Alive Wesleyan

"Joyful Response"- Joy Bomb- Week 5

July 01, 2019
Alive Wesleyan
"Joyful Response"- Joy Bomb- Week 5
Chapters
Alive Wesleyan
"Joyful Response"- Joy Bomb- Week 5
Jul 01, 2019
Alive Wesleyan
Show Notes Transcript

“It’s not your problem that’s the problem, it’s your reaction to the problem that’s your problem.”


“JOYFUL RESPONSE”

Joyful Response is actually caused by an expectant acceptance of the truth

Shift our perspective from where we are and the season we are in to what’s ahead and that shift will change everything. 

Speaker 1:
0:01
Laura, thank you so much for a just Lord, this reminder that your promises, Lord, do stand firm and we can rest in them. And Lord I thank you for that reminder this morning. God, I pray that as we continue to dig into your word this morning and invite your presence and your spirits, you, uh, bring it to live, God, that that is something that we would carry out of here, Lord, that our confidence would be found lord in your promises. And then we can rest in that and we thank you for that this morning and pray that you would just continue to be present here in your whole name we pray. Amen. All right, so I'm going to try and get this morning start off on the right foot. And so I'm going to go ahead and try to drop a bomb on any, into all of the joy that you may have brought into this room.
Speaker 1:
0:41
Okay. So let me start with this. We all, let me just start it this way. You all have issues, all right? Every single one of you and not just you, but the person in front of you. The person besides you, me up here, we've all got issues. Okay. And I mean big ones. I mean, they could range anywhere from like, you know, we, I broke a nail this morning to like, you have rebellious kids to maybe you got some kind of bad cholesterol readings this week too. Um, you've had to file bankruptcy this week. Or maybe it's like me and like, uh, you have early onset of gray hair. Okay, we all have problems. And even the ones that aren't like life or death, honestly, they probably still feel that way, right? Because there are problems and therefore they're important to me. Right? You guys are doing great.
Speaker 1:
1:32
All right? So therefore they are really important to me. And so, uh, when I think about that, it reminds me anytime I hear someone say something like, man, I've got a real problem. It reminds me of this phrase that an old boss I used to have, uh, used to say all the time, and he'd say this, he'd say, it's not your problem. That's the problem. It's your reaction to the problem. That's your problem right now. Some of you may have to think about this for a second. That's okay. All right. But after some additional research, I was trying to find out if this quote, this line like really originated with him or if it originated somewhere else. I actually found out that it originated actually with another well-respected man that also had a significant impact in my life. A great philosopher, Captain Jack Sparrow. Right? So I know what 90% of the room right now is thinking all right, that I'm about to base this message on a word from Jack Sparrow as opposed to a word from the Lord.
Speaker 1:
2:31
Right? That's what 90% of you are thinking and you're concerned and the other 10% are saying, wait a minute. That phrase is actual that that phrase is crap. Actually, I do have a problem and it is a problem. Right? And I can kind of agree with both of you. Okay. Honestly, both assessments of this point of the message are probably fair and whichever group you fall in, I can understand. But if you know anything about the life in the philosophies of Captain Jack Sparrow, you know that he could probably use a little development, his personal dogma. All right? And secondly, there are probably a good, many of you here who do seriously have a very serious problem. So if that's the case, so now what? So I decided maybe we should look at this as a different way at an in a different way. I want to make sure that we're, we're connecting with every person in the room.
Speaker 1:
3:20
All right? So my guess is that there are some of you here who actually maybe kind of on the other side of the fence, you're like, in a good season of life, maybe you're feeling successful or accomplished or victorious in something. And so let's adapt our phrase a little bit and see what happens here. Okay? So if we go with this, it says it's not your success. That's the success. It's your reaction to the success. That's your success. Now, for those of you who may be struggled with the first phrase, you're really going to struggle with this one, right? Because this feels even more weird and difficult to understand. I saw, I'm going to try. All right. To make sense of this. How many of you guys, uh, re watched, read about, heard about the women's soccer us game versus Thailand? You guys keep up with that?
Speaker 1:
4:07
Okay, great. Um, so, so this happened a couple of weeks ago and the USA team, uh, kind of slowly destroyed Thailand and after the game it wasn't, uh, it wasn't, well let me just say this way. The, the players and the coaches like took a real beating from the media, from commentators, all this kind of stuff. And it wasn't for actually winning. It was, it wasn't for being successful. It was actually their response or how they reacted to their success. Now I have some very personal opinions related to this, but this is not important to this point in time. The message. Alright, so, or how about someone like Justin Bieber, right? And we all know who Justin Bieber is. Okay, great. So no one, um, so Justin Bieber, like from day one was incredibly successful, right? Like he was, he was incredibly successful out the gate. But I just read a quote the other day, uh, online, which everything online is true. And so I read this quote that he will likely go down as the most hated celebrity of all time.
Speaker 1:
5:13
What a, uh, what a significant and depressing title. Right? And I bet if we narrowed it down and kind of like analyzed his life, we would see that it wasn't his success that necessarily gave him that title. It was probably actually how he responded to that success. So this morning, whether you're a drowning in a sea of problems or kind of riding high on a cloud nine kind of success kind of thing, the only thing that you and I personally have 100% control over is our reaction to whatever season we find ourselves in. And what I want to challenge us with today is, is basically to continue considering the lens change that we've been talking about during the series. If you've been here in previous weeks and today I want to focus on a joyful response. And as I've kind of pondered over the last a week or so and what this phrase means, I'm more convinced than ever that actually has nothing to do with like excessive happiness or just avoiding or ignoring the bad stuff in our lives, but it's actually caused by an expectant acceptance of the truth.
Speaker 1:
6:19
I'm going to try to explain that the acceptance of whatever season we are in and the reality maybe of what you're being told or the truth of what you're discovering in scripture in life and then expecting to become victorious over it or to grow or to become better from it. A joyful response is really about embracing the truth in its entirety and regardless of the cost and having every intent to find joy along the way. And honestly, my assumption here is that many of you who know you currently need this attitude check because right now you can't see past your own problem. You can't see past yourself and you're overwhelmed or you're depressed or you're frustrated or you're angry or you're deflated or you're fearful. And as we've been talking about in this entire joy bombs series, Jesus doesn't want you to stay there. He doesn't want you to live like that.
Speaker 1:
7:15
And so over the last couple of weeks, we broken down a joyful perspective of joyful, privileged, joyful, endurance, joyful contentment, and looked at how the apostle Paul in Philippians changes us to shift our perspective from where we are to what is actually out in the head. And that shift has the potential to change everything. But this morning I want to introduce you to a man in the New Testament whose divine purpose was to get a response out of people. He had this like clear message that really demanded a reaction, and his name was John. Now I realized that that probably doesn't help you very much because all the men in the Bible basically are named John, right? All the men are named John and all the women are named Mary. Yes, very good. So we have Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary, the mother of James and John Mary, the sister of Martha, Mary Magdalene, Mary Poppins, and I'm sure the list could go on right?
Speaker 1:
8:08
All right, but this man's name was John and it's John the baptist. And so in Matthew chapter three, I want us to read a little bit about why he came. It says in those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the Wilderness of Judea and saying, repent for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near. This is he who was spoken of through the Prosper Prophet Isaiah, a voice of one calling in the wilderness, prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Now, John's message was like really specific. Every gospel kind of boils down his message to essentially one word or one idea, and it was called repentance. And so people were coming out in the wilderness, they're heading down to the river wherever John was, and they're hearing him speak, and he's talking, saying, repent. Which means it's time to like rethink things. All right? Or maybe in a spiritual context, it's, it's turning your mind or your heart back towards God.
Speaker 1:
9:04
And if we read a little further, and Matthew chapter three, you kind of get this better introduction to John. It says this, it says John's clothes were made of camel's hair and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locust and wild honey, and people went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea in the whole region of the Jordan confessing their sins. They were baptized by him in the Jordan River. All right, so when I read this description, I'm trying to like create a mental picture here, right? Of what's happening in that day and that time, what those all looking like. And so the first image I had was actually from a popular show a number of years ago that you may have seen on TV that he kind of looked like this guy. All right? That look, that look kind of like what you guys would imagine.
Speaker 1:
9:46
Maybe John The baptist. I, for those of you who are maybe a little out of touch, this is Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty. Uh, I don't think that shows on anymore, but it was a good one. All right. So now one thing that kind of sets us apart in this moment in this room is that we have all of scripture, right? So we actually are able to kind of understand a little more about what's going on here in the bigger picture. But this, the folks who are listening to John The baptist, they probably, they were probably wondering what's going on here. Like why is this, why in the world's is Harry bearded man living in the desert wearing what we can probably best described as like a cheetah print loincloth eating honey dipped locusts and wild berries. Why, why was this guy doing this? I mean, that's sort of make sense.
Speaker 1:
10:31
He was drawing a crowd, right? If I had dressed like that and chose to kind of present myself this morning like that, we would draw some crown of crowd or no crowd. I'm not sure which way it would have been, but uh, but so the crowd kind of makes sense. But why this message of repentance? And if we look at the, at the big picture here, there are a whole lot easier topics that John could have tackled. But he had been given this specific message, this like life mission of a message. You see his mission for told by the Prophet Isaiah was like hundreds of years before this was that John would come and prepare the way for the Messiah, for God's promised one, declaring that he was going to take away the sins of the world. So John's like message was that God is about to keep his promise.
Speaker 1:
11:16
He's going to send a savior and he's on his way. So you better start to rethink how you're living. And the description and the gospels almost make this feel unbelievable. In one way. It simply says, John Calls on the people to confess their sins. They do it, and they were baptized by him. Now, for any of us who are kind of even in my line of work, uh, and we've tried to convince people that like there's some sort of sin in their life, uh, it never works out quite like this. It's never quite this smooth. But if we kind of understand the context of what is happening in this culture right now and we know more about John the baptist, it all starts to make sense. See, in this particular point in time in history, people were like super fed up with religion. They were super fed up with the religious leaders.
Speaker 1:
12:07
In fact, religion for most folks have been reduced down to just a set of rules where judgment and exploitation and this is what was being taught by the religious leaders at the time and in many folks minds. It was as simple as if you were rich and healthy and had a lot of kids, then you must be a righteous holy person. But if you were sick or you were poor, well you probably had some kind of sin in your life and we could see how that could be pretty repulsive to people, right? I can be repulsive to us, but at the same time I can also kind of understand a little bit of that kind of mentality, right? When I, when I do something bad or when I make a bad choice, I sort of feel like, does God's still like me or am I going to be punished for this?
Speaker 1:
12:51
But John Simple like cave manage lifestyle was actually a very intentional statement against the, the different self-indulgent lives of the religious leaders of the time he was making himself stand out, making himself very different. So when people heard his message that felt very much like it connected with their reality, it triggered something immediately inside them, which made them want to respond. John was boldly and recklessly kind of bucking the establishment at the time and he was, if we're trying to create like this mental picture here of Matthew, of, of John in this moment, Matthew kind of gives us this weird snapshot into what happens next. Okay, so we have John The baptist, all you know, at the river, baptizing all this kind of stuff. And then here's what happens. It says, but when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them, you brood of vipers.
Speaker 1:
13:49
That's a really cordial greeting. Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath. Produce fruit in keeping with repentance and do not think you can say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father. I tell you that out of these stones, God can raise up children for Abraham. The Ax is already at the root of the trees and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Now, if there's anything that modern politics has taught us really around the world, is that there's this, there's this incredible power in people who are willing to kind of stand up and stand out and bash the establishment. I mean, if we look at the narrative of the 2016 presidential election or more recently, Alexandria, Casio Cortez, there's this huge potential for like synergy and movement and even transformation. When people connect the common person with like this deep disdain or this disconnect that they feel like their leaders have from reality, and that's what sort of unfolding here John the Baptist was nothing like these religious leaders.
Speaker 1:
14:49
He was like physically different. He spiritually talking differently and his belief that he was teaching was even that governments and kings and teachers of the law were all supposed to not only inform but also model how you were supposed to live in response to the condition of the leadership and the society of his time. He chose to live in the desert, to eat bugs, to dress like he did. This wasn't like a, it wasn't like he was poor and had no option like his family had money. This was a situation that he placed himself in and contrary to many of our opinions of a lot of radicals that we encounter in our day. It's not like he had watched or listened to too much Fox News or CNN. All right. In fact, according to Luke one 41 it says that he was full of the spirit of God from birth, so we read that John Stops in the middle of this message in the middle of the sermon and he calls out the teachers of the law by name you bunch of snakes.
Speaker 1:
15:47
Then he describes them as trees that don't bear fruit and that someone is on their way to cut them down. And I can imagine in this moment that the crowd like gets really quiet. Everything. It gets really quiet and everybody's thinking like, well I don't think you can say that. You know what I mean? It's like awkward, super awkward like right now. And then like somebody, like some brave soul starts to clap and like next thing you know everybody's hooping and hollering and they'll like smack down. You know what I mean? And except for who?
Speaker 1:
16:23
The religious leaders, right? The Pharisees, the teachers. My guess is that they're kind of standing in the back like arms crossed, jaw tents, teeth like clenched, you know they're about to pounce on this rebel rouser, this heritage. And according to Luke subscription, he says all the people were being baptized. And we can imagine all of the people except those religious teachers of the law. And we can imagine why their response was a little different after the kind of greeting John gave them. And that's kind of what I want to hone on, hone in on for the rest of the morning is the responses of the people in the farracies to John's message because our willingness to fully embrace the difficult truths that we received throughout our lives is the only guarantee we can have of a joyful response. You see these kinds of messages, these truths, these kind of moments that we have in our lives.
Speaker 1:
17:15
They can come in all shapes and forms and it could be a tough diagnosis by a doctor. It could be a tragedy, maybe a betrayal in a relationship. Maybe it's a self identified area of weakness in our character or personality. Maybe it's a bad review by a supervisor or an acknowledgement of some sinful habit in my life. You can add to this list whatever is most relevant to you, but I'm convinced that our acceptance or our denial of the actual reality of these trues is the greatest predictor of our longterm joy and our chance at seeing victory over that area of our life. I see John The baptist. He was committed to modeling the truth and he was consistent in speaking the truth and people loved him and hated him, uh, for both. And we do the same thing today. Like people aren't changing that much.
Speaker 1:
18:05
And so we, we see that we all reply differently when we're confronted with the truth about ourselves. And often it has to do with how it's present, presented, right? So we have a friend that maybe comes up and, and suggest with like a lot of grace and compassion that, that we reframe our perspective or maybe we need to adjust the behavior. And slowly as you've listened, you begin to be like, yeah, that makes sense. You're right. Maybe you sense the love and what the person's saying, or you kind of start putting the pieces together and your response becomes, yeah, I'm in. How do I do this? How do I change? But we all know that there are a lot of times where we respond very differently, right? We may be nodding yes with our heads to whoever's talking to us, but inside there is no intent or expectation to change.
Speaker 1:
18:51
And so maybe we get mad, maybe we blow a gasket, maybe we destroy a relationship and these starkly different responses or what we see when we look at the people who are listening to John's message in the book of Luke, he points out some very specific groups of people that were listening to this message. And honestly it's the only gospel that really notates the responses of the people. So I want to read it together, says, what should we do? Then the crowd asked, John answered, anyone has two shirts should share with the one who has none and anyone who has food should do the same. Even tax collectors came to me, pro baptized teacher, they ask, what should we do? Well, don't collect any more than you're required to. He told them, then soldiers ask him and what should we do? He replied, don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely be content with your pay.
Speaker 1:
19:44
And I feel like it's so interesting here that we see questions from all kinds of folks. I mean the general crowd that that he lists the tax collectors and even soldiers. And those last two are probably some of the most corrupt and despised groups in that society. But there's somehow openly receiving John's message in a way that they're asking, okay, how do we do this? They openly embrace the difficult realities that John was teaching, that they were jacked up, they were messed up, their lives were full of selfishness or greed or abuse. And to be ready for the coming Messiah meant that they needed to accept the reality, that it was time for them to turn their minds or their hearts back to God. It was time to repent and frankly and respectfully, some of us in this room could probably put ourselves in that same category.
Speaker 1:
20:37
And so the next thing you know, we see John baptizing these guys, baptizing the tax collectors, baptizing the bakers, baptizing the carpenters, baptizing the soldiers. And you can imagine not only the joyful response, it's like happening inside of these people as individuals. But to see people like that in their community being baptized. Can you imagine the collective like the collaborative, um, you know, corporate sense of joy when they see those people getting ready to turn their lives around. But not everybody took on that same spirit of openness to John's message. And if you look at John Chapter one, we're able to see a very unique response from, from another group of people. It says this now, this was John's testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levi's to ask who he was. So these are the religious leaders. He did not fail to confess, but confess freely.
Speaker 1:
21:28
I'm not the Messiah. They asked him then, who are you? Are you Alijah? He said, no, I'm not. Are you the prophet? He answered no. Finally they said, who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself? And so John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, and we read these earlier. I'm the voice of one calling in the wilderness to make straight the path in a way for the Lord neon. The Pharisees who had been sent questioned him. Why then do you baptize if you're not the Messiah, nor Elijah nor the prophet. And he said, I baptize with water. John replied, but among you stands when you do not know. He's the one who comes after me, the shops of whose sandals I'm not worthy to untie. So the teachers had this one strategy that they were going to work on here.
Speaker 1:
22:16
It was like a deflect, right? They were completely unwilling to accept the truth of John's message. Not that it wasn't the truth, because they never denied that. In fact, I have a feeling they knew the front they were putting on, but they weren't ready to acknowledge the reality of this truth. And, and so instead they decided to discredit him. John. So the crowds were so moved by the message that these guys knew that they couldn't like just squelched the message. It was already out. But maybe what they could do was kind of hush the one who was carrying the message. So to say it in a familiar phrase that maybe we are used to. Uh, they shot the messenger because they didn't like the message. And this isn't the only time that these religious leaders tried this trick. In fact, they did the same thing with Jesus.
Speaker 1:
23:00
In Matthew Chapter 11, it says, for John came neither eating or drinking. And they say he has a demon. The son of man came eating and drinking and they say, here's a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. But wisdom is proved right by our deeds. And so at this point, I feel like we have to start realizing that maybe it wasn't the Messenger. These religious leaders are having a problem reacting to, maybe it's actually the message, essentially the truth about the condition of their heart. They're completely unwilling to acknowledge what this says about them. And honestly what it will mean for them. It means that they've got it all wrong. It means that they're, they're going to have to make some changes. It means they're gonna have to let go of some pride. It means their future is going to look very different than they thought it was going to.
Speaker 1:
23:48
It means that they don't have the control or the power that they thought they once had. And honestly, many of us have come face to face with these same kinds of questions. And when I examined my own life or hear what's happening in some of yours, we often struggle with accepting it's God's truth for our lives because of what it might mean for us. We know what scripture says about God's design and plan for sexuality, but certainly there's, there's some rooms and wiggle room or some negotiation room here. We know what God's plan for marriages, but things are tough and I really like having the idea of a way out. I know how scripture describes integrity and honesty, but Kim, my business still survive if I function like that.
Speaker 1:
24:44
So let me remind you this, if it's the truth, it's not the truth. That's the problem. It's your reaction to the truth. That's your problem. Your problem has now actually just become an opportunity for a joyful response to just expectantly accept the reality of our current or your current condition and a willingness to change. Now, for some reason it seems that those of us who feel and look like we have at most together, for example, the Pharisees, right, who looked very religious are actually the ones that struggle the most with accepting truth. And I find, I often find inspiration from what seemed to be the most unlikely sources when it comes to like inspiring me and kind of this kind of thing. And may maybe I hear this, someone that I never had great respect for are very held in great honor. I'm a little embarrassed to say is now in during some difficult season or a made dramatic life change. Uh, I find myself admiring the acceptance or the strength or the perseverance or the joy that somehow they're boldly displaying through their journey. And Jesus sort of used this and pointed it out to the Chief Priest one day in Matthew Chapter 21 it says, Jesus said to them, truly, I tell you, the tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God ahead of you.
Speaker 2:
26:15
Boom
Speaker 1:
26:17
for John came to you to show you the way of righteousness and you did not believe him.
Speaker 1:
26:26
So how do you think those chief priests felt when Jesus tried to inspire them with the life choices of tax collectors and prostitutes? I'm sure that in that moment he really didn't win anyone over, but Jesus was trying to help them see, trying to give them one more chance to find some kind of different response, a different, uh, reaction to the same truth, the same reality that John had given them. He was like, Hey guys, you've got this thing all wrong. This religion thing is all messed up. Your self absorbed. You're spiritually dead. Your motivation is pride. You're living a lie. But the reality of the truth for them was too painful and the resolution was getting to require too much change or too much humility or too much suffering or too much surrender and they just couldn't do it. So as Jesus was going from place to place, providing physical healing and freedom from bondage and forgiving sins, and we're seeing joyful responses all over where Jesus is, we see that the chief priests and the Pharisees, anytime they had interaction with Jesus became bitter and angry.
Speaker 1:
27:36
And Matthew Chapter 21 says, when the chief priests and the Pharisees Heard Jesus parables, they knew he was talking about them. So they looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet. See, the truth of what she's this was saying, it just hit way too close to home for those religious leaders. And for many of us, when we're sitting in a service on Sunday morning, when we're reading a devotional during the week or a piece of scripture or listening to a song or having a meaningful conversation with someone, we cringe when like certain topics come up or a certain issue comes up because it just hits too close to home. Matthew says, the religious leaders knew Jesus was talking about them, so they looked for a way to shoot the Messenger. It wasn't the problem that was actually their problem.
Speaker 1:
28:31
Jesus actually gave them a solution for their problems. In fact, he gave them very clear instructions on how to move from their pretentious, their fake lives to something real, but their response, their reaction to the problem was still their real problem. See, their inability and their unwillingness to embrace the actual reality of the mess message most likely prevented them from experiencing Jesus's offer of life to the full. As we read in John, and there are many of us this morning that could probably describe ourselves the exact same way because of our pride, because of our fear, because of our stubbornness, because of our hurt, because of our brokenness, because of our selfishness, because of denial. We're making that same exchange that the Pharisees made and missing out on Jesus's life to the full. So here's where we have to sort of process this in our own mind.
Speaker 1:
29:32
What difficult or challenging message have you received lately? Maybe it was difficult conversation with a spouse or a boss. Maybe it's a challenging situation with a child. Maybe it's a, uh, a passage of scripture or a sermon that hits you right between the eyes. I mean, truth messengers can kind of come in all shapes and sizes and forms, but we have to be ready because in reality, you may not want someone to share with you how to raise your kids or improve your marriage or express your sexuality. You may not be emotionally ready to deal with a chronic illness or the death of a loved one or some other significant life change. But we actually can respond with joy because scripture says you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
Speaker 1:
30:28
Well, God knows that I'm not always perfect in my responses, right? My wife does too, but I do believe that I'm growing in this area and the only reason that I can give you is that I have Jesus and I have. I have the spirit living inside of me giving me strength, helping me understand grace, calming my fears, and it's not that he's like controlling my life, right? I have to surrender that to him. I have to allow him to create change in my heart. It's not like it's immediate, but when I do that, when I open my mind to the truth of whatever I'm hearing in that moment, and it feels like a super dark time when I opened my mind to Christ, it's like he comes in and he turns on this, this switch, and he helps aluminate somehow how to get to and through this journey and find a better place on the other side.
Speaker 1:
31:27
In that same offer, that same person, that same light is available to everyone of you. In John Chapter one it says, God sent a man, John the Baptist to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony, John himself was not the light. He was simply a witness to tell about the light, the one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone was coming into the world, and if we bump up a couple of verses in the same chapter, it says the word Jesus gave light to everything that was created and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot extinguish it. Honestly, I can't imagine the possibility of a joyful response without having Jesus apart in my life and helping me make sense of it all and know my perspective of the world is completely jaded by my belief in the promises of scripture.
Speaker 1:
32:27
And some of you may find that weird. That's okay. But honestly for me, I find that it provides perspective and it provides stability and it provides hope. And I find that reading when I read passages like Philippians four 19 where it says, my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Or when I read verses like Second Corinthians 12 nine that says, but he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness, therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me. What about the verse that we keep coming back to in this series? Philippians chapter four verse 13 says, I can do all this through him who gives me strength. And if I allow these promises, these words of scripture to become the lens through which I receive even the most difficult truths in my life, a joyful response is much more feasible. It's possible even I can actually have an expectant acceptance of whatever message I received today or tomorrow or this week or this month or this year. And I believe that God can actually carry me through. It made me victorious over it and learn something along the way.
Speaker 1:
33:47
And so a couple of questions for you this morning as we just try to make this personal. Number one, what difficult truth have you received recently? Like we started out this morning, we all have problems. There's something, right? What difficult truth have you received recently? Second thing is this. Does you believe that Jesus will keep his promises when he says he will give you what you need so you can change what needs to change in your life? That was a lot of words to say. Do you believe that Jesus keeps his promises? And the third thing is, what is one thing that you can do this week that I can do this week that would reflect that belief and result in a joyful response? Let's pray together.
Speaker 1:
34:36
Laura's, we just bow our heads before you. Yeah. The words of the song that we sang before we started are still resonating with me. I will rest on your promises. My confidence is on your promises. And so Lord, I pray today that you would help us learn and you would help us, uh, have the, the strength and the awareness and all the things you need to be able to see. Lord, even the most difficult trues that get dropped in our lives are those moments where you open our eyes to something that that's inside of us that we need to work on. We need to change. We need to, uh, rethink and point our minds and hearts back towards you. Or whether it's a spiritual truth, maybe it's a physical situation, maybe it's emotional. Lord, I pray that you would help us be able to accept the truth because we are confident as we go through this and as we embrace this season, hand in hand and arm and arm with you, we're going to come out victorious on the other side.
Speaker 1:
35:39
Or then we're going to be able to just give you the praise knowing that we are better for moving through it. The people that I see right now surrounding me in my life who are joyfully responding to the truth, are the people who are facing it head on, not trying to ignore the truth or act like, okay, this, this diagnosis isn't quite right or anything like that. They're facing it head on and they're tackling that arm and arm with Jesus. And as a result, we see you doing amazing things with them and you see your glory revealed. So I pray that you would just help us to continue to lift our voices to you by claiming that our rest and our confidence is built on your promises this morning and your holding we pray. Amen.