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Faith Over Fear

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
December 2, 2020 7:00 am

Faith Over Fear

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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December 2, 2020 7:00 am

Dr. Tony Evans says that the coronavirus causes a variety of symptoms but in this lesson, hell talk about a particularly dangerous one that shows up in people who dont even have the disease.

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Are you growing in this quarantine, or are you controlled by your fear? Dr. Tony Evans says God has given each of us the ability to subdue the worries of life. You can't always stop fear from coming, but you can keep it from living in you. This is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. The coronavirus causes a variety of symptoms, but there's a particularly dangerous one that shows up in people who don't even have the disease.

Let's join Dr. Evans as he tells us how to diagnose and treat it. Can I challenge you today? I'm going to challenge myself, too. In light of all that's been going on, I want to challenge us to put our faith over our fears. Sometimes you can't control fear because it just comes on you, and it's just all up in your grill. I mean, it's just all over you because the circumstances make you afraid.

But my challenge today is to place faith over your fears. When we were in school, the teacher would give you a test. Sometimes it would be a pop quiz.

Sometimes it would be a major midterm or final exam. The test was always designed to see whether you had learned what was taught in preparation for where you were going next, the next grade level. So to go from one grade level to the next grade level, it involved a test. Not too many kids that I knew growing up or adults in my graduate education got all excited about a test, but they knew it was part of the curriculum. Part of the curriculum for your life and my life by God is a test. Now a good teacher will only test you over information taught you.

In other words, they don't give you tests over information you are not supposed to know, but information you're supposed to know, grasp, and be able to recite or utilize. Throughout Jesus's walk with his disciples, he would give them tests, and what he would be testing is their faith. Whether they believed what they heard or whether they were doing what a lot of us do every Sunday, just say amen without adopting and incorporating it into our functional lives, moving it from theory to activity. One of those events is found in Mark chapter 4.

I love this event. Jesus has been teaching like crazy, and he's been teaching about the kingdom of God, and he was just been laying it on all day, and he was explaining to his own disciples so that they would understand this rule of God and understand how they would live their lives underneath God and how they would have confidence in the God that they were to follow. On the next day, Jesus says to his followers, let us go to the other side. That is, the other side of this eight-mile track across the Sea of Galilee. So they all get in their boats because they hanging out with Jesus. It says, as they were going along, verse 37 says, there arose a fierce gale of wind and waves that were breaking over the boat, so much so that the boat was already filling up.

Now you have to understand, a lot of these guys are fishermen, so they used to be in the water, they used to win, they used to wave, they understand how to roll in this environment. But this was different. The Greek word here is the word lilac. Lilac is a windstorm. It's a storm. The Sea of Galilee sits inside of a mountain range, and so sometimes when the wind blows up, it acts like a funnel and sucks it down, creating a major disturbance.

When they left, everything was fine, but on their way, things got crazy. They were in a lilac. We're in a lilac. Corona is a lilac. Economic loss is a lilac. People being laid off is a lilac.

Some stores not getting filled up as quickly that you need supply. That's a lilac. People who are in the hospital are in a lilac.

A lilac is this storm that comes out of nowhere, that disrupts your ordered life, that brings adversity and discouragement. That's what they're in. But please notice something. They're in a storm while they're also in the will of God.

Did you hear that? Being in the will of God doesn't mean it's not gonna thunderstorm on you. People ask, why? Why am I going through this when I'm serving God?

Well, teachers give tests to good students and bad students, right? So they are in the will of God and in a storm because both can happen simultaneously. Don't ever let anybody tell you if you're in the will of God, it won't rain. Sometimes you haven't seen rain until you're in the will of God. So you can be out of the will of God and in the storm, but they are in the will of God and in a storm.

The boat is filling up. Now watch this. It says in verse 38 of Mark 4, Jesus himself was in the stern sleeping on a cushion.

Hello! What good is a Savior who's gonna sleep on you when you're in a storm? Have you ever noticed when you were taking the test how silent the teacher was? You're in there struggling with the test and the teacher will tell you, silent please. Teacher will get quiet.

Sometimes they even walk out the room. Sometimes when you're in a storm, Jesus will get quiet on you. The telephone line will seem busy. He'll seem like a million miles away. You won't be feeling him. Jesus is asleep, but notice he's not just asleep, he's snoring, because it tells us he sleeps on a cushion. Now, if you sleep on a cushion, that doesn't mean you're doing that.

You're not nodding. If you put a cushion as a pillow, he probably had a my pillow. You know, he got a pillow under him. If you put a pillow under you, that means you meant to go to sleep. You're sleeping on purpose. So Jesus intentionally goes to sleep when his followers are in trouble.

If you're in the will of God right now, you're serving the Lord, you're obeying God, but you still housed up with this virus, you still got your economic concerns, and Jesus seems far away, far away. He's there, but he's just not moving yet. Says he was asleep in the stern on a pillow, and they woke him. They had to get him up. They said, come on now, you can't be sleeping at a time like this, Jesus. And said to him, teacher, do you not care that we are perishing? Whoa. That's what it feels like when you're in a test, you're in his will, and you can't hear from him.

Don't you care? How can you be quiet at a time like this? How can you sleep when we are scared to death? Now, there were three storms happening at the same time. There is the external storm—that's the winds and the waves, putting the water on the boat—that was threatening their physical lives, okay?

It's like this virus that threatens our physical well-being. There was this external storm that was invading them. But then there was an internal storm, because they were very much afraid.

They're gonna be told, why are you so afraid? So they are fearful for their lives. Now, for professional fishermen, of which a number of these men were, to be scared for their lives means this is not a regular storm. This is something that can hurt you.

This is something that can take you under. So there is this external storm, then there is this emotional storm. But then there was the worst storm of all, a spiritual storm, because they said, Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing? Do you not care that we are struggling? Do you not care that we are hurting? Do you not care—because sometimes, when you're in a crisis, it feels like God doesn't care. Because if He cared, like Martha and Mary said, if you would have been here, if you would have been here, if you hadn't delayed a few days, we wouldn't be going through this.

We're going through this. Come on, Jesus. Sometimes, to tell the truth, you want to throw a red flag out on God. You football people know what that is. That's when the coach reaches in his pocket, pulls out a red flag, and throws it on the field, because he believes that the ref has made a mistake.

Ref has made a bad call, and I want to challenge it. Sometimes, you want to ask God why. You don't know why He's allowed this. Don't you care?

Don't you care what I'm going through? This red flag, this is a bad call. Yet, they're in a storm. Jesus is asleep. They wake Him up, and they got a storm on it, on the inside, and a storm in their soul.

You don't care. Where is God when it hurts? Jesus gets up in verse 39 and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush, be still. Some of your versions say, Peace, be still.

Well now, wait a minute. If peace has to be still, that means peace must be moving. See, we need to understand a little bit about peace. Peace has nothing to do with external circumstances. Peace has to do with internal calm, regardless of external circumstances. That's why the Bible calls it the peace that passes understanding, because you don't understand why you would have it given what's going on around you. This is the time to be in turmoil, and you are calm when everything around you is collapsing. It's like Rahab being calm in her house when the walls of Jericho are falling down.

Peace is being able to rest in God even though everything is rocky around you. He tells peace to hush. Be still. Cool out. Calm down.

Chill. Jesus speaks to nature, and when he says, Hush, be still, immediately the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. See, that's how when you know it's God, because it's calm you didn't expect. It's peace that passes understanding. Jesus goes on to ask his disciples some very important questions, ones that he's asking us as well.

Dr. Evans will come back with the answers when he returns in just a few moments. You know, Tony has said that the more people who meet Jesus, the more lives will be transformed. It's a simple equation, and it's the driving purpose behind this ministry. Please, especially if we've never heard from you before, visit tonyevans.org or call us at 1-800-800-3222 and make a contribution to help keep Tony's ministry moving forward. When you do, we'll say thanks by sending you the best of Tony Evans 2020. It's a giant set of 20 of his most popular messages of the past year, digging into subjects like overcoming addiction, worry, and anxiety, healing relationships, drawing closer to God, developing unshakable inner peace, and much more. And as an added bonus, we'll also include a copy of his popular devotional book, Called for a Purpose. It's easy to get wrapped up in the wrong agenda in life, and this book can help you discover why your passion and purpose are linked, and how your obedience to God can make your calling clear. The best of Tony Evans 2020 and the Called for a Purpose devotional book make a perfect Christmas gift for someone you care about. And right now, we'd like to make it a gift for you. Make your contribution online at tonyevans.org today, or call our Resource Center at 1-800-800-3222. I'll repeat that information for you again after Dr. Evans brings us Part 2 of today's lesson.

Let's join him. Now this leads to Jesus asking a question. Why are you afraid?

Verse 40 says, How is it that you have no faith? Now that seems like an odd question. We're in a storm, the boat's filling up, our very lives are threatened, you're asleep, and you're gonna ask us why are we so afraid, and how is it we have no faith?

It's almost like asking a swimmer, Why are you wet? I mean, the question doesn't make sense. I can see Peter, because he's the one who liked to talk, saying, Oh, let's see, maybe we're a little bit afraid because we're getting ready to die.

I mean, come on, Jesus, come on. I don't understand the question. So here it is, as we face the crisis that we're dealing with and the ones that will come after this, when you're in the will of God and it's not working out, and Jesus says, Why are you afraid? Meaning, you shouldn't be, and why do you have—it says no faith, because that little faith was gone. Here's the test. Jesus said before they left, Let us go to the other side. Let me repeat that.

Jesus said before they left, Let us go to the other side. The test was, Will you believe my word or will you believe your problem? The test was, Is what I say more potent than what you see? Faith is the evidence of things not seen.

You see the storm. That's real. You don't deny the virus. It's real. You don't deny the problem.

It's real. You don't deny the finances. But what did I say? I said, Let us.

I didn't say, Let me. I said, All y'all, let us go to the other side. Other side, other side, other side, which means we all gonna make it. So I let a storm come in to see whether the amens you said on Sunday, you're believing in your storm on Monday, or whether you're just talking a good game because it's not raining yet. God wants to appeal—wants His people to appeal to His Word in the midst of their storm, because the storms of life are tests, and tests are always designed to show us the level of our faith and to develop us to the next level of spiritual maturity. God wants to grow us through a storm. Are you growing in this quarantine, or are you controlled by your fear, or have you decided that I'm gonna go with God's Word and I'm gonna let that trump my fear? My faith will trump my fear. This is a time to have biblical faith. That's not a feeling. You've heard me say it before.

Faith is acting like God is telling the truth. Hey guys, God said we're gonna make it to the other side, so He's in a pillow. He's got a my pillow. Let me get my my pillow.

Y'all get your my pillow. He's asleep. Let's all sleep, because He said we're gonna make it to the other side. Since He's not worried and He's with us, then we're not gonna worry either.

He's on the boat, He's sleeping, and He told us we're gonna make it to the other side. So either He's lying or He's trustworthy. See, a lot of Christians haven't decided whether Jesus is trustworthy or not. Whether His Word is true, whether His Word is real, whether what He says has has meat to it. It's time for faith to trump fear.

You can't always stop fear from coming, but you can keep it from living in you. He says, why do you have no faith? In other words, I don't understand this, guys. I've been doing all this teaching, all these parables about my authority, all these parables about the Word of God. I've been showing you my power and you still don't get it? Yes, I let the storm come on purpose, because I want to see where you are. And I want you to see where you are, because I already know where you are.

I want you to see you. I want you to see whether those amens, hallelujahs, praise the Lord, isn't God good? All that good Sunday talk, I want to see if we've got any meat on it, and the way we're gonna do it is we're gonna give you a test. Right now, you passing the test God gives you, the test He brings into your life? Or when the test comes, do you throw away your faith, because you didn't have a faith in the first place? You just had the right Christian vocabulary.

You had learned to speak Christianese, because you know, Christians have their own vocabulary. You know, we can talk a good game. God is good all the time, all the time. God is good.

You know, we got it going on when it comes to the right sayings. But what happens when it's raining thunderstorms? Well, it says in verse 41, then, then they became very much afraid.

Let's pause there for a moment. Jesus says, why are you afraid? What were they afraid of?

The storm. Their circumstances had them panicking. But when they saw Jesus do His thing, they were very much afraid.

What's the point? God wants you to fear Him more than you feel what's wrong. He wants you to fear Him more than you fear your circumstances. He wants your fear of Him and His power to be greater than your fear of your problem. Now, no, you can't deny your problem. You don't act like the virus isn't there, the finances aren't shaking, the money's not funny.

You don't act like pain isn't real, that you're not hurting physically, because then you would be lying. But He doesn't want you to limit it to that. He wants you to fear Him. That's why there's so much in the Bible about the fear of God. They said when they saw Him work, they said they were very much afraid, and they started talking to one another.

And here's what they said. Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him? You see, they didn't know who they were dealing with.

This shocked the socks off. Who is this? Do you know who Jesus is?

Do you know who you're dealing with? Let's talk about who Jesus is for a moment. He was born of a virgin. Because He was born of a virgin, there was a human part of His birth and a divine part of His birth, because Mary's egg was fertilized, the scripture says, by the Holy Spirit. So Jesus is the most unique person that's ever lived, because He's one person with two natures. He has a human nature. He has a divine nature. That's why He can be called one time the Son of God and the next time the Son of Man, because He's fully human and He's fully divine, without any mixture of sin.

We call this in theology the hypostatic union. It's defined for us in Philippians chapter 2, when deity, all that He has ever been throughout eternity, was poured into a container called humanity, so that He could reveal God to us and come here as the sinless Savior, to die on the cross and rise again from the dead. Oh, He's a man, so He can die. Oh, but as a living Son of God, He can get up out the grave. You see, you need to know who you're dealing with. He's the man Jesus, who is the eternal Son of God.

What manner of man is there? Who are we dealing with? See, we've dumbed down Jesus. We've made Him nice and soft and sometimes even weak.

We don't know. He's the glorified Son of God, and He is the means to get to the Father. That's why we end our prayers in Jesus' name.

What we're saying is, we need you to authorize this request. We need you to stand behind what we're asking the big Mahath, the Heavenly Father, what we're asking Him to do. Because the beautiful thing about Jesus is, because He's man, He can touch us. Because He's God, He can touch the Father, so He can hook the two up.

What manner of man is this? You need to know who you're dealing with when you're dealing with Jesus. Tony would love to tell you more about who Jesus is and how a relationship with Him can change your life today and for eternity. Just visit TonyEvans.org and follow the link that says Jesus.

You'll find a short video that explains what it means to be a real Christian, along with some helpful resources that will answer your questions and help you start your brand new life. Check it out today. Also, while you're there, don't forget to take advantage of our special year-end package, The Best of Tony Evans 2020, 20 of Tony's most popular messages, plus his powerful devotional book, Called for a Purpose. This package is yours as our thank-you gift when you support Tony's work here on the radio and on television, as well as with pastors, their families, and churches around the world.

Get Tony's best so you can be your best. The devotional book and 20 messages to end 2020. Make the arrangements today by visiting TonyEvans.org, where you can also find great life-changing gifts for the people you care about. That's TonyEvans.org, or call our 24-hour resource center at 1-800-800-3222.

That's 1-800-800-3222. In modern culture, the truth has been replaced by my truth or your truth. But tomorrow, Dr. Evans explains why the path to unity begins when we recognize the authority of God's truth. I hope you'll join us. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-20 09:40:52 / 2024-01-20 09:49:48 / 9

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