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Treasures from Trials, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
January 18, 2022 7:00 am

Treasures from Trials, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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January 18, 2022 7:00 am

Trials in life are inevitable... even if we're right in the center of God’s will. But Dr. Tony Evans will explain how we can discover the "up" side of "down" times as he talks about the choice we can make to find treasures in our trials.

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If your stuff is collapsing while you are drawing near, now is not the time to give up. The path to experience the knowledge of God can be filled with difficulties, but Dr. Tony Evans says... You will discover it was worth the trouble to get there. 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. Trials in life are inevitable, even if we're right in the center of the Lord's will. But today, Dr. Evans explains how we can discover the upside of downtimes.

Let's join him. Inside of you there is a treasure that is of immense value, and inside of you is the knowledge of God that you experience in the face of Christ. Paul continues this theme of affliction and comfort. 2 Corinthians 4. He says, in this earthly vessel, your human body is a treasure consisting of the knowledge of God that you get to unwrap. You get to unwrap this treasure, he says, in the face of Christ. So in Christ is wisdom and knowledge, and the more of Christ you get, the more of God you experience. So if you want more of God, draw near to Jesus.

The problem is that this wisdom and knowledge is tucked into a container that's earthen vessel. In other words, something expensive has been put in something cheap. You are very expensive on the inside because of the treasure you have, not because of who you are. He says, you've got a treasure.

Life's rough. Verse 8, 9 in the first half of verse 10. You've got a treasure, 8, 9 first half of verse 10, life has problems and therefore you have problems so that the life of Jesus might be manifested in your mortal body. He says it is in that midst, in the midst of that thing. I know you want to skip 8 and 9 in the first half of 10, but he says if you carry about the dying of Jesus, you will identify in the midst of whatever it is closer to Christ. If you will draw nearer to Christ, if you will pursue him, he says in the middle of that thing, God is going to produce his life. He's going to give you a new experience with him.

Watch this now. You say, okay, how am I supposed to make it while I'm waiting for this manifestation? Okay, I'm waiting for this manifestation and it's not manifesting. So what am I supposed to do while I'm waiting for this thing to get better, to change, for God to show me his reality?

What am I supposed to do? Verse 13. But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I believe therefore I spoke. We also believe therefore we also speak. He says, while you're going through this thing, check what is written and speak that. He says, according to what is written, I speak. See, what we profess one thing and talk another. He says, let your mouth and your belief say the same thing.

And that both of them agree with what God says. He says, according to what is written. So here's what you do. When you're going through it, you don't want to go through it.

I know I don't want to go through it. But while you're going through it, he says, speak God's word to the situation. He says, what I believe I speak and what I believe is based on what is written.

So I check what's written. I believe what's written and that's what I talk. See, what we do is we cancel our faith with our mouth. We say, I heard the Lord.

He heard my cry. You know, we got all that stuff down. But what we speak is just the opposite to what God says. So we're confirming a lie rather than reaffirming the truth. And God only sets you free with the truth. And the only thing that's truth is his view on a matter. He says, let it speak.

That's why I love James 1, verse 9 and 10, James chapter 1. He talks about people being tried. He said, don't be double-minded. And then he says, let the brother in humble means.

I bet money's funny. He lost his job. His finances aren't working out. He says, if you're in humble means, stuff's not working out financially for you right now. He says, here's what I want you. I want you to glory in your position.

In other words, don't spend all your time. He didn't say deny the fact that you don't have a job or deny the fact that you don't have money, because he says you're the brother of humble means. He says, but what you ought to be talking about? I don't have a lot of money now, but I'm sure a child of a king, and I got a high position in glory, and I know my standing before the living God, and I know that he promised to meet my needs, and I know that Philippians 4.19 says my God shall supply all my needs, and I know that David said I've never seen the righteous forsaken on my seed-begging prayer. Now, I'm not denying the fact that I'm in a little trouble right now, but what I'm going to speak is what God says.

And by the way, you ought to be hanging out with other folk who's speaking that, because if you're on the telephone speaking a girlfriend to Shaquita and them, and you're on the phone talking to them, and they're talking noise that is against what God says, you're holding back what God's trying to do. He says, the things I've written are the things you believe, and those are the things you speak. He goes on and says, let the brother who has high means, he has high means, but something has gone wrong. Something has gone wrong, and the success he thought he had is crumbling.

Maybe it's position, maybe it's his power, maybe it's his clout, maybe it's his name. Doesn't say what it is, but he thought he was up here, and now it's getting shaky up there. He says, let him glory in the fact that, like grass, he's fading away.

Wait a minute, what's he supposed to be speaking? Glory means make a big deal or something? He says, you're supposed to make a big deal that God just reminded you of what's important. What's important is not your status. What's important is not your money.

What's important is not your name. I just showed you, you're going to the grave like everybody else, so let's get your priorities back in order. He's trying to reprioritize your priorities, so he lets your world of success begin to crumble, so that you recognize you ain't all that. People around, going around calling you mister this, doctor that, so-and-so, you all that, you got a great name, and you start to believe it, so God allows some situation to come in your life, so that you ain't all that, and you're supposed to glory in it. You're supposed to make a big deal of it, because God just brought you down to reality. He just taught you the real deal. So speak that which is true, which is biblical, which is God's point of view.

Now watch this, because it's getting good. Knowing verse 14, that he who raised our Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all these things are for your sake, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks that are bound to the glory of God. So he talks about this grace. Grace is God's provision. What God has already provided you, he's already provided you. God can't give you anything new. He's already blessed you with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. God has already graced you out.

Now, therefore, in light of what I've just said, Paul says, do not lose heart. Now there's probably some folk in here who are ready to quit. Or whatever it is, you're just ready to quit.

Maybe even life. You want to give up. You want to throw in the towel. You can't take it anymore.

He says, okay, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Do not lose heart. Don't you throw in that towel yet. Don't you quit yet. He says, but though the outer man is decaying, your inner man is being renewed day by day.

Is that what it says? All right. I can identify with Paul on this one. He says, you're getting old. Your outer man is decaying. Your outer man is decaying. You're getting old.

I know it. I'm looking at you. You're getting old. You're looking at me, you know?

The older I get now, I'm noticing something. I'm noticing the decline in my recovery time. I used to be able to go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go. Nonstop, nonstop, nonstop, nonstop, nonstop, you know? I only sleep about four or four and a half hours a night as it is. And I just go, go, go, go, go. If I did get tired, I could sit down for five minutes, you know, just kind of relax for a moment, bounce back up.

I'm ready to go. If I sit down there, it's rough. It's rough.

Because the outward man is decaying. It's getting slower. It's getting older. It's getting like that. And you know the bad part about that? Nothing you can do about it.

You know, I know you're taking Geritol and all that stuff. But the outward man is getting older. It's decaying. It's slowing down.

Reality sets in. But Paul said, watch this now, like this. He says the way this is supposed to work is you're supposed to be getting older on the outside and younger on the inside.

That's what Paul said. He says the inward man, that's where the treasure is located, is being renewed. It's being, the outward man can't get up. The inward man can get up and go. In the inside, I feel like I'm 18. The outside says to the inside, you done lost your mind.

You can't do that like you used to do that. He says the inward man is being jump-started, renewed. Watch this, watch this. Don't miss this.

Don't read this too fast. He says the inward man is being renewed one day at a time, day by day. Not week by week, month by month, or year by year. God gives grace on a daily basis. If you get two days worth of grace, that second day is bonus. He gives you enough for today. I know you may be wanting next week's grace, but you gotta wait the next week for that.

He says he renews, he gives the supplies for today. So when you get up with all your affliction, persecution, difficulty, whatever it is, your cry is, Lord, give me what I, my daily bread, give me today the grace I need to keep my mind intact, to help me to fulfill my goals, purposes, and responsibilities, to keep me from worrying about today because you said, because I'm gonna speak his word, tomorrow has enough trouble of its own. So you told me don't even get all caught up in tomorrow. I'm asking you for today to deal with this stuff. Whatever this stuff is that you're going through because you're looking at the face of Christ.

So what if tomorrow's problems are even worse than today's? Well, Dr. Evans will talk about that possibility when he continues this message from his new compilation, Coming to the Comforter. These 20 lessons cover why God allows painful circumstances to come our way, how he cares for us as we're going through them, how he uses them to build our strength and devotion, and what we can do to approach him for his help and healing. It includes bonus material we don't have time to present on the air. And if you contact us right away, it's yours with our thanks when you make a contribution in support of the ministry of the alternative. And right now, we'll also include a special bonus, a copy of Tony's brand-new book, Hope for the Hurting. In it, he shows that no matter how negative the realities of life get, we don't need to let them define how things are going to work out for us because there is help and hope even in the midst of our hurt. To request your copy of this special resource bundle, visit us today at tonyevans.org or call us at 1-800-800-3222. And if you're looking to go even deeper into this subject or want to present this material to your small group, check out Obtaining the Companion Hope for the Hurting Bible Study DVD and Study Guide. Again, this is a limited-time offer, so visit us right away at tonyevans.org or call 1-800-800-3222 any time of the day or night and let one of our team members assist you with your resource request.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Well, Dr. Evans, we'll come back with more of our message right after this. Alaska is a land where ancient glaciers drop house-sized chunks of ice into the sea, where grizzlies fish for spawning salmon, where the lush green canopy of trees is offset by distant snowy mountains, and where the word majestic is hardly enough to describe what you see. Nowhere else in North America is the scenery so spectacular and God's creative wonder so vivid. Come journey here with Tony Evans on an unforgettable urban alternative Alaskan cruise. You'll discover powerful scriptural truths from Dr. Evans and other gifted instructors, experience meaningful times of worship, and enjoy inspirational musical performances from talented musicians. There's plenty of time for rested relaxation, luxurious accommodations, and incredible meals, all while surrounded by the breathtaking creation that is Alaska. To find out more about the urban alternative Alaskan cruise, visit tonyevans.org today.

That's tonyevans.org. Now, I have a problem. I've got an issue. Me and Paul, if Paul were here, me and Paul would have an issue. We'd be debating each other. I don't like the passage, Paul.

Let's start with that. In other words, in my humanity, I don't prefer the passage. I wish you would have kept this out of the book, but you wouldn't have a choice because you had to write what God said. Verse 18, for momentary light affliction. Let's start with number one, a momentary. Come on, Paul. I've been dealing with this for five years, and you gonna come up here and talk about momentary. That's my problem number one with you, Paul. Paul, I got a second problem with you, light affliction. Now, Paul, I don't know what scale you're using, but what I'm going through right now ain't that light.

It's not that nice. It's not some little cute little problem. I'm going through, you know, I'm about to lose my mind, and you telling me I'm only in a moment, and anyone telling me it ain't that bad.

You got to be kidding me, Paul. Well, he says, for momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comprehension. Okay, well, how am I supposed to see a moment if I've been in this for a long time, how am I going to just talk myself into it's being light when this thing I'm dealing with is heavy? Verse 18, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. Ooh. You know what Paul just said?

If it seems long and if it seems heavy, you're looking at the wrong thing. And if all you see is what you see, then you do not see all that is to be seen. He's not saying deny the reality of what you're going through. He's not saying that. He calls it an affliction. He says, but how you view it will be determined by what you're looking at. And if all you're looking at is the affliction, you're not looking at everything to be looked at.

If I can get you, Paul says, to not deny the affliction, but to look beyond the affliction to the fact that Jesus is getting ready to manifest himself through allowing, permitting, or even causing the affliction, then you will see that in light of what he's getting ready to do, it hasn't been that long. I want you to practice something. Here's what you practice as you go through, and you will go through, we will all go through.

Here's what you practice. B-U-T, B-U-T, but, I want you to put that word and flip what you put in front of it and what you put in back of it because it'll change your perspective. If you say, God is good, but boy, life is rough. Jesus is the way maker. I don't know if I, but I don't know if I'm gonna make it.

He's able, but I quit. See, you got the thing flipped wrong because see, what you're doing is you're letting the end of the sentence control the beginning of the sentence with wrong information. See, what you have to say is, oh, my situation is sure messed up, but I'm sure glad Jesus has got it under control. Boy, I am so discouraged, but I'm sure glad Jesus promised that I would not be forsaken. Boy, life is hard, but I'm sure glad Jesus is stronger. End with God, and if you end with God, you'll be able to handle what you began with when you opened up your sentence.

You must change your perspective. It's like the man who was at the filling station and the guy, the attendant was cleaning his window. He was cleaning his window and cleaning his window, and the man said, go back and do that again.

You did a poor job. He went and cleaned his window. He said, man, I don't know why you can't clean this window. That window's still filthy.

The man went back again. The man's getting frustrated, but the guy in the car, he said, I came in. You know, I'm getting the full service and you're supposed to be cleaning the window. That window is dirty. I had him clean it four times, and the window was no cleaner.

Finally, the wife leaned over, pulled the glasses off his eyes, rubbed the lenses on his glasses. Fool, the problem is not the window cleaner. The problem are the glasses through which you are looking. See, if you're looking through your own human lenses, all you gonna see is what you see.

You will not see all there is to be seen. My challenge to you in the midst of it, yes, pray for God to deliver you. Yes, pray to get out of it.

Yes, pray for God to release you. Yes, you are supposed to do that, but while you're waiting, you ought to look in the face of Jesus. Stare at him like you've never stared at him before. Run to him like you've never run to him before. Grab him like you've never grabbed him before.

Cry out to him like you've never cried out to him before because he is doing this so that he might manifest himself so that you experience the God you say amen to. In closing, you know, Indiana Jones was my boy. I love Indy.

I think it was about four of them. Indiana Jones was my boy. I love me some Indiana Jones.

You know, Indiana Jones, all of them was about the same thing. He's trying to get to some expensive treasure, right? Indiana Jones is trying to get to some expensive treasure, something, some relic of great value. But to get to the treasure, he had to go through some stuff. He ducking arrows and ducking spears and ducking boulders rolling at him and he's ducking caverns that would suck him down into the fire.

I mean, the whole series is about him ducking stuff to get to a treasure. Now there's only one reason that you go through all that and that is the treasure is worth the trouble. So you know what we've got to decide? Whether the treasure is worth the trouble. We've got to decide whether the experience of the knowledge of God is worth the stuff I've got to go through to get it. Is God's knowledge of him, my experience of him, my value of him so important to me that if I got to go through a little something something to get it because of my earthliness, it's getting in the way, then I'm willing knowing that he's going to give me grace and he's going to place limitations.

I'm willing to go through what I go through. And here's the beautiful thing. When I watch Indiana Jones, one thing you'll always see, the closer he got, the worse the opposition got. The closer he got to that treasure, more problems showed up.

More enemies showed up because he was closing in on it. So if your stuff is getting worse, you getting close. If your stuff keeps going downhill while you looking up, you inching in.

If your stuff is collapsing while you are drawing near, you may be closer than you think. So now is not the time to stop. Now is not the time to give up.

Close in on that treasure because when you discover it, you will discover it was worth the trouble to get there. Dr. Tony Evans, encouraging us to draw near to God, even in the midst of pain. Today's lesson is part of that special resource offer I mentioned earlier, the 20-message teaching compilation, Coming to the Comforter, along with Tony's brand-new book, Hope for the Hurting. There's even a companion Bible study guide and DVD to help you dig deeper into understanding God's hope and peace in times of trouble. To get the details and make the arrangements, just visit tonyevans.org, make a contribution to the ministry, and let us say thank you by sending these powerful resources your way.

Again, that's tonyevans.org, or by phone 24-7 at 1-800-800-3222. You know, there are certain things that haven't changed throughout history, and one of those is the fact that people need the Lord. Today, our culture is in desperate need of a movement of kindness, and Dr. Evans believes that when we share kindness with one another, we're not only doing a good thing, we're doing a godly thing. Continue to seek out those chances to represent God as his kingdom-kindness ambassador. Well, coming up tomorrow, if blessings in your life seem to be few and far between, Dr. Evans says it could be the result of something you've given away, maybe without even knowing it. He'll explore how we can get those blessings back. I hope you'll join us for that. 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 / 2023-06-22 22:16:43 / 2023-06-22 22:26:47 / 10

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