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Time to Take Out the Trash | Truths About Suffering

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 22, 2022 3:00 am

Time to Take Out the Trash | Truths About Suffering

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 22, 2022 3:00 am

The Lord tells us to cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us. It’s like we’ve come out of a department store with bags full of merchandise, and it’s hard to navigate our way through the parking lot. We drop this bag, then we drop that bag. We might even hear the sound of broken glass. The Lord shows up with a cart and says, I’ll take ‘em from here. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how we can leave our burdens with the Lord. He’ll know what to do with them.

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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 more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. We need to give our burdens to God.

Why? Because He cares for you. Listen, if it troubles you, it concerns God. God says, I care about you. Worries seem to stick to us like glue.

But Pastor Greg Laurie says God wants us to let go of them. Practical help coming today. Hey, what do you do when the trash can is overflowing? You empty the trash. So what do you do when your burdens are piling up? You bring them to God.

The Lord tells us to cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us. It's like we come out of a department store with bags full of merchandise, and it's hard to navigate our way through the parking lot. We drop this bag, then we drop that bag.

You might even hear the sound of broken glass. The Lord shows up with a cart and says, I'll take them from here. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how we can leave our burdens with the Lord. Now I don't know about you, but in my house I take the trash out. And I procrastinate. I put it off.

And I don't know why. It's really not that hard. I have these big plastic trash cans with wheels and a handle on them. And all I got to do is drag them out in the front and put them there. But you know there's something about taking out the trash that I don't really like to do. And then someone comes along and they pick up the trash. We call them the trash man. Maybe a better title would be waste management professional.

Whatever. They do their job and they do their job well. And I'm glad they do it. Because if they decide to not pick up my trash for a month, we would have a serious situation.

Right? So let me say something that might seem a little odd. But Jesus Christ is our Savior. Jesus Christ is our Lord. Jesus Christ is our God. But Jesus in effect wants to pick up your trash.

Let me explain that. Jesus says in Matthew 11 28, come to Me all you who are weary and can't carry your heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Jesus is saying would you please bring your cares to Me. Would you please bring your anxieties and your worries and your problems and your burdens to Me. And He says and when you do that I will give you rest.

I mean that's quite a promise. And we all have cares and anxieties and worries that weigh us down. Don't we? You know the feeling.

Just when you are laying your head down at night. Boom. They come. What about this?

What about that? Sometimes they wake you up in the middle of the night. Sometimes you have been able to kind of give them over to the Lord and then they will just pop back into your head again and they trouble you and they feel like just a lot of weight on your shoulders. And sometimes our problems are imagined.

We make mountains out of mole hills. And other times our troubles are real. But whatever they are here is what the Bible says we should do with them. Let's read 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 6.

I am reading from the New Living Translation. So humble yourself unto the mighty hand of God and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you. Stay alert. Watch out. Your great enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him. Be strong in your faith and remember that your family of believers are all over the world and they are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

So if you are taking notes here is point number one. You are not alone in your suffering. You are not alone in your suffering.

Look at verse 8 there of 1 Peter again. Remember that your family of believers all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. I don't know why it is but it is just good to know I am not the only one going through suffering. Right. That there is somebody else that is facing something as hard as I am facing.

Maybe even quite a bit harder than I am facing. And this is where community comes in. This is where the church comes in.

Over at our church in Maui they call it ohana which is the Hawaiian word for family. You know as it was already said earlier we don't need to do this alone. Don't try to be a solo Christian.

The Bible says bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. It is so wonderful when we can do that for one another. But I think there is something in us where we say, well I don't want to admit I need help. And why is that? Because we are proud idiots that is why.

That is why the Bible says humble yourself verse 6 unto the mighty hand of God and at the right time He will lift you up. I think it is maybe easier in general for women to share their hearts with other women than it is for guys to share with other guys. Am I right? Because guys oh we are guys man. We have this all sorted out. We fix stuff. That is what we do. Well you know what we break stuff too. And we get broken ourselves sometimes too. And we need help. We all need to humble ourselves unto the hand of God and acknowledge that we need help from other people. You know when our son Christopher was called home to heaven ten years ago it was devastating for us. And it just rocked our world. And frankly I wondered will I survive this. It is so traumatizing.

It is so hard to wrap your mind around the fact that your child is with you one day and he isn't another. And so you know the first thing I did is I reached out. You say well Greg you are a pastor. Don't you have all the answers. Well no. Number one.

And number two. When the day was done I was just a father in pain. So I reached out to fellow pastors and other wonderful people I know and they were a great encouragement to me. I would just say help me. I am struggling.

I have these questions. I had questions like anyone has questions. And even though I have given the answers many times I was still needing help. And I also reached out to other people who had lost children. Because knowing that there was someone that had somehow survived this was comforting to me when I was in that first stage of it.

And so that is the whole thing. You are not alone in your suffering. I think if you just found out you had cancer your world is altered. But if you could talk to a cancer survivor and they can give you a perspective that can be very encouraging to you. And that is why for those of us who have suffered who have lost a child, we have lost a spouse, we have had cancer and been able to overcome it or whatever it is we have come through don't waste your pain. God allowed you to go through that for a reason.

So use that to help other people. Because the Bible says comfort with a comfort that you have been comforted with. So you are not alone in your suffering.

Number two. We need to give our burdens to God. We need to give our burdens to God. Look at verse 7. Casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you. The word cast here is not the normal word for throwing something. Rather it is a word that signifies a definite act of the will by which we stop worrying about something and let God assume the responsibility for our welfare. So it is an act like okay I am not going to worry about this because worry doesn't help and I am going to put it deliberately and intentionally in the hand of God. Coming back to the statement here casting all your cares upon Him. Why?

Because He cares for you. Listen if it troubles you it concerns God. The other day one of my grandchildren was troubled about something and I was out of town so I FaceTimed her. Tell me what is going on. I wanted to hear.

It didn't seem like a big thing but if it is a big thing to her it is really kind of a big thing to me too. And so in the same way God says, I care about you. I am concerned about you.

Why don't you cast that on me. I am asking you to do so. Hey what do you do when the trash can is overflowing? You empty the trash. So what do you do when your burdens are piling up? You bring them to God.

All right. So let's shift gears now and go over to Matthew chapter 6 and we will see the next thing that we need to do. We will read a few verses together.

Matthew 6 verse 25 here is Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount. This is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life whether you have enough food or drink or clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food and your body more than clothing? Well look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns for your heavenly Father feeds them and you are far more valuable to Him than they are.

Can all of your worries add a single moment to your life? Why do you worry about clothing? Look at the lilies of the field.

How they grow. They don't work or make their clothing. Yet Solomon in all of his glory was not as dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow He will certainly care for you.

Why do you have such little faith? So don't worry about these things. Saying what shall we eat? What shall we drink?

What shall we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers but your heavenly Father already knows all of your needs. Very important verse.

Verse 33. Seek first the kingdom of God above everything else and His righteousness and He will give you everything you need. So don't worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today. So we'll stop there. Powerful words from Jesus.

So let's review. Number one we're not alone in our suffering. Number two we should cast all our cares on God.

Number three this is a big one the believers should not worry. Jesus says don't worry about these things. Jesus is not saying a Christian should not think about those things or be concerned with the needs of life such as what you're going to wear what you're going to eat or where you're going to live and things of that nature. He's not saying don't think about it. He's saying don't worry about it. In fact elsewhere in Scripture we're commended for working hard and saving investing and so forth so there's a place for all of that. Jesus is saying don't worry.

Verse 25. Don't worry about your life or a better translation don't have anxiety about the issues of life. Stop doing what you've already been doing. So the idea is you've been doing this now I want you to stop it.

Stop worrying. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey I don't know if you know about this but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world. Listen to this we even have Harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours and study the word of God.

So join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well today on A New Beginning Pastor Greg is offering a helpful biblical antidote for worry in his message Time to Take Out the Trash. Let's continue. Now some of us worry more by nature than others. How many of you struggle with worry and anxiety? Raise your hand up.

Okay. I wouldn't say I'm a worry wart but I would say I do worry at times. And let me say something that might surprise you. To worry can actually be a sin.

Say well really? Yes because when you worry you're effectively not trusting God. In fact the word worry means to strangle or to choke. And that's exactly what worry does to you. It strangles you. It chokes you. You know worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.

It empties today of its strength. Worry is interest paid on troubles before they're due. And so you can just worry about things that actually will never happen. I've told you before about the guy that had a problem with worry. So he hired someone to worry for him. He literally took it out on the paper and said wanted someone to worry for me.

I'll pay you well. So guy took the job and he was bragging about this to one of his friends. He goes I don't worry at all anymore. But he said why? You always worried so much.

Oh I know. I hired a guy to worry for me. Hired a guy. How much do you pay that guy? Fifty thousand dollars a week. Wow. You don't have that kind of money. How are you going to pay him? He said that's for him to worry about. So you might try that.

I don't know how well it will work. You know when I was down under in Australia. I love the Aussies.

They're just such great people. And they have an expression in Australia. And it's the expression no worries mate. So if you ask him a question. Hey excuse me.

Can I get directions to this place? Well he's just going over here and turn right over there. Then they say. You say thank you.

They say no worries mate. By the way they never said throw another shrimp on the barbie right. Or that's not enough.

This is a knife right. It's a line from Crocodile Dundee. Forget it. Very dated reference.

How many of you got it though? You got it. Whoa okay wow.

Crocodile Dundee fans here. But that's the whole point. No worries. So Jesus is saying don't worry about these things. You know we worry so much about what people think of us. What do people think of me?

You would not worry so much about what people think of you if you realized how rarely they do. Hate to break that to you. So he's telling us don't worry. It comes down to this. We need to trust in the providence of God. What is the providence of God? I have no idea.

I just like the way it sounds. No. No. The providence of God or the sovereignty of God simply means that God is in control. So either God allows it or God does it.

He either allows it or He does it. So either that thing you're dealing with God did that or God allowed that thing for some reason we may not understand in the moment. But God is in control of all things and there's no accidents in our lives and nothing touches us that does not first pass through His loving hand.

So God is in control. So Jesus now illustrates. Some understand Jesus did most of His teaching outdoors. He wasn't in a sanctuary like this. He did speak in a synagogue on occasion. But mostly He was out and about with His disciples. He spent a lot of time by the water there at the Sea of Galilee.

And so He would use things that were happening around them as illustrations. He says well look at the birds. Look at those birds over there. He's basically pointing out birds don't worry.

Why should we? I have a bird feeder in front of my kitchen and I fill it with seed and I like to watch the birds come and eat. They usually come in the morning. I have little tiny lattes out there for them. They really like those. You know they hold them in their little bird and then drink it. It's so cute. I have to take a picture of it sometime.

But I will post it for you to look at. But I watch the birds and I don't see birds get stressed out. You know I have never seen a bird taking a Valium or something like that. You know they go in. They get their seed. They take off.

Right. Those are the little birds. And they know I keep my feeder filled with seed. Then there are those other birds out there that take whatever they want whenever they want. We call them seagulls. The only thing worse than a cat is a seagull okay. We could somehow find a way to get all the seagulls to carry off all the cats.

And they could take the kale while they're at it. No I'm kidding. I say these. I don't even mean this but I say these things and people think I hate all these things and I don't. Well maybe I do.

I'm not really sure. I know I don't like seagulls because they're thieving birds right. But they'll come down. They'll grab their food. So the point is the birds get their food. The birds gather their food but they don't worry about it. There's an old poem about birds I read a long time ago. Said the robin to the sparrow. Friend I'd really like to know why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so. Said the sparrow to the robin. Friend I think that it must be that they have no heavenly father such as cares for you and me.

And I know it's sweet isn't it. So birds don't worry. Why should we? Flowers don't worry.

Why should we? Verse 28. Why do you worry about clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow.

They don't work or make their clothing. Yet Solomon in all of his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. So Jesus is saying look at the flowers. You know you've seen the countryside sprayed with beautiful flowers. And so Jesus is saying look at all of these flowers. And look at how beautiful they are. Solomon in all of his glory wasn't as beautiful as these flowers.

Solomon dressed in his royal robes sitting on his luxurious throne of gold did not have the beauty as the flowers that were out there for people to see. And really what Jesus is pointing out is we should not be obsessed with the outward. He is not saying we shouldn't think about the outward. He is saying don't be obsessed with it. Some people are obsessed with the way that they look. They are obsessed with. We live in a selfie culture don't we. And now we have all these filters on our phones and you know these apps you can get. You can make yourself thinner and change your whole appearance.

So it's really not even you. And we sometimes want to carry that over into our lives. And we want to be over into real life. And did you know that 16 billion dollars is spent every year on cosmetic surgery. 16 billion dollars. And that's Newport Beach alone. How many of you live in Newport? Sorry it's just actually a fact. No that's nationwide.

That's nationwide. And I'm not against that. Well sometimes I am. You know sometimes you go really this. You wanted that. I don't know. You know.

Sure. But you know we were so concerned about our outward appearance. And so Jesus is saying don't be obsessed with it. Yes think about it.

Okay now let me flip that around. Some people should be a lot more concerned with their outward appearance. You know you want to keep your body in the best physical shape that you can. The Bible says bodily exercise profits little but godliness is profitable for all things.

But it does say it profits a little. So it's not like let's just all become you know obese out of shape and read our Bibles. That's one extreme. And then the other extreme is well let's just you know work out constantly and not have any time for God and just be all we care about is our appearance. We've got to find the balance in between. To be strong as much as we can physically and in the best shape that we can be in.

But understanding that God determines the length of our days. Pastor Greg Laurie with some important perspective today from his Salt and Light series and a message called Time to Take Out the Trash. And there's more to come here on A New Beginning including a closing comment from Pastor Greg in just a few moments. You know Pastor Greg here at Harvest Ministries our mission statement is knowing God and making him known. Right. We're all about sharing the hope of Jesus Christ. Yes. And to that end you're 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 the church should go to the whole world. So here at Harvest we're 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 the place called the Areopagus and he proclaimed Jesus Christ to 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, Sheryl 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'd 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 say in the commercials here's Dave to tell you more. Yeah tickets are easy to get.

Just go to our website at harvest.org. 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, making 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. Again for tickets go to harvest.org or call 1-800-821-3300.

1-800-821-3300 and you can call anytime 24 7. Well next time Pastor Greg takes a brief break from our current series to bring us some important thoughts on the importance of thankfulness. Be sure to tune in. Now just a moment ago he commented that we shouldn't worry about how long we'll live.

That's ultimately determined by God. He closes with this comment. I've told you before about the TV show I saw as a news program and there they had a guy who had made it well past 100. They said we're going to reveal the secret to his longevity.

So I had to wait till the end. The old codger comes on takes the news camera folks and the reporter down to the market and showed him his secret. He ate a hot dog every day and he showed him this is the hot dog I eat.

It wasn't like Hebrew National. It was like the cheap hot dog. The cheap one like made out of rat tails. By the way those taste the best don't you think? I do. No kale allowed there.

So here's a guy you know he's working out low-fat diet drops dead on a jog and here's a guy that eats a hot dog every day making it past 100. Go figure. So don't worry about it.

That's the point. Your days are numbered and ordered by the Lord. The preceding podcast was made possible by Harvest Partners. Helping people everywhere know God. Learn how to become a Harvest Partner. Sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-22 09:56:34 / 2022-11-22 10:06:45 / 10

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