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Exit Stage Left | Times of Trial

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 21, 2022 3:00 am

Exit Stage Left | Times of Trial

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 21, 2022 3:00 am

Getting everything we want—success, money, respect—would be an amazing way to live, right? Well, look at celebrities, who have success, money, and respect. Look at how often they suffer from depression and addictions, and sometimes die quite young. Maybe many people want the wrong things. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us learn from Elijah. We’ll see HE learned from some of the toughest challenges life threw at him . . . and we can too.

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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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We are glad you're joining us for a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners get more encouraging audio content.

When you subscribe to pastor Greg Staley Devos learn more and sign up@harvest.org why do I have the gold would be a while. Why do I do know the mountains for so long as your great glory. Which of the 12 times with water for evaluation without them. Our faith doesn't toughen up and solidify valleys in times of trial on anywhere else better to be in the valley, Jesus, and anyone else without everything money would be an amazing way to live right celebrity you have success.

Look at how often they suffer from depression maybe many people want the wrong thing to pastor Greg Laurie helps us learn from the like challenges like to have you ever tasted time when you felt isolated and alone. Maybe your friends abandon you. Maybe even your family abandon you.

Maybe your husband or wife walked out. I knew you and your dog left to cats leave all the time. They're responsible but the dog was another situation. Maybe you're going through a time right now we call it a trial but it could be compared to a desert, a wilderness of Valley, a storm, you pick your metaphor, but a time where it's hard. Maybe that was a time in your life when you were very active in now you find yourself in active time earlier when you were very mobile.

Now your immobilized will of any of these things resonate with you, but I think this message will for us is going to help were talking about the prophet Elijah and how after he went into the court of the king and the queen and told them there would not be any rain because of their worship of false gods. Specifically bail in Ashtoreth love the court.

The Lord called into obscurity. The Lord called him to a quiet place to just sort of disconnect where little wide to get this courage were to get this chutzpah.

This boldness, the answer is on a first king 71 and Elijah did this right of the inhabitants of Gilead said they have is the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be due or rain these years except at my word. What was the secret of the boldness of Elijah. He serve the living God, and you do to not only do you serve the living God, but to serve the living God. That is what you were ever you go and if we were only more aware of God's presence in our life. I think it would affect a lot of the things that we say and do. I love how he says that the Lord God lives, before whom I stand, like right now even though I'm standing in the court of Ahab and Queen Jezebel. I'm standing in the presence of God himself.

So it's all generating now you realize or remember he was kind of a gnarly looking dude right. He was always carrying he makes his pronouncement walks out.

They probably laugh at this guy come from, how did he get past security. What a joke.

I'm sure not going to rain then the rain stop and the truck came and Elijah went from a joke to public enemy number one Jezebel who loved her. God's Ashtoreth in bail effectively put a contract out on the life of Elijah. He said he's going to get whacked now, but he disappeared and no one to basically find him. For Elijah it was exit stage left.

So like to basically goes from the palace to a barren wilderness from the throne of power to the desert of obscurity was oblivion. And here's what happened next.

First king 17 verse two then the Lord said to Elijah go to the east, and hide by Sheriff Brooke near where it enters the Jordan River drink from the brook, and eat what the ravens bring to you as I've commanded them to bring you food so Elijah did the Lord told him in campus.

I did Sheriff Brooke, east of the Jordan.

The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening.

He drank from the brook, and after a while the brook dried up, and there was no rainfall anywhere in the lab I will stop there. So what we learn from this particular chapter from the life of Elijah number one if you're taking notes.

We learn things in deserts that we do not learn anywhere else we learn things in deserts and valleys in times of trial that we do not learn anywhere else. So God said are you going to camp out for a while. This was camping not clamping. By the way, clamping this expression used to describe people that sort of go camping in a rather luxurious way.

I saw motorhome a while ago that was so decked out I think they spent over $1 million on it. It is a big giant screen on the outside and all these things. That's one form of camping but that's not what Elijah was doing now is by the brook Sheriff now.

Maybe we envision this is a charming little seen the little babbling brook and there's Elijah, just hanging out like snow white in the forest. It's wonderful. Not at all.

Actually, the word Sheriff means that cutting the cutting place. The guy was getting Elijah ready for a huge showdown with the prophets a bail. It was going to be this shootout at the Carmel chorale and Ghana to get Elijah ready for that. So you know the Lord's working on him.

It's sort of like Elijah entered into God's boot camp. You know, when we read about Jim at the beginning of the chapter he's Elijah from the town of to scrap at the end of the chapter. These Elijah the man of God, so maybe you're going through a time of trial.

In your think this doesn't make sense. One of the Lord remove me from this position. I had one of the Lord changes other than the my life because God is preparing you for something else because everything in life is preparation for what is next. And there is something next for you and God has a plan for you. As he did for Elijah, but here's the way I look at it better to be in a Valley or a desert with Jesus and anywhere else without exit it on site. Lord, if that's where you're going, that's wrong going. My friend James Murray jokingly says about his wife Teresa if she ever leaves me I'm going with her a Leica subfloor where you going, that's wrong. Going you on this 1 Will Not Way even if it's on a place I necessarily want to go to if you're there that's for. I want to be like out on this leave Galilee when a storm hits. If that's where Jesus is that for I want to be cunning to do another version of my earlier statement.

Better to be in a storm with Jesus than anywhere else.

Without him, so Elijah is getting ready. Maybe you're in a spiritual desert but a lot of godly people when into the desert before they began the most effective time of their ministry. Moses spent 40 years in the desert being prepared by the Lord to lead the great exit this of the Israelites out of the bondage of Egypt. Joseph spent a number of years in a prison cell before he reached his position of power and influence.

Paul spent three lonely years in the desert of Arabia as God was preparing them to be the apostle that would change the world.

The cutting place we went into our cutting place 14 years ago when her son Christopher died in an automobile accident. I wouldn't wish that on anybody.

It was the hardest thing we've ever gone through it.

Still, the hardest thing we go through, but in this valley in this cutting place. We have learned things I don't think I would've learned anywhere else. We've grown closer to the Lord in a way that I really can't explain to you God has changed us any changes us and I might be talking to someone right now that's in that cutting place. They don't know why will God has a plan. This is a process. Elijah was passing through because before there would be amount Carmel for him. There must first be a Brooke called Sharon before there will be a crown. There has to first be across before there can be a resurrection. There has to be a Gethsemane and at Calvary before there can be life. There has to be done.

Jesus said if you want to find your life lose your life in other words, commit all of your plans to the Lord to Greg Lord will have the second half of this message just a moment. It's encouraging to hear from listeners who are impacted by pastor Greg's teachings.

I pastor Greg, I'm a 65-year-old guy who grew up during the same era as you and have a similar background as I also came from an alcoholic family, I simply want to say that I feel really a special bond with you Greg and I'm sure there are others who share that with you as well. Thank you for sharing your testimony and I feel blessed to be exposed to harvest ministries.

My wife and I are also harvest partners who want to help you speak the Holy Spirit guide over our world as it is needed so much in these times.

Thank you. It is a privilege to bring these studies your way and were thankful for our harvest partners to make them possible that you consider partnering with this so they can continue. Make a donation online@harvest.org that's harvest.org pastor Greg is pointing out the value of trials of our lives as she presents his message called exit stage left. Why do I have to go through a trial. Why do we have to go through a time of difficulty. Why can I just go from mountaintop to mountaintop in the Christian life. Will the answers run in James one verse two is his brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its work in you that you may be mature. Lacking nothing. So number two God allows trials in our lives, we will grow up spiritually, you know, it's one thing to say. I believe something, it's another thing to put it to the test buckle we are all in school. Some of you still aren't school. You remember the teacher would occasionally do a a pop quiz okay and I would test and all the nerds got excited. On the other side.

Why because the nerds and the geeks they study. I was never excited because I was too busy goofing off or drawing cartoons or creating distractions for the other students in.

That's because they were ready they were prepared, and sometimes the Lord will say it's time for a test. You say you trust me you say you believe in me, knowing, and to put that to the test to make sure that that's really true in your life, because he wants us to grow and mature as believers number three God allows hardship trials, desert storms to show us his power.

Sometimes it's simply that show is that he's bigger than our problem and we call out to him and he delivers us and we realize that God didn't come through for me. There's no way I would've got out of this problem, I found myself in. So here is a lie. Jenna hiding places God is going to provide for his knees bring me to point number four trials and testing produce unnecessary quality in our lives over in James one I quoted it already.

Let me quote from a different translation. Listen to this. I love this translation all kinds of trials and temptations crowd of your lives. My brothers don't treat them as intruders. But France that's an interesting way.

Look at a trial. There comes a truck. Oh, knowing the children know it's a friend like yes because I'm in a learn something through this trial. Realize income to test your faith to produce, and you will quality of endurance. So let that process go on until you're fully developed and you'll be men and women of mature character of integrity with no weak spots similar to going to the gym and working out how many of you go to with Jim or a health club and workout regime to choose.

You might want to consider doing that I'm not going to say who I'm looking at your right knowing Let's just say in here you go. Okay I go to a gym. I buy the weight. I hate going to the gym. My favorite time of working out is when it's over, right but at my age now it it's not so much. Building muscle because I have so much I felt I had to stop know it's it's me Jeannie mobility to a large degree right I want to move as quickly as I can as long as I can and you know and some people they love to go to the gym and the medical content noise they dropped the weight you don't drop them when they drop them and make a lot of noise in there pushing you know that wrap up our whatever they innately sweat everywhere.

Some of this wet I can't stand that they post pictures of themselves. Please don't do that. Please don't take pictures of yourself working out. We don't want to see but there they are looking at me I'm working out okay whatever, but the ultimate goal is hopefully to produce endurance and strength in trials and valleys and storms and deserts make us stronger, not weaker. So here's a light hanging out by the Brookshire gods as a gamma to provide food for you every day. The way the Lord chooses to do it is so interesting. I'm in a have a ravens come to you with your food now a reason. These are the birds that hang around and trees, and when some animal gets run over by a car. They call it lunch and they get the little bits of each and other gross things in that a piece of them so bringing the tone of vision then bringing little bags of in and outs and you know Chick-fil-A Griego, Elijah. You want fries. Next time, no problem if you like spicy or regular on your Chick-fil-A sandwich. I like both. I created my own Chick-fil-A sandwich. This really contradicts everything I said about the gym. Okay, so I get a spicy I get a regular. I put of the filets of chicken and one sandwich NIE that my maven telling me this about Tom know this is kinda gross, you know basically Raven post mates bringing him his food every day.

Like I said there the carry-on eaters little bits of meat and some bread. So how did he let them know when it was time to eat well, if Elijah wanted to eat.

He shot a tweet out to the ravens had to say heads though. Really, the Lord directed the birds. They probably came at the same time every day. You wonder what in the Lord just like provide food like manna member, the Israelites get up in the morning man outside of the tent, always innocuous to have food brought by birds, but I was away. The Lord chose to do it and here's why God mixes up the way he does things in our life to keep us on our spiritual does he keep ourselves dependent on him because he's the provider can sometimes lead to go my job that's my provider or this person that's my know the Lord is your provider right. He's the provider you provide to your will provide do this or that, but then he may close the door there and opened the door so moral, so you will be reminded all right. It's God that provides for me okay and we come to see that you know it's interesting when Jesus healed people ever notice. He never healed any two people the same way you mix it up. I sometimes order for a little fun with. Sometimes it touches him like a woman with a medical condition. They were healed. Other times he would touch them. Other times he would speak the word. My favorite healing is when he spit on the ground. Lord, I want to be healed.

No problem paying on said that's can actually dead and he rubbed it in the dirt. But murine buddy go nuts and so he did this so people would not become dependent on a method or a technique or a tradition, but they would just say Jesus healed me.

Maybe it was also a little companionship for Elijah and Elijah's out there all alone here come the birds. He probably had names for every one of them, all the birds are you guys know you know we have a little birdfeeder outside of the window of her house, and there are these two birds that have kind of taking control of it.

So my granddaughter Allie named one of the birds. She named the bird Irene, and then it turns out Irene has a boyfriend and/or her husband.

I don't know what's going on of the bird world. Frankly, but job so this other little meat of Irene. He's a husband, or the boy bird. The male bird and so we when we name him well. He it's pretty so I named him George after George Clooney. I can think of anything else could. I named him Brad Pitt. I suppose her Leo or something like that. Or better yet, Greg. So they come in the birdfeeder so that we put in the hummingbird feeder was going on with hummingbirds that is the most hyper bird on the face of the year is caffeine in nectar or something buzzing around buzzing and they're not coming to the hummingbird feeder. We just put some new hummingbird, whatever. And it and Dr. Fink nectar and now they're not coming and I thought you know hummingbirds are like the cat of the bird world. They're just there, aloof their standoffish can weld myself to go get back to the birds coming to Elijah bringing his food and then this interesting verse one day the brook dried up. The drought affected him to. He pronounced the drought in Israel and he face the same effects of it personally and I wonder if I'm talking to someone that is had their brook dried up. Maybe at one time in your life you a doubtful bank account, a growing career, thriving ministry in the brook just dried up your career stalled your ministry.

Slow down you future not looking so bright your kids love Tom which is kind of a relief because they were in their 50s but still you brook dried up, just the brook dried up, but God would know close one door to open another door everything was going according to plan. That is God's plan.

A reminder to Elijah the water, food and everything else comes from the Lord. It is his to give, and it is his to take away our life is saying that the Lord planned the prerogative to give life and to take life after Job effectively lost everything.

He said naked I came into this world naked do I go out. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord. Read the story of a bunch of farmers or raising cotton in the cell. So the dreaded bull weevil invaded and started eating their crops and they realize there was nothing they could do to stop the bull weevil so they said we can plan cotton let's plant peanuts instead. Amazingly, they will those peanuts mean them far more money than they had ever made with cotton so the farmers had a monument made dedicated to the bull weevil not funny. So maybe there's something happening in your life or the why is this bull weevil here.

Why is this problem here. Why is this difficult person here. Why is this other situation happening to me and God can turn it around and cause you to prohibit and look for a new way to get things done.

God was still at work. Yes is brook dried up, God's friends warned him use them to change the world. Greg Lord great insights today on handling the bull weevil Olson. Other challenges that come our way were learning from the life of Elijah and her current series here on a new beginning a series called Elijah the power to stand with sugar making available. Your book called Revelation, the book of promises by water a couple of things that would surprise people in the study of Revelation.

One thing that occurred to me as you know we think of eternity as being timeless but part of God's plan is a timed event, the millennium is a thousand years.

So I guess will track time in some form in my long will I think that's accurate because the word millennium actually means a thousand.

If the 1000 year reign of Christ, but we are aware of the passing of time. When we enter into eternity. The book of Revelation we read about those who were put to death for their faith and they know that was an unjust thing and they say to God, how long will Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those that dwell on the earth, so they're aware of the passing of time. They're aware of the injustice of what happened to them on planet Earth in their praying and asking God to intervene there aware of what has happened and will happen on planet Earth as well. There's a lot of surprises in the book of Revelation that shatter stereotypical ideas that have been passed on from generation to generation. That, quite honestly, are simply not biblical but I think the more we learn about heaven. The better we will be enabled to live here on earth you don't was CS Lewis who said just paraphrase those who think the most of the next world to the most in this one. And so Revelation is where the apostle John is found banished on the island of Patmos. He had faithfully preached the gospel. He was the last of the apostles and people and probably never thought they would hear from John again but is he sitting on this island. Jesus Christ comes to him and takes him into what we might describe as a spiritual time machine if you will. I don't think it was a DeLorean but John is suddenly hurtled into the future any seeing what is going to come. He's given an overview of the history of the church. He's taken into the presence of God in heaven.

He's taken over to the great white throne judgment.

He's taken back to earth during the millennial reign of Christ. He gives us a front row seat at the battle of Armageddon, the second coming of Christ, and much much more. The word Revelation means unveiling and so this is an unveiling a revealing of things that aren't to come, God wants us to understand these things because it will affect you in the way that you live so we have a beautiful hardcover book commentary on the book of Revelation and simply called Revelation, a book of promises. This will be a resource that you will use in the years to come that you can go to again and again as you study this great book and let it have its impact on your life.

By the way, there's a special promise in Revelation for the person who reads and hears and keeps the words found in this book. So get a copy of this book. Revelation a book of promises that will help you understand this very important book of the Bible, the book of Revelation and we will send this book to you for your gift of any size know some can only give a little will send you a copy.

Some can give a little bit more. Of course, will send you a copy. Whatever you can do don't hesitate.

I really want you to have this book because I think it's going to be a blessing to you.

The book of Revelation, a book of promises available from harvest ministries right now. Yeah that's right. And we should point out where including a custom bookmark that shows the timeline of last days events so you can see what comes first.

What comes next and so on is laid out very clearly the bookmark is included when we send you this significant book hardcover more than 400 pages called Revelation, a book of promises. Just call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest God for what next time more insights from the life of Elijah see how God tested him then used him in a miraculous way. Join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Moore 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


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