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Counting Stars in an Empty Sky (Part 9)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
September 12, 2019 12:50 am

Counting Stars in an Empty Sky (Part 9)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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Scientific study had shown that laughter is connected to our immune system. Laughter actually affects our hormones and our white cell counts laughter even raises the level of pain tolerance and I just thought about this for a minute and then Isaac and all the sons need to do is to go 3000 years ago and read Proverbs 1722 and here's what the word of God said 3000 years ago. Laughter does the heart good like a medicine but a broken spirit makes the body sick. I think of all the people in the world that ought to be joyful all the time regardless of the circumstances other believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and and yet I think the reason why we are not joyful and were easily lose our joy is because we take ourselves too seriously. We really do.

That's part of the problem.

The number of years ago I was being interviewed by phone and the writer is writing an article in a one of those pastoral leadership magazines and and in the end he said well you have anything to say to young pastors and I thought about it for a few seconds and iconic, said yeah I have something really really deep theological advice that I want to give is it all here. What is it I'm writing I'm writing I said yeah take your call very seriously.

Don't take yourself too seriously. I find that the reason I'm always entertained is because I laugh at myself sometimes. I'm standing here I'm the only one is laughing yoga ligament as it was a loving loving of myself that if you read Psalm 126 it says that laughter is indeed a gift from God and it is connected to the song of praise as a matter of fact there are four times that the Bible said, God laughs, God laughs Psalm to verse four and Psalm 3713 Psalm 59, eight and Proverbs 126 and every time you read that God laughs is when man in particular wicked men think that they are in charge and they running things God sits in heaven is at half. Take a left leg regular going left just left with God is a good is no doubt in my mind that joy for the believer comes from living day in and day out with the eternal perspective, it really does want to show you in a minute because that's really what distinguishes us from the secular world from secular society. The word secular means this life.

They are focusing on this life. They are focusing what's happening in the news what is happening to the economy what is happening to the government and the politics are never out. Everything is focus on this life. Now not saying you need to check out of this life unless I think that you can see what's going on but you still have the eternal perspective, and I'll tell you this world is filled with hatred and anger and bitterness and fear and worry and anxiety are not refused to be part of a man with some of you don't want to be part of that to because if we fall for that one difference between us and the people of the world.

What difference we just like them. I was looking in my files last week and I was going through some of the files and I come across something that I wrote 20 years ago.

If you ever want to lose your joy. These 10 things would guarantee you lots of joy and misery.

Okay number one make little things bother you. But don't just let them make them. Secondly, lose your eternal perspective.

And I'm not saying just for a few moments, or for a few hours when you're facing some problem I'm talking about lose your eternal perspective and keep it lost third. Get yourself a good worry now, one about which you can do nothing except worry that will help you be a perfectionist. I mean condemn yourself and everybody else who cannot attain perfection.

Number five.

Be right always right all the time right now will turn your home into figured out number six don't trust or believe people or accept them at anything but their worst and their weaknesses number seven always compare yourself unfavorably with others. This is sure will give you misery number eight take personally everything that happens to you that you don't like take it all personally. Number nine. Don't give yourself wholeheartedly to anyone or anything. Just close up and here's a little of the mall number 10 make happiness to be the aim of your life. Instead of being filled with joy of the Lord that comes from praise and thanksgiving make happiness to be your goal.

If you pursue happiness. Happiness is like a part of what so ever try to grab hard on the bottom. What's up gets away from you as happiness, but that's different from joy. If you want joy unspeakable and you want the joy to stay with you. I want you to turn with me please to Genesis 21. I'm going to show it to you in those first seven verses because here you're going to discover that counting stars when you see none that count begin with what one and that's here we find it and we have been seeing this story of the life of Abraham that Abraham was a man to whom God said, look up to the heavens, and you start counting stars in the Middle East were in the desert where you look up at night you can see the stars with clarity of not like in the cities here and he said you start counting.

And that's how many descendents you will have of course he was talking about spiritual descendents that comes through Jesus Christ because Paul said that's the blessing of Abraham came through a seed that is the Lord Jesus Christ and Sawyer Brown looks up to heaven starts counting 12345 1 million 1,000,001, 1,000,002, and then you lose this count, go back, start counting again and he was doing that for 225 to 30 years and finally at this point of his life when he is 100 and Sarah is 90. They get start number one and they named him Isaac which means laughter is what it means, but the one thing I couldn't get out of my head for over a week as I'm praying and thinking and reflecting on this passage.

One thing I could not help but find it here. The graciousness of God. It is absolutely mind-boggling because the Lord takes Sarah's laughter of this belief, and he changes it and gives her a laughter of joy he takes her to have a laughter of being incredulous and he turns it into the laughter of the indescribable.

He takes her laughter, off-site chasms and he gives out the laughter of salvation when the God we worship. What a God we worship. What a great God we have after all of the waiting. Finally, a son of promise comes has been born and his name is laughter. Sarah could have sung some 126 verses one and two, except it was not written yet. It was written 3000 years later when the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed our mouths were filled with laughter at times with songs of joy as think seller would have better phrase that and said I would've sang while the Lord brought back fertility to my old body was like one who's dreaming my mouth was filled with laughter and my tongue with a song of joy but that's what Sarah said.

She said the Lord has brought me laughter, but he did not bring left only to her. He brought laughter to generations and generations and generations and generations to come who gonna read the story of Sarah and that will last, but is something I don't want you to miss the dullness that the reason for joyful laughter, etc. and Abraham's life sure the birth of Isaac that I wouldn't minimize that whatsoever. But I genuinely believe that the real joy that has come into the heart, is that the light in the Lord? What lessons did Abraham and Sarah learned through this 25, 30 years of waiting. What lessons can you and I learned from this what God had done, will cause generations to come to trust in the faithfulness of God.

And here we are 4000 years later we are reading and we are encouraged about the faithfulness of God. We can read of how, in spite of their death, in spite of the partial belief in spite of their taking matters into their own hands. In spite of the fact that they thought they can help God out. In spite of the you don't get your only they were distrusting in the promise and yet they learn the important lessons and there are three in number.

I want to share them with you. First of all the land that God always keeps his word. Can you say keeps his word always keeps his word, and that's why told you in the last message that you must never ever ever give up praying for an unsaved family member must never give up can never forget that some 20 years ago I was praying with a 63-year-old man led them to the Lord literally on the floor of my office and and were soon kneeling there and praying and in the one thing that he just kept sobbing and sobbing and sobbing is that you know, I know my mother prayed for my salvation all the years of how lateral views of my life until she got her were to be with the Lord. Why did I have to wait such time, trust the Lord. I pray that if you praying for an unsaved family member that you will see it in your life stuff. But even if you don't see your lifestyle. God is going to keep his word.

He does what keeps his word all the time.

Secondly, Abraham and Sarah learned that God is a powerful God. God is a mighty God. He's also by nothing is impossible with God can say that with me. Nothing is impossible with God for emphasis at the supernatural power of God that worked in and brought about start number one for emphasis. It is repeated three times in seven verses three times verse to verse five in verse seven as if to say, don't ever forget this lesson.

What is impossible for man is possible with God. But some of your problems. I will, Michael. I understand that is in the Bible and I believe the Bible, but you don't understand Michael my situation is different.

You don't understand my problem is huge. You understand my opposition is so strong you don't understand it is too late for me on to all too young and onto this and up to the other thing God is the God of the impossible. Sarah not only given the strength to conceive a baby, this is amazing what she was given the strength to nurse the baby, say God is going to do that for you for not years old.

You don't want that anyway to about 60 but this is a unique situation but the lesson is the same. The lesson is the same and not only that she was given the supernatural strength to nurse the baby Abraham his body was so rejuvenated so renewed by the power of El Shaddai that he fathered six more children after Sarah died in the medical tour. How do you like them apples now, when God miraculously healed. It is not a partial healing when God miraculously here it is complete its instant restoration. When God calls you thought task. He will equip you for the task to perform. It the third lesson, Abraham and Sarah have Lenten, we should learn is that God, in no hurry to carry out this promise that this is a bugaboo that a lot of Christians, right yeah I know it is sometimes my life here. Rather, as the Bible said makes all things beautiful in his time. I know and you know that one of the hardest things we face in life is what seems to be God's delay and I've been saying frog a series of messages cuts delay does not mean denial. The word of God is true whether you experience about, not the word of God is true whether you believe it or not, but I think most of us can testify to the fact of the difficulty of dealing with God's delay is that when we pray in God delays in his answer doesn't come immediately with you and with farce and with France and sometimes we attempt to transcend our own prayers seated here Abraham and Sarah learned to trust God while they waiting but there is a far bigger picture here than even those magnificent lessons that they Lenten real learning is a far greater picture. Isaac's birthday. Abraham and Sarah brought them delight taught them three things about God, but there's even more what the kids call humongous picture me on that. This is far bigger and far greater and is beyond the birth of Isaac, the son of promise, the birth of Isaac is a foreshadowing of another supernatural birth the birth that would take place 2000 years after Isaac. This is a foreshadowing of Jesus's birth and will become actually clearer in the next message you see when God saved Isaac from sacrifice and Abraham said Yahweh tiara Jehovah Gyro God will provide. He was saying that God will provide himself the sacrifice. Indeed, he was prophesying of the coming of Jesus will see that in the next message and that is why Jesus said to those hardheaded Pharisees.

He said Abraham saw my bag and rejoiced in the want to kill him what you mean you not even 50 years old.

Can you say Abraham Sawyer – if you look closely at Isaac, you'll find him prefiguring of Jesus and many points in our just share seven of seven similarities between the birth of Isaac and the birth of Jesus first Isaac and Jesus were sons of promise in Genesis 315 God said to Adam and Eve that he is going to send his son and his going to come and he's going to crush the serpent's head. That was the first promise about the coming of Jesus and God affirmed it again and again and again in the pages of the Scripture until you come to Isaiah 714, 700 years before the birth of Jesus. And here's what God said the virgin will be with child and call his name Immanuel. This promise from God of the birth of the coming son Jesus was affirmed hundreds of times. As I said, throughout the pages of the Old Testament. The second commonality between Isaac and Jesus is the period of delay between the time though promise and the time actually took place. Now, in the case of Isaac.

It was 25, 30 years in the case of Jesus, that the light was thousands of years. The third commonality between Isaac and Jesus is that when Sarah asked in chapter 18 verse 13 will I really have a child at my all day. Verse 14 answers that God said is anything impossible for God at the birth of Jesus, Mary, who had far greater faith than that of Sarah when she asked in Luke 134 how can that be a virgin. I've never been with a man.

Verse 37 of Luke one the angel said nothing is impossible with God say that again nothing is impossible with God and the four similarities. This the names of both Isaac and Jesus were symbolic. There were symbolic they were given these names by God himself. He's the one who named him before either were born, God told Abraham, you shall call his name Isaac in Matthew 121 God said to Joseph that Mary will give birth to a son, and you shall call his name is Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sin and the for similarity both birth occurred at the appointed time at the appointed time.

This probably is the most stunning similarity of all like the birth of Isaac Jesus's birth was exactly on God schedule not too early and not too late. Six similarity between Isaac and Jesus is that both were regarded as miraculous birth. Now of course the medical of Jesus's birth is far greater because it did not require a manner all but that is expected because the shadow is not greater than the real the real person is greater than his shadow, and therefore Isaac was a shadow, but the greater is the real thing.

And that's Jesus. Finally, the seventh is that matter of joy to be sure the breath of any child to bring joy to the family that bring joy to the chimera bring joy to the relatives, but the joy of Abraham and Sarah continued from generation to generation to generation. In Mary's case, her unspeakable joy is your joy. It's my joy is the joy of millions of people around the world who come to put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and Luke 146 Mary said my soul glorifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior is not rejoicing again but think with me think with me just for a minute okay the birth of Jesus and the joy of Mary and Joseph had nothing to do with the surrounding circumstances. In fact, if there were dependent on the surrounding circumstances. There have been miserable not rejoicing but you know the story as well as I do. Pregnant no father backbend you get stoned at what circumstances miserable pregnant in a strange part of the country. No place to have the baby. Going from door to door looking for a place all of these difficult outward circumstances could have stolen on July but it didn't. They didn't beloved. Listen to me. In the same way for all of us who are saved only through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ only saved through the shed blood of Jesus Christ we have inner joy, regardless of our circumstances, we have inner peace regardless of our surroundings we have in our contentment regardless of the events in life that I get a witness. The question is do you have joy. Have you lost your joy. You never found joy that there are seven similarities between Isaac the birth of Isaac and the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe there are four similarities between Isaac's birth and our rebirth, our being born again, our spiritual birth operator God is one single soul here is not been born again today will be the day the similarities for a number number one.

The birth of Isaac was humanly impossible.

The bodies of Abraham and Sarah, for all intents and purposes were dead, though their living, but their bodies were dead. And that's precisely what we were before our hearts were invigorated, regenerated, and the Holy Spirit awakened us to the desperate need for salvation. Ephesians 21 says that we were dead in our sin and it had to take a supernatural intervention of God to wake us up. We could no more rise ourselves to a reimbursement to a new life and be saved than Sarah could've naturally born Isaac both needed supernatural intervention and that is why Jesus said to Nicodemus, you must be born again unless your born-again you will not see heaven as the bottom line you could be in church all of your life if you not born-again you will not go to heaven. But if you're a born of the Spirit of God is supernatural. Secondly, the second similarity between Isaac miraculous birth and our supernatural spiritual birth is faith. The Bible said Abraham believed God, and was counted to him righteousness. And when you and I are raised spiritually to life. We placed our whole trust we place our faith in Jesus as our Lord and as our Savior. We worship spiritually reborn in the third similarity.

Here we see again clearly in Romans chapter 4 between Isaac's growth in our spiritual birth. It was so that God may get all of the glory. All of the glory in our spiritual rebirth. It is not of good works great as that might be is not by good works that we are saved. Why last we get the glory through faith alone with saved, lest anyone take the credit. First Corinthians 128 and 29 Paul said God chose the lowly things of this world. The despised things. The things that are not, to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast forth in the final similarity between Isaac's birth and our spiritual rebirth sees again. Romans four that even the events of the life of Abraham were not written for him alone.

There were written for us so that we might come to believe and receive the righteousness of God just as he believed and received the righteousness of God. Abraham received the medical is only a matter that will bring about the spiritual birth. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael.

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