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The Flip Side of Futility, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
May 11, 2021 8:00 am

The Flip Side of Futility, Part 2 (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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May 11, 2021 8:00 am

How Christ uses our times of frustration for His purposes; learning to trust Christ rather than our own abilities.

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And we know that God shall supply all our needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus. In just a few minutes, Pastor Paul Shepherd encourages us to put our complete faith in God, not people, as he shares his Destined for Victory message, the flip side of futility.

But first, he and I have something else to tell you about. You know, every day here on Destined for Victory we ask people to stand with us financially. That's because we are a listener-supported ministry.

Let me underscore that for just a moment. This means the only way we exist is through the prayers and financial support of people just like you. And in 2021, our prayers that you might consider, if you haven't done so already, becoming a Destined for Victory partner. Partners are a special group of people that give a monthly gift of at least $20.

If you can make that commitment today, we have some special gifts I'll tell you about in just a moment. But Pastor Paul Shepherd joins me right now. Pastor, take a moment and tell us why partners are so important to this ministry.

Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up, Wayne. Partners are really the lifeline of this ministry. Without those people committed to giving regularly, we literally could not continue doing what we're doing.

I guess people hear that a lot, but it is really true. Without partners, we simply can't get the gospel out to the world. The gospel is free, but the plumbing costs an awful lot of money, and we want to continue preaching. As I've said in times past, we've got generations to reach that have never heard the gospel, and they misunderstand when they hear people talk about things like serving the Lord.

And we need to make it plain to them. The only way I can do it is with my partners helping us reach them through their generous gifts. I'm so grateful for every single partner, and I'm praying in 2021 that God will give us thousands more. There are many more outlets and many more opportunities we could take advantage of in our ministry, but the only thing that holds us back is lack of income. I'm praying that God's going to touch the heart of many more people to realize that with just your gift of $20 or more, you can help us remain strong on the stations and outlets we're on and reach many more with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks, Pastor. That's what it's all about, reaching more people with the gospel. And if you make that commitment by pledging $20 or more per month to help us do that, we'll send you with our thanks a couple of great gifts, including one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, The Best of Let My People Smile. It's a compilation of some of Pastor's most humorous illustrations and stories, something that will be sure to make you laugh and learn at the same time. Call 855-339-5500 or mail your gift letting us know you wish to become a partner.

The address is Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. You can also sign up by clicking Become a Partner right at the top of our home page at And if you're already a partner, we want to say a heartfelt thank you and challenge you to consider becoming a legacy partner. These, our special ministry friends, are able to support us with gifts of $2,500 or more each year. The details are available at the website or by calling 855-339-5500. If you can't become a partner today but would like to make a generous donation to Destined for Victory, we'll be glad to send you by request Pastor Paul's booklet, Traits of a Virtuous Woman.

That's Traits of a Virtuous Woman, a booklet from Pastor Paul and our gift to you by request for your gift to Destined for Victory. Do you know you can get to a place in God where it doesn't matter who's not cooperating, who's not acting right, who's not helping you, who's not standing with you, but it's not causing your leaf to wither because you tapped into a root and God is steadily supplying you with everything you need. Sometimes we put our faith in people. We expect them, maybe even demand them to meet our needs. And because they're human, even the most well-meaning people will sometimes let us down.

And when they do, we're left with hurt feelings that can lead to bitterness and disillusionment. Today on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul Shepherd takes us back to a familiar Old Testament story, one that shows us what it looks like to put our complete trust in God. Here's Pastor Paul and his message, The Flipside of Futility. The Bible says if you have your focus on people and trying to get them to be your solution and trying to make them conform to what you want, you are like a bush in the wasteland, just a little pitiful bush sitting out in the desert. And it says if prosperity showed up, you wouldn't know it because you're focused in the wrong place.

I used to have a plaque years ago that said my ship came in, but I was at the airport at the time. And I'm here to tell you that you will know when your ship comes in because you're at the airport of trying to make people do what you want them to do. And the Bible says it will never work. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert. This is what you're going to get if you keep bumping up against the same wall.

In a salt land where no one lives. And before I read verse 7, you've got to understand that you can have the best of intentions. You say, but yeah, but these are people who love me. And all I'm trying to do is teach them how to do what I need them to do. Some folk love you and still can't help you. Love you and still can't meet your needs, still can't scratch your itch. They love you. So you have two kinds of people in your life. You have your detractors and then you have your disappointers. I preached about it for years.

You got to get it. Now your detractors are the people who hate you. They are your enemies. They don't like you. They don't want to see anything good happen in your life. They're not out for your best interest and the Bible teaches us to be watchful and careful of those kind of people.

They are the Sambalots and the Tobias who came by to get Nehemiah off the wall. And whenever you're doing a good work, Sambalots and Tobias are going to show up. Quit crying and snotting because you got enemies. That means you're doing something worth having enemies over. If you're about a good work, you're going to have enemies. They're built in to any good thing in your life.

It can be a sign you're headed in the right direction that somebody's trying to stop you. And so you got detractors. Always tickles me when people find out for the first time somebody's been undermining them, somebody's been stabbing them in the back, somebody doesn't like them and they come in the office crying.

And the pastors learn to just hand them tissues. And when they get to dry up, we tell them, listen, I got something else to tell you. You had enemies before you knew it. You're just now finding out about it, but they've been hating you a long time. Detractors, that's part of the course. You know, but what really messes us up is our disappointers.

Now disappointers are the people who love you. They're the people who generally have your best interest at heart. They're the people who want to see God's best in your life. They're the people who, in the words of one of my favorite songs from the 70s, 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. Then the sopranos come in, no wind. No wind, no rain or winter storm can stop me, baby, if you're my goal. Then they all come in, 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. See, we love that.

We love knowing somebody feels that way about us. They said they swim the river to get to me. And you're set up now to be disappointed because they meant that when they sang that to you. Diana meant that when she was singing that.

But ask Diana's friends and family. There's a whole lot of folk that when they needed Diana, she was on the other side of that river, and she said, I can't make it. Diana Ross, for all you holy people who don't know what in the world I'm talking about. You were saved all through the 70s. You were listening to James Cleveland.

You had no time for Diana Ross. God bless your heart. I love you. I'm here to tell you, I was saved in the 70s too, but I listen to some stuff besides gospel every now and then. Don't worry about it. We're all going to heaven. It's all good.

You know Jesus walking in his will. See, that's a disappointment. It's an anthem. Ain't no mountain high enough because that sets you up. That raises your level of expectation when people love you like that and say, I'll do whatever it takes. Because sometimes we sing and we promise above where we can live.

How many know there are times when there's a mountain separating you from the person who wants to be with you and they can't figure out how to get over it? That's a disappointment's anthem in the 70s. Then in the 80s they wrote a new disappointment's anthem. I think it came out about 85 or so.

And it was four of them standing up there. Dionne Warwick. Come on, you all know where I'm going. That's what friends are for. Keep smiling. Keep shining. Knowing you can always count on me for sure. That's what friends are for.

In good times and bad times, I'll be on your side forevermore. That's a disappointment's anthem. They mean well, Stevie standing up there singing. He meant well.

Singing and doing that Stevie rock. You know how he does. You are set up because it raises your level of expectation. And let me tell you something. People can love you ever so much, but that doesn't guarantee that they're going to come through. In fact, sometimes God makes sure that your answer is not in any individual because he is jealous for our hearts. He wants us to seek him with our whole hearts. He wants us to say, Lord, my life is about you and your will. It's not about me and my agenda.

And if I can't get the folks to help me, to cooperate with me, to change for me, maybe I need to listen to you while I'm washing my nets. Jeremiah goes on to say in chapter 17 verse 7, but blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. Now look at the contrast. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes. Its leaves are always green. Do you know you can get to a place in God where it doesn't matter who's not cooperating, who's not acting right, who's not helping you, who's not standing with you, who is not having your back? Your leaves are always green. The heat of pressure, the heat of loneliness, the heat of persecution is coming, but it's not causing your leaf to wither because you've tapped into a root. And God is steadily supplying you with everything you need.

God's keeping your attitude straight when if it weren't for his supply, you'd be copping a big attitude with everybody. You remember how that happened with Joseph? Joseph was in jail for no crime. He was in jail. He had been accused of attempted rape because Sister Potiphar wanted to have him and couldn't have him. And she said, if I can't seduce him, I'll destroy him. And she told a lie, told her husband that Joseph tried to rape her and he put him in jail.

Now, that was divine providence. Here's a society where Joseph is a slave. He's not considered a citizen.

Potiphar could have had him killed and there wouldn't have even been a trial because he wasn't a citizen. He's a slave. He's property.

What makes a husband put a man in jail that every instinct in him would cause him to kill? It's divine providence. See, when you walk in the way of God, God's got your back. And this woman tried to set him up for destruction, but what she didn't know is Joseph is not in your hands. Joseph is in the hands of his God.

You can lie on him and you can get him thrown in jail, but God will just take that and use that for his glory. Oh, I'm getting happy. Don't go away. We're only about halfway through today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, who is Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. If you enjoy what you hear every day here on Destined for Victory, we know that you'll love seeing some of Pastor Paul's best video clips.

Subscribe at YouTube. For more details on all of his social media, be sure to visit Now, here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, The Flipside of Futility.

Let me tell you something. If you are sitting in jail, you haven't done anything wrong, but I want to let you know God's got you positioned right where he wants you. And Joseph was there for years. All he did was allow his leaf not to wither, kept tapped into the source. He was so tapped into the source, he's down there in jail ministering the folk. The warden put him in charge of a section of prisoners because the Lord was with him. And he's down there ministering the people and giving them words.

And one of the people who he gave a word to was the butler of Pharaoh. And the word was, in three days you're going to be released and you're going to get your job back. Now, he made a simple request. He said, when you get back into the presence of the king, would you remember me to him? Would you tell him that I'm here, that I'm a man of God, that I've done nothing wrong? Would you do what you can to get me released?

That's a reasonable request. God blessed you, helped you, gave you a word. All you got to do is remember me to the king.

And the butler did just like people in your life, all right, yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll do that, yeah, no problem. Three days later, my man gets out of jail, gets back to his job, and just like some of the folk in your life, the verse says he forgot all about Joseph. Two years later, when the king has a dream and none of the spooky folk in his kingdom can interpret the dream, the cupbearer is standing there by his side. Two years after he promised he'd remember Joseph to the pharaoh. Two years later, he's standing there and he sees the pharaoh frustrated.

Can no one interpret my dream? Butler says, oh! Isn't that like some of the folk in your life? Two years later, oh! Pharaoh, I was supposed to tell you two years ago, about a man that's in jail, I hope he's still alive, told him about Joseph's integrity and his ability to interpret dreams. Pharaoh sent for him instantly. But Joseph has been tapped into the water root, the source. He stayed focused on God. See, if you don't stay focused on God, you get bitter with people. And you can tell you're losing your focus by how bitter you're getting.

You're heading into wasteland territory instead of having your roots go out by the stream territory. You can tell because your bitterness quotient is rising. Now, you know if Joseph was just down there getting mad and he had two full years to get good and mad? No, he didn't. Get up there, I'm the one who gave him the word. Got up there and forgot about me.

No, he did not. You wait till I get out of here. God can't bless you when you're in that state. But the man is focused on the will of God. And two years later, he still clears a bell, still hearing from God, still ready to go.

You know why? Because your destiny is not in people's hands. And what you see as a delay, God permitted it for his own purpose. The fact of the matter is, just to give you a little further insight into that particular context, it wouldn't have mattered two years earlier had he remembered Joseph the Pharaoh.

It wouldn't have mattered because Pharaoh would have had no incentive to release the prisoner. It had to be two years later because by that time, he has the dream. God is setting things up.

It's only the dream that forces the demand to get Joseph out of jail. So you got to stay focused on God until God is ready for you. And quit trying to come up with your own timeline and figure out, this is late. This ain't happening at the right time.

Who told you? When did you get God's calendar? God moves when he wants to move. Joseph comes up, he clears a bell. He said, not only can I interpret the dream, but I can give you a strategy. Dream is that you're going to have seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. And what you need to do, king, is store up in the years of abundance so that you and your people can survive and thrive in the years of famine.

And the king said, this boy's got something. And look at God. Look at what can happen if you turn it over to God. Quit washing your nets and listen to what God is saying. In Joseph's case, Pharaoh says, that sounds like a great plan.

Now I need someone who will oversee this entire project. And he looked at Joseph and said, there's no one in my kingdom as wise as you. Now the miracle of that is that Joseph is not even an Egyptian. And yet in that moment he is given the second greatest position in the land, second only to Pharaoh. Joseph is now Potiphar's boss. God can promote you in a way that doesn't even make sense.

But you've got to keep your heart right. Back to Luke 5. Jesus says, launch out into the deep because you're going to catch an abundance of fish. And thank God Peter didn't stop with the, we've toiled all night and caught nothing. So don't try to tell me how to fish.

I'll go back out when I'm ready to go back out. How many know if he had taken that attitude, he'd have caught nothing the next time and the next time? Because when God is ready to speak to you, he will not change the subject. How many have tried to wait God out?

Well sooner or later he'll move on to something else. No, no, you keep flipping the channels and God is saying the same thing. And so thank God for the next sentence.

Nevertheless, because you say so, I will do it. And the Bible says when he went out and did exactly what he was told, went out into the deep, let down the nets, what did God do? God gave him a net breaking miracle. I want to wrap this up by telling somebody, get ready for God to break your nets.

Get ready for God to do something in your life as a result of you being obedient and humbling yourself before him. God can make happen for you what you can never make happen for yourself. I mean look at it, the man's nets were breaking. The Bible says, look at this, it says they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break so they had to signal their partners.

And they came and filled both boats so full that the boats began to sink under the weight of the miracle. See, God makes you go through changes because he wants to show you his power. He wants to show you how magnificent he is. It's all about him.

It really isn't about us. And when we get it clear, Proverbs 19, 21, many are the plans in a man's heart, but it's the Lord's purpose that prevails. God has a vested interest in doing his will, not yours.

And so you've got to surrender to his plan. And when he did it, both boats began to sink under the weight of the miracle. And when Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees. That's where God wants us. He said, go away from me, I'm a sinful man.

He and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken. This was the beginning of them forsaking everything and following Christ. Brothers and sisters, let me tell you something. God's got extraordinary plans for the various areas and his various purposes in your life. And you will experience them. Sometimes your frustration and your futility is the best possible setup for God's divine move in your life.

Because it is at that point that you empty yourself, that you realize your limitations and the limitations of others. And that you say, God, I can't do anything significant. Only you can do something miraculous through me. And so I surrender.

And I say yes to your will. Thanks so much for joining us for today's message, the flip side of futility. To find out more about the Destined for Victory ministry or to contact us for prayer, be sure to stop by our website, That's where you can also listen to recent messages and securely donate to support this ministry. These are days when perseverance doesn't come easily to a lot of people because we live in a get it done quick, get it done easy society.

And I love that feature of technology. But the problem is that the best things in life often require perseverance. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Rekindling Your Spiritual Flame. But 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 / 2023-11-19 15:33:28 / 2023-11-19 15:43:19 / 10

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