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Our Future Is in God’s Hands | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2024 3:00 am

Our Future Is in God’s Hands | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 19, 2024 3:00 am

“...But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help” (Psalm 31:22). How often has that been true for you, too? Psalm 31 puts the overwhelming goodness of God on display, reminding us of who He is in hardship we face. Get more insight into this psalm now with Pastor Greg Laurie.

Notes:

Today's Scripture: Psalm 31

God determines the length of your life.
 
God was preparing David to be a king, the greatest of Israel’s kings.
 
The most important thing about this king is, he would be in the Messianic line.
 
Acts 13:22
 
Overall, David did everything God wanted him to do, not flawlessly but faithfully.
 
“I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, for You have considered my trouble and You have known my soul in adversities.” Psalm 31:7
 
Sometimes the ones you help the most hurt you the worst.
 
Sometimes fellow believers will criticize you when God begins to bless you.
 
People are going to hurt you in life, and you will hurt people as well.
 
“God allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of His.” —C.S. Lewis
 
Forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning bad behavior or dismissing it.
 
To forgive means, “surrendering the right to get even.”
 
When you face tragedy, when you face hardship, the church is there for you.
 
When people are hurting, they just need someone to be with them.
 
Harvest Groups
 
God is in control of our lives, and He determines how long we will live.
Psalm 31:14–15
 
God has a beautiful future for you.
Jeremiah 29:11

Get your eyes off your problems and put them on God!
Psalm 31:23–24
 
Put your hope in God.
Psalm 119:114; Romans 15:4
 
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest.” —Corrie ten Boom
 
“Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
 
As Christians, we are indestructible until God is done with us.
 
You decide in this life where you will spend the afterlife.

Harvest Crusade 2024

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Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie encouraging you. If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thanks for listening. Thanks for listening. If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about Harvest Ministries, just go to harvest.org. Thanks for listening.

If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about Harvest Ministries, just go to harvest.org. Thanks for listening. Thanks for listening.

If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about Harvest Ministries, just go to harvest.org. Thanks for listening. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thanks for listening. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Thanks for listening. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. And Jonathan was a bright light in this dark place because Jonathan and David became close friends. And even though Jonathan was really the heir to the throne, he understood that God had called David to that role, not him. And so David forgave.

And I think that's so important. You know, sometimes you hear people say today, I'm just, I'm mad at the church. I'm mad at the church. The church hurt me.

I've heard that far too many times. But to me, that is an excuse, okay? What do you mean the church hurt you? I went to church and I had a bad experience. Okay, so now you're mad at the entire church of Jesus Christ around the entire world because you had a single bad experience in church?

Maybe it wasn't them, maybe it was you, I don't know. Maybe you did have a bad experience, but now you're never going to go to church again? Are you sure that's not an excuse? That would be like saying, I went to a bad restaurant and I had a bad meal and I'm never eating in a restaurant again.

I don't think that's gonna happen. Or going to a doctor. I didn't like the way this doctor treated me or he didn't do what he should have done properly so I'm never going to a doctor again.

Listen to this. Jesus Christ established his church and one day, you're gonna need the church more than you realize. I have a friend who lost his daughter in a tragic automobile accident. Actually, his name is David. We played tennis that morning and his sweet little daughter, named Yvette, was cheering me, not her father, on in the game. She wanted me to win, I love that. And then we were gonna have lunch that day and I got a call expecting him to tell me where were we gonna go to lunch and he gave me the tragic news. There had been an automobile accident. He and his daughter were in a car and it flipped upside down. So I went to the hospital and I'm there in the room and there he is.

His daughter has died and he doesn't know this yet. And though I'm a pastor, I didn't know what to say to him. And I was just dumbfounded. We were all so stunned and someone got a call into Pastor Chuck Smith. And in comes Chuck and I remember what he was wearing, an old white t-shirt and white pants splattered with paint because he was painting that afternoon. He left what he was doing, came straight to the hospital and it was like a master class on what a pastor does. He walked into that pain. He walked into that difficult situation. He sat down and he was gonna be the one now to break the news to David that his daughter had died.

And Chuck handled it so beautifully. I remember he said, you know, David, when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he said to the Father, Father, if it's possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done. And David, your daughter is with the Lord right now. And then he just went on to minister to him.

Now, there's no easy way to deliver a message like that. But he did it in such a compassionate way. And I thought, thank God for pastors, you know.

When you need one, you need one. And they come in representing the Lord. It's so easy to critique pastors and critique leaders. And I'm not saying we shouldn't be critiqued but I'm saying maybe we don't realize the important role they play in the world today.

And we should thank God for them and pray for them instead of be so quick to criticize them. Now, I know it sounds self-serving because I'm a pastor but I'm not really saying this about me. I'm saying this about pastors in general. I know so many pastors. And any pastor that messes up, you better believe it's gonna be a story in the news. And you're gonna hear every detail about how that pastor failed and it does happen. But you never hear about the thousands that faithfully serve God for their entire life.

That's not a sizzling headline. We wanna hear all the sordid details or all the horrible things they might have done. And I think because then non-believers can say, oh, you see, they're all hypocrites. I hate the church. I'm against the church.

And on and on it goes. But there's nothing like the church. And the church steps in where other people don't. We step into so many situations where there's crisis, where there's need, where they're on the ground. Christian relief organizations. I think of our church on Maui, how we were able to immediately extend help because of the generosity of people around the country that gave to our Harvest Maui Relief Fund.

And we were able to help them with food and with clothing and with house payments and the basic necessities of life. So it's so important, get over your anger and stop criticizing the church. And find out how you can be a vibrant part of it because God has established it. All right, that's point number one. point number two, God is in control of our lives and he determines how long we'll live. I raised this earlier. Let me elaborate a few more moments.

He is in control of this. Again, in Psalm 31, David writes, I'm trusting you, oh Lord, saying my times are in your hands or my future is in your hands. So stop worrying about how long you're going to live.

And some people are doing this today. Oh, how long am I gonna live? And so, you know what? All of your tofu and all of your kale is not gonna extend your life. So have a few pieces of bacon and enjoy yourself.

It worked out for Pearl Cantrell, didn't it? Jesus said this, which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life. God has a future planned for you. Of course, we all know 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. So never be afraid to commit an unknown future to a known God. Point number three, get your eyes off of your problems and put them on God. Get your eyes off of your problems and put them on God. Look at Psalm 31, verse 23. Oh, love the Lord, all you his saints, for the Lord preserves the faithful and fully repays the proud person.

Be of good courage and he will strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord. What is your hope in right now? Is your hope in money? Is your hope in your career? Is your hope even in your family, as good as a family can be? Is your hope in a politician? All of these will fail you in some way, shape, or form. Put your hope in God, he will never fail you.

Right? Psalm 119, verse 114 says, you are my refuge and my shield. Your word is my only source of hope, his word. And then we read over in Romans 15, four, such things are written in the scriptures long ago to give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently on the promise of God. We need hope in this life.

And I think that's so very important. I love this statement of Corrie Tynboom. She said, and I quote, if you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed.

But if you look at God, you'll be at rest. And you know what I so appreciate about this wonderful, godly woman, Corrie Tynboom, is she did so much to help the Jewish people. She's a Christian, along with her family. They had a little clock shop and clock repair shop. And so the Nazis were beginning their persecution of the Jews, rounding them up, sending them off to concentration camps. And Corrie and her family hid the Jews in their home.

They built a wall in front of a wall so there was a space in there where they could house people. And she wrote a book about it called The Hiding Place. I've been to Holland, I've been to that home where Corrie and her family hid those Jewish people.

It's an amazing thing to see for yourself. And her sister, Betsy, and her father, Casper, were warned by the Gestapo to stop hiding the Jews. And finally, they were rounded up and arrested and sent to concentration camps.

Casper Tynboom, the mother, excuse me, the father of Corrie died quickly because he was an elderly man. But Corrie and Betsy were sent to a camp called Ravensbruck. And there they faithfully shared the love of God with fellow prisoners. And they did their best.

And it was Casper Tynboom, their father, who said of the Jews, whoever touches them touches the apple of God's eye. And people, it's happening all over again. And it's happening on our college campuses. And I look at these young people that have been radicalized. I don't know how this has happened.

But how can I say this delicately? They don't know what they're talking about. They're talking about freeing Palestine.

What does that even mean? Palestine is basically free. The people of Gaza chose their own representatives and they chose a terrorist organization called Hamas. And Hamas is a simple strategy. They attack and then when there's a response to the attack, they hide behind people and use them as human shields. That's what's happening right now, okay? So here are the people of Israel getting out of their beds one morning.

Some are going to a concert. Some are doing this, some are doing that. And this strategized, organized campaign happens where over 1,200 Israeli people are slaughtered, butchered, put to death, unspeakable atrocities. There's a video that was recorded by members of Hamas showing what was actually happening.

And I've seen a little bit of it and it's horrifying and it's stomach turning, I can tell you that. But you don't see that in the news right now. Because of course Israel responds. What would America do if we were suddenly hit by another nation and let's just say to kind of compare it equally, we had 30,000 Americans killed in one day? Would we respond? Well, what happened after Pearl Harbor? What happened after 9-11?

We responded. So Israel responds and then Hamas, without any concern, will take women and children, whoever else they can find, use them as human shields and they tragically die in war and then they say, look, we're being attacked by this colonizing nation, Israel. Israel's not a colonizing nation. Israel, they're the indigenous people of the land. God gave them the land. And yet they've been willing to share it with others and they want to live at peace. I've been to Israel many, many times. And I can tell you these are people that want to live in peace with others.

They've given away a lot of territory they could have held onto after they were attacked multiple times. But now we have this rise of anti-Semitism happening in our Ivy League universities and it's spreading like a wildfire. And my concern is why isn't the church speaking up more? I will not be quiet about this. We will not be silent.

Because when it happened in Nazi Germany, it started on the elite college campuses, not unlike what's happening right now. First we would write, this is a Jewish business. Now we make you wear these armbands of the Star of David. Now we're gonna put you in this little ghetto. And now we're gonna just send you to a concentration camp and kill you.

It just was a series of events. So I think it's vitally important that as Christians we speak up for our Jewish friends and tell them we're standing with you and we're praying for you. Thank you. So I'll climb off my soapbox now.

But I feel very passionate, very passionately about that. So let's wrap this up, the story of David. During this time he wrote in Psalm 27 as well as Psalm 31, wait on the Lord, be of good courage and he will strengthen your heart.

Wait I say on the Lord. See David didn't know the rest of his story. And you don't know the rest of your story either, do you?

So don't worry about it. Because someone is writing your story and it's not you, it's God. And you know what, it's a good story. And when you get to the end of it you're gonna look back and say Lord thank you that you were in control of my life. Let me close with this. What or who is your hope in today? And my question is will that hope sustain you in your last hour? Only God can do that for you.

Here's the good news. As a Christian I am indestructible until God is done with me. But when God's done with me that's it. I don't decide the length of my life through all of my little health regimens and vitamins, supplements and all that.

Maybe I'll live a healthier life but ultimately that's in the hands of God, you see. So but until the Lord is done I don't have to worry about any threat against my life. Jesus said you'll drink of any deadly poison and will not harm you.

Venomous snakes will bite you and you will not die. There Mark 16, now some people have misinterpreted this and they think it's a good idea to hand rattlesnakes around in a church service. Clearly this is not what Jesus was advocating. That's not trusting the Lord. That's testing the Lord and that's playing loco, okay. But what he is saying is that if you were bitten by a venomous snake and it wasn't your time to go you would survive it and in fact this did happen to Paul the apostle when he was shipwrecked on an island and he was warming himself by the fire and a venomous snake bit him and he just shook it off under the fire because it wasn't his time.

But yes his time did come and Paul was martyred for the faith ultimately but God had a plan until that time for his life and then we go into his presence in heaven. So stop worrying about these things and focus on living your life to the fullest for the glory of God. See every day for what it is, it's a gift, it's a treasure, don't waste it. I love what Moses wrote, Lord help me to number my days that I may apply my heart to wisdom.

Here's the thing we should be more focused on. Not how long will I live in this life but rather where will I spend the afterlife? See we talk a lot about this life, we could call it the before life. It's not really all that long compared to eternity but eternity has no end whatsoever and I ask you where will you spend the afterlife? Listen you decide in this life where you will spend the afterlife and if you put your faith in Jesus Christ you have nothing to be afraid of but I ask you in closing, have you done that yet? Maybe some of you are here at church because mom asked you to come to church and mom thanks for doing that and here you are saying okay mom here I am. Is it ending soon? Just wait a little bit longer.

The bald man is almost done. But maybe God brought you here to church today for a reason. Let me restate that. God brought you here to church for a reason. No maybe.

Right? The greatest Mother's Day gift you could give to your mom is to believe in Jesus Christ for sure if you don't yet. But here's the bottom line. We're sinners, we've broken God's commandments. God sent his son Jesus to die on that cross, rise again from the dead and now he stands at the door of our life and he knocks and he says if we'll hear his voice and open the door he will come in. Christ can come into your heart right now and give you hope in this hopeless world.

He can give you the purpose and meaning you've been searching for and you don't have to sit around and worry about the length of your life because you will know as a Christian that your times are in his hands, your future is in his hands and God is in control. If you've not asked Christ to come into your life you can do it right here right now as we close in prayer. Let's pray. Father, thank you for your love for us. Thank you for sending your son Jesus to die on the cross for us and to rise again from the dead and now I pray for anyone here, anyone watching wherever they are if they don't have a relationship with you yet, let it begin today. Now while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying together, if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life, if you wanna know that you will go to heaven when you die, if you want him to forgive you of your sin and remove your guilt or maybe you've fallen away from the Lord and you wanna come back to him again, I want you to just raise your hand and I'm gonna pray for you.

Raise your hand saying I need Jesus today and I'll pray for you wherever you are. God bless you and God bless you and you and you. God bless each one of you.

Anybody else? Just raise your hand up saying I need Christ today. God bless you as well. God bless you.

All over I see hands going up. God bless all of you. You guys watching on the screens, you can raise your hand as well saying I need Jesus today. All right, all of you that have raised your hand, I want you to pray this prayer out loud after me. Again, pray this prayer out loud after me right now. Just pray these words. Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward.

In Jesus' name I pray, amen. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org. And to find out how to know God personally, go to harvest.org and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-19 04:15:36 / 2024-05-19 04:25:36 / 10

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