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Hope for Hurting Hearts | A Message for the Troubled

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 2, 2022 3:00 am

Hope for Hurting Hearts | A Message for the Troubled

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 2, 2022 3:00 am

SoCal Harvest happens this weekend! If you’re in the Southern California area, we’d love to see you come out for two nights of powerful worship and a message from Pastor Greg Laurie. This event will also be live-streamed all over the world. Join the movement and learn more: 


It’s a statistical certainty that someone listening to A NEW BEGINNING today has just received the toughest news of their life. A diagnosis. A court order. An eviction. A pink slip. A phone call. It’s so often a phone call. What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Today, Pastor Greg Laurie reassures you that God knows, God sees, and God cares. And God has power that’s bigger than this crisis. And he can make a way when there seems to be no way.

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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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I've always wanted to be his child and go to heaven. The way I was living wasn't getting me anywhere, but accepting Christ made me realize that there is a God that's out there for me. God, He has a life worth living for you, a life with purpose and meaning.

Come to the Lord. You can find hope and happiness even in this chaotic world. Greg Laurie explains how at SoCal Harvest, coming to Angel Stadium of Anaheim, November 5th and 6th.

Details at Eighty-five percent of the stuff you worry about will never happen to you. Today I want to talk about the other fifteen percent. When that thing that you feared actually does happen to you, when you hear the worst news imaginable and you wonder if you can survive it. The Bible says God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind. Pastor Greg Laurie helps us put that hope to work. You do not have to be hopeless no matter what you're facing. It's a statistical certainty that someone listening to A New Beginning today has just received the toughest news of their life. A diagnosis, a court order, an eviction, a pink slip, a phone call. It's so often a phone call.

What do you do when you don't know what to do? Today Pastor Greg Laurie reassures you that God knows, God sees and God cares. And God has power bigger than this crisis and He can make a way when there seems to be no way. Why don't we grab our Bibles and turn to John chapter 11.

And the title of my message is, Hope for Hurting Hearts. It's a day like any other day. You get out of bed. You get dressed. You have breakfast, a cup of coffee.

Check your emails maybe. Hopefully you'll read your Bible before that. And then it happens. That phone call out of the blue from a police officer or a friend delivering bad news. Or a note on your counter from your spouse saying they want out of the marriage a new pain in your body you had never noticed before.

A call from your doctor saying he is concerned about a test that was just done on you and he wants to do some more tests. Crisis. It hits fast. It hits hard. And it takes no prisoners. Pain is knocked on your front door.

It's moved in without your permission and it refuses to leave. And this crisis that you have experienced can alter the course of your life dramatically. In fact you wouldn't even wish it on your worst enemy but yet it is happening to you. For Job this whole world came crashing down on him in one day. For Joseph it was a betrayal by his brothers that changed the course of his life.

For Jesus it was the religious leaders and one of his own friends who actually betrayed him. And for you it might be something else. You feel like you are in an unexpected overpowering storm and your little ship is starting to capsize and you are even beginning to lose hope. It's been said, quote, men can live 40 days without food, three days without water, but not even minutes without hope. We all need hope in our life and that day happened to me on July 24, 2008 when we heard the news no parent wants to hear that our son Christopher had left this world and had gone on to the next one. That he was now in heaven.

He was killed in an automobile accident. Just seeing a film like that is devastating. It's an understatement. It's life altering. I felt like all the air was sucked out of the room. I was in an immediate state of shock. I collapsed to the ground.

I thought if I could die from hearing something I literally could physically die from that information that was given to me and somehow I survived it. As I was dealing with this new reality that I did not want to face, I had people who had gone through it say, you should keep a journal. Well I've never really had a journal.

When I think of journal I think of something a little kid has maybe with a little lock on it or something, a journal. So I started opening up Word documents and just kind of typing my thoughts the way I was feeling each day and then they began to sort of take shape and I read some other books on sudden loss and I thought you know I want to share this with other people so it turned into a little book that became known as Hope for Hurting Hearts. Now over the years I've written 70 books. I didn't say anyone has read them. I just said I've written them. This is probably the most important book I've ever written for this simple reason.

I've heard so many stories from people who've told me how it helped them in an hour of crisis. And I wrote it from the valley. It's a dispatch from the valley of the shadow of death. It's not theoretical.

It's real because it's close to when it happened in real time. And basically the book talks about what happens when pain or hardship comes. And in my case it was the loss of my son. And then the hope that I found from Scripture. The hope that I found from my relationship with God. The hope that has sustained me all these years and continues to sustain me as other hardships come my way.

And this hope is here for all of us right here right now. You do not have to be hopeless no matter what you are facing at this particular moment. You know we have a generation that has been dubbed the Hopeless Generation. That's Generation Z born from 1995 to 2008. The Hopeless Generation is also the most depressed generation.

In fact this generation for them, anti-depressants are the best selling pharmaceuticals and they also have the highest suicide rate. Well listen I have hope for the Hopeless Generation. I have hope for the Millennials. I have hope for the Baby Boomers. I have hope for the Greatest Generation. It is the hope of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

And I want to share that hope. The Bible describes hope as an anchor. Hebrews 6.19 says, We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. And we need this hope because I will tell you when you are going through hardship the thing that helps you are not pious platitudes.

The thing that will help you is the Word of God. Psalm 38.15 the Psalmist says, In you, O Lord, I hope you will hear, O Lord, my God. Psalm 130 verse 5, I am counting on the Lord. I put my hope in His word. That's where we are going to find the hope.

From God and from His word. I just finished a three part series as you know called God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety and Worry. And one of the points I made was 85 percent of the stuff you worry about will never happen to you. Ok? So why stress out over that stuff?

Today I want to talk about the other 15 percent. When that thing that you feared actually does happen to you. When the worst case scenario takes place. When you hear the worst news imaginable and you wonder if you can survive it. The answer is yes.

Yes you can. For me at first it wasn't getting through the day. It was getting through the next five minutes. I felt like I had the weight of the world on me. I felt almost a physical weight on my chest.

And I will tell you what helped me was reading scripture. See living in grief and grieving is a little bit like wiping out on a wave. How many of you have ever been out on the surf and been thrown over the falls of a wave? Raise your hand up.

That's most of you. You don't go in the ocean. It seems to happen to everyone eventually. But I can think of times where I have been out there and you know when a big set is coming in. And by a big set I mean a bunch of waves.

And the one after the one coming is even bigger and they get bigger and bigger. Your inclination is to turn around and paddle toward shore as fast as possible. And that is a bad decision because then you are going to get hit in the impact zone. What you need to do is paddle out toward the waves. Try to go under them before they break.

Keep going. If you get to Catalina you have gone too far. But I can think of times where I have gone over the falls as they say. And so you are in like this washing machine of white water and you can actually lose direction. And more than one person has gone down when they should go up. So if you have a boogie board or some kind of a flotation device with you it is probably attached to your leg.

So here is what you do. If you are caught in white water. This is a tip for summer.

You might thank me later. If you are caught in white water and you have a boogie board or something grab your leash and pull on it. Go in the direction of the leash. It will always take you to the surface.

Ok. So here is how it works for us. When we are dealing with grief we don't know which way is up.

We are losing perspective. The Bible is the leash you need. You grab the word of God and you pull on it. And it takes you to Jesus. You get your head above water, you take a big gulp of air and you go, uh oh, eight more waves coming.

And now you got to go under them and under them. But the point is the word of God is what helps us in those times of need. Pastor Greg Lorry will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We love hearing when people find help through these daily studies.

Some in person and even some on the road. Pastor Greg, I listen to your sermons every day on my way to work. I can't thank you enough for your words, humor and immense love for Jesus. Your messages are so inspiring and eye opening. I look forward to listening daily. You are a bright spot in what has become a very dark world.

Thank you. Today Pastor Greg is offering full strength encouragement for those times when the bottom drops out of our lives. Let's look together now at God's word. People hear before us in John 11 is a story of a loved one dying. It's a story of severe grief that accompanies the death of someone you love. It's also a story of how Jesus reacts in such situations and it tells us how God can actually be glorified through difficult circumstances. But it's also a hopeful message. So we will remember that no matter what we are going through God is going to be with you. He will give you the strength you need in your hour of need. Not necessarily before. Never after.

But He will give you what you need when you need it. This is a story of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Now these people were personal friends of Jesus Christ. They had cell phones in those days. They would have had His number.

They would have had a text thread constantly going. Jesus liked to hang out at their house. They lived in Bethany. And He would go to their home in Bethany when He would be going into Jerusalem. Whenever He went into Jerusalem there was conflict. There was drama.

There were things going on. So He would go hang out with His friends first. And by the way Martha was a killer cook. And I am sure He loved her food as did His twelve buddies.

He took with Him everywhere He went. So He would just show up and Martha would whip Him up a feast. And Jesus liked to spend time in their home and it could be accurately said that Mary, her sister Martha and their brother Lazarus were personal friends of Jesus Christ.

I think that is an important thing to note. And so as our story picks up hardship has come their way. Sickness has invaded their home. John 11. Now a certain man was sick. Lazarus of Bethany. The town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was then Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair whose brother Lazarus was sick.

Therefore the sister sent to Him saying, Lord behold, He whom you love is sick. Stop there. So what did we learn from this? Here is point number one. Life is filled with pain, sorrow, and the death of loved ones. It is not the most depressing point ever seriously.

But it is true unfortunately. Life is filled with pain and sorrow and the death of loved ones. Now you don't know this so much when you are young. But as you get older you start seeing loved ones pass. It usually starts with your grandparents.

Then your parents. All very significant stages of life. But then it might be an unexpected loved one dying like a spouse or a child. That affects you in a dramatic way. So these things do happen. You don't know when it is going to happen but it reminds you of your own mortality. This is just a reality of life.

Point number two. Despite the hardships of life we must remember that God loves us. Despite the hardships of life we must remember that God loves us. You know shortly after my son went to be with the Lord Pastor Chuck came to visit me. Chuck Smith.

We sat on the steps of my home in front. And Chuck looked at me and said, Greg never trade what you know for what you don't know. Never trade what you know for what you don't know because when Christ has hit your mind is filled with whys. Why is this happening to me? Why why why? It is not fair. Other people don't suffer like this.

Why? That is what I don't know. Don't trade what I know for what I don't know. Okay what do I know? I know that God loves me.

Right? Do you know that? I know that God is in control of my life. I know that when a believer dies they go to heaven. Therefore I know that the moment my son left this world he entered the next one and he is there in the presence of God. I know that I will see him again. As David said when his child died he cannot come to me but I will go to him.

So you can spend all of your time asking the why question, the what you don't know stuff but go to what you do know and replace what you don't know with thoughts about what you do know. God loves you. Now this is very interesting because Lazarus is sick and they just sent a message to Jesus saying basically, Lord your buddy is sick, lose a fair phrase. Their friend Lazarus is sick, they didn't tell him what to do. They just said he is sick.

They figured well he will take care of it. I think they were assuming Jesus would heal him and he could do that. He healed many people. He never touched any two people the same way though.

Have you ever noticed that? Sometimes he would speak to a person and they would be healed. Another time someone would touch the hem of his garment and they would be healed. Another time he would just speak the word and the person would be healed. And on one occasion a guy who was blind had Jesus spit on the ground, wipe his spit in the dirt and put it in the guy's eye.

Here is mud in your eye buddy. Now that was a weird way to see someone healed. Can you imagine coming for prayer?

Pastor would you pray for me? Sure. Hold on. No. I am sorry. That is gross.

But hey. That is what he did. So he could heal people. He didn't even need to be there. They probably thought he would just say the word and Lazarus would pop out of bed and Martha would whip up a great meal and everything could be wonderful again.

Yes. He loved them. But then here is an interesting little twist on the story. They say, Lord the one that you love is sick. Verse 3.

And then he basically delays his arrival. Look at verse 4. When Jesus heard that he was sick he said, this sickness is not to death but for the glory of God. Let the Son of God be glorified through it.

Now look at this. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus therefore, therefore when he heard that he was sick he stayed two more days in the place where he was. Huh? What?

When he heard he was sick because he loved him he stayed two more days in the place where he was. That doesn't make any sense at all to us. And in the same way when hardship hits we are saying, Lord where were you? Why aren't you doing something?

Why aren't you engaged here? Don't you even care? Well I don't know that I can answer why Jesus delayed his arrival. But here is one little thought. Jesus knew ultimately that Lazarus was going to die. And so by the time he arrives in Bethany Lazarus has been dead a number of days. But where did Lazarus go when he died?

Does anyone know the answer? He went to heaven. The Old Testament version of heaven if you will known as Abraham's bosom a place of comfort and bliss. So hey Lazarus was good. Maybe Jesus thought I am going to let the guy enjoy it for a little while. He will be back here soon enough and he won't be happy when I bring him back either. And then there was a plot afoot to kill Lazarus because the religious leaders were angry.

He got resurrected by Jesus so they wanted to kill him. Man that is miserable isn't it? You know maybe you just wanted him to enjoy it a little bit longer you know. Have a little fun. Like when the kids are in the pool and it is time to go. And you say let's go. Oh let us say okay you can have five more minutes all right. Jesus is thinking let him have a little enjoyment up there.

Life is going to get hard enough for him soon. But now here is Jesus waiting because he has a purpose in mind. You know one of my favorite hope verses is Jeremiah 29-11 where God says I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord. Thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope. That phrase a future could be translated an expected end. Or as another translation puts it a ground of hope or things hope for. Basically God is saying there is going to be an outcome and ultimately it will be good.

Some of you are saying hold on now Greg. What possible future can I have with my loved one who has died? Here is the answer. If they died with faith in Jesus Christ they are not just a part of your past. They are also a part of your future.

Because to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We will be reunited with loved ones again. And God will tie up the loose ends.

And somehow, somehow He is going to make this up to you on the other side. You know we see the small picture. God sees the big picture. We see the temporal.

He sees the eternal. And He has bigger plans afoot than what you are thinking about right now that will all be made clear to you in that final day so in the meantime you are going to have to just have hope. You say well Greg actually what is hope?

One person defined it this way in this acronym H-O-P-E holding on with patient expectation. Hope is just holding on. Holding on knowing that God is ultimately going to accomplish His purposes through it. Pastor Greg Laurie pointing out where to find hope in a time of true hopelessness. Good encouragement today here on A New Beginning and Pastor Greg has more to come in this message. He mentioned his helpful book Hope for Hurting Hearts. So many people have found encouragement in this resource.

We have heard from scores of people. You can find out more about the book at Just search for Hope for Hurting Hearts. Right now Pastor Greg here at Harvest Ministries our mission statement is knowing God and making Him known. Right. We are all about sharing the hope of Jesus Christ. Yes. And to that end you are inviting everyone to go to the movies.

Explain that. Well Jesus said go into all the world and preach the gospel and I don't think that excludes movie theaters. I believe we need to go to where people are. Jesus did not say that the whole world should go to church but He did say that church should go to the whole world. So here at Harvest we are always looking for creative, new and innovative ways to reach unexpected people and unexpected places with an unexpected message. Think about Acts chapter 17 when Paul went to Mars Hill.

Mars Hill is where the Greeks would gather together to debate the latest philosophies and there Paul stood at a place called the Areopagus and he proclaimed Jesus Christ of those people. He went to where they were and listen people love movies. We've seen so many bad films come out of Hollywood. Films that undermine what we believe as Christians.

Here's a redemptive film but a very high quality film. A film you're going to want to see probably again and again and the title of this film is Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon. This documentary was done by the Irwin brothers, best known for their films, The Jesus Music. I can only imagine, I still believe, Woodlawn and the new feature film that will be released next year, Jesus Revolution.

So this film was done in cooperation with the Cash Estate, meaning the family supported it. In fact we interview members of the Cash family including Johnny's son, John Carter Cash, his sister, Joanna Cash, plus people that knew him or worked with him or admired him like Winona Judd, John Schneider from the Dukes of Hazzard, Cheryl Crow, Marty Stewart and Tim McGraw. So there's going to be unique footage maybe that you've never seen of Johnny performing in different prisons like San Quentin. You're going to see him on his television show. You're going to see him performing at a Billy Graham crusade but you're also going to see some things that show the struggles that Johnny went through.

He had a lot of highs and lows, he had a lot of ups and downs. That's why this film is called The Redemption of an American Icon. And oh yes, Johnny Cash was really an American icon. Multiple generations love him. He has a timeless appeal and you're going to love this film which by the way will have the gospel in it. So it would be a great film to bring a non-believer.

So Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon, hopefully is coming to a theater near you. And as they see in the commercials, here's Dave to tell you more. Yeah, tickets are easy to get. Just go to our website at

There you'll see the dates for each Fathom Showing. And you can arrange the tickets right there on the site or call 1-800-821-3300. We're making tickets available to thank those who partner with us.

Getting a generous donation to help keep bringing you these daily studies and to make evangelistic documentaries like this available. So many people may never accept your invitation to come to church, but they'll go to the movies with you. So invite someone who doesn't yet know the Lord to come with you to see Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon. And for tickets, go to or call 1-800-821-3300, 1-800-821-3300. And you can call anytime 24-7. Well Pastor Greg has more reassurance coming next time from his very personal message called Hope for Hurting Hearts. Join us here on A New Beginning. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to And to find out how to know God personally, go to and click on Know God.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-09 19:21:04 / 2022-11-09 19:26:48 / 6

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