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The Refreshment of the Spirit in Times of Trial | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 27, 2021 3:00 am

The Refreshment of the Spirit in Times of Trial | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 27, 2021 3:00 am

In this episode, we continue in our series, Refresh, with Pastor Greg Laurie’s new message, “The Refreshment of the Spirit in Times of Trial.” The Christian life is not an easy one. Have you ever felt tired or worn out spiritually? Your faith seems to not be working, you struggle spiritually, and you feel exhausted. 

Pastor Greg shows you where to find hope and encouragement from James 1!

Notes

“Times of refreshment come from the presence of the Lord.” —Acts 3:20

You will be spiritually refreshed when you read and study the Bible.

You will be spiritually refreshed when you think of others more than yourself.

Spiritual refreshment comes from times of spiritual testing.

Every Christian will face trials in life for their own good.

1. God allows trials in our lives so we will grow up spiritually.  

Trials are like God’s gym where we are broken down to be built up.

Trials make you stronger not weaker.

2. Even when things look bleak, all things will ultimately work together for God’s glory and your good.

3. God’s ultimate purpose is that you might be conformed into the image of Jesus.

4. Suffering can bring glory to God.

A disability can become an ability when placed in the hands of God.

God will allow suffering and sickness to get our attention.

5. Suffering can be used by God to prepare us for a special task.

Scripture Referenced

Psalm 42:4

Psalm 42:5

Psalm 42:1–2

Psalm 19:7

Proverbs 25:25

Proverbs 11:25

Isaiah 43:19–20

1 Peter 4:12–13

Deuteronomy 8:2

John 6:5

Job 1:21–2

Psalm 105:18

James 1:2

John 9:1–2

John 9:3

Romans 8:29

Psalm 119:67

2 Corinthians 1:3–5

Psalm 42:4

Psalm 42:5

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Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org.

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Everybody Greg Laurie here.

You're listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast and my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events.

From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry.

Just go to our website harvest.org so thanks for joining me for this podcast were in a brand-new series that were calling refresh in the title of my methods for you right now is the refreshment of the spirit times of trial. Have you ever been working on your computer and think sort of frees up when you need to do. You need to refresh your screen. Sometimes that means I reboot of your computer. Get everything working again in our life as Christians.

Sometimes we need a reboot.

We need a refresh because were feeling down, we find ourselves depressed by the way, that is not a 21st-century phenomena. The psalmist writes in Psalm 42. My heart is breaking. I remember how it used to be.

I want them on the crowd of worshipers leaving the great procession to the house of God singing for joy in giving thanks but then he honestly says why am I discouraged and why is my heart so said to connect to that.

Maybe you been at church recently and you were sad instead of glad or even as you're watching this service right now you find yourself feeling down will know I love how the psalmist shifts gears. He goes from an honest question asking why is my heart. So sad.

And then he effectively preaches to himself, and says I will put my hope in God. I will praise them. My Savior and my God go myself doing that. I'll get down and quote of Scripture to myself sometimes out loud. Have you ever done that and then the psalmist also says in Psalm 42 as the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you. Oh God, I thirst for you, the living God. So really, what is he saying he say I need some spiritual refreshment. Do you need some spiritual refreshment right now. If so, you've come to the right place now and are less message in this series right talk about the refreshing power of the Holy Spirit. I pointed out how Ephesians 5 says be filled with the holy spirit speaking to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord, by the way, in the original language that the command not a suggestion, God is impeccably thing I command you to be filled with the spirit and in the original language it's implied that it's a continuous thing so the Lord is effectively saying I command you each and every day to be filled with the holy spirit so that something we all want and that brings refreshment into our lives. In acts chapter 3 verse 20 Peter said on the day of Pentecost times of refreshment come from the presence of the Lord and Jesus himself said come to me all of you who are burdened, and I will refresh you know, let's review some of the things already pointed out, that will bring spiritual refreshment into your life. Number one, you will be spiritually refreshed when you read and study the Bible. So when you open this book up and read it and study it and memorize it.

It will refresh you spiritually Psalm 19 says the word of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul number two you be spiritually refreshed when you think of others more than you think of yourself.

I know this can seem counterintuitive because it seems the way to be happy is is to think about yourself and do things for yourself and you'll say things like I need a little more me time. By the way, if you ever say that please just stop you actually don't need a little more me time you need a lot more Jesus time and you need to think about others as well.

So please people are basically on happy people studies them actually confirm this. All you do get momentary burst of what we might call a temporary happiness by doing something selfish but that is short lived. But studies have also found that selfless people are happy people. I mean, you know this already, think about when you just did something for someone else how it made you feel experts eventually described this as the helpers hi there is an actual actual euphoria that one can experience emotionally when their focus on the needs of others and of course, the Bible tells is that a generous person will prosper. Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed himself.

So as you seek to help others as you seek to refresh others. You yourself will be refreshed. Now here's one that might surprise you. And this is really my theme I'll be dealing with in this message. Spiritual refreshment comes from times of spiritual testing spiritual refreshment comes through times of spiritual testing. God says in Isaiah 43 I'm about to do something new.

See, I've already begun. Don't you see it make a pathway through the wilderness will create rivers in the wasteland. He also make rivers in the dry wasteland. So my chosen people can be refreshed in the wasteland in the hardships and the difficulties I often experience God in a way that I don't experience him any where else you know we want to live on mountaintops and have constant emotional experiences, but the reality is spiritual fruit does not grow on mountaintops that grows in valleys.

It grows in times of difficulty. So why we ask, does God allow trials and hardships and difficulties into the life of the Christian. Here's the answer. James chapter 1 that's going to be our primary text for this message.

James one starting in verse two he writes dear brothers and sisters when troubles of any kind. Come your way. Consider it an opportunity for great joy for you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow so let it grow and when your endurance is fully developed. You'll be perfect and complete, while powerful words so maybe you're facing a time of hardship right now. Maybe I'm talking to someone who just had the bottom dropped out in life, you've got bad news from a doctor or maybe your marriage seems to be unraveling or you're having trouble at work or trouble somewhere else and you're asking this question. Why is this happening to me. I am a Christian I am walking with Jesus, and this hardship is befalling me. What have I done to deserve such a fate. Here's the answer. Every Christian will face trials in life. Listen for their own good fit for your own good. Jesus said in this world you will have tribulation events that you might have. He said you will have first Peter chapter 4 says, dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials are going through, as if something strange were happening to you instead be very glad that you might be partners with Christ and share and is suffering okay. So with this in mind, here is point number one on why God allows hardship and trials in our life is simply this, God allows trials in our lives, so we will grow up spiritually, you can't be a baby forever. It's cute when a baby is a baby so helpless, so dependent but as they get older they learn certain skills they learn to feed themselves. They learn to dress themselves. They learn to take care of themselves. You don't want to be a baby Christian.

Your whole life you want to grow up and you want to mature as we read hearing James from the Phillips translation James one verse four. Let this process go on until you become men of mature character.

Listen sometimes God tests us to see if we've learned the material. Go back in your minds now to your days in school.

Some of you are still in school and the teacher might come up for the constancy kids. I'm going to test you today it's a pop quiz. So close your textbooks get on a sheet of paper and answer these questions now. The nerds and the geeks back in my day we get all excited one announcement like that was made in Munich with events on actually like that which you know they're excited why because the nerds in the geeks study and they were prepared and they were ready meet the troublemaker me the marker. Neither person was drawing cartoons sitting on the back of the room was never excited by the idea of a pop quiz.

By the way those nerds and geeks. We know: nerds and geeks anymore. We call them boss now and isn't it interesting how the word nerd geek is become positive now instead of negative as it used to be, but the reason I did not want a pop quiz was because I was not prepared. I could not learn the material in the same way God will bring pop quizzes if you will in your life still test us to see if we've learned the material. All were so quick to tell others how to live were so quick to tell others to have faith and pray about this but then when it comes into our life. Sometimes we just freak out. So God allows us to go through test to make sure we really know what we say. We know you know Israel wandered through the wilderness for 40 years.

By the way, it doesn't take 40 years to get from Egypt to Israel even on foot, but it took him a long time because they were effectively going around and around in circles. Apparently they weren't learning the lessons they needed to learn.

Sometimes we find ourselves in itself impose wilderness. But you wonder why did God allow Israel to wander in the wilderness. The answer is given in Deuteronomy 82 when it says remember how the Lord your God led you all the way on the wilderness for 40 years.

Why, to humble you to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not, God allows us to go through times of trial, a wilderness if you will, to humble us and they make sure were learning and growing in John chapter 6.

We have a story that perfectly illustrates this. It's a story of the feeding of the 5000 multitudes.

Thousands of people were flocking to hear Jesus speak in one day. There were all sitting there and lunch time came and I don't know about you, but you can set a clock by my stomach because I'm telling you, I am ready to eat at 11 o'clock. That's when I eat lunch at 11 o'clock and and I differ by o'clock in the evening my friends are called everyone to go get dinner yeah sure when 8 o'clock don't like are you serious, no way.

5 o'clock and so you can set a clock by by the pain in my stomach and so I'm sure Jesus could see there was a lot of hungry men, women and children out there and so we read in John 65 Jesus seen this gray cloud up a crowd of people turned to Philip and said Philip where can we buy bread to feed all of these people know. Was Jesus really asking Philip for help, as if he didn't know what to do.

Clearly not in fact we even read that Jesus was testing Philip for already. He already knew what he was going to do both responses will Lord it would require a small fortune to feed all these people and besides McDonald's isn't even open. Or maybe it would be McDavid, though there were no restaurants anywhere. There's no way we can feed all of these people then Simon Peter's brother Andrew speaks up and says, well, there is a young boy here with some loaves and fish but then he says, but what is that among so many so this was a test to these guys trust God. Jesus had already performed miracles.

They knew what he was capable of good.

They trust him to provide food for a bunch of hungry people apparently not because I didn't know what to do. Philip didn't know what to do and you might say that they didn't pass that test but haven't we been the most times of test.

A big financial issue comes up in our life. How my going to pay this unexpected bill, what I'm I going to do over here, going to make ends meet. We all know what that's like. Have your been in a situation where you literally had no food to eat. I can tell you this. After walking with the Lord now for almost 50 years.

God is always come through for me and I believe he will come through for you. He promises that he'll supply all of your needs according to his riches in glory in Jesus Christ that we did not say will supply all of your greets what he said he'll supply all of your needs. They were being tested and we will be tested and then there are times we will be retested. I recently got my physical done and they test everything they test my strength. They test my lung capacity. They test my eyesight. They test might hearing you say why did that a year ago know you want to be tested, retested and tested again, and God does the same thing in our life coming back to James to hear. So another translation puts the verses that we already read brothers, all kinds of trials and temptations crowd of your lives. Don't treat them as intruders but friends realizing come to test your faith in producing you a quality of endurance. Let this process go on until that endurance is fully developed and you will become men of mature character men of integrity with no weak spots.

I know when a child comes either go know again.

Have you ever thought of that is it's not an intruder. It's a friend they can actually help you sort of like going to the gym and working out.

I don't know about you but I hate going to the gym I did go to the gym twice week, but I don't enjoy it. If I never worked out again in my life I would be just thrilled with that.

I would far rather go eat donuts but I do go to the gym so I can stay mobile and flexible in retain a certain amount of strength, but you know let's all admit it.

There's some weird people that hang out in Jim's right. I don't know about what gym you go to, but there's always so certain people like I go to a gym or it's all guys in this gym and there's always the guy that hogs the machine.

It's like he puts his tell their pennies on another machine but it's like you got this machine chosen and he's on another one is working on another is a little circuit going on and you really can't get in there and then there's the guy who runs really loudly, usually wearing headphones so they're oblivious to what they're doing for you making all these noises and how about the person that sweats and pre-where I saw a guy who was on a treadmill and the people in need, suddenly got up there treadmills sweat was flying everywhere. There were like pools of sweat I'm really not exaggerating with this guy. So we see all of these people doing whatever they do about the person that drops away to give him a beer. Everyone jumps the usually have headphones into the word people hanging out in Jim's but still there are certainly benefits of working out one of them is you break your muscle down in order to build it up right. So in the same way. Trials are like gods gym. We are broken down to be built up. You go through trials so you will get stronger trials are not sent to week and you there sent to strengthen you. Trials make you stronger not weaker.

It's been said character is not made in crisis. It is revealed now. Honestly, for some people hardship comes into their life even tragedy. They give up on God. They abandon God think about Job for a moment. Job is a character in the Old Testament in his very name is point of reference of the worst suffering imaginable will use the expression, the patience of Job because Job was a man who was living a great life. He had a beautiful family. He was very wealthy. He was very successful and one day, seemingly out of nowhere, a series of calamities, but fell this poor man that we know from reading the book of Job, that there was a conversation between God and the angels, including Lucifer, who is a fallen angel in heaven and God had been dragging on Joe saying have you considered my servant Job is a perfect and upright man, one that fears God and shuns evil and Satan said I'll give me a break you let me have a little time with Job will see what is really made of. And the Lord allowed the devil to bring a series of difficulties in the Job's life, and on that day when he lost members of his family and he lost his possessions and he lost his own health. He was covered in Boyles. Here's what Job said in Job 121 I came naked for my mother's womb, and I'll be stripped from every of everything when I die, the Lord give me everything I have in the Lord is taking it away. Praise the name of the Lord and then it says Job did not send by blaming God atrophic that you want to find out how strong your faith is by how you react to adversity. Difficulty for some people, something that happens I say I lost my faith really. Maybe you should lose that faith because the faith that cannot be tested is that faith that cannot be trusted. Put your faith in Christ. The put your faith in a person.

Don't put your faith in the church put your faith in Jesus him self.

He is the one that will sustain you and your times of difficulty.

I was less the question once Greg what was the most spiritual moment of your life. No moment when you felt God more than any other time to think about Well, was that the day that I accepted Christ in my life is a 17-year-old kid my high school campus. I don't really remember that being an emotional day but it was the most important day of my life Thought it maybe it was a day I was baptized I was a little more emotional for me when I went into the water of baptism in the ocean there at Pirates Cove.

It Corona Delmar beach but that wasn't even the most emotional moment and the committee was the day I got married to Kathy how she was a vision of beauty in her white bridal gown, and I look like one of the guys from Duck Dynasty and the worst looking tuxedo ever designed. That was an emotional day. But that was not the most spiritual moment of my life. And then as I thought I realized the most spiritual moment. The moment where I felt Christ more than any other moment was also the worst moment of my life. My most spiritual day was on my worst day. I know the actual date July 24, 2008. It was the day that I heard the unspeakable news that my son Christopher had died in an automobile accident. I felt like my life had just ended literally.

I thought I don't think I can go on. How do you go on from something like this but I have to say this, God was with me. My home was immediately filled with people I don't how they got there so quickly. I think I lost touch with time I was in a state of shock and all these well-wishers are crowding in the my home saying things to me, some which are helpful. Other things were not helpful at all and and I went to my little office which is on top of our garage and I shut the door and I fell down on the floor and I printed Job like prayer is the Lord you gave me my son I give him back to you and I experience the presence of God going to tell you something. If God didn't come through for me at that moment I would've given up preaching, but he did come through for me and he still comes through for me and he was with me in the time of trial. We don't like times of trial. We don't want times of trial, God will give us strength when were in them. So again, what is the purpose of trials to make a stronger spiritually so will develop a spiritual toughness if you will well know about the suffering of Joseph W don't know I'm talking about.

Joseph was a character in the Old Testament book of Genesis. He was a young man who was doted on by his dad, Jacob, in fact. Clearly, Jacob favored Joseph over all the other kids and and even made Joseph a supercool little coat now. Sometimes a call of the coat of many colors and and really what it was was sort of what we might describe as a very nice jacket that he wore what his brothers would be out there laboring on the Hudson working and Joseph is cruising around in a supercool jacket and the brothers were envious of him and jealous of him. One day they got so sick of him. They decided to kill him and then reason prevailed in a civil maybe that's a little too much.

Yeah, you think of a saw caravan of slave traders passing by as it pledges solemn as a slave and they sold out there brother Joseph to slave traders and he was taken to a distant land, and he ultimately was hired by a man who was effectively they had of the bodyguard for the Pharaoh of Egypt and because Joseph was a hard worker and full of integrity. Pretty soon he was running this man's estate. The guys name was Potiphar, and then part of her had a wife named Mrs. Robinson and she would know she was a Mrs. Robinson but she was like this is Robinson that's an old cultural reference, but Mrs. Robinson was a movie about an older woman looking lustfully on a younger man so that's what part of her so I did and she tried to seduce Joseph and Joseph resisted her advances, and see falsely accused him of rape and he was sent to prison and there sitting in a prison cell.

It seem like the worst thing of all.

I wonder if Joseph thought if it does this just didn't work out so well. Serving God did it.

I mean I'm honest I work hard. I don't give into the advances of this woman in order to get me imprisoned, but God had a plan for Joseph and he was getting him ready for the future.

You know it's interesting that says in Psalm 105 verse 18. They bruise the feet of Joseph with betters and placed his neck in an iron collar.

Imagine that for a moment and iron collar he's chained up but then there's a different translation that emerges from the original. That gives us a really interesting inside it says as he was a lady and iron iron entered his soul. So though we was in the worst circumstances he was toughening up on the inside. God was getting Joseph ready for something big about talk about just a moment. So again, you may be going through a time of trial.

So you get stronger so iron will enter your soul. It's in the wilderness you find the streams of water, and it's in hardship to find spiritual refreshment. Now there are different trials that come into our life as Christians averse to James says, count it all joy when you fall into various trials that can be translated many colored trials so you might be going through a hardship. That's different than the one that somebody else is going through what you are going to go through them. But here's a point number two.

Even when things look bleak, all things will ultimately work together for God's glory in your good me say that again even when things look bleak, all things will ultimately work together for God's glory in your good God is in control of all circumstances that surround the believer coming back to the book of Joe before Satan could bring the hardships into Job's life.

He had to get permission from God, and the same is true of you. God knows what you can handle. And he's always keeping an eye on you, and these attacks will come. But this is an opportunity for you to turn to the Lord and to trust the Lord.

You never know how God can take a hardship and use it for good while ago I read a story about a man that was bitten by a shark know that happens every now and then but that this story was unusual because it talked about a man who was thankful he had been bitten by his sharp what I had to read that right. So here's what happened.

This guy was out swimming and he was attacked by a shark and so he's rushed to the hospital and as there's stitching him back up from the shark bite. They realize that this man has cancer and because they discovered it at an early stage. They were able to remove it without chemotherapy or radiation of any kind in this man would been bitten, said he was thankful for the shark attack because AB had not been bitten by the shark, he would not have known that he had cancer who would ever think that a shark attack could be a good thing they wanted to give the shark and award but he was unavailable because he was looking for other people to bite hoping there would be a positive outcome from that as well that's a joke.

By the way, but this brings me to point number three God's ultimate purpose is that you might be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ know we all know Romans 828 we know that all things work together for good to those that love God not the called according to his purpose. But then it continues on and says, whom God did foreknow, he also did predestined to be conformed into the image of his own dear son, here's the big picture here is God's endgame for you. He wants to make you like Jesus, God is preparing you for your future ministry. Life here on earth but also for your future in heaven because heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people, so no matter what you're going through. Know this God is at work in your life. Here's point number four suffering can bring glory to God when were suffering we can bring glory to God. Listen, any fool can be happy when the sky is blue and the sun is shining, but one the bottom drops out when adversity hits, and you're still rejoicing. That's another thing altogether will probably know the story of Paul and Silas are couple of guys in the New Testament in the book of acts. Paul was the lead among the two and he of course was an apostle and the so they were preaching the gospel and they were arrested and thrown into a Roman dungeon for doing so.

Their backs were ripped open by Roman widths and their feet were put in stocks. We think of Joseph by the collar around his neck.

These guys were chained around their feet and around their wrists and in this hellhole of a prison. This dungeon we read Ed midnight Paul and Silas sing praises to God and the other prisoners heard them some interesting phrase. Therefore heard them it means to listen to pleasure you ever been driving along their favorite song comes on the radio so you turn it up. You listen with pleasure. I don't think these other prisoners had ever heard anybody sing songs of praise to God. I don't know if you know Paul and Silas traditional two-part harmony. There are not, but all I know is this was an initial set of circumstances, and then an earthquake comes and the walls are shaken and the prisoners are able to go free if they want to and the man in charge of Roman guard realizing he'd be put to death for losing his prisoners pulls out his Roman sword is about ready to kill himself.

Paul says stop. Don't hurt yourself or still here in this hardened Roman man who actually whipped Paul and Silas and put them in stocks fell down on his knees and said Sir, what must I do to be saved. So here's my point there in hardship instead of moaning. They were worshiping instead of complaining. They were giving praise to God. Everyone was listening and that resulted in this Roman jailer coming to faith is the as they gave glory to God.

It reached other people as well. Sometimes God allows hardship in our life so he can be glorified so we can glorify him. Despite our circumstances John chapter 9, we have a story of a man born blind.

The disciples are wondering why is this guy blind in John nine we read, as Jesus was walking along, he saw men who had been blind from birth teachers.

His disciples asked him why was this man born blind was it a result of his own sins. Those of his parents.

What a weird question kind of a twisted reincarnation view a result of his own sins. How can you say something because of your sins before you're even born within the sin of the womb or something is ridiculous and in Jesus set them straight and he says this man's blindness did not come as a result of his sins, or any one else. He says he was born blind. So the power of God could be seen in him.

Sometimes God will allow a hardship so he can step in and deliver us from it, and people will be amazed. So pray about. Maybe the Lord wants to heal you of something. Maybe the Lord wants to deliver you from something that God doesn't always deliver us from our circumstances. God doesn't always take the problems away and sometimes we can glorify him. Despite our problem. You know a disability can turn into inability when placed into the hands of God. A disadvantage can turn into an advantage as well.

So God will allow these things for his purposes, and another reason sometimes God allows sickness or hardship is to get our attention sometimes are running from God were disobeying God. We don't have time for God so something happens to get our attention. As Osama said before I was afflicted I went astray. But now I have kept your word. My talking to somebody right now who is in the hospital room or someone right now who is facing a crisis and it's actually got your attention for the first time that's why you're watching harvested home you're looking for answers. Listen, I'm so glad you're here. I'm so glad you're watching because when you get knocked on your back. The only way you can look is up and there is the Lord saying I love you and I will help you call out to me. Here's another point suffering can be used by God to prepare us for a special task suffering can be used by God to prepare us for a special task that was the case with Joseph going back to him again member he's in jail so the Lord gets him out and he interprets a crazy dream that the Pharaoh had I left on the part where Joseph was able to interpret dream an incredible ability given to him by God and because of that he was made the second most powerful man in the land of Egypt.

So this kid had gone from spoiled young man to running an estate to being a prisoner to being sprung from the prison to becoming the second most powerful man in all of the world and charge of the food supply of Egypt, or famine hit the land and the brothers of Joseph went to Egypt for food that they were the only ones who had food because Joseph told them to prepare for the future as he interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh.

So one day the brothers of Joseph walk-in.

She recognizes them.

They don't recognize him.

He probably just in the way of the Egyptians when his head was shaved.

Maybe he was wearing eyeliner baby who moves like this you walk like an Egyptian old song reference, but the point is they didn't know who he was. He recognize all of them.

He told everyone to leave the room.

They shut the door and he looked to his brothers and he started crying and thinking what's wrong with this guy. Why is he crying and then he says these words, I am Joseph, and I wonder if it echoed. I am Joseph sub sub sub sub in their thinking and we are dead we sold you in the slavery but I love this statement of Joseph, he said, you meant evil against me but then he says but God did it didn't even say got a lot of these as God did it to save many people alive. You need to know that the experiences of your life can and will be used by God to help other people and I don't know what you've gone through in life, but God can use it for his glory. Example after our son went to be with the Lord. I had a new ministry that I never ask for and frankly I never wanted a ministry to people who had lost loved ones, especially children.

I found myself as a voice to people who had lost children in a voice for people with lost children and there's something that you have when you have suffered like this that you can share with someone else I know that when our son died. I sought the counsel of people who would lost children. I wanted to know what was I had what was I in for what was I going to face a but I found people coming to me reaching out to me and say can you help us.

Can you take time with us to get these requests all the time and I'll meet with families and mothers and fathers and siblings and and I don't have all the answers for them but I point them to Jesus and I share some of the things that I've learned in this process, but the way I look at this is I don't want to waste my pain and actually it helps me as I help them. And let's say that you got cancer and you're a cancer survivor and then somebody else gets cancer and they think their life is ended and someone says you need to meet this person who's a cancer survivor you can share words with them with an authority that no one else could share. You've gone through experiences in life that God can use to help other people.

Paul writes in second Corinthians chapter 1 verse three he comforts us in all of our troubles. Listen, so we can comfort others when they are trouble will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us so we can be sure the more we suffer for Christ's the more God will shower us with comfort through Christ, you might say will III don't know if I can handle what Joseph had to go through or what Job had to go through.

I remember when I would do services for children who would died as a pastor I done far too many over the years and I was always trying to find the right words and bring comfort as I look at that mom and dad devastated by this news. Sitting in the front row of the service and I remember I would walk away from those services saying to myself I hope this never happens to me, because of the did I don't think I could handle it. I'm just being honest with you. Then one day it did happen to me and I was the father of my wife for my son sitting in the front row listening to the pastor talk about my son, who was now in heaven, so I've been to both sides of it, and I know what it's like and here's what I want to say no matter what you go through God will be there for you and with you I you say, but I don't think I could handle this. We don't need to have the strength you need now to deal with that yet. God will give you what you need when you need it, not necessarily before and certainly not after. But he will give you what you need when you need it and wherever you are in life. I want you to know God is here, God is ready to step into your life and he's here to bring comfort to you, he's here to bring hope to you, he's here to bring forgiveness to you, depending on what you've done but you must come to him. I mentioned earlier, there might be somebody watching who said some kind of a tragedy or problem come another life that's gotten their attention good now call out to the Lord and he will save you and in some instances he may even rescue you when me close with the thought about the worst tragedy turned to the something good.

The worst travesty of justice and human history was the trial and execution, and murder of Jesus Christ.

The very son of God had come to this planet to walk among us and heal us and give us the greatest teachings ever given in one of they do.

They beat him, and they nail into a cross and leave them to die, but this is all part of a bigger plan for Jesus did not have his life taken from him. He came to lay his life down for our sins.

Jesus said for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son whosoever believes in him should not perish but have ever lasting life. So from the greatest tragedy came the greatest good salvation for everybody than forgiveness of sin is he, Jesus didn't stand across city.

He rose again from the dead three days later and he is alive and he's here with us right now and he is standing at the door of your life, and he is knocking, and he is saying if you will hear his voice and open the door he will come in and asking known closing is Jesus Christ living inside of you. Are you down and depressed and hurting Jesus as they let me come in. Let me refresh you with the rest. Let me give you the meaning and purpose of life that you been searching for.

And then Jesus gives us the hope that when our life in this earth comes to an end, we will go to heaven.

Not everybody has that hope heaven is not the default destination of every human being is only the future destination of those who will put their faith in Jesus Christ. How do you do that through prayer and so simple. In a moment. You can pray and ask God to forgive you of your sin in Christ will cure your prayer if you want that hole in your heart fill. If you want his piece of the Bible says passes all human understanding. I would like you to pray this prayer after me you can print out loud if you like we can pray quietly, but I want you to pray it and then I'll send you a Bible to encourage you in this important step you've taken. So let's pray together. Father I pray now for every person watching wherever they are afraid that your Holy Spirit will convince them of their need for Jesus and help them to come to you and believe, listen, if you want your sin forgiven, if you want to know that when you die you will go to heaven if you want a new start in life. If you want Christ to come and live inside of you pray this prayer. Just pray Lord Jesus, I know I'm a center but I know that you're the Savior died on the cross for my sin rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin. Now Jesus I choose to follow you from this moment forward in Jesus name I pray, amen. Everybody Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast in the learn more about harvest ministries.

Please subscribe and consider supporting this show. Just go to harvest.org and by the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God. Go to know God.org that's key NOW GLD.org

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