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Hope for Those Who Have Lost Loved Ones: God's Message to Us

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2022 3:00 am

Hope for Those Who Have Lost Loved Ones: God's Message to Us

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 19, 2022 3:00 am

The old pop song by Bill Withers called “Lean on Me” talked about the value of leaning on a friend when we’re weak. Today, we’ll see that’s God’s message to us. When our lives have been shredded by circumstances beyond our control – or even circumstances brought on by our own mistakes – God is our refuge. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out, after his son suddenly went to heaven, God’s compassion was reconfirmed – and he shares that reassurance today.

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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 and while you're there, browse our library and free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith 40 days without three days of the water without their home coming up to new beginning. Pastor Greg Morey points out, when we place our hope in our God is hopes for us to take shape.

I know the thoughts that I think Jesus is Lord God of evil, to give you a future been on the talked about the value of leaning on a friend. We today will see that's God's message to us when our lives shredded circumstances beyond our control circumstances brought on viral mistakes. God is our refuge today on a new beginning. Pastor Greg Laurie points out after his sons went to heaven. God's compassion was reconfirmed shared reassurance to understand what I'm good to be sharing with you is not from an ivory tower.

This is from the valley of the shadow of the world have personally found the hope promised to us in that is where we are going to find the hope that we need to find it in God's word list of the Psalm 119 verse 114 you are my refuge and my shield.

Your word is my only source of hope Romans 15 Ford says such things were written in the Scripture long ago to teach us and they give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God promises if and said that man to 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 one doesn't mean they have hope. Is it just open all all II just know things will get better. Will wait you don't know what 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 that 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 there were no praise services happily because they felt like God had forgotten about them that God had abandoned them. So with that backdrop, the Lord says hey everyone, listen, I know the thoughts that I think Georgie 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 for you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future so the thoughts of God are from what you 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 and what does he mean when he says the future they can better be translated and expected in 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. 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 the 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, also on me so I would not have such an bearable 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 borrow next using. And that's often 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 don't cry 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 mourn 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 be patient with people or morning Penelope say a word to you who are mourning the loss of someone unique perspective in the perspective Psalm 42.

The psalmist writes stand night. I've only had tears for food while my enemies continually Tommy safe, where is this God of yours. My heart is breaking. As I remember how it used to be. I walked among the crowds of worshipers leading a great process in the house of God singing for joy in giving thanks it was a sound of a great celebration but then he corrects himself and he says why am I discouraged, why am I so sad. I will put my hope in God. I will praise them again, my Savior and my God I know what the psalmist means when he says I've only had tears for food when you have a breakfast lunch and dinner of tears and you lose your appetite and you cry constantly you know my wife said she'd only see me cry.

Maybe two or three times in our life together and after the Lord took Christopher. I cried every day for hours and indeed crying and so I understand what he's talking about here, but there would be times Robert sort of go into like a black hole.

Here's what happened. You're just going about your life and something triggers a memory it so many things can do it. It's ridiculous and you remember this time you were together and then you while your first instinct is the column or talk to them and you realize they're gone. And then you say they're gone they're gone. I'll never see them on this earth again and then you say I'll never see them again. And why did this happen to me I you and all these things go through your mind. I'm just being honest with you, you think preachers don't think these things that still just got okay. All these thoughts go through my mind. So here's what I do I say Greg you listen to me now. I start preaching to myself someone watching with think I'm a lunatic and maybe I am but I'm a hopeful lunatic say Greg you listen to me. The Bible says you will see your son again and he's in heaven and the Bible says that Jesus is the resurrection on the life and he that believes in him will not die and Greg remain in all remind myself of the promises of God" them out loud to myself, you know what it just sort of lists via from this. I found myself in and we need to do this out of the psalmist is doing. Amen. All I do is cry day and night wise as I believe I remember the good old days and he says hey hold thou in God, what are you doing any corrects his thinking grievance a lot like wiping out on a way, how many of you Sir Fraser hand, we don't have a lot of surface or harvest okay let me restate the question how many of you have ever been out of the ocean and you got caught in the set of waves and got pounded in Whitewater raise her head where we are. See, that's more like me. I would like to say is on a great surfer but I'm more like the guy floundering in Whitewater.

I went out surfing with rivalries a while back and and Rall tells everyone how much he serves and as I recall we did do a lot of weight catching we did more floundering in Whitewater. The two of us together but it sounds good when we say works surfer's right but I anyway I which you want to avoid is getting caught in this impact zone so when you're out surfing her body surfing or boogie boarding or whatever you're doing, you see a set of waves coming in. You have to be the very thing you don't want to do, which is go toward the wave right you want to run to the shore but you don't do that.

So, go toward the way you swim.

Try to go under the way or over the top of the way but you're paddling out in the way picks you up in the worst way to go is words which I've done and then you get so discombobulated you don't know which way is up more than one person is brown because they want the wrong direction. They went down when they should have gone up. They take water that their lungs they go unconscious. So here's what you need to remember. If you're out surfing and you have your surfboard or your boogie board. Anyone of a leash on a taxi wrinkle. Grab your leash and pull on it and go on the direction of the lease. Why because it's attached to your board and your board is boy and I will be on the service.

So, even if it goes against the logic of the moment.

Follow your leash to the top right that's very helpful. Guys want to give that will tip anyway so no good tempo. Here's the analogy the word of God is like that lease that we pull on and it takes us to the surface where we can get proper perspective on what is really happening because our emotions like Whitewater will get the best of us. I will be overwhelmed, but we hope in God, and we believe the word of God and the corrects us and then we might get caught in another way then another, but we keep hoping again and again and again. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message in just a moment. Such a blessing to hear from listeners who take time to express their appreciation, Pastor Greg, I just wanted to thank you for your daily devotionals and also for your sermons. I especially liked your series on heaven and what to expect when we get there. It's helped me accept my husband's death much easier knowing that for the year and 1/2 of him being in the hospital suffering complications from a liver transplant and him not being able to eat any food. Now that he's in heaven he can eat anything he wants to. That somehow gave me great comfort in knowing this, since my faith is in the Lord and Savior. I know that he's not suffering any longer and I will see him again someday, but also learning of things that we can expect in heaven. From your message just brought me a little more comfort in this very difficult time right now. Thank you so much for being a vessel for God. If you have a story to share. Why not call us and give us all the details. Here's the number 1866871114 466-871-1144 will today. Pastor Greg is resenting one of his most requested messages of the past year called hope for those who lost loved ones get a will know what our text on Chapter 11. This is a story of people who would lost hope it's a story of the death of a loved one, amending Lazarus and how his sisters, Mary and Martha reacted. It's also a story of how Jesus reacts to such circumstances, and how God can be glorified in such situation, but it's a hopeful message. We see how the Lord deals with these people. Now he deals with us before we read these verses such as point out that Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were a tightknit family. There were three siblings that love each other and they had a great home. Everyone knew Martha was a killer chef and Jesus love to come visit shown up with a bunch resent. They were here at 12 friends. Is that okay Martha was so hospitable would always make up a fantastic meal for the Lord these guys, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus can legitimately say that Jesus of Nazareth was their personal friend because he frequented their home which was within striking distance from Jerusalem.

There in Bethany, so now tragedy comes even though there, and Lazarus is very very ill. That's of the story starts.

John 11 verse one now certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha Davis at Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was said. Therefore, the sister said to them, saying, Lord, be called a key whom you love is set so what we learn from the store number one life is filled with pain, sorrow, and the death of loved ones again. Life is filled with pain and sorrow the death of loved ones. I don't know why but some of us may think were going to get a pass for you to somehow make it through life unscathed.

Never having a major tragedy. Never having any kind of illness, never losing a loved one. I it's it's all going to be great, but then when it comes our way were shocked.

Don't be shocked.

Peter said in first Peter 412 11 do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing were happening to you all don't be surprised like why is this happening when he wasn't happening happens to everyone. Jesus said in this world you will have tribulation, so it's going to come your way. It's going to knock at your door. It will probably start with your grandparents dying and then your parents and eventually it could be your spouse.

It might be a child they could be a close friend that will remind you of your mortality, but wanted someone close to you like a spouse or a child or a brother as it was for Mary and Martha. It's a whole different thing. So that's number one.

Life is filled with pain and sorrow in the death of loved ones number two God loves us.

God loves us the rights over that.

Don't misunderstand it, let it sink in. God loves you.

Listen to this. Whatever he does or allows. They happen in your life is his child is motivated by his everlasting love for you repeat that whatever he does or allows to happen in your life as his child is motivated by his everlasting love for you. God says in his word. I have loved you with an everlasting love.

Therefore with lovingkindness. I have drawn you he loves you and he loved them. I want you to notice what they said in verse three Lord, the one whom you love is sick.

They knew Jesus love the and by the way, this word that is used here for the one you love is from the Greek word for Leo and for Leo means brother love that's for Philadelphia got their name. The city of brotherly love for Leah Lord your friend that you love like a brother is said that was the word that they send to Jesus you know and that is the perfect thing to do when crisis hits when you're in trouble, bring it to Jesus. When the Israelites were criticizing and turning against Moses read in Exodus 1525 cry then to the Lord when you're criticized unfairly, take it to the Lord.

When Hezekiah received a threatening letter we read that he spread it out before the Lord.

I've never received the letter threatening you, when John the Baptist was beheaded.

The disciples went and told Jesus.

Matthew 1412 says so that's what we need to do when trouble comes we need to go and tell Jesus know I want you to notice the basis for their appeal then say hey Lord, you will iceman we thank you all the time and you and your friends Christ at our house, shown a little love here in healing your body. They didn't see anything like it.

Hate Mary can visit who was there at your feet, anointing them. That was me right.

Martha give is that he who makes your favorite meatloaf. They didn't do any of that. They just said, Lord, the one that you love is sick. Verse three.

They didn't even say Lord we love you so much. So do this for us. They did not base their appeal and their love for God, but rather on his love for them. That's just what we should do is guess what my love your love. It's that goal. It fluctuates God's love for me is consistent and never changing Lord, the one that you love is taken the time to act is now in Jesus. What in his time and in his way. Verse four and five when Jesus heard that, he said, this sickness is out of the death, but for the glory of God the son of God may be glorified through it now.

Jesus love Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Therefore, when he heard that he was sent. He states two more days in the place where it was what he did what it seems like we would've read that when Jesus heard this, because he love Mary Martha and Lazarus. He found the fastest horse and ran full speed to get to his sick friend.

Or we could read that Jesus just appeared there. Oh hello everyone, what's up, how can I help know because he love them. He delayed his arrival. Interesting though different words used here for love Mary Martha C. The one you love for Leo brother love is sick. The word that is used here is the Greek word agape which speaks of God's all-consuming love in Jesus because he loved him.

In this way, did not come when they wanted him to come remember his delays are not necessarily his denials just as surely as God has his will.

He has his timing of Ecclesiastes 311 says God is made everything beautiful in his time.

So here is what is really happening. Jesus is trying to help Mary and Martha to get the big picture guys. I know it seems like I can come there right now, but what I want to do is better than what you're asking me to do, to go above and beyond your quest to Greg Lord reassuring insights on the hope we can find the Lord and there's much more to come as Pastor Greg completes the study here on a new beginning.

What were happy to have Pastor Levi Lesko with us today lead pastor of fresh life church in Montana, Utah, Oregon, and Wyoming and he is the author of the new book 90 day devotional for kids called roar like a lion at Levi. If you would explain the title for what an incredible thing to follow Jesus because he's the lion of the tribe of Judah in the book of Proverbs says if we follow him in his footsteps. We can be as bold as a lion as righteous followers of Christ, and so I love the idea of the strength and even attention because that strength is exercised through humility because even though Jesus is the lion when we see him.

He's a lamb who's been slain, and so there's that tension of majesty and meekness of strength, but exercised through weakness and I want kids to know that they don't have to feel afraid to get a feel afraid lots but that's where you have the occasion for true bravery that you have a book, also called through the eyes of a lion are they connected yes they are so our daughter Lynn yeah who went home to be with Jesus in 2012 we nicknamed her linear lion and when she went to heaven.

We were able to donate her corneas through an amazing organization called site life to two blind people who received sight, and they see life through her eyes, and so we wrote the book through the eyes of a lion to help people know that if they trust in Jesus he can turn their pain into power and a book of by God's grace touch people. I know Pastor Greg US had had it on the show is a is a is a gift that you give out to a lot of people who supported the ministry a new beginning.

In this book is meant basically the kid version of through the eyes of great so that we can now help kids understand the same principles you know Dave. We've known Levi and his family for years and I can tell you that Levi and his wife Jenny. They they just love their family leave is a real family man and his kids love to be with him any so much a part of their lives and leave. I'm so appreciative that you wanted take these truths and bring them to the children here were told in Scripture that the role of a parent is to teach these things to her children. When they rise up when they lie down. We walk on the way and I think what you've done here and in a fantastic way is starting with the graphic chosen artist I I notice things like that just super cool looking, but great design really fresh graphics really engaging and then the layout of the pages is very appealing and broken up, and so it's not just a barrage of typing that something that the kids themselves can read and participate in the processes they go through it and in the end of the great thing about doing devotions with your kid is or your children is is you know you learn as they learn right so one of the cool things I like about your book as you have, like, here's a chapter 1 roar like a lion so you talk about why you chose this picture and what it's like to roar an ally and then there's this little site column and you do these and in each story you tell a little bunch of factoids right so here you talk about roaring like a lion and then you tell us in the side bar there in the wild lions roar for three reasons. Number one to let other lions know where they are numbered to the show how powerful they are. And thirdly, to scare off an enemy and then you say your life should be the same for the same reasons and then you expound on that. That's just so cool it's bite-size. It's appealing. It's colorful, it's engaging and I think it's gonna like it and I think adults are gonna like it to. In this by the way is our gift to you this month for your gift of any size. What a great New Year's resolution to say I want to study the Bible with my family and specifically with my kids. So whatever you can send to us here at a new beginning. Will send you your own copy of roar like a lion but my friend Levi Lesko. That's a great resource for your kids or grandkids neighbor kids or even to donate to the children's ministry at your church and will send it to thank you for your donation.

That's an investment in change lives through new beginning and through our large evangelistic events, so we hope to make a donation today. You can donate securely or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call any time around-the-clock 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 will next time. Pastor Greg comes back to wrap office message called hope for those who have lost loved join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Lord and some bonus content podcast as we were visiting with Pastor Levi Lesko. He had some good things to say to Pastor Greg about the importance of godly fatherhood. Let's listen.

Watching you is a dad. Over the years and watching you as a grandfather is just been such an inspiration to us, you and Kathy. The way you prioritize your kids and and of course walking through grief.

As you rested through Christopher's homecoming. We had that is our I've always called you are footsteps in the snow because we been able to follow your footsteps, and it helped us navigate our way through grief and I think it is just like you said so important you know your kids you blink and their mildness is 16 she's about to get a drivers license and you just think how quickly that happens and you know so before you know everyone listening. Your kids are going to be out of the house and you're going to be an empty Nestor and what did you do to God's word in the heart. We all want to save up for college. We all want to save up for our daughter's wedding more than anything the spiritual deposit we can make into them is what can alas not only on earth but into eternity. Very true.

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