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April 15, 2021 3:00 am
Today, Pastor Greg Laurie reassures you that God knows, God sees, and God cares. And God has power that’s bigger than this crisis. And he can make a way when there seems to be no way.
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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.
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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God, to find out how to know God personally go to know God.org KNOW know God.org he would you do me a favor sure this message was someone who needs to hear it. Maybe my verse you worry about what will the real review of the other 15% when the fair sleep you when you hear the worst news will wonder if you can survive in the Bible shows God is not our love shown by Pastor Greg Laurie that do not come to be hopeless no matter what you're facing is shown when listening to a new beginning is just received the toughest news of their life diagnose court order and eviction with a phone call phone call what you do when you don't know what to do today pastor Greg Laurie reassured God knows God see God hears God has power bigger than this crisis.
You can make away when there seems to be no why don't we grab our Bibles and turn to John chapter 11. The title of my message is hope for hurting hearts it's a day like any other day go to bed you dress your breakfast couple coffee.
Check your emails maybe hopefully you read your Bible before that and then it happened that phone call out of the blue from a police officer or a friend delivering bad news or a note on your counter from your spouse say they want out of the marriage a new pain in your body. You never noticed before a call from your doctor saying he is concerned about it because that was just done on you and he wants to do some more tests.
Crisis hits fast. It's hard and it takes no prisoners.
Pain is not on your front door it's moved in without your permission, and it refuses to leave in this crisis that you've experienced an altar the course of your life dramatically affect you wouldn't even wish it your worst enemy but yet it's happening to you for Joe.
This whole world came crashing down and him and one day for Josep. It was a betrayal by his brothers that changed the course of his life for Jesus. It was a religious leaders and one of his own friends who actually betrayed him and for you it might be something else you feel like you're in unexpected overpowering storm in your little ship is starting to capsize and you're really beginning to lose hope.
It's been said, quote men can live 40 days without food three days without water, but not even minutes without hope. We all need hope in our life and that they happen to me on July 24, 2008 when we heard the news. No parent wants to hear that our son Christopher had left this world and I've gone on to the next one that he was now in heaven. He was killed in an automobile accident just seen a bill like that is devastating this. It's an understatement it's it's life altering. I felt like all the air was sucked out of the room I was in an immediate state of shock. I collapsed to the ground.
I thought if I could die from hearing something I literally could physically die from that information that was given to me and somehow I survived it and does so as I was dealing with this new reality that he did not want to face. I had peoplehood gone through it say you should keep a journal.
While I've never really had a journal. You know when I think of journal I think of something a little kid has maybe the little lock on it or something. A journal that's I started opening up Word documents and just kind of typing my thoughts the way I was feeling each day and then they begin to sort of take shape in and I read some other books on sudden loss in and I thought you know I want to share this with other people. So it turned into a little book that became known as hope for hurting hearts over the years I've written 70 books.
I didn't see anyone is read them. I just said Everett okay and this is probably the most important book I've ever written for the simple reason I've heard so many stories from people who told me how to help them in an hour of crisis and I wrote it from the Valley exit dispatch from the valley of the shadow of death.
It's not theoretical it's real because it's close to when it happened in real time and basically the book talks about what happens when pain or hardship comes in my case it was the loss of my son and then the hope that I found from Scripture the hope that I found from my relationship with God the hope that is assisting me all these years and continues to sustain me as other hardships come my way in this hope is here for all of us right here right now. You do not have to be hopeless no matter what you're facing at this particular moment, we have a generation that's been done. The hopeless generation that's generation Z born from 1995 to 2008. The hopeless generation is also the most depressed generation.
In fact, this generation for them and I the presence of the best-selling pharmaceuticals and they also have the highest suicide rate. Listen, I am whole for the hopeless generation. I have hope for the millennial's I have hope for the baby boomers I have hope for the greatest generation. That's a whole a relationship with God through Jesus Christ that I want to share that hope is an anchor.
Hebrews 619 says we have this hope is an anchor for the soul firm and secure and we need this so because I'll tell you when you're going to hardship. The thing that helps you are not pious platitudes. The thing that will help you is the word of God.
The psalmist says in you will Lord I whole you will hear, O Lord my God some 130 verse like I'm counting on the Lord. I put my hope in his word to find the whole from God and from his word.
I just finished a three part series. As you know, called God's answer to fear, anxiety and worry, one of the points I made was 85% of the stuff you worry about will never happen. You okay so why stress out over that stop.
Today I want to talk about the other 15% when that thing that you feared actually does happen to you when the worst-case scenario takes place when you hear the worst news imaginable and you wonder if you can survive it. The answer is yes yes you can for me. At first I wasn't getting through the day. It was getting to the next five minutes I felt like I had the weight of the world on the iPhone almost a physical weight on my chest and I'll tell you what help me was reading Scripture, see living in grief and grieving is a little bit like wiping out a way.
How many of you ever been on the servant and been thrown over the falls of the way raise your hand gets most of you. Some of you what you don't go in the ocean when it seems to happen to everyone eventually that I can get times I've been out there and you know what a big set is coming in by big sentiment about the waves and the one after the one coming is even bigger in the get bigger and bigger. Your inclination is to turn around and paddled toward sure as fast as possible. That's a bad decision is any good to get hit in the impact zone. What you need to do is travel out toward the waves try to go wonder them before they break. Keep going keep going. If you get to Catalina, you've gone too far, but I can get times I've gone over the falls as they say it so urine like this to like this washing machine of Whitewater and your and you can actually lose direction more than one person is gone down when they should go up. So if you have a boogie board or some kind of a flotation device with you.
It's probably attached to your leg so here's what you do if you're caught in Whitewater. This is a tip for summer. You might think me later if you're caught in Whitewater and you have a boogie board or something.
Grab your lease and pull on it going the direction of the lease will always take you to the surface.
Okay, so here's our work for us and were dealing with grief. We don't know which way is up were losing perspective. The Bible is the least you need, you grab the word of God and you pull on it.
It takes you to Jesus you get your head above water. Take a big gulp of burning at all anymore waves, and I got to go under them and under what the point is the word of God is what helps us in those times of need. Read more will have the second half of this message in just a moment.
Pastor Greg Laurie talks about his new book, Billy Graham of the man I knew.
Billy said to me I'm just a country preacher. He was just a country preacher but God elevated him and offense thousands of young people, and when he spoke those kids listen, you could've heard a pin drop. God has forgiven you. That's why Christ died on the cross and that's why he rose again so you might guess that he will even instant salvation certainly do now is your right as instant every link would go on to be the greatest evangelist in history so I write about that a lot more in this book I've written called Billy Graham the man I need get to know the country preacher son millions come to Christ, Pastor Greg introduce you to Billy Graham, the man I knew a brand-new biography available for your gift of any size and harvest.or today. Pastor Greg is offering full strength, encouragement those times when the bottom drops out of our lives.
Let's look together. Now God's word will hear before us in John 11 is a story of a loved one dying. It's a story of severe grief that accompanies the death of someone you love. It's also a story of how Jesus reacts in such situations and it tells us how God can actually be glorified through difficult circumstances. But it's also a hopeful message so we will remember that no matter what were going through. God is going to be with you and give you the strength you need in your hour of need not necessarily before, never after but he'll give you what you need when you need it. This is a story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
Now these people were personal friends of Jesus Christ. They have cell phones in those days they would've had his number they would had a text read constantly going Jesus like to hang out at their house. They lived in Bethany, and he would go to their home in Bethany when he would be going into Jerusalem and everyone in the Jerusalem. There was conflict there was drama, there were things going on, go hang out with his friends first.
And by the way, Martha was a killer cook and I'm sure you love your food as it is 12 buddies. He took with him everywhere he went, so he did show up a Martha would whip him up a feast and Jesus like to spend time in their home and they can be accurately said that Mary her sister Martha and their brother Lazarus were personal friends of Jesus Christ. I think that's an important thing to know and so is her story picks up hardship is come their way. Sickness is invaded their home. John 11 now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
It was then Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore this sister sent to him seen Lord.
Behold, he whom you love is sick supper. So do we learn from this here is point number one life is filled with pain and sorrow in the death of loved ones as I love the most depressing point ever seriously, but it's true. Unfortunately, life is filled with pain and sorrow in the death of loved ones no you don't know this so much when you're young you get older you start seeing loved ones past. It usually starts with the grandparents than your parents all very significant stages of life. But then it might be an unexpected love one dying like a spouse or a child that affects you in a dramatic way.
So these things do happen, you don't know when it's going to got mother, but to remind you of your own mortality.
This is just a reality of life. Point number two despite the hardships of life we must remember that God loves us despite the hardships of life we must remember that God loves us. You know, shortly after my son went to be with the Lord.
Pastor Chuck came to visit me. Chuck Smith, we sat on the steps of my home in front. Chuck looked at me and said Greg never trade what you know for what you don't know never trade what you know for what you don't know because when prices hit your mind is filled with wise. Why is this happening to me why why why it's not fair to other people don't suffer like this. Why, that's what I don't know don't strain what I know for what I don't know okay what do I know, I know that God loves me right you know that I know that God is in control of my life.
I know that when a believer dies they go to heaven. Therefore, I know that the moment my son left this world. He entered the next one and he's there in the presence of God. I know that I will see him again.
As David said when his job died, he cannot come to me, but I will go to him so you can spend all of your time asking the why question the what you don't know stuff would go to what you do know and replace what you don't know with thoughts about what you do know God loves you know this is very interesting because Lazarus is sick, and they just sent a message to Jesus saying basically Lord, your body has said it was paraphrase your friend Lazarus is sick didn't tell them what to do. They do said he sent to forgettable take care of it. I think they were assuming Jesus would heal them and he could do that. He healed many people.
He never touched any two people the same way, though. Have you ever notice that sometimes did speak to a person they be healed.
Another time someone would touch the hem of his garment, they would be healed. Another time he would just speak the word and the person would be healed and on one occasion the guy who was blind. Had Jesus spit on the ground, wipe his spit in the dirt and put it in the guys I there's mud neurotic buddy that was a weird way to see someone healed. Can you imagine coming for prayer. Pastor, would you prefer me sure: I'm sorry that that's what he did so he could heal people. He didn't even need to be there.
They probably thought it just say the word Lazarus a pop out of bed.
Martha would whip up a great meal and everything would be wonderful again. Yes, you love them. But then, here's an interesting little twist on the story they say Lord, the one that you love is sick first three and then he's basically the ladies his arrival. Look at verse four when Jesus heard that he was said. He said, this sickness is not the death but for the glory of God that the son of God may be glorified through it like it is now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Therefore, therefore, when he heard that he was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he was hot Wyatt's when he heard he was sick because he loved him. He stayed two more days in the place where he was know that doesn't make any sense at all to us in the same way when hardship hits were seen Lord were were you wanted to doing something a wire to engage tear don't you even care. While I don't know that I can answer why Jesus delayed his arrival but here's one little thought. Jesus knew ultimately that Lazarus is going to die and so by the time he arrives in Bethany, Lazarus is been dead a number of days but where did Lazarus go when he died as anyone know the answer. He went to have the Old Testament version of heaven, if you will notice Abraham's bosom, a place of comfort in bliss. So hey Lazarus is good. Maybe Jesus said the guy enjoyed for a little while will be back here soon enough and he will be happy when I bring him back either. And then there was a plot afoot to kill Lazarus because the religious leaders reinjury he got resurrected by Jesus. So they wanted to kill a man that's miserable is that it so baby just wanted him to enjoy a little bit longer. You don't have a little fun, like when the kids were in the pool and it's time to go and you say let's go Dale Keegan of five more minutes to write. Jesus is the commitment of a little enjoyment of their life is going to get hard enough for him. Soon, but now here is Jesus waiting because he has a purpose in mind know one of my favorite hope versus is Jeremiah 2911, where God says, I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a whole that phrase of future could be translated and expected in rose another translation puts it a ground of whole pork things hoped for. Basically, God is saying there's going to be an outcome and ultimately it will be good some of your same hold on now Greg. What possible future. Could I have with my loved one who was God.
Here's the answer.
If they died with faith in Jesus Christ. They're not just a part of your past. There are also a part of your future because to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
We will be reunited with loved ones again, and God will tidy up loose ends and somehow somehow he's going to make this up to you.
On the other side. You know, we see the small picture God sees the big picture. We see the temporal he sees the eternal, and he has bigger plans afoot than what you're thinking about right now will all be made clear to you and that final day. So in the meantime you have to just have whole civil Greg actually what is hope. I one person defined it this way in this acronym HOPE holding on with patient expectation open, just holding on. Only not knowing that God is ultimately going to accomplish his purposes.
Greg Lord pointing out where to find hope in a time of true hopelessness good encouragement today here on a new beginning and pastor Greg has more to come in this message, he mentioned his helpful book hope for hurting hearts of so many people are found encouragement in this resource referred from scores of people you can find out more about the email@example.com. Just search for hope for hurting hearts and then we are excited to make available Pastor Greg's new book on the life of Billy Graham is called Billy Graham the man I knew yesterday I got I thought a bit about what day-to-day life must be like for a major A-list movie star. Let's say you know they they just can't go to the grocery store or walk to the mall. It would turn into a crowd control issue will Billy Graham wishes recognizable as any movie star, and even more well-respected. Yes, could he do everyday things could he could he drive through McDonald's what he would he would and he really would be on and about. He didn't have a security team around him. He was just Billy may be of one friend with them but do you know he was recognize wherever he went. I mean, this profile could have been on Mount Rushmore. Such a familiar face, sort of chiseled you know incredible and so I was with him once at the red lobster having lunch and any so he had a ball cap on. I guess thinking that would disguise him and the funny thing is, there was an atheist convention going on at the same time as Billy was holding this Crusade in this town and there were people coming up to him that were attending an atheist convention.
I know because they have the little ID tag still to be in the convention, but they were thrilled to meet Billy and he was so gracious to every one of them will anyway so he had this hat and he lost it and then he said to me, Greg, could you get me another hat. I said absolutely so I went down to the local mall like I was on a mission from God. I'm getting hat for Billy Graham, the Billy basically were ball caps, and so I think I found the story. Think was called lids maybe, but it was I walked. It was all my goodness, there were too many hats over so many apps to choose from. And then I didn't think the time to find out is hat size and so II look the look I pray God help me find the right hat for Billy Graham. My goodness and I finally chose one. I don't remember what size it was, it would look like and I went back to the hotel and gave it to me.
Think me and more.
Then the next day I open the paper and there's a photograph of Billy wearing the hat. I said I got a bad hat that's and I got it, then I think you misplace that shortly afterwards and think he lost hats quite frequently and I don't really know think that's good because people seem to recognize him no matter what. Well the stories you tell in the book are just fascinating. You know you not only told the stories of times you spent with Billy and Ruth, but he retraced his early life as a new believer, you know, trying to determine God's call on his life is just a unique look at the life of this remarkable man of God.
It is sort of an evangelist look at the life of history's greatest evangelist and would like to send you a copy. Hot off the press to thank you for your investment in making these daily studies possible. It's only through listener support that we can feature Pastor Greg's teachings each day. So send your gift today to a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime again at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and look for Billy Graham and pastor Greg has more reassurance coming next time very personal message called join us new beginning and possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email devotions and harvest.org