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How Do You Spell TESTimony?

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
November 18, 2021 7:00 am

How Do You Spell TESTimony?

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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November 18, 2021 7:00 am

How God uses our tests as the basis for our testimony; the sufficiency of God's grace. (Included in the 5-part series "The Jabez Journey".)

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The pain you've carried, you've carried the weight of what others have done that was ill advised, but that's not the end of the story. You serve a God who doesn't have to meet you in a good place to take you to the best place.

As Pastor Paul Sheppard often says, God will always meet you where you are, but He won't let you stay there. Hello and welcome to this Thursday edition of Destined for Victory. Wherever you are and however you may be listening, thanks for making this part of your day. Coming up, Pastor Paul takes us to the book of 1 Chronicles chapter 4.

At first glance it simply looks like a list of genealogies, but tucked neatly away in the middle of them is an often overlooked passage, a short two sentence description of a young man named Jabez. His story will encourage us to cling to our faith even when we're going through tough circumstances. Stay with us now or stop by pastorpaul.net to listen on demand. That's pastorpaul.net. And here is Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message.

How do you spell testimony? I want to help you understand that there's a guy worth looking at in 1 Chronicles and I have to point him out because if you're one of those folks who typically reads through either the entire Bible or major portions, you probably looked at the almost endless genealogies and just shot past that and said, I'll just wait till I get to some information besides who had who. And so it's not uncommon for folk to say they read through the Bible, but the truth is they skip through chapters like this. But note that in the midst of that, verse 9, the writer stops and talks about a guy, not just where he came from, but he talks about the character of the guy. And he tells us that Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. He talks also about a problem that led to all of that. And so I want to take some time and just kind of take a look at the Jabez journey because truth be told, he's not the only one on the journey from problem to solution. We need to learn from characters like this. Now, the first sentence of the short passage gives us a great testimony.

Jabez was honorable, more honorable in fact than his brothers. But then the next sentence gives us a peek into the test that eventually led to the testimony. First thing I want to mention to you is that every testimony has a test attached to it, because if there weren't a test, there'd really be nothing to glorify God about. So I want to suggest that all of us who are experiencing a test in our lives right now are being set up for a testimony. When I first got saved, well, before I got saved, when I was a youngster growing up in church, I was a pastor's kid, so I was in church every Sunday.

I don't know what Sundays are without church. Grew up in church, pew babies, that's what we were, sat on the pew, hard pews for long services. And I would hear the saints testify about God bringing them through. Grew up hearing the saints talk about, the Lord brought me through.

The Lord brought me out. I came through a trial. And they made trials sound exciting. They really did. When I was a kid growing up, I thought, man, that wow. And after I got saved myself, I was like, all right, I'm going to go through some of them trials that they talk about.

Because they make them sound so good. Oh, but I live long enough to find out that number one, you don't have to ask for trials. There are some prayers you don't even have to bother praying.

And that's one of them. You might say, Lord, please give me a trial. If you are on the planet, trials are on their way to you. But thank God we learn from the scriptures that a test can end up in a testimony, that a mess can end up in a message of God's grace and God's power. So whatever you're facing in your life right now, I want to encourage you and let you know that it is really not about how you start. It's all about how you finish. It's really not about what you're going through now.

It's about where you're headed. And JBES story starts with a testimony. He was honorable, more honorable than his brothers. But then we find out that indeed the testimony had a test attached to it. As it turns out, his problem was a necessary prologue to God's intervention in his life for had he not had the particular problem that we're going to look at in this opening message of the series.

Had he not had that problem, he would not have sought God the way he did. And I want to let you know that some of us are going through some crazy stuff, but I want to applaud you and I want to point out to you that it has you seeking God. And that's a good thing.

That you are hearing this message is a good thing. Because it means you're tuning in to say, Lord, is there something you have to say to me? That's one thing I love about passion in the 21st century. When you get to speak the word of God to people in the 21st century, it's on purpose.

It's not the 20th century. In the 20th century, especially the middle of the century, folk went to church just because. I mean, some were saints, dedicated, devoted followers of Christ. Other folk just went to church.

That's just what you did on Sunday. You all remember those days? Some of you all come on, old heads, come on with me. The young folk don't know what I'm talking about because they have neighbors who have never been in church except for a wedding or a funeral.

But we, the older generations, middle aged folk and above, come on 50 and over. We grew up in days where it was more common for your neighbors to go to church than not go. And if they didn't go every Sunday, at least they went sometime. Today, people go to church only on purpose. They only go because they believe there's something there for them. And it is our job to let our light shine. In 21st century church, we need to get out of the doors of the church and take God where we are and where the people are. Because often we won't get them to come and experience God with us in service until they experience God through you out there. And so this is a filling station.

Come in and get all you need. Fill up your tank so that you can go out and expend that spiritual energy showing the love and the grace of God to a lost generation. Because they're not coming to church in many cases until something really happens. And in your life, perhaps what really drove you to God was trouble or a problem.

And if that's the case, praise God for it. Because it got you here. It got you to the place where you realize, you know what, I need to seek somebody who's bigger than I am. David said, when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

So sometimes when you see people overwhelmed, they're just being set up. All you got to do is help them get to the rock. When you see your relatives having trouble, that's a sign you got to walk them to the rock. Say, come on. Well, you know, you know, we need to pray about that. Come on, go to church with me. My pastor is going to have a word for you.

We're going to pray for you. Just use what folk are going through to invite them to the rock that is higher than they are. And J. Bez's problem was a necessary prologue to God's intervention in his life. Now, we don't like facing problems and challenges.

You don't have to like it. But just know that when you face them, God is setting you up so that you can end up with a testimony. You got to understand that miracles we often want to believe God for a miracle. But miracles are often messes and misery that are wrapped in God's intervention. And so it starts with a mess. It starts with a misery. It starts with some sort of problem. And then it is God's response to what we need him to do.

That's a good thing. We'll be right back with more of today's Destined for Victory message from Pastor Paul Shepherd. To listen to any of Pastor Paul's recent broadcasts, be sure to stop by pastorpaul.net.

There you can listen on demand. That's pastorpaul.net. And stay with us after today's message when Pastor Paul joins me to talk about a booklet that's a companion resource to today's message.

It's yours this month for a generous gift to Destined for Victory. First, let's rejoin him for the second half of today's teaching. How do you spell testimony? Now, let's look at the problem that forced J. Bez to seek God, and we're going to learn some important lessons for our own lives. What's the problem? The problem is in the second sentence that his mother called him J. Bez saying, I gave birth to him in pain. You say, what's the problem with that?

Well, obviously, his mother was seriously traumatized by giving birth to this boy. We don't have any more information. You know why? Because this is the one and only place in scripture where you will find J. Bez or his mama mentioned. This is it. If you don't find them in 1 Chronicles 4, 9, and 10, you don't find them.

They are nowhere to be seen. So this is all you have. We know that she named him after a traumatic experience that she had. She gave birth to him in pain. We can assume, I think we can safely assume, let's give this woman the benefit of the doubt, that this was an extraordinarily painful birth. Let's assume that she knew she wasn't the only mother who was going to have pain giving birth. Because you sisters would say, well, if pain is the issue, they could have left that verse out. Because I had pain with all them drugs I had.

I still have. How many sisters in here can testify that childbirth is a painful thing sometimes? Let me see some testimonies. Look at those testimonies. My hand's not up because all I did, like all the brothers, is just looked at y'all.

We can't say a thing about it. We just looked. I'll never forget being in the hospital when my wife was giving birth to the first of our two children. It was our very first experience in that ward. And she was attached to the machine and I was watching the little thing. And, you know, when the contractions come, it would show on the monitor.

And I got kind of fascinated. I said, oh, baby, you're having another one. And you know when she said, I know.

In other words, I'm watching it, she's going through it. You've got to be careful when you're talking to folk and all you're doing is watching them. You've got to be sensitive. You've got to learn to be more sensitive. Can't stand folk who watch you and they've got all this stuff to say about what you're actually going through. They're not feeling the pain.

They're just watching some monitor. I have several friends who said when they were going to have their first child, we're going to have this natural. We talked about it. We're going to have this natural.

No drugs at all. We just want to do this the old fashioned way. I'm just going to bear down and grip onto something real tight. And my husband said he's going to be there with me and we're going to do this natural. I said, all right, cool.

No need of talking them out of this. OK, cool. That's what you want to do. According to your faith, be it under you.

Go for it. But I've seen some of those same folks later on and say, how did that go? So when I got in the thick of it, I told those people, shoot me with everything you got. Shoot me with all your ammunition. I don't take me to within an inch of my life if you have to.

And we don't know what the sisters are going through when they're in that kind of pain. I'm just glad, Lord. Thank you, Lord, that you gave me the gender you gave me because Batman can deal with a whole lot of pain. I can be macho in some other ways. You push up on me wrong. You got a problem in some other ways. I promise you you do. I promise you preacher is just a title. Do not fool yourself.

You come wrong. You got a situation on your hands, but but yet we can be so macho in one way. But then when it comes to pain, my hat's off. I bow to my wife. She can handle blood. See, I can handle other problems. I'm a pastor, so I've dealt with people's problems. I've dealt with trauma, traumatic problems all my life.

I can deal with that. I've dealt with suicide. I've dealt with murder.

I've dealt with all that kind of stuff. I've been there when people died, all of that kind of stuff. But when you introduce blood and pain, physical pain into a situation, I find a back seat somewhere. And I just pray from back here, Father, in Jesus' name. Oh, God, let your blood prevail, Lord, in the name of the Lord. I can't fool up close and personal, but my wife can jump in there when pain, she can handle it.

I say go, baby. So we don't know. We don't know. Let's give her the benefit of the doubt and assume this was extraordinarily painful, unusually painful experience. But she named her child after what she went through. She created a permanent monument to a temporary trauma. She took what was just going to be a matter of hours. It was a matter of hours because she named him after he got here.

She saw that she had a male child. The trauma was over. The pain was subsiding.

He is out now. But she, traumatized by the experience, made what we would consider the ill-advised decision, put a permanent stamp on a temporary situation. She wrote in permanent marker about a situation that was going to be erased in a matter of hours. The pain is real when she was going through it. But when she names him, the pain is subsiding, has gone away. She ought to have what the Bible describes in one New Testament place as the joy. The Bible says, oh, that pain lasts for a while, but then it yields to the joy that a child has been born. And, you know, it might not yield right away because some folk read that and say, yeah, well, my pain, it took a little while to yield to the joy. But eventually you still have the joy of holding that little child. And while your pain was subsiding, you now had a new focus. But something happened with this woman. And her focus never shifted so much that she decided to put the pain past her. Instead, it was her decision to memorialize the pain in a name. And she told this boy for the rest of his life, you called me pain.

Imagine having to go to school, first day of school, teacher reading names and, you know, little Hebrew kids names something significant. God will provide here. The Lord is good here.

Causes pain? Yeah, that's me. How ill-advised it is for this mother to have done it. I'm sure she didn't mean harm.

Let's give her the benefit of the doubt. And while you're giving this mama the benefit of the doubt, give your son to give your father some rope. Give the person who raised you and didn't do everything right a little rope.

Give the people around you some of whom messed over you and disrespected you and didn't handle you right. Let's realize that they don't get to write your whole story. Yeah, it was unfortunate.

This I try to help this without all all I can. And I try to believe, well, it was an extraordinarily painful experience or perhaps she did it. And in her mind, she wanted to remember the pain so that she could then remember that God brought her through it.

Maybe. But then again, she could have found another Hebrew word that would have emphasized the coming through versus the what you were going through. But again, we're going to try to help her all we can so that when we see her in heaven, we like, hey, how you doing? We're not packing an attitude with that sister.

You that one name your boy pain? Here's what you got to understand. It was an ill-advised decision, even if she meant well. It was an ill-advised decision. But it wasn't the end of his story. Your parents didn't do everything right by you. But it's not the end of your story.

Some of you also forget. Didn't do right by me. Pass. Do you have a couple of hours? Let me tell you all that I've been through.

First of all, I don't have a couple hours. Not for that. You know why? Because I don't need to hear your whole story to be able to tell you what I'm going to tell you in this series, which is your story happened. It is true.

It is legitimate. The pain you've carried. You've carried the weight of what others have done that was ill-advised.

But that's not the end of the story. You serve a God who doesn't have to meet you in a good place to take you to the best place. Thanks so much for being here for today's destined for victory message.

How do you spell testimony? If you missed any of today's message, remember, you can always listen on demand at PastorPaul.net. That's PastorPaul.net.

And right now, Pastor joins me from his studio in California. Well, 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 God specializes in taking the tough times and turning them into something good, doesn't he? 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. But 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. Once again, the booklet is called Turning Your Test into a Testimony. It goes hand in hand with today's message, 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 pastorpaul.net to make a safe and secure donation online. You can also mail your gift to Destin for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538.

Again, the address is Destin for Victory, box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You don't have to deny trouble to walk by faith. In fact, I would argue that you wouldn't need to walk by faith except there's trouble to deal with. The Bible says, for we walk by faith, not by sight. It means you focus on the faith part while not denying what you have to have faith about. That's tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, How Do You Spell Testimony? 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 / 2023-07-21 15:02:59 / 2023-07-21 15:11:53 / 9

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