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April 15, 2021 1:00 am
Hopelessness and despair are rampant. In a recent year, almost 37,000 Americans saw no way out of their misery, and then committed suicide. They saw ending life as their only escape. But one of the great blessings God offers to those who believe in Jesus is hope—a hope that Paul says, “does not disappoint.” Do you have peace with yourself, your community, and with God?Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Reese is looking to Jesus, founder and perfecter of our recent year almost 37,000 Americans saw no way out of their misery and then committed suicide. They saw and then life as their only alternative. One of the great blessings God confers on those who believe in Jesus's hope that Paul says does not disappoint from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is going to win with Dr. Sir, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the line estimates are suicide happens when someone has lost all hope things get better and update since you raise the subject. I do have to comment on it to all those of you who are struggling with depression and hopelessness that feeling perhaps that you should not have been born. May I remind you my friend that feelings are not facts. If you believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. You are loved by God in a very special way through him. Your sins can be forgiven and you are not without hope. Suicide puts it. Where there should just be a, even as you listen to the message that we're going to be listening to together in just a moment. It's a reminder of the fact that God came to save us and I need to say that these messages I believe are going to be a great inspiration and encouragement that will be a time of learning a time of believing at time of trusting for a gift of any amount. These messages can be yours. Here is what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 and now let us open God's word where we do find hope, because God came to rescue us from ourselves from our sins and from hopelessness in their book entitled hope in an age of anxiety.
The authors contend that there are nine different kinds of in most instances.
What this really means is that people feel alienated, they feel doomed and there seems to be no way out. A number of years ago, a good friend of mine, a pastor friend of mine tried to commit suicide.
Fortunately, before he died, it was discovered and he was taken to the hospital in his life was spared the day after I visited him in the hospital, and while I was there.
His little daughter came through the door with her mother, daddy, daddy, are you sick I hope you're going to be better daddy hi thought a whole thing. God, that he was not successful or that little girl would not have had daddy which reminds me of the fact that suicide often times is very selfish even if you think that you'll be right on the other side and I need to warn you that things might not go as well as you think as Hamlet experienced the fact is that you leave behind a devastated family with all kinds of unanswered, but it was a couple of weeks after that that the pastor and I had a long talk and he said to me you have no idea what it is like to be in a depression that is so dark and so hopeless. It is like a tunnel and you believe that there is no light at all that the end of that tunnel and because of hopelessness you want to end it all. Not sure that I have the answer to all of the different forms of depression because I know there are many different causes, but I have no doubt that Jesus came to deliver us from hopelessness and today.
If you are here and you feel hopeless, you have tuned into the right channel you're in the right church at the right time listening to the right message when Rebecca and I were in Russia. The Russians love to give people give and one of the gifts that they gave us was an egg.
It was actually a plastic bag but was very beautifully painted and then when you looked at it you notice that it had a rim and so you take it apart and much to your surprise, there was an egg within an egg anything while this is rather remarkable and then you take and you open that second egg and you discover that there's an egg within it, and on and on it goes till about seven or eight different eggs were all involved in that one egg that you put on a shelf. When you receive Jesus as your Savior. You receive Christ but what you don't realize is that with him.
You've got all kinds of gifts that are wrapped up in Jesus. The Bible says he who spared not his own son, but delivered him up for so, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things wrapped up in Jesus are marvelous, marvelous gifts and what would like to do today is to look at some of them a few years ago I was going to preach a series of messages just on all the blessings that you get when you get Jesus. Maybe if I am here long enough I'll actually get around to preaching it that amazing after all these years I've still not run out of anything to preach.
There's more in God.
Now sometimes I preach messages to can Dowson to rebuke us. Sometimes I preach messages in order to challenge us and sometimes I preach messages in order to instruct us the message today has one central theme and this message is being preached to simply bless you to just bless you to have you so blessed that you can hardly wait to get out of here and to tell somebody how wonderful Jesus is.
I want to bless you today and in order to bless you.
I hope that your relaxed.
I hope that your listening. I hope that you put away your cell phones in your emails and all the other things that you can now bring to services like this and that you will just simply give God your undivided attention.
Of course, needless to say I'm not God, but we are going to look at his word and he's going to speak to us and I want you to be open to what he has to say and just let him bless you. The passage is the fifth chapter of the book of Romans Romans chapter 5 and you'll notice it begins with the word therefore therefore being justified by faith you've heard it a dozen times. Whenever, in the Scripture you come to the word therefore you should pause and ask yourself what it's therefore and the reason it is, therefore, is it connects with our previous sections of Romans and I preached about three messages or so on justification by faith alone is expounded in these chapters, because the summary of chapters 1 to 4 is this that by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight.
We are justified by faith as a gift that comes to us in Jesus.
So that's what that therefore is therefore therefore being justified by faith and now were going to just list some of the blessing.
We can't cover them all, but the ones that are here in the text that are immediately evident are going to give you hope and courage, and deliver you from hopelessness.
The first one is this, we have peace with God, we have peace with God. Peace. The war is over with God. Now there is such a thing as political peace, and we know that that doesn't go in a good direction. Someone said that it is easier to make more than it is to make peace, and that certainly is true in this life, but Paul is talking about personal peace. He's talking about the fact that God, who had his back toward us, because we were sinners and was fighting against us and we were God's enemies. God now has his arms stretched toward us and says, from my standpoint, I am at with you because I have made peace with you not hear me carefully. It's possible to have peace with God and not experience the peace of God, because the peace of God is that tranquil sense of faith that you and I ought to have been the midst of circumstances. As we shall see in a moment, and this peace with God is not something that you work toward.
It's not something that you earn.
It's not something that you get better at it is a fact that you are at peace with God. You may feel as if you're at war with him but you are at peace with God. If you believed on Jesus and have been justified by faith and you also have to listen carefully now and I don't want you to get lost on this one. It is possible for some people to have peace independently of God and Jesus maybe through transcendental meditation or some other means they're able to maybe because of medicine or drugs they can be at peace. But don't let that deceive you that does not necessarily mean that you have peace with God to give you an example.
Let us suppose that you committed a great crime and then you fled the United States of America and to choose a country. Let's suppose that you fled to Switzerland. There, in Switzerland you might be at peace. You look at the beautiful mountains, and they might inspire you, and you might meditate on them and you might be at peace at the moment you come back to the United States. The feds are going to be waiting for you will get your name on the plane and then they'll be there at the gate waiting and they'll say just because you have that piece there, there are issues here and listen carefully. If you find peace independently of Jesus. When you die, you're going to be in God's presence and God is going to say to you I you and I have some issues that we need to deal with and I am not at you at all. So don't be deceived but there is such a thing as those who have the peace with God experienced the peace of God.
In fact, it says let the peace of God rule in your heart. Let the peace of God rule. Some of you are not allowing that piece to rule in your hearts, you are allowing anxiety you are allowing fear to rule you are at peace with God.
And now, because you are you are to allow it to rule and be the umpire of your heart in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made made known to God and the peace of God which passes all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind. God says I've made peace with you if you don't experience my peace. The peace of God, the responsibility rests with you. One gift that God has given us in Jesus is. We are at peace with God. Let's go on to a second and this is Hugh you'll notice in the text it says in verse two, through whom, through whom through him we have obtained access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. We have access to God understand how revolutionary this is in Old Testament times people didn't have access to God. They got used to distance from God, not just at Mount Sinai where God says stay back or you'll be incinerated not just there, but when the temple was built. You may know that it had various walls in various courtyard in the outer courtyard that was the courtyard of the Gentiles and Gentiles were to go beyond that and if they would. They were to be killed wow because they couldn't get any closer to God and then beyond that there was another court.
It was the court of the women women and men. I would be able to come a little further if they were Jewish, and so forth. And then the women would have to stay back because there was another wall and that led to where the priests could go so the priest could offer sacrifices they could go into the holy place where there was you member a table of showbread, and candle and so forth, and they could look after all of those things there. The priests were allowed to.
But then there was another part another part of the temple which was about 15 feet as a cube, and it is there that God dwelt because even those who did all these priestly duties were still separate from the present of God and in that place the holy of holies the very holy place, only the priest could go once a year on the day of atonement, and according to Josephus, they actually put a chain around his legs so that if he did some thing wrong and was struck down by God, they'd be able to pull them out without going in the chamber themselves because between the holy place and the holy of holies there was a marvelously constructed curtain that was several inches thick and nobody went behind that curtain unless it was the high priest and he did it only on the day of atonement, but everybody got use to just staying back stay way. God is holy, don't get near now think about this. What happened when Jesus died on the cross and the Bible says that when he said it is finished, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom by an invisible hand that it was the hand of God, and God said now if you believe in Christ you have access your brought nearby the blood of Christ, you are in the very presence of God. Don't stand back, but come close come into my presence and it says in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 19 that we have confidence to enter into the most holy Place by the blood of Jesus and we come with confidence because of what Jesus says and you and I have access today into the presence of God. It's as if Jesus delivered us to the father and said now now that you're there, stay there all of life can be lived in the holy of holies. Today, the very presence of God because it is Jesus who gives us that right and that authority to come directly to the father and if I might throw that in this in. That's one of the reasons that we as Protestants do not pray to Mary or pray to saints because we believe that when we come through the blood of Jesus. We have direct access to the father directly into God's presence that was provided for us by Jesus. Personally, I think I'd be a little insulted if my children had to go to other children and ask them to intercede on their behalf find their father come directly and that's why in the New Testament. You have all of the invitations to come directly to the father you come through Jesus, to be sure who himself is God. But we come directly and were thankful for others who pray for us, but we recognize that you and I always priests before God come into God's presence. We have access before the father. That's a second blessing that just comes wrapped up when you get Jesus there's 1/3, and this is a little more difficult than some people may wonder whether or not it is a blessing, but I'm going to just read the text your finger on the text and that is that we rejoice in suffering. Now this is in verse three you'll notice it says more than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, how can we do that that is so counter intuitive. We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character. Character produces hope, there's hope to see what we believe is that in the midst of pain and disappointment. God is there now hear me carefully. I don't think that the apostle Paul is saying that joy should take the place of pain and by the way they're two different kinds of pains there's physical pain. And then there's something even worse than that and that his emotional pain, emotional pain because of rejection because of disappointment. Recently, Rebecca and I were speaking to a rather well-known woman who has such disappointment with her son. She thought he was going to go into the ministry and then he's actually ending his second marriage so much pain and so much disappointment and then there's the pain of loss someone whom you love is gone and you know that you'll never be reunited in this life. Paul is not saying now joy should should actually replace all of your sorrow know know know what he's saying is that we can rejoice along with our sorrows we can we can rejoice. It is not contradictory to say that you are going through a time of pain and disappointment. And yet at the same time.
Rejoice in your sufferings why because we believe that God is using the suffering it is not superfluous.
You'll notice it says that suffering produces endurance. God loves endurance and character, proven character Joel story you know of old, when it is melted to get the impurities out. It has to be so melted in a very hot furnace.
God says when you go into the kiln when you go into the furnace. I keep my hand on the thermostat here me today when I tell you this, God would've never allowed you to go through what you're going through today unless he intended it to help you and to refine you. It has purpose. It has a purpose. This is a longer study, but if you only see the devil in your circumstances.
If you only see the devil in the terrible things that you're going through. You'll always be defeated. You'll always be chafing agonizing obsessing and you will never be able to just pause and say thank you to God because you believe that God is there. Maybe the devil is working but so is God.
And guess who's stronger so the devil is working but God is also and right in the midst of that if you give thanks to God. You will be able to rejoice in your suffering. God is up to something much bigger than the pain that you are experiencing. So Paul says that we can rejoice in suffering and that justly also is a gift of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is a gift. He's mentioned in this passage and I don't have time this morning to expound on that particular gift. This is a longer subject about 20 years ago I preached a series of messages here at the Moody church on the Holy Spirit and I was just thinking to myself that I think it's time that I preached another series on the Holy Spirit because he is often the forgotten one of the Trinity and it says here the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit will my dear friend.
The good news of the gospel is simply this, that if you receive Jesus Christ as your personal savior you are in well by the blessed Holy Spirit of God, you know, there's so many blessings that come to us along with Jesus, will he not therefore with him give us all things in the apostle Paul likes to emphasize the fact that salvation is a free gift.
We bring our sin. God does everything else you know I'm so glad to be able to report that the ministry of running to win is heard in more than 20 different countries of the world and recently we are now in Nigeria, a pastor there writes I've been blessed highly by these messages. Indeed, the journey of life is not easy, but the experience of those who have walked with the Lord is really helpful. Thank you so much. Well, I want you to know that the reason we can receive reports like this is because of people like you who support this ministry.
If you ever considered becoming an endurance partner endurance partners are people who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Of course you want more information. Here is what you do go to RTW offer.com RTW offer. Of course, is all one word RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button and there you'll find the information that you need. As I've already mentioned, these are people who stand with his regularly I think of them not as supporters but is partners, members of the running to win the family. Check it out. Go to RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for standing with us.
Together we are making a difference because of the gospel of Jesus Christ going to thousands and thousands of people. Thanks in advance for helping us. You can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 trials we experience produces perseverance, character, and hope all wrapped up in the love of God in our hearts. Next time more on the basis of the hope of the Christian.
This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody church