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The God of the Comma, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
November 4, 2021 8:00 am

The God of the Comma, Part 2

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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November 4, 2021 8:00 am

Four challenges we face in the course of doing God's will; understanding God's provision for each challenge; based on 2 Cor. 4:8-9.

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If ever a man knew what it meant to suffer for the cause of Christ, it was the Apostle Paul. Pastor Paul Shepherd explores his life and his legacy next as he shares his message, the God of the comma. But before we get to that, Pastor Paul has been kind enough to join us from his studio in California. Pastor, I want everyone to know that you've written a great booklet that we want to provide for those who are able to give a generous gift this month. It's called Turning Your Test Into a Testimony. Now, most of us don't go through life thinking that tests are a great way to have a testimony. But, you know, God specializes in taking the tough times and turning them into something good. So tell us about this offer, this booklet that you've written.

Absolutely. J. Bez is a guy who, as I mentioned in times past, you only have two verses in the entire Bible that tell you about the guy. Two verses. Yet, those two verses teach us a lot if we read between the lines and just let the Lord cause us to get the truth, the revelation, if you will.

Yeah, these are not just words on a page, are they? God wants us to know this. That's right. And here's a guy who started, I mean, talk about starting out behind the eight ball. His mama named him after the pain of childbirth. Like, what in the world was she thinking when she and her husband gave this boy the name causes pain?

And yet, that's what happened. And he had to live all of his early life. He had to go to school, first day of school, and the teacher is calling names. And she said, cause pain, where are you? Cause pain, raise your hand.

This is ridiculous. The fact is, God helped this boy grow up and understand I may not be able to change what they labeled me, but I can change whether I continue to live up to the label. And so this booklet is my way of helping people understand you might not like where you are, you might not like what you've had to go through, but God can help you to be an overcomer.

And at the end of the day, we are told in those two verses, this young man became more honorable than all of his brothers who were not so named. And so we've got to learn that God can get you from where you are to a much, much better place if you just walk with him. This booklet will encourage people and give them some practical handles on how to do just that. Well again, the booklet is called Turning Your Test into a Testimony, and it's our gift to you this month by request for your generous gift to Destin for Victory. 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. Did you get that?

Destin for Victory, Box 1767, Fremont, CA 94538. The enemy wants you to put a period after your challenges, but I came to let you know you serve the God of the comma. You are going to go through the challenge, but God says, I'm not going to let that be the end of the story.

I'm going to give you a divine provision so that you can go through it successfully. He was beaten. He was thrown into prison.

He was left for dead. And yet, despite these trials, the Apostle Paul story was not yet complete, and neither is yours. Today on Destin for Victory, a timely reminder that your past mistakes were not the end of your story, and your present suffering won't be either. The page will eventually turn because, in Christ, you are destined for victory. Here's Pastor Paul with his message, the God of the comma. Paul's second letter to the church at Corinth, chapter 4, and let's look again at verses 8 and 9. Paul says this, we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair. Persecuted, but not abandoned.

Struck down, but not destroyed. We are looking at the fact that the Apostle Paul, as he made his case to the church at Corinth, his spiritual sons and daughters, he made the case to them that I'm a legitimate apostle, and that God is indeed at work through my ministry. The reason, as I said in the last message, why he had to make that case is because the Judaizers had come through Corinth after Paul had left the last time, and they had influenced the church negatively, and they were making two false claims. The first was that Paul wasn't a legitimate apostle because he didn't follow the Lord during his earthly ministry. And the second claim was, you can't be saved by grace alone as Paul preaches, you have to be saved also by following the law.

So they had come through and they had influenced the church with these false teachings. Paul hears about this, and even before his next trip to Corinth, he writes them to say, listen, don't be troubled by what you've heard, because it is not true, and he makes the case that I am a legitimate apostle, and one of the ways he says you can know I'm legitimate is by everything I and the other apostles are going through in order to fulfill God's calling on our lives. And he talks specifically about four areas of challenge that are proof that he is doing the will of God. And when I look at those four areas of challenge, I realize that not only did the early church and its apostles have to go through those areas, but so do you and I. And the fact of the matter is, some of us are going through those same areas of challenge, and as we do, I want you to know that Paul didn't just talk about the challenge, but he talked about God's provision so that they could keep on doing what they were doing. And I've entitled this series The God of the Comma because I want you to note, after every challenge he mentions in these verses, there is a comma rather than a period. The enemy wants you to put a period after your challenges, but I came to let you know you serve the God of the Comma. You are going to go through the challenge, but God says, I'm not going to let that be the end of the story. I'm going to give you a divine provision so that you can go through it successfully.

I left off in the last message talking about the first of the challenges. Paul said we are hard pressed on every side, comma, but not crushed. I want to pick it up there and just let you know, we are hard pressed. Just because you're saved doesn't mean you're not going to be hard pressed. Don't listen to candy store theology taught by people who would make you feel that if you're really walking with God right, you're not going to have any trouble.

Of course you're going to have trouble. You're going to have hard pressure on every side sometimes. Sometimes you're going to say, boy, if it will only come one at a time, I could deal with it, but here I am dealing with financial trouble on one side, and now I got family trouble on another side, and now I got marital trouble on another side, and I've got some challenge I'm facing personally on another side. It's coming in on every side, and it's trying to cave me in, but Paul said we serve a God who puts a comma there and says, yes, you're going to go through challenges that have pressure coming in on every side, but God's going to see to it you are not crushed.

I want to let somebody know you're not going under. I know the challenge is tough, but you're not going under. We do face challenges of various types, and not only do they come at all at once sometimes, but there are different kinds of pressure you deal with at different seasons in your life. There are some pressures that you young people have to watch for. There are some pressure that comes at teenagers, and you've got to watch for it.

Paul told his young spiritual son Timothy, flee youthfulness. There are some things you have to deal with because you're young. Your hormones are moaning, and there are some pressures you're going to face as a young person who has given your life to the Lord, and it's not always going to be easy.

Peer pressure is going to really come in on you in a strong and significant way. Don't let the enemy make you feel like you're not saved because you're feeling the pressure. The pressure is going to come, but I came to let you young folk know God's going to put a comma there, and if you put your trust in him, you say, yeah, I feel the pressure to do what everybody else is doing, but I am not going to let it cave my life in.

I'm going to serve the Lord as a young person. There are some pressures unique to that phase in life. You who are young adults, you're out of those teens. You're in your 20s, some of you are in your 30s, and you feel a certain type of pressure. Some of you all are feeling the pressure to get married. Some of you in your 30s, 40s, you're feeling the pressure to get married. You say, my goodness, I thought I'd have been married by now. Or some of you are divorced.

Somebody left you, walked away from you earlier, and you thought by now that you'd have had a second hookup. And here you are alone. Here you are feeling the pressure. Some of you all are saying, my biological clock is ticking, and I want to have a baby, and the Lord hasn't sent anybody into my life, and you're feeling the pressure.

One of the pressures that some of you all are feeling is the pressure to catch the next train down the track. Oh, but God is sending this word while you're still on the platform. I came with a word. The word is just because the train is coming down that track doesn't mean that's your train.

Oh, I came to help somebody now. Listen to me. Don't harden your heart. Oh, that's not my word. I don't receive that.

You better receive this. Not every train is your train. This is our regional transit system here in Northern California.

If you're listening to this message on a broadcast or CD, you don't have this full revelation. But here in Northern California, we have BART, Bay Area Rapid Transit, and it's a train system, an elevated train system. Sometimes it's underground, but a lot of places it's above ground. And it's a wonderful train system.

We'll get you all around Northern California and the greater Bay Area. But when you are standing on the BART platform, you all know in this audience that not every train coming down that track is your train. You got to look up on the sign. The sign is flashing and telling you where the train is going that's coming down that track.

And some of you all in life don't read your signs too good. You just see a train coming, you look down, and you see lights, and you get happy. Here come the lights. Then when they get close, it blows their horn, boo, boo, and you get happy. And some of you all got folk blowing their horns right now in your life. They done pulled up to the station of your life, boo, boo.

Come on, boo, get on. Oh, but God is sending this word to let you know. You got to look at the sign. I don't care how pretty the train is and the door is open. You don't walk through every open door. If you call yourself going to San Francisco and that sign says it's the Pittsburgh train, that's not your train. You wait till that door shuts and you stand there and let it pull off. And if a tear falls down your face, let it pull off. Oh, but that was such a fine train. Let it pull off, go on and cry, dry your weeping eyes, and wait on your train.

Pastor trying to help you now. I know some of the trains is good looking trains, but it's not your train. Some of you sisters, oh, he has shoulders just like I like them.

Biceps, you can tell he been in the gym, seps bulging and carrying on, looking all good. Some of you all, it's the complexion you want. I love them chocolate, that brother, and that was your chocolate flavor. Some of you all like light skin and that was your, and you saw what you've been thinking about. Doesn't mean it's your train, trying to help you now. Some of you all dealing with that pressure, pressure of wanting to be in a relationship and the right one hasn't come by yet, and you are feeling that pressure. There's a pressure in the middle years of life. Man, midlife is no joke. Now that I'm here, midlife is no joke. I hear folk talk about midlife when I was a young man, and they're talking about midlife crisis. I said, what in the world are they talking about? I'm there now, I know what you all talking about.

Come on, I'm not by myself. Some of you middle-aged folk, we're stuck in the middle. That's why they call it midlife, we're in the middle. We're not young anymore, we're not all the way old, but we know we're not young anymore. We are just stuck in the middle.

And that middle season has its own challenges. You can act stupid in the middle if you're not careful. You can make some of the worst decisions of your life if you're not careful. And we have got to pledge, God, I've had enough of making mistakes. I want to get it right moving forward. This is the season for us to get it together.

Don't go away. We're only about halfway through today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. Destined for Victory is not only heard daily on great radio stations and networks across the country, but it's also available on demand. Visit to find out about our free app, or subscribe to the podcast and get the program delivered automatically each day.

You can find us at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get yours. Now, let's rejoin Pastor Paul for the second half of today's Destined for Victory message, the God of the comma. Moses put it this way, Lord, teach us to number our days. Isn't that what he said in Psalm 90?

That was the Psalm of Moses. Teach us to number our days, Lord, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. You've got to ask, Lord, I'm in a season in my life. I need you to give me some wisdom. I made enough mistakes to last a lifetime, Lord. I'm done, I want to be out the mistakes business. I want to make it, I want to get it right the rest of my years. If I have 30, 40 more years, Lord, whatever you have at whatever middle age you are, whatever you give me, Lord, 30 more, 40 more, even 50 more, I want those to count. I'm not trying to make any more mistakes.

I'm not trying to get it wrong. Lord, teach me to number my days. Teach me to know where I am in life. Teach me to be okay with this new season. Teach me to not be in denial. I'm not young anymore. Quit wrestling with young folk. Quit challenging them to stuff.

You can't win anymore. Oh, you used to see me back in the day. I'm telling you, I'd have given you a run.

Yeah, but you're not back in the day. You know, I'm not giving anybody a run now. I let them run right on, go right on ahead.

God bless y'all as y'all go. I'm in a new season of life. You got to learn how to work this season. I see these young folk all full of energy and stuff can just do everything they want to do and just get out there and just do everything they want to do. No, you got to pace yourself at this season in life. I used to run all hard sprinting and carrying on. I jog now. That's how I'm working this fitness thing. I'm not out there running all hard and furious.

I'm just taking my time. I used to fly by. Was that him? You know, when you're young and could sprint, you're just going by. Now you get a good look at me. I'm right there just going on. I see you. I look away. How you doing?

Taking my time. Young folk can go flying by if they want to. See y'all. God bless you. Some young folk ask me not long ago, Pastor, why don't you come on out and run ball with us, basketball? I heard you used to be quite a hooper.

I said, yeah, I was. I used to enjoy it. I grew up on the playgrounds in Philadelphia, hooping all the time, playing.

Had a nice, decent J. Shoot that thing, left-handed man, just mess folk up. Drive to the hoop, shake them and bake them and roll and all of that stuff. I'm not baking anybody right now. Not going out there.

You crazy? These young folk, young people playing college ball. Pastor, come on out here. What I need being out there, sneakers flying by my face. These young folk going out there, going in for a slam dunk. Sneakers come by my head, hey, Pastor.

Lord, teach us the number of days. And you men in my age, y'all, be who you are. Be where you are. Stop buttoning your shirt all the way down to your gut trying to impress somebody. Cut that out. You could do that back in the old days. Button your shirt up now.

Trying to help you, trying to help you. Same thing with your sisters. Watch the colors you let people put in your head at this season in your life. When you were young, you could do all them special colors and stuff. You had enough youth to pull it off. Now you just going to look special. So just make the adjustment. Because, you know, these are very creative people when you go to these salons. These are very creative people. You got to let them know what your limit is.

When you see the chart of the colors, you say that's about where I stop, right there. Don't let them take you on off. Because you come in here and we'll just say, hmm. We won't know what to say. Because we don't want to lie, so we just say, oh, look at you. I'm not going to lie. I just say all kinds of things. I just say, wow, isn't that something? Look at you. That's something else. So you got to monitor, you got to watch.

Season of life you're in. You who are seniors, Bonafide, we got some of the coolest seniors in this church. I love the seniors in this church. They are cool. And one of the things I like about them is they have, they know the way. They've been around the block. They're coming back from where most of us are going.

I see. They're seasoned and they got sense. They're not old and crazy. Because, you know, if you're not careful, you can be an old fool.

Now, don't you fool yourself. And there's no fool like a old fool. Somebody who ought to know better. Everybody else said, now you know you ought to know better by now. Here you are, 77, 82, and you ought to know better by now.

And still acting crazy. All us know some old folk who everybody know they crazy. You don't want to be that as a child of God. And so you got pressures in that season of life. Some of you are pressured as seniors to be old and bitter. You got to cast off bitterness. Yes, some things didn't go your way. Yes, some folk didn't treat you right. Yes, your family might not have always done right by you.

Yes, some folk took advantage of your goodness and stole your money or whatever that is. But at this point, you got to cut those ties loose so that you don't have what the old folk taught us as bosom trouble. You don't want to carry people around in your heart, have trouble, unresolved issues. You're too old. You might check out of here before you know it. You can't afford to live like that. You got to be ready to live and ready to die.

And so you got to watch the pressures that come with all of the various stages of life. And Paul said, we're hard pressed on every side, comma, but we're not crushed. It's not going to take us under. He then said, we're perplexed, but not in despair. Listen, I come to let somebody know that no matter how close your walk with God is, there are going to be times when you are perplexed.

You know what that means? That means times when you just don't understand why God is allowing to happen what he's allowing to happen. Listen, it is not a matter of how strong your faith is.

You can have wonderfully strong faith and still be perplexed. Why look at the man who God is using to write this inspired letter. The Apostle Paul is the man the Holy Spirit used to pen the vast majority of the letters that you find in the New Testament. Most of the letters were written by God through the Apostle Paul.

Here is the man used as a vessel. God breathed on him and he wrote these inspired letters. And he is the guy who's saying with all that anointing, with all that calling of God on my life, there are times when I don't get it. And listen, if Paul can be honest and say there are times when he doesn't get it, you need to quit perpetrate. You need to quit acting like you always understand all the movements of God in your life.

You always understand why he allows everything. Listen, there are going to be some unsolved mysteries as you journey through life. God has given us everything we need for this journey on earth and as we grow in our faith, he gives us a little bit more. But only in the fullness of time when our Lord returns in power and glory will all things be revealed. For now, we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face.

That's all the time we have today. For more information about Destined for Victory, or this month's special thank you gift for your generous donation, be sure to visit That's You don't have to get all your questions answered to be free from despair. You can be free from despair while you still have questions you can't answer. God gave me this word to let you know that despair is optional. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, The God of the Comma. You'll 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 / 2023-07-27 22:40:17 / 2023-07-27 22:50:04 / 10

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