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Facing The Future with Confidence - How to Face the Future In Times of Doubt, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
November 6, 2020 5:00 am

Facing The Future with Confidence - How to Face the Future In Times of Doubt, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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November 6, 2020 5:00 am

Have you ever experienced times of doubt, where you faced overwhelming circumstances and found it difficult to trust God to help you? Chip provides a sure-fire antidote to apply during these times of doubt. It’s designed to bring you hope and restore your faith.

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I don't know about you but there are times that I just mean I want to trust God. I want to say, Lord, whatever you say I'll do all step on step down but in my heart of hearts I just helped and then I get afraid anybody out there with me in your time of doubt God has a prescription help you get through it and that's today living on the state with me. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram Living on the Edges of international discipleship industry helping Christians live what it was amazing. Even with fingertip access 12 doubt, there are still the norm. Trust of other people is difficult to read or hear is questionable, but will learn today that God has in hell after the very specific more personal recommendation for how to overcome without sure to stay with us if you have a Bible open another Psalm 145.

Let's join the mall for part one of his message how to face the future in times of doubt or in a series called facing the future with confidence. And there's a study handout.

Once you go ahead and pull that out as you do want to tell you a story for many of you it's can be a very familiar story, but for those of us that didn't grow up in the church is a wild ancient true story and it has just been one with the lights came on.

The first time I read it because everyone struggles with doubt now.

Family and school marriage and kids and aging parents and cancer and there's doubt about God. Will you be there for me when you give me what I need.

Can I make it through this and a way to counteract out something that took me the first 10 or 12 years of my Christian life to learn so wanted to lean back and relax and what I like. It is much as possible to sort of pretend you were there. I like to read an ancient story historically true about a man named Jehoshaphat get into the skinny on the story.

He's a king of Israel, actually in Judah and a vast army comes against him, and many of you from your background. You heard this in sunny squatting hear this from and it's overwhelming odds 2030 4050 to 1. There is no way he calls his friends together because all the people in the later you see them bring their wives and their little ones in the behold the infants in their arms, and he calls a fast and they pray in a fast and they seek the Lord and as they come together.

This is Jehoshaphat's prayer, O Lord God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven.

You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations power and might, in your hand, and no one can withstand you OR God did not you drive out the inhabitants of the land before your people Israel and give it to forever for the descendents of Abraham, your friend. They have lived in it and built in it, a sanctuary for your name, saying, certainly if something negative comes upon us in judgment or sword, or famine. He says we not stand and come before you in your presence in this temple that bears your name and will cry out to you in our distress and will you not hear us and save us to Lord the world is falling apart and we don't have any hope and didn't choose the one that gave it to us. Isn't this about you and can you say that if we ever got to this kind of point that if we were desperate and came to this place and crying out with the liver, but now here are men from Ammon and Moab amount serious territory you would allow us to invade when we came from Egypt and he goes on and talks about where they're at and how they got there and then he says for we have no power to face this vast army that's attacking us.

We do not know what to do, but her eyes are upon you anybody here thinking to yourself, for I don't know what to do you turn off the TV and go in the bedroom. My eyes are upon you.

We are living in radical days and what can happen. I don't know but it raises the question is God going to be there for you to be there for me. He ended praying and then the spirit of the Lord came upon a prophet.

She has a real loser son of Zechariah, he stood up and he said listen. God is spoken in King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem. This is what the Lord says you don't be afraid or discouraged. Don't be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.

Don't be afraid to disagree because things look impossible, difficult, overwhelming, uncertain for the battle is not yours but God's tomorrow and then he gives instructions. I want you to march down and when she go to a certain place at a certain time because that's where the ending enemy will be and this is what you will do and God will take care of it and so the next day they get up and he pulls the people together. Listen to Jehoshaphat now be a regular person here. Okay, don't be a Bible story person you know what your brothers or cousin. When Outlook that the Army and he comes back and says were to march out right yeah will accompany Arthur a lot and then you notice, over coffee before you head out this big battle in your heart of hearts you say when your friends you think we get a chance and he says we don't have a prayer. I hope this jet has a real guy is right because I'm telling you were dead me. Isn't that how real people live, and so Jehoshaphat senses that people go out, not listen to what he says when he gathers the people.

He says listen to me Juden people of Jerusalem have faith in the Lord your God, have faith in the Lord your God and he will uphold you have faith in his profits and you be successful and after consulting all the people and he appointed men and he had them leave before the Lord and they begin to praise God for the splendor of his holiness and song as they went out ahead of the Army. How would you like to be in that choir. Here we have a game plan were not in a fight you guys get ahead of us. God made some great promises you guys start singing. We hope it goes well and here's what they say and give thanks to the Lord for his love endures forever in the notice verse 22. If you happen ever be in second Chronicles 20 at that moment. Or as they began to sing and praise the Lord God said in ambush against the men of Ammon and Moab, and Mount Cyr who are invading Judah, and they were defeated.

I want to make an observation that everybody no matter how godly you are. How well you know God as times without if you don't have a few doubts floating in your mind about the future of the world and the future of your world.

I would question whether you're kind of aware what's going on in unison with the strongest disciples had doubts.

But the question is not, do you have doubts and you wonder. But how do you deal with it.

Do you doubt that God will lead you in a big decision for the future for some of you in light of what's going on. You doubt about your financial future for some of you have, you know, maybe a marriage or a child or family situation, you really doubt God's and the come through for you or or is it more personal to some of you doubt honestly doubt. Maybe you're struggling with area temptation or sin. And you really want to do what I want you to do but down deep you think God's going to give you what you need to ever conquer that 1988 as I experience the three greatest doubts of my life. I'll develop a little bit later scenario number one on evangelistic basketball team felony Tom Randall another friend in Glenn Miller, there's five of us in the chief we pull up outside a guard and there is a two young high school guys. About 17 or 18 submachine guns there regarding their anti-American and their drunk and they're saying very anti-American things and their angry at us and one guy was a submachine gun pulled right at me and Tom Randall if you guys and I think this is it. I'm going to die and I doubted whether God would deliver me and print oh God oh God oh God oh God, help help help help help Thompson limit handle excessive brother pictures and he got out started talking later the coach Glenn Miller would get completely dehydrated and he would be lying on the side of the pool hyperventilating we get into a hospital can call it that it was a gurney with a sheet and a dog lying in the corner and there was a doctor and had glucose but only glucose and I've even know potassium he said you can go in to the city. It's about 50 or 60 miles away. I don't think you live that long, that he might or you can go 30 miles the other direction they might have some an IV with potassium but I'm not sure you guys have to decide what to do and I doubted whether my friend would live and finally we finally got back to Manila.

There was a coup that happens in the Philippines lot and so someone took over the government.

They said everyone stays here for the next three or four months why I like had a wife and four kids and I thought I was supposed to be back for you soon. I doubted God's sovereignty not doubted.

What are you doing this to me and what's can happen to them and what you see is that God led me to do something that Glenn and I did on a number of trips on the long trips, we spent a couple summers in South America, we would memorize a small book of the Bible. Philippians James but on a short trip like this 1014 days. We take a classic Psalm or two and memorize. I memorize Psalm 145.

I did know was the classic Psalm on praise, but through each one of my doubts God took passages from Psalm 145 and I got to experience the same thing. Jehovah Jehoshaphat experienced and if you want to get the big idea of today. Go ahead on the front of your notes. Praise is the antidote to doubt. I do not understand at all. But praise is the antidote to doubt when you doubt is God going to come through for me when you doubt about the future and retirement when your kids when you doubt what's can happen in terrorism for my loved ones get to be safe when my kids gonna die. When you have those feelings that overwhelm you on doubt about God in the future, and his faithfulness and his sovereignty and his goodness. The antidote is praise and here's a confession I didn't grow up in the church and so I never open this book until I was 18 when I started to learn to pray. I learned quickly to share my needs and and cry out to God and then little bit later I learned to do intercessory prayer as I thought you not get something done asking God based on his promises to help this person and that person in this situation, and I saw God move but my confession is I was probably a Christian 10 to 12 years before I ever understood the power of praise.

I hide any know that story about Jehoshaphat was in there.

Do you ever wonder why that's in here. There's an overwhelming situation.

And God has a king get a choir to sing praises to his name in the moment. The praises begin a deliverance occurs. You think that was just thrown in there, like Holy Spirit did have anything to do that day and wanted to know Philip Chronicles had chapter 19 done in chapter 21 coming either some mystic there is when I don't think so. But here's what I learned also about the average Christian is a lot of us don't know how to praise. We know how to cry out for help. We know how to intercede and my confession was I didn't know what biblical praise look like and so I want to help you learn how to praise God so that you can face your doubts in a way where God will break through in your experience exactly the same way you broke through in my experience in Manila and he broke through Jehoshaphat's experience in Judah is the very last words we hear of David will never hear anymore from David. These are his last words recorded, and if you said you had time to study Psalm 145 carefully.

I think emerging right now the text would be four steps the biblical praise versus wanted to give a step number one, which is choose to praise God. I want to suggest that praising God isn't something that just happens when you feel like it's going to do something great and you automatically respond.

That's a good time but I would suggest that it is a choice you need to choose to praise God verse one, I will exalt you. My God, the king, I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever to get circle the little phrase I will in verse one. I will in the second half of verse one and then I will. In verse two. That's not I feel like all exalt you. I feel what is I will is a choice when you feel low when you feel troubled when you feel overwhelmed when you feel like you can't make it.

That is the time to choose to praise God. Had a great friend named Bill Carter, yet a very difficult medical situation that require any high blood pressure that put him in the danger zone and the medicine that when he took the medicine he brought his blood pressure down because severe depression but because of other things. I couldn't get anything for the depression to here's a guy living with just feelings of depression all the time and a member. One day he was an elder in the church, first church I got pastor is a chip I didn't learn until I battle with this. The power of praise as a physiologically actually said I would go sometimes at the God my office go into the car and I would spend time in worship and I would praise God and praise God and affirm his attributes, and worship him and as I would the depression would lift but he said I never felt like praising him. It was a choice. Now some of you may be thinking, okay, it's a choice, but how do you do it. I mean, is there some mystical way of praising God that I don't know about the song list is going to teach us exactly how to praising in verses three through eight step number two is verbalize specific evidence of God's greatness. Here's where you start verse three.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise. His greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another, they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty and I will meditate on your wonderful work, they will tell of the power of your awesome works and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate her literally the word is they will eagerly under your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. Give a pin circle the following words become wanting observation in verse four.

Circle the word command and go down and circle the word tell. Below that speak meditate tell.

Proclaim, celebrate, joyfully sing one of these words have in common. Every single one of them has to do about verbalizing, verbalizing, verbalizing, saying, telling, proclaiming what is taught. He's teaching us how to learn to praise when you get up in the morning and you can't get going and you know you want to choose to praise you don't want to do you verbalize specific things, but what you verbalize. Look at the end of each sentence.

The acts of God. Notice what it says verse for your works, your mighty acts.

Your wonderful works. Your awesome works. Your great deeds, your abundant goodness your righteousness, he starts and since great is Yahweh your most worthy of praise that sort of that the umbrella statement that everything comes under in the section and then he says your greatness no one can fathom what I want to get my arms around it. How do you get your arms around it. You will remember and think back on his mighty acts as mighty deeds to specific things that he's done seven different times. Those deeds are listed in seven different times.

He tells proclaims you verbalize or literally write down proclaim the specific acts and deeds God has done in your past or in his past with his people.

Ever notice when you read the Old Testament when people are in a jam, but they always go to the same place. Read the psalmist is in a jam. He's in a jam.

He's in a jam. What's he do I remember Lori when you brought us through the Red Sea right he always goes back to historical specific events. This is been something for years and been so helpful for me.

That's why David when he teaches us how to do biblical praise. He says it never gets dynamic until get specific in the way to get a specific is to list and verbalize Intel and proclaim very specific things God's done in your life. I encourage you to go out and grab a cup of coffee in a napkin and a pen and write down specific things God spent the last seven days. If you get stuck go back 30 days sit around the dining room table today and sake okay in the family person someone with a friend. Let's talk about answers to prayer in the last month the last year and start writing them down and look at him and that will lead you to the third step and that's focus on God's character in the door him.

His specific acts lead us to apprehend who he is and that's what praises.

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for specific things in deeds God has done. Praise is not the same as Thanksgiving praise is a focus on the coup, the worship of who has done it.

Thanksgiving is on what he is not but there's a clear correlation jot down the corner of your notes. Psalm 103 verse seven great great Psalm and write about verse seven there's a hinge verse he made known his ways, to Moses, his acts to the sons of Israel. Very interesting.

He remembers he doesn't biblical praise there. Forget not all your benefits and then verse seven he made known his ways, to Moses, his acts to the sons of Israel and then he goes on to praise God for his character. Can I just do a little aside here. Can we stop the car on the notes and we have a little aside over here and do a little review. The children of Israel see the Red Sea part yes or no like you with me today are not the children of Israel see the Red Sea part yes or no did they see manna every morning yes or no did they see water come out of the rock yes or no did they say God deliver in miraculous ways with the fire by night and a cloud by day.

Now how many of them ended up walking with God out of that 1.542 million people and believed in and went on on the God, the acts of God, not sustain. There's so many of us in this room that we think about biopsy report would change we would give God the glory and everything to be okay if we would just get a check in the mail that everything will be okay if we can just get a job. Everything be okay if one of our sons or daughters would come back to the Lord that everything be okay I got news for you 30 days from now, you would forget that. Now do you want all that happened.

Sure, God's acts will not sustain you. He made known his ways, to Moses, his acts to the sons of Israel. Now Moses that he see the Red Sea part yeah. Did he see the cloud the manna the quail. The water from the rock. Yeah, but what was his prayer life like theirs was gaining any any more more more want to be done for me lately. That's a loose translation of Numbers, and Deuteronomy lot of Exodus. What was Moses prayer Lord, show me your glory.

I want to know you. I want to know I would just see out there what you do. I want to know you. I want to know your heart. So much so that when God speaks of Moses he says I speak to Moses as a friend to a friend face-to-face see what God what praise does it moves you from all these actions and all the specifics and then you get to line them up and see what God is doing. But they're all designs we get to know and when you understand who he is. For who he really is and you adore that's what praises its adoration admiration it's honoring it's exalting, it's your focus and adoration for the person, not just for what they do and so what you see from this section on is it from about verse eight through verse 20. David is going to teach us first. It's a choice. Second, you verbalize specific things in order to make it dynamic is a specific and that his deeds will lead you to his ways, and then he'll begin to highlight the ways of God and he will praise him for his goodness and you praise him for his sovereignty and you praise him for his faithfulness that will praise him for his righteousness, and then at the very end to invite others to join him in praise and when you learn to pray like that in a time of doubt, by choice, by then listing and then worshiping God for who he is.

What happens is that here's why it works. Your view of God explodes when you have a big God, you get small problem. But if you all your focus and energy is on your problems or if on Fox or CNN and you saturate your mind with all that is wrong in all that is difficult than your size of your God shrinks and you live with doubt and anxiety to see the correlation. So let's learn how to do it. Let's learn how to praise him for his goodness he starts and says the Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and rich in love the Lord is good to all he has compassion on all that he's made he's actually quoting here from Exodus 34 six. It's a line that's repeated and classy places all through all through the Bible and is talking about God's very character, and his goodness is expressed in three primary ways, his grace number one second has compassion or some your translations will say mercy and then the slow to anger, he's rich in love or tested lovingkindness. Steadfast Loyola know what I've learned over the years is that we throw grace, mercy and loyal love around. Let's define okay what's it really mean grace is to be given something that you don't deserve totally part of your performance. Grace is someone walks up and says here's $1 million is not because you're a good person, not because you did this or I think you will do this. No strings attached are never seen again. It's a gift million dollars for Grace's mercy.

By contrast, is to withhold judgment or penalty of what is justly do you. This is when you mistakenly or willfully run through a red light and you can see the person you crash and you kill the person you're on for manslaughter and someone steps in and says you deserve to go to jail for 20 years because you ran the red light and killed the person. Mercy is I will not hold that against you.

You will not go to prison you be set free grace getting what you don't deserve unconditionally because of nothing that you've done. Mercy is getting withheld. What's justly deserved and then lovingkindness is the idea of steadfast and loyal covenant love is not based on your performance in the very first thing when he when David thinks back to all of the works in the mighty acts and the wonderful works in the awesome work in the great deeds and the abundant goodness he says to himself, your goodness flows to me like unmerited grace you've withheld from me what I justly deserve and no matter where I'm having a good day or a bad day your covenant loyal love with me.

Oh God, that is what I experience. And so David praises him.

He says I worship you for that. I bow down before you. I exalt you any praises not just a quick reminder this message how to face the future times of doubt is from his series facing the future with confidence.

This reporter outlines how you can positively face life's most challenging circumstances even in the midst of overwhelming doubt and despair chip discusses the truth that God has a plan just for you to bring good out of evil. You sure so you can have complete trust that God's working out his good plan even when the odds seem against you and how you can begin enjoying life to the full resources for facing the future with confidence are discounted for a limited time, so now's the time to take advantage for complete ordering information, go to Current offers on the chip and remap or give us a call at AAA 333-6003 will chip in light of all, what's happening, you know, it's important to remember the goodness of God in the amazing things he's done. But most of us forget that as soon as we turn on the news or look at social media was there any suggestion or do you have a tool little help us hang onto the kind of things you talk about today. Dave absolutely let's just acknowledge these are very challenging times.

I mean, regardless of where anyone is coming from.

Politically, these are challenging, challenging times and I think it's the truth of Scripture in the presence of God and how do we hang on it and sometimes it's okay to say what we really want to do is we want to make it through this. We want to survive right.

We want to survive intact with the kind of hard in the kind of relationships in the kind of attitude that God wants us to have.

So were light and when we love and that we care. But that's a challenge and so we put together a small little book called the art of survival that I wrote in the midst of all the things going on, not just in America but around the world and it is a super short little booklet.

Actually, that I think will be a tool to help people keep perspective and then have a path and actually know what to do and how to do it in the midst of these very challenging times. This new book from chip called the art of survival is a timely resource for limited time it's discounted because were hoping you'll read it and be strengthened for the day-to-day challenges but then that you will use it to encourage others were wondering what to do and how to survive. Whether it's one for you, or five to give away the strategies in the art of survival are exactly what Christians need to be reminded of these days of uncertainty, confusion and doubt. For more details of the place your order. Just go to Current offers on the chip and remap or give us a call at AAA 83336003 that's 8883336003.

I hope you'll do that today, as we close today's message. I do know that what I shared here is very very counterintuitive right there's doubts there's fears, there's uncertainties, there's you know questions about work and school and jobs in future written and money in the future of our nation and emotions that are running wild and had to say to someone here's how you face the future, you need to start praising God. Well mean I get that sounds like very very trite. But listen very, very carefully.

If you only focus on the problems they get bigger and bigger and bigger. If you can focus on God who he really is. As your God gets bigger and bigger and bigger your problems get smaller and smaller and it's not without very clear intention and purpose that we have passages like Psalm 145 and stories about a Jehoshaphat who has odds that are impossible and he's commanded to sing and give praise to the Lord and it says when he began to sing the Lord begin to work in great power and I know for some of us who may be art, musical, or were fix it type people were driven were type A. We just want to solve the problem. This is very challenging.

Okay that's I just describe me, but what I have learned is, I put on some music that allows me to connect with God.

Some worship songs that really speak to me and I sit on the floor early in the morning before I read my Bible, especially at times like this and ice sing-along and I ponder who God is and I thank him and I adore him and I don't have a great voice and it's why I come.

Usually's have some headphones with one in one year and the other out so I can hear my voice and I will tell you it enlarges my view of God.

I experience him as not knowing about them. I experience him. The other thing that I've done is to take the Psalms and read them out loud.

His prayers really out loud and personalize them. And so what I what I can tell you is I'm gonna get real specific in her next broadcast about how to do this because I just encourage you turn off the news stop listening to what everyone is saying. Where were at. What's good happened and how terrible it is and get before God and worship him. It's the antidote to dealt as we wrap up I want to say thanks to those who make this program possible through your generous financial support. Your gifts help us create programs purchase airtime and develop additional resources to help Christians live like Christians.

If you've been blessed by the ministry of Living on the Edge. Would you consider sending a gift today. You can call us at AAA 83336003. Tap the donate button or donate online at

Your support is greatly appreciated will be sure to join us next time when chip continues a series facing the future with confidence. Till then this debris saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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