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January 18, 2022 3:00 am
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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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Today's episode of a new beginning is brought to you by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn email@example.com and while you're there, browse our library and free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith to believe this was just on the grid. More on hearing the news. I actually thought the person could drive during words like what I heard. I love my thought I could sleep. I want to do in the immediate state of shock. I collapsed on the board about my just cried out to God today. Pastor Greg cheers from his family's personal experience, but still very very painful. There is still a deep hole in our lives that was once occupied by Christopher, but I've learned a lot about grieving laws but I want to tell you one other thing I learned a lot about I learned about hope we all need hope in life to get through today a message called hope for those who study this rush so many of our motion. They voted one of those past years most requested messages get a permanent copy of this encouragement for yourself by going to harvest dockable. Pastor Greg now to begin. How many of you lost a loved one. Your facing crisis going through hardship for a time of great trial right now, raise your hand up QUITE a few how many of you are not raise your hand up don't be America's good good for you.
It's, the well look at it when we have those moments of common life where things are going reasonably well. We give God the glory. But sometimes the Lord will give us truth in our life that we will store up for another day. Sort of like the little squirrels saving up for the winter, so store these Jews in your heart because if you live very long. It's only a matter of time until a loved one is going to leave this world before you before a doctor gives you bad news before some kind of crisis happens in your home. So we want to be prepared. It's been said, if you pricks are hurting people will never lack for an audience. Today I want to talk about hope for those who have lost loved ones and I posted this on my Facebook page that I was going to be addressing this topic and you want to read what people said how they're facing great crisis or have lost a loved one recently in how they're seeking to cope with it. So certainly there's a lot of people that need to hear this and I become a member of a club.
I never wanted to join and but there's no denying the fact that I'm a bona fide member and I met many others who are in it as well and so I hope that I can bring some words of comfort and encouragement and perspective to those that are facing this right now. You know, I guess I should get my credentials on why feel qualified to speak about this. I suppose that I've suffered quite a bit in life. I I've not suffered as much as some of perhaps I've suffered more than others. I had a crazy childhood you've all heard the story of my upbringing, my beautiful mother who wanted to look like Marilyn Monroe and I saw my mom rarely and she would come and make an appearance and it would be so excited to see her. Then she would disappear again, and this is sort of the cycle of my life being what they're not being with her dealing with all of the things he went through is an alcoholic and someone who is married and divorced seven times, well then I was sent to military school and and though I did not like going to military school so I was very lonely there.
I have to look back and acknowledge it was one of the more stable times of my life. The Southern California military Academy on signal Hill in Long Beach. It's no longer there. I remember that we were forced not for thought we it was mandatory to attend chapel every Sunday so long with the other cadets I would sit in the chapel services. There was a song that we sing their that I still remember to this day that title. I think is you'll never walk alone in the song words went along these lines. When you walk through a storm. Hold your head up high and don't be afraid of the dark at the end of the storm is a golden sky and the sweet silver song of the Lord walk on the wind walk onto the rain though your dreams be tossed and blown walk on walk on, with hope in your heart and you'll never walk alone for some reason that song resonated with me. I had this optimism despite my upbringing that someday in some way things were going to get better. I always believe that there was a God. I always believed in Jesus Christ as much as I knew about it when I lived my grandparents home. She had a painting or a portrait of Christ. I would look at this depiction of Jesus and and I would have great admiration for him. I would think. I wish I could know this Jesus, but he came he died. He's gone. Or maybe he's up there somewhere, but I don't know where and I don't know how to communicate with him but though my life had taken a lot of difficult twist and turns in 1970. I heard a message that I understood and I prayed and asked Christ to come in the my life now. That was when things started turning for the better and and I was determined to not follow in the footsteps of my mother, though she did been married seven times I was determined to have a successful marriage and so when I met Kathy. We got married we wanted to do everything to make our marriage strong.
I'm thankful to say that we been married now for 37 years, and God is so good to us and then our first son came along on Christopher and then 10 years later along comes Jonathan you know because I never had a father growing up. I wanted to be super dad, I'm not implying that I think I succeeded because I don't think I did it all but I wanted to be a hands-on father. I wanted to be a loving father.
I wanted to be a present father I wanted to teach them in the way of the Lord, but I wanted to have fun with them to and you not, no question about it. I spoiled Christopher. I bottom way too many toys and I think one of the reasons was I wanted to personally play with those toys to so I like Dr. Dobson once said every parent owes their first child, an apology. There's probably some truth to that, but you know he was precocious. Any was always getting into trouble and he had a timer as he got a little bit older and this 20 easy rebelled against the Lord. He was never rebellious outwardly with us, but but I know he was living a double life, and we prayed we spent many sleepless nights and I and then thankfully God got hold of him and he made a recommitment to Christ and then he got married to a girl named Brittany and our first granddaughter little Stella was born in.
It was so exciting to be a grandparent and then also a little Lucy was on the way we were at home how Kathy was doing a little Bible study with Britney, Christopher's wife and her mom, and I was watching Stella and we hadn't heard from Christopher. He worked her at the church and was on his way to work and that we try to call me didn't answer so I texted them I remember what I said where are you there was no answer. While the reason there was no answer is my son left this world around 901 and went into the presence of God in an automobile crash only those of you who have lost a loved one will understand what I'm about to say but the word devastated doesn't express how bad it actually is understand. I've been a pastor for quite a long time and I like to been with. When they heard the news I was with one couple in the waiting room of a hospital when their child was being operated on and the doctor came and revealed that she had not made it through. So I've been there.
I've seen it up close and personal he know what it's like and I thought I had a sense of what it would be like to hear a permit when it happens to you. It's like time just stops and I want to do an immediate state of shock. I collapsed on the floor. I could not stand. I don't even know if I cry I just was stunned. I couldn't believe this was happening.
That's not possible and immediately it seemed like within minutes.
Our home was filled with well-wishers and family and friends in the phone was ringing in and everyone was trying to bring help in comfort, but it was just a blur of noise to me and I got away and I went over to my office, which is over our garage and I just fell on the floor in and I just cried out to God for help to get through. Not the day but the minutes it would just seem like how can you survive this. I actually thought ever person could die from hearing words I could have died from what I had just heard. I lost my appetite. I couldn't sleep and die. It just seemed to go on forever. It's like a nightmare and you keep hoping that you wake up from it you know any of the bad dream and in your heart is racing anyway. Company is a it's okay.
It's just a dream.
I wanted so badly to wake up from this dream that was not a dream at all, it was reality. So Friday past, and then Saturday came and went.
Send Sunday and then without well it's go to church and I came here now people of Centennial Greg.
It was so courageous of you to come to church, you know, you're such a model of faith. Well, thank you for saying that but you know what I was here because I needed God. I don't think it was an example of great faith. I think it was the example of someone who was weak who needed help, but I'm not embarrassed to admit that. So we came in and we wanted to hear the word of God taught and we wanted to worship the Lord in I'm not embarrassed to say that I'm still morning. It still hurts. Is it the same as it was back then. No it is and it's it's different is a better in a way it is. But it's still very very painful. There is still a lot, gaping hole in our lives that was once occupied by Christopher, but I've learned a lot about grieving and laws and daily pain.
I learned how to live with pain how to cope with it. As I mentioned a few moments ago I become a part of a club. I never wanted to join so hardly a day goes by when I don't encounter someone to hear from someone who was also lost a loved one, and they're asking for some kind of help. So I've learned a lot about these things and learn more about morning but I want to tell you one of the thing I've learned a lot about I learned about hope and I have hope and hope is like an anchor that keeps her someplace during the tumultuous storms of life and beg Hebrews 619 says we have this hope is an anchor for the sole permit and secure and so that's what we want to share with you today. It's been said that men can live 40 days without food three days without water. Eight minutes without air and about one second without whole.
We all need hope in life to get through. Now listen, that doesn't mean that you're not going to feel pain to have hope does not mean that you have a permanent smile plastered on your face, nor does it mean you had some kind of a spiritual lobotomy when you don't feel what other people feel you can have hope and pain coexisting together. But what does it mean they have hope. Is it just open all all II just know things will get better. Will wait you don't know it because things could actually get worse, right. So what is my hope in my whole is in God. I have to look to him and here's what God says to us in one of my favorite verses Jeremiah 2911 Lord says I know the thoughts and I think Georgie says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and what hope that's what God is saying to us now, contextually, that statement was given to the Israelites when they were in Babylonian captivity because of their penchant for idolatry.
The Lord banished them to the land of idolatry Babylon for 70 long years they they were no longer worshiping.
They said they hung their hearts on the willow tree which means that they sort of a put the guitar away in the closet and unplug the M said there were no praise services happening because they felt like God had forgotten about them and God get abandon them. So with that backdrop, the Lord says hey everyone, listen, I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, not of evil, to give you a future and a whole God missing Israel listen to me. Your days are not over, I have a future for you and God is saying the same to us.
Love how the Lord says I know the thoughts that I think toward you would've been enough about what is said, I know the single thought.
I once had toward you for a fleeting moment when you be happy to know that God Almighty, the creator of the universe had a single thought about you. I will, but that's not what the Lord says he says I know the thoughts plural more than one that I think not. Just past tense, but present tense toward you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you future. So the thoughts of God are from what he is thought what he is thinking what he still will think they're good thoughts. The Bible says in Psalm 45. Many are your wonderful words would you have done in your thoughts toward us cannot be counted there more than to be number that was in the all depends how someone thinking about you mean someone might be thinking about you right now in the thinking evil thoughts there plotting and how they're going to destroy you like don't think about me getting off your radar screen. That's not the way God is thinking.
I know the thoughts that I think Georgie says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and all home so his thoughts are good and what is he mean when he says the future they can better be translated and expected in for another translation would say a ground of hope are things hoped for.
In other words, there will be an outcome there will be completion in your life.
God will tie up the loose ends because as a Christian I am a work in progress.
I am an artist use that word loosely and that was good artist but I like to draw and the people will sometimes ask me to draw something that's a great draw draw lien or draw this a draw that I like to draw from little kids especially, you know, because they're always so appreciative and so I will sit down it and all of the pin and I'm looking at the paper and maybe I'll just sort of do a line and I'll start the smile of someone is a what are you smiling on. There's nothing on the paper I sent this loving about what I meant to do because it's going to be a caricature of you and you look so bad. No see, that's me right so here's God he's working on a canvas in and he does alone. We say while Lord would second be finished and contemplated what in God's mind the artist on the painting is completed. It's already finished and in the same way God looks at you and though it's still a work in progress for you. God knows exactly what he is doing. There is an expected in and it is good they might say no way Craig went out when everything in life doesn't make sense. What about when we get sick and we pray to be healed and were not and what about when someone dies, where's the good now.
Greg, where's he expected in now really is called heaven folks, it's not going to all be Rosie on earth.
You can have good moments here and I have times when things come together and make sense. And then there's going to be times when they don't make any sense at all, but ultimately the future. For every believer as being in the presence of God in heaven.
That is something we hope for and God is the 1 We Pl. our trust in Psalm 3815 visual Lord I hope in you.
You will hear all Lord my God. Psalm 130 verse five on counting on you, Lord. Yes, I'm counting on you. I put my hope in your word now this all sounds quite sunny and happy, but I want you to know that you can actually be hopeful in morning simultaneously. You know what a loved one leaves this world, especially when it's unexpected. It tears us up inside even once expected. It's very hard to deal with the deep sense of loss because it was a deep love know sometimes people will say we shouldn't be crying. You should in the morning there and have it if you're a believer, but even the great apostle Paul talked about the deep sorrow he was feeling.
If a friend of his would die in Philippians 225.
He says I thought I would send a proper die this back to you is a true brother of people worker, a courageous soldier. He was your messenger to help me in my need. Now I am sending them home again, for he is been longing to see you and he was very distressed that you found out he was ill and he surely was built. In fact, he almost died, but God had mercy on him. Listen to this. Paul says, but also on me so I would not have such unbearable sorrow, this is Paul who's been a heaven and is come back again this is Paul, who had more faith than anyone you can imagine.
And yet Paul himself is a concrete guidance had died.
I don't know if I could have borne it using that talk and being wondering can I bear this. Can I get through this.
When you lose someone you think it can I survive that.
Some people say, you know, don't cry. Get over it. I want to say something to you that know someone that's morning. The Bible says there's a time to weep and there's a time to mark and don't ever tell a person who's lost someone to get over it, or to stop crying.
Who are you to say such a thing. I think of some things that I have flippantly said even to people who were going through a time of morning. My impatience to see them get better. I had their best interests in mind, but I didn't really know what I was talking about. You need to give them space you need to give them time and understand something this morning as part of the healing process.
If you don't go through it properly. They can sort of mess you up a little bit. I know people that have lost loved ones that have never dealt with that properly they have never mourned as they should.
There either in a state of denial where they will not acknowledge it happen or they can't let go of the person and it changes who they are. You need to let it out and though you want to fight tears. I'm telling you tears have their place. And when you cry, and I mean really crying that we arise mist up.
I mean, when you cry so badly. It's like you feel pain in your chest and you drop to the ground.
That kind of morning can actually have a healing of that on a so be patient with people or morning Greg Laurie great counsel from Scripture and from his own personal experience and there's more to come next time from this message. One of our listeners most requested studies of the past year. Pastor Greg is here in studio with us along with her son Pastor Jonathan Lori and Pastor Levi Lesko from fresh life Church in Montana, Utah, Oregon, and Wyoming and will hear from them just a moment. Are you receiving Pastor Greg's daily devotions there a great way to start your day with extra insight and inspiration sign up for his devotions firstname.lastname@example.org everybody Pastor Greg care with two young men who are doing a great job raising their families and who are teaching their children, and I can say knowing the both very well.
They're doing a fantastic job of it and there's someone listening right now there's a mom there's a dad. They do not know how to share the truth of the word of God with their kids. Maybe each of you could just give us a couple of tips on how to communicate the word of God to a child. Levi want to go first.
I would say this not to be a perfect approach just be consistent.
Don't put too much pressure on it like it needs to be some like hour and 1/2 or Bible servicing and content of very short attention span and when you have those window seasons like what Jesus did he do ask your bird and he would use the bird singing about God's love, he would say see that week that Wheatfield talk about tears in the week so I think used object lessons don't just make it where it's just church on Sunday, or just when you're having strict emotions but how to be peppered throughout all your conversation. Like the Bible says pray without ceasing, that I would say secondly you know, for example, he's devotions every day begins with the Scripture verse and ends with a prayer. I would say maybe even before you start the Devo on your own time. Go read the whole chapter that that verse is in so you have some additional contacts and you have some additional things kind of in your heart and then when you get down to it, you're able to kinda pepper in more things that you have learned God's been teaching you into that days devotional. Jonathan, what are your thoughts about bringing the word of God to kids.
Yeah, I think the best thing you can do is to have that personal devotion life likely if I mentioned maybe just prepare beforehand.
You know you can't take people to a place that you haven't been to yourself.
And so you need to know where you're taking your kids and I just read last night.
Chapter 27. Levi is actually Christopher read it to me is my nine-year-old son. I have them read.
It's a lot of fun but it's goose mistakes and mess ups and its Lamentations 3 is the Scripture verse the Lord's love never ends his mercies never stop their new every morning and I Levi you going to talk about how maybe you face planted at school you flunk the test, you lost your temper you got in trouble with your sibling going to remind them the Lord's mercies are new every morning shoot man that's resonating with me know. I'm certain the terrifying thing about the thing that I messed up today. The guy on the freeway or that you know the thing I said to my wife earlier and how I should've done this differently what I said to her that's on next week's edition of a new beginning. I ask her yourself. We will not be airing up we know, but just we all mess up a little ways and we just think back over the course ready I could handle that differently. I could have responded in this way, all I wish they'd taken that opportunity to share my faith but it was such a good reminder even to me last night reading this with my kids. The Lord's love never ends. I would like to throw in a two thoughts on doing devotions for kids, maybe three, number one, involve them as much as possible, as some questions interact keep them a part of the conversation. Maybe have them read something or do something as a part of it.
Number two. Make it fun. Everything isn't fun but a lot of things can be fun, so try to find the fun and the joy when you do it. And thirdly, keep it short and sweet. If they want to hear more.
That's the best compliment. If your child or grandchild says read me another chapter.
Don't go too long and bore them so let us send you this copy of roar like a lion by Levi Lesko for your gift of any size to help us continue on teaching the word of God in preaching the gospel to people all over the planet. Yeah all over the planet is right we hear from people from far and wide. In fact I'm looking at a comment right now that shows I listen to a new beginning in Pompeii. It really helps me a lot. You make the Bible so simple and easy to understand.
I'm so grateful. What were so pleased the Lord is taking the studies around the world and your support makes that possible.
Thanks so much for helping us touch lives and with your donation right now. We should ask for Pastor Levi's new book called roar like a lion, you can order email@example.com or write us at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or we can take your phone call anytime night or day at 1-800-821-3300.
That's 1-800-821-3300 everybody Greg Laurie here encouraging you to join us as we give her what we call Harvest at Home.
It's worse in the message of the word of God. You can watch it with your family and your front room where you can watch it on the go on your tablet on your phone or your computer. Take it with you think the word of God with you. Join us for Harvest at Home harvest so what next time as our best of messages. Continue Pastor Greg comes back to bring us more insights on how to properly support those who are facing the loss of a loved one. Join us here on a new beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie and everybody thinks her list.
Beginning this is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a harvest partner, just go to harvest.org