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Hope: For, In and Beyond the World - From My Heart to Yours Part 11

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
December 29, 2020 9:00 am

Hope: For, In and Beyond the World - From My Heart to Yours Part 11

So What? / Lon Solomon

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December 29, 2020 9:00 am

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Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston
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Pastor Rick Gaston
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Pastor Rick Gaston

Well, I'm sure many of you have heard the words of the old spiritual. Nobody knows the trouble I've seen.

Nobody knows but Jesus. Man, can I relate to that? And I bet you can too. As a matter of fact, the truth is it seems like the older I get, the more trouble I got. Now, why is that?

Well, it's because Job said man that is born of woman is a few days and full of trouble. And this is what as we continue our series from my heart to yours, this is what we want to talk about today. So are you ready? All right, here we go. In Psalm 42, we find David has got trouble. In verse three, he says, My tears have been my food day and night. In verse six, he says, My soul is in despair. In verse eight, he says, Lord, have you forgotten me? In verse 10, he says, My pain is so deep, it feels like a shattering of my bones. But look what David says in verse 11. He says, Why are you cast down, O my soul?

And why are you disquieted within me? Hope thou in God. Friends, the bottom line is when we got trouble, we need hope. But we need real hope. We need lasting hope. We need triumphant hope. Well, hope that we won't find in yoga, or transcendental meditation, hope that we will not find in money, or in politics, hope that we won't find in popularity or fame, or the power of positive thinking. But hope the Bible says that we will find only in the living God of the universe, and his promises to us, if we believe them.

I want to repeat that. We will find that hope in the promises of the living God to us, if we believe them, not just in our head, but in our heart. And there are four of these great promises in the Bible that God makes us about our troubles that I want to share with you today. But first, let me say that if you're here, and you're not a follower of Jesus Christ right now, you've never given your heart to Christ in a real and personal way. Then I want to tell you that these promises I'm about to tell you about are not yours. They don't belong to you. These promises only belong to people who are children of God through their faith in Jesus Christ.

Ah, but we can fix that problem right here this morning. If you bow your head right now, and just say, Lord Jesus, come into my heart, be my Savior, I repent of my sins before you, I want to make 180 degree turn in my life back to you, God, my friend, then you can tag along with us for the rest of the message. And for the first time in your life, these promises now belong to you.

Hey, we got a major on the majors. And that is not the promises of the Savior, but the Savior himself. Because when you get the Savior, you get the promises of the Savior right along with him. So if you don't have the Savior, that is your issue today.

And that we have to solve first. I sure hope you will. Amen. All right, now, if you got the Savior, and many of you do, these promises belong to you and me.

Here we go. Number one, the first promise God makes us about our troubles is that they have all been inspected. I love Job chapter one. It's one of the most fascinating passages in the Bible, I think, because here in this chapter, God peels back the clouds and allows us to see some of the inner workings of heaven. In Job one, the Bible says that Satan shows up in heaven. And he says to God, verse 10, you have placed a fence around Job and all that he has. The Hebrew word that's used here for fence is the word hedge, as the King James translates it, or wall.

And when I read this, I get the picture in the medieval times of those old castles with those old big walls where you would run inside the castle and you would pull up the drawbridge and inside the castle behind those walls. Nobody could get to you. Nobody could hurt you. Well, Satan says that's what you put around Job, God. But Satan says, I tell you what, you let me get inside those walls and let me go after him and I'll get him to curse you to your face. And so the Lord said to Satan, behold, all that Job has is in your power. What's the next word? Say it.

But wow, what a great word. But upon him personally, you may not put forth your hand, Satan. And so Satan went and he destroyed his houses and his property and his animals. But Satan failed to get Job to curse God to his face. So in chapter two of Job, he's back and he says to the Lord, put forth your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh. Let me go at his health, God. Let me go at his body, God, and he will curse you to your face. And the Lord said to Satan, behold, he is in your power.

Next word. But you must spare his life. Now, what does the Bible teach us here in Job one and two? Well, the Bible teaches us three things. A, that God has a hedge of protection set up around every one of us as followers of Jesus Christ. Number two, B, that Satan must get God's permission to do anything to us inside this hedge. And C, that even when God gives Satan permission, he puts definitive limits. You may not touch his body.

You may not take his life. He puts definitive limits on what Satan can and cannot do to us. Now, do we see that? Do we see that? Yes.

Okay. And you say, well, Lon, are you sure you're not pulling way too much out of this one passage? Well, I'm positive because Jesus said the very same thing in the New Testament. Luke 22, Jesus said, Simon, Simon, talking to Peter, behold, Satan has, say the next two words out loud, asked permission.

Yeah, he has to get permission. He has asked permission to have you that he may sift you like wheat. And Jesus said, I've given him that permission, but, but Jesus said, I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith should not fail. And when you have turned back to me, not if, but when you have turned back to me because Jesus said, I know you will turn back to me, Peter.

And how do I know that? Because I've already inspected what Satan wants to do to you and made sure that you can handle it. This is why the Bible says first Corinthians 10 13 that God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can endure. And the reason God can make this promise to you and me is because he inspects every single trial, every single trouble before it ever hits our lives to make sure that we can endure it. Look here, look at me, whatever you are facing as a follower of Jesus Christ, whatever trouble you've got, God says, Oh, yes, you can with my help.

Oh, yes, you can make it through because I inspected it before I ever allowed it to hit your life to make sure that you can make it through. Oh, yes, you can praise the Lord for that, huh? Amen. And that brings great hope. Man, if I know I can make it through because God says I can make it through, that brings hope to me in my trouble. Number two, the second thing God tells us and promise he makes us about our troubles is that our troubles all have a divine purpose. In Second Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul said, I knew a man in Christ talking about himself who 14 years ago was caught up into paradise and heard inexpressible words which a man is not permitted to speak. That is here on earth and because, Paul says, of the surpassing greatness of these revelations and I saw up there in paradise, say the next three words for this reason to keep me from exalting myself.

Paul, here was God's divine purpose. There was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me. The Greek word here, translated buffet, means to beat somebody up. It's a very strong word. It means to hit somebody with your fists.

It was used in classical Greek for giving somebody a cauliflower ear. Now, while we were away on vacation, I got into rugby, watching it on television. I don't know much about rugby. I mean, I can't figure out how they score and when they kick and when they scrum and all of this stuff. I can't figure it all out, but I loved watching the game. It was fun to watch. And a lot of the guys I noticed on the field had cauliflower ears like the guy you're going to see on the screen.

Yeah. And you don't get that kind of ear from having somebody just brush you or gently hit you once or twice. You get that kind of ear from having people repeatedly bash on you.

That's how you get that ugly thing. Now, Paul said, I've got a messenger of Satan that God is allowing to give me cauliflower ears by bashing on me again and again. We don't know what that thorn in the flesh was that Paul had specifically, but whatever it was, it doesn't sound good, does it?

No. And yet Paul understood something. Listen, he understood something very important that this trouble had a divine purpose, namely to keep him from getting too big for his britches. Now, in the same way the Bible says that as followers of Christ, you and I, every trouble we face has been calculated by God to produce carefully planned divine results in our lives. I'm going to repeat that. Listen, every trouble you have and I have has been carefully designed by God to produce divine results in our lives. And this is why the Bible says First Thessalonians 5 19 in everything, give thanks in everything. Have hope.

Why? Because this problem, this trouble, this whatever is not random. It is not inadvertent. It is not accidental, but it is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Perfectly calculated just for you.

Perfectly designed just for you to produce spiritual growth and maturity just for you to the glory of your beloved savior. Number three. The third promise God makes us about our troubles is that in our troubles we're not alone. In Second Chronicles 32 King Hezekiah of Judah had some big trouble. And Nacharib, the king of Assyria and the whole Assyrian army. This is 701 BC has captured the entire ancient Near East, with the exception of Jerusalem. Now they're coming against Jerusalem.

They surround the city. And so Hezekiah gathered all the people, the Bible says, of Jerusalem into the square at the city gate and spoke encouragingly to them. Now stop for a minute. What in the world could you possibly say encouraging to your people to bring hope to your people when the mightiest army in world history before whom no nation has survived is now coming to get you? What could you possibly say to bring hope to your people? Well, watch.

Here's what he said. Hezekiah said, Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him. For the one who is with us is greater than the one who is with him.

With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles. And the people took courage in the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah. Friends, how did Hezekiah bring hope to the people of Israel when they were in the middle of this huge problem? He did it by reminding them that they weren't facing that problem alone, but that their mighty, awesome God was right in there with them. And just to complete the story, you know, Hezekiah was successful. Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, never did conquer Jerusalem.

That night, if you remember the story, the angel of God killed 185,000 of the Assyrian soldiers, and Sennacherib went back home to Nineveh with his tail between his legs, and he never did conquer Jerusalem. Praise the Lord. Yes. Now you can clap.

You better. Now, as followers of Christ, the same thing that Hezekiah said to these Israelites is true for you and me. Listen what Jesus said. Hebrews 13 five. He himself, the risen Christ, has said, I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you. You say even in times of bad trouble, friends, especially in times of bad trouble. Therefore, the Bible says, and you know our mnemonic device when you see it, therefore find out what it's there for.

Right. Therefore, therefore, what? Therefore, because the risen Christ said, I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you.

I'm in there with you. Therefore, we may boldly say, man, just listen to the hope here. We may boldly say the Lord is my helper. I will not fear.

What can man do to me? Man, that's hope. And that comes from knowing you are not by yourself.

Never are you by yourself. The living risen Christ is right there with you. And if he's got to pick you up and carry you, he'll do it. Praise God. So let's summarize. Number one, our troubles have all been inspected. And oh, yes, you can. Number two, our troubles have a divine purpose.

They're perfectly designed just for you. Number three, in our troubles, we're never alone. And finally, number four, the fourth promise God makes is that our troubles will always turn into good for us. Now, sometimes this is hard for us to believe, and sometimes we even swear it's impossible. But, folks, it can't be impossible because that would make God a liar, because God promised it will happen with every problem, with every trouble that you've got.

Romans 8 28 says, And we what? And we know. Do we hope? Do we think so?

Do we think the odds are in favor of it? No, we know because God promises and he cannot lie that God, what's he going to do? He's going to cause all things together, all things good, bad and ugly to work together for good to those who love God. Remember, the verse doesn't say God can do this. The verse says God will do this. And even if you're in glory when it happens and you might be, God's going to see to it, every trouble in your life is going to end up for good.

If not for you, then for the people who are still on earth when he's ready, it's going to happen. Now, I want to say to you, don't you dare, my friend, impugn the character of God by refusing to believe what God says here. Don't you dare do that. Don't you dare say to God, I don't see how you can do it. I don't believe you can do it. This can never turn into good or telling yourself that you were impugning the character of Almighty God.

Don't you dare do that. Has God ever not kept his word? He kept it for Joseph. He took him from prison for 13 years in Egypt and turned him into the prime minister of the country. He did it for Esther. He took her from being an orphan girl and turned her into the queen of Persia. He did it for Ruth, taking her from being a childless widow to being the great grandmother of King David and the great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother of the Lord Jesus Christ. He did it for David. He took him from running and hiding in caves from Saul to being the king of Israel and he did it for Peter.

He took him from being sifted like wheat by the enemy to being the leader of the church in the whole early church. Folks, God has kept his promise to every single person in history who knows Christ and he's going to keep his promise to you. So don't you dare impugn his character. You say, but I don't see how.

Listen to me. God doesn't need you to see how. He doesn't care if you see how. He is going to do it and it doesn't matter if you see how. He just needs you to trust him and to believe him.

That's all he needs. And this is why I love this poem because I'm not a big poem guy. You know what I'm saying? I almost flunked senior English in high school because I hate poems. You know, I can't make any sense out of them. I don't know what they're talking about. And my English teacher pulled me out of English class in high school.

This is true. Mrs. Brady. I remember her and she pointed her finger at me and she said, so help me, Lon Solomon. I'm going to flunk you in senior English and you're going to have to go back to high school one more year. And all I could think about is, wow, that is the crookedest finger I've ever seen. I was a mess in high school, but I love this poem.

Yeah. Because I can understand what this one's saying. Listen, my father's way may twist and turn. My heart may throb and ache, but in my soul, I'm glad to know he maketh no mistake. My cherished plans may go astray.

My hopes may fade away. But still I'll trust my Lord to lead, for he doth know the way. Though the night be dark and it may seem that day will never break. I'll pin my faith, my all on him. He maketh no mistake. For by and by the mist will lift and plain it all he'll make.

Through all the way, though dark to me, he made not one mistake. Praise God for that, huh? Amen. And I want to tell you, we have that poem posted in our bathroom.

It's been there 24 years ever since my daughter Jill was born and began having all of her problems. And almost daily I read this poem and I say, thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. That brings hope to my life to know that you don't make mistakes and you're going to turn this into good somehow. Thank you, Jesus.

So let's summarize. As followers of Christ, we've got four promises that God makes us about our troubles. Number one, our troubles have all been inspected and oh, yes, you can.

You can make it. Number two, our troubles have a divine purpose for our character and our development to the glory of Christ. Number three, in our troubles, we are never alone. The living Christ is there to help us.

And number four, our troubles will always turn into good because God promised that he would do that. Now, that's the end of where we want to go in our passage, but we have a final question that we need to ask. So are you ready? You ready? All right. It's going to be good. You ready? Here we go.

One, two, three. How sweet it is. Yeah.

Well, you know what? I'm going to close this up very quickly, but just let me say to you, you know, folks, I need to be honest with you and tell you that right now I've got some real troubles in my life. My son and his wife just finalized their divorce four or five weeks ago in January. And we have three grandchildren under the age of four who are caught right in the middle of that very, very nasty situation. And it hurts to see that happen. And my daughter Jill's health in 2015 wasn't real good. She started having drop seizures again where she would just be standing up and it's like somebody hits her with a brick and she just drops like that with a seizure. In fact, she was at Target when it happened once this summer and she hit her head on one of those big wood crates that they keep in the aisles. And it's a miracle she didn't kill herself or fracture her skull.

In fact, she just had a seizure this morning before I came to church. And I could go on, but the point is, in all of these troubles, friends, I need hope. Just like in all of your troubles, you need hope. And I remember my mom used to always say, well, we just have to have hope in hope.

And I used to say, Mom, that is the dumbest thing I ever heard of in my life. Have hope in hope? What kind of nonsense is that? Folks, you don't need that kind of hope. I don't need that kind of hocus pocus kind of hope. I need real hope. I need hope that I can sink my teeth into just like you do. I need hope that's not going to let me down even in the toughest seas just like you do. And where do we get that kind of hope? We get that kind of hope from knowing the promises of God and believing them.

That's where we get that kind of hope from. Praise God. And so right now, I want to ask you to bow your heads with me and close your eyes. And what I'd like you to do with your heads bowed and eyes closed is I want you to think of the one or the two biggest troubles that you've got in your life right now.

The biggest problems and struggles in your life, the things right now that are bringing you the most pain and heartache. You got them? Okay. With them on the screen of your mind right now, with our eyes closed, I want you to say out loud after me. Here we go.

You ready? This trouble. Come on now.

Come on. This trouble has been inspected. And with God's help, I can handle it. This trouble has a divine purpose, and it's no accident in my life.

In this trouble, I am not alone. But the risen Christ is by my side to help me. And somehow this trouble will turn into good because Jesus promised it would.

And he cannot lie. So in all of this, I will believe God. And therefore I will have hope. Praise the Lord. Let's give God praise. Amen. You
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-10 20:29:11 / 2023-06-10 20:38:56 / 10

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