3ABN Australia Homecoming

Knowing God Through The Trials of Life

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: HCAU

Program Code: HCAU180004A

00:06 "And this is eternal life that they may know you,
00:10 the only true God,
00:12 and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
00:20 Welcome to 3ABN Australia Homecoming.
00:30 Hello and welcome to 3ABN Australia Homecoming 2018.
00:35 Well, Ryan, that's kind of a mouthful.
00:37 But we are so glad that you are joining us
00:39 maybe through TV, radio or the internet.
00:41 What a blessing we've already received here.
00:44 I'm calling it camp meeting, Homecoming,
00:46 however you want to describe it,
00:47 but our audience here, have you been blessed already?
00:51 I don't know if you heard that but there was a hearty amen.
00:53 And I know for Jill and myself,
00:55 what a joy it's been to be here in Australia.
00:58 We've never been here before,
01:00 but wow, what an incredible experience.
01:02 What a blessing to me each one of you.
01:04 That's right.
01:06 Earlier, before we started this program,
01:07 talked to several of you, some have driven, Ryan,
01:10 over 18 hours to come to this event.
01:12 Isn't that amazing?
01:14 That's a lot of dedication.
01:15 Yeah, we were just saying that we flew
01:16 over the Pacific Ocean 15 hours,
01:19 and I can imagine having to drive 18 hours,
01:22 I guess across Australia,
01:23 so that's powerful and that's dedication.
01:26 And yeah, we hope you brought your Bibles at home and here
01:29 because we're going to be having a powerful Bible study
01:32 as we continue on
01:33 with our Knowing God, Homecoming.
01:35 That's the theme, Knowing God. That's right.
01:37 You know, Brother Ryan, you've just joined 3ABN
01:39 over the past few months.
01:40 Right. And you've already...
01:42 He is part of the family.
01:43 It's like you've never...
01:44 It's like you've been here forever.
01:46 That's right.
01:47 But unfortunately, your wife is not able to make this trip
01:48 because she is a teacher,
01:50 so she's teaching the young people
01:51 back home in USA.
01:53 But I know you'd love for her to be here.
01:54 Yes.
01:55 But Ryan and his wife, Stephanie,
01:57 what a blessing they are to 3ABN.
01:58 Yes, it's such a blessing to be a part of the team.
02:00 And I would just give a shout out
02:01 to my lovely wife Stephanie.
02:03 She has actually just finished school
02:05 about 30 minutes ago.
02:06 They got out of the school.
02:08 She's the principal
02:09 at the Thompsonville Christian Academy
02:10 there in the US, so yeah.
02:12 Amen.
02:13 So I have to say our message today,
02:14 I'm really excited about this because I know her,
02:16 she is Jill, she is my wife.
02:19 We've been married for a wonderful 16 years.
02:21 We just passed our 16th wedding anniversary.
02:24 She is a woman of the Word of God.
02:27 She loves to study the Word of God,
02:29 but she's also, she loves people.
02:31 And how you see her,
02:33 and how you've seen her on 3ABN is how she is at home.
02:36 I'm so blessed, God has brought us together,
02:38 and what a privilege it is to minister at 3ABN together,
02:41 to be a part of saving souls for eternity.
02:44 And 3ABN is not just the people you see in front of the camera,
02:49 it's all of you, it's all of you at home
02:51 that make up what 3ABN is all about.
02:53 So today, Jill's going to bring the message to us
02:55 and it's entitled, of course, our theme is Knowing God,
02:58 but then it's through the trials of life.
03:00 But before that, our music.
03:01 Absolutely, actually in the mean time...
03:03 Oh, that's a pretty good segue.
03:05 In the mean time,
03:06 we have a wonderful special number.
03:08 It's going to be brought to us by Tim Parton,
03:10 and the title of the song is "In the Meantime."
03:13 So after Tim, you'll see Jill.
03:15 Thank you.
03:16 If you know the story of Job, these words will ring to you.
03:33 I am broken in a room alone
03:38 Where the only light is You
03:43 And I am beaten
03:46 By the days of tribulation
03:49 I've gone through
03:53 My life has been laid bare
03:57 Right before your eyes
04:00 Today my heart despairs
04:03 And tomorrow I may die
04:09 But in the mean time
04:13 You're the lifter of my head
04:17 And in the lean times
04:20 You're the giver of my bread
04:24 Lord, Your goodness
04:27 Is too wonderful for me
04:34 I believe my redeemer is alive
04:40 Even in the mean times
04:48 I have nothing
04:52 You have given
04:53 And you've taken it away
04:58 Oh but, Lord, I thank you
05:02 For all I really need is you
05:05 And You have stayed
05:09 You formed me from the dust
05:12 Your spirit gave me breath
05:16 I am Yours in life
05:19 And I am Yours in death
05:24 And in the mean time
05:28 You're the lifter of my head
05:32 And in the lean times
05:35 You're the giver of my bread
05:39 Lord, Your goodness
05:42 Is too wonderful for me
05:48 I believe my redeemer is alive
05:54 Even in the mean times
06:07 Lord, your goodness
06:11 Is far too wonderful
06:14 For me
06:20 And I believe
06:23 My redeemer is alive
06:28 Oh, I believe
06:30 My redeemer is alive
06:35 Even in Your mean time
06:52 So much, Tim.
06:54 What a blessing.
06:55 In the meantime, God is on the throne.
06:58 In the meantime,
06:59 we can trust Him with our lives.
07:02 What a tremendous privilege
07:04 to be here down under in 3ABN Australia
07:09 in the Avondale Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church
07:13 for the Homecoming.
07:14 Greg and I had been looking forward to this time
07:17 to come and to share with each one of you
07:19 and you are all wonderful group of people.
07:21 We had the privilege to meet a few,
07:23 and we are looking forward to meeting the rest of you.
07:25 God has people everywhere.
07:27 Praise the Lord for that.
07:30 Our theme this camp meeting,
07:32 Homecoming, is Knowing God.
07:36 The theme scripture, John 17:3
07:39 and "This is eternal life, that they may know you,
07:44 the only true God, and Jesus Christ,
07:48 whom You have sent."
07:50 How do we know Him?
07:52 We know Him by His Word.
07:54 We know Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.
07:57 We know Him by His character and through His law.
08:02 We know Him through prayer, through life's experiences,
08:06 and today I'm talking about knowing God
08:09 through the trials of life,
08:12 through the joy and pain, through the grief and loss,
08:15 through the acceptance of what has been
08:18 and the surrender of what might never be,
08:22 through anything and everything,
08:24 knowing that He is good,
08:26 that He is love and that He can be trusted.
08:31 Let's pray.
08:32 Holy Father, just now
08:35 I asked that You would hide me
08:39 behind the cross,
08:41 that You would get me out of the way
08:44 that Jesus could be seen,
08:46 that Your Word would go forth
08:50 and we would be healers and doers of Your Word,
08:55 that we could see the love of God
08:58 in a way that maybe we have never seen before.
09:01 And we thank you
09:03 in the precious and holy name of Jesus.
09:05 Amen.
09:06 It was a Sabbath afternoon,
09:08 Greg and I had just come out of church and greeting people,
09:13 you know, how you do after church.
09:16 It was a...
09:18 We were out west in North America,
09:20 and a lady came up to me
09:22 that I had never seen before and she said,
09:25 "Jill, I want to talk to you for a minute."
09:27 And I thought, "That's great, you know, let's talk."
09:30 She said, "I read an article in the Adventist Review
09:35 that you wrote about your journey with infertility."
09:39 And instantly I thought, "Okay what's coming next."
09:43 Because when you open yourself up to be vulnerable
09:47 and to share some of the issues that you have gone through,
09:50 some people encourage him pray,
09:52 and some people have many suggestions
09:55 or we could say some constructive criticism.
09:57 Have you ever experienced that?
09:59 So I didn't know which direction
10:01 she is coming from.
10:02 "Is this okay? This is an issue Jill,"
10:04 or she coming for to encourage.
10:07 So I said, "Okay."
10:09 And she said,
10:11 "I want to thank you for being honest.
10:14 You have helped me a great deal.
10:17 Can I tell you a story?"
10:18 And I said, "Sure."
10:20 And so we kind of step to the side
10:21 because there's all these people
10:23 after church mingling.
10:25 And she said, "My husband and I couldn't have kids,
10:28 and we desperately wanted to have kids and we couldn't.
10:32 And we didn't know what to do and we prayed
10:36 and God put on our heart that we ought to adopt."
10:39 And I said, "That's wonderful.
10:41 Adoptions are great thing."
10:44 She said, "You haven't heard the whole story, Jill.
10:46 So we decided to adopt
10:48 and we were gonna do a foreign adoption."
10:50 Now in the States if you do a foreign adoption,
10:53 it can be expensive.
10:55 You can spend $30,000, $40,000, and $50,000
10:59 to adopt kids from a foreign country.
11:01 She and her husband spent thousands,
11:04 they received the news
11:06 that they were gonna get two little girls.
11:09 They were four and five,
11:11 we'll call the girls, Sarah and Mary.
11:13 And they already named the girls,
11:16 they were so excited.
11:18 They were gonna come home to them
11:19 and they were gonna be a mom and dad.
11:21 They had paid all these money for the adoption.
11:25 Then she said, "We waited and the girls didn't come.
11:29 And we waited and they didn't come.
11:32 And then we got the news that the girls had been sold."
11:38 They lost the money,
11:41 the girls were not just sold to someone else to be adopted,
11:44 neither were they sold to be workers,
11:49 they were sold in the sex trade.
11:52 So the very kids that were to be theirs
11:55 that they had paid money for, that they could adopt...
12:00 They were so excited to be mom and dad.
12:03 Now they had to live with the knowledge
12:06 that those precious little girls
12:09 were possibly dead or worse.
12:12 It had been several years since that time, and she said,
12:16 "Jill, I don't even know how to deal with the pain.
12:19 I can't get over this."
12:20 And I thought,
12:22 "What I've been through is nothing compared to that."
12:24 I can't even imagine going through pain like that.
12:29 How do you find the faith of Christ
12:32 when you are going through pain?
12:34 How do you find Him
12:35 when you can't even feel His presence,
12:38 when you don't even know where to look for Him?
12:43 I want to talk today, knowing God through trials,
12:45 a little different angle.
12:47 We are gonna talk about answers to prayer.
12:50 When I was growing up, I was always taught,
12:52 there were three answers to prayer.
12:54 One is...
12:55 Can you tell me? Yes.
12:57 Then there is one over here which is...
13:00 No, and what's the one in the middle?
13:03 Wait. Right, okay.
13:05 I'm gonna submit to you
13:06 that there is four answers to prayer.
13:09 Over here, number one is, no, not yet.
13:15 That would be the wait, right?
13:17 That would be the maybe, it's the same one.
13:18 We're gonna spend a little bit of time on that.
13:21 How do we know God in the waiting time?
13:25 What do we suppose to do while we wait?
13:27 This is no, not yet.
13:29 Then we have this one,
13:31 which is no, I love you too much.
13:36 How can love be a no?
13:40 We're gonna spend most of our time on that.
13:42 No, I love you too much, how can love be a no.
13:47 Then there is, yes, I thought you would never ask
13:52 and then there is yes, and so much more.
13:57 Let's start with no, the first one was...
14:01 No, what?
14:02 Not yet. No, not yet.
14:04 We'll start with that.
14:05 How do we know God during the waiting time?
14:07 If you're like me, I do not like to wait.
14:11 It drives me nuts when I have to sit and wait,
14:14 that bothers me.
14:15 They say that on average people wait 15 minutes
14:19 at a restaurant for a table.
14:21 Twenty minutes a day for the bus or the train.
14:25 Thirty-two minutes at the doctor's office.
14:27 Now, you know why
14:29 you don't like to go to the doctor's office.
14:31 If you're waiting for a life time...
14:33 If you spend your whole life time,
14:34 if you average out a person's life span,
14:37 people spend six months of their life in line
14:40 waiting for something.
14:42 People spend 43 days on hold
14:45 with that automated phone system
14:47 that you hate so much.
14:48 People spend 27 days of their life,
14:51 waiting at the bus platform and get this,
14:54 and average nine years of your life
14:57 on your cell phone.
14:58 Something's wrong with that.
15:00 The difficulty of waiting...
15:03 Now, the waiting I just talked about,
15:06 waiting at the restaurant, or waiting for the bus,
15:08 that's the type of waiting
15:10 that maybe makes us just a bit impatient.
15:13 For what about when the waiting is something different,
15:16 when you're waiting for the result to the biopsy,
15:20 you are waiting for the door to open,
15:22 for the job you always wanted, or the home you dreamed of,
15:26 or even to have a home at all.
15:30 What if you are waiting for finances for school?
15:34 What if you are waiting your whole life for a spouse,
15:38 or for kids, or for a friend?
15:42 What do you do then?
15:44 Why do we wait?
15:45 We wait because we have no choice.
15:47 If we had a choice, we wouldn't be waiting.
15:49 We wait because we have no answer.
15:52 We wait because we have no way out,
15:55 we are unable to fix it, remedy it or make it better.
15:59 We are incapable of changing our circumstances.
16:06 How do we wait?
16:08 What do we do in the midst of that process?
16:12 I think there's three ways that we wait,
16:14 when God says no, not yet,
16:17 there's three ways that we wait.
16:20 In the midst of that process,
16:21 first we wait and surrender and submission to His will.
16:26 Psalm 40:8, Jesus says, "I delight..."
16:31 Do you know how it finishes?
16:33 "To do your will, oh my God, Your law is within my heart."
16:39 Now that word delight in Hebrew means desire.
16:44 So what is He saying?
16:45 "I desire to do your will."
16:50 Have you ever really desired to do something,
16:52 desired to do someone else's will?
16:54 How do we even know what the will of God is?
16:57 I desired to do Your will.
17:00 In order to know His will, we have to know Him.
17:05 And this is life eternal that they should know Him,
17:08 the only true God in Jesus Christ
17:10 whom Thou has sent.
17:12 We have to have personal firsthand experience
17:16 in order to know Him and to know Him is to love Him.
17:21 To know Him is to desire Him.
17:25 Often, you know, in my waiting time
17:27 when God says no, not yet, you know how I wait?
17:30 I wait in frustration.
17:33 I wait in self-pity.
17:36 I wait in fear and yet God says,
17:41 "Don't do any of those things,
17:43 wait and surrender, and submission to His will."
17:48 I'm not very good with either one of those.
17:51 Surrender and submission,
17:53 giving up my way choosing to accept
17:57 the way of the Lord Jesus Christ.
18:00 One of my favorite poems, I have written,
18:04 typed up in a thinner frame right beside our bed
18:06 and it says, "In acceptance lies peace,
18:10 all my heart be still.
18:12 Let die restless worries cease and accept His will."
18:17 Though this test or though this trial
18:19 is not my choice, it is His.
18:23 Therefore, rejoice.
18:24 In His plan there cannot be anything to make me sad.
18:28 If this is His choice for me, I want to take it and be glad.
18:34 Make from it some lovely thing, to the glory of my King.
18:38 Cease from sighs and murmuring, sing his loving grace.
18:42 This trial means my furthering to a wealthy place.
18:48 From my fear he will get release
18:51 and in acceptance lies peace.
18:53 So how do we wait?
18:55 We wait in surrender and submission to His will.
18:58 Number two, we wait in active service.
19:02 Not in idleness or discouragement...
19:05 Remember the Parable of the Ten Talents,
19:07 and the King sent...
19:09 Remember, he went on a far journey,
19:11 the noble man and he gave to a certain man
19:13 so many talents and others.
19:15 Luke 19:30, he said, "Occupy until I come."
19:22 In other words, practically speaking,
19:24 we don't sit at home and mop in self pity.
19:26 We don't sit in fear, we occupy until He comes.
19:33 We actively choose to engage in service,
19:37 seeking out other people serving with joy.
19:41 First, we wait in surrender and submission to His will.
19:43 Second, we wait in active service,
19:46 not in idealness or discouragement
19:48 and third, we wait in eager expectation
19:52 of what God is going to accomplish
19:55 in our lives.
19:57 Turn with me to Romans, Pastor John said last night,
19:59 Romans is one of...
20:01 I think he said it's his favorite book,
20:02 and it is one of my favorite books
20:05 as well.
20:06 Romans 5,
20:11 we're gonna read verses 3-5.
20:14 Roman 5:3, "And not only that,
20:17 but we also glory in tribulation..."
20:20 Now, I want to stop right there,
20:22 the word tribulation in Greek means internal pressure.
20:26 There's actually two different words for pressure,
20:29 or struggle, or tribulation.
20:31 One means internal.
20:33 There is another one that means external.
20:36 This one is flipsis, which means internal struggle.
20:40 So it says, "We glory in tribulations."
20:42 So that doesn't mean,
20:44 we're glorying in external physical issues.
20:48 The tribulation that Paul's talking about here
20:50 is the mental struggle.
20:51 Would you agree that's the worst kind?
20:53 Any type of trial that we go through,
20:55 it's the battle of the mind, that is the biggest challenge,
20:59 at least for me it is.
21:00 It's a battle to whether
21:01 I'm gonna wallow in self-pity or not.
21:03 It's a battle,
21:05 whether I'm going to get depressed,
21:06 or I'm going to be afraid,
21:07 or I'm going to splash out in anger,
21:10 all of that's the battle of the mind.
21:12 So we glory in tribulations,
21:15 this is that internal struggle or internal pressure,
21:18 knowing that tribulation produces what?
21:22 Perseverance or patience, depends on your version.
21:26 Tribulation produces perseverance
21:29 and perseverance character.
21:32 That is the character that is forged under trial
21:37 and character produces hope.
21:41 Meaning in Greek, eager expectation.
21:45 Now, hope does not disappoint or hope is not an illusion.
21:50 King James says, "Hope maketh not ashamed."
21:53 Because the love of God
21:54 has been poured out in our hearts
21:56 by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
22:01 So the first category, when God says, "No, not yet."
22:06 And when we are in the midst of the waiting time,
22:09 we wait in surrender and submission to His will.
22:12 We wait in active service,
22:15 not in idealness or discouragement,
22:17 and we wait in eager expectation
22:20 of what God's gonna accomplish.
22:22 Now I told you, I wanted to spend
22:24 the balance of our time with this one right here.
22:27 When God says no...
22:29 I love you too much.
22:33 How can love be a no?
22:40 Now I do not begin to understand this
22:43 and I want to be clear about that.
22:46 This is a deep topic, we could spend days on
22:50 and we can't even truly understand
22:52 the mind of God.
22:53 But in my study, I found three times,
22:57 three reasons...
22:59 And now there's more granted, I'm just saying three,
23:01 we are talking about today.
23:03 Three reasons why love is a no?
23:07 I'll give you three illustrations
23:08 to show them and then we'll unpack each one of them.
23:11 How many of you are parents?
23:14 So three-quarters at least, 75.
23:18 So if you're a parent and your child...
23:22 Say you are boiling something on your stove
23:23 and the child reaches up to touch the hot burner,
23:26 what do you say?
23:28 No.
23:29 What if your child runs out into the street?
23:33 And there's car coming, what do you say?
23:34 No.
23:36 Now, you don't just say,
23:37 "Okay, I guess, don't do that honey."
23:38 No, right, you'll be pretty firm about it.
23:41 No, get out of the street, get your hand of the stove.
23:43 Why?
23:45 Because love is protection.
23:49 Sometimes when God says no,
23:53 I love you too much.
23:55 He said no because He wants to protect you and I
24:01 from stepping outside of the boundaries of His will.
24:05 Love is protection, we'll unpack that in a minute.
24:08 Illustration number two,
24:10 if you're married, a husband or wife,
24:13 if the other one steps outside of the marriage
24:18 into adultery.
24:20 The spouse, say the husband steps out
24:22 and the spouse is the one who says the husband
24:24 just stepped out into adulterous relationship.
24:28 The wife says, "No."
24:31 Why?
24:33 Because love is ownership.
24:37 When you get married,
24:41 and you say "I do," what is that mean?
24:44 You belong as if were, to the other person,
24:48 love is ownership.
24:50 God is saying, "We are His children,
24:53 we belong to Him,
24:55 and anything that comes
24:57 in between our relationship and Him,
25:01 he gets jealous over.
25:03 And he says, "I don't want that."
25:05 Love is ownership.
25:06 We will unpack that more in a moment.
25:08 Number three,
25:09 Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane,
25:12 remember Him prostrate on the ground.
25:17 God, please, I don't want to go to the cross, I can't do it.
25:23 My humanity won't let me.
25:26 Please, if it's possible, God, I don't want to go.
25:30 And God said, "No."
25:34 Why?
25:36 Because love is sacrifice for someone else's salvation.
25:42 First, love is protection, love is ownership,
25:46 and love is sacrifice for someone else's salvation.
25:49 If Jesus had not gone to the cross,
25:52 there would be no hope of salvation for you and for I.
25:55 So let's unpack those three, love is protection.
26:00 Why does God says, "No, I love you too much,"
26:03 because He wants to protect you and I.
26:06 His law and His boundaries are really for our protection.
26:12 The Garden of Eden,
26:14 remember when God created Adam and Eve,
26:15 and He said don't...
26:17 What did He say?
26:19 "Don't eat of the fruit
26:20 of the tree of knowledge of good and evil."
26:23 Now, why did He do that?
26:25 It was for their protection.
26:27 If they stepped outside the boundaries of His will
26:31 and if they went and took of the fruit and ate,
26:35 there would be sin, there would be pain,
26:38 there would be separation from God,
26:41 there would ultimately be death.
26:45 He wasn't being harsh, he wasn't being cruel,
26:48 it was for their protection.
26:51 The same thing with The Ten Commandments,
26:52 the law of God.
26:54 God is not giving arbitrary rules,
26:57 He's not saying,
26:58 "Okay, don't go out Jill and kill someone
27:01 because I want to be mean about it."
27:04 What is He saying?
27:05 "I love you and I can enable you."
27:08 So you don't even have hatred in your heart
27:11 toward your brother.
27:13 These are for your protection.
27:16 What about the second one?
27:17 Love is ownership.
27:20 Now remember the example with a husband and wife
27:22 stepping outside?
27:25 Now if I were to ask you,
27:27 is jealousy a good thing or a bad thing?
27:30 How many would say jealousy is a good thing?
27:33 Okay, I saw a little bit.
27:35 Now, how many would say jealousy is bad?
27:37 We could all agree jealousy is bad, right?
27:39 And we know that.
27:41 But could there be a time
27:43 when there's a godly form of jealousy?
27:49 Godly jealousy is God is jealous for us, why?
27:54 Because He owns us.
27:56 You and I, humanly from an ungodly perspective,
28:00 are jealous of other people
28:03 or jealous of other things, why?
28:05 We don't have any rightful ownership over them, right?
28:08 And we're coveting or wanting
28:11 something that doesn't even belong to us.
28:15 Godly jealous, jealous for us is a divine trait.
28:20 Jealous of us is an ungodly or evil trait.
28:25 Why is God jealous for us?
28:27 Because He owns us.
28:28 He made us in the beginning,
28:31 and then He bought us back with the blood of Jesus.
28:36 Turn with me to Isaiah 43.
28:38 This is one of my other favorite books.
28:40 Isaiah 43:1,
28:47 Isaiah 43:1,
28:48 "But now, thus says the Lord, who,"
28:51 what's that word?
28:53 "Created you."
28:55 In Hebrew, it literally means to form or shape.
28:59 "Thus says the Lord who formed you."
29:02 He created us, He made us
29:05 in the beginning in the image of God.
29:08 "Thus says the Lord, who formed you,
29:11 O Jacob, and He who formed you,
29:15 O Israel, 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you,'"
29:21 So He made us in the beginning.
29:22 We rightfully belong to Him
29:24 because He made us in the beginning,
29:26 then He bought us back.
29:28 We chose to walk away, we chose to turn our back.
29:34 I chose to spit in His face, and yet, Jesus,
29:41 while I was yet a sinner,
29:43 while I was still wallowing in the mud,
29:46 while I still had...
29:49 I was fighting Him like a little kid,
29:50 you know, hitting on the parent.
29:52 I was kicking against Him, He died for me.
29:56 He bought me back, and He said,
29:59 "Jill, all I'm asking, will you make a choice?
30:02 And will you follow Me?"
30:04 Love is ownership.
30:05 No one can claim ownership more than the Lord Jesus Christ
30:08 'cause He made us in the beginning,
30:10 and then He went to the cross to buy us back,
30:14 so that we can belong to Him again for all eternity.
30:19 So sometimes when I pray,
30:22 and I say, "God, why is it a no?
30:25 Why are you saying no to something I so dearly want?"
30:29 He says, "Jill, My daughter,
30:31 I'm saying no 'cause I love you so much.
30:35 There is this certain thing in your life,
30:38 you have made an idol.
30:40 And I not only own you
30:42 and created you in the beginning,
30:43 I bought you back.
30:45 I don't want anything between me and you."
30:48 There's a circumstance,
30:50 a situation something in your life,
30:52 I'm bringing you to a straight place,
30:55 I'm bringing you to a narrow place
30:57 and a hard place, why?
30:58 To show you what is in your heart,
31:01 so that you can give it to Me.
31:03 Psalm 37:4, David says,
31:06 "Delight yourself in the Lord,
31:09 and He shall give you the desires of your heart."
31:14 I remember earnestly praying for something,
31:17 agonizing with God,
31:19 "God, please, I want this please.
31:22 Why can't it be a yes?
31:24 Please."
31:25 And He said, "Jill delight in me,"
31:26 and I said, "I am."
31:28 He said, "No, you're not."
31:32 Don't you love it, God's so honest.
31:35 Praise the Lord for that.
31:37 He said, "No, you're not."
31:38 I said, "Why aren't you giving me
31:40 the desire of my heart?"
31:41 And He said, "The desire of your heart
31:43 is not in harmony with My will.
31:48 Surrender that desire, delight in Him,
31:52 I will bring your desires into harmony with Me."
31:58 Turn with me to 2 Corinthians Chapter 12.
32:02 Paul knows what it is like for God to say no,
32:06 to say no because He loved him too much.
32:10 2 Corinthians Chapter 12,
32:13 now we could debate what the thorn in the flesh is,
32:15 but we won't get into that.
32:17 2 Corinthians 12:7, it says, Paul speaking,
32:20 "Lest I should be exalted above measure
32:24 by the abundance of the revelations,
32:26 a thorn in the flesh was given to me,
32:29 a messenger of Satan to buffet me,
32:32 lest I be exalted above measure."
32:36 So Paul prayed, what does it say?
32:38 If you go on the next verse, three times,
32:40 "God, please take this.
32:42 God, I don't want this, please.
32:45 Couldn't it be a yes?"
32:47 Now the Bible doesn't say God said no,
32:49 at least in this passage, it doesn't,
32:51 but what does God say?
32:53 "My grace is sufficient for you,
32:56 for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
33:00 Now I don't know when we get to heaven,
33:02 we would truly understand God's purpose,
33:04 so I can't begin to understand that.
33:07 But at the same time since Paul said,
33:09 "Lest I should be exalted above measure,"
33:12 that tells me that there was maybe a little pride
33:16 going on in Paul's life, I don't know.
33:18 But because he said that, you could kind of pick that up,
33:21 and maybe, just maybe the reason
33:25 God said no to removing that thorn,
33:29 to removing that trial was because God had ownership,
33:33 and He said, "Paul, I don't want
33:35 anything in your life
33:36 that would separate you from Me."
33:40 Love is protection.
33:42 Love is ownership.
33:44 Love is sacrifice
33:47 for the salvation of someone else.
33:49 Back in 1956,
33:52 there was a group of missionaries
33:54 who went from America to Ecuador,
33:56 you probably know the story.
33:58 And they went as missionaries
34:00 to the tribesmen there in Ecuador.
34:04 And five of the young men
34:06 in that mission party were killed.
34:09 Two of the most famous would be Jim Elliot and Nate Saint,
34:12 but there were three other men that were killed.
34:13 They were in their late 20s, early 30s.
34:16 Now if I had been involved in that situation,
34:21 if I'd been the wife, if I'd been maybe them
34:25 before they were finally speared to death, and thinking,
34:28 "God, but we came as missionaries,
34:29 but we're on a mission for You,
34:31 but we're seeking to serve You, and we're doing everything.
34:34 Why?"
34:36 And yet God said, "No, I love you too much."
34:38 How could that be love?
34:40 How could You allow the death of my spouse?
34:42 How is that even love?
34:45 And what happened?
34:46 Those women, the widows, they went back to the tribe,
34:52 they not only forgave the people
34:54 who had killed their husbands,
34:56 they lead them to Christ.
34:58 God said, "No,"
35:02 so that someone else could be saved.
35:05 Sometimes the difficulties that we go through
35:08 have nothing to do with us.
35:10 Everything to do
35:11 with the salvation of someone else.
35:16 Nate's son, his name is Steve Saint,
35:19 He said, "The distinction
35:20 of the five men and the five women,
35:22 who are even more heroic than the men."
35:24 And I... Wouldn't you agree?
35:26 I mean, I'm a woman, so ignore that.
35:28 But anyways, it seems to me
35:30 that the women were extremely heroic
35:32 because they had all gone as missionaries,
35:34 but the men were killed,
35:35 and now the women are going back
35:37 to the same people who killed their husband.
35:39 That takes tremendous forgiveness and courage.
35:44 He says, "The distinction of the five men
35:46 and the five women,
35:47 who are even more heroic than the men
35:49 is simply that they cared about other people
35:53 and were willing to give their lives,
35:56 so that someone else could live."
35:59 That was Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
36:02 "Father, if it's possible, let this cup pass from Me."
36:06 And what did He say?
36:07 No, because the whole world then could be saved.
36:11 That would be Esther.
36:13 I don't know anyone
36:14 who wants to go be a concubine for a king.
36:17 Now she became the queen,
36:19 but she didn't know that when she went in.
36:21 Going into a harem,
36:22 I don't know anyone who would want that.
36:24 I'm sure, she begged and pleaded God,
36:25 "Can I have a good Jewish husband?
36:27 Why have You given me this pagan?
36:29 Why am I..."
36:31 And yet God said, "No." Why?
36:34 Because the whole nation was going to be saved.
36:37 Now, I want to be clear.
36:38 This is not saying that the evil,
36:40 and the suffering, and the destruction
36:42 that happens in the world is caused by God.
36:45 We know, the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
36:48 Jesus said, He came that we would have life,
36:51 and have it more abundantly.
36:52 But in the midst of this world of sin,
36:56 God can turn something around for good
37:00 for the salvation of someone else
37:02 or even for our own selves.
37:07 How do we handle the hurt?
37:10 How do we handle the trial?
37:12 How do we handle the pain?
37:15 How do we handle when God says, "No, Jill.
37:18 And I'm saying no 'cause I love you too much."
37:21 What do we do with that?
37:23 I think one of the best ways,
37:25 this is just from my own personal experience,
37:27 and there's many ways we could talk about,
37:29 I just want to talk about one that is to praise.
37:33 Praise is not about God, it's about me.
37:37 It doesn't change God, it changes me.
37:41 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18,
37:45 "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing in,"
37:51 only the things I like,
37:53 only the things that make me happy,
37:56 only the things that...
37:57 No, "in everything give thanks,
38:01 for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
38:06 I remember when Greg and I first got our diagnosis.
38:09 This was 14 years ago maybe that we couldn't have kids.
38:13 And the doctor called on the phone,
38:15 which is kind of peculiar.
38:17 I don't know why they didn't do that in the office,
38:18 but anyways, he called on the phone,
38:19 Greg was at work.
38:21 And I remember hanging up the phone,
38:25 and running out the front door.
38:27 We live on a gravel road in the country.
38:30 3ABN is really...
38:31 US is really in the country.
38:33 And running down the gravel road,
38:35 and I was just crying, and I couldn't stop.
38:38 Just thinking, "God, it's everything I wanted,
38:41 and thought it was going to happen and dreamed,
38:45 why are You saying no?"
38:47 And it was a sunny day.
38:49 It was April.
38:50 It was spring time, birds were singing,
38:53 but I couldn't feel the sun on my face,
38:55 and I couldn't hear the birds, and I didn't know anything.
38:59 All I knew is I hurt,
39:02 "And God, why did You allow this to happen to me?"
39:07 And I remember, I got a ways down the road.
39:10 And then it was like,
39:11 I felt God tap me on the shoulder now,
39:13 not literally, okay?
39:14 But, you know, you sense the presence of God.
39:18 And He said, "Jill, My precious daughter,
39:20 count your blessings."
39:22 And I thought, "What's wrong with you, God?
39:24 I mean, I'm going through a hard time,
39:27 the least You could offer is some pity,
39:29 the least You could give me
39:30 is to put Your arm around my shoulder
39:32 and give me some comfort.
39:34 Why am I supposed to praise when it hurts?"
39:38 And I didn't understand why, but I made a choice.
39:41 "Okay, God, I'm going to do it anyway."
39:44 And so I said, "God, I thank You
39:46 because You're good, and I thank You
39:47 because You are on the throne,
39:49 and I thank You that Your love even though right now
39:53 it doesn't feel like You are,
39:54 but I'm still choosing to thank You.
39:58 And I thank You for my husband and for ministry and family."
40:00 And you know what happened?
40:03 As I praised, as I chose,
40:07 made a mental choice in my mind to give thanks,
40:11 God began to change my heart.
40:13 And I could feel the sun, and I could hear the birds,
40:18 and it was like the presence of Jesus
40:21 just wrapped me up in a blanket.
40:25 That's what happens when we praise.
40:28 It's not about God,
40:30 it's about the change that He wants to do
40:33 in our lives.
40:34 What does praise do?
40:36 First, praise takes the focus off of me,
40:39 and it turns it to God.
40:42 Psalm 35:28,
40:43 "My tongue shall speak of Your righteousness
40:45 and of Your praise all day long."
40:48 Now have you ever noticed that you can't speak
40:50 about two different things at the same time?
40:52 Now I can definitely think many thoughts at the same time,
40:55 but I cannot speak many things at the same time.
40:58 So if I'm speaking praise to God, what does that mean?
41:03 That means then I cannot be nurturing my own pain
41:07 focused on my own stuff.
41:09 When I'm speaking praise to God,
41:11 it takes the focus off of me,
41:14 and turns it outward and upward on to the Lord, Jesus Christ.
41:18 Number two, praise makes the enemy flee.
41:22 Remember Jehoshaphat, king of Judah,
41:24 when the Moabites and the Ammonites
41:26 came against him,
41:29 that whole chapter is great in 2 Chronicles,
41:32 but verse 22 says,
41:33 "Now when they began to sing and praise,"
41:35 what happened?
41:37 "The Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon,
41:41 Moab, and Mount Seir,"
41:42 who would come against Judah, and they were defeated."
41:45 Praise makes the enemy flee.
41:49 Do you feel surrounded by Satan?
41:53 Do you feel in your life
41:55 like you're going through a hard time,
41:56 you're going through a trial, and Satan is oppressing you.
42:01 Praise makes the enemy flee.
42:05 Number three, praise, especially united praise,
42:10 invites the presence of Jesus.
42:14 2 Corinthians...
42:15 2 Chronicles, sorry,
42:17 turn with me to 2 Chronicles, we're going to verse 5.
42:21 I love this scripture.
42:22 2 Chronicles Chapter 5, excuse me not verse.
42:25 2 Chronicles 5:13, 14.
42:30 2 Chronicles 5:13, 14,
42:35 "Indeed it came to pass
42:36 when the trumpeters and singers were as one..."
42:42 Is that unity, when you come together as one?
42:45 Okay, so when the trumpeters and singers were as one,
42:48 so we have unity, "to make one sound,"
42:51 there we have that unity again,
42:52 "one sound
42:55 to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord,
42:58 and when they lifted up their voice
42:59 with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music,
43:02 and praised the Lord,"
43:03 So this is the praise session, a united praise session.
43:07 So they're coming together as one,
43:09 they're lifting up their voices in praise,
43:12 "saying, 'For He is good,
43:15 for His mercy endures forever.'"
43:18 What happened?
43:20 What was the result when they came together as one,
43:23 and when they praised the Lord, what happened?
43:28 That's right.
43:30 "The house of the Lord was filled with a cloud."
43:33 Now that is the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
43:37 "So that the priests could not continue ministering
43:39 because of the cloud,
43:41 for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God."
43:43 Now that's incredible, because we're not talking about
43:45 a light cloud that just kind of drifted into the tabernacle,
43:49 we're not talking about just the little haze
43:52 and you think, I think, maybe I see a cloud,
43:55 it was so thick
43:56 that they could not even continue ministering.
43:59 What does that mean?
44:00 Praise invites God's presence.
44:06 Do you need the presence of Jesus in your life?
44:08 Choose to praise.
44:10 Praise invites His presence.
44:12 Number four, praise gives strength and joy.
44:17 Psalm 16:11, "You will show me the path of life,
44:21 and Your presence is fullness of joy,
44:24 at Your right hand are pleasures forever more."
44:29 So remember, the united praise, when they came together as one,
44:32 and they praised, what happened?
44:34 The presence of God came.
44:37 Now in this verse, we see that
44:39 if we're in the presence of God, we have joy.
44:44 So if we need joy, we need to praise
44:49 because that will bring the presence of God,
44:52 and then the presence of God brings joy.
44:58 Next verse, Nehemiah 8:10,
45:00 "The joy of the Lord is my strength."
45:03 So the joy leads to strength.
45:08 I was never very good at math.
45:10 I hated algebra, and geometry, and all of those theorems,
45:14 and, you know, those things,
45:16 but I do remember one about like,
45:17 if A equals B, and this equals C,
45:20 then A equals C.
45:21 Remember one of those equations?
45:23 So if I praise unitedly,
45:28 and that brings the presence of God,
45:31 and then if I have the presence of God,
45:33 that gives me joy, and if I have joy,
45:37 that gives me strength.
45:38 What does that mean?
45:39 If I'm weak, if I'm tired, if I'm discouraged,
45:41 if I'm having a hard time,
45:43 I got to go back to the beginning,
45:45 and I need to praise.
45:47 Praise gives us strength.
45:49 Praise gives us joy.
45:51 Praise invites the presence of Jesus.
45:55 Praise allows God to work, that's number five.
46:00 Praise allows God to work.
46:01 Remember Paul and Silas,
46:03 when they were in jail in Philippi,
46:05 what does the Bible say?
46:07 "At midnight," now it could have been
46:08 literally at midnight, but I think even emotionally,
46:11 they felt like it was midnight.
46:14 But they chose to praise and sing praises.
46:18 They were praying and singing hymns to God,
46:20 what happened?
46:22 God showed up, and delivered them.
46:26 So praise takes the focus off myself,
46:28 and it turns it to God.
46:30 Praise makes the enemy flee.
46:32 Praise invites God's presence.
46:35 Praise gives me strength and joy.
46:39 Praise allows God to work in my life.
46:44 Now you might be saying,
46:45 I'm just not real good at praise.
46:47 I remember there was a gentleman,
46:49 all of you from 3ABN US
46:51 would know exactly who I'm talking about,
46:52 who's always happy.
46:54 And so if you say to him, "How you doing today?"
46:57 "Oh, I'm praising the Lord, I'm doing good.
47:00 Oh, God is good, and he's always giving praises,
47:02 and always excited, and happy."
47:04 And I remember he broke his hip a couple years ago,
47:07 and Greg and I went to see him in the hospital.
47:09 And we went to encourage him.
47:11 And, you know what happened?
47:13 He encouraged us.
47:14 So he had broken his hip, and he's in pain,
47:18 and yet he's telling us
47:20 how he's given out literature to the nurses,
47:21 and how he is witnessing for Jesus, how he's...
47:24 And I came away encouraged.
47:26 And the next day, I was at work at 3ABN,
47:28 and there's a lady who's on the other end
47:30 of the spectrum, not on the praise end,
47:33 she could be on the critical end.
47:34 And so I said to her, "How you doing today?"
47:37 We call her Sarah.
47:38 "How you doing today, Sarah?"
47:40 And she says, "It's one of those days."
47:44 And I said, "Guess what, Sarah?
47:46 I went to see this gentleman in the hospital last night,
47:51 and I went to encourage him, and he had broken his hip,
47:53 and he encouraged me."
47:56 And she said, "Oh, some people are just like that."
48:00 And you know what?
48:01 That is true. But do you know why?
48:05 It's a practice, it's a habit.
48:09 You know, when I was a kid growing up,
48:12 they always said, practice makes perfect.
48:14 I don't know, if you teach that in Australia.
48:16 Practice makes perfect.
48:17 Well, I don't believe that because if you practice, Tim,
48:20 if you practice the wrong note on the piano,
48:22 and you always hit a B flat instead of a B, what happens?
48:25 You have it perfectly wrong.
48:27 Practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent.
48:33 So that means we can make a choice to praise.
48:40 That can become a permanent habit.
48:45 Greg and I were at the zoo in Florida,
48:48 and I like to look at the big cats,
48:50 that lions, and the tigers, and I love those animals.
48:54 And it just reminds me in heaven,
48:55 we'll be able to sit down with them,
48:57 and what a tremendous blessing.
48:59 So the leopard, I don't remember his name,
49:02 but one of the types of leopards.
49:04 He was in his cage, and it was a nice big cage,
49:07 and he had all kinds of room in it.
49:09 And yet when Greg and I were there, he did this.
49:12 He's walking up one side.
49:14 He's right against the edge of the cage,
49:16 and then he turned around and he started on this side.
49:18 Now he had a whole
49:19 another section over here, right?
49:21 That he could have walked in, he had all kinds of stuff,
49:23 and he walked right along the edge of the cage.
49:26 Now there was nice grass and everything was lush,
49:29 but the grass was gone here.
49:32 And guess what?
49:33 It was dirt, and not only was it dirt, it was a rut.
49:36 A rut had formed where he walked.
49:40 See, you know what, as Christians,
49:43 we, I can fall into a rut, and I start walking,
49:49 "Woe is me, I can't believe
49:51 all the problems I'm having in life."
49:54 Boom, turn around.
49:56 "Oh, I wish someone would give me
49:58 some more affirmation,
50:00 I'm having such a hard time."
50:02 Turn around.
50:03 "Oh, Father, I don't know why aren't You smiling on me,
50:07 and I can't feel Your presence?"
50:09 Turn around.
50:10 But what if I made a choice, and I said,
50:14 "God, I'm stepping out," right?
50:16 "I'm stepping out.
50:18 God, I'm tired of living in the rut.
50:21 God, I'm tired of life with pain, and life with fear.
50:27 I'm tired of life with jealousy.
50:30 I'm tired of life as I'm living it.
50:33 I'm tired of questions.
50:35 God, I want to step out.
50:38 I make a choice.
50:40 Thank you that You're my Father."
50:42 Now I'm half in and half out, right?
50:44 Half on the grass, half on the rut.
50:47 God, I thank You that You've redeemed me.
50:52 God, I thank You that I am Your daughter.
50:55 Another step.
50:56 God, I thank You
50:58 for the privilege of reading Your Word.
51:00 Another step.
51:01 God, I thank You that every experience in life,
51:05 You can turn.
51:06 Romans 8:28,
51:08 "For good to those who love You,
51:11 to those who are the called according to Your purpose."
51:14 And you know what happens?
51:16 Step-by-step, promise-by-promise,
51:21 we walk from the devil's pit,
51:25 from the devil's rut
51:28 right out into the arms of Jesus.
51:33 There's the last two we haven't gotten to.
51:35 God says, "No, not yet."
51:37 What do we do in the midst of the waiting time?
51:40 Then He says, "No, I love you too much.
51:45 I love you, and I want to protect you.
51:49 I love you, and I want to own you,
51:51 and buy you back and redeem you.
51:56 I love you.
51:57 You are mine.
51:59 I love you."
52:02 Even this trial can work for someone else's salvation,
52:06 we can make a choice to praise.
52:08 What about "Yes, I thought You'd never ask?"
52:14 James 4:2,
52:15 "You have not because you asked not."
52:21 Psalm 2:8,
52:23 "Ask of Me, and I will give you the heathen
52:27 for your inheritance,
52:28 and the uttermost parts of the earth
52:31 for your possession."
52:33 What are we to ask for?
52:35 Ask for the conversion of your family,
52:37 your friends, your neighbors, your enemies, the world.
52:41 Ask for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
52:45 Ask for revival and reformation to spring forth in your life.
52:50 Ask for a new heart, a heart of flesh.
52:53 Ask for God to write His law in your heart,
52:57 and in your mind.
52:58 Ask to become a new creation in Christ Jesus,
53:03 ask that He could be glorified in your life
53:07 in the midst of your trials.
53:10 Ask for spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.
53:14 Ask to have His name written on your forehead.
53:18 Ask to have your name written in the Lamb's book of life.
53:23 Ask to be transformed into His image.
53:26 Ask for grace to endure and strength to overcome.
53:30 Ask for victory from sin.
53:32 Ask for deliverance from bondage.
53:35 Ask for freedom in Christ.
53:38 Ask for a peace that passes all understanding.
53:43 And what do we do? We thank Him.
53:46 Thank Him that all His promises are yes,
53:50 and amen in Christ Jesus.
53:55 What about the last category?
53:57 Yes, and so much more.
54:02 Higher than we can think
54:05 or even imagine is God's ideal
54:10 for you and I, as His children.
54:13 Jeremiah 29:11,
54:16 "I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord.
54:19 Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you.
54:22 Plans to give you a future and a hope.
54:27 Ephesians 3:20,
54:29 "Now to Him, who is able to do exceedingly,
54:33 abundantly above all
54:35 that we could ever ask or think,
54:37 according to the power of God that works in us,
54:43 to Him be glory in the church
54:45 by Christ Jesus to all generations
54:49 forever and ever."
54:50 Amen.
54:52 So how do we know God through trials?
54:56 What if we're in this stage over here, and we're praying,
54:59 and asking, and waiting desperately for an answer.
55:04 And God's saying, "No, not yet."
55:08 What if we're here, and...
55:09 I know some of you here today are in this place right now.
55:15 Everything you wanted or asked for or dreamed about
55:22 seems like it's just crashing around you,
55:25 and it's been shattered.
55:27 And God says, "No, I love you too much."
55:34 What if you're over here, and God says,
55:39 "Yes, I thought you would never ask."
55:43 Or what if we're all the way over here, and He says,
55:46 "Yes, and so much more."
55:48 No matter where we are today,
55:51 God invites us to know Him.
55:55 He invites us to experience Him as we never have before.
56:01 It all comes down to trust.
56:04 Do I trust Him with my life?
56:08 Do I love Him enough?
56:11 The trust is leading no matter what happens.
56:16 Do I love Him?
56:17 Do I even really know Him?
56:22 "This is eternal life, that they may know Him,
56:26 the only true God, and Jesus Christ
56:29 whom Thou has sent."
56:30 Let's pray.
56:32 Father, we thank You that You are love.
56:35 We thank You that You are good.
56:39 We thank You that You created us
56:42 and formed us from the dust of the ground in the beginning,
56:46 and that You redeemed us at the cross,
56:50 and that you want to recreate in us
56:54 the image of Jesus.
56:57 Father, just now I give my life to You anew,
57:01 and my brothers and sisters here do as well.
57:04 We ask that You would do
57:05 a new thing in our hearts and lives,
57:08 and that we could know and trust You
57:11 even in the midst of the trial.
57:12 And we thank You in Jesus' name, amen.


Revised 2019-02-11