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When The Answer Disappoints Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
November 4, 2021 1:00 am

When The Answer Disappoints Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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November 4, 2021 1:00 am

If you were to ask why so many Christians are cynical, they would tell you some story about how God did not intervene when they needed him. Many people have long-term health issues. When they pray for healing, the answer appears to be an ongoing “no.” Are you disappointed with God? In this message, you’ll receive four facts about faith in Hebrews 11. God does miracles for some people and not for others, and yet he expects us to go on believing anyway.

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One reason for us. Jesus phone number for many people have long-term health issues when they pray for healing. The answer appears to be an ongoing no they hear the first. My strength is made perfect in weakness and wish their answer had been years the healing you see are you disappointed with God. Stay with us from the movie church in Chicago this morning to win with Dr. Moser whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line vasculature. Today we begin the last message in your series on the triumph of unanswered prayer tell us how we can experience triumph, when the answer disappoints what you know Davis I frequently said it is so important for us to see the yes in God's no. And when God says no he doesn't do it in an indifferent way. As you said in an earlier broadcast. He has a larger agenda now to all who are listening. I have to say that as a pastor. I've known many people have turned away from God because of unanswered prayer. That's why believe that this series of messages is so critical and we're making it available to all those for a gift of any amount. Those who connect with us. Here's what you can do.

Go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. How do we handle the disappointment with God. I know many stories of people who asked for something that seemed reasonable. God said no and they walked away from the faith. Let's listen carefully, even as we listen to God's word to be encouraged in those times of disappointment. I'm sure it's true to say that one of the greatest disappointments that you can ever experience in life is the disappointment of unanswered prayer here the question of why there are so many Christians who are cynical, they would tell you some stories about how God did not intervene when they needed him. Sometimes when they needed him the most. We all had the experiences you know you pray for finances and then something happens. Maybe you even lose your job and you say well that's not the answer I was seeking, you pray for protection, and sometimes God gives it to you and then at other times there are accidents that we call on God.

One day I was on a plane and there were some other Christians there and they so pastor Luther were so glad that you're on this plane with this because if we had turbulent weather. We know that you have connection sand that you can probably get the turbulence to stop. I said no I said I'm just in sales not in management but the question where is God when we need him, but I suppose that the deepest disappointment that people ever feel has to do with the divine healing. When you see a child suffer when you see a young mother died of cancer, leaving three children behind. It is at times like this that our faith becomes so eroded. We wonder whether we can go on believing Barbara Sander Bill quadriplegic said these words, knowing God had the power to heal me but wouldn't made me very bitter.

I would read passages like Isaiah 53 in first Peter accusing God of holding the promise of healing before me like a piece of meat before as starving dog.

He tempted me with the possibility, but never enabled me to reach it.

That's why people are turned off. God does not come through for them well as you know, this is the sixth and last in a series of messages. The triumph of unanswered prayer and what we been doing is seeing the triumph when prayer doesn't happen when the answer is denied when it's disguised. I hope that you get that message because that one emphasizes what it is like to worship God even if the answer is in their today were going to turn to Hebrews chapter 11 when were going to see that God does miracles for some people and not for others. Yet he expects us to go on believing anyway.

Hebrews chapter 11 is the passage of Scripture and I would like to give you today for facts about faith for facts about faith that we hope will put all of this into perspective that will enable all of us to go on believing and honoring God with our faith because the Bible says that when we have faith we presented to Jesus at his appearing. The trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes though it be tried with fire might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

First fact about faith.

Faith sometimes changes our circumstances.

You look at Hebrews chapter 11 and it is filled with heroes who saw huge miracles we could talk about Abraham, we could always speak more clearly. Even in terms of miracles about Moses that begins in verse 23, but let me simply pick it up at verse 29. Speaking about Moses by faith.

The people crossed the Red Sea as if on dry land but the Egyptians when they attempted to do the same were drowned.

What a miracle Moses stands there with his staff in his hand. Then God parts the waters and then if that isn't enough, in terms of miracles by faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days and we could go on and on and the author knows that he could go on and on. So he says in verse 32 and what more shall I say there was a pastor who is preaching and interminably long message and he got to this phrase and says yes and what more shall I say, and someone in the back row said try on man ever since that time. I keep my eye on the folks in the back row. He knows that he could go on for a bit so he says and what more shall I say time would fail to tell of Gideon Derek Samson jumped the David Samuel and the prophets who through faith. Conquered kingdoms enforce justice, obtain promises, stop the mouths of lions quench the power of fire escape the edge of the sword were made strong weakness became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight women received back their dead by resurrection. You talk about miracles and you've got dozens of them.

In this passage. Think of the different kinds of miracles who here are women who receive their dead back as it was during the days of Elijah. Talk about a resurrection. Talk about a healing you have miracles that have to do with the protection of God's people stop the mouths of lions, a reference to Dan. You've got healed relationships and you've got all kinds of battles that were fought, and God miraculously gave the victory. Sometimes faith changes our circumstances.

Please keep that in mind, but number two in terms of the facts are these. Sometimes faith does not change our circumstances.

Did you notice I hope that all of you have your Bibles open for did you notice that I stopped reading in the middle of verse 35.

Now normally I don't stop in the middle of the verse, but here I did because there is a break in the middle of the verse yet understand that when the manuscripts of the New Testament were written, they did not have chapter divisions. Those were added later to make it easier to find various passages and I think that the person who gave the verse divisions here should have begun a new verse in the middle of verse 35, but he didn't and so that's where I stopped because the text is open there is middle of verse 35 all right. Women received back their dead by resurrection, but some.

Oh, there's another category somewhere, tormented, refusing to accept release so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.

They were stone, they were sawn into they were killed with the sword.

They went about in sheepskins and goat skins being destitute, afflicted, mistreated of in the world was not worthy wandering about in deserts and mountains and dens and caves in the earth, and we might add, and that there was no deliverance, none they were sawed into. He says that's a reference to Isaiah the great prophet, wasn't he a person of faith. Why didn't God come to his deliverance. May I ask is a reference to that profit and then when he goes on talking about wondering about with the goat skins and trying to live in caves and in poverty and being persecuted very probably a reference to the time of the Maccabees. There was a man by the name of Antiochus epiphanies who went into Egypt and then came into the land of Israel, and he offered to sell on the altar to insult the Jews and then he began her rendering this persecution. Eliezer was the high priest any skin that the high priest alive. I will not even tell you what he did.

Eliezer's seventh son because it's too gruesome but just know that he dismembered them in some very, very torturous ways. Where was God when that was happening. Let me ask you faith sometimes changes our circumstances.

Sometimes it doesn't change our circumstances.

That was then what about today. Let's fast-forward it. We always think that the time when the church was persecuted as the early centuries. Let me be clear about something more people have died as Christian martyrs in the last 35 to 50 years then ever die in the persecutions of early Rome, thousands of people have been put to death. There's a magazine that I get and Rebecca said to me she asked me recently whether or not I read it and I have to confess not too often, but I should read it often called the voice of the martyrs begun by Richard worm brand who has spoken here at the Moody church, by the way, and who was imprisoned in Romania many years ago, under communism, but this magazine details all the persecutions around the world. Yesterday, I read the story of a young man by the name of Lorenzo newly married 22 years old goes into a village and is identified as being a Christian asked to dig his own grave, which he does leading pleading for his release and after his grave is Doug and nooses put around his neck and he is strangled to death and left in the grave to die. It's happening today in countries of the world under communism. Yes under some countries, and Islam, your brothers and sisters are crying out to God for deliverance and they're not seeing the walls of Jericho fall.

They're not seeing the Red Sea as it parts what they are doing is they are crying up to God and saying God where are you saved our families deliver us and for the most part they see very little deliverance.

Though there are some surprising stories of God's intervention faith sometimes changes our circumstances. Sometimes it doesn't. You know we love to tell the story of Daniel and close the mouths of lions and it's a true story, but my wife and I Rebecca we been to Rome and we walked through the Circus Maximus were all those Christians didn't die and they were thrown to animals and there was no one there. There was no angel that came out of heaven to close the mouths of those hungry beasts, and they were torn into faith sometimes changes our circumstances. Sometimes faith does not change our circumstances. Number three faith never judges God by circumstances, faith, never judges God by circumstances. Faith never says well God, since you haven't healed that person. And since you haven't done what you think I should.

I'm out of here know the reason that these people. The second category in Hebrews 11.

The reason that they also are in the catalog of faith. When you speak of the heroes of faith. The Westminster Abbey of faith in the 11th chapter of Hebrews.

Never forget to include in the last category that never saw the miracles, but they didn't judge God by circumstances.

They believed that God was doing the right to buy them even though he does things differently. You have asked. Chapter 12 James is beheaded and then later on Peter is delivered both of them in prison. One save one not that mean, isn't this the way life is easy deliverance over here and no deliverance over there.

Both are heroes of faith sometimes what we need to do is to simply hang on to promises like this, who shall separate us from the love of Christ shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or danger or sword as it is written, for your sake we are being killed all the day long we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered, know it all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Prime sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor right, nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Paul is saying what will separate you from Christ love will being killed.

Do it know the sword won't do it will sickness do it. Sickness won't do it. Can angels do it. Angels can do it. Can demons do. Demons can do it and you keep believing no matter what some of you haven't been taking notes yet. God bless you a few of you have. We actually help you don't lead by giving you my outline in the bulletin. Do you like that.

By the way I do that for you every blessed week but here's what I'd like you to write down faith isn't merely receiving from God what we want. Sometimes faith is simply accepting whatever God gives us faith is accepting whatever God gives us that also is faith look at Jesus in Gethsemane see their father if it be that I will let this cup pass from me. Jesus lead see him there. Nevertheless, not as I will but is now an angry bitter woman said to her pastor. So where was your God when my son was killed and he said he was in the same place where he was when his son was killed.

Faith accepts whatever God gives us, we commit ourselves to God and then we leave the decision with him yesterday to be more clear last week when I preached on what commitment means, and I hope that you are here to hear that. When I preached on what commitment means and how we commit ourselves to God.

Someone asked me later a very good question this, it will just that just mean we commit everything to God, and I don't pray anymore listen when you and I commit something to God, will pray more about it than we ever have, but our prayers will be filled with thanksgiving and praise, in a sense of confidence that it's off our shoulders and it's on God's. The true Christian does not believe that there is no value in prayer. Unless you see an answer that you would like to see prayer has other values as we been trying to help each other to understand prayer means that I draw near to God with my need I come preoccupied with my need but I leave preoccupied with God and I believe that what God does in me is sometimes more important than what God does for me, as he teaches me faith as he teaches me love even when I don't see the miracles faith never judges God by miracles or I should say never judges God by circumstances. Number four. Faith always leads to ultimate victory. It always leads to ultimate victory.

I'm back now in just a moment looking at Hebrews chapter 11 again. By the way. Faith always leads to ultimate victory.

Yes Hebrews chapter 11 want to give you an illustration of how people of faith, except disappointment. How do they do it and why is it that they can ultimately be blessed, even though they don't see the miracle they desire. Let me read you a story that is very familiar to all of you. It's found in the book of Daniel, and it has to do with three friends, Shadrach me shack and a Bendigo Bible school used to say shake the bed, make the bed and intubate you go Shadrach shack and Abednego the king says to them bow down before this image if you do not bow down before this image I will throw you into the fiery furnace.

By the way, something not quite like that. But something approaching it could end up being our lot as well.

But this is what they say. I love this old Nebuchadnezzar. We have no need to answer you in this matter under this note is even discussing the if this be so our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your handle king but now notice, but if not, be it known unto you locating that we will not serve your dogs or worship the golden image that you have set up God can deliver us if he wants to, but if he doesn't we will be people who die in the faith, believing that God knows best. Are you to that point in your Christian experience. All God. We know that you are able to heal so-and-so. We know that you're able to take care of this situation. But if you don't let Angels and Demons than anyone else around me know that I will not swerve in my commitment to you because faith isn't merely receiving from God the things that I want.

Faith is the ability to receive whatever God gives.

This is pastor speak to you directly from my heart to yours were living at a time when there is a great deal of disappointment in God.

Especially because he so often doesn't do what we think he should.

You and I know people who have turned away from God because of that kind of disappointment. I believe that this series of messages is so critical for people in their walk with God in the midst of those disappointments to keep on believing and trusting. This is the second to last day where making a resource available to you that I think will be a great blessing for gift of any amount. These messages can be yours in the form of a CD and the benefit is simply this, you can listen to these messages again and again, I can't help but think that there are some of you who perhaps heard is some of the messages but not all of them, or even if you heard all the messages. The fact is, you know people who need to have this truth in order that they might not turn away from God in the midst of their own disappointment. I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of running to win thanks to you we are in 20 different countries in three different languages. We deeply appreciate your support and your prayers for gift of any amount we are making this CD series available to you, entitled the triumph of on answered prayer. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW and by the way thanks in advance for helping us because I believe that many of you are going to respond to our need to where we are in the ministry because you appreciate and have been blessed as a result of running to win. Go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for this series.

The triumph of on answered prayer. That phone number again 1-888-218-9337 or go to RTW You can write to us that running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 Christian life has times of both joy and suffering, next time I'm running to win will learn why faith always leads to ultimate victory may not change our immediate circumstances will come full circle in our series on unanswered prayer and then find ourselves content with the God whom we pray. Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin Luther this is Dave McAllister running to win his concern by the teacher

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