Let me tell you, my brother, my sister, your now is tough. You don't see a bright future. All you see is trouble.
All you see is trials. I came to tell you, you need to look above the clouds because when God makes a promise, He's not making it based on what you're going through now. He's making it based on what you're going to. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world. Hello and welcome to this Friday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Jesus said those words to His disciples shortly before His crucifixion, and they still apply to us today. Yes, we will have tough times, seasons when our faith is tested. But be encouraged now as Pastor Paul takes us to the book of Ruth to remind us that we are defined by our Father in heaven, not by our troubles on earth. In Christ, you are destined for victory. Today's message is straight ahead, but be sure to visit pastorpaul.net to listen to any of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand. That's pastorpaul.net.
You can also subscribe to the Destined for Victory podcast at Spotify, at Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, maintaining the right attitude when things go wrong. Pitfall number seven to be avoided is this, adopting a defeatist attitude after loss or mistreatment. Adopting a defeatist attitude after loss or mistreatment.
Think about it. One of the ways you will mess up your own life is when you let negative things that happen in your life change your way of thinking, your way of living, your approach to life is altered by negativity. That's going to keep you from experiencing God's best. I want you to experience God's best. I want you to live your best life in Christ.
In order to do that, you have to avoid the pitfall of adopting a defeatist attitude after loss or mistreatment. Now, I want to just give you a couple of examples from Scripture. Think about people who lost something significant in the Bible, and the one in the interest of time, I can only bring you one. Her name is Naomi. Do you remember a lady named Naomi? She's mentioned in the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. This woman and her family, her husband, Elimelech, her two sons moved from Bethlehem to Moab, you read about in Ruth chapter one, because there was a famine in Bethlehem. There was a famine among God's people. There was a food shortage and there was crisis for that time. Elimelech and his family decided to move from Bethlehem to Moab.
I don't have time to walk through the pluses and minuses of all that. People say, yeah, but did God lead them? It led to something really good, so that was God.
All right, let's not get too spooky about it. Let me just tell you, sometimes we make decisions based on a crisis of the moment, whether it was a good decision or bad. It probably both happened in some people's lives, but they decided to move to Moab, and they lived down there for 10 years. During those 10 years, Naomi's husband, a man named Elimelech died, and what's worse, her two sons both died in Moab as well. Now, the two sons got married to Moabite women, and so when you get to the latter part of Ruth chapter one, you see that Naomi is a widow and she has these two young women who were married to her sons. Her sons too are dead, and so she is a widow, and so are the two women whose names are Ruth and Orpah. So Naomi, Ruth, Orpah are all now widows, and they are not knowing where things are going to go from here. See, you're talking Old Testament times.
You're not talking at times when they could work at Google and they still have great careers and all that stuff. You've got to go back to Bible times if you're going to glean the real nuggets of truth. You've got to think back there, and these women were expecting their husbands to provide for them, but all three of these men are dead. What's worse is that while Elimelech owned property back in Bethlehem, Naomi can't hold that as its owner because in that culture, if the husband's dead, there has to be a kinsman redeemer.
Have you heard that term before? A male relative of her husband has to step up and claim the inheritance and make sure that Naomi is taken care of because a kinsman redeemer has stepped in. At this point, they're in Moab. They hear that God has come to the aid of people in Bethlehem, and so Naomi says, well, I'm going to go back home. My husband's dead. I don't know what's going to happen when I get back there, but I'm going home.
The two girls first say, well, we'll go with you, and we'll spend the rest of our lives with you, and Naomi says, that wouldn't make any sense. Your husbands are dead. My boys are dead. What are you going to do? Hope I get married when I get back there, and then you're going to wait for me to have two more sons decades later?
What are you going to do? You're going to wait until I can have two boys so that you all can become the first cougars in history? And she said, that wouldn't make any sense. Cougars not in your Bible? I thought that was in your Bible. All right.
So she said, that wouldn't make any sense. People need to stay here. You're Moabite women.
You need to stay here in your own home country. She said, may the Lord bless you. May you find husbands who will continue to provide for you and all of that, and you know what? Orpah said, you got a thought there. That makes sense, and Orpah kisses her and stays in Moab, and let me tell you something. When people don't go with you into your next season, don't sweat it. Let them stay where they are because they're not meant to go with you there. Some people are in your life for a season. When the season's over, they're gone, and quit running down behind somebody trying to get away from you. That's not going to do you well.
If they want to get away, hold the door. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you. Be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you. Give you peace. Bye.
That's what you got to do. Anyway, but Ruth had another heart. Ruth said, you know what? Something in me tells me that my destiny is tied to you, and she gives us that wonderful language. You've read it in the book of Ruth. Your God will be my God, and your people, and all that. Boy, what a blessing because it was a God thing. So Ruth, a Moabite woman, goes back to Bethlehem with Naomi, but here's why I'm talking about this business of making sure you don't develop a defeatist attitude because when Naomi gets back there, you see that she has a great big old defeatist attitude.
The people are happy to see it. Man, it's been 10 years since we, hey, Naomi. She said, don't call me Naomi. Don't call me Naomi. I went out full.
I've come back empty. Don't call me Naomi. Call me Mara. Naomi means pleasant, gracious.
Mara means bitter. She's trying to change her name to fit her attitude. Do not name yourself my brother, my sister, after what you're going through. Whatever you're going through that's hard, that's rough, that's challenging, that's awful, that's devastating, don't name yourself after devastation. Name yourself after what God gave you in the first place, and if you see he hasn't given me anything, well, he's given you promises. He's given you exceeding great and precious promises.
All that means is you just got to follow him, and you will find that the promises God makes come to pass. She tried to change her identity, and the bottom line is she said in Ruth 1, 19 through 21, do not call me Naomi. Call me Mara. She said for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. She said God himself has dealt bitterly with me. That's because she didn't understand that the temporary was a setup for something much better, that in fact she couldn't get what God had in mind for her.
Even if a limelike had died, her life would have never been as fulfilled as it ended up being fulfilled, and so when a limelike's in your life die, don't think you should die with them because God has something on the other side, and so she didn't know that, and she said just the Lord has afflicted me. Let me tell you, my brother, my sister, your now is tough. You don't see a bright future. All you see is trouble. All you see is trials. All you see is heartbreak.
All you see is difficulty. I came to tell you, you need to look above the clouds, and you need to adopt the view of God because when God makes a promise, he's not making it based on what you're going through now. He's making it based on what you're going to, and when you can't get excited about what you're going through, I came to tell you, you need to get excited about what you're going to. God has something in store. You might not know what it is, but you've got to know that God's got your destiny in his hands, and you know the story. You know what happened with this woman, that Ruth, who was called of God to go with her, went and gleaned in the field, gleaned in the field, and her mother-in-law gave her permission to say, okay, baby, go ahead and get us some food because we are going to need to eat here until we can figure out what in the world is going to go on with our lives, and she found herself gleaning in a field belonging to Boaz. She didn't know it, but Boaz was the very kinsman redeemer that God had ordained for their lives. The very man that was going to change their destiny, she happened to be gleaning in his field behind the reapers. This was the time of the barley harvest, the Bible tells you there and Ruth. All this happenstance is not really happenstance because nothing just happens in the life of a child of God.
What we call setbacks, a limb and leg dead, Ruth's husband dead, Orpheus' husband dead, and you think they're all setbacks, but what you don't know is it's actually a setup, and it was a setup. So yes, you and I go through troubling times. Don't let any hyper-faith person tell you, if you're walking by faith, you're always going to be healthy, wealthy, sexy, and wise. Sometimes you're going to be broke.
Sometimes you're going to be saying, what in the world is this? Oh, but your God knows the end from the beginning. Up next, the rest of today's Destined for Victory message with Pastor Paul Shepherd. We want to thank all of you whose prayers and financial support help Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world. Your donations do make a difference. So as God leads, prayerfully consider making a generous gift to Destined for Victory today.
Give securely online at pastorpaul.net or by calling 855-339-5500. Even the most faithful believer in Christ will have challenges in this life. It's not where God has you now, but where He'll take you next that counts.
Here's Pastor Paul with the rest of today's message, maintaining the right attitude when things go wrong. And that girl found herself reaping behind harvesters in a field she was going to soon own. Pulls up one day in his Lexus, or in his Tesla, or in his Escalade, whatever he drove. Pulls up just to check on his field, check on his workers, because he had a big operation.
The Bible said they had workers, plural. He came just to check on them, and he saw a young woman that he didn't know from their area, gleaning behind the harvesters, and he called one of them over and said, who is she? And they said, oh, that's Ruth. She's a wonderful young woman. She came back with Naomi, and they told the story. Said she's so faithful, taking care of her mother-in-law, and all that. And they said, boy, she's really a wonderful woman.
They gave a good report to Boaz. He said, call her over here. She came over, and he said, listen, I've heard good things about you. God bless you. You've taken care of this old woman. May the Lord bless you. And he said, I've instructed them that, although you're a foreigner, and in that culture it wasn't uncommon that foreigners could be seriously mistreated, he said, I've instructed everybody who works for me, nobody better put a hand on you.
You're going to be safe in my field. Well, she didn't know, but there was more news coming behind that, because eventually, Naomi finally got out of her defeatist attitude. Said, you know what? God might be doing something here, and told Ruth what to do, and on a certain evening, she told her to slip in to the area where Boaz was, and as was the custom, when you wanted covering, male covering in terms of him being a kinsman redeemer, you would take part of his blanket and put it over part of you, and she told her how to do that, did it in a proper way. She didn't say slip up under there, and you know, y'all know me.
Told her how, if he layin' north and south, you lay east and west, put part of it over you. I ain't got time to expound that. Ask the Lord for revelation.
So, bottom line is, he became the kinsman redeemer. Why? Because Naomi first got rid of her defeatist attitude. You got to get rid of your defeatist attitude when you experience loss.
You also got to get rid of it when you experience mistreatment of any kind. You know the story of Joseph. I've written books on Joseph. Joseph's one of my favorite Bible characters, mistreated unbelievably by his own family.
Then, once he's sold as a slave, then he's mistreated by Potiphar's wife, because he's sold as a slave, ends up being the slave of a man, an Egyptian official named Potiphar, and he starts out as a common slave in his house, but the Lord was with Joseph. My brother, my sister, whatever you're doing, however menial, however you feel like, oh, this is a dead end job, just do it as unto the Lord and let the Lord go with you to work. If you can't stand your job, let the Lord go with you to work. Take Jesus to work with you. Say, I hate this job, Lord, but help me do it as unto you.
Help me do it well, even though I can't stand my boss, my supervisor, this whole company, whatever it is. You can have that attitude, but make sure you say, but Lord, make sure my attitude toward them doesn't come through, because I want to serve you well. Sometimes God will make you treat people, no count people well, because you want to please the Lord.
I just said something. Some of you don't want to receive it, but I bet you should if you want to be blessed. Let the Lord go with you to work. The Bible says the Lord was with Joseph in Potiphar's house, and the bottom line is he worked so well in Potiphar's house, Potiphar promoted him, and he ended up being the chief servant in the house. Since the Potiphar saw him, the Bible says he was well-built and handsome. This is right there in the Bible, Genesis 39, well-built and handsome, and some of you all believing for Joseph right now, well-built, handsome, and since the Potiphar took note, said, hmm, praise the Lord, and she wasn't even saved, and she lusted after him, sought to have an illicit relationship with him. He rejected her time and time again. One day she meant, we're going to have this relationship, grabbed him, and the only way he held onto his integrity is he ran out of his clothing. So she kept it till Potiphar came home from work that day, told him, this foreigner that you brought in this house tried to make sport of me.
What a lie. To show you God owns your destiny, Potiphar could have killed him. He wasn't an Egyptian. He's a slave. He could have killed him, and there wouldn't have even been a trial. What did Potiphar do? He got very angry, but he sent him to a certain jail, the jail where the king's prisoners also are sent.
Why? Because God said, no, he's not going to die. You can be angry, but you can't kill him. And when Joseph went to jail, was mistreated, the Bible says again, but the Lord was with him in prison. And just as happened in Potiphar's house, he went from common prisoner to being in charge of the other prisoners over the course of some years, because he didn't go to jail just for a weekend. He went to jail for years for a crime he didn't commit. He was a felon. He was charged with attempted rape. He was a felon.
Listen, don't tell me how mistreated you've been and how people never give you your race, your gender. Don't put anything ahead of your destiny, because God can bypass those things and take you to where he's destined you to go. And after years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, he kept the right attitude, and God was setting things up. You know the story.
He eventually ministered to two men sent there by Pharaoh himself, his baker and his butler. He had a dream that he said to those guys, I had dreams about you all. And they said, well, tell us. He said to the baker, you sure you won't hear about yours? Yeah, yeah, tell me. Well, in three days you're going to be dead.
I hope your wife knows what insurance papers are. She's going to be out of here in three days. He said to the butler, the cup bearer, but in three days you're going to be restored to your position. And when you are, he said, do me a favor, tell Pharaoh, you'll be working for Pharaoh, tasting his wine, doing what the chief servant of the Pharaoh does. And when you have that chance, tell him about me, tell him I'm not, I didn't try to rape that woman. And then the Bible tells you, but after the butler was restored, after the cup bearer was restored, his job he forgot.
He never mentioned it. You know what? Even his forgetting it was God. People you're trying to get a hookup from and they don't give it to you, quit getting mad. God is in charge of your destiny.
You don't need a hookup from people, you need a hookup from heaven. God is in charge of your destiny. You know when he remembered it? Two years later, after he got his job back, Joseph stayed in jail for another two years. That's why he got to keep the right attitude, because he could have been down there stewing. No, he didn't forget about me.
No, no, he kept the right attitude. Two years later, when Pharaoh has a troubling dream, can't get anybody to interpret it, the cup bearer says, oh, Pharaoh, I was supposed to tell you two years ago about this guy named Joseph. Told him the story. See, that's the only time he needed to hear it, because it wouldn't have mattered two years before.
Pharaoh hadn't had a dream. Why would he help some felon that he doesn't even know? But now he needs an interpreter of his dream, and he calls for Joseph. If you live right and keep your attitude right, God's going to call for you at the right time. Call you out of your trouble. Call you out of your frustration. Call you out of what you're going through, and he's going to see to it that the blessings he has reserved for you come to you. So my brother, my sister, whatever you do, don't adopt a defeatist attitude.
Avoid that pitfall. Yes, you've been mistreated. Yes, you've lost people.
You've been done wrong, but God is able. Some of you feel like you're stuck in the background. Nobody knows you.
You are somebody that doesn't get any special attention or favors. God knows how to bring you from the background. Ruth was gleaning over in the corner of a field. Don't worry if you feel like you're in a corner. God knows how to call you out. He beckoned.
Come here young woman. God's going to beckon for you. One of these days you're going to see that his purpose prevails in your life. Believe that promise today because it comes straight from the mouth of God. His purpose for you will prevail. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Well, the last thing Jesus told his disciples before he ascended into heaven was to go out into all the world and make more disciples. And a great way for you to do that today is by partnering with Pastor Paul in the Destined for Victory ministry, joining him and sharing the hope we have in Christ with as many people as we can. All it takes is a monthly pledge of $20 or more, donations that will be used to help Pastor Paul share the gospel all over the world. And then as our way of saying thanks for your partnership, we'll send you a few welcome gifts, including one of Pastor Paul's most popular CDs, The Best of Let My People Smile.
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That's Influencers for Christ, a DVD message from Pastor Paul and our gift to you by request for your generous donation to Destined for Victory. If you're dealing with frustration in your life, I want you to know that it is possible and it is important that you learn to not wait till your frustrations are over before you say hallelujah anyhow. I want you to learn to praise God and to rejoice even in the midst of the frustrations. That's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Dealing with Frustration. But 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.
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