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March 23, 2022 8:00 am
The divine plan is at work in your life what you are suffering is not an unexpected development that surprised God. Rather, it is an outworking of what he intended from the very beginning and that changes everything.
When a friend or loved one becomes sick or injured.
We pray for God's healing. But what happens when the healing doesn't come after all, as has been noted. One out of every one persons diametrically.
Pastor Don Greene will tackle that question today on the truth pulpit as he continues teaching God's people. God's word hello again until right removing further into the series.
The Holy Spirit today and on. Why did you include this particular sermon in the series will bill that's a great question and it's really just born out of my pastoral concern for you, my friend. As you listen on this broadcast. You know I understand the real suffering makes people vulnerable on an earthly level they want relief from their suffering and so they're willing to look any place to find it on a spiritual level, it's easy to be discouraged when things are going your way will friend Scripture can protect you from those who would take advantage of you and your vulnerable state and also comfort you in your heart. Let's get started. Bill okay.thank you and friend. Have your Bible open and ready as we join our teacher in the pulpit.
I want to give US a perspective on how to think about life. When the healing doesn't come how to think about life.
When the prayers are not answered how to think about life when it is lonely and difficult and discouraging and it seems like there is no light to be found in the darkness. What we do, how do we think, you know, in some ways this is the most fundamental issue that we could deal with in the Christian life is how are we really talking about is what is our philosophy of life.
What is it that drives is what we think about why do we exist. Why do we live, what gives us hope. What gives us encouragement. Those are the things that we need to have clear and to be able to articulate in a way for ourselves and also for you to be able to minister to others in their hardship and we realize that for those of been under the dark Ministry of health and wealth preachers for so long that there's a whole renewal of mind that needs to take place for them to hold a whole different perspective on life and will address that as we go along. And so there's a bit of a logical sequence here that I hope will be evident to you as we go along. First of all what we want to see where is there hope it when the healing doesn't come write this down if you're taking notes. Point number one there is hope in God's plan. There is hope in God's plan and one of the many things that I despise about prosperity preachers is that they they limit the idea of God's blessing simply to that of physical and external blessing. If you have that, then that's all that they have to offer you.
But what if what if your you know what if your spine is broken in an automobile accident in your confined to a wheelchair and there's no healing to come for that when what you have to say to me then and the embarrassed silence that comes after that kind of speaks to the emptiness of that whole philosophy of so-called ministry for us.
We have an answer for all of those things for the for the biblically informed Christian there is a philosophy of life that informs everything that gives us strength in the heights of prosperity or the depths of sorrow at all points in between. There is an unchanging anchor upon which we respond to every circumstance in life there is a prior understanding that informs the way that we think in the way that we responded continually fuels our hearts with with hope and confidence in the sense that that there is something greater at work, even if this is difficult for me in the present. We all need to tap into that, so to speak, there is hope in God's plan. What we mean by that statement is this the God of the Bible is involved in everything that happens, the God of the Bible has ordained everything that comes to pass there or not there are not aspects of your life. There are not aspects of human history, but somehow fall out of the plan outside the plan of God's intention that are just random and and and are assaulting us in. No, it's not like that. There's not a random molecule in the universe.
There's not a random detail in your life. There is there is not an unforeseen occurrence that is come to you that hasn't previously been planned by God accounted by God and and for which he has a plan to work out things according to his will and for your good, especially for those of us that are in Christ, the God of the Bible is involved in everything that happens he works out everything according to his purpose. Ephesians chapter 1 verse 10 says that God works all things after the counsel of his will. Ephesians chapter 1 verse 10.
You can look it up later. God works all things after the counsel of his will. Everything that happens, God is at work in everything that happens is an expression of his will that he established before the foundation of the world.
All of a sudden everything in your life.
Your your prior broken relationships. The present broken relationships, the difficulties of physical loss. Everything suddenly is connected to a greater purpose that is at work even if you don't see it. And even if you do not understand it.
God works all things after the counsel of his will. Beloved that mean something means a lot of things that were just going to try to stick to the basics here today your suffering is no accident, your suffering is not a bad piece of luck if you could never be that way. In light of what Scripture teaches about the God of the Bible of his sovereign purpose and everything that happens.
Think about the difficulties in your physical trials and that's kinda what prompted this and think with me, let's think through it just a little bit, shall we, on the most basic, simple, familiar principles that are found in Scripture. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 10 verse 30 that the very hairs of your head are numbered. God knows the number of hairs on your head. Now, beloved, if he knows something that is seemingly to buy our standards so inconsequential is that, don't you think. Don't you think that he is he is equally aware with with great concern and interest of the things that affect your day-to-day life if he knows the hairs on your head. He knows everything else is happening in your body as well.
It's not that he's just in a cosmic hairdresser and that happens to be his item of interest to statement of his care and his concern in his sovereignty over every aspect of your existence.
Stop and think about that for a bit that that's all well and good to talk that way when you're in good health but do you see that there is a great sense of hope and a great sense of comfort in the recognition that that if you if physical difficulty has come to you that God has his hand on that the God has a plan for that because he works all things after the counsel of his will. He works all things after the counsel of his will included in that is the suffering that he brings to your life. It's not that we need God to repel the attacks of Satan and these things as if Satan was inflicting things apart is her contrary to the will of God. When Satan officially afflicted Job. He had to get permission from God first to do it, didn't T and so is John MacArthur said in the past. Even the devil is God's devil even whatever the devil is doing God is using and working in overcoming to direct to his purposes. Joseph said in Genesis chapter 50 verse 12 to his brothers who had sold him into slavery. After all of that had passed and circumstances were different, he said, you meant evil for me, but God meant it for good, so that your affliction has a purpose in the plan of God and under that under the wise and sovereign and good and loving nature of God. If there is a purpose in your affliction then somehow it is a good and loving purpose that he has, to carry out we may not understand that we may not grasp that we may not even appreciate it. In the moment, but that doesn't change the fundamental reality that God is at work and that is what gives you hope. If God has done the lesser thing by numbering the hairs on your head. Beloved, he has done the greater thing in overseeing this illness and affliction that is come to you or to your loved ones and suddenly were not were not astronauts cast out in space just wandering out in zero gravity and floating away into a meaningless existence. No were anchored in a purpose of our loving God who in one way or another, for one reason or another, has planned these hard times for you or your loved one, so that changes everything that changes everything and hear me well my Christian brother, my Christian sister a divine plan is at work in your life what you are suffering is not an unexpected development that surprised God. Rather, it is an outworking of what he intended from the very beginning and that changes everything now one of the things that you need to remember one of the things that you need to connect in your mind is that this is not this is not an abstraction of God's sovereign working out of his plan. It's not an abstract planned that he has working out in your life. The God who planned your suffering is the same God who suffered himself on the cross of Calvary to pay for your sins is a God who loved you enough to send Christ into the world to send Christ to send his beloved son so that whoever believes in him might not perish but have everlasting life.
The love of the cross is at perfect work in the plan of God that is being manifested in your suffering and so you have to you have to bring all of these things together. You must think theologically, you must think biblically you must think rightly about God and bring it down into your the details of your life. God is sovereign and he works all things after the counsel of his will. God is a God of love is shown conclusively at the cross of Jesus Christ. And if the love of God shown at the cross is the love that is working the plan that has brought suffering into your life then there's hope. Then there is reason for confidence. There's reason to trust and there's one other thing that we can say about these things about this plan of God in your life and were talking it you know basic levels here when you grasp this beloved what were talking about right here when you grasp this different questions start to come to mind in different questions in noble your struggle ennoble your difficulty in noble your illness instead of sat asking questions like where can I find healing for this.
Is there a faith healer that could relieve me of my affliction and chasing around the country, as some do, going to different healing crusades never finding relief, never finding that they passed the screening process to get on stage with their visible ailment that the man has no power to resolve rather than saying where can I find healing.
I gotta find healing. You can start to ask fundamental questions like this. God what ever may have happened in the past. What do you have for me as I look to the future. What is your purpose in this for me. God lead my life lead my thinking so that the purpose that you have for me in this illness is achieved and that is a different perspective on the way that we think about these things now before I go any further I realized that what I just said might be misunderstood before I go any further in the message. Let me say this. Yes yes yes yes you should and can bring your sickness and sorrow to God in prayer and ask him for relief. That's legitimate if we can pray for God give us our daily bread as Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew six. Surely we can bring the need the physical hardship brings and bring that to him legitimately and to ask him for help in that I support every effort to get good medical treatment to bring relief, if medical treatment can help you, of whatever sort that you might seek indeed we could go so far as to say that God usually in this age uses those kinds of medical means to bring physical healing to those who are suffering.
I God's not going to heal my decayed tooth if I have that immediately and directly, but he might use the hands of a qualified dentist to bring me relief and when he does that it's God bringing the healing through a means not to despise that we can seek that out. I'm not saying not to not to seek relief of relief can be had.
Talk about something just a little bit different here today were saying.
What do we do when the healing doesn't come when there aren't answers for it and then what do we do then what we think, well, we start by realizing that there's hope in God's plan and we start there. Go to second point, there is hope in Christ's salvation. Your bodily sickness your bodily ailment is an indication that is that that there is something worse, so to speak, physically coming down the line that this life is not permanent that your health is not unassailable that sooner or later there will be accompanying a calming reckoning with the angel of death, so to speak. Look in your Bible at Psalm 49 verse 10 says that he sees that even wise men die this stupid and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses are forever in their dwelling places to all generations. They have called their lands after their own names, but verse 12, but man in his pomp will not endure.
He is like the beasts that perish, you're going to die just like a dog dies your life will come to an end. Just like any other beast's now at what point at what aspect in your thinking and what approach to your philosophy of life have you accounted for that in the way that you think about life.
You cannot beloved. You cannot give into the temptation to just ignore death and hope everything works out in the end, one of the blessings of sickness and illness and difficulty is is that it pierces through that false sense of confidence it pierces through that refusal to think about reality and impresses upon you death is real and there for. We need to come to grips with it.
How do we, what are we going to do with it.
In Ecclesiastes chapter 7 verse two it says it is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting because that is the end of every man in the living takes it to heart. Go to a funeral and it's undeniable. It's all laid out in front of you. That's why pastors so often refer to that verse.
Speaking of Ecclesiastes, go to chapter 3 if you will. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 just after the book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes chapter 3, beginning in verse 19 Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 19 says the fate of the sons of men, and the fate of beasts is the same as one dies, so dies the other. Indeed, they all have the same breath, and there is no advantage for man over B's for all is vanity all go to the same place all came from the dust and all return to the dust that he speaking there from an earthly perspective is simply making the point that has abuse lives his destination is ultimately death. So it is with humans.
We live for a while.
We have a good for a while but ultimately were all coming out to the same destination were all going out the same exit door from this life are all going out the exit door of death is the Lord Terry's and so the question is what what do we think about that. What do we do about that.
Why is there death in the first place isn't isn't that an important question to ask why do people die. Bible says that death entered through sin. Sin is a consequence of of humanity's rebellion against God, you will die for your own sin. And so we realize were brought face-to-face with the fact that death is a consequence of rebellion against God and if we are to deal rightly with death, and to come to grips with it.
We need something that can deliver us from the great weight of the problem that caused it in the first place, you will die because your center in your sickness is an early indication an early warning light on the panel telling you that it's time to check the engine to check the heart of the matter for you and stepping back just speaking generally of men in general. The question becomes what will happen to you when you inevitably die what will what will become of you. You see, when the healing doesn't come that issue is pressed upon you and and and it in it lead you beyond your illness to this reality.
Forget your body forget your body which is destined to die. What about your eternal soul. What is going to happen to your soul when you die and say this is if we just promise everybody, healing, and even if everybody got healed from all of their affliction if we left that question unanswered. We would've failed miserably in addressing the greatest need of the human heart.
We don't want to do that here today, there is hope in Christ's salvation when the healing doesn't come and you reflect on your soul. You say I need a Savior. I need someone to deliver me and that brings us into the sweetness of the gospel that God sent his son Jesus Christ into the world on a mission of mercy to save sinners from the judgment that their sin deserves. You can be reconciled to God through faith in Christ and that that gives you a surpassing purpose that an a and that salvation gives you that which outlives death which transcends your human body.
Jesus said I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. You know, it would be better for you just think in terms of comparisons here. It's better to have a body that is riddled with terminal cancer and have a soul that is saved by Christ than to have a perfectly healthy body and a soul that is dead within separated from God and under his wrath facing eternal judgment. Think through what matters think through go go to the end of life and beyond and think through it all, think through all the way to the end and if your sickness teaches you to take your soul seriously and to seek Christ and to put your faith in him than the then your sickness has brought you great hope, out of the midst of the affliction God offers free full, complete, immediate forgiveness for those who trust in Christ and if you're suffering lead you to faith in Christ you have an eternal hope that illness and death cannot take away is to realize that if you are in Christ you have something that transcends even your illness.
If you have Christ you have everything and you have a better hope that lies ahead in the suffering is temporary, even if it last for the rest of life. It's temporary and compared to compared to eternity with Christ. This suffering is a wisp of a moment of smoke in the breeze that dissipates in the end, and culminates in that which cannot be taken away. Better to have a hope that culminates in in glory that cannot be taken away rather than to want something in this life that is passing and then find that the smoke of eternal torment has been yours because you never repented and put your faith in Christ. And so we have to view these things from an eternal perspective. We have to view them from the perspective of salvation and beloved. If you have Christ there is your hope. If you have Christ there is your sufficiency.
If you have Christ then these other things are secondary. By comparison will pause. Therefore, today, but pastor Don Greene will wrap up his message titled, when the healing doesn't come next time on the truth.
Pulpit join us that as we move further into our current series. The Holy Spirit today. Meanwhile, we invite you to visit our website. The truth pulpit.com. There you can download free podcasts or find out how to receive free CD copies of Don's messages and series, and if you want to go even more in depth. You'll also find the link follow Don's pulpit. That'll take you to Don's full-length weekly sermons not subject to the time editing needed for radio broadcasts. By the way, if you're in the Cincinnati area, check out the service times for truth Community Church. Also on our website and plan a visit. We'd love to welcome again. That's all at the truth. Pulpit.com Pineville White inviting you back next time on the truth pulpit as Don Greene continues teaching God's people were