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October 13, 2022 8:00 am
Christ is to be so preeminent that your heart is settled in peace about what the future holds in a troubled world were so glad you joined us for the truth involvement with Don Reed, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm Bill right and were continuing a series called escaping the anxiety trap. Today Don gives you three keys to enduring peace is our Lord detailed in John 16 verse 33 Don Jesus said earlier in John 14. Peace I leave with you, as he was about to depart and ascend many people wonder why there have still been wars and conflicts in the world because they misunderstand the kind of peace. Jesus was referring to write peace in the Bible isn't simply the absence of military conflict between nations. In fact, Jesus said that we should not think that he's come to bring peace on earth he came to bring peace with God to sinners who would repent and receive Christ for salvation. Think about yourself. Think about yourself alone before a holy God who hates sin and you'll see the urgent need for real peace in your life, the peace that Christ gives reconciliation with God through faith in Christ look to Christ and think about him as we go into this program. Thanks Don and Frank focusing on John 1633 is our teacher continues teaching God's people. God's word from the truthful, what I want you to see beloved is this Christ is to be so preeminent in your affections that your heart is settled in peace about what the future holds anxiety about the future is contrary to the Christian faith. Here Jesus is laying before us the source of peace giving forth principles that would cultivate peace in a troubled world things and apply right now, today, to what you're contemplating in your life. One way this out in three principles from verse 33.
The first principle is this how is it that we cultivate peace in this troubled world. How is it that you can look devastating trials into square in the face and rise above them, regardless of whether it changes or not. That's the point that I love to come back to again and again and again because of the Christian faith is true, and it is, then it means that your circumstances do not have to change for you to know this inner tranquility, the Jesus is committing to his disciples. Point number one. Here's a good starting point for you if you're confused in the midst of your trials. Point number one will phrase it this way recognize the obstacles recognize the obstacles. Look at verse 33 with me again.
Jesus says these things I've spoken to you for this purpose, so that in me you may have peace in the world you have tribulation stop right there in the world you have tribulation, Job said that man is born for trouble as the sparks fly upward. It's just a natural course of events in a fallen world. Jesus says in this world you will have and you have tribulation. This word for tribulation includes the idea of pressure creates a multifaceted word. It can refer to outward circumstances that are difficult. It can also be used to refer to the internal afflictions of the human heart. Jesus says in this world you have tribulation in this immediate context. He's referring to that coming immediate trial that will cause his disciples to scatter the Army's going to calm it's going to arrest them there going to be under pressure and they're going to flee from that pressure to try to get away from it to run like some of us try to do sometimes in our difficulties, but here in this context, knowing that Jesus was planning these words to be recorded for our use and edification as well.
Certainly within the scope of this word to understand troubles in a broader sense to include all of the various problems that come to you and me from living in a fallen world. Every aspect of it. Jesus is telling you right now that you're going to have trouble in this world sale that is not very helpful. How is that supposed to help me have peace you're telling me troubles coming. I don't want trouble. How does that help I see it this way.
To be forewarned about tribulation is to be forearmed.
If you have false expectations about the Christian life that somehow this is going to be your deliverance from trouble the life is going to be smooth and it's going to be a sailboat on a smooth blank, then sooner or later, your expectations are bound to be broken. If you come to the Christian life with that kind of expectation that this is a life of tranquility externally then sooner or later death or sickness or reversal is going to common you're going to be find yourself stranded with no place to go. Beloved Jesus loves you enough to tell you what the reality of the situation is so that you can know the lay of the land and know where you're going. Tribulation does not have to disturb your tranquility because if you understand in advance that you will have your share of troubles of different kinds. You don't have to be perplexed.
You don't have to be knocked off course and wonder what is going on here. Where did God go in the midst of these trials is he angry with me. Have I done something wrong. Why has the hand of God turned against me as evidenced by these external trials are going through that whole line of broken distorted wrong thinking is precluded when you understand the simple word that Jesus speaks in the world you have tribulation, there going to come of course you have difficulties. Beloved is part of living the Christian life. I don't say that to diminish your struggles. I don't say that in a condescending or condemning way. Just understand the reality of it. When Adam and Eve fell, it introduced a whole world of problems into God's creation and you not only are experiencing some of the results of that you're contributing to the problem with your own sin fallen short of God. So of course you have difficulties.
If Jesus suffered in this world and he did and he was sinless and he was then beloved it follows that you as his disciple are going to have troubles to. We just have to get our expectations straightened out really the question is, what will the form of your troubles ultimately be, not whether they will come.
It's helpful to me if you think about a commercial airplane in this context, commercial airplanes have instruments that give the pilot reference points to stay on course. Even when he can't see worries going if it's dark and stormy. The instruments tell them where the plane is at and what the direction is and if he didn't have that instrument.
If you had to rely on his own judgment he would surely stray into danger. Beloved one of your spiritual instruments in life that you need to lay hold of when trials come is to step back and recognize that obstacles are an inherent part of living the Christian life. Take part in that because Jesus knew you would have trials and he warns you in advance the airplane of your life isn't off course simply because you have trials or just having tribulations and Jesus said that you would you look at these words you look at your life and say half this is just what Jesus said, I'm not lost here. You have to start and recognize the trials and tribulations are going to be part of the Christian life that God's hand is in the middle of all of it working out his purposes. Working them out for your good beloved.
It's not enough. I would say to simply recognize that obstacles are going to come be pretty easy, either in the midst of the trials or simply hearing that declared to say that's really a bomber I don't want trials. I don't like the trial that I'm in and you just say I give up and you give in to the discouragement that trials tempt you to know what I'm talking about.
Don't you just say I don't want to fight anymore. I don't want to go on. This is just too heavy on my heart and I've had enough you could recognize the obstacles and come out there but that's not where we come out because you need to go further in Jesus here shows the disciples how you go further in the midst of the tribulation. Point number two here just a kind of outline this for you. Point number two, you not only recognize the obstacles point number two you rise to the occasion you rise to the occasion look at the middle of verse 33 with me again Jesus said in the world you have tribulation, that take courage take courage. This is a command that calls the disciples and calls you today. I love the challenge of this.
I love the challenge of the word of God in the midst of trials. This word expresses a call to you to manifest spiritual strength in the face of your intimidating circumstances. Life is hard and you're pasting that and you feel it out and in the midst of that Jesus comes to you and says take courage play the part of a man rise to the occasion Don Wilton the face of enemy fire.
Stand up and be confident. Stand up and display the spiritual strength that is worthy of the Lord who died for your sins.
That's the idea want to take you to a few places where Jesus uses this word, seeking kind of feel the get the sense forward in the different circumstances in which it's used now to show you three from the book of Matthew.
If you turn back to Matthew chapter 9 again just wanting you to see the. The flavor of this word for to take courage, taking courage, meaning to have confidence and firmness of purpose in the face of testing. Matthew chapter 9 verse two. For example, Matthew nine verse two. How does Jesus use this word, they brought to him a paralytic lying on a bed and seeing their faith. Jesus said to the paralytic, take courage, son, your sins are forgiven. In the midst of being flat on that bad as they brought him to Jesus. Jesus says take courage.
He calls forth this response of faith from the man telling him that his sins were forgiven. Stand up and rise like a man.
He speaks to his heart before he speaks to his body. In that instance in verse 22 – let's go to verse 20 we see a fearful, trembling woman at the feet of Jesus.
Matthew nine verse 20 a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for 12 years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak she was saying to herself, if I only touch his garment, I will get well. Jesus turned and saw her and said daughter take courage, your faith has made you well in the midst of her fear and trembling of reaching out and touching the garment of the son of God Jesus turns to her and says, take courage, stand firm in your faith has made you well. One more in Matthew 14 verse 27 will start in verse 25. The disciples are on a boat in the sea. In verse 24 and says the boat was already a long distance from the land battered by the ways for the wind was contrary. You have to love how understated this next verse is verse 25 in the fourth watch of the night Jesus came to them walking on the sea nose like his walking down Hollywood Boulevard days walking on the sea walks on the sea.
But Jesus does verse 26 when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said it is a ghost and they cried out in fear. Verse 27 but immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, take courage, it is I do not be afraid in the midst of life-threatening circumstances shaking in their figurative boots. Jesus says to them, take courage, be confident, because it is me. Be firm of purpose, because it is me. Beloved. It's the same thing today. You have to look at the unseen spiritual realities that are working in your life, the hand of God in the providence of everything that comes to you. The fact that he intends to bless you in them and to bring good out of everything that comes because he works all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose. Because you know that he intends to bring you into his heavenly home where you will see Christ face to face and you take all of those unseen realities that we only know because God has graciously revealed them to us in the Scriptures and you bring those unseen realities to bear on your trials and you say I am going to take heart. I'm going to take courage. I am going to stand firm in the midst of my trials having confidence in God.
No matter what comes in I will love him and I will praise him, I will worship him before I see how this resolves itself. I will not withhold my affection.
I will not withhold my obedience.
I will not withhold my love and testimony to Christ until God changes this. I will give him myself unreservedly completely even if it never changes. That's the idea of taking courage, firmness of purpose unqualified allegiance to the God of your salvation, come what may rise to the occasion when we talk about rising to the occasion. 11. I want to be real specific here when you think of rising to the occasion. Sometimes the temptation might be to simply think of dramatic lifetime encounters where the faith is really on the line thing about Martin Luther before the Catholic Church when they were threatening to kill him because of his stand for truth.
Yes, he rose to the occasion.
At that point in his life. Beloved, if you only think about it in those kinds of lofty extraordinary terms that historians still write about 500 years later I'm afraid that that would make the whole process of rising to the occasion and overcoming the world far too distant and make it seem like there's not a daily application or daily encouragement for your own heart. Here, listen in the mind of God in the omniscient understanding of God and as is the one who looks not at as man sees on the outer appearance, but one who looks on the heart, you rise to the occasion when you trust God and refuse to fear the future is a God, for your sake alone. This is my heart as you contemplate about how to cultivate peace in the midst of a fallen world.
You have to look beyond the circumstances that way on you and speak to your heart and preach to yourself and a way that says you know what my heavenly father loves me, he knows what I need before I ask. He's in control, and therefore I will not allow my heart to yield to fear, anxiety, or discouragement, no matter how bad this trial gets that's rising to the occasion. That is a life that glorifies God that is supernatural. As I said in the past, beloved, you don't have to be a Christian to rejoice and be content when circumstances are good. The challenge for each one of us is when the circumstances go absolutely opposite of what we want, then what it what kind of Christian, are you then what I want for you and Grace life is to say on their war. When that comes I want to be the same kind of joyful, obedient Christian in the midst of that trial as I am when things are the way I want them. That's the standard, the Christ calls us to that.
The Bible calls us to.
That is a standard that is worthy of the one who died for your sins.
Point number three. Ultimately, you rise to the occasion when you rest in the over comer look at verse 33. Again Jesus says in the world you have tribulation, but take courage. I have overcome the world. Jesus ties your ability to take courage in the midst of your tribulations to the fact that he himself has overcome the world. Now think with me for a moment. People outside the circle of the disciples would look at the cross of Christ and see nothing but total defeat.
The cross was an instrument of shame. It was an instrument of judgment. It was an instrument of total humiliation and here is Jesus about to go to the cross and Jesus sees it as his complete victory over all that the world can do to him. He goes to the cross, not in gloom but as a conqueror. He goes to capital punishment at the hands of pagans, whom he created and he says I go in triumph. I have overcome the world. How could he say that. How could anyone in the right mind say that they had overcome the world. When they were on the verge of crucifixion. How could Jesus say that he had overcome the world. When he had no wealth, no status.
One of his own disciples betrayed him to the authorities. His closest friends would soon abandon him and leave him alone and yet here is this son of God in full possession of his faculties saying I have overcome the world.
At one level we could look at that and said Jesus doesn't look like a world beater. He certainly would not meet any worldly definition of success. At this point in his life, ragtag bunch of 11 people around them and even they're going about to leave him. What is this but maybe beloved. Maybe we have our definitions all wrong. Maybe we don't understand the way Jesus did what it means to overcome the world. Maybe we define it too much in the external trappings of success because when you think about the life of Jesus from a biblical spiritual sense you see it differently because even though the fury of hell had been unleashed against him. Jesus did not flinch from obedience to his father. He always spoke the truth, even though it cost him his life.
He did not return evil for evil, but he gave a blessing instead he loved those who were his own. With perfect faithfulness unto the end you look at the life of Jesus and you say where is the selfishness of his spirit. Where was his sinful anger. When did he not manifest perfect self-control even in the face of provocation, where was Jesus ever afraid of man. When did he protect his own interest. When did he run from danger. Where was his fear of death, and ultimately, as he bore the sins of those who would ever believe in him on the cross he defeated death itself did he overcome the world.
Absolutely. In a way that no one before no one sense ever has. He stands alone and unparalleled glory.
Jesus comes to his disciples and says you can take courage because I have overcome the world. He ties your ability to overcome to the fact that he has already done it.
He says you belong to me. My victory I share with you the same power, which dwelt in Christ now dwells in you. But what is more, you can rest and even more knowing that Christ plans to share his victory with you forever.
John 14 verse two Jesus said in my father's house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you where I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also in the dwelling places of heaven in that place where Jesus has prepared your final overcoming of the world will be made complete, you will be where he is in the place that he prepared for you and you will be there with him forever. You have Christ power now is a believer in Christ you will share his heavenly glory in the future. Beloved, when we talk about enduring peace in the midst of a fallen world that bring unconquerable peace for your soul that's going green with part two of a message called three keys to enduring peace. You're on the truth pulpit next time will begin talking about the subject of planning what does biblical planning look like will down the old joke goes something like this if you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans, but there is such a thing as a proper God honoring plan isn't there will have so much more to say about this tomorrow Bill, but I just want to emphasize two things.
For now, my friend, Scripture commends a responsible approach to life that makes provision for an uncertain future, you need to plan for what lies ahead. But the even bigger issue is whether you're planning for your ultimate appointment with an eternal God Christian and non-Christian friend alike you're going to give an account to him. Have you factored that into the way that you live. May God show mercy to you as we study tomorrow.
Bill has something to help you plan for next friend. We invite you to visit us at the truth. Pulpit.com.
There you can grab today's program to hear again on your MP3 player is much more all that the truth pulpit.com. Thanks for joining us today.
I'm Bill Wright will see you next time when Don Greene continues to God's people. God's word here on the truthful