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June 14, 2021 4:00 am
This archived broadcast of Janet Mefford today is brought to you by pre-born for $140 you can provide ultrasounds to five women in crisis pregnancies. Call now 855402, baby. That's 855-402-2229 or Janet Mefford.com, our confidence is in Christ alone, I soil Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. In the Bible has so much to say about God's unchanging nature, which is really a great comfort when we think about how much our lives can change not only in small ways, but sometimes in very dramatic and unexpected ways they can upend our whole lives.
And when that happens, what we do what my next guest has some wonderful guidance about dealing with those big changes in life and learning how to walk through them as we trust in our unchanging God's order to talk today with Dr. Jeff Street. He is pastor of first Baptist Texarkana and founder of from his heart, ministries, and today will be discussing his book life interrupted how to face a new normal. Jeff, it is great to have you with us today. How are you great Janet is so good to be with you your your one of my heroes know while you're one of my Jeff. It is my honor to have you here and it's just great to hear your voice and great to read your book. This is such a practical book. I love practical Christian books because I don't know of anybody who has not at some time in his or her life had to deal with the new normal. Have you found that to pretty much be the cases you've been a pastor yet sure I preach this series of messages a number of years ago at our church.
When we were facing a change in the church gentleman who had been on our staff of 30 years had retired and the people were nervous about that.
What changes is going to come in so that was kind of the impetus for these thoughts to really upload through my mind and just to search the Scripture to see what is God had to say about big changes in life because they happen to everyone, they sure do you know, as I mentioned a little bit a moment ago changes normal, but there's a big difference between everyday changes like what I eat for lunch versus a huge change in life and death, or some traumatic situation. How would you characterize what it means to have a new normal. Well, I think the new normal is something that comes into your life that greatly changes the you is not just a little inconvenience, but it really changes your day-to-day so the loss of a spouse is going to greatly change that moving from one city to another will greatly change that the loss of a job and the finances that are associated with the job.
Those are those are traumatic things that come in if you get into an accident and all of a sudden I can't do the things that I used to do.
That's a new normal for sure and it takes some time for us to process that. And, and to be able to move all of the Lord. And so you know we talk about that in chapter 1. Life does go on, but but there some morning that is going to take place with those massive changes. You're right when you talk, for example, about Joshua and the Israelites and Moses and everything that was going on the Old Testament. How do you see Joshua as someone to read about and take to heart as you may be experiencing a new normal. Joshua such a wonderful character in the Scripture, and that you wanted things I like about Joshua is doing a sermon series on his on the book of Joshua right now Joshua was told by God on numerous occasions, be strong and courageous.
Do not tremble or be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua chapter 1 verse nine but he tells them that throughout the book and you not think would Joshua. The reason the Lord keeps telling them that is because he's probably prone to be afraid I wouldn't want to follow Moses and so he's got some fear there that the Lord has to constantly tell him I'm with you, just as I was with Moses, I will be with you, and I think that those words especially to someone who's lost a loved one or his face something very traumatic to know that God is said, I haven't left you here and Psalm 23 verse four. When you pass when you face the dark valley of the shadow of death.
You don't need to fear an evil because he's with you, and I think just knowing the presence of God is here with me in this dark valley in this difficulty that is that's worth it all because it's like okay I'm not facing this by myself. He promised he will not leave me in this in this difficulty yet so comforting when you talk about Joshua and the Israelites going through the steps to dealing with massive changes in life. The first being you more and I think this is such a basic truth but sometimes people forget it's okay to mourn. It's okay to experience the loss that you walk through right yeah when I was a young Christian I had a situation where I get I get greatly embarrassed in a Sunday school class was actually before the college department and I had this idea that if you are a Christian thing shouldn't hurt you and I had at Hawaii's older gentleman tell me he said yes. He said if you get punched in. It hurts, does that mean you're not a strong Christian and I said will know that them have anything to do with that.
He said today you got punched in your emotions and it's okay to hurt and that was like a revelation for me like you know what God not expecting me to be this super man that doesn't ever feel pain, and so I was able to release Pearson and to just express what I'm hurting here and you know the Scripture says the Lord is near to the brokenhearted, he saves those who are Christians.
So he understands and he ministers to us in those crimes were really really hurting really does. Yet you do reach a point where you stop morning and you know that such a tricky thing though sometimes because everybody is on a different timetable and it all depends on what the loss was if you for example you tell a story of a couple I think in your church who lost a child and really hung on to their morning in a very unhealthy way. But for other people who walk that same road they may be able to heal faster but it it's tough. I mean how do you know when to advise someone or it can you ever advise somebody to stop morning or does it just have to run its course, you think you have a pretty solid relationship with that person to be able to speak into that situation.
We have a man in our church, wonderful man who lost a son and he is white, had a hard time with that ET shared with me. He said at our old church. He said the pastor told us they you need to quit morning this and start moving on and right or wrong, it just it was very difficult for him to hear. They ended up leaving the church is a ended up coming to ours because of that and so I didn't really know he would. He was starting to heal.
When I met but it that's that's a hard thing. I think you really have to be led by the Lord to be able to speak into someone's life.
There is easier to do in a sermon because and I'm not talking to you I'm talking everybody and not you, it's the Lord impressed upon your heart that he's talking to you and you take, but it is a necessary step is to embrace your new normal in order to accept where you are. You think of the stages of grief that people will talk about in anger and acceptance in morning and everything and then eventually you're able to move on. But that's just a natural thing, is it not you have to stop morning or at least morning with extreme emotion in order to get to a place where you say well this is what the Lord is given me to walk through.
Now I just have to trust him right and you know one of the one of the illustration book comes from the life of John your cantata yes and how she got massive change. She breaks her neck and now I'm a quadriplegic in a wheelchair and wanting to die in that statement that she makes is so powerful. What if I can't die and show me how to live and she had come to that place of okay do this is my reality. This is my new normal. So now what I do I don't I can't just give up. I can't just quit. You know, Joseph is another good example in the book of Genesis committee. Khadija said will… Thanks and I hate my brothers and disconnect out the rest of my life and you know rotten prison, but he didn't do that. He kept trusting God. Okay, this is my lot in life. So if I'm to be a slave and part of herself. I would be the best ladies ever seen, to be a prisoner in the king's prison, to be the best trustee they've ever seen and he constantly pressed into the Lord and trusted the Lord and God blessed his life and was able to promoting in the story of Joseph to the number two man knowledge. Yeah it is great that we know the end of that story so we can say wow. That's what we need to shoot for is to trust in the Lord even when we walk through those very deep waters. Dr. Jeff's dreams my Gasparilla take a break and come back discussing his book life interrupted how to face a new normal.
Listening to hi this is Janet Mefford. If you're in need of a new healthcare program that you missed the open enrollment deadline in December. It's not too late. The special enrollment period is taking place now through August 15. During this time you can enroll in a healthcare program of your choice without the need for a qualifying event.
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To donate, call 855402 baby 855402 baby or there's a banner to firstname.lastname@example.org Janet Mefford today planter with us and glad to be talking with Dr. Jeff's Shreve. He is pastor of first Baptist Texarkana and founder of from his heart, ministries, and were discussing his book called life interrupted how to face a new normal in any deep water you have to wander through your never doing it alone. You always have the Lord with you, but it can be a really tough situation to walk through some very trying times and Jeff is helping us to do that you also talk to Jeff about Isaiah, can you give us some insight from Isaiah on how we deal with the new normal. Yeah so you know the relationship that Isaiah had with Hezekiah which can you Gaia where they were family members and he was he really look to him thinking it been looking for so many years. That was a major major blow when he died and what God teaches us in chapter 6 is the real king is alive and well. So you just need to keep your eyes fixed on me because leaders, leaders go. But though the Lord reigns forever as the book of Psalms the Lord said his king at the flood, the Lord fits his king forever.
And so the emphasis that I make on that chapter is that you know that the king is not dead. The king is alive God is still in control. You can still trust him no matter what you just need to keep your eyes on him.
That's great. Well, one some of the things that you point out in the book when you talk about the king being in complete control. You also add that he's holy and he's righteous. We see this in Isaiah chapter 6 was Isaiah's recognizing his righteousness is as filthy rags, but how does that come into play Jeff when you're considering the wonder of the Lord and his role in our lives, and his sovereignty in our lives, but the fact that he is good that he is in fact perfect without any sin whatsoever.
Why should that matter will because you know when the bad things happen to us so we don't like an unwanted and on warranted changes, you know, because they come in and check with us ahead of time. A this happened. Are you okay with that. They just come in so we have to know that because God is holy, holy, holy. He never makes mistakes, there's no one righteousness with God. United James says that every good and perfect gift comes down from above, from the father of lights, and there is no variation or shadow of turning. God doesn't have a dark side. He is just like and so everything that he does, although I don't understand it. I can trust in it because I know that this is he's going to work this together for my good. He knows what he's doing. He sees the end from the beginning.
I don't but I can trust that he has a pure heart, and he is a God of love and what he's doing in my life is going to end up good for me. Adrian Rogers used to say the will of God for your life is what you would want for yourself if you had sense enough to want wonderful. I like that too. And don't you think when you look back over the course of your life. You're jogging my memory here about a lot of things that I've been through and I think I wouldn't have chosen going through at acts at the time. You know that wouldn't of been something that I would've one of the Lord to put me through but then you have years go by and you can see God's providence.
Looking back and not only see the work of sanctification that that brought about in your own life, but sometimes sometimes you can see a connecting of the dots. Well, if that hadn't happened the way it happened this thing that came later might not have turned out the way it did.
And that was wonderful so you be writing to see and I mean have you had that experience Jeff when you're looking back through your life sometime some of the worst things that you thought happened in your life turned out to be some of the best things when it came to glorifying God. Yet, my wife and I just reminded our youngest daughter Sarah. She just graduated from PA school and she was rejected three times trying to get into peace PA school and we said there Sarah, do you realize if got it open the door and you had gotten the first time, you wouldn't have met your future husband. He wouldn't have been where you where he had you because of the setbacks he put you in position to bless your life and so you know, one of things that I was thinking about was with Joe Joe going through horrible things coming on what we can comprehend. And he wouldn't want to do that again.
Obviously, in his lifetime. He said I heard of you, God, with the year, but now my eye sees you and now I repent in dust and ashes. He had such a clearer picture of who God is, because of what he went through the ever would've had if those things it never happened and I think that is that is worth it all by Job Utz. Are you glad that you went through that he would say yes. I don't really want to repeat it but I'm so glad it went through it well and you think about Job being told your story is a book of the Bible and you have encouraged people suffering for centuries because God used your story to encourage others through so many years. Yeah it's amazing and even amazing guy you know the Lord speaks about him even if just in the book of Ezekiel, even if Job were here praying he could only deliver his own life and so Job was very, very special guy mentioned Job and Daniel and Noah three heavy hitters. That's awesome. What about losing your song. This is one of the things you write about in the book as well.
People who just are giving up hope. God has forgotten me. I'm never going to get over this.
I'm never going to get past this. This is the end what you say to a Christian who is in that position who's just so depressed and despondent about circumstances that God seems like he's not even listening to my prayers anymore right think there a lot of people get their and someone 37 you know is what we use in the book. That Psalm of lament for the captives in Babylon and hung up their harps and said you know I can't sing anymore lost my song I was encourage people with Romans 1513 now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power the Holy Spirit. I think you just constantly remind yourself that God is the God of hope and when something when he closes one door he opens another and you know him just like the situation with Joshua hey Moses might be dead. But God's not dead and he's got a promised land for you to take in their use Jordan to cross and there is a land of joy that you might not be able to see, but it's out there and as you trust God even through the tears you say what Johnny Erickson did.
If I can't dive and show me how to live in you continue to trust and continue to praise and continue to look at him, God will he will bring the light on, he will bring joy back in your heart will change you where you can play with Job, though he slay me, yet will I trust that's great you know I can't help but think about the words of the Lord on the cross to any cries out my God my God, why hast thou forsaken me, and we know reading the Bible.
These many years later, God had not forsaken his son. He turned away because of sin being atoned for that moment, but what he would be resurrected on the third day.
That's a comforting thing for me when I read that because I said God doesn't forsake. We see this again and again you quote. In fact, the original I love this Jeff you quoted the original language of I think is Hebrews 13, five and six.
I will not, never, never leave you and I will not never forsake you. That's so much better than the English translation because they couldn't be any stronger. I'm gonna leave you. I'm never going to forsake you any never, never does know you know in Isaiah where the Lord says when you pass to the waters. I'll be with you into the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched or the flame kindle upon you from the Lord your God, the holy one of Israel, your Savior. Those are just verses of great encouragement and even when God feels a million miles away, some 13 efforts to sermon on that years ago when I called it when God feels a million miles away because David is Sandler where are you you know if you forgotten me, will I need you give me light in the darkness lest I die.
And then he finishes that Psalm and he says you trusted in the lovingkindness of God, and I know God's gonna come through because that's the character and that's the nature of God and so friend of mine said one of the one the words that we need as Christians to remember the word yet haven't happened yet doesn't mean they're not going to happen didn't mean God is not an answer my prayer. It's just means it hasn't happened yet and so I need to keep trusting him for his great point yet. The way you see it in your book as you say you trust God to make things right in his time, but so often we we want to determine the time schedule.
Now I want you to solve my problem. You know he's God were not. Why don't we go back more often to to Romans and remember that he's the Potter were the clay we need to get that right sometimes and recognize that we have a very benevolent loving and merciful father who is that Potter right thing. Janet people who are facing our listeners. No doubt there a lot of them that are facing really serious situation near-normal to is just very very hard to know that your job as a Christian, really. If you boil it down, Jesus said, Revelation 210.
Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
We don't. There's never a time that we shine more brightly for the Lord and were going through it very dark valley, and in a very difficult situation because if we can continue to trust and continue to praise him and continue to look to him that is such a testimony to a lost world. There's something about this Christianity because this person is still trusting praising and singing the praises of the Lord. That's an excellent point.
Good reminder and ultimately what we want to do is you mention is finish our race strong and we do that as you say, by staying committed to the word of God in the work of God and stay assured of the reward of God. This is really I think a comfort again to say that Jesus saved us so we could finish the race and finish it strong that that were not running this race by ourselves. Jeff right right and in the Lord has a purpose for our lives have a lady in our church. Janet she said if you have a pulse, you have a purpose and if you have a purpose.
You have a price and I love that it's gray some no matter what it happened.
If you're still alive. If your heart still beating someone 50. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. If you have breath in your lungs. You have an opportunity to praise and shine in here that is perfect for the name of the book is life interrupted Dr. Jeffrey with us and what a delight to have you. Jeff, thank you so much for being here. Thank you Janet.
I really enjoyed it now meets you, God bless you. This archived broadcast of Janet my for today is brought to you by pre-born for $140 you can provide ultrasounds to five women in crisis pregnancies.
Call now 855402, baby.
That's 855-402-2229 or Janet my for.com and here's your show back on Janet member today. They say the only sure things in life or death and taxes. But I doubt there's anybody on to hasn't also experienced 1/3 reality that is flexion. It's why have always loved Psalm 3419 which says many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all. The question is, how should we consider Christ in affliction.
This is the title of a new booklet from Dr. Joel Beatty, who is president of Puritan reformed theological seminary and a pastor of the heritage reformed congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is here now to offer some biblical wisdom on this very important topic so good to welcome you back Dr. Biggie how are you doing doing well great to be with you well. Great to have you here and you say you are addressing this question of how to live Christianly through affliction. There is obviously a difference between somebody who does not know Christ to his suffering and someone who does know Christ. But what is the distinction there to live Christianly even though you're going through some affliction right 1200 techniques for coping with affliction, you can count and hope you know you in all your your trial is well more lessons in this intensity you can you can try other secular techniques, but what I discovered in my own life was if you if you really focus on Jesus and what he went through and compared to what you're going through and you understand that he's bring you through affliction to sanctify you. That's more help than anything else in the world.
So a Christian has better tools to cope with affliction that a non-Christian, very true. Now when we talk about the reason for flexion.
The purpose of affliction we have to go back obviously to the fall of man, it's all rooted in Adam. What Christians need to understand about the reason for affliction.
When we do look back to man entering into sin and how those things are connected between Adam and me and my affliction yeah yeah well as Christians we we we. Should echoing Paul, of course, in Romans five the guilt of Adam's sin, because he was representing the whole human race is imputed that is reckoned to the account of every person that comes into the world so we come into the world staying with Original Sin and the pollution of that original sin is passed on from generation to generation, so that when were born. Our parents pass on the pollution to us because Adam is that only our covenantal heart is also our natural head and so as we grow up.
There is not a single parent, and I think everyone will agree to that, whether Christian or non-Christian to have to teach their child how to sin against anyone of the 10 Commandments. Yes, it all. It all comes naturally. So we come into the world with the with a bad heart and we soon get a bad record because were sinners before God and affliction is one way of God saying to us. I'm dealing with your sin. But if are in Christ up from the second out of the river.
It represents us, then affliction is not traditional, not punitive, but if sanctifying if it's done by by our father and so is Hebrews 12 says our father just chastens us or disciplines us for his glory for our good, that we might be partakers of his righteousness, and of his holiness. Yes, that's a whole lot better yet, it is because there still is this leftover mentality. I think even among believers that if something really horrible happens to me. Maybe my child got in a disease that can't be cured or someone died are some horrible tragedy that somehow God was punishing me how do you really comfort a Christian in that truth that you just expressed that affliction is not punishment against the Christian well what I do and I've done this literally in my lifetime with hundreds and hundreds of people are even thousands.
I would say I take them to Hebrews 12 I walk them through the first 14 verses of Hebrews 12 which specifically so that God does not punish his people discharge but is treating them like a father that goes on to say that if you don't have any of this affliction, then you're an illegitimate child and not a child of God because God uses affliction to sanctify us to make us more dependent on Christ, so that the basis actually of my my little book when it says in verse three for consider him that endured. That is Jesus that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds. Well that's such a good thing to say because we do always have to go back and look at Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.
So when you tell people to first consider Christ's passion. When you are in affliction when you're going through some sort of a trial or difficulty or suffering is some sort. How do you advise Christians to consider the passion of Christ as a means of comfort or a means of you some sort of rationale for understanding more clearly that what you're going through, has a context. When you look at what Jesus went through backup and fit this way, Janet went when I pastored several hundred people my lifetime that have gotten cancer in the first there shocked in their their overwhelmed and then at some point will come back to me and I usually say something like this you know I went to the to get my chemotherapy and I sent a room with all kinds of people that I cancer. I looked around the room. I said you know I don't have a very bad compared to some it is other people and actually help me to realize that it could be much worse is on the type of thing. No, you multiply that times 10,000, when you look at Jesus and you say she was perfectly innocent and he suffered and died for me and what you get some money and Galba find Golgotha and was tried in all points. Hebrews 415 like I am, yet without sin, and he never sin once throughout it all, about all for me far worse than I've ever experienced. He was perfectly innocent, at least partially guilty wow that's amazing. So if you took his big cross and went through it seamlessly and gives me the grace to go through my small cross, then I'm I'm ready to do that. I want to do it to his honor and his glory, look to him in his sufferings as I pass through my sufferance, and of a book of his sufferings. I say Lord Jesus, thank you so much that my sufferance are so small compared to what you have to go through for me right well and when you consider why Christ suffered why Christ went through, way worse than we ever will in our life just from the physical punishment that he went through being crucified and being whipped and being no way I having a crown of thorns put on his head and the humiliation he went through and he was innocent. It's interesting because he did that because of my sin in the first place, and the love you, not the love that God has for us is something that I don't think I take enough time to really consider that that will.
It was love for the father to obey his father and to fulfill what God had promised from the very beginning that he would send his only begotten son to save us. Love, in and of itself, the love of God is so comforting that just knowing right yeah right and then you then you end up saying something like this don't you will died for me and I at least live for him through this affliction and bring him glory by by being submissive under. Do you think part of the problem that we sometimes have is when we are suffering we have a tendency to become self absorbed and I don't mean that in a mean way, anybody who gets a cancer diagnosis or news of a terrible car crash or something like that. Of course are to consider your sufferings immediately, but to do well on them is to not really understand them or to understand God's greater purpose. Like you mentioned in Hebrews chapter 12 that's right that's right. And if you take a step back and you look at it objectively, especially from a pastor's perspective. When I look at the people in my congregation that are extremely mature spiritually are really godly people sanctified, almost inevitably there people to have gone through quite large dosages of affliction at some point in their life and if you ask people you asked Christians when the time in your life. You feel the closest to God and you were living you were living the most godly, most dependent most using mostly using the spiritual disciplines with profit.
They will almost always tell you it was when times when I was afflicted, yes.
So David says it was good for me to a been afflicted that I might learn thy statutes that I think that's what we need to learn and we we will be first give affliction. It's hard to get into that mode right away but affliction symbols and deeper is sanctified, then then spiritually mature people will respond even to cancer and say you know I would trade this for anything because God brought me closer to him and this is considering Christ is good for my soul.
That's right, well… Don't think he is with us were to come right back.
Janet this is Janet math for on a 100° day in Ethiopia Africa. Hundreds gathered for Sunday worship outdoors, and some walked an hour to be there afterward 30-year-old caveman frantically copied Scriptures from an old Bible to a piece of paper. Then his face turned sad as he close the Bible and handed it back to its owner, one of only a few in that church of hundreds to have a Bible you see came and loves the Lord leads his family and his faithful at Sunday worship, but he's never read a single verse in his own Bible because Bibles are very difficult to obtain, where he lives with our way through the ministry of Bible league international you can send God's word to a new believer in Africa five dollars cents one Bible $50 sends 10 call 800 yes word 800 YESWO RD 800 yes word or there's a banner to email@example.com. Thank you.
Hi this is Janet never did you miss the deadline to sign up for home care program at the end of 2020.
If so, I have good news special enrollment period is taking place now through August 15, meaning that if you're looking to enroll in the new healthcare program for 2021 you can do so without the need for a qualifying event more than 200,000 Americans trust liberty healthcare for their healthcare needs. Liberty healthcare is a nonprofit healthcare sharing ministry that offers affordable healthcare sharing programs starting as low as $199 per month. Liberty healthcare gives you the ability to choose any doctor or hospital across the nation. Memberships are for individuals, couples and families offering a variety of options to best suit your medical needs. Discover more about the power of firstname.lastname@example.org/JMP today for more information call 855-585-4237 855-585-4237 liberty healthcare.org/JMP you're listening to Medford today and know we're back on Janet Mefford today. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us in the Bible says let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, wonderful passage and were talking about how we should consider Christ in affliction, we all suffer affliction of various types and Dr. Joel beak. He is with us, president of Puritan reformed theological seminary is great book on this topic is our topic of discussion, Dr. Vicki you are so on the money when you are making the point that some of the most mature godly Christians you've ever met are those who really walk through affliction and said that that those places of suffering were really the places where they grew to know Jesus Christ like they had never known him before and isn't this going back to the fellowship of his sufferings that the Bible talks about yeah you sort out. It is great advantages for some a vertical level between our relationship between God and then it translates to the horizontal level because Paul says we we need to comfort all is with the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God in our afflictions and so it's when you're really afflicted as been sanctified to you that you can be a good counselor for other afflicted Christians and non-Christians. That's great. Another thing that you implore Christians to do is to consider the power of Christ. When you are afflicted, and I think is Matthew chapter 11 report, where Jesus has come to me all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest and I'm gentle and humble in heart, and my yoke is easy and my burden is light and these sometimes are hard words when you really are in the fire of affliction to say how do I cast my burdens on you, Lord, what do I do in that moment to consider how powerful you are, is opposed to how weak I am about this Jesus was walking to Jerusalem for the last time is going to suffer. He's going to diagnose it. And there's a crawled throng around him, Mark 10 says suddenly he hears the cry of Bart Tamayo's a blind beggar despised by nearly everyone. And he he he calls them to himself and he feels this is a you know I will be about Vito Heald and think of Jesus. He's in the middle of his humiliation and suffering. He's got the power to do that now is exalted at the right hand of the father free of any infirmity. What power yes and then think about the powers going to have on the Judgment Day. When it comes in judges all met power to help you in every affliction that comes your way and so you go to him not only as the suffering savior to help you to understand why, and to be sanctified by him, but you also go to him as the Almighty Savior who can deliver you from every affliction right and who can give you strength to bear right well. The other thing that you mention is the presence of Christ.
This to me is one of the most comforting things of all, all of these are so important, but that that's the one I run to. Usually when I'm in the midst of any suffering is low.
I am with you always, even to the end of the age and the promise of Jehovah, Shema, the God who is there, just having this comfort of God's presence is so important in so many Christians who suffer talk about that just Lord I want to feel your presence what you mean though, to rest in the presence of Christ at a moment like that. Well I mean it means one thing that you learn to appreciate the doctrine of Christ's intercession of the right hand of the father more than you ever have before. Hebrews 725 so if he ever lives to make intercession for us. So what we what many people don't realize is that Jesus has the capacity to remember. Always people the millions of people around the globe.
At one moment, but all corporate light which is beautiful, but he also has the infinite capacity to remember each individual believer is if you are sure you were were his only child, and so think about it this way my daily life. If he is remembering me every moment of the right hand of the father. What do I have to fear all things shall work together for good to them that love God and he's keeping me in the palm of his hand so that is yes indeed extremely comforting when there's times when I come come to an end of my own prayers.
I'm so burden them so afflicted. Maybe I can only cry out, Lord, Lord, Lord, I getting put words I'm so overwhelmed, but you can still see at that point Lord Jesus prayed for me and and he does and he will yet I wish we talk more about that because I happen to love that you know when you go to Hebrews, especially the whole book is about Christ, our high priest after the order of Melchizedek and it is just such a great book, but this issue of Jesus interceding for us. Some people was that William and I I'm asking Jesus to pray for me. Why does Jesus need to intercede for me. If it's finished. What what is the truth about that doctrine that Christ continues to make intercession for us is our great high priest well. The beauty of going to his own father same father.
I will on the basis of my own mirrors that we would take care of the center and is particularly and of course the Holy Spirit and well the and and and so so we will feel sometimes like were going to be overwhelmed, but but he will keep us from from drowning. The water may seem to even come overhead momentarily, but we will come up again for air and he will keep us, he will keep the feet of the saints all the way to the end.
So intercession is all about, you know, one Peter one verse five we are chapped we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. It's great. So many good versus your mentioning another aspect of course is considering the promises of Christ. This seems to me to come in very handy when you are praying, but it feel sometimes like you're praying to brass heavens, and Christians will talk like this. I've had moments like this. Why, I just it doesn't feel like my prayers are getting through, which is ridiculous because we know objectively that if we are praying in Jesus name. He is hearing us, but how do you cling to promises when you are not necessarily feeling the presence of God or your emotions are all over the place. How do you stand on the promises of the Scriptures at a moment like that by faith by faith rather than by site and the Puritans used to say you honor Christ more when you rest on the promises and believe the promises when you can feel it when you can feel it yours and you can feel it. Well, you feel it so it's easy to do when you walk by faith. When you trust God and in the naked blindness of faith. It's a wonderful thing because then you giving God all the glory you say Lord I believe. I believe in you believe in your word, no matter what comes my way writes something else. I love that you said you got so many good people need to buy your book and read this because it's just so so helpful to any Christian who would read this you have us consider the plenitude of the abundance of Christ and you talk about his threefold office thought about that angle of considering Christ and affliction in that particular way, how do we apply that. How do we apply the plenitude of Christ to our affliction will think think of it this way please my prophet priest and king. He really really meets all money is teaching me in whatever going through his sacrifice for me is pray for my salvation is interceding is remember me at the right have father is priest then as King's ruling and guiding me in every detail of my life, so that even ever hear my head is numbered both in every area where I have need.
He's there and all the plenitude of the infinite capacity since is also God of all his offices and sky so great.
All this is such good advice.
Another aspect that I was considering in the affliction category is the fact that when you go to Hebrews 12 in your talking about God disciplines those whom he loves you think of John 15, where Christ is talking about the fact that every branch in hand. That does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that bears fruit he prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. Would you draw a distinction between pruning and discipline. As far as the purposes of God, and suffering you pruning pruning is God's way of disappointing us, but it again is a fatherly discipline of photo discipline and anger. It's it's for our betterment. So just as a father as hard as it is for him at times knows he loves his son the most. When he disciplines him and prunes and for his own good. So God knows when to prune us back for our own good night which you you had mentioned before Hebrews chapter 12 and how you walked a lot of Christians to that when the subject comes up with there be any other passages that you would recommend that you would find to be helpful to people who may be in deep affliction right now. Yes, I often counsel my my my church people to start at Isaiah 40 and read to the end of the book right so course, direct them to the Psalms and some some of the Psalms. In particular, are extremely helpful and direct them to different parts of the gospel of John, but also Romans chapter 8 is a very very special chapter when it talks about that we are led by the Holy Spirit and that he groans within us. Cronies are honorable and will bring us through all things all work together for good. There's no separation. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus will carry you through.
So nothing in life and you know the last two verses 38, 39, Romans eight are fantastic. Nothing in life and nothing in this world nothing past present future mobile to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord Jesus hand of the you'll be able to pull through any affliction that comes your way. Absolutely right.
How should we consider Christ and affliction. This is the Reformation heritage perplexed by Dr. Joel Beatty, thank you so much for being here.
See next time