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Living Above Your Challenges

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2022 8:00 am

Living Above Your Challenges

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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May 19, 2022 8:00 am

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Destined for Victory
Pastor Paul Sheppard

Sooner or later, every storm runs out of rain.

The question is, how do you handle the bad weather? In just a few moments, Pastor Paul Shepherd shares today's Destined for Victory message, Living Above Your Challenges. But first, he joins me now from his studio in California. Well, Pastor, thanks for these few moments together. I'm intrigued by the title of the booklet we're offering to everyone that gives a generous gift this month. It's called Caregivers Need Care, Too. So tell us more about this resource and why you believe it will be so helpful to anyone who's listening. You know, when I was preparing a sermon series based on the life and ministry of Elisha, I was struck this time by the fact that such a powerfully anointed prophet as Elisha needed others to take care of practical needs in his life.

And it dawned on me that I shouldn't just preach about the miracles God wrought through this man's ministry. I needed to also stop and talk about and examine and unpack the fact that care givers need care themselves. So many of us with what we do in our lives, whether it's a parent, whether it's being a spouse, whether it's being a family member, assisting a relative in need. And we need to know that there are things that we can learn. One is how to recognize we are not a resource that can care for ourselves very well. So God sends along people who will help us. And what we have to do is open our hearts, open our minds and let other people be a blessing to us. I don't know, Wayne, if you're like that, but I tend to want to take care of everybody because I'm gifted to do it. But often I feel my neediness and I'm not sure I'm as good as I should be at letting other people fill those needs. So this part of the series, I hope, just as it spoke to me, I hope it will speak to others and help them understand the importance of caregiving. So when we wrote the booklet, it was a no brainer. We've got to share what was given in the sermon in book form so that people can take it away and, more importantly, apply it to their lives.

Yes, it is true. We all need help from time to time. Even those who devote plenty of time caring for others need care themselves. Thank you, Pastor. Again, the booklet is called Caregivers Need Care, Too. And it's our gift to you by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory this month. Call 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure donation online.

You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. There are challenges. There are negative circumstances and negative situations that all of us face. You will never reach a level of faith where you don't have to deal with challenges and negativity. Faith in Christ won't eliminate challenges, but it will equip you to overcome them. Coming your way next here on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul Shepherd helps us learn how to put life's trials into their proper perspective and to maintain a positive attitude no matter what difficulties life throws our way.

So let's join him now for today's message, Living Above Your Challenges. This particular message is not intended to be theological in nature. So he's not preaching the Word.

He's just preaching positive thoughts. I do preach the Word a lot. But as a pastor, I'm a spiritual parent. My job is to lead and feed the people of God.

And in leading them as well as feeding them, sometimes you got to just not so much major in theology as in practical help. So this message is designed, it's truthful now. It's truthful. I'm not going to tell any lies. But it is not made to teach you a particular doctrinal truth.

So just know that it's intentional. Now, here's what I want to do. I want to just point out something in this passage that it would be easy to skip and run right past. I'll make the point, I'm going to make several points as we study some things in chapter 5.

Here's the first point and here's what I'll focus on now. Maximize the positives and put the challenges in proper perspective. Maximize the positives and put the challenges, don't ignore them, but put the challenges in proper perspective. If you want to live a quality life as you seek to glorify God in the course of your living, you need to pay attention to the fact that we as kingdom citizens need to be people who maximize that which is positive. There are challenges, there are negative circumstances and negative situations that all of us face. You will never reach a level of faith where you don't have to deal with challenges and negativity. Every now and then some of my hyper faith friends kind of sound like they're saying, I don't know this is what they intend to, but I've heard some of my hyper faith friends say, you know, if you're really walking by faith and really a person of the word and faith and your confession is strong, you won't have any trouble.

No, that's not this world, not this world. We're going to a place where the wicked will cease from troubling and the weary will be arrested. Some of you all know what the old saints said, every day will be Sunday.

When they said that, I said, I don't know about every day, I want Sunday. But anyway, you know, we're going to a place where it's going to be wonderful like that. But we're not there yet. You will know when you get to heaven because you'll notice the improvement. But the reality is in this world, we have troubles and challenges.

But what I want to say today is I want us to learn to maximize the positives and put the challenges in proper perspective. Pastor, why are you saying that at 2 Kings 5, 1? Let me read the verse again, Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, great man in the sight of his master, highly regarded. Through him the Lord gave victory to Aram, valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. Wait, why does that require a but? He was all those positive things while having leprosy.

You all missed it. Why didn't the writer here say, despite battling leprosy, Haman was a commander of the army of Aram, great in the sight of his master, highly regarded, and won victory for Aram as a valiant soldier. Why wasn't the emphasis on all those positive things?

Instead, you list the positive things and the writer says, but he had leprosy. That is so typical of many of us human beings. And my job in this message is to just say, for God's sake, don't be one of them. And if you have been one to this point in your life, I want this to be a turning point. Ever since I heard Pastor Paul preached that one message, I decided I was going to stop majoring in negative stuff.

And I was going to start focusing on the good things that are happening and I believe will happen. Some of us just have a tendency. It's an inclination. It's like your car, you ever had a car where the wheels weren't aligned and they kept going to the side? Come on, some of y'all been driving. He said, why my car keep going over?

Baby, take that thing to Midas somewhere and tell them to line up your front wheels so that you can drive straight and stay straight. And some of us just have this tendency toward the negative. And so I need you to know that that's a common thing, but it shouldn't characterize us who are people of faith. Look at the Bible. Look at how we talk about Bible characters because we've read people talking about all the time. I say Rahab, what do you think?

Rahab the harlot. The reality is she was a businesswoman for a period of her life, but the Lord used the occasion of his people going to Jericho because they're now beginning to move into the land of promise and she, being a businesswoman of a certain sort, heard that these spies were coming from Israel. She let them in, she hid them, and she said, now, before y'all go back, we know the Lord has given you this city.

Sometimes folk who don't know God know more of what he's doing than the saints. We know the Lord's given you this city. She said, here's what I want. You don't think you stayed here for nothing, do you? She said, there is a price tag. Everybody who come in here pays something.

And your price is, when you come back to take the city, you got to spare me and everybody in my household. And the Lord honored it. So why don't we keep calling her a harlot? See what I mean? It's Rahab who used to be a harlot. And let's just be honest.

Why don't we just call her Rahab? Do you want everybody to remember the worst of the stuff you did? Oh, come on, let's just be honest. I told y'all this wasn't theological. Do you want to say, well, you know what he did, right? And have you ever met the folk who their job is to find people who don't know what you did and inform them?

That's their call. Rahab the harlot. When I say Bartimaeus, what do you think? Blind. He was blind. But one day, Jesus came by.

And he said, there's my chance to improve my physical state. And he said, Son of David, have mercy on me. And the Lord didn't respond the first time. And then the disciples came over to him. Few of the disciples said, you're making too much noise. Jesus is doing stuff.

He's got official business. You over here making too much noise. Remind me of them ushers who used to be in church. Hand behind the back. I never did.

I grew up in church. I never figured out, what is that hand behind the back? What is that about? Somebody got to give me a revelation.

What is this? But anyway. Oh, Lord, I got three emails coming from ushers somewhere. They're going to explain it to me.

Thank you in advance for letting me know. Well, don't go away. We're only about halfway through today's Destin for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, who is Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. And if you like what you're hearing today, we know you'll also enjoy some of Pastor Paul's best video clips. Subscribe to Pastor Paul on YouTube, or visit to find details and links to his social media platforms. That's Are you facing a challenge today? One of the things that can help you get through it is stop dwelling on the negatives and learn to accentuate the positives. Here's Pastor Paul with the second half of today's Destin for Victory message, Living Above Your Challenges.

When they came over and said, be quiet, the Bible said he cried the louder. Like, I need something. Y'all don't need something. What you need to do is get somewhere.

Come on now. I need the Lord. I need the Lord. I ain't got no time for you in your decorum.

I need official business with Jesus. And so I heard somebody say this week, there's three places you can always stay for free. Out of my business. They said, out of my business, in your lane, and somewhere over there. I just heard that this week. I said, oh, that's good. And I didn't even know I could insert it right in the message, but there it is. By the mass, might as well have told them, there's three places y'all can go for free.

Out of my business, in your lane, somewhere over there. And the second time, the Lord heard him. And the second time, he got his healing.

When I say Thomas in the New Testament, what do you think? Doubting. He doubted for a while. Now, he was a disciple, which meant he spent years with Jesus.

Couple of years following him. He wasn't doubting all of that time. But during those closing hours, when he saw his Savior crucified, like the other disciples, they scattered, they were confused.

Oh, my God, what's going to happen? Sunday morning, Jesus rose and said, tell the disciples to meet me. And when they got together, Jesus appeared to them. And then Thomas said, I won't believe it unless I can put my hand where they wounded him. And Jesus let him do it.

What did Thomas do then? He said, my Lord and my God. He's no longer doubting. He had a moment of doubting.

But we still, here we are, 21st century, doubting times. In the New Testament, when I say Ananias, what do you think? Sapphira. There's two Ananiases in there. We don't often think of the second one.

The first one we think of, you know why? Because him and his wife lied to God. The saints were given very generously.

They were selling properties. Because the church was brand new. Judaism was upset. Everything has changed because of Jesus. And you got this new group of folk called the Way.

In the first century, they were called the Way. And they had to live, often being disowned by their orthodox families. And the church was pulling resources together and making sure everybody could make it. And in the course of that sacrificial giving, Ananias and Sapphira said, we want to appear to be in on this, but we ain't giving all that money. Y'all must be kidding.

You think I'm going to sell this and give you the hold? And so what happened? So they gave a little bit and act like it was a lot. And when Peter went to them, said, did you sell that for such and such? And Ananias said, yeah. And Peter said, the problem is, you're not just lying to man.

You're lying to God. And the Lord pronounced judgment on that Ananias. He dropped dead.

Some of the brothers took him out and buried him. Meanwhile, his wife came in. She had been with him in this deceit. I always picture her coming in with Nordstrom bags. But that's not in the Bible.

Heretic hunters, that's not in the Bible. I just like pictured her that way. She coming in. And they asked her the same question.

She gave the same lie. And he said, the pallbearers that just buried your husband are on their way back. And she dropped dead. That's the Ananias we tend to think of. The other Ananias is the guy who, when Saul ran into Jesus on the Damascus road and had his life changed, he was blinded by the encounter. And the Lord sent him to a person's house on Straight Street. And then in Damascus, there was a disciple named Ananias. And that Ananias, the Holy Spirit spoke to him and said, go over to Straight Street. You'll find a man named Saul. Ananias said, no, I know him. I heard of his reputation.

He came to town to beat us up and to throw us in jail. And Ananias said, no, I can't go there. He's dangerous to the church. The Holy Spirit said, no, no, don't worry about it.

Just go on over there. And he went in obedience. When he got there, the first thing he said was, brother Saul. The Lord showed him, I don't care about his past. He's your brother now.

Take care of him. And he ministered to him, prayed that he would receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. The great apostle Paul got his start blind and in need of divine power, and he got it by being ministered to by a man named Ananias. Yet we think of the one that did. See what I mean?

We just have these propensities. And that's what you see here in this passage. Naaman's a commander of the army, which in our society, means he would be the top general in our military. The top general in the military. That's who Naaman was in Syria, was called Aram here, it's modern day Syria. And he was regarded by the king. The king held him in high regard.

Not only that, he's a valiant soldier. And then we see here in NIV the word but. Now, when you look at the Hebrew text, you know, the Old Testament is written in Hebrew, New Testament in Greek and Aramaic. And so when you look at the three biblical languages, when you look at the texts that we get our English translations from, when I looked at the Hebrew text, guess what I didn't see? I didn't see the word but in the Hebrew text.

It's not there. You know why it's inserted here? It's inserted here because the translation committee of NIV thought, well, to clarify for the reader, we will contrast between all the positive things and the leprosy. That was their decision. It wasn't in the original text.

I'm not saying there's anything, you know, wrong with that. It was their attempt to clarify. Not only will you find but in NIV, you'll find but in King James. The word but right there. And you will also find it in ESV, the English Standard Version, the word but, as if it was in the Hebrew text, and it's not. It's because we're accustomed, we're trying to clarify, but what I'm trying to point out is sometimes our attempts to so-called clarify are just showing that our wheels aren't aligned, that we got this but in us.

Tell somebody to get your butt out the way. Now he vulgar. I said B-U-T, not B-U-T-T. So but is often inserted because we think it just makes sense. The reality is he did all that in spite of having leprosy. But tends to denote something negative, like a subtraction. There's no subtraction here. It could have said Naaman had leprosy, but he was and put it on the positive side.

But no. We tend to put our buts in the negative direction. And I'm here to tell you, if you and I want to live more effectively, which our job is to let our light shine, to glorify our God, to advance his kingdom, to be a blessing to people, one of the things we as kingdom people need to learn to do is stop being so negative. Thanks for being here for today's Destined for Victory message, Living Above Your Challenges. For more information about the Destined for Victory program, or to find out how you can request your copy of Pastor Paul Shepherd's booklet, Caregivers Need Care Too, visit

Again, When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory. I want somebody to decide. It's worth getting excited here and now. Don't wait until everything is the way you wish it was.

You need to make up in your mind. I'm going to rejoice in the Lord always. I'm not going to wait until things get better. I'm going to rejoice right now. And that's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Living Above Your Challenges. Until then remember, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-16 17:17:40 / 2023-04-16 17:26:26 / 9

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