid the cross fire when we go out, but I’ve still had to hold my daughter on the car floor and duck as we were unexpectedly caught in the middle of shooting.

In fact, crazy situations have become so common in Rio that when 37 people were recently kidnapped on a bus and traffic was stopped for hours, people took out fruit salad, playing cards, and a kite on the side of the highway. One guy opened his car trunk to sell snacks, and everybody left their cars and lined up. He sold everything. The situation didn’t seem so out of the ordinary for people who live here! Special forces, police, ambulances, and snipers were all around. The stand-off finally ended in a sniper killing the madman after several hours.

We’ve escaped robbery at gunpoint several times and had our car wrecked twice due to highway robbers. My wife escaped a kidnapping. All the money was suddenly taken out of my wife’s bank account several times due to a combination of crime and a broken legal system.

We’ve faced death and kidnapping threats. We’ve been frustrated with police that don’t show up and won’t lock up dangerous criminals, but sometimes are actually in cahoots with the criminals. Not to mention a public health system that won’t send an ambulance to help an old man, but sends one to get rid of him, officials who don’t want to do their jobs without a bribe, and so much more!

I wrote these short articles while we lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pressing circumstances challenge us as to whether we really are believing the message of the gospel. They reveal if we are acting according to the fact that we have victory in Christ and cause for unspeakable joy.

The gospel message has produced great joy for me in the middle of trying circumstances. We need to have a healthy perspective that produces joy if we are going to keep going when the going gets tough! Have you faced financial loss, rocky relationships, or extremely stressful situations? The truths contained here, if taken to heart, will help you to lay hold of heavenly strength, stability, and joy that aren’t moved by exterior circumstances. These truths have certainly helped me!

Evergreen Life

Flourish In Every Circumstance

Table of Contents

1. Evergreen Life

2. Escaping Gunpoint Again

3. Yoked With God

4. Jesus Living In Me Can Love People When I Can’t

5. Raising God’s Banner Of Peace

6. Opposition Because Of The Word

7. Circumstances Aren’t The Measure Of God’s Favor On You

8. Do You Know God’s Favor Is On You?

9. God’s Favor Can Make You The Most Influential Person Wherever You Go

10. Jesus Didn’t Die For Nothing!

11. There’s Nothing Good In Me. Really?

12. No Inferiority!

13. God’s Address!

14. I’m One With Him Who Made The Blind To See!

15. God’s Invisible Spirit

16. Communion With The Holy Spirit

17. What Spirit Are You Communing With?

18. Experiencing God’s Goodness In The Midst Of Tragedy

19. Feelings May Lie, But Truth Remains!

20. God Turns The Rock Into Pools Of Water!

21. Jesus Is My Only Option!

22. A Wheelbarrow Of Gold

23. Jesus Has Broken Through!

24. Are You Feasting?

About The Author


Also By Jonathan Brenneman

1. Evergreen Life

I Have No Idea What This Vision Means!

As I was praying one night, I saw a mental picture of myself reaching in a paper bag, pulling out a pine cone, and giving it to my wife.

Not everything we may see on the screen of our mind is God speaking to us. Yet I've learned that God does often speak in this way. I've had some amazing experiences where God showed me things I couldn't have known naturally, through an image in my mind. Once I saw a rainbow-colored angel with my natural eyes. Seeing a vision with your natural eyes is really cool, but the fact that a vision is more subtle doesn't mean it is less accurate or detailed. In fact, it can sometimes be even more so.

I was pretty sure that this picture of handing my wife a pine cone was a vision from God. I just had no idea what it meant!

I looked up pine cone symbolism on the internet. I found all kinds of occultic meanings related to Eastern religions, the staff of Osiris, and other things I want nothing to do with! I didn't realize how heavily the occult used pine cones as a symbol! Frustrated and a bit bothered by all the occult stuff, I decided to pray about it more and I asked some Christian friends for their thoughts.

Evergreen Life

I soon learned that the pine cone was also an early Christian symbol—for eternal life. The first scripture I think of when I think of eternal life is John 17:3

John 17:3 (NRSV) And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

The Bible tells us we are to grow in the knowledge of God.[1] This admonition combined with John 17:3 tells me that eternal life starts now—not after we die. As we grow in the knowledge of God, we will manifest eternal life on this earth and in this life.

As I was meditating on that, I came across a related question on Quora.com. The question was "Why is the Christian conception of the afterlife spoken of as ‘eternal life’ as opposed to ‘immortal life’?"

I thought of the pine tree. An evergreen tree is green and thrives in every season. Psalm 1 says that the person who delights in God's law is like a tree whose leaf does not wither. Psalm 92:12 says that The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Palms and cedars are both evergreen trees! Evergreen life isn't determined by outside circumstances or the weather at the moment.

Quoting from my answer on Quora: A person who knows God can have joy and be full of life no matter what the season. Eternal life is immortality, but it is more than that. It is also Evergreen life.

Of course, we all know Christians who don’t demonstrate joy in every season. But the Bible says we are growing in the knowledge of God. (2 Peter 3:18) That joy in every season doesn’t happen automatically, but it is something we can grow into experiencing as we get to know God.

I do know people who demonstrate this evergreen life. Whatever is going on all around them doesn’t change their joy, their life, or who they are. They walk in love in every circumstance.

The story of Betsie Ten Boom’s joy and love in prison and in a concentration camp is a great example of a Christian demonstrating evergreen life in this life.

The Trial Reveals Christ’s Life In You!

As I was meditating on this, one of my friends noted that a pine cone contains one of the few seeds that require extreme heat to be released. Fire opens pine cones, releasing the seeds. My friend asked if we were facing trials. I said Yes!

I started reading about it and learned that some pine cones only release their seeds in fire. Others eventually release their seeds when they dry, but fire releases them more quickly. Like some other seeds, pine nuts also

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