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Stay Positive! Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
August 6, 2021 8:00 am

Stay Positive! Part 1

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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August 6, 2021 8:00 am

How Paul maintained a positive attitude despite the opposition and abuse he experienced in Corinth; the importance of responding to God’s promises with positivity and faith; based on Acts 18:1-11. (Included in the 6-part series Making Your Vision a Reality.)

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If God be for you, who can be against you?

You don't worry about giants and walled cities when God has promised it to you. And so the point here is that you have to stay positive about what God has put in your heart to do. Today's message may be just what you need to give you strength to make it through, and to place your focus not on the obstacles in the way of the promise, but on the one who made the promise. Stay with us now or visit to listen on demand. You can also subscribe to the Destined for Victory Podcast at Spotify, or at Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get yours. Here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, Stay Positive.

Look at your neighbor and tell them stay positive. I need you to understand that if you're going to bring your vision to pass in the midst of dealing with what's going to come up between now and the fulfillment of what's in your heart, you're going to have to learn why it is important that you stay positive. Now, throughout this series I've been using Paul's experience of establishing the church in Corinth as our case study in Acts 18, and I will go back to that passage in a moment. But I thought I would start this part of the series by looking at 2 Corinthians 1-20 for this reason. It is there to help us understand that there's a role we play in bringing God's promises to fulfillment in our lives. Now, the reason I read it from the English Standard Version is because many of us first heard 2 Corinthians 1-20 from King James, and here's what it says in King James. It says, For all the promises of God in him are ye, and in him amen, unto the glory of God by us. Nothing wrong with that translation except that it's the King James Version, which means it is an English version from a century long ago. We don't speak quite like that, and so you can easily miss what Paul was saying if you read it in the King James.

So I read it in another version to let you know that all the promises of God find their yes in him. When God makes you a promise, Paul said it is always yes. God never makes maybe promises.

God never makes, well, you know, I'm working on something, and if everything works out and it all lines up, we might have something. That's not God. That's your uncle.

Your relatives might talk like that. God never says he's working on something and he's really trying to pull it off. I can't say for sure now. No, no, that's your uncle. That's not God. Your God says if I make you a promise, it is always yes. If I promised it, it is yes, not maybe, not hope so. When God makes a promise, it is always yes. But Paul went on to say, but the amen has to be spoken by us.

That's what that means. See, a lot of times you see King James, I've heard people say all my life, I've heard them say, the promises of God are yea and amen, as if God says them both. But when you look at what Paul said, he said God says yes, you have to say amen.

Get it? When God makes a promise and says yes, he's looking for somebody to grab that promise and say amen, which means so let it be. I synchronize myself with your promise, God. I say yes, and I cooperate with what you promised. So in that sense, what you have to learn is that the promises of God are somewhat conditional in this sense only.

Many of the promises of God, he's already said yes, but it takes our faith and obedience to bring it to reality. Now, let me prove that to you. Pastor, I never heard that before. I don't know if that's truly biblical. All right, fine.

Let me prove it to you. You remember Israel in the Old Testament when God had given them the promise to inherit Canaan. Remember that? So Moses was supposed to get them out of Egypt and into Canaan. He got them out of Egypt, but they got stuck somewhere between Egypt and Canaan.

We call it the wilderness or the desert. And the only reason they got stuck there is not because God had them promise them Canaan. It's because they didn't have the faith and the obedience to claim their promise.

And you know the story. They got stuck there. They started complaining about everything under the sun.

They got over there. They said, where's the water over here? This water is bitter. They complained about the water. Then after they had enough water, God cleaned up the water for them. They said, where's the food over here?

There's nothing to eat over here. And God gave them manna. And while they got sick of the manna, they said, we want some meat tied to this manna.

You see what I'm saying? Time after time, the fact is God didn't really want to feed them in the wilderness because he hadn't promised them the wilderness. He had promised them Canaan, which was a land flowing with milk and honey. And if they had kept going and stopped worrying about where the food was, they were headed to where the food was. But they got stuck. And what should have been a journey of less than a month, inside of a month, they could have been in the promised land eating all the fruit of that wonderful land.

And instead, what could have been just a matter of weeks turned into 40 years going nowhere. Not because God hadn't promised it to them, but because they didn't say amen. Numbers chapter 13, beginning about verse 26, you will see that what happened was Moses sent some spies from the wilderness over to spy out the land. Moses was hoping this would catch fire.

The people would have faith and say, whoa, after hearing about that, let's go. Well, read Numbers 13 when you get a chance, beginning around verse 26, and you'll find that the 12 spies Moses sent over came back with two different reports. Ten of them came back with one, and two, Joshua and Caleb, came back with another, which means it doesn't really matter what God has promised you, if you don't have the wherewithal to say amen, you'll never receive it, even though it was a promise. So here's what happened.

They came back, and the first part of the report, all of them agreed to. They came back, and they said, boy, we went over there, and that land is flowing with milk and honey. It's just like God said it was. Oh, it is nice. The fruit over there is wonderful. In fact, they brought back some samples of the fruit, and they said, here is the fruit. Show the people. They passed it around. Here is what's over there.

It is really good. And then they said one word. This is where it breaks off, and the ten bring their report. And here's the first word that the ten said after the part they could all agree on.

The ten said, but. I came to tell you that if you want to experience everything God has for you, you've got to get your butt out of the way. Now, let me hasten before you all run out and say, I don't believe he said that in the pulpit. Let me hasten to say I'm not talking about the B-U-T-T.

They said B-U-T. It was a conjunction of unbelief. It was a statement that proved amen wasn't in their heart but was in their heart. If you want to insult God and if you want to keep yourself from ever fulfilling what God has for you, receive his promise and respond to it with but. That insults God.

How dare you hear me promise you something and then you come up with a reason why it can't happen. That's what they did. They said, but that place is full of giants and walled cities. They said compared to the giants and walled cities, we look like a bunch of grasshoppers.

They said we look like a bunch of grasshoppers to them. How do they know what they look like to the giant? See, what happens is when you're walking in unbelief, you begin to magnify all the wrong things. When you're walking in faith, you don't magnify wrong things. You magnify God. You say my God is bigger than mountains, walled cities, giants. He created the giants.

He can knock them off if he wants to. That's what faith says. But they had so much unbelief in what they said until that unbelief caught like a cold and ran among the people. So that when you get down to Numbers 14, you find that the people caught their unbelief.

The people began to weep and murmur and complain and say they're trying to take us over there to kill us. Up next, the second half of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We want to take a moment to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support helped Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world. And right now, during the busy summer months when donations often decline, your support is especially needed. So as God leads, prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Destined for Victory today. Give securely online at or call 855-339-5500.

That's 855-339-5500. Are you waiting on God to make good in one of his promises? It might be that he's waiting on you. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message.

Stay positive. Now Joshua and Caleb tried to quiet them. In fact, at one point at the end of chapter 13, Caleb spoke up for Joshua and himself.

And he said, no, no, we should go over at once. We can certainly possess that land. But their faith language was drowned out by the language of doubt and unbelief. So God had promised the land, but that whole generation, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, died in the wilderness. I'm speaking to you so that when God makes you a promise, and he's made you a number of promises in his word and by his spirit, and some of you know good and well by what's in your heart, God has promised to do something through your life. And you can either be like Joshua and Caleb and get it done, or you can be like the ten and die in unfulfillment.

It's up to you. And I'm preaching with the hope that this message will finally convince some of you all to get up off of your blessed assurance and to do what God has put in your heart to do and stop making excuses. If God be for you, who can be against you?

You don't worry about giants and walled cities when God has promised it to you. And so the point here is that you have to stay positive. You have to stay positive about what God has put in your heart to do. And the other thing you learn from Numbers 13 is to make sure you don't let negative people influence you. See, some of you all want to go somewhere, but the folk in your life, the folk who have your ear are people who speak like the ten.

Let me tell you something. I'm in a season in my life where I don't let any tens hang out in my inner circle. I promise you, that's where I am. And this season in my life, I got a lot more in my heart to do, and I don't know how many more years I have to do it. So I'm going to get the rest of what's in my heart done, and the only way I can do that is get my crowd divided. All the twos, y'all hang out in my inner circle. Those are the people who I hear from the most, the people who speak to me the most. But the tens, I can't kick them all out of my life.

I can make sure they're not in my inner circle. At this season in my life, if you attend, you ain't getting my cell phone, my personal email address. I've had people say, I noticed you hadn't given me your cell number. I noticed that too. Don't you think I am crazy?

I noticed that. There's a reason why you don't have my cell. I don't need a ten ringing my number, calling me talking about butt. In the words of that great theologian, Sweet Brown, ain't nobody got time for that. Bunch of tens speaking into your life.

That's why you haven't gotten farther along, because you got the wrong folk talking to you. You believe in God for healing, and you got people telling you they got an uncle who died with what you have. I don't need that. If I'm believing for healing, I need some folk around me who say God is able. I was praying for you last night. I'm believing God with you. I'm standing in faith with you. I turned my plate down the other day and declared your healing. That's what I need.

You fool with these ten people if you want to, you will go nowhere fast. You got to stay positive. In the time that remains, let me just give you two points, and I'll pick it up in the next service. Here's the first of the two points I want to make to you about staying positive. Stay positive despite haters. Jot that down.

Stay positive despite haters. Now, this brings me back to my main text for the series, Acts chapter 18, where Paul is in Corinth. He's just being a missionary, just being an apostle, digging out of work for God. He's in a hostile environment, and look at what is said in verse 6 of Acts 18. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, Your blood be on your own heads.

I am clear of my responsibility. From now on, I will go to the Gentiles. Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of tidiest justice, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord, and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. Do you see what happened? He's there being an apostle, digging out of work for God, and it becomes increasingly hostile, and people began to oppose him very openly and vocally, and they even became abusive. And what did Paul do?

He shook out his clothes. He refused to let their negativity get on him. He stayed positive despite those haters that were around him. Some of you all have haters. They hate what God is doing in you. They hate that you want to rise above your circumstances. They hate that you want to see God get a lot of glory out of your life. They hate you trying to aspire to something to be the first in your family to do something significant or whatever it is. They hate that they're going nowhere and you are going somewhere. Or they hate the message.

They hate the gospel itself. Whatever it is, we all have to deal with haters. You will not get your vision fulfilled without dealing with haters.

Not going to happen. There is no such thing as a hater-free life in the kingdom of God. If you're in the kingdom, you're going to have haters. Now, see, the problem is some of you all are in denial. Some of you all are in denial because you're so busy focused on, but I'm such a wonderful person. Who would bother hating me? What have I done to anybody? And you're all in denial. Bless your heart, I came to set you free from denial. I know you are wonderful.

I know you can't imagine why somebody would be opposed to you. But get over it. It is real. It is happening. When they frown, when they roll in their eyes all up in the back of their head, that's because they actually do hate you.

Trying to help, trying to help now. Get over it. Yes, you are wonderful, but yes, they hate you. And I found out about haters, they don't even have to have a good reason. Look, I've hung around here long enough to know haters don't even have to have a rationale for hating you. Some folks just looked at you one day and they said, I don't know, just something about it.

I don't know. And don't mess around and give them a reason to hate you. Don't show up looking sharp when they want you to be broke down.

Now you're really in trouble. I think she all that. No, you think she all that.

That's why your face all tore up trying to describe it. You don't bother wasting that energy on somebody you don't think much of. But you ever see these folks tear up their face and say, I don't think she's somebody. No, baby, you think she's somebody. That's why you're hating.

And you're not as cute as her, so you can't tear your face up like that. Some of you are in denial. Others of you, you realize it, but you're still in shock. You realize you got haters, but you're still in shock.

And I need you to get over the shock. As a pastor, I always know when somebody's in shock. And it really dawns on them that they have haters because they just, oh, man, it blows them away. As a pastor, I've had folk come in my office over the decades and just come in just crying, telling me about they found out that some folk were talking about them. And they just crying and snotting and carrying on. And I just learned as a pastor, just hand them the tissue. And when they get through and blow their nose real good and dry it up a little bit, I said, now, I need to tell you something.

They hated you before. You just now found out about it. I got to help some of them understand. I just tell them, oh, they were, you heard, what'd you hear them say? They said, I heard this just last Friday. And you describe what you heard.

I said, oh, baby, two months ago, I heard way worse. They've been talking about you worse than that. If I didn't love you like I do, I'd tell you exactly what they think of you.

Get over it. Jesus had haters. The apostles had haters. The patriarchs of the Old Testament had haters. Everybody who's ever done anything for God had haters. If you plan to be a kingdom person, you got to accept the fact that you got haters. But here's the point I'm making.

You've got to stay positive despite your haters. Paul shook out his clothes. He didn't get old man depressed and crying on the shoulder of his ministry companion.

I don't believe they treated me like that. Paul didn't do that. He shook off.

Do you know shake it off started way before Taylor Swift? Some of y'all too holy. You don't even know what I just said. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

I realize some of y'all only listen to Jesus keep me near the cross. That's fine. That's fine. Do you boo.

Do you. It's good. I'm not going to judge you at all. You know, I know some Christians only they can only listen to Christian music.

They said the other stuff takes them back somewhere, takes them to an unhealthy place. Then you do what you need to do. I'm strong enough where I can listen to my gospel and I got plenty of gospel in my iPod and all of that. I got all the great songs of not only this decade, but all the previous decades. I go way back.

Andre Krauss when he was first out touring. I got all that in my iPod. Edwin Hawkins in them. I got all that in my iPod and bring it all the way up through the 70s through the 80s through the 90s 2000. I got them all.

Got them. But I got some other stuff in there too. Let me just go ahead on and be honest. I got some other stuff in there. You know, it helps me at certain times.

Again, if that don't work for you, then that's not a word for you. I'm just saying don't judge me. I listen to some other stuff. I make sure it's not, you know, the crazy buck wild stuff. But I listen to it sometimes.

That's what I feel like and tell you the truth. When you walk with God, God can use anything to encourage you. And one day, one day it's I tell you, I am almost sure one day God used Taylor Swift in my life a day where they were just talking about me and messing with me. And I heard Taylor Swift say haters going to hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. She says, shake it off. Shake it off. Doo doo doo.

I said, I believe I hear God speaking to me through this job. Let them do a hater hates. That's their job. Let them do their job. That's their job description.

What do I do? I hate. So go on, do your job. But I'm going to shake it off. If you are in a season of waiting today, Pastor Paul wants to encourage you to wait the right way. As we read in Isaiah 40, 31, they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary.

They shall walk and not faint. Well, before he ascended to heaven, the last thing Jesus told his disciples was to go into all the world and make more disciples. And that's our mission at Destined for Victory. We depend on friends like you to partner with us so that together we can reach the world for Christ.

As his way of saying thanks for your generous gift to Destined for Victory today. Pastor Paul would like to send you his booklet, You're in God's Army Now. It's a great companion guide to the messages you heard earlier this week on Destined for Victory. One that explains how to be an effective soldier in the army of God. That's You're in God's Army Now, a booklet from Pastor Paul. Our gift to you by request for your gift to Destined for Victory. Just call 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to Destined for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538.

Again, the address is Destined for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. I came to tell somebody, stay positive. You may have humiliated yourself.

You may have messed yourself up. Stay positive because God doesn't think like we think. His ways are not our ways. Even when He rebukes you, it is redemptive. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Stay Positive. Until then, enjoy your weekend and remember, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-17 11:42:03 / 2023-09-17 11:51:28 / 9

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