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August 30, 2022 3:00 am
Have you ever seen your child face something pretty tough? Maybe it was an important medical procedure that was quite painful. You knew it was necessary and helpful in the long term, but your child just focused on the suffering. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us trust our Heavenly Father to know what’s best—even when there’s pain in the present. We’ll learn the encouragement that comes when we focus on the future benefit, and the present presence of God in our lives.
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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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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God. Visit our website and learn more about harvest email@example.com tribulation enter the kingdom of humanity about a large order of tribulation coming up today here on a new beginning.
Lori brings us a biblical perspective.
God thinks of realizing when hardship comes, there is still a loving father will allow these things to be used for his child. Maybe it was an important medical procedure was quite painful. You knew it was necessary and help child today is a new beginning after Greg Laurie structure know what's best even when there's pain in the present will learn the focus on the future benefit present presence of God. The title of my messages. Why do Christians have to stop and we come to this section of the book of acts now and the focus of the book goes from Peter to Paul of course were introduced to Paul earlier in the book of Saul of Tarsus, the Christian killer hunting down followers of Jesus and sending them to prison and even to death and Saul of Tarsus, who presides over the death of the first martyr of the church. The courageous young Stephen but now he's been converted on the Damascus road and Saul is become Paul with the Lord, sort of whipping him in the shade and Paul is already a prime time. So get a look at siding missionary journeys of Paul. Paul and Barnabas, and later Paul and Silas know if you think things are bad in the world today. I want you to think about the world that Paul was called to Rome was clearly empower immorality was rapid. Divorce was widespread slavery was the order of the day and fantasize a regular practice.
Prostitutes roam the streets pulling people in the pagan temples in the religious establishment was largely corrupt. Add to this the fact that idolatry was rampant as was spiritism and outright demon worship temples erected the false gods stood seemingly on every corner.
This is the world. The apostles were called to, but because of the Roman road system was for, which was sort of like the first century version of the Internet for the first time in history you were able to connect with people all around the planet because the Roman said no. This incredible road system.
Now, the world was going to hear the gospel and there was a common language of the day also instituted by Rome.
The language of Greek and so this is a world Paul and the others were called to and in short order without technology, without any of the tools we have today. They effectively turned their world upside down.
There were really bright lights in a dark place, but don't get to see an interesting verse here and that's 14 talks about adversity that comes in the life of the Christian.
It's great to talk about heaven.
It's it's wonderful to think about glory and the rewards that await us, but there can be difficulties on the way because heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. So whatever you're going through right now. Maybe I'm talking to somebody going through an intense trial. Severe adversity, personal suffering, a tragedy something else you're saying why is this happening to me when any great at the moment we accepted Christ we just went straight to heaven.
You say that someone would you like Jesus to come in your life. Yes, pray this prayer with the Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner, I believe you're the Savior who died on the cross and I ask you to come in my life a mental urine have that be cool that's out the way it works. There's things that I can. I happen in your life to prepare you for this prepared place in the Bible is clear and pointing out that storms will come in every life, but there's a purpose in these storms go to ask 14 verse 21 when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples that led many people to the Lord returns a list dry cone beam in Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith insane. We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. There's the gospel and the Christian life in a nutshell is not all blue skies is not all easy days. Those come think God but there are storm clouds, and there are challenges and it's too many tribulations we enter the kingdom that someone might say well I don't I don't want that. I want to live carefree. I just want to have fun because girls just want to have fun.
All I want to do is have some fun and I've got a feeling I'm not the only one I want to fly like an eagle telling free 555 Glisan Bird bring. That's not the way life works because too many tribulations, you will enter the kingdom of God. Listen to these words of Joe when he says were all adrift in the same boat to few days too many troubles while that's relevant Jesus ended up to two men building their homes or their lives on different foundations. One man built his home on a rock. Another man built his home on the shifting sand in the wind came in the storms came in the rain fell in the one it was built on the rock stood and was strong want to build his house on sand's house collapsed so you have a choice as to what you're going to build your life on. But here's the bottom line.
Storms will come in every life storms will come in to the life of the ungodly person. Storms will come in of the life of the godly person. The Bible says the rain falls on the just and the young just we cannot live a trouble-free life.
Maybe this is why Benjamin Disraeli, the former prime minister of England, reviewing his life's" youth is a mistake. Manhood is a struggle in old age is a regret." Pretty pessimistic view will that's the view of life without God, but God makes all the difference because then you realize when hardship comes when adversity is knocking at the door of your life when tragedy will follow suit.
There is still a loving heavenly father who will allow these things to be used for his glory hard for us to wrap our minds around tragedy the life of a Christian chart for us to understand that a Christian can get cancer or that a Christian can die in an automobile accident that a Christian can face some other horrible event in life, you know, our own son died in an automobile accident in you know people sometimes ask what are you over it yet. You know, never ask a question of anyone who's lost a child because you never get over it. You do get through it it it is not as hard today as it was after it happened, but it's still hard and we still miss our son and I did have people come to me and say how could this happen to you of all people, which I found an interesting question what we hear a preacher and you help people and point people to God. Why would God allow this to happen to you. My responses what you think I would get a free pass because I'm a preacher are all in the same boat as Job said, I live in the same fallen world as you do when here's what the Bible says in Romans five we can rejoice when we run into problems and trials, for we know they help us develop endurance and endurance develop strength of character and this hope will not lead to disappointment, but we know how dearly God loves us. Weight: Paul use the trials and you said hardship and then you said God loves me. If God loves me, why does he let me go through hardship and trials answer because God loves me and because too many tribulations. I will enter the kingdom of God. Your Greg Lord will have the second half of his message just a moment.
We really enjoy hearing with Pastor Greg's teaching and preaching touch lives. Pastor Greg, I'm a junior in high school, was raised in church and saved at a very young age, but when I started high school, I fell away from the Lord one day I heard you on the radio and your message helps me see that I need to get my life right with Scott which I did. Thank you for all you do and allowing God to work through you.
It's a blessing to know the listeners young and old are hearing these messages and God is using his word to touch hearts will have Pastor Greg studies impacted your life would you let him know drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Glad your long today for Pastor Greg's message and ask 14 titled why do Christians have to suffer. Let's continue. Mary and Martha and Lazarus.
They lived in Bethany Bethany is basically striking distance from Jerusalem, so when the Lord and his disciples would make their way into the city. They would often stop at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus and Martha was a killer cook and Jesus like to hang out with them they could legitimately say we are friends of Jesus, they could and whatnot not be hard to not bring up in every conversation you know is my friend, Jesus just said to me yesterday, but we just said to me want to see his test. See wartime and they were they were actual friends of Jesus. And so when Lazarus got very sick. Mary and Martha sent word of the Lord was traveling. The one that you love is sick, thinking for sure he would drop whatever he's doing.
Come back to Bethany heal his body and then returned to whatever it was.he called them to do but yet we read these verses in John 11 when Jesus heard about this he said the sickness of Lazarus will not end in death.
It happened for the glory of God. So the son of God will receive glory from this lesson. Although Jesus loved Mary Martha and Lazarus.
He stayed where he was, for the next two days went because he loved them. He stayed where he was.
Again, this doesn't make sense. Listen God's ways are not your ways in God's timing is not your time and they wanted to healing with Jesus was instead going to do a resurrection, because when he showed up in town. Not only had he not healed Lazarus but he admits to funeral and Martha came to him and said, Lord, if you would've been here, my brother would not have died. Let me update that Jesus you miss an opportunity.
You blew it. Lord we were bragging on you.
We were telling everyone you would come through and you show up late. Jesus says Martha, your brother will rise again. All I know Martha says I know the resurrection of the last day. Jesus is Martha read my lips no he didn't say that but he did say this, Martha. I am the resurrection on the life he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. It is whoever lives and believes in me shall never die, that he followed up with this question. Do you believe this while seated, Mary came and effectively said the same thing and then Jesus walked up to the tomb of Lazarus and he said Lazarus come for it's a good thing.
He said Lazarus come forth. If he had simply said, come forth every body and every grave around the planet would've burst out Lazarus talk to me you come back, come forth. And Lazarus did the point of this is God allowed it for his purposes, so maybe it seems to you right now that Jesus is not hearing your prayer or that his delay is a denial understand. God may have a purpose.
Why does God allow adversity the life of the Christian if you're taking notes there is point number one suffering and adversity keep us humble, suffering and adversity keep us humble prosperity, success can have a tendency to make people proud and self-sufficient. We might say we wouldn't verbalize it, necessarily, but we think it I don't need God. I have money in my account. I have my investments.
I have her career, I have my family.
I have this I have that and so I'm not thinking about the Lord. Proverbs 30 says give me enough food to live on either too much nor too little.
If I'm too full. I might get independent same God who needs in and that happens when the children of Israel left Egypt and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.
By the way, it does not take 40 years to get from Egypt to Israel even on foot takes a lot lesson that may be 40 days to months of the most so obviously there were going in circles, but they were provided for by the Lord.
He led them with the coolest GPS system of all time of fire by night.
A cloud by day he fed the man every day. But then when they came to the land of Canaan, the promised land, God gave them this morning.
He said when you get to that land and you have eaten in your full beware lest you forget the Lord. You see, when life gets hard when adversity gets we drop to our knees and we pray is my question you pray with the same intensity when all your needs are met.
We should be as quick to give thanks as we are to come to God with our petitions and say Lord, thank you. Right now, just think about all that God is giving you. You have your home you have for your apartment. I don't know where you live but you have someplace where you live and lay your head.
You have your health, hopefully you have your family perhaps you have salvation of that. I'm sure let's us all say thank you Lord. Right now thank you Lord is so good to assist me. So we need to pray number two.
Adversity teaches us eternal choose. We would otherwise not learn adversity teaches us eternal truth that we would otherwise not learn we try to avoid pain at all costs. You know this is what I'm amazed that people get tattoos. By the way, I'm not against tactics.
I'm fine with them.
I went to get a tattoo. They said you're too old and lamely right now, but Susie was a reason I would never get a tattoo. It looks like it hurts say I don't like pain, like when I go to the dentist I like to visit this won't hurt a bit to give you the shutter Novocain it still hurt and I were always looking for a way around paying you know I want to work on a little lose weight but actually will.
Let's take out the workup or I just want to lose weight as I'm in bad shape or I'm not in a good shape. Why ministry is kind like the shape of a pair and people even call me. The Lord's prayer, and I don't appreciate so I want to get a better save so you talk to a trainer or somebody was in good shape got hit the gym and get the gym break it down, build up, no pain, no gain. Is there a way around this, and we don't like to go through those, but in a way trials are like God's chin to break us down to build this pain reminds us of a deeper need.
For instance, when I get hunger pangs. It reminds me it's time to weep and my stomach works like clockwork.
I mean, my stomach knows what time it is before my brain does. And it's time to eat and so sometimes pain is allowed in our life to get our attention. I don't get me wrong, you and I hope I don't seem to be overemphasizing suffering today because there's going to be many great days, many pain-free days. Many days when there is no adversity at all and were thankful for those days that I would encourage you enjoy them got even says in Scripture that he has given us richly all things to enjoy. So enjoy those things but understand the diversity will, why do we go to these trials again next 1422. We must do many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. There's 1/3 reason we go through these trials and temptations we have a new compassion for others in pain when you go through adversity, you will have a new compassion for others who are, we live in a world of pain and hurt everyone he has been set up to preach the people who are hurting, you will never lack for an audience it's also been said. Success builds walls failure builds bridges to make sense. Success builds walls failure builds bridges so when I talk about how great my life is not over the problems and look at me and follow me on Instagram and everything's perfect, of who can connect to that but failure when I talk about difficulty and challenges of now I'm speaking on the language of real people live in the real world. By the way, a lot of those people giving you their fake life.
They're not living that life either. It's all a mirage. It's all illusion Paul writes in second Corinthians 1.
God comforts us in our troubles. Listen, so we can comfort others when their trouble will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us the more we suffer for Christ more God will shower us with this comfort through Christ. So I would not go through what I went through losing our son. If I could change history I would bring him back in a heartbeat but I can say this God is given to me and my wife and our son a ministry, we did not ask for but a ministry we embrace and it's a ministry of helping others who lost loved ones okay because I don't want to waste my P and if I can offer a word of encouragement. A word of hope to anybody who has gone through the worst tragedy imaginable.
I want to do that and tell them that God will be there with them, and God will walk through with her going through with them as well and that their level was a believer. The greatest hope of all, they will see their loved one again because they're not just a part of their past are also a part of their future. That's horrible courage, Pastor Greg Laurie such important insight today here on a new beginning on a challenging subject.
The title of today's study. Why do Christians have to suffer. Pastor Greg every day we get such wonderful correspondence from our listeners. Yes, letters, emails, text social media postings, and many times the listener will mention their harvest Parker go and I just make her smile because that means there part of our family explained that the harvest partners in case you don't know are people that stand with this every month you know so many of us listen to Christian radio would listen to great teachings or witness nor favorite Bible podcast and they become these things become a part of our life and sometimes would take them for granted and so you know when they say hey, help us financially rethink all well. Someone else will do it well. Sometimes someone else doesn't do it and so I'm asking you to be a partner with us. What does it mean it means that you make a commitment to stand with us financially every month. You decide how much that will be but every month as a gift comes in that enables us to plan for the future and think about new opportunities that are out there and many opportunities pop up all the time to reach more people with the word of God will look there's a lot of great ministries out there that are well worth supporting, but let me just toot our own horn for just a moment anything about harvest ministries is we invite people to Jesus Christ all the time. You know, if you listen that all in one of my messages with the prayer that a person can actually pray and did you know thousands of people prayed that prayer with me every year. I'm not exaggerating. Thousands of people I've heard stories of people pulling off the freeway when they're driving their car, they bow their head and they pray that prayer I've heard so many incredible stories so know this when you support harvest ministries. You're not only supporting the teaching of the word of God but your supporting the proclamation of the gospel, and not just the proclamation your supporting a ministry that believes in closing the deal. By that I mean we throw the net and we pulled Lynette back again and we asked people would you like to accept Christ.
Here's how to do it.
Why don't you do it and then we send them a new believers Bible you believe that's an important thing for our nation right now. I sure do. If you want to be a harvest partner hears Dave to tell you more. Yes, an opportunity to invest in something that matters for eternity. Pastor Greg is looking for a thousand new harvest partners to join us right now and working together to reach people in such a critical time. The world is a mess. I'm sure you've noticed, but it's the perfect opportunity to invite them to look beyond this world a thousand new partners may seem like a lot, but these studies are heard all over the country and it's really just a small group in each area that's a yes this is important and I want to do my part so can we count on you will say thank you for becoming a new harvest partner with a copy of Pastor Greg book Steve McQueen the salvation of an American icon, and we won't be mentioning this much longer.
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What next time will learn how to focus on the glory of eternity to keep a heavenly perspective on the earthly trials we face. Join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible regularly and everybody thinks or listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow the show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org and find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God