Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Sometimes, we have to elevate our lives above the level of mediocrity, elevate it above the level of problem solving, to a level where we soar above the problems, pains, persecutions, and pressures of life.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
That's what I want to talk to you about, today. I want to read a very famous passage in Isaiah 40:29-31. If you are familiar with the Bible you may have heard this, but I'm going to add some insight that I hope will help you appreciate it even more than you already do. The prophet Isaiah, speaking on behalf of the Lord, says this, "He [the Lord] gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Are you weary? God will give you strength. Are you weak? God will give you power. He says even youths grow tired and weary. In other words, people who are young can get burned out. Then he says that young men stumble and fall. Young men are the next stage above youths, and they stumble and fall. He's saying this problem is a problem for all of us. But look at the solution. Even though youths grow tired and weary, young men stumble and fall, those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. Let's stop right there. "Those who hope in the Lord." Another translation says, "Those who wait on the Lord." Another translation says, "Those who rely on the Lord." All those ideas are present there. Hope requires that we wait and rely on God. If you will hope, wait, and rely on God, he will renew your strength.
Then, Isaiah talks about eagles. He says, "They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, and they will walk and not be faint." It says they'll renew their strength and then soar like an eagle. Eagles are interesing. They have a long lifetime, and are very vigorous, strong, and vibrant. They are extremely long-living birds, and what's interesting is that even when eagles get older, their feathers will come out, and they'll be replaced by new feathers, even in their old age. The new feathers replicate the feathers they had when they were young. This goes along with the idea of renewing your strength, and has the idea that that your old feathers, which have served you so well all these years, get replaced by new, young feathers. How would you like to have a new, young you? A new, young lower back. A new, young left shoulder? I'd like to have one of them new, young lateral LAD arteries. I would get rid of these four stents. But anyway, God will renew your strength like he does for an eagle. Then, Isaiah says, "They will soar on wings like eagles." You know, eagles fly higher than virtually any other bird. They fly so high to avoid all their adversaries. Here's what I want to say to you: instead of being under your problems, why don't you fly over them? The Bible says that if you wait, hope, and rely upon the Lord in your difficulties and problems, you can elevate and soar above mediocrity. Maybe it's time for you to elevate today.
Let's pray. Father, help us to elevate above our problems. Help us not to sit, soak, and sour in them. Help us to do it by waiting on you for your perfect timing, hoping and expecting you'll do something great. Let us not rely upon ourselves. Do all this for anybody who is weary and tired, whether they're a youth, an older person, or a middle-aged person. Help anyone who is just stumbling, struggling, and weak. Give them the strength when we do what you ask us to do, in Jesus' name, amen.
Friday, April 9, 2021
We all suffer. We've talked a lot about suffering and about remedies. Today, I just want to give you a one word reminder.
Friday, April 9, 2021
I get that from James 5:7-8. I think James tells us to be patient because when we suffer, naturally speaking, the first thing we want is the suffering to be over. But sometimes God allows us to suffer more. This calls for us to be patient so God can accomplish his work. Look at what James says, "Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yeild its valuable crop, and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near." Now that's quite interesting. First, he says, Be patient for Lord's coming is near, and then he ends with the same thing. Then, he has kind of an inclusio in the middle of that bracketing idea, which is repeated at the beginning and end. He says this farmer has to wait. You know a farmer can't put a seed in the ground and go, "C'mon seed, let's go! I got till 5pm." You know, it just doesn't work that way. He has to be patient, has to wait for the process, has to wait for the seed. Have you ever seen pictures of a seed in germination? Essentially, the shoot sprouts and the growth spins around, and it shoots up and it gets stronger and stronger. There's a process. There's a season, and God has a season for your suffering. Because God has a season for your sufferings and it's not just haphazard, remember patience.
Let's pray. Father, all of us struggle with suffering. All of us struggle with the pain and anguish that come with it. We don't like it. We fight it, we want out of it, we want it to be over soon. And that's okay. Except, that's part of why you will allow it longer - to build in us a patient perseverance and endurance. Help us to be patient by remembering that your coming is near, and our return to you is near. Help us to remember that is life isn't everything. So, whoever is suffering right now, give them a spirit of patience to wait on you. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Friday, March 12, 2021
Today I want to talk to you about something that I know we all struggle with, and it's about being patient, specifically with God. We're going to look at Psalm 13 so we can gain a couple of 'truth nuggets' from this.
Friday, March 12, 2021
Today I want to talk to you about something that I know we all struggle with, and it's about being patient, specifically with God. We're going to look at Psalm 13 so we can gain a couple of 'truth nuggets' from this. Let me read this passage.
"How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me."
There are three main points that I see here. Look at verse one: "How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?" What's he doing there? He's pleading to God. It's okay to feel the pain. It's okay to even have momentary fear within the circumstances. But cry out to God. Let him know where you are so that you can finally come to terms with that plea to God.
Then in verse two, there's something different. Then we ask God—we get more specific. He says, "Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall." Ask God specifically, just as Philippians says, "let your requests be made known to God."
Lastly, from verse three, is the truth about God. "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me." At the end of the day, regardless of what happens, remember what you know is true about who God is. Remember what you know about the truth of God, even when the prayer isn't answered, and even when things get even more difficult. Remember what you know is true about God. So for today, I want you to remember those three things. Plead to God, cry out to Him, it's okay to feel it. Ask Him specifically for what you need. And third, remember what you know is true about Him.
Let's pray. Father, we know that life can get very, very difficult, and sometimes, Lord, we just need that extra amount of patience because we know our time is not your time. I pray that whoever's reading this would just have that encouragement and they would have the courage to plead to you and to cry out to you to ask you specifically what those needs are. And Lord, that we would remember what we know is true about you, regardless of how the circumstances play out so that we may always be encouraged. We thank you. In Jesus' name, amen.