Pastor Herbert Cooper Says God Can Change the Direction of Our Lives In an Instant

Pastor Herbert Cooper
Pastor Herbert Cooper


Herbert is the senior pastor of People’s Church in Oklahoma City. When Herbert was 13 years old, a female family friend sexually abused him. After several months, in spite of her manipulative threats, Herbert was able to break away and stop the abuse. The sexual activity, coupled with his parents’ divorce, set Herbert on a bad path. His reaction to situations and the way he thought were from places of anger and shame. The effects of the abuse stayed with him many years, and dictated a “reckless life-style.” His end would have been destruction until he had an unforeseen “but God” moment.

According to Herbert, “but God” appears in Scripture around 36 times. The purpose behind those two seemingly small words is to “reveal that a Divine change is about to occur in human lives.” Herbert says God wants us to stop looking through a limited viewfinder so we can see how drastically different God views our circumstances. It doesn’t matter whether we have been wounded, are insecure, have lost our way, or can only see things that seem to be impossible. God gives us healing, confidence, guides us, and makes everything possible.

Herbert was a college football player who hid behind his image, unable to face the painstaking memories from his past abuse, and the divorce of his parents, which shattered his world. One evening, with free pizza being his motivation, Herbert went to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting. After the meeting, Herbert gave his life to Christ. Herbert says we hide our sin, shame, and hurts from God, all the while pushing Him away. However, when we open our hearts for God to see and heal, life springs forth. Herbert reminds us of Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

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