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Looking Up When Life's Got You Down (Part 6)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
October 2, 2019 1:00 am

Looking Up When Life's Got You Down (Part 6)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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If you are a person who is prone to discouragement or fear. I wanted to stay tuned because the Lord has a word for you today. In fact, the Oxford dictionary defines intimidation. This way, it says to inspire with fear in order to influence change repeaters to inspire with fear in order to influence change so what you get these days. The animal rights people in order to intimidate women from wearing fur coats.

They throw paint on them when they walked on the street is a form of intimidation, intimidation even can be between husband and wife. I have seen it enough in factor. Last week I was talking to a young man about an issue in his life. And I said, have you talked to your wife about this and said not afraid to tell her if there is one place, it ought to be no fear or intimidation. It is between husband and wife. It should be in the home, but I want to tell you something else that in the spiritual realm. Satan uses intimidation in order to silence Christians. Satan uses intimidation all the time with all Christians listen carefully.

Everyone of us have been a subject if you're walking with God. You've been a subject to Satan tactic of intimidation. You see, fear and intimidation are among Satan's major weapons in order to discourage believers fear and intimidation out among Satan's most lethal weapons in order that the silent Christians in order to isolate Christians in order to destroy Christians fear and intimidation are one of Satan's greatest of offensive weapons in order to silence believers and of course render them totally ineffective for God. Fear and intimidation are one of Satan's most effective live strategies against the church of Jesus Christ against the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet in reality, this fearing and intimidating by Satan of Christians is nothing but smoke and mirrors truly in reality, savings, weapons of fear and intimidation on mere psychological and emotional, and they have no power in them whatsoever. The only power that fear has over you is the power that you have Satan to have over you. I remembered a study that I have read some time ago and this study was conducted by the National Geographic Society. In this study was done on the chimpanzees and it produced some fascinating results that you need to listen to it very carefully. Incredible insights into the behavior of these wild creatures animal behavioral scientists decide to go and spend some time with the chimpanzees community and they observed that the leadership of certain chimpanzees community Empire changed simply because of the dramatic bluff by a monkey who was the lowest in that colony in the lowest of the color. This is how it worked at Jim who was affectionately known as Mike dominated this monkey establishment with empty kerosene cans. How did he do it well.

My what he did is basically who so loudly and then bearing these empty kerosene cans together and push them on the ground well what had happened. According to these behavioral scientist of animals is that calamitous behavior frightening the apes and that fear that Mike created and that a community Bible banging on empty kerosene cans terrified the whole group. So much so that the leader who was known as Goliath surrendered to Mike. He surrendered sovereignty he brow and willing submission to Mike. Now when I remember that story that I read many years ago I thought of how true this is all Satan always knowing is bringing us an empty kerosene cans and the Christians get frightened. I thought of how true this is of some Christians who allow themselves to be intimidated by Satan. The Bible said that the spirit of fear is not of God and of the spirit of fear is not of governance of Satan is one of satanic spirits, one of synthetic demons wanted to listen very carefully. Please because this affects everyone of our lives. Every one of us.

When you allow the spirit of fear to take hold of you. You are opening yourself up to Satan's banging on his empty kerosene cans to get to you if you allow Satan's blessing to intimidate you. You will surrender your rightful victory that God has given you. When you open yourself up to say things hooting and scaring you.

You are giving up the very power that God intended for you to have as his job. When you allow an open yourself up to Satan's calm job because that's all it is, then you will be retreating annual giving up territories. That is right for your inheritance by believing and submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I want to illustrate this a little further when actually got this okay Charles Spurgeon, whom I consider one of the greatest preachers of all times tells the story ends the story about a woman on board a ship who was absolutely terrified of a storm, while at the same time. Her husband, the captain of the ship was so peaceful and calm, and finally she blurted out is that I don't understand how you can be so calm and I'm totally terrified of the storm that her husband did not answer in words. He got up and he took his sword and he took that sharp sword and pointed to her chest and all she did was smile. He said why aren't you afraid of this sort. This is a sharp sword that can smell you in less than a minute or I am not afraid of a sword that is wielded in the hand of my husband. He said neither am I afraid of a storm in the hand of my father not to tell your brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Perhaps no one understood the spirit of fear, like the apostle Paul. In fact, he writes to Timothy and he says God has not given us a spirit of fear and he definitely make it clear that the spirit of fear is an evil spirit is not of God. No one knows about fear, like the apostle Paul say are you talking about the same apostle Paul wrote third of the New Testament are you talking about the great apostle Paul who allow themselves to be stone the great apostle Paul who got beaten nearly to death are you talking about the same apostle Paul who was singing songs of praise when he was in the stock in the prison in Philippi. Are you talking about that Paul. Yes, that Paul asked 18 tells us that he was afraid, lonely and discouraged turn with me please if you haven't already to acts chapter 18 the first 17 verses sadly know that he really was afraid. Look at verse nine the Lord appeared to him in person and he says don't be afraid. Paul does something God is not going to waste words of telling Paul not to be afraid.

If he was not afraid.

Not only that, but in first Corinthians chapter 2 verses two and three, he tells him that he said I came to you in fear and trembling. That was a frightening time in Paul's life.

In fact if you look carefully at the great men of God throughout the Scripture.

If you read carefully.

You gonna find so many of them were so fearful and would discourage in the book of Numbers chapter 11 we see Moses discouraged in the book of Joshua chapter 7 verse seven Joshua was fearful and discouraged larger was found in the spirit of despair, godly king Hezekiah was fearful and cried to the Lord Jehovah curse the day that he was born. Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet and the Lord Jesus Christ himself was a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief. Acts 18 you see the apostle Paul. He came from Athens to Corinth what he has done.

He got out of the frying pan into the fire.

I mean he left one city that was full of intellectual and philosophical pride to a city that was full of pride for their immorality. I mean, that was not a vocation for the apostle Paul.

That was a tough assignment but Datsun timber Matilda couple things about Corinth. Corinth was one of the great commercial centers of the Roman Empire. Certainly the greatest commercial center of Greece. Corinth was the political center of Greece, Corinth also was the center of wickedness was the center of immorality in a bag and then when you called somebody a Corinthian you're basically saying you are the most viral degenerate depraved person I've ever met.

That's how you could describe a Corinthian back then Corinth was also the center of pagan worship. There stood on the hills of the city, the Temple of Venus that was known as Aphrodite to the Greeks and then was known as astronauts to the Phoenician and there on that temple was filled with 1000 priestesses or temple prostitutes.

Now you understand the fear that gripped the apostle Paul when he landed into the city. Now you understand why he wrote to the Corinthians in sector them. I want to see nothing among you but Christ and him crucified. You can understand what he wrote to the Corinthian saying to them, do not be deceived. Neither the immoral nor the idolaters nor the idolaters nor the homosexuals nor the thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor the revelers nor the robbers will inherit the kingdom of God and then comes the great declaration of victory there in chapter 6 of first Corinthians, and he says, and such were some of you not are some of you were in the past some of you today would tolerate sin in the church and we don't mind sinners coming into the church in becoming members in active in the church of Jesus Christ. Listen, do not be deceived. A habitual sinner would not inherit the kingdom of God and only Jesus Christ and his bloodshed on Calvary can release you and free you from sin. But if you're a believer and habitually living in sin you are marking the power of God on the cross of Calvary because he promised to give you power and give us power over sin and such were some of you want to share some good news with you today and the times are fears God does not leave you alone.

In the times of discouragement. God does not abandon you in the times of loneliness, God is there, in a very special way, revealing himself to you. Look at the book of acts again. Chapter 18 verses 1 to 17. Then I want to share with you for things that God did in order to encourage his faithful servant, Paul. First he provided him with godly friends. Look at verses 2 to 5 of chapter 18 of the book of acts.

He provided him with godly friends. Secondly, God blessed him with fruit for his labor.

Verses 5 to 8 further, let God fellowship with him personally in a very special way. Verses 9 to 11 and then forcefully going to see that God caused the frustration of the enemy's plan verses 12 to 17 in times of fear in times of discouragement. The faithful child of God, the faithful son and daughter of God is not alone. Never alone look at this verse is 2 to 3 in the book of acts wanted to listen carefully. There is one thing that you must never do in times of fear and that is to lock yourself up. The one thing you must never do is lock yourself up in the times of discouragement.

There is one thing that you must never do in the times of discouragement and that is to isolate yourself. The one thing you must never do in the times of uncertainty is cut yourself out of Christian fellowship. God provided the apostle Paul with a godly couple wonderful couple who love the Lord to be his friends to be his companions. Achille and Priscilla were God's gift to Paul's burden of responsibility. Achille and Priscilla were God's gift to Paul's formidable task. Achille and Priscilla were God's provision of companionship, provision of friendship provision of fellowship. Provision of encouragement provision of love is faithful servant. Apostle Paul, the great apostle Paul needed someone to walk with him in the times of discouragement, and fear you and I deeded but must these were not ordinary friends.

We use the word loosely these days. These were not a fair weather friends.

They were not opportunistic friends. They were not hangers on that these were not superficial friends. These were incredible friends and I want to tell you where and how you know that in the book of Romans chapter 16 verses three and four Paul tells us that there were ready to give up their lives for the apostle Paul so you understand what kind of friends they are the rest their own lives for the apostle Paul, Achille and Priscilla came to Corinth from Rome because the Emperor at that time Emperor Claudius. He made a declaration that all Jews within the Christian Jews him or not have to leave the city of Rome and ended up in Corinth just by accident just by accident and happen to be around the same time that Paul was there but you like those coincidences and just to make it even more coincidental.

They had the same trade that Paul grew up as a young boy. Learning the trade of making things out of goatskin just coincidence rabbis believe that every rabbi must have a trade must learn a trade and Paul's trade was to make tense under the skin of goats, the God of all comfort met the needs of his discouraged servant, not only by giving him new friends who ready to risk the lives for him, but he sent his old friends Silas and Timothy from Macedonia. They came to be with the apostle Paul and obviously they came with a gift from the Macedonians so that it freed the apostle Paul to preach the gospel full-time. Rather than working on tenths in the morning and preaching the gospel at night.

I wanted to listen very carefully. Please when you are faithful. This is a conditional clause now when you are faithful with God. God will minister to you and your times of discouragement when your desire to honor God in your life.

God will provide for your every need.

When you're lives.

Goal is to serve the living God, and to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. God will always not sometimes prone occasionally.

All lawyers will send a godly friend minister to you.

God not only provide the apostle Paul, with two godly friends to walk with him. But secondly, God bless apostle Paul with fruit for his labor. I think none of us if you are made of flesh and blood would not get discouraged when you work long and hard and you don't see food for your labor. I think this just a natural thing for all of us. And Paul worked long and hard in Corinth. He spent hours in the synagogues, persuading and arguing with his fellow Jews to understand that the Lord Jesus Christ who appeared to him on the road to Damascus, the one who lived in Jerusalem and around Nazareth, the one who was crucified, and rose again is nothing but short of their Messiah is the Messiah that the generations of Jews have looked forward to, and he was persuading them.

He was arguing with them and he was talking. He is proving to them from Scripture giving them evidence and proof.

And he was thoroughly exhausted, and it appeared that I wanted to mentally put a circle around the word appeared that there were no fruit for his labor. He worked long and hard and got tired and it appeared that nothing is happening when I tell you why I'm saying it.

The light of verse eight of acts 18 but once the apostle Paul recognized in the words of Jesus that he's been throwing pearls before swine's. He got up and he shook the dust off his clothes and he shook the dust of his feet. That's a very dramatic Jewish way of rejection is a very dramatic Jewish way of saying that your blood is on your hand. This is a very dramatic way because the Jews themselves when they were visiting Gentile lands when they come back the doctrine of all the suspect because they did not want any of the Gentile dust to stick to them as well. They shook their clothes on the ship their feet.

The samples and that's what Paul is doing with his fellow Jews in the synagogue as if to say that your rejection of the Messiah is such a blessed swimming that I want nothing of it to stick to me. He said your blood is on your own head on clear. In other words there fully responsible for the rejection of the Messiah. Paul that his job. Paul was faithful in delivering the message but they are now responsible for the rejection. But, you see, God wants to encourage his servant. She sometimes within God is more interested in the ministry that he's interested in the minister. That's not true. God is more concerned about his minister that is concerned about the ministry because there can be no faithful ministry without a faithful minister and that is why God is more concerned with ministers was his servants the life you walk your righteousness and holiness. That's what God is concerned with, and God is so concerned with all the details of his faithful servant.

The apostle Paul. So much so he knew that a fruit for his labor is going to encourage him so here's what the Bible said. Look at verse eight. Christmas the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household. I told you that his efforts. As if it was fruitless. But that's not so.

In fact, the conversion of the leader of the synagogue, created such a have created such a turmoil among the Jewish community in Corinth that they wanted the apostle Paul to be silenced and gagged, but for the encouragement of Paul. God gave him. This man and his family come to Christ in our always incredible to me how God always does that, he really does in times of discouragement. I want to share with you just to testify to you of the hand of God.

I was preaching at a pre-revival pre-crusade rally in the central Church of Cairo and the for some reason the leadership grabbed me and ran with me before the people. I like almost to stay in and check people's hands and talk to them and this is not to get crushed. You need to go and analysis of really sad in my spirit.

I want to be out there but they got me in the room and sat there quietly and isolating the world that they do this and then of course I was going through this with that I give invitation to Sundar that do this with her what happened and I'd like to have the room document can see people responding to the invitation and I was going through all of this and I have not really sure that with anybody in here this morning I get an email from the senior pastor and I want to just read parts of it to use a beloved brother.

This is to thank you and yours for what you done for us. The happy memory of you and your family and always be remembered in. I'm indebted to you etc. he said. Praise God for the evening service.

The Lord gave you 60 souls, one of them is a young lady who came to church to steal mobile phones God touched her heart through you. She repented, prayed and told her secret to the counselor who prayed with her.

Another is an Egyptian who immigrated to the United States when he was 18 he has a PhD from Harvard and he owns X, Y, and Z bank. Alan mentioned he can even understand why he came to church and nothing would not incredible is not like the Lord, you know, just in the times when you think you blew it in the bombed out and God sends your word of encouragement that is doing with Paul here.

He gave him Christmas in his household. In order to encourage him so God not only sends faithful friends not only gives food for our labor but thirdly, God personally fellowships with you in the times of fear and discouragement. God wanted to encourage his servant Paul at the highest level God wanted to encourage his servant Paul at the most personal level possible, so the Lord Jesus personally comes to him in a vision and he said to him, verse nine loss at Depaul not be afraid in a longer but go on speaking and will be silent than to love the Lord when he ministers to you in this very special way. If Paul was struggling in his mind trying to figure out as he rarely come here according to the will of God is that really the right place for him to be truly really stay or should he go and most of us have been in situations in life and we did not know which way to go and hear the Lord Jesus in his most gracious way appears to Paul and thousands. Don't be afraid. Go on speaking with you know men will attack you or harm you that many people in the city that ought to be one for me asking this of you ever stood for the truth of Eva stood for the gospel and you were attacked for your faithfulness.

Even some of your family members have you been there. Have you ever stood for the truth of you been faithful to God and faithful to God's word and then you found yourself being undermined by even some Christians have ever been there and you will understand the incredible joy that balm of Gilead that came upon the apostle Paul's Park in this moment have you been in the point of saying what in the world on doing what is this all about, why am I doing this. Why am I standing against the tide, one I just give man I've ever been there in the world has a word for you that he loves you he wants you to stand firm and never give up. Never, never, never give up.

I know the times or fears discouragement in my own life.

I had the precious voice of the Lord so clearly that I could never doubt it.

I know that in the most desperate times of needs.

The Lord spoke to my heart so clearly that you could never ever second-guess that voice back in 1985 in 1986 there were two tough years for me because I was struggling in my spirit about the birthing of this church and struggled in our struggle than I can only share this with my wife and only God in heaven, and my wife would know how I was torn asunder. I could not figure it out. I cannot even understand the logic for denies struggle every time I pray I found my pathologist times of weeping right at the right moment moment that I will never ever forget I was driving the car, I can tell you exactly what I was and I hear that precious voice of Jesus. This church is my idea not to use it to the ends of the earth making you go up in the Oregon Tech on the morrow okay will yes sir. Just tell me what mountain you only today but I think you have to know it is the Lord because he has a habit of looking down and finding the most unlikely person and give him a job right then ended the struggle ended the frustration ended the doubt God not only provide your godly friends in times of fear and discouragement. God not only gives you food for your labor.

God not only fellowships with you personally, but forcefully God frustrates the enemy. He frustrates the enemy on your behalf.

Paul's opponents tried to intimidate him. They tried to silence him. They tried to keep them quiet.

They try to stop her from preaching, but when all of that did not work. Finally, they dragged him into court and they said well were taken to court and then we get the Roman proconsul he's got to shut them up so that they can.

The court at that time. The authority vested in the proconsul.

A man by the name of Galileo by the way, you can always check Scripture with history to find it with absolute accuracy. In fact, history tells us that Dalia was the brother of the famous philosopher Seneca and Seneca was a tutor for young Nero infects Seneca roared very admiringly of his brother Dalia whom he admired his sins a friend. The Jews were hoping that Dalia would rule against the preaching of the gospel, and thus setting a precedent throughout the Roman Empire only wanted as a piece of paper signed by the proconsul and they will go to every city in the Roman empire and they say hey we have a ruling from the proconsul shut them up, shut them up, shut them up. And if that had happened. You and I would not be here today. My friend, I want to tell you when you are faithful to God even your enemies again to be on your side and so here instead of having a landmark decision in order to use it for the rest of the Roman Empire whether the proconsul group. Paul was about to open his mouth on the southern resident another you don't understand. I'm going to give you my summary judgment case dismissed. God frustrates in his plan.

When you are faithful to God your enemies. Plans will be frustrated when you are faithful to God. God promised never to leave you nor forsake you. When you are faithful to God.

No one can harm you.

No one can touch you. No one can frustrate the plan of God for your life. No one can derail you. No one can detract to the use grow weary and tired, vigorous young man stumbled badly. Yet those who wait for the Lord will grow new string they will mount up with Eagles wings very well run and not get tired they will walk and not be weary in men belongs here father, we thank you for your word. We thank you for your faithfulness. We thank you that you never leave us nor forsake us is our foolishness in our flesh and Satan that often tempt us in times of fear and discouragement. Thank you that you send us friends. Thank you that you give us fruitfulness. Thank you that you fellowship with us in person. Thank you that you frustrate the plans of the enemies for that. We bless you teachers know how to have victory over the enemy and exercise the power on a daily basis for what is in Jesus name that are pray. Amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit that's LTW.Ward

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