Those Trials Will Come part 1
message delivered November 1, 2015
Good morning Friends and family and welcome to the J and L Ministries paltalk room. For the past few weeks there have been more and more joining in with us in this room and I believe it's because of the hunger that some have to know Christ in a more intimate way. I believe that there are those who have been joining us here who have seen from sermon messages shared that we do rightly divide scripture with other scriptures and we don't base everything around one passage and leave it there. Thank You Jesus for Your beautiful, powerful Word.
Today friends, we'll be starting the first part of a multi-part series called Those Trials Will Come.
Throughout this week I had been thinking and praying on what topic God would use for today's message. Well, Friday morning I was reading in Psalms and I think He gave me a clear direction. I also think that this is going to have to be a series, as there have been many thoughts as to where this is going to lead to. I'm believing that as this study speaks to me, it will speak to you also.
As I sat down to put this message together, I had a brother in the Lord call and was very persistent to look into a situation. Right off the bat I felt that this was going to be a day that the distractions would come as they've been coming from every direction in the past few months.
As I investigated this matter, I knew that I knew that what I felt led to teach on was right on target. Then as I started putting my notes together and collecting scriptures that I would use for today's message, the power went out. Praise the Lord, Microsoft Word saved what I had. Many of you might think, "Well of course it saved them." Church, more than once have I been in this predicament and lost everything that I had that was typed out. Again, I praise God for helping me out with this.
Last week, for those who joined us, saw firsthand the attacks from the enemy that came strong. And what happened church? We pressed on and Satan lost. Glory to God. So as we go about today's message, whatever attack might come, again we need to press in and press on. The same goes for our everyday walk with God.
Brothers and sister, we can't be just hearers of the Word and not doers. And we can't look at one scripture and think that's what God is saying. I hope someone gets a revelation of this.
Brethren, every living being is going to go through some kind of situation. Amen? Whether it be a physical problem, emotional problem, spiritual, financial problem, each and every one of us is going to go through a hardship. Maybe some of you hearing this message or reading at another time are going through something right now.
Friends, when we come to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the enemy comes to start his attacks. You see, before we're saved, the enemy had us right where he needed us to be. Think back to the day you were saved. All the thoughts about "Is Christ really God? Does He really love me like the Bible says? Is the Bible really true?" Here 's a typical thought or emotion that Satan uses often. "Am I really saved?" Come on, church. How many have had those thoughts come to mind?
I ask you friends, has the enemy brought his lies and then twisted things around to make you think that God isn't faithful to His promises that we find in the Bible? Satan tries to tell us that God doesn’t love us or He wouldn’t have allowed this or that to happen to you or your family if He really loved you. You all know where I'm going with this. So buckle up, take notes, and let’s tell that slimy devil where he can go. Let’s learn through scriptures from the Old and New Testaments how we can overcome these attacks from whatever the source might be.
For some, these attacks may be coming from a family member. For some, it may be coming from your job. Maybe for those who are watching this video on u-tube, it may be from a classmate. Church, and listen up. It may be from a pastor or religious leader. Whatever the case, there are ways to deal with those attacks and often, for us, it's better for us to be quiet. I know that isn't the natural thing to do, but at times that's where God will lead us.
From conversations with friends on the many sites that I'm part of and conversations with others on the phone, there have been attacks on so many Christians. Church, we all need to know what to do when those attacks come. We do have that power, and Jesus is the name that demons tremble from. Amen? Saints, we need to get this now like never before. Praise the name of Jesus!
Are we ready? I mean....are we truly ready to better our journey with Jesus? I hope so, and that's my prayer for you and me today.
I've used this example that I'm about to share in other teachings, but it fits perfectly in this lesson.
I want us to look at adversity. It may come to you like a nagging pebble in your shoe or like an overwhelming rock slide. No matter how adversity crashes into your life, the question is how will you respond? How does the Bible tell us to respond when attacked?
Let’s take a few minutes and think of some adversities that people might go through. Hurtful words spoken to or about us? No money, or lack of it? Here are the big ones that most share with me. Sickness? Maybe for those reading this it's the loss of a job. We can let these things bother us. We can shrug it off knowing that adversity is bound to be a part of everyone's lives. Or, and this is where need to come to a point in our walk with God, we can put our total trust in God like the Bible tells us to. Things are going to happen. Church, we need to be prepared. God's Word prepares you by showing what adversity is and how you can live through it in faith. Unwavering, persistent faith.
Today we're going to look at the life of Moses. Later in this series, God willing, we'll look into King David’s life. I don't know that there's anybody in the Bible who shows us the kinds of explosions that can come into our lives better than the character of Moses in the Old Testament. Amen someone?
If everyone could turn to Deuteronomy chapter 4, and while you're doing that, think of a time that you may have had a pebble in your shoe and when you took your shoe off to find it, you couldn’t? You put it back on and continued to walk and you could still feel it and figured it must have been just your sock.
I'm going through a similar problem right now. Many know that I'm an amputee. Because of the type of artificial leg that I wear, there's a rubbery material that I put on first, then the artificial leg fits over that. A few days ago...maybe a week ago, I stood up and my knee hurt. In fact, it hurt bad. It was like someone stuck me with a pin. What had happened is that there was a little pimple that formed and it's infected. It's in a place where when I stand up, most of the pressure is between my stump and the prosthesis. It hurts.
That's what I want to talk with you about today. Not the pimple, or about artificial legs, but when things happen in your life that you don't understand, when trouble comes into your life, what are you going to do about those troubles?
I think as we look at scriptures today and we spend time in the Word of God, we'll have a better understanding about what happens when adversity comes to our life.
Deuteronomy 4:27-31 KJV (27) And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you. (28) And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. (29) But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. (30) When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (31) (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
I find this passage to be extremely comforting, and I hope all of you do also. Praise God!! When I'm in tribulation (we saw this in verse 31), some versions use distress...that's the word he uses there... when I'm in distress, I know the Lord's not going to forget me. If you think about the life of Moses and the children of Israel, their lives are like ours in many ways.
Think about life in this way: When you learn how to deal with adversity, one of the conclusions you come to almost automatically is that everyone has adversity. Everyone has some sort of trouble. I think we have to all expect adversity to come into our lives.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, sometimes adversity is associated with sin. It comes because of things we've done. I want to take a quick peek at how Kind David was tempted and then the result of his choice. Many are thinking , "Oh boy, Jim's going to take us to where David lusted after Bathsheba." Nope, but another huge mistake that King David made. And what I really want you to notice is where that thought came from.
1 Chronicles 21:1 KJV And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
David numbered the people. He took a census and then notice it wasn't what God told him to do. If we were to continue to read, we'd notice that was a piece of pride on David's behalf. The end result of that was significant trouble in his life. It came because of sin.
Sometimes adversity is the result of simple disobedience. Remember Jonah who ran from God? His disobedience brought all the troubles that came into his life. You might be saying to yourself, "Okay Brother Jim, does that mean when I have trouble in my life that automatically there's sin in my life?" The answer is no, and I hate hearing preachers saying this. For those who have read the book of Job, Job's best friends tried that on him.
I know there are a lot of people who feel this. They've been told and believe that if you just had faith enough, if you confessed your sins, there would be no difficulties in your life. But brethren I ask you, for those who have read the book of Job, remember Job? Job is a perfect example of a man who was obedient to God. He didn't do the things that other people were doing, and yet adversity came into his life just like everyone else. I may do a message on the book of Job soon, because I think there's much to learn from it and I find many things being taught about the book of Job that don't line up with my Bible.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:45
Matthew 5:45 KJV That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
God makes His sun to shine on good and bad people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil. The saved and the unsaved. Adversity comes to the righteous and the unrighteous. The just and the unjust, just like the rain does.
Just because you're alive means you're going to have trouble. If you haven't found it yet, it's going to happen pretty quickly. You're not exempt because you may be a Christian. There are lots of people who teach and believe that because you're a Christian no trouble will ever come to you. God will never let you be sick or be poor. There are a lot of sick, poor Christians who don't understand why people are teaching this. There are lots of sick and poor Christians in the Bible, but they were godly people. When Paul wanted to encourage the believers of Asia Minor, this is what he said: "We must go through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."
Listen up church and I hope each of you understands this. Tribulation--for those who are living rightly before God--is a good thing, because it proves you can still live righteously before God. You can be right before God and still face difficulty in your life. Adversity comes to everybody and you should expect it. Right living people are not at all exempt from adversity. Do we get this church?
Someone might be thinking, "Brother Jim, you've completely lost your marbles."
I think maybe the reason Apostle Paul understood that principle so well is he had so much trouble in his life. If you ever want to read about the difficulties Paul had, go to 2 Corinthians, chapter 11. In this chapter, you're going to see a whole list of problems faced by the apostle Paul. And do you know what? When you read that chapter you're not going to know when almost any one of these occurred. But I think Paul understood that adversity will come to every person.
Adversity will come to you regardless of who you are. If you're a Christian today, don't expect God not to allow adversity to come into your life. Going through these situations, when we handle them by trusting in God, it makes us stronger. We can't understand that, and I don't claim to understand fully.
Church, remember Job? This is my translation of some of the things that went on there. He was the man who lived a life that was good before God and before men. When Satan came to God and said, “You know why Job loves You? You know why Job is living a righteous life? It's because Job is rich. Life's easy for him. You take away those easy things, and Job isn't going to love You so long." God said, "Well, consider my servant, Job. He's yours. You can do anything you want to him, but you can't touch his life. You can't kill him."
Here's a man who is a great example of the fact that God will sometimes actually allow adversity to come into your life. Sometimes God allows adversity to come into our lives because the lack of adversity can be a problem for us. Think about that for a moment. A selah moment.
I think sometimes when you don't have adversity, that can be a problem in your life. I want you to fully grasp this friends. There's something about all of us that needs a challenge. Those who need some adversity to rise above. If there was no adversity into your life, you may not be able to enjoy life. God sometimes allows adversity to come to your life. It's also how we build up our faith in God. For some, me included, adversity can make you stronger...when you learn to trust in God to help you through that tempest. Amen someone?
Sometimes God uses adversity as an opportunity to help you in your own life. Sometimes God will use adversity simply to bring you to the point where He can bless you. It's evident too, that sometimes God allows adversity in our lives simply because He wants to strengthen our character. Amen? Can anyone relate to this? Is anyone getting a revelation of what's being taught here? My brothers and sisters, I've had conversations with some of you and I know that there have been things that have been shared and I've seen the results of some of the right choices made. Praise God.
There are things in your life that God will allow to come into your life because He knows the end from the beginning, and He knows what's good for you. In fact, He knows what's best for you. So if God allows adversity in your life, He does so because.... open up those ear gates. He knows it will only lead to good for you.
Romans 8:28 KJV And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I'm going to say something that might not be taken well, but I hope you hear me out with an open mind. I'm being spoken to as I type this out. I think if we look back at a situation that seemed devastating to us in our lives, whatever that might be… cancer, bankruptcy, loss of a family member. Maybe harsh words spoken unjustly by someone we felt close to? Whatever the case might be, this message might be hard to accept. We shouldn't seek trials, but expect them and accept them when they come. That's hard to say, yes?
Regardless of what some teach about whether or not we should pray or not, I know that we have the privilege to pray and I pray often. What I want us to get and really the point I want to get across is that we almost have to, and this next thing I say is very tough to say, but hear me out, “Embrace it”. And that's not your only option.
Lots of people get mad at God. They become bitter about their difficulties. But if you do embrace it, if you open yourself up to invite God's grace into your life, you can actually gain from adversity, not lose from it. Does this make sense to everyone? I hope so, because I know there are some who are dealing with trials that might be here this morning in this paltalk room, or watching on the J and L Ministries u-tube channel , or who will hear this on the various sites that I share these messages. There are some who are right in the middle of adversity, so I hope that will be an encouragement to them.
Whatever you're going through in life today, I want you to know that it's not necessarily because of sin in your life. That's not always true. I want you to know whatever you're going through today, that God sometimes allows you to go through it because He has a plan for you that's better than what you have in mind for your life right now. I want you to remember this passage in Hebrews 13. In fact, let's all turn there.
Hebrews 13:5-8 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. :6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. :7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. :8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever.
Here's part of the scripture that I was reading and studying this morning.
Psalms 94:11-14 KJV The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. (12) Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; (13) That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. (14) For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
Church, what I say next, I urge you to dwell on the rest of your life. God is very interested in you, and He will never let you go through adversity all by yourself. Get this! Truly grasp and get a full understanding of what I just said. It's not until we learn the lessons of adversity that we understand that adversity indeed is necessary in our lives. It's not a necessary evil; it's a necessary thing in our lives.
Not long ago, I saw a post somewhere that had a picture of a caterpillar and it said:
And like the cocoon, you can't have the butterfly without the cocoon.
Friends, you and I can't really have maturity in our Christian life without the adversity of life. But you know what? Some of us, even those who may be more mature in the Christian faith, sometimes we're about to crack under our adversity. It's good if you have a little hangnail, but if you're really hurting, then you need to know that God hasn't abandoned you during your adversity.
We're reminded that in Psalm 23. The promise is,
Psalms 23:4 KJV Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
It's not that God says you won't go through the valley; He says, "I'll go through the valley with you." Amen? Glory to God!! Thank You Father for never leaving us nor forsaking us.
I think the great strength that comes through understanding adversity that leads to maturity, that leads to our understanding that you can't do certain things, is that you can't take adversity away from life and expect life to be as good as it would have been. I think one of the great understandings that comes to us is that when we watch God walk with us through the adversities of life, it draws us closer to Him. Don’t hear me wrong. I'm not crazy; I'm not asking God to give me adversity just so I can understand this or so I can walk closer to Him. I say, "Lord, if there's an easier way for me to walk with You, hey, give me that easier way."
I also learn that adversity will teach me something about myself. I learn a lot about my character when things are tough in my life (I don't learn much about me when things are going well), I learn that I'm not sufficient in myself to overcome the adversities of my life.
It's through God's strength that I'm strong.
Philippians 4:13 KJV I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
This verse doesn't say (I can do all things alone). This verse tells me I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me. And church, that includes facing the adversity of life. I also learn that adversity teaches me something about my adversaries. It teaches me something about those who would do harm to me. Glory to God!
Let's read what Jesus told His followers:
Mark 13:9 KJV But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
What Jesus was telling his followers is, "Be on your guard! You will be taken to courts and beaten with whips in their meeting places. And because of me, you will have to stand before rulers and kings to tell about your faith." And brothers and sisters in Christ He is saying, "This will be your opportunity to tell them about Me."
Sometimes I don't want adversity to come to my life. At times it might make us feel weak. At times it may mean separating ourselves from those we love. But as I mature in my faith, I understand that God allows adversity to come to my life. I also learn that no one is exempt from adversity. You're going to face it, and so am I. The thing that encourages me the most is (and this is the key right here) I learn that nobody has to face adversity alone, that God always says, "I will go with you through the adversity. I'll hold your hand during this adversity. In fact, I'll help take this adversity and make something good of it when all you can see is the difficulty of your trials."
When someone hurts us, how do we become compassionate toward them? I struggle sometimes here. They are the adversities in our lives. The easiest thing in the world is to just write them off, or some might say, "Satan, they belong to you. You can have them." But it isn’t the person, but the enemy. The fact of the matter is, as our adversary, or as the adversity in our life, they may be God's tool in our lives and we don't even know it. That doesn't mean they're right. What they're doing to us may be entirely wrong, but what was done to Job was entirely wrong, too. They may be God's instrument of bringing compassion to us or God's instrument of maturing us, molding us, shaping us.
How do we deal compassionately with people who don't deal compassionately with us? When someone is our adversary, when they hurt us, how do we become compassionate toward them? The answer is that we can't--unless we learn how to forgive. Amen? And forgiveness may be one of the hardest things for us to learn to do.
The real problem, and we're going to see this later on in this study, is when people hurt us we will either become better or bitter. Most of us, frankly become bitter. We don't want to forgive them because they hurt us so deeply. Compassion, I think, follows forgiveness. Until we get a handle on how to forgive people that hurt us, hurt us deeply, I don't think we'll ever be compassionate toward them.
We're going to learn later in our study about Joseph in the Old Testament. What a wonderful example of a person who had adversity in his life. None of it was his fault, but he had to learn how deal with brothers. He had to learn how to deal with false accusations in his life. There were so many things he had to learn in order to become compassionate, but he had to first learn how to forgive. I think that's the secret to dealing with people who hurt us. We have to learn how to forgive and that's not an easy lesson. Forgiveness tends to be, “Well, if you confess your sins, I'll forgive you," but that's not the biblical definition of forgiveness.
Forgiveness means we turn over to God the hurt that's been done to us. We say, “I don't like this. I don't understand it, but I'm not going to retaliate for it. I'm going to simply give it to You, and let You deal with it in my life." And then, and here's where so many mess up. You leave it alone. Stop bringing it up the next time you have a chance. I see this so often.
I have ones who pour their hearts out to me. And of course I have to share that there needs to be forgiveness. "But brother Jim, I forgave them." And they're sobbing like crazy and then sometimes in the next breath they start wailing again and carrying on about how much this other person hurt them. That is not forgiveness.
I'm about to close this message. Let’s think about someone who may be physically alone. Someone who's in a nursing home, shut in for health reasons. Maybe someone who's in prison, or whatever the circumstance might be. Is that promise for them too? What would we say to those who might be struggling? I would say no one is ever really alone as long as you have someone to talk to. And for the person who follows the Lord Jesus, He's always there for us to talk with Him. That's exactly what prayer is all about. You don't have to talk out loud, but you do have to be intimate in your conversation with Jesus. And, our prayers need to line up with God's Character.
So throughout the day, throughout the night, keep your conversation going. Keep it going in your mind with the Lord Jesus. Let Him in on your life. Tell Him what's on your mind. Tell the Master Jesus what worries you. Then tell the King of kings and Lord of lords to take your fears and your concerns and your worries away from you. Praise You Jesus.
Now let's kind of turn the tables. You're not physically alone, but emotionally you're struggling. Maybe some of you are feeling isolated. Maybe feeling disconnected and alone….what then? I would suggest to them the same thing.
When we feel disconnected, when we feel isolated, it's probably because we are. And that means we're not staying in constant and quality contact with the Savior. Again, I think prayer can change all that. Prayer isn't always asking something of God. Sometimes it's just talking with Him. It's asking Him to help us know His presence and to understand just how deeply He loves us.
There have been times when I felt alone like this and prayer is a help, but just opening His Word and reading God's instructions to me is a huge help. It's amazing how you find yourself feeling His compassion and all of these things open the door to our intimacy with God. Rather than saying, “God, You don't care. You're not out there. You don't really care at all what's happening to me," suddenly we find ourselves talking with Him. We find ourselves reading His Word and discovering He really does love us.
Friends, in closing I want to make this point. We don't have to go through the trials alone. Jesus is right here and I think sometimes instead of calling out to Him, we hold onto the issues in our lives. I want you to know that when the attacks come, don't let people try to convince you that it's because of something wrong you did.
Can you think of someone who may be hurting that you might be able to share this with, or invite them to join us next week? That's the whole purpose of what J and L Ministries is all about…learning and sharing what we learn with others to help them with their walk with God.
Friends, for those that have been with us here in the J and L Ministries room here on Paltalk, we thank you and after I stop this recording, I will open the room for questions and discussions.
For those who've been watching on u-tube, or any of the Christian and secular sites, we thank you for supporting this ministry. We do ask that you please share these videos. Please help get the Word out that people don't have to deal with life alone. There's a friend that will be more of a friend than any man or woman on earth could ever be. He's willing to walk through the storms with you and carry you through them.
We love you and may the Lord bless you.