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The Gift of Frustration (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
August 23, 2021 8:00 am

The Gift of Frustration (cont'd)

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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August 23, 2021 8:00 am

Three unusual agents God uses to help renew our minds - futility, failure, and frustrating people; based on Eph. 4:23 and other passages.

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God will use anything He can to conform you to the image of His Son, your futility, your failures, your frustration. Coming up next on Destined for Victory, Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, The Gift of Frustration.

But before he gets started, he joins me now to talk about a special gift we have for you this month. Pastor, there's a song, much older than me of course, you're in the army now. I don't know if anyone listening remembers that song, but we have a resource entitled, You're in God's Army Now. A special resource we'll send to our listeners for a generous gift.

Tell us about this book and what we can learn from it. Well, you know, as I was ministering the Word of God, I came across the fact that we are going to have to help people understand, talk about we-ness. We're not just a family, we're not just a flock, we're not just a group of people who happen to get together, but the Bible itself calls us an army. Paul said we're soldiers and that we've got to be strong in the army of the Lord. I am a guy who's never been in the armed forces. I just never was led in that direction and I wasn't born in wartime where I would have been drafted. So I've not been in the armed forces, but I've had the privilege of pastoring a lot of men and women over the years who are servicemen and women, either past or present service. And I've talked to them about their experience and not a one of them was grabbed from civilian quarters and thrust into the front line of some battle.

They all had to go through some form of what I heard them describe as boot camp. And so what I did was took some time and made sure that this little booklet just reminds people we're soldiers. We're going to go through some processes that God uses to help us get ready to deal with spiritual warfare. The Bible is real clear. We're not wrestling against flesh and blood. We are wrestling against principalities and powers, against rulers of darkness, against spiritual wickedness in high places. So since we're soldiers, we might as well learn how to battle well and enjoy the victory that we have in Christ. The resource is called You're in God's Army Now, and it's our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destin for Victory. Again, that's You're in God's Army Now, a booklet from Pastor Paul and our gift to you this month when you make a donation to the ministry. Call 855-339-5500 or visit to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to Destin for Victory, Post Office Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538.

Again, the address is Destin for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. The reality is all unrighteousness is sin. Every shortcoming, every mistake, every slip up, every misjudgment, whatever little nice term you want to put on it, it's keeping you out of the center of God's will. And so the Holy Spirit says, until you're ready to renew your mind, the newness that I want to bring into your life will never come.

Well, you can't change your clothes until you take off the old ones. Today, you'll be reminded that God will often have to expose you before he can change you. Stay right there or download the podcast on demand at, at Spotify, or wherever you enjoy your podcasts. Now, with this message, the gift of frustration, here's Pastor Paul. Jesus said to his disciples, all of you are going to fall away on account of me. He said, but after I am raised, I will appear to you again. Jesus told all of them, every one of you have been walking with me these years, you are about to fall away.

Guess who speaks up? Same guy, Simon Peter, and he said, I don't know about some of them, you're probably right about some of them. I'm sure Peter's attitude was, some of these people, I don't know why you picked them in the first place.

But I can tell you one thing, and he said it, it's recorded in Matthew's gospel chapter 26, right around verse 33. He said, all of them might fall away, yeah, they probably will. He said, but not me, I will never fall away.

Jesus, I know you're probably right about them, but if all of them go, you got one guy left. I'm going to be standing with you back to back, I'll fight off any enemy, I'll do whatever I have to do. And that was Peter's real belief about himself. That's what set him up for his failure.

You do know that you have set yourself up for failure when you are so full of yourself, so confident, so assured in your ability that the enemy knows this is the time to attack you because you're so confident. Shortly after that statement, I will never fall away, as they came to arrest Jesus, this same guy, Peter, grabs his sword and goes to swinging. And read it when you get a chance, he actually cut off the ear of a gentleman who came for Jesus. He cut off his ear.

Now let me tell you all something, when you are swinging a sword and you end up cutting off the ear, do you know what that tells me, you weren't going for an ear, you meant for a head to roll, you meant to split a head, you were serious. Peter was ready to kill somebody. But that self-confidence and that vigor and vitality was something that had to go before God could make him the apostle he was supposed to be.

So, although he thought I will never fall away, I'ma fight for you till the end. When you read Luke's account, he said in Luke 22, Jesus said to him in verse 31, Simon, Simon, indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. Verse 32, but I have prayed for you that your faith should not fail and when you have returned to me, there's the renewal, there's that mind change, when you've returned to me, strengthen your brethren.

What did he say? After he bragged to Jesus, I'm going to never leave you, Jesus said, what you don't know is, Satan has specifically asked for you. He's got you in his cross hairs, he knows you fully yourself, he knows you think you are all that, when you look up that in the dictionary, he knows you think that's you grinning, I'm all that. He says, but Satan have asked for you and he wants to shake you up, sift you as wheat. Jesus said, but here's the good news, I prayed for you. In fact, he used the plural, he says, so I prayed for all of y'all, even the others that are going to fall away. I prayed for you all and what did he pray? He said, I prayed that your faith won't fail.

Y'all are going to fall away, especially you, Peter, you're getting ready to deny me three times, publicly deny the savior three times and he said, but the reality is, I prayed for y'all and I prayed not that you wouldn't fail, but that your faith wouldn't fail. I need you to know sometimes when you fail, God says good, but your faith doesn't fail because he's got his hand on you, he started a good work in you and he's going to bring it to completion. Came to tell somebody who is fresh off of a failure in your own life, other people might not even know it. You still look the same, act the same, you still are yourself, your public self, but failure doesn't happen in your persona, failure happens in your personhood. You failed inner, you failed in an inner way, you failed, there might be some other people who are familiar with it, but generally speaking, you have a pretty good reputation.

Peter said I'm never going to leave you and by the end of that night, he had publicly denied Jesus three times because God can use failure as an agent to help you get to the place where your mind is ready to say, okay, I'm not going to put confidence in myself anymore because that hasn't gotten me anywhere. I came to talk to some of you who don't even like thinking you have failed. You're uncomfortable with the very fact that I'm using the term failure. Well, I've had a slip up. Well, you know, I have some, I don't know about failure, I've had some shortcomings. I mean, everybody has shortcomings. You know, everybody makes mistakes. Everybody can have a misjudgment here and there.

That's part of your problem. You try to minimize your stuff, you want your stuff to not really be that bad because you're comparing yourself to folk who have done stuff that you say is much worse. So you think your problem is you've only committed misdemeanors, other folk have felonies. The reality is all unrighteousness is sin, every shortcoming, every mistake, every slip up, every misjudgment, whatever little nice term you want to put on it, it's keeping you out of the center of God's will. And so the Holy Spirit says until you're ready to renew your mind, the newness that I want to bring into your life will never come because you're too full of yourself, you're minimizing the worst of you, and you need to have a renewed mind. So God is after somebody's failures. Your failures, your shortcomings, your mistakes, your misjudgments, your slip ups, whatever little term you want to use, God is saying, I'm using them to bring you to where I need you to be. Look throughout redemptive history, he's done it the whole way. And God is really good at exposing you sometimes in order to change you. See, if you think God wants to keep your reputation intact, you don't understand God. He's after you saying an unequivocal yes to him and he'll do whatever he has to do. And if that means embarrassing you, that's what he'll do because he loves you.

Don't believe me? Ask David. David's one of the greatest kings in Israel's history, we all know that. But when he gets to the point where he decides he wants Bathsheba for himself and sleeps with her and she gets pregnant and her husband is out fighting his war, the war that he wouldn't go to battle with them in, and he thinks, okay, I'm ingenious. So he gets word that she's pregnant. He says, oh, okay, all right, tell you what, let me send her husband home on much needed R&R and let him sleep with her. And then he go back to the war and later on when he come home, she's pregnant, he think that's his baby. That's how some of y'all are, just ingenious.

I got this fixed, all right, got it, no problem. But the soldier, Uriah comes home, and you know the story. He's so dedicated as a soldier, he won't sleep with his wife.

He said, this is just weekend R&R. I can't go in there and act like I'm a civilian. I'm a soldier.

My boys are out there laying down their lives. He won't sleep with her. And David gets word, he won't sleep with her. They say, all right, send some wine over there, send some wine over there. Send some wine to get his head buzzing. And she sips a little wine and all, but he stays focused on his mission as a soldier.

He will not sleep with his wife. In desperation, David says, all right, I'm going to send him back with orders, sealed orders. He's such a dedicated soldier, he won't open the orders because they're not for him. They're for his commander. And the commander opens them and says, set Uriah out in the front of a hot battle and then pull everybody back.

What kind of move is that? Something almost came, nope. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd. Listen to the broadcast on demand at That's, where you'll find a host of great resources at our online store, including books and audio and video messages from Pastor Paul.

Have you ever made a mistake and tried to cover it up? God has a way of bringing it out into the light. Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, The Gift of Frustration.

So the bottom line is he killed the man to protect himself. That's what God's after. You've got to love God more than you love you. You've got to love God more than you love your reputation. You've got to love God more than you love your image. And sometimes God has to bring you to the point of full embarrassment so that he can get you to where he wants you to be. You know that story. He can't walk you all the way through it.

He ended up bringing the child here. David thinks he's gotten away with it. Here comes a prophet named Nathan, and you know what happened. So the bottom line is some of you, failure is in your life now. Maybe other people don't know it. Maybe they all still think you're doing good, and you like that because you like your reputation. God says, I don't like your reputation. I'm making you stronger, wiser, better. And sometimes in order to get you there, I have to embarrass your behind.

Amen. So that's what he is doing in some of your lives. And you know the story. When David finally figured out that the story Nathan told was about him, his heart broke. That's why he's called both before and after his failure a man after God's own heart, because God looks on the heart. And although he failed miserably and his failure will never be minimized, it can be forgiven, and he can be restored by a God who knows that a heart that can be broken is a heart he can use for his glory.

And that's exactly what happened. Wait, I got one more thing, and then I'm done with this part of the series. Not only can God use futility, not only can God use failure, number three, God can and will use frustrating people. Who are the people on your nerves? Who are the people making you sick? Who are the people you can hardly handle right now?

God can use them. Who are the people who disappointed you just when you expected them to be better? Who are the people who let you down? Who are the people who didn't come through for you? Some of us are so hard on folk who fail to come through for us. But God says, actually, I can use their failing to come through for you.

The way they frustrate you, I can use that to get you to a place where you're ready to have your mind renewed. When I say this, I'm thinking of people like John Mark. John Mark was a young man who in the days of the early missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul, John Mark was just a youngster who was learning to walk with the Lord, and so he had relationship with those disciples and what have you, and as a young mentee, he went out on a missionary journey, the first missionary journey that is spoken of in Acts chapter 15, he went out on that missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas. When you get a chance, read Acts 15, beginning at verse 36. Then after some days, so the first journey was completed, after some days, Paul said to Barnabas, let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing. So they're going now to check on the fruit of their early ministry. Verse 37, now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. Look at the next verse, verse 38. But Paul insisted that they should not take him with them because he had departed from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.

He had forsook them in the middle of a missionary journey. He took off. It was getting a little hot out there.

It was getting a little, you know, a dangerous feeling. He's a mama's boy. He ready to go home with his mama. His mother hosted one of the churches in Jerusalem and so he like, look, I know where the saints are singing and shouting and eating.

That's where I'm going. My man took off. That young man took off, went back home. Paul is a guy who like, look, you can do that to me one time, you're not going to get a chance to do that to me again. Some of y'all are like that. I know you holy, got your big Bible, but you just like that. Paul said, he ain't going with me. He let me the first time.

I ain't giving him a chance to do that again. And look at the next verse. Verse 39 says the contention between Paul and Barnabas was so sharp that they departed from one another. Paul was thoroughly sick of John Mark. He was a frustrating person in his life. Some of you have frustrating people in your life. People who have disappointed you. People who have not met your expectations. But I came to tell you, as I wrap this part of the series up God is going to use even your frustrating people to teach you a couple of lessons to number one, keep your faith and your eyes firmly fixed on the Lord and he's going to also teach you as you renew your mind to not have too high an expectation on people he's going to teach you when people frustrate you if their hearts are open just like David, David's failure led him to greater effectiveness God will teach you the people who disappoint you, the people who frustrate you, sometimes that is what he can use to mold them and then you've got to be their mentor and they've got to see you willing to trust them again.

That's something only a renewed mind can do. So sometimes you've got to be open to not writing off your disappointers right away. Now, true, there are some disappointers who are never going to come around and soon as you see that they're not coming around and not planning to come around you are free to go on and dismiss them. God bless you, love you, but I'm rolling.

Absolutely, absolutely, that's true. Some of you had a disappointment you were married to. Pastor just going to shoot straight. You had a disappointment you were married to and you were saying, okay Lord, what's happening here? If you're going to change his heart, whatever, if you're going to do work then you have to do it so thoroughly and make it so clear to me and counselors and all that that we all see that you've done a transforming work then Lord I'm open to you and I'll follow you. That's right, but sometimes somebody has shown you who they are not trying to change and when people show you who they are and won't change and won't let God deal with them you got to learn when people show you who they are believe them and leave them to themselves. But there are other frustrating people their failure, their disappointing you was just setting them up. Now they'll learn from their disappointment, they'll learn to grow, they'll learn to trust, they'll learn to depend on you, they'll learn to follow. Some folk, nobody ever taught them how to follow but as soon as they just frustrate you if you walk away from them they won't have anybody new to follow.

Oh this is good, you don't like it and you're mad but you get over it. God is up to something and your mind has to be renewed so he can take you where you need to go so that he can bring stronger, wiser, better into your life. And I bring up John Mark because years later John Mark was a disappointment and he couldn't go with Paul on the second missionary journey instead he went with Barnabas and they did two different versions of the second missionary journey but Paul learned don't write off people that God is still working with. If God speaks that changes everything. Now you're okay writing off people that God hasn't said anything and you don't see any signs of growth, you don't see any signs of change but if God says I'm still at work, don't write them off, just put them aside, let me work because if I bring the two of you back together and I show you evidence that their heart has changed, God says I've got to have you with a renewed mind so you're ready to embrace them and walk with them again. So I need you to know God is at work in your life both to willing to do of his good pleasure, you don't get to just write people off because they made you mad, welcome to earth, lot of folk going to make you mad, live long enough you're going to make yourself mad. So we got to learn God is the one who begins the good work and he is the one who is going to bring it to completion. God wants you to be so pliable in his hand that if he lets people mess over you only to set you up. I'm thinking about Joseph in the Old Testament. God let his brothers sell him as a slave to another country but it was all a divine setup because God wanted their family in Egypt and Joseph was sold there and he could have spent his life being bitter saying if I ever see my brothers I'm going to kill them and once he had the power to do so as the second in command in Egypt, guess what?

There's a famine in Canaan where his family lives, they come to Egypt not knowing who's second in command there and they show up hungry and Joseph's heart has been so in the hand of God that when he looks at his brothers, read it when you get a chance in Genesis 45, I'm out of time, you will find out that when he saw his brothers, when he finally revealed himself, he said don't you all be angry with yourselves. That's God renewing your mind when you can look at folk who tried to kill you, sold you away and you tell them don't be angry with yourself because God sent me here, used your hatred to get me here so that his will could be done. What others might mean for evil, God always means for good. Thanks for being here for today's message, the gift of frustration. If you'd like more information about Destined for Victory or the special thank you gift for your generous donation this month, be sure to stop by our website,

That's When you speak, tell the truth. It's the first thing Paul is challenging us to do. If we are going to walk in the holiness and righteousness that God has ordained for our lives, we must decide that when we speak, we will tell the truth. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Developing an Honorable Lifestyle. Until then, remember, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. And you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-13 22:56:22 / 2023-09-13 23:06:15 / 10

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