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What I Would Tell My Younger Self | Dealing With Trials

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 1, 2023 3:00 am

What I Would Tell My Younger Self | Dealing With Trials

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 1, 2023 3:00 am

Have you noticed how our perspective changes in life? Some of us hated certain vegetables when we were kids. And now? Well, we may still hate those vegetables but that’s not the point! The point is our perspective changes. Right? We eat vegetables ‘cause they’re good for us. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us realize that a changing perspective is good evidence that we’re maturing. And today we’ll see how we can embrace and enhance that maturing process.

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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're 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 Partners at And here's the thing you discover in time. Your pain can be effectively turned to gain because what you have gone through was not designed to destroy you, but to develop you. Have you noticed how our perspective changes in life? Some of us hated certain vegetables when we were kids, and now, well, we may still hate those vegetables, but that's not the point. The point is our perspective changes, right?

We eat vegetables because they're good for us. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us realize that a changing perspective is good evidence that we're maturing. And today, we'll see how we can embrace and enhance that maturing process. The title of this special message is What I Would Tell My Younger Self. What would I say to a young Greg as an older Greg?

What advice would I give myself? What things would I tell young Greg to avoid? What things would I tell young Greg to do?

Well, there's the obvious answers. I would tell young Greg, brush your teeth every day, boy, because you do not want to have to spend as much time at the dentist as older Greg has. Of course, I would tell younger Greg, wear sunscreen. I was a blonde kid, out at the beach a lot.

I don't think I hardly ever wore sunscreen, and I've had more than one trip to the dermatologist, so I'd certainly give that advice. Maybe I would say to a young Greg, you know when Star Wars comes out and all those figures are in the original packaging? Don't open those. Save those because you'll be able to sell those for a lot of money later. I think that's true of original Barbie dolls in their packaging. I just read the other day that an original copy of The Legend of Zelda video game sold for, get this, $411,000.

So I guess I would say, young Greg, go find a few copies of The Legend of Zelda because they'll be worth half a million one day, but don't take it out of the original packaging. Now these are silly things, things that don't matter all that much, but I want to talk about things that really do matter, what I would say to a younger me, and in effect, what I'm saying to young people right now. Let me give you a little bit of advice. Maybe you don't have a mom and a dad that are doing this for you, or a grandfather. Let me be your dad for a few minutes, or your grandfather, and say things to you that you need said to you as a younger person.

This first one may be surprising, but I'm gonna start with this. Whatever you're going through, it's going to be okay. Whatever you're going through, it's going to be okay. I know when you're young and you're experiencing things for the first time, life can seem kind of scary. You're wondering about what you're gonna do with your life, where you're going to go, who you're gonna marry, what career path you're going to choose, and then maybe something bad happens to you. You have a huge setback. You break up with your boyfriend or your girlfriend, and it almost seems like your world has just ended. Listen, it's going to be okay.

You're gonna get through this. I look at photos of my younger self. By the way, I just rediscovered these really old photos of me as a little boy.

I believe they were taken when I was living in New Jersey. I was around six or seven years old. I look at this little guy, and knowing now what I know now, I know that little guy's gonna go through a lot of suffering. His mother would effectively abandon him. He would never have a father growing up. He would be passed around from aunts and uncles.

He would spend a considerable period of time in military school. Life would not make sense to him. Sometimes he would be up all night wondering when his mother was gonna come home, and she wouldn't come home, and he'd have to get himself ready for school and take a lot of responsibility on as a little kid, but here's what I would say. God has his hand on you.

God is going to watch over you. I mentioned I was passed around to family members, and I did spend a bit of time with my grandparents, and that was probably one of the most stable times in my life because they functioned as parents, but they were parents from another century. They were quite old when I was living with them, and they believed in old-fashioned values, but fortunately, they believed in old-fashioned food too, starting with fried chicken, and by the way, when we had fried chicken, we didn't just go to the market and buy chicken like normal people. My grandfather would kill a live chicken, cut its head off. I remember as a little kid watching him do it one time. He took the chicken. He put it on a tree stump.

He took out the hatchet or the ax, I should say. Boom, off comes the head, and the body's running around, spurting up blood, and as I recall, it started running toward me, and I'm thinking, how does the chicken body know where to go? I felt like the little chicken head laying there was saying, go straight, turn right, turn right, whatever traumatized me.

I still break out in a cold sweat when I go buy Chick-fil-A. Not really, but fresh chicken, mashed potatoes made from scratch, black-eyed peas, so many incredible things she would make every night, but her crowning achievement was her biscuit. This was a biscuit unlike any other I've had any place, so it was good, it was stable, and I remember we would sit in the front room of my grandparents' house. They each had sort of a La-Z-Boy type chair, and I'd sit in a little stool in the middle, and I remember we watched Billy Graham, and how was I to know as a little boy that I would one day meet him and actually become friends with him. My grandparents had a little painting of the face of Jesus over the furnace.

It was a floor furnace, and I remember I would look at that picture of Jesus for hours thinking about him. There was something about him that interested me. How was I to know that I would come into a relationship with him, and he would change my life forever. So despite the hardship I went through as a little boy, I was able to react to it in a different way because at the age of 17, I put my faith in Jesus Christ.

Listen to this. You don't decide what hand you will be dealt in life. Some of you are in a stable home with mom and dad raising you in a wonderful way. Some of you are from a broken home.

In fact, probably more of you are from a broken home, and you are facing an uncertain future. You don't get to pick what hand is dealt to you in life, but you decide how you will react to it. And here is the thing you discover in time. No matter how bad your upbringing is or how bad the experiences are that you go through, your pain can be effectively turned to gain. God can take your setbacks and turn them into setups. Your tests can become a testimony because what you have gone through was not designed to destroy you, but to develop you.

To develop you so you will be a different person. And I have been able to take the pain of my past and use it as a tool to help people who are going through similar pain. The apostle Paul speaks about comforting with the comfort that we ourselves have been comforted with. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hearing about listeners who find Jesus because of Harvest Ministries and A New Beginning is so encouraging.

I'm a truck driver from North Carolina, and I very much love listening to Pastor Greg. In this world we're living in now, you really need Jesus in your life. And if you have a personal relationship with Jesus, there's nothing better than that.

I mean, your days are full of joy, you have peace of mind, and there's just nothing better than that. I was addicted to cocaine for so many years and struggled with the flesh. I mean, I hated it. I tried so many times to quit. I just asked the Lord to make me hate it. And finally He did.

I just got so sick of it, He took it away. And I have that personal relationship with Jesus Christ and there's nothing better than that. I absolutely love listening to Pastor Greg's messages every night while I'm on the road. And I just wanted to call and let him know that.

So God bless you and thank you so much. If your life has changed because of the ministry of Harvest, would you let Pastor Greg know? Just call 866-871-1144.

That's 866-871-1144. Well, Pastor Greg is getting very personal today, letting us in on those things he would tell his younger self. Good wisdom coming our way today. I read just the other day that the majority of Gen Z has high levels of anxiety and stress. Let me say something to my younger viewers right now. I know it's harder for you than it was for us when we were growing up. I know older people will say things like, you know, when I was a child, it was so much harder. No, it's harder for you guys.

One of the reasons it's harder is many of you are coming from broken homes. Another reason it's harder is because everything has been escalated. In my day, I might get beat up at school. In your day, you might get shot in school.

The drugs are much more serious and much harder. And of course, you have social media that amplifies everything and has changed things dramatically. I also read that Generation Z are afraid of the future. And one third of this generation struggle with suicidal thoughts. Am I talking to somebody right now who has contemplated suicide?

Maybe you've even attempted to take your own life. I want you to know something. I want you to know that you are loved. I want you to know that you are wanted. I want you to know you're loved by more people than you could ever imagine. And I also want you to know that God has a special plan for your life. You matter.

We need you. Don't contemplate ending your life. I just watched a documentary film called Road Runner. It's about the life of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain first kind of broke out with his book that he wrote called Kitchen Confidential. Then he started working in television and had a very successful show on CNN called Parts Unknown that took him around the world meeting all kinds of people tasting the most exotic foods and sort of the life that many people would only dream of. It's almost like this film Road Runner was designed to show why suicide is the worst possible solution.

Because they interviewed many people that really cared about Anthony Bourdain and how much they missed him and how much they loved him and how devastated and in some cases traumatized they were by him taking his own life. Bourdain actually had a scene filmed where he's with a psychiatrist and they're having a discussion together. And to the psychiatrist he says, I would like to be happier. I would like to be calmer.

I'd like to be able to relax. I'd like to be able to look out the window and say life is good. And the psychiatrist replies, well, you don't do that. You can't look out the window and say life is good. And Bourdain replies, no, I can't. And then the psychiatrist says to him, you need to start thinking, do you want to change anything?

And Anthony Bourdain responds, I think it's too late for that. Listen, it's never too late to change. I don't know what trajectory your life is going in right now. I don't know what bad decisions maybe you've made at this moment, but it's never too late to change. And it's not just changing the way you feel.

You need to change the way you think. Christ can change the course of your life. Listen, just as surely as there is a God in heaven who loves you, there is a devil that's headed to hell who hates you. And Jesus summed up the contrast when he said in John 10, the thief, speaking of Satan, comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. But in contrast Jesus said, but I have come that you might have life and that more abundantly.

So there's your choice. Life in a relationship with God. Death outside of a relationship with God. Don't let the devil whisper in your ear that you should take your life.

The Bible says he's a liar and he's a father of lies. Sometimes people are apprehensive about giving their life to Jesus because they think, well, it's going to be misery in rules and regulations. Au contraire. That's French for snails with garlic.

No, that's escargot. To the contrary, God's plan for you is better than your plans for yourself. God himself says in Jeremiah 29, 11, I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord. Thoughts of peace, not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Let me just stop right here and ask this question. Would you like to fill that hole inside of your heart? Would you like to have all of your sins forgiven? Would you like to have a fresh start right here, right now?

Here's what you need to do. You need to realize that God loved you so much. He sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you 2,000 years ago. If you will turn from your sin and put your faith in Jesus, Christ will come into your life and he can change the course of your life. Not to mention your eternal destination from hell to heaven. If you would like Jesus Christ to come into your life, if you would like him to forgive you of your sin, why don't we just stop for a moment and why don't you just pray this prayer with me? Just pray, Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I know you are the savior and I need you in my life. Forgive me of all of my sin.

I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Such an important prayer for those making a decision for the Lord. And as you've listened to A New Beginning today, if you've prayed along with Pastor Greg Laurie, we want to be the first to welcome you into the family of God. And second, let us help you get started off right. We want to send you our New Believers Growth Packet.

It will help answer some questions you might have and lay a foundation for your faith. And we'll send it to you free of charge. Just ask for the New Believers Growth Packet as you call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. Again, 1-800-821-3300.

Our mailing address is A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to and click the words, Know God. And then we hope you're making plans to see Jesus Revolution.

Opening day for this film is February 24th. Jesus Revolution, of course, refers to the Jesus movement. And Pastor Greg, you know that time quite well. You came to the Lord during that time. You and Kathy fell in love during that time.

The movie sort of walks us through that era. Yes, a very young Greg is in this film played by Joe Courtney. Beautiful job on his part in his acting.

It shows the story of young Greg with his mother, Charlene, played by Kimberly Williams Paisley. She was the bride and father of the bride. And she's an amazing actress. She did an incredible job playing my mother. This tragic figure.

This Marilyn Monroe look-alike who would hang around at bars and get picked up by men. And the sad life that we had together which sent me on a search as a young man. And it shows in a very honest and real way my search through drugs and other things trying to find meaning in my life.

And I eventually come to hear the gospel. It's also a love story where I meet Kathy. And the actress Anna Grace Barlow plays Kathy. And she does such an amazing job. And so it's a love story.

And it's a story of how two very unlikely characters came together. Chuck Smith played by Kelsey Grammer. Again Lonnie Frisbee played by Jonathan Rumi.

It was like Nitro met Glycerin in a spiritual explosion happened as a result. So hey, I can't show you the film. But why don't you listen for a moment. Here's a scene from the film where Chuck meets Lonnie for the first time. So Chuck said to his daughter, they were watching television and all the crazy hippies. And he wanted nothing to do with them and thought they all needed to get a job and get a haircut.

But his wife Kay had a heart for reaching them. So Chuck says, if God sends me a hippie, I'll talk to him. So Chuck's daughter Jan runs into hippie evangelist Lonnie Frisbee and brings him home. And so Chuck meets Lonnie for the first time.

And here's what happens. So tell me about yourself Lonnie and your people. My people?

I like the sound of that. You know, it reminds me of the words of Jesus. To what then can I compare the people of this generation?

What are they like? I was up in San Francisco for a long time living in Haight-Ashbury on the streets all over. And we did everything and everyone. But that was the point. You see, the drugs, it's a quest. For what? For God.

How can you not see that? There is an entire generation right now searching for God. Man, we thought acid was going to save the world. Thank you.

Thanks, man. But that was a lie. As much of a lie as what we were rebelling against. And what brought you to that realization? I kept searching and searching.

I just finally got to the end of it. And there was still a void. And my people? Well, they're a desperate bunch. And desperation. Man, there's power in that word.

What would it take for you, Chuck Smith, to be desperate? Jeanette tells me you're a pastor. Yes.

Currently. I know we must seem pretty strange. But if you look a little deeper. If you look with love.

You'll see a bunch of kids that are searching for all the right things. Just in all the wrong places. So to answer your question. How do I describe my people? They're sheep without a shepherd.

Chasing hard after lies. And the trouble is, your people reject them. So I ask you, pastor. How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? We can only walk through doors open to us.

And your church? Well. That's a door that's shut. Well, that's a scene from Jesus Revolution. Chuck Smith, played by actor Kelsey Grammer. And Lonnie Frisbee, played by actor Jonathan Rumi. It's a movie you don't want to miss. February 24th is the official release of Jesus Revolution. Begin making plans now to bring someone with you to see this film. And by the way, there will be a special national preview showing February 22nd.

Two days earlier. It features special bonus content. Including an easy to understand presentation of the gospel. By Pastor Greg. To get tickets to this special preview, February 22nd. Go to

That', Again, And thanks so much for partnering with us as we share the gospel in this innovative way. You partner with us as you support the film at your local theater. And you partner with us when you send a donation to support sharing the gospel. In fact, a thank you for your generosity right now. We want to send you the book that tells the story in more depth.

It's also called Jesus Revolution. We'll send you the book to thank you for your investment. So get in touch today. Our 24-7 phone number is 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write, A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or go online to Well next time, Pastor Greg continues his message called, What I Would Tell My Younger Self. To decide on how we can avoid the scourge of worry and commit to living a life of honesty and integrity. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. In the day, the day when life begins Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. Helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-01 05:32:25 / 2023-02-01 05:41:20 / 9

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