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March 31, 2020 4:00 am
God wants us to notice your mind.
I love you. I sent my son to die for you. You're my child.
Trust me God is in charge of everything is not revealing everything that is doing something that is trust. Today we are continuing this brand-new message that we began last time one that John breached just a few days ago.
It's a biblical response to the turmoil and confusion. The world is experiencing right now during the COBIT 19 pandemic so let me start by asking a few questions. Is God in complete control of everything and if so and if he is good. Why is there so much in the world. That's bad, why are there tragedies like earthquakes and hurricanes, tsunamis, and pandemics in this question. Maybe one you had. Why wouldn't God take special care to keep his own children from suffering. If any of those questions has been on your mind lately.
I think you're going to find great encouragement from John in his lesson today so follow along as he continues, is timely. Look at finding security in a troubled world. Our nation is facing something that has circle the globe. The coronavirus epidemic and it has created fear, confusion, doubt, questions everywhere, and we haven't seen the end of it yet.
It's still moving at a rapid rate. We don't know the final outcome of that. Not just the physical outcome of the illness itself, but the implications that have hit everyone from an economic standpoint, and even though 99 point something percent of people who receive this will recover from it.
There is still mounting. Fear not just from the illness itself, but from all that's happening around it that is changing people's lives.
The world can be a difficult place. Isaiah 822 says look to the earth, and behold distress and darkness in the gloom of anguish. We understand that on a more personal level.
Solomon writing in Ecclesiastes chapter 2, said I hated life for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me because everything is futility and striving after wind because all of a man's days is task is painful and grievous. Even at night. His mind does not rest. That's a man with no media.
That's a man just saying life is vain, Justin my own circle of experience.
Jesus said in John 1633 in the world you will have tribulation. You'll have trouble the word in the Greek is actually pressure the Bible, however, always tells us this, that God is in the trouble God is in the trouble is not just looking at the trouble. He's not just allowing the trouble he is in the trouble listen to Isaiah 1424 the Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, surely, just as I have intended so it has happened and just as I have planned it so it will stand again. Isaiah says in chapter 46. My purpose will be established and I will accomplish all my good pleasure. Truly, I have spoken.
Truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it and what is God speaking of everything. Actually everything what God wants you to know is he is in charge of absolutely everything that a complex city level that is so vastly beyond your comprehension that explaining it would be useless, but he wants you to know this is all according to his will that everything operates. That is to say he is absolutely sovereign in the world.
He is in control and what he purposes is exactly what comes to pass, and he wants you to know that if you belong to him. It's all working together for your good. God wants us to notice your mind. I love you. I sent my son to die for you.
You're my child. Trust me, trust me, God is in charge of everything is not revealing everything, but he is doing something and that is he's teaching us to trust him. He's teaching us to trust in most of those lessons are much more enhanced and much more intense and much more effective when were in trouble learn a lot when everything's going well. We don't listen very well. We we start listening when we're at the end of our ability to control something when life getting away from us when when forces beyond us have taken over. Maybe we become a little more eager to listen and what would God say to us what lessons does he want us to learn. I'm going to give you some of those just a list taken from a number of passages of Scripture. But let me tell you what God is doing in your life in my life. In this time of trouble. Number one God uses trouble in this is in a general sense is in a broad sense, but it's applicable in a specific sense God uses trouble to test the strength of our faith.
God uses trouble to test the strength of our faith and not by the way, he doesn't need to tested for his information. He knows that but he tested for our information. Listen to Exodus chapter 16 verse four the Lord said to Moses, behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in my instruction will they go out and take just enough for a day and believe God that the next day he will provide more bread and the next day. More bread and on the sixth day they can bring in twice as much because there won't be any bread on the Sabbath will will they do what I command them to do another illustration of this can be found in the prophecy of Habakkuk Habakkuk sees doom on the horizon and he says in the opening of his prophecy. The Oracle which Habakkuk the prophet saw how long the Lord will I call for help and you will not hear.
I cry out to you violence. You do not save, why do you make me see iniquity and cause me to look on wickedness. Yes, destruction and violence are before me strike existing contention arises. Therefore the law is ignored and justice is never upheld for the wickets around the righteous justice comes out perverted.
Are you looking look at the nations observe says God back because I'm doing something in your days. You wouldn't believe if you were told, doesn't look good. Trust me, trust me, that's the lesson this is a test of Habakkuk's faith. How did he do with the test well over in the third chapter of the back there's one of the most wonderful portions of Scripture anywhere. Verse 16 the end of chapter 3 the end of the prophecy I heard I heard from God and my inward parts trembled the sound. My lips quivered decay enters my bones in my place. I tremble because I must wait quietly for the day of distress for the people to arise who will invade us. He's terrified because prophecies telling him that invaders are coming and they're coming with power and judgment on the Jewish people. But notice his faith. Verse 17 though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail in the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls look he's an agrarian guy. He lives in an agrarian culture if everything that is predictable. Fig trees blossoming fruit showing up on vines, olive oil, not failing over hundreds of years from the same tree if everything that is normal and routine is changed dramatically.
Yet, I will exalt in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength and he has made my feet like Hinds feet like mountain goats feet and he makes me walk on my high places, and actually gives instruction to turn it into a song for the choir director in a stringed instrument. If everything in my world that I know is routine and normal goes away disappears is so dramatically altered as if to not exist I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength. I'm like a mountain goat on high places. This is why God brings trouble does need to explain anything to us what he does and that trouble first of all is test our faith in him. Second Chronicles 3231 says about Hezekiah God left him to test him that he might know what was in his heart.
Not that God might know, but that Hezekiah might know God knows what's in our heart. God knows everything.
The test is for us so that we can do an honest evaluation of our faith. So how are you doing in this momentary chaos of a virus house. Your faith God allows those trials for us to test the strength of our faith. Secondly, I would say it it kind of flows out of that God has a second purpose that is to humble us.
I would suggest you that anyone going through a test of faith legitimately and honestly is going to say I need more faith. I need more faith and you're going to be humbled the severest test of faith on the most faithful person is not likely to cause that faithful person to be proud about his or her faithfulness, but rather the most godly and spiritual person in the midst of the trial would say Lord I believe strengthen my faith concentric in chapter 12 there is a text that speaks so directly to this Paul is suffering a thorn in the flesh.
This thorn in the flesh is not likely a physical ailment.
This thorn in the flesh is described as a messenger of Satan. The messengers on the loss. The satanic angel is a demon. Most likely this demon was tormenting him, not on a personal level but tormenting him by leading the attacks on his beloved Corinthian church, and this became painful and agonizing for Paul that demon led false teachers were tearing up his beloved Corinthian church.
So for seven he says because of the surpassing greatness of the Revelation. For this reason, to keep me from exalting myself.
There was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me to keep me from exalting myself. Why would God allow demonically inspired false teachers to do damage to the Corinthian church.
The answer is to humble Paul, when you think of Paul. You think of the godly list of men without without equal, and yet pride was a reality in his life because of the many revelations that he had had and he says even I in the midst of this trial recognize that God is humbling me. The Lord puts us through trials then to test the strength of our faith and in the testing to show us that our faith is far less than it should be.
Even the noblest of us and therefore to humble us to the point where we would say with Paul.
I am well content with weaknesses. Give me more of this.
If it humbles me that something you thought about whatever the distresses are currently. Are you saying Lord I'm not what I should be.
I thank you for the reality of my faith. The truthfulness of my faith. It's the real thing. My faith holds and stands. This test has proven the validity of the faith you gave me in Christ, but can you say Lord bring on more whatever it takes to humble me because I know your power is perfected in my weakness I will rather boast gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. So the Lord brings these things into our lives to test the strength of our faith and in the testing and inevitably, our pride, self-confidence, self trust is exposed and we are humble, there are the two profoundly initial realities with the Lord is doing in our lives I think is 1/3 principle, I think the Lord is weaning us from earthly things the Lord is weaning us from earthly things in Colossians Paul says, set your mind on the things above, not on things on the earth for you died your life is hidden with Christ in God. Will one of those earthly things you need to turn from immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, greed you once walked in those things, put them away along with anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech don't lie put on the new self renewed in the true knowledge according to the image of one who created them the mark by compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another, forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you that that's a godly life. That's what it means to set your mind on things above another things in the earth. One of the benefits of a massive trial like this is the fact that there is a certain sense in which the reset button has been set in all of our lives. We don't know what the next chapters going to look like we do know this, that is for our good. It's according to the will of God and will bring him glory. And so we approach this with joy and peace and love and purity and holiness and virtue and kindness.
In other words, we grasp all those heavenly realities that have been vouchsafed to us by the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. The fourth reality that is important to and that is this trials call us to heavenly hope trials, call us to heavenly hope in second Corinthians chapter 4 Paul closes this chapter recognizing the difficulties in verse 16 of second Corinthians 4.
Therefore, we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day were not only focused on those things that are heavenly.
But we're focused in the midst of trouble on the renewal of the inner man. In other words, we been weaned from the world where we are now walking more in the spirit and were in touch with what the Lord is doing in our hearts. Verse 17 for momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. In other words, how you respond to the trial is directly related to your eternal reward, while we look he says in verse 18 out of the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal goes on to say where Justin and earthly tent, and if this is torn down. We have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens for indeed in this house we groan and longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven when things begin to be stripped away from you in this world, your focus shifts to eternal glory. Couple of other things to think about. This would be 1/5 work of the Lord in this process of going through trouble God designs trouble to reveal what we really love to reveal what we really love what do you love. This is the kind of situation that will reveal that is anything especially dear to you, it's going to show up in a time of stress. I can't help but go anywhere. My thinking, but to Genesis 22 when the most horrible of all situations occurs man is told by God to take the life of this beloved son covenant son man is Abraham's son is Isaac. Then God says I want to take his life. All Abraham's hopes and all of his connections to the promise of God were in Isaac, but Abraham took him. Genesis 22 says, bound his son Isaac first nine but him on the altar on top of the wood stretch out his hand took the knife to slay his son but these of the Lord called him from heaven, and said Abraham. Abraham, we sit here I am, he said, do not stretch out your hand against the lad do nothing to him. For now, I know that you fear God, fear not in the sense of terror, but in the sense of respect.
Abraham has so much respect for God that when God tells him to take his son's life. He's ready to plunge the knife.
There's no question that Abraham loved Isaac. There is also no question you love God more. That's that's what happens in times of distress. What you really love who you really love becomes manifest. And if you really love God then in the midst of all the distress your rejoicing because God is in the distress. It is his will for your good and for his glory. Your finding out who you really love there's another principle that God is working in our lives through this he is putting us through trials that will enable us to help others in their trials. I think of Luke 22 where Jesus is Peter, you're going to go through this going to deny me on three occasions multiple times, but in the end, when you are converted and when you are turned around to go the right way, you will strengthen the brother you will strengthen the brother, the God of all comfort.
Paul says, comforts us, that we might comfort others. This is the work of God we become more useful to others.
We become more devoted to the Lord because we love him more than anything else, and whatever else might be taken away from us only leaves us with less, which makes it easier to focus on the one who really matters and that is God refining that you love them with all your heart with all your soul. That's the test in the end, the final word is pretty simple. God does what brings him glory.
If you love him, you rejoice in that reality, we want to bring honor and glory to God. That is what he is doing in all things God will receive glory from this current stress. We don't know exactly all the ways he will, but he does. That's why it's happening the end of all that I have to say to you is this, you are a part of something God is doing and you're on the top side of it. If you're a believer you you you're on the the heavenly side of it, you're looking down on this from the heavenly perspective we don't worry because we know who our father is. We know who our family is and we know what our futures, we don't worry but we do become learners through this kind of situation we have the responsibility to learn the lessons of the Lord is teaching us you can take a look at your own life and examine where you are in regard to the things we talked about but if you look at them rightly.
You see this not as a threat, but as an incredibly wonderful, promising opportunity to grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ and become more like the Savior more faithful to the Lord more obedient, more useful to him more joyful more the source of all that is good and godly than you were without this trial will gotta be the shining lights in the midst of all of this and when it's done. If you have been a faithful month. A Taser faithful learner disciple.
All these lessons will be for your good and his glory.
This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being here today.
John continued a message that we hope has encouraged you. He calls it, finding security in a troubled world not of course John, you preached this message in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It's a timely and urgent message what you hope listeners will take away from it. Well obviously they'll take away the promises that God makes to his people to care for them to meet their needs. The text actually commands believers not to worry that the command you a psychic. That's like any other command love the Lord your God with all your heart, someone is rank your neighbor as yourself or the 10 Commandments God commands us in the words of our Lord himself. Do not worry. And if you're worrying. Stop worrying and the reason is because you have a loving father who cares for you. This is only for those who belong to the Lord.
This is for the people of his own possession and as believers and in a time that is so fraught with that of the unknown and questions and fears we as believers are to be rocksolid. This is our time to stand firm with joy with peace with the living hope and confident trust in our Lord. That should be our testimony. If you're wavering on that you need to get a grip on it. So let me make an offer to you that I think would make a great difference in your life, while supplies last.
I'd like to send you a free copy of my book anxious for nothing.
This is a 200 page book, we hear from well through the years, tens of thousands of people who struggle with this and this book has had an impact on countless people in that particular aspect of their spiritual struggle. We have copies of anxious for nothing, it's our gift to you. Call, email, go to our website or write today will send it to anyone who asks free of charge and friend know that we want to strengthen you with biblical truth. This book anxious for nothing, is designed to do just that. So ask for your copy will set it free.
While supplies last.
Contact us today our number here is 855 grace or you can request this firstname.lastname@example.org. The book is titled anxious for nothing, and it spells out the spiritual resources God has given you not only to endure trials, but also to experience God's supernatural peace and even joy in the midst of those trials remember anxious for nothing is yours free, while supplies last. So get in touch with us today. Call 855 grace or go to GT Y.thanks for telling us with these daily programs mean to you and thank you for praying for us. That's really your most important ministry to us to let us know how God is using grace to you in your life. You can write to us at box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or email your feedback to email@example.com and to request your free copy of anxious for nothing, call 855 grace or go to TTY.org again for your free book call now 855 grace or go to TTY.org now for John MacArthur and the grace to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson inviting you back tomorrow. When will return to our regular schedule with John's Easter series called the crucifixion Chronicle. Don't miss the next half-hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on racing