Share This Episode
Summit Life J.D. Greear Logo

The Confusing Experience of Faith

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
September 8, 2021 9:00 am

The Confusing Experience of Faith

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 772 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

September 8, 2021 9:00 am

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all wrestle with doubts from time to time. So when those questions start creeping up in our minds, how should we respond?

Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
The Voice of Sovereign Grace
Doug Agnew
Living in the Light
Anne Graham Lotz
The Christian Car Guy
Robby Dilmore
A Call to the Nation
Carter Conlon
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig

Jeannie Greer superficial vein and if you never doubted it's a real good chance you're not really thinking person and your faith is not that deep.

So what God wants to do is use as doubt like a divinely set messenger to drive you deeper into him based on the breakoff that shallow child is spoonfed nature of your faith and bring you to a place where you really know the Bible teaching ministry there out there and religion Jeannie Greer. I'm your host Molly, but abets you doing today in the middle of the teaching series called the whole story going from Genesis to Revelation and hitting the main highlights along the way they were pausing in the book of Psalms to look at the question of doubt whether we like to admit it or not, all Grasso with doubts from time to time is God really good. Can I trust him with every detail of my life how I know he's the hair when those questions start creeping up in our minds we just can't make sense of God's plan.

How should we respond. I think it's safe to say that our response can be found in the word so grab your Bible and let's jump right in 73 Bible Bibles love you take them out and open them to the 73rd Psalm as you're turning there. I will tell you that when I got married one of the many things many things that Veronica my wife made fun of me about was that I attempted to clean everything in our house with Windex. Jesus help me see over the years that that most cleaning problems around the house need different, shall we say, more specialized solutions so now I feel like we are at the opposite extreme, we got somebody models in different kinds of brushes for different types of materials and do not even get me started on the amount of things that we have in our shower to clean our bodies with before I got married I lived with four guys and we had one bar of soap between all of us and we cleaned everything with it are here.

Our bodies our teeth our wounds are close all that was fixed with a bar so now we got bottles and tubes and sponges and volcano rocks and lots of things or whatever you call them, but evidently that's what you need for a total cleaning experience. A lot of people think that when we were talking about questions of faith is like you got a have a bunch of different solutions. Different kinds of answers, depending on whether you talk and some believers or unbelievers for the adult and the mature believers are immature believers, but here's what I have found over the years, after having many many conversations with many people at different stages of maturity about these questions. There is believers and unbelievers, mature believers and immature believers have essentially the same questions and struggles with how God runs the world and the answers that we need are basically the same as Cheryl that because Psalm 73 is a song about the universal problem of doubts.

Doubt affects us all. Whether you're a believer or nonbeliever. People say to me sometimes faster do you doubt I doubt all the time why did God do a certain thing or why did he not do something you didn't get the job.

She said no.

The pregnancy test came back negative, or that cancer screen came back positive for you. Look around the world and you thought God, I don't mean to criticize but I just don't think you're doing that good of a job running the world math like I do a much better job seems like a reward system is all out of whack got bad people are here Zynga get away with murder, sometimes literally in the good people over here that seem to get smacked unfairly at every turn we will ask those same questions I've asked him all my life and for many people it's made him wonder if there is God was even there. Even Bible writers. In fact, the majority of them had doubts about John the Baptist who was Jesus's cousin a few years into Jesus's ministry is like I am not so sure. You're the guy that I thought you were the apostles doubted how the apostles got one of them even got the name doubting Thomas at the crucifixion, even after they sing all the miracles they were like.

I don't know. They fed the 5000. But as you know, he's not doing we thought he do Matthew even says Matthew 28 that even after Jesus had resurrected and as he was ascending into the air.

Matthew 20 is is and some doubted. He's floating in the air. Please assist you in on maybe is not. Why is because what he was doing was so strange to them and he just so many things they thought that the Messiah was supposed to do that God should've done that they had done so it made them doubt. Doubt is a part of a thinking life since I write this down before we even get started now happens when the superficialities of your faith meet the realities of the world is going to tell you some of you got a superficial fate. And if you never doubted it's a real good chance you're not really a thinking person and your faith is not that deep and you never really asked that many questions and that's not a good thing and so what God wants to do is he uses doubt. Doubt like a divinely set messenger to drive you deeper into him based on the breakoff that shallow child is spoonfed nature of your faith and bring you to a place where you really knowing doubted one of my favorite analogies for this are illustrations doubt like a foot that is poised to go forward or backwards. It's true that you can pick up your foot and wall backwards. Doubt can drive you backwards into unbelief but is also true.

You'll never walk forward and you pick up your foot and doubt is asking the question, it say God I don't understand and that's what God uses to drive you deeper into him.

That's what you're gonna seal Psalm 73 and this Psalm is in many ways I think indicative of the entire book of Psalms which is why we chose this particular one, I'm going to be reading today mostly from the NIV translation, which is different for me with an occasional sampling even from the new living translation, which always makes me feel greasy when I do that but I dislike some of the language was so clearly living translation, so I'm asking for forgiveness in advance but here we go. A Psalm of ASAP ASAP was David's worship pastor, verse one. Surely God is good Israel to those who are pure in heart. That's his statement of faith.

That's what he believes, with his mind. But now he's about to tell you in the next several verses what he feels with his heart is not always the same thing.

Verse two but as for me, I came so close to the edge of the cliff equivalent on believe my feet were slipping and I was almost gone. Fry NBD arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. The psalmist confesses that his doubt began with envy, which is almost always the case in the years of course when you want somebody else's life you want their possessions you want there opportunities you want. Their looks.

You want their talents and this Psalm helps you label MB for exactly what it is doubt in the goodness of God toward you see before envy is expressed as a horizontal feeling you got a vertical problem which is a belief about the goodness of God you don't believe that God is good, which leads you to feelings of envy all around you know MB is so pervasive in the human heart that it made even the garden of Eden seem unsatisfactory, it has nothing to do with the conditions or read it has to do with the conditions of your heart Adam and Eve are literally in a perfect place where they get the runaround make it all day and they are still like to know how the guys probably hold not on us.

They had what we now call with our kids phono term, fear of missing out. Hello, the really good stuff is in that tree right there. The gotchas began at all these trees that he gave that one tree that's where it's really at. Give my kids eat a cookie. I promise you, the more they get to cooking her hander checking out the other cookies I could under sure that we get a bigger cookie to somebody else. The better cookie is it's a fear of missing out.

That's what they think God hold, not on them so they doubt God's goodness. So let me just ask you who or what are you envious of today this weekend. What you envious of somebody's body somebody's husband somebody's style somebody's owing to their car there the way they dress elevated their house today.

Why don't you call that for what it is a challenge to your belief in God's goodness in your life. What makes it worse for the psalmist is that these people that is envious of are not good people because I'm wicked but still even other wicked they get to be the social elites of the day's description of the social elites is timeless. It's sound like someone is talking about them today. Verse four. They have no struggles, their bodies are healthy and strong. Their beautiful they dress off Sunday there there there and say they got front row seats to all the games they fly first class everywhere they go there free from common human burdens.

Verse five they got housecleaners and assistance to make wear designer clothes and the kids go to school on scholarship and then to get awesome jobs because they know people therefore verse six.

Pride is there necklace. What really galling is that they take credit for it.

All hedge of the reason they have all the stuff is because they're just more awesome than the rest of us. They don't seem to be aware of the fact that it's just because their parents are rich and is not because they're smart and we are just opportunity to clothe themselves them with violence, their pride makes them hateful disdainful toward others. They really feel either better than everybody like they deserve all the perks like they deserve their status they thought they should get the make all the decisions for everybody else and then they oppressed people trample people just because they get away with it. Nobody stops them. Verse eight. They stall they speak with malice with arrogance. They threaten oppression where malls lay claim to have been in their tongs take possession of the earth does God even realize was going on. They ask, they assume that whatever is out there.

Even if there is a heaven belongs to them as early, get first dibs on everything. They don't know any other posture any other posture that at the top, looking down. Truth is I don't really see a need for God. All my to have a God and be like oh yeah were religious and we go to church but but but truth is there fully sufficient in themselves. Verse 12 this is what the wicked are like always, free of care minister on amassing well that's the only thing that they're worried about is not a how to get more for lightness before we get too self-righteous and say I hate all those arrogant elites are. We just like this to yourself.

When you get blessed with good things don't usually assume that it's due primarily to what you have done. Often you find yourself naturally and instinctively just looking back upward to God and saying God is all a gift from you is that one around me. I work for everything that I have okay Lord you get that talent and that intelligence that you use to accomplish or stop. Probably the majority of it, if not all of it is in your genes, which means that your if you know anything about science.

You have no part in that all and you really feel like if you had been born in a poor village in Liberia that you will succeed in the way that you have your in the United States.

What you have is given and enabled by God, all of its when you have been surrounded by multiple levels of grace is what is it that you have all said that you did not receive.

And if you received it.

Why do you both assume income from God anyway just like the rich when we are doing well, don't we, like the wicked tend to forget our need for God to not why we all tend to pray a lot less when things are going well. Things are going bad does not get too high and mighty.

Yes, this is what the wicked are like, but it's what our hearts are like to. Tim Keller says that every human society that is ever existed.

Whether it's a nation at church race of people basketball team, a group of eighth grade girls sit around the lunch table. All of them have been characterized by pride of the top and in the of the bottom so he says I'm the one that's envious.

Verse 13 about a waste of my time. Why even take the trouble to read your call I get out of this trouble.

Hello all the day long every day all day all the stuff I've gone for God to try to obey him.

Our true love waited still get difficult difficult marriage. I want all the parenting stuff for my kids will want to cause any problems. We tied them and were still not rich like a thought that we were supposed to be. I did everything according to prescription maybe maybe maybe all this stuff that I believed about God is not true after all. Never felt like that I have verse 15 but if I'd spoken out like that I would betray your children the something something something about verbalizing that statement that woke him up. That's one of the values all additive print out loud writing your prayers out in a journal because sometimes you don't really realize what you think until you write it out you say when you yourself say you like that it wasn't what I actually thought so he hears himself verbalizing this statement and realizes he hears himself admit that the reason that he had been serving God was so that God would make his life easy in the spirit of God very quietly whispered to him, why are you serving me you serving me because what you think you can get from me or are you serving me because you want more of me because those are two entirely different reasons. Like when I was a college graduate, you had to take an elective in the arts and I had to choose between classical music, drama, theater or painting and I thought well theater looks like it will be the least damaging and so it was also just terrible. Will I work hard in that class really did, and I mastered all the other Garduno kind of stuff about the good I wanted I needed a great because I didn't want to blow my GPA on theater class and so I I worked hard, mastered that the person that I could denigrate them. The reason I want to get a grade was so that I can have you know a good resume.

That would give me a good job which would give me a lot of money now vessel the clock many years later. Here is my wife and I and we have decided at times like hey we should go see a play of the Durham performing arts Center, which is the right and it's a lot cost a lot of money to you to save up your money for. And then it occurs to me while I'm shelling out the money to go to one of these plays. Unlike the irony of this in college I studied drug free beer so that I could get a job so I could have money and I use the money to go back to the to the difference though is that here I found theater or I reroute it I found it useful for something else. But now I feel weird even say this now. I find it beautiful in itself. Here it was a means to an end.

Here it is the end itself.

Does that make sense. So here's my question for you which one better characterizes your approach to God to the question is not, are you working hard for God.

The question is, is God a good means to an end for you or is God the Indian himself because if he's a means to in the end it's going to radically affect how you deal with disappointment in your life and what the psalmist realizes is I've been serving God. Not because I find him beautiful.

I've been serving him because I found them useful and what was worse, I started to communicate to others just by my attitude that this is why serve God hi Sir because he makes my life easy because he is the best way to my best life now in a good marriage and great prosperity. That's why you serve God know when our attitude toward life is that way when our joy in God is less when things are not going well in our lives.

What kind of message are we sending about the beauty of God himself. See how I was watching on theater for movie channels and I came across a television evangelist and he was working on the camera and he says he said on is that if you will give a minimum of $1500 to this ministry that God has told me he will cut whatever debt you have in half within six months I was in France.

He said some of you out there listening right now have some pretty severe credit card debt if you will use what is remaining if you got $1500 roof if you will put it on the credit card you will be amazed as a six-month gobble of cut that credit card debt in half and I'm sitting there thinking Lord with me assumes me to flat on the taxes for this guy is and punch him in the throat is artisan Felix and right now, then he goes on he says he says. And when you're credit card bill has been cut in half and you're driving that new Mercedes-Benz.

Your neighbors will be amazed of the smile on your face as a marvel of the goodness of God toward you and my first thought is what you should probably wait for your credit card bills more than half before you purchase the Mercedes-Benz just say it but number two is no, I don't look like your neighbors are to be amazed of the smile on your face and your brother new Mercedes-Benz anybody smiles when I have a new Mercedes-Benz is just part of the package. What would really amaze your neighbors is when you got a smile on your face. You rob the same erratic car. You always drove right because then you're able to tuck your neighbor's joint income from the car I drive net income from how good I feel that cover my body and come from a God's presence is always with me, and in 1993 Honda Civic with no AC about the presence of God is better than 10,000 Mercedes-Benz of always have always loved the way John Wesley described this John Wesley like 300 years ago is. Let me update his analogy to the Christian life is like hearing that there's an uncle. You did know that you had died and left you millions upon millions upon millions of dollars. Untold amount of riches and so the bank summoned you to come to the bank to pick up all your money and so is your driving to the bank to get about a half-mile from the bank and in your car breaks down what you do when your car breaks down, you jump out of the car and kicked the car and cursed God, you look around within beat everybody else. Nice car where you got this piece of junk right you just get out of the car and you know leave the car in the dirt, you skip the rest away to the bank right that's the customer's joy is half-mile journey you've ever been on, because I was waiting for you. Just down the road when you go through pain as a Christian. Yes, the pain is real, he said, but it's most joyous walk you've ever taken, even when it's fraught with disappointment and pain what's waiting for you. Just on the other side just on the other side. You see, listen, listen your walk with God is not supposed to be it will not be absent of all dangers which was be able to save the many dangers, toils and snares I have already gone, his grace, his presence that brought me safe thus far and brace gracefully meal verse 17 he continue so one day I went into God's sanctuary to meditate and then I thought about the future of these evil men in the midst of his doubt, he comes into the presence of God in this is what he sees. He sees two things. First, verse 18. What a slippery path they are on. Suddenly God will send them sliding over the edge of the cliff and down to their destruction and instant end. It's all their happiness of eternity, of terror, their present life is only a dream, they will awaken to the truth is one awakens from a dream of things and never really were. Here's number one eternity he says is going to restore the balance really quickly. Scripture presents this life is so quick it's like a dream. You know when you have a dream. It seems so real that I may be just a curiosity all campuses like vivid dreamers and you have dreams often is not true. May I have been proud about one every six weeks that I remember and double what I do. It is a do speed limit site and the other night my wife and I had a watch my wife and I have a dream I had a dream this is not the movie inception, weight, my wife wife was laying there but I had a dream and the dream my wife and I were being chased by like this while group of Native Americans back 300 years ago like cowboys and Indians and it seems so real was genuinely scared, and in my dream is like a last amounts and its wonders deals you have this for you wake up out of the dream and it takes you a good 1015 seconds to figure out like okay I'm not really being chased by Indians on modulator my bed and it's all going to be okay right but it seemed so real in the moment the writer a savage like that's what life is like the is you is for those outside of God. Debt is can be a sudden awakening from their illusion of success and power in the way. One guy says that the rich without God are on their way to being eternally poor celebrities without God are on their way to being eternally ignored this like that awful scene where Steve Harvey crowned the wrong Miss universe. Remember this thing now. I read about in the news, which meant when I watch the YouTube video I knew what was coming and using the premise using as you watch it yet. I was like 15 times is like a train wreck. I got in a little late and you're watching this poor girl who gets crowned Miss you. This is her lifelong dream. She's always want to be Miss universe and you're watching is the elation on her face and you're just going to say. One will be happy. This is not real, it's a just a minute to turn in the worst moment your life gets State Farm is walking back on stage with that goofy look on his face and even to be like Michael Roberson will Michael take it off your head and put on his other girls. It in your joys, trying to disaster. What this writer ASAP is saying is Steve Harvey starting on the stage and always joy you think you God is going to just disappear because you had to choose be the second Miss universe not averse because the first one it last for just a second and then a crown of gold. Why don't you labor for the ground that does not invade never taken away you see on the flipside for the believer. All the pain they go through is going to seem meaningless compared to the joy that they experienced one minute and return your your believer to be over soon.

I know that feels hard to believe sometimes.

I've been there. Thankfully, God's word addresses are down the confusing experience of faith that the title of our message today on Senate life with pastor JD Greer today's program as part of her teaching series called the whole story. Our entire team is excited about this study because we think it will change the way you read the Bible for ever. JD one of my favorite things about the series is how you're challenging us to take a fresh look at these familiar Bible stories yet and I think sometimes, especially for those of us who have been at her for a while so familiar with these Bible stories that they serve sound a little bit cliché, their right leg would like were no longer looking for God to use them to speak so many emissaries.

I'm hoping you'll be able to set those preconceived notions aside and just see the stories the new lands in a fresh way and show you may be missing the greatest thing show how they will point to the cross to go along with the series and help with that. We get the perfect resource simple called the books of the Bible cards. It's a set of cards that will help you as you read books of the Bible to connect that book with the context of the original audience and maybe even more importantly, the overall scope of the one store. The Bible is is telling to give you details about what was written to when it was written on three key truths that are gleaned from the book where the book points to Jesus. Some reflection questions based on the main theme of the book. I can promise you, you want to keep these handy as you are in the books of the Bible in your like this is for what they say and what biscuit is cardinal help connect what you're reading to the bigger picture of what God is saying that today that when you give $25 and will send you a copy of the books the Bible cards and our way of saying thanks for your generous support. If you think going through this program for into the gospel with someone else by donating today. Give us a call at 8665 20.

Remember to ask for your set or you can get online. JD Molly that event. I am so glad to have you with us today to be sure to listen again Thursday as we can. Looking at the whole story of the Bible on Senate life career career ministry

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime