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Outlasting Your Challenges

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
October 29, 2020 8:00 am

Outlasting Your Challenges

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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October 29, 2020 8:00 am

The importance of confidence and perseverance as we contend with the various challenges we face as believers. (Presented at Heart Of The Bay Christian Center, Hayward, CA.)

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The law of the harvest is you sow and then you wait for the Lord of the harvest to give you the results of your sowing. And in the meantime, in that place between sowing and reaping, it requires that you press through challenges, that you press through the things you don't understand. As the saying goes, life is difficult. It's full of ups and downs, tragedy and triumph, hope and heartache. Welcome to Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. You know, the secret to a joyful life is not the absence of adversity, but rather, with God's help, the pleasure of overcoming it.

As King David wrote in Psalm 23, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for the Lord is with me. Today, Pastor Paul explains the keys to overcoming the challenges life brings your way. Stay right here or visit pastorpaul.net to hear any recent Destined for Victory message on demand. That's pastorpaul.net.

You can also subscribe to or download the podcast at Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Outlasting Your Challenges. Quit trying to figure out who's in the kingdom and who's not according to what they're going through. Because sometimes you have to go through hell before you can get to heaven. And the fact of the matter is we love sitting around talking about folk and did you see what Peter did three times?

I'm not talking about just once, three times. That's church folk for you. And the fact is God wasn't surprised, in fact, he predicted it. He said, but I already prayed for you, you're going to be converted. Your failure is going to be your altar call. And you are going to go down into deep repentance and when you come up, you'll be a new man. When you're converted, strengthen your brothers. Because there'll be some things you can tell them about not putting confidence in the flesh.

That you can't preach that message tonight. But in six weeks when you preach on Pentecost, you'll be able to tell them a whole lot of things. I want to let you know the confidence is not in you, the confidence is in the God who said, I have begun a good work in you and I will bring it to completion.

I just this morning, I just finished a seven part series from that very passage. God started what's going on in our lives and he is the one who promised to complete it. He did not give the construction project that is your spiritual life for you to oversee. He said, no, I am the builder on this project.

And I'm going to see to it that it results in full completion. No confidence in the flesh because that will fail every time. Notice when the Bible then talks to us as believers about being strong, it always clarifies, be strong, Paul said in Ephesians 6, in the Lord. Don't be strong in yourself because your strength will run out just when you need some strength. Be confident, be strong in the Lord and then the power of his might.

And that is how we defeat our enemies. Confidence in the Lord is what we must have. Don't throw away your confidence in the Lord and don't put it in yourself.

And here's another thing, don't put it in other folks. Some of us are, some of us have done pretty well learning the lesson of not trusting us, but some of us still have some lessons to learn about not trusting them. Because they, they can have great intentions, but they didn't promise to complete the work in your life. You can have loving brothers and sisters, you can have people who stand with you, people who walk with you, but just when you need somebody, people have a funny way of not being able to come through for each other.

And it doesn't, you don't have to vilify them. The fact is they weren't built to meet your every need. God refuses to let anybody be in your life who meets all of your needs because if they meet your need, then you wouldn't need the Lord.

And you wouldn't give him glory, you'd be bragging about your friend all the time. They always come through me, there's never been a time when they didn't come through for me. Keep on living, my grandmama said. Keep on living and there'll be a time when you need people. And they can love you, but they can't be there. See we get happy when we know people love us because under normal circumstances, they'll come through it for us. I love telling folks, it's just like that song back in the 70s, ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough, ain't no river wide enough to keep me from getting to you. We love that stuff, we love to know somebody feels that way about us. If you need me, call me no matter where you are, no matter how far.

Just call my name, I'll be there in a hurry. On that you can depend and never worry. No wind, no rain, no winter's cold can stop me baby if you're my goal.

See it's wonderful to know people feel that way about you. But life will set you up and have you in a place where after declaring that there's no mountain, no river, no valley that will keep them from you, life will see to it that there's a time you need them and they're on the other side of the mountain. And you can forget that song, they're not climbing that mountain to get to you. They'll text you from the other side of the mountain and say yo, I wish I could be there for you. You know I love you, you know you're my dog, right? But I can't be there, I'm a little tied up right now, but you be strong. Why?

Because they can't always come through for you. You can't have confidence in the flesh. And so we've got to learn that the confidence of which this writer speaks is a confidence that is firmly rooted in the God who began the good work in us.

Don't throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded. Then he gives us the second key to victorious living and to overcoming our challenges. First is confidence in Christ and the second is the word perseverance. Perseverance, now this is one our generation doesn't have a whole lot of context for. Because we live in a technological advanced society which blesses us in many ways. Technology is a blessing, but there are some ways in which it is a curse.

Here's why I say that. Because we are so accustomed now, technology's goal is to do things more efficiently. God's goal for your life is to make it more effective. Efficiency and effectiveness are two different concepts. Efficiency is getting it done quickly.

Effectiveness is getting it done right. And God knows what he's up to in your life so he's the only one who can define right. And technology blesses us, it's wonderful.

I love all the gadgets and what have you. It can make life very comfortable, but your God is not operating in your life according to the laws of technology. He's operating in your life according to the law of the harvest. The law of the harvest is you sow. And then you wait for the Lord of the harvest to give you the results of your sowing. And in the meantime, in that place between sowing and reaping, it requires perseverance. It requires that you press through challenges, that you press through delays, that you press through your questions, that you press through the things you don't understand, that you stay the course, that you stay focused. In fact, the Greek word that is translated here in Hebrews 10 as perseverance is the Greek word hupomone, and it means to cheerfully endure.

It means you not only endure, but you endure with cheer. Why? Because you know the harvest is coming. You're not worried about if it's going to happen.

It is going to happen. But in the meantime, yes, there is a period of time where I don't see manifestation. I don't see instant things like I'm used to in this world of technology. And you have to remind yourself, God didn't promise me instant blessing. He promised me real blessing. And so heirs can afford to wait. As an heir is growing up, he knows what he's got coming. He can afford to wait while he's growing up. You don't have to worry about an heir. Just by virtue of the last name, you know how hooked up that kid's going to be. But right now, their parent may very well have them working through college, even though the parent could pay for it.

Why? Because the parent wants them to learn the lessons that they can only learn through cheerful endurance so that when they get the windfall, they know how to handle it. You do know there are people who can't handle what God wants to do for them yet.

They're not mature enough. They're not settled enough. And so God lets there be a period where there is a difference between the sowing and the reaping because he's got a lot to teach you so that when he blesses you, you can handle the blessing.

I know some folk who the worst thing that happened to them is a blessing, a windfall that came into their lives. They were not situated. They were not able to handle what was going on for them.

And it took them off course. And so God says, no, I'm operating by the law of the harvest. And I let you go through periods where you don't get instant results so that I can perfect your faith and I can teach you not only to endure, but to endure cheerfully. That's what this word is, cheerful endurance, because you know there are some folk who endure, but their attitude stinks. You ever seen, not you, not you, but people on your row, somebody on your row is enduring, but they have an attitude that stinks.

Look down your row and find out who it is. And while you're looking at them, please note that they are looking right back at you. Cheerful endurance, cheerful endurance. And we've got to learn that God's trying to teach you. You can go through whatever he lets you go through while you're waiting on the promise to be fulfilled. And he wants you to do it cheerfully because he's not operating quickly. God's not out for quick results.

He has the timeline in his hand. Sometimes when we say the blessing is delayed, the devil is delaying my blessing. Well, you can't really call it a delay because you don't have God's schedule. You don't know when he ordained the blessing to come into your life.

Remember, the prophet Habakkuk said the vision is for an appointed time and you didn't set the appointment. We've got to understand that as people of faith. Stay with us. The second half of Pastor Paul Shepherd's message is coming right up. We want to thank those of you that support Destined for Victory with your prayers and financial support. Gifts that help Pastor Paul share the good news of salvation in Christ with a growing audience. Destined for Victory is a listener supported ministry. As we find ourselves still walking through this season of uncertainty, your support is even more critical today because in times of crisis, people are looking for a reason to have hope.

And Jesus is that hope. So please prayerfully consider making a gift to Destined for Victory today. Give online safely and securely from our website, pastorpaul.net, or give us a call at 855-339-5500.

Again, that number is 855-339-5500. You know, the further along you get on your journey with Christ, the more difficult your challenges become. But there is some good news and you'll hear it next in the rest of today's message, Outlasting Your Challenges. Once again, here's Pastor Paul Shepherd. Sometimes we go too far in our faith walk and we try to give God deadlines. You don't have his divine schedule.

You don't know what he's up to. Mary and Martha had enough faith to believe for Jesus to heal Lazarus because they were his best friend. So they said no problem.

When they saw their brother get sick, they said no problem. We'd call on Jesus. He'd be here. He's our best friend. Be right here.

Get you up. Lazarus, just hold on. Jesus will be here. They had plenty of faith for us. They didn't ever call Jesus. They didn't have a lack of faith.

They had a lack of a schedule. They didn't know God's timeline. They sent a servant to find Jesus who was a day's journey away. While the servant was traveling, Lazarus died. And later on, we find out when Jesus gets the word, he knows the father's schedule.

He knows that the vision is for an appointed time. And he says, this sickness isn't unto death. When he uttered the words, according to the timeline of John 11, when he uttered the words, Lazarus was dead. And Jesus said about it, it's not unto death. You've got to understand, circumstances mean nothing to God. They only mean something to us.

That's why you walk by faith and not by sight. So they had to go on and bury their brother. They went back to the house. If they were black, they ate chicken and potato salad. That's what we do after funerals. Look, I'm a pastor's kid.

I went to many a funeral all my life. When black folk died, the chickens got to go, too, because we're going to eat... Because we're going to eat chicken and potato salad. They'll put little green beans on your plate, little green beans. They'll give you a roll. And you go down the row, and they put the roll on your plate. And you are hooked up.

The old folk over in the corner, slicing pound cake and sweet potato pie. Let me tell you something. None of this made sense to them. And four days after Lazarus died, Jesus shows up. So we have to trust him even when we don't understand him. And we have to cheerfully endure.

That's the lesson. While you're waiting on the harvest, while you're waiting on the manifestation, while you're waiting on the breakthrough, while you're waiting on what God promised. He says you've got to learn to persevere, to press through, to cheerfully endure.

You have to recalibrate. Because on your journey, what happens is you reach new levels of challenge, just like a boxer. When you start boxing, they don't put you in front of somebody really good, because that wouldn't be a fight.

So they put you in with a person with a similar record of inexperience. But as you keep winning, eventually you move up the ranks. And sooner or later, you find yourself fighting people with an awesome reputation.

That's a compliment. That means you've been winning enough battles where you caught the attention of people who can put you in the ring with a big fight. I come to tell somebody you're standing against some big enemies, but that's a compliment.

That simply means that they've been watching your record enough. You've been winning enough battles enough where there's a new devil for this new level. And all you have to do is say, no problem, because the same God that brought me through these battles is going to help me get through this battle. And you recalibrate. You have a new normal. You can't fight rookies anymore.

You're out of the rookie business. All of your devils are big devils now. All of your enemies are breathing hatred and threatening your demise. That simply means you've been winning enough where you've attracted the attention of the enemy.

And you recalibrate. I was at dinner with Bishop Jakes and a few other pastors. And one of the pastors was just crying on Bishop's shoulder and talking about the fact that folk hated his ministry so.

And they were just blogging against him and just doing all of this stuff. And Bishop just sat there and he said, all that means is it's time for you to recalibrate. And the other pastor said, what in the world does that mean? He said, you just have to realize that at this level where you are, you have a new normal. And and you're going through new experiences, new challenges.

He said, it's a compliment. You got a new normal. You have to recalibrate. So what you have to learn to do is say, Lord, give us this day our daily bread. See, this day's bread is not like last year's bread.

Five year ago bread. Now you need something new to sustain you today. Lord, give me today what I need to fight the battle, to resist the enemy. Give me what I need to withstand what is coming against me.

Give me this day my daily bread. Some people don't understand that. That's why that's why marriages die, because you've got to realize you're not married today to the person you walk down the highway. They've been changing.

They've been developing for the better or the worse. You've got to learn who you're married to today. Give me this day. Help me to know who it is so that I stop trying to change somebody God hasn't called me to be the change agent for. Do you know that there are some Christians, not you, but there are some Christians who think it is their job to change their spouse? Not your job at all. You've got to know who you're married to today. You've got to know what your challenge is today.

You've got to learn how to win this battle today. Start trying to change your spouse. You're not the change agent in their life.

See, men marry thinking women won't change. Meaning that attention you got when y'all were dating and all, you don't know she was a sister on a mission. You got that attention because she planned for y'all to get married.

You didn't know it yet. She planned for y'all to get married so she knew your ego needed to be stroked. There were some things you needed some attention.

You need to know how good she was at making you feel great and wonderful and all that. And so you thought you were the man. And you hung up. She called you on your job. You hung up your boys.

It was all that my girl, man. She called me. She jockeying me all the time.

But later on, you're getting married. Kids start coming. She still loves you, hopefully. But now her attention has shifted to some other areas. She starts nesting.

Kids are coming. Now she's got to create the right environment. She's got to nurture this child. Next thing you know, you haven't heard all that little sweet googling that you used to get on the phone every day.

You haven't heard that in a couple of weeks. But there's a kid, you walk in from a hard day's work. And there's a kid in the house who's been getting that, and they don't even have a job. And you walk in and say, what up with this? You married thinking it was going to be idealistic all the time. Not so. Men often marry thinking women won't change. Women often marry thinking men will change.

They're in for a rude awakening. And so what happens is she thinks, OK, I married him as a project. I saw potential in him. He was a fixer upper. And she gets discouraged and disillusioned when she starts trying to fix him. And she realizes that wasn't an item for negotiation. And so very often you have to learn you can't change your spouse. Women have to learn you can't you can't nag him into real change. Oh, you can nag him into little changes.

He'll put the toilet paper on a different way or something like that. Nagging won't get you real change. In fact, there's a proverb that says a nagging wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day. That doesn't get you change. You've got to learn to take that man to God and say, give me, Lord, this day what it takes for me to cheerfully the door, putting up with the fact that 20 some years later, he still won't pick up those clothes. Men have to learn you can't intimidate your wife into change.

A lot of men think they can bark, drop their voice down in the bass range. Tired of this now. Want some change in this house. It's not going to get you change.

At least not change you want. Thanks so much for joining us for today's Destined for Victory message by Pastor Paul Shepherd. You know, God has a unique purpose for all who have put their faith in Christ, but he also has a plan for those who haven't. Consider 2 Peter 3, verse 9.

God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. This is our primary calling as Christians to go out into the world and share our faith with others. And there's no better time than now to help Pastor Paul do just that. As we continue to walk together through a challenging season in our history, now is a great time to offer Destined for Victory your prayers and financial support. And when you give, we're always glad to share a gift of our own. This month, that gift is a booklet from Pastor Paul called Little Is Much When God Is In It.

Ever felt like what you have, whether it's money or talent, is too insufficient of any real use? If so, Pastor Paul wrote this booklet with you in mind. As you follow along, you'll be reminded that God can take the limited into the legendary. That's Little Is Much When God Is In It, our gift to you by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. Call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or visit pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online.

You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. God is going to get you and me where He wants us to be no matter what it takes. And I'm here to tell you that you're going to have to develop a new attitude about your detractors, about your enemies. You're going to have to understand that they work for God because you are called according to His purpose. And they work for God. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul shares his message, purpose prevails. Until then remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-31 20:35:12 / 2024-01-31 20:44:42 / 10

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