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March 9, 2020 9:00 am
Okay to question your answers that question today like dark shoppers and you and you have shut your cell no, I cannot say that I do not feel this. Real Christians don't feel like this Jeremiah was a real person.God. Do not listen why God every time you see me making some headway brushes on Molly that events. Thank you so much for joining us today for some reason most of us tend to think of good Christians as those who are always smiling and encouraging others. So whenever we struggle with depression and despair or doubts about God there to be a lot of shame that goes along with that we think there's something wrong with us. Or maybe we just don't have enough faith in it can be difficult to ask for help because we don't want anyone to see us is broken will today. Pastor JD addresses the very real struggle from the biblical perspective he titled today's message despair. My Bible topic that was not my original list, but one that I really feel compelled to talk to you about. I would assume this is the Holy Spirit so I would would think that there's probably some of you listening right now that you are why God laid this on my heart that final topic is despair.
Despair by despair I mean this overwhelming suffocating sense that life wishes not to get any better. You finally given up on your marriage every once in a while you get this glimmer of hope things are going to change point out the door slammed in your face again about some of you might've actually been a little excited about the series think this is going to be it.
This is what God used to turn my spouse around it might even have started to happen but then it all caved in and imploded in your back to where you started your job is going nowhere. You file your kind of embracing that your dreams are shattered. Maybe your finances are just not you thought this time you bought last year this time things would finally be on the up and up, but they're not and you're starting to calm it was all yourself. This is the new normal. Or maybe you're lonely maybe lonely things don't seem to be changing. You're getting older every day that passes is another one that you're alone and every day that passes your prospects don't seem to be getting any brighter maybe you think you're never going to get victory over a particular temptation or habit you fall into it for the millionth time pornography. Maybe some kind of of sexual perversion. Maybe it's losing your temper and you started to think that you know what maybe this is me. Maybe another change made maybe this is just the reality. This is what I am praying for a family member to come to Christ. But there still is cold and turned off. As ever, dealing with grief. Some of you loss of a apparent loss of a spouse loss of a child loss of a boyfriend or girlfriend and you keep thinking that the Greek is going to get better you keep your that time heals all wounds, but it's just not changing for you know, sometimes getting a look at your finger on what is this kind of dark cloud that seems to cover your life and it leaves you with a sense of spiritual vertigo. Yet we know we know what wakes up you'll know what ways nor the only way to walk, what to do and so you feel yourself wanting to give up. You fill your heart getting to school soon to succumb to the bitterness, cynicism, alcohol, drugs, suicide, joy, popular in our culture to return to the medication. People always want to know though I go how do you feel about medication is it ever okay for us to take medication to deal with these kind of things well first of all I'm not a licensed counselor may make that clear.
Second of all, even if I were licensed counselor. It is impossible for me to stand here make a general statement would apply to everybody but I will just say this very quickly and passing right and that is that God has made us as a body, soul, union, and that means that sometimes what's happening. The body does affect what is going on in the soul will know that some level right. Ever notice how would you haven't got enough sleep.
You are much less sanctified right you snap and everybody are crabby and he answers not just go to your quiet time.
Just go to your quiet time after you got a good night sleep. When you find a book together actually help you with segmentation. The body can aggravate what is going on in the soul. Here's the thing, what commissions in the body do aggravate spiritual conditions, but usually don't create. That's the thing to remember Brett Hamrick our staff counselor.
Here are pastor that oversees a lot of the stuff I'm told me this week. He said he said he said so years I see it is that you said a few years ago we were.
I was in the yard, play with my kids and I got a really bad case of poison.
I and I said I had to go on a trip and it was really inconvenient poison ivy so I don't mind the girl redneck uncle Don told me that if I would would would scrub it with a Brillo pad and pour bleach on it. It would clear it up immediately and he said I thought that sounded like a good idea. This is the man we have hired to care for your souls.he says he got unbelievably affected really vigorously called emergency room that God the emergency room said, here's what you DE prescribed him an antihistamine together with a steroid that would speed up the healing process will Brad said that he took this over the course of two or three days, and he noticed, in retrospect that those two or three days.
He was just an animal, and he was snap at everybody little things he was blowing up a people finally realized that what was aggravating that was that steroid was taking things that would normally bear and then blowing them up to much larger proportions. He said that's what's going on in somebody's body. It's not that it's not that their bodily fluids are creating these issues, but they are pouring nitrous on which is one of the reasons that what we say yes there are some things that you may need to talk to somebody who knows what they're talking about is you go through this, but what your body aggravates the things your body is not what creates idolatry, selfishness or unbelief in your heart. That's why we say that medicines can help alleviate pain, but they can't give hope hope come from somewhere entirely different. Hope is real. Okay hope is real and it does not come by deadening anything hope come from somewhere different, so not answering the question about medication. What I am showing you is that there is hope, and hope for something a little bit different. You have your Bible, what should open them to Lamentations. Open your Bible to the book of Lamentations.
I like llama Lamentations is about halfway through the Old Testament if you got a table of contents that opened up and check out where that is. Lamentations is bubbly like what is that means I like the Hebrew word, no limitations as an English word that means a lament Lamentations is a collection of laments Lamentations is the lament of the prophet Jeremiah the book of Lamentations is a collection of five poems. It is a work of art in Hebrew is you that have your Hebrew Bible in front of you can see that I may view is that by the way, to study curiosity okay you can see that that that that that Lamentations is five poems that are written as an acrostic, which go to every letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
That's what every chapter has 22 verses because the Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters with the exception of the middle chakra chapter 3, which were to look at, which is 66 verses because of the triple prospect so that each verse as each letter has three verses what is the point of you telling us all that other than you know to give something to know during Bible Trivial Pursuit. Here is what is is that Jeremiah is trying to show you that he is giving you the experience of suffering from agency that's over scholars that you doing here is the experience of suffering from a to see civilized Jeremiah suffering.
Jeremiah lived during a time when Israel was being punished for their sin. Israel had hardened their hearts to God. So many times that God was doing to them what he promised he would do to them and that is he was exiling them from the land as her.
Jeremiah had personally witnessed multiple violent deportations of his friends and his family from Israel seeing the destruction of Jerusalem did watch the temple be torn down it.
Watch friends and family members carted off as slaves to the concrete nation to Babylon and God gave Jeremiah is profit a message to preach to them and that message basically went like this what you are experiencing is the judgment of God, do not resist it. God is not going to raise up a hero will bring you deliverance in your lifetime you should repent. But you should not look for hope and deliverance. That's a popular message. The people of Israel totally rejected and they put in.
The president said that he was guilty of treason. He was a traitor so he spent most of his time in prison. Becky probably wrote the book Lamentations from the dungeon Lamentations chapter 3 verse one I am the man who receive affliction under the rod of his wrath.
He has driven and brought me into darkness without any light driven that word in Hebrew means driven like an animal, what it means like little whip.
This is not all the way my Savior leads me okay this is not that this is he drove me to eat you almost think that Jeremiah is thinking about some friends and family that he watched driven off like slaves.
He has driven me and brought me into darkness without any light that means hopelessness that I read about this past year Colby endurance, which is about the failed mission of Sir Ernest Shackleton to be the first human to cross over the South Pole and so he had to abort the mission from the very beginning because it should be. Endurance got trapped in polar ice and crushed it. So his team was stranded out there and basically a continent size floating iceberg for 18 months, 18 months. He said that the worst thing the worst thing was not the cold worst thing was not starvation. The worst thing with the darkness because of the South Pole. The sun goes down in mid-May and then come up again until mid August were talking about three months of just darkness people have been through that say that there is no desolation quite as complete as the polar night. No lights darkness all the time. That's all. Jeremiah feels no light, no hope. Verse three surely against me, he turns his hand again and again the whole day long was he talking about. By the way he talking about talk about God. God, he has made my flesh in my skin waste away.
He has broken my bones has besieged and envelop me with bitterness and tribulation. He has made me dwell in darkness, like the dad of long ago you called me about so that I cannot escape the is made my chains heavy though I call a cry for help, he sets out my prayer feel like that God is not listening to me.
I don't know why here's the thing Jeremiah knows that's not true. So you got a minute but this is how he feels a lot of you have Golden dart shoppers and you have thought these very things and you have shut your self up and said no I cannot say that I cannot feel this will Christians don't feel like this Jeremiah was a real Christian. Jeremiah was a real Christian God where you God.
Do not listening.
Why why God he is block my ways. Verse nine, the blocks of stone. He has made my past crooked every time you see me making some headway. He crushes verse 10 is like a bear line and wait for me a lion in hiding what your favorite image of God. The down but a beer waiting the mall and dismember you.
Oh yeah, I thought about God. Verse 11, he turned aside my steps for me to pieces. He has made me desolate. He bent his bow and set me as a target for his arrow was sadistic and I sent somebody out as a target for your arrow. He drove in that I can these be arrow up whoever I become the laughing stock of all people. The object of their taunts all day long.
It's not even that I'm being admired for the way that I'm suffering people and back are questioning my motives there saying I don't know you at all. You still be with bitterness.
He sated me with warm wood, one will warm.
What was is a bitter herb Jewish thought represented the wrath of God represented desolation. The New Testament, by the way they translated as goal goal 16 is made my teeth to grind on gravel and minitower and ashes. My soul is bereft of peace and I have forgotten what happiness is. I can remember days Rob's joyful hat I can remember the flight so I say verse 18. My endurance is perished, so has my hope for the Lord Jeremiah the prophet of God you guys encouraged yet you bless you before I go on did you learn something very very important.
That is, that God chose to include this in the Bible even after we get edited this out.
Thank you for choosing Lucas put all about what prophet yelled me got me accusing me of things no one up another bottle does not want to jeopardize book to patrol terrible about me dancing ever. People would sing out what was people like that while Solomon's wisdom is really hot right now. We can keep a sex manual.
We can keep that on the shelves now drive ourselves up with put another one of those in their no God put this book in there for you who suffer because God knows how you feel.
And God needs you to know that he knows how you feel, and it is okay for you to express that in fact I would tell you that you need to express it like were entirely too quick. Sometimes our answers to think positively Christian jargon. Sometimes what you need is not theological reasoning.
Sometimes what you need is a God walk through this with you. Julia had friends. I have friends went to a dark season of their life. We were in a culture where you were not allowed to talk this way so they bought or not they shut it up and never expressed it for hate or doing well.
There kinda are struggling through this I believe it all the stuff was going on inside. All this but it never expressed it allowed to express it in Hebrews 1215 says, beware lest any root of bitterness be growing in you, you can trim off the roots of bitterness. You keep your mouth shut and the network goes in there and the files everything that here's what I believe.
I believe is all my heart. God can handle your doubts again. He can answer your questions.
In fact, I would tell you that in asking the question and expressing the doubt. You're actually giving real faith, a chance to grow up and told you. Doubt is a foot that is poised to go forward or backward. You might think you might go backwards and I believe that is certainly possible, but you're never to walk forward, you pick up your foot so your faith is shallow because you never really struggled through these things. You got domesticated God who gives you purpose and make you feel warm and fuzzy, but you don't crave him.
You don't stand amazed at him passionately follow him deep struggles like this one of the way that God often changes that took up rapid assays like not been struck by the rod of your route, I would never learn the file you write this down. Real faith grows out of honestly expressed doubt. Real faith grows out of honestly expressed doubt until you have experienced deep pain and deep questions. You never know how much deeper God is been paying how much more glorious he is in the questions deep experience deep pain, deep doubt is how God deepens your understanding and makes you stand amazed it takes you from a casual Christian to someone who praised him when David said of Psalm 42 as the deer pants for the water so my soul longs for you, you'll get that without this F from I've never been to what Jeremiah's been through everything anything close. I had pain in my life like you and will have some of you may have been through this. I never been through anything that I would say is equivalent about butts.
I've been through times right deeply doubting God right after college. It was several things that Chris that I just want to believe all my life was held have raged against God how God how could. Why would you do it by the way, I knew enough to know that you can do what I see so many people do in our culture. That is, once you leave for the Bible only said the understanding that the Bible is not a salad bar.
We take what you want. Really what you want.
If you are all true, it's not true. All this is false or God. How how how why going all of it right now but I will tell you this, that God use some of these most difficult things to show me a God that was so much more glorious than I thought he was. But hell is what hell is because God is God he is. And that's what our sin against God requires. It also deepened my understanding of what God went through to save us because it showed me the depth of my depravity and my sin that with the natural result of my sin. So even the doctrine of hell taught me to worship God was so loving and so glorious that that is what he went through to save me and what the right BBB.
The alternative is to rejecting him what happens when you reject him.
What I'm trying to tell you is this the biggest lesson so you need to express your lamentation even write it out. I'm right that put that right now my limitation assured that your homework assignment you need to write it out. I mean literally write it out and not some sanitized positive, encouraging Christian radio version of it but a real person like Jeremias Searcy. This is a Christian song imagine hearing this on Christian radio positive, encouraging because I could barely multiply a right now and you go somewhere and read it back to God's going back to him grieve over a shattered dream messed up marriage lost child. Allow yourself to feel the emotions and the sadness and the put them in the words and remember that God is listening is listening to you is okay to be honest with him, comforting message from JD Greer and Summit life if you join us a little late today or if you'd like to listen again. You can find this message free of firstname.lastname@example.org why you're there you can also browse Pastor JD's blog or download the complete transcript for any sermon. These are just a few of the resources that we've made available thanks to your generous support Summit life as listener find it anywhere. So grateful for all of you who believe in this nation.
When you get today will say thanks by sending you a copy of one nation under God. Christian hope for American politics by our friend Drs. Bruce Ashbury and Chris Abelard have so JD seems like an odd duck to introduce today.
Given that were coming to the end of a relationship series that now were in the middle of primary election season here in the United States in the general election is just a few months away so I guess the timing couldn't be more perfect. Can you explain that title to us now what they mean by one nation under God.
What might be easier to point out what the writers do not mean that phrase that mean that the United States is tomorrow.
Pres. Lincoln's phrase, and almost chosen nation that were certainly proud to be Americans but one nation under God isn't meant to imply that God is looking to America with special favor as his favorite horse. Somehow we are made up of different stuff than everybody else. It's not an attempt to force America to be Christian or say that that's you know what we desire is is is a Christian government because you know our Bible teaches us that while Christians should be in government and we should hope for a nation of Christians.
That's different than hoping for a Christian America, one nation under God is a misstatement of patriotic pride, even it's it's it's really if anything, it's patriotic humility. We stand under the watchful eye of God. We recognize that government gets its legitimacy, just like marriage doesn't get it from the design of God. And it means that not only does God give us the best instructions about how to pursue things like marriage and in politics, but it also means that will help me held accountable for the faithful to Christ in the political realm every politician in every voter in every every public official ought to think before they do anything. I'm doing this, as unto the Lord and is this something that glorifies God and is in keeping with his design. One more thing it's it's it's also a statement of hope for all of our failings as a country and for all of our disappointment and are leaders of the process. We have uniquely shaped Christian past, we have something that very few nations have and that is that we are a country founded on the philosophy. It's not our heritage or genetics. It's simply we are united our government united around a way of looking at the world and one of the biggest shapers of that worldview was the Bible we are unashamed to claim that Christianity can act as one of the greatest benefits to our society is given us many of the freedoms that we enjoy guarantees me this freedom for the future. I love to get you a copy. This really helpful book. I think you will be encouraged by provoked and challenged.
I think you will look at things the same way.
You certainly won't look at the election the same way everyone through this book and get a copy go to JD Greer.com instructions there about how we can eligible when your hands will help your decision-making about what it looks like to approach politics, and humility. Most interactions about politics tend to choose one and ignore the other. Either someone is so tainted that they don't think they have anything to say for their so sure their opinion that everyone who disagrees with them is a full Christian we should be able to stay our positions clearly and boldly incredibly gracious to others when they disagree with that but titled one nation under God. When you donate to Senate like today you can get over the phone by calling 833-5286 eight 335-5224. Give online JD cleared were so grateful for your support and generosity Bible teaching people across the country every day radio online archive so so much for partnering together when our life is that I seem to stay our series on relationships, titled, so be sure to join us for Summit life with Jeannie