Priority #3 : Jesus is Alive and Within You

Chapter 17 - Why God?

I have some very important things to bring to you this morning. Some words that have come from God's heart because of some needs people have this morning. I'm going to read several portions of scripture and then we're going to talk a little bit about the needs that I feel the Lord wants to minister to and meet. I'm going to read Romans chapter eight beginning from verse 29. I'm going to read it from the Living Bible this morning. "For from the very beginning, God decided that those who came to Him, and all along He knew who would, should become like His Son, so that His Son would be the first of many brothers, and having chosen us He called us to come to Him. And when He came He declared us not guilty." Don't you like that? When you came He said not guilty. "He filled us with Christ's goodness and gave us right standing with Himself, and promised us His glory." What can we say to such wonderful things? "If God is on our side who could ever be against us?" Hallelujah. "Since He did not even spare His own Son for us but gave Him up for us all, won't He also surely give us everything else. Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? Will God? No, He is the one who has forgiven us and given us right standing with Himself. Who would dare condemn us? Will Christ? No, for He is the one who died and came back to life again for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God pleading for us there in heaven. Who will condemn you?" Jesus said, "Not I, not I." "Who then can ever keep Christ' love from us? When we have trouble or calamity, when we are hunted down or destroyed, is it because He doesn't love us anymore? And if we are hungry, or penniless, or in danger, or threatened with death, has God deserted us? No, for the Scriptures tell us that for His sake we must be ready to face death, every moment of the day. We are like sheep awaiting the slaughter," I like this little bit right here, "but despite all of this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. For I am convinced that nothing will ever be able to separate us from His love. Death can't, and life can't, the angels won't, and all of the powers of hell itself cannot keep God's love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when He died for us." Hallelujah. Don't you love that portion of Scripture?


2 Corinthians, 5:8. "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed or broken." Has this ever happened to you? "We are perplexed because we don't know why things happen as they do." Have you ever been perplexed because you didn't understand why? God isn't going to hold it against you for being perplexed. We get perplexed. But here's some good advice, "we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. These bodies of ours are constantly facing death just as Jesus did. So it is clear to all that it is only the Living Christ within that keeps us safe." I'm going to turn in the King James Version and read a few verses. He's speaking now about all of the troubles that may come our way. Verse 16, "for which cause we faint not, though our outward man perish yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction that is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."


Those afflictions, those problems, those question marks that you may have, have become servants of God working for you. They go to work for you when you recognize what they are. They're working for us while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things that are not seen, for the things that are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal. Praise God. Hallelujah. Aren't you grateful to God for His Word? He didn't tell us that He was going to take all of the water away from us so that we wouldn't have to get our feet wet. He didn't say He was going to stop the river upstream a ways so that we wouldn't have to cross through it. He didn't say that He would pour water on the fire so that we wouldn't have any tests. But He did say "when you pass through the water, I will be with thee, and through those rivers they will not overflow thee, and when you pass through that fire, you will not be burned." Because God has a way of pulling the sting out of it. Praise God.


"Father we love you so much today. You are so precious to us. You have revealed yourself to us in so many beautiful ways. Today many, many people are perplexed. Father they're looking to you, they're yours. I ask today that you will cause the hurt and the effect of unanswered questions to have a solution that you will turn it to their glory and their strength and your honor. I ask these things in your name."


We have a family here whose lives are like many of the rest of you, miracles of God's grace. Some months ago you'll recall of a young man giving a testimony. He was a part of a mob, and was in prison. God met him, saved him, and turned his life around. And this young man has done a lot of work as far as the government is concerned since in putting down some rackets, some rings, but he is here this morning and he and his wife have brought a new little one that Jesus gave to them. You have these scriptures that you're going to let soak up in your heart. God loves these little ones so much, and God is so interested in families that He would stop, do you know that He would stop anything in the world He was doing just to get next to a little family, did you know that?


We are living folks in absolutely the greatest days of all of history. It's a great day of salvation. There has never been a time in all of history when it was easier for people to find God. God is literally carrying the door to men and women. It's a day of salvation. They that call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. People around the country are saying Jesus, and Jesus says, ok I hear you. Hallelujah. They're receiving a lot of divine help. The Spirit of the Lord is bringing conviction to men. The angels of God have moved out across the land and as we mentioned last Sunday, they're searching them out from every hill and he even said from every hole in the rocks, there's no place to hide. God has his eye on you. What would you want to hide for anyway? They're are a few folks that are trying to squirm down out of sight and are saying well You'll miss me but God has some pretty good detectives, trained in heaven, a lot of experience. There is no place to hide. They'll go in after you. I would be a little bit squeamish going down here in one of these joints in rooting you out, it would bother me, but it doesn't bother those angels. There were a whole bunch of them down in some of these clubs last night. They weren't drinking, but they were "get going here," reminding people of God, they're working today.


It's a day of salvation; it's a day of answered prayer. People are finding God. I'm hearing reports all the time, it's just so wonderful. Can you believe it, God heard little ole me, I just gave a little prayer for something and the answer is so definite and so real, there it is God listened to me. It's a beautiful day of answered prayer. It shall come to pass that they shall call and I will answer and say here I am. And He's doing it. Prayer for guidance, wisdom, and help. It's a day of deliverance. Bondage, habits are being broken. We have in my class this morning a man that God reached down and drew to Himself this week, snapped some habits. Made Himself real to him. It's a day of great deliverance, a day when snares are being broken. A day when people whose hearts have been filled with bitterness for 20, or 30 or 40 years are finding the bitterness snapping. And healing of their inner spirits is taking place. Talk about a day, a wonderful day. A day of success, a day when God is helping people to rise above things that have troubled them for many, many years. It's a day of spiritual prosperity, and physical prosperity, in many cases as people yield themselves to the Lord.


In Hebrews Paul said, "God has put all things under Jesus' feet." God's big picture shows it. All of satan's forces and imps, all hurts and bad feelings under His feet, all the marks of sin everything under His feet. There it is. I saw tragedy take place Paul said, that God didn't seem to care, I don't know why the parents were hurt, wounded. A little life in the prime was snatched away and I don't know why, I can't tell them why. I don't see all things under His feet yet. What am I going to do? And the thing is happening over and over again. We're seeing questions arise, tragedies that occur. A little child two or three years old crippled with some disease, the parents looking ahead to a life that unless the Lord does some miracle and they're so discouraged and they question whether that miracle could come. And here, that little child, and they say "God why?" Possibly it's mind is not quite right, never going to be able to grow up and be like other children and their cry goes out from their heart, "God why, why God aren't you in control, don't you care if sickness is of the devil and You have whipped the devil how come?" And people are groaning under the burdens, under the frustrations, under the perplexity. They feel the pain as a young person in the mid-teens is killed in a train crash. I had the experience this week in talking with a family who two years ago a 15-year-old daughter was killed in a motorcycle accident. Two years later, another daughter that had turned 15 was killed in an automobile accident. And I heard this mother say while we were waiting in the hospital as that life hung in the balance. Oh God, why, why, why two of them, I can't stand it, I can't live with this knowledge. How come? And those big why's, those questions seemed to respond with a hollow answer that was not satisfying to her. Words could mean so little. But these why's are there. And we look at that little tiny piece of the picture, God's big picture is here we look at that little piece and as we focus upon it, it grows and becomes big enough to fill the whole frame. And we see that tiny little piece of the picture blown up and we see none of the parts that have been accomplished, we see only the part that isn't done yet on that little tiny picture that is blown up until it fills our whole vision. But in verse 9, I love verse 9, Paul said I'm not going to spend my time on what hasn't happened yet, what hasn't been done yet. He said we see not all things under Him yet, but we see Jesus. So Paul said I'm going to project Jesus on this part that I can't understand and suddenly the whole picture, that part goes back into the spot where it belongs. The whole picture comes into focus. And sure enough, there it is, in God's great picture everything is in control. Jesus is in control. Praise God forevermore.


We often times ask ourselves "what shall I do?" When God doesn't seem to care or understand, shall I condemn myself to failure, shall I refuse to recognize, shall I grit my teeth and bear it, shall I just quit? We need to do like Edison did when he looked at the ashes of a factory that had taken years and years of gathering funds, it was over a million dollars, and the day of the open house that was going to give promise to many, many great inventions. And as he walked around it the next morning surveying that pile of ashes, one of his associates said to him, "Tom, there is our laboratory, we're ruined, our laboratory in ashes, we're ruined." Tom looked at him square in the eye, and he taught him something that I've picked up and I like to use it too. He said, "Keep your facts and your opinions separated." He said, "It's a fact that there's our laboratory down there, but it's just your opinion that we're ruined. We start in the morning to rebuild." Hallelujah, I'm glad Tom did that aren't you?" So you often times survey the problem and the wound and you say it's there I'm ruined, it's there I've failed, I prayed, God didn't answer. It's all right if you state the facts but don't mix them up with your opinions. It's a bad time to make opinions while you have magnified the thing that hasn't happened yet. God want us to turn our eyes away from what hasn't been done to all that has been done. So Paul looked and he said look we see Jesus, here He is, He was made a little lower than the angels for the purpose of suffering and death. He was brought down here that he might suffer for us, that he might destroy him who had the power of death. And he went on all the things that he knew, and he could say I know Him, I know Him. I know God. Praise God forevermore. And he rose above this thing. And the question marks ceased to trouble him; they may have still been there. God's alternative to understanding, Jesus. God's alternative is Jesus.


Paul said, "Shall He not with Him when you have Him, freely give us all things. Praise God. I know when you're hurting, and when you think of all of these things, the reason I mention these this morning, so often we hear of all that God is doing. But mingled in with that shout of victory, we hear that cry of pain that comes, God why? There it is. There are many people who are seeing your family saved but their own seem to be going the other direction. There are many that are seeing God answer prayer but their own prayer are going unanswered. There are some that are seeing God meet them with prosperity and financial help and you're in a financial crisis and it seems like all you get back is the empty echo of your own voice as you pray. I know this to be true I deal with so many people. I know that mingled with the greatest shout of victory of all history, that's being made today, there is that undertone. Oh God why not me, God what is the reason. People are examining their hearts they're looking for some answer that will satisfy, the Word tells us, turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and these things seem to fade into insignificance. Oh Hallelujah, like Paul said, these things become servants for us, working for us, these light afflictions are working for us over there. There not all that bad, put some wings over on those question marks, let them fly over on the other side, knowing that they're working for you a far more greater and exceeding, oh he just loaded this down with adjectives didn't he, exceeding weight of glory, it's there, praise God. Don't you love Him this morning?


So he asked us to put Jesus in the picture, I liked what Paul said, there's several things, he said He came to grind that old arch enemy of mankind under His heel, destroy him that hath the power of death, and he said He came to deliver people who all their life time were subject to fear and death, fear of death, to deliver. And then he said He came to offer help to you when you are hurting. He suffered everything that you're suffering. So He could say when those why's stand out there to you, "I'll come and help you because I had some myself." He suffered everything that you're suffering, and He can help you. I know how people feel, I heard it so many times, in the midst of the shout that cry of pain. But today Jesus comes, as He came to those people in the storm of the boat. And He said "peace be still." When He speaks something happens. And immediately there's a great calm. Praise God forever.


Someone asked the question, "It just doesn't make sense." Because it doesn't make sense now doesn't mean it will never make sense. Look a little farther down the picture. It might not be clear to you yet, but it's on the picture. On that picture all things are brought under His feet. That picture is complete. It's there. Sometime it's going to make sense. You're going to understand. I'm going to give you a few thoughts here. And you can do your own Bible studying, you could look up the references I have them here, I'm going to give this without references, I would like for you to use your concordances at home and do a little studying. I am going to give you just some key words to some verses that tell you how things really are, not only the way they look, but the way they really are.


Job said, "Though He slay me, still I'm going to trust Him." Job understood, later on down the way. He tells us prophetically, "as your day is so shall your strength be." When those pressures push you down, there's a beautiful strength that comes to you. He said "when you pass through the waters, I will be with you," He said "fear thou not for I will help you, I will uphold you, and I will sustain you." That's what He said. Mark down those things, and look them up. He said we may have some problems, we may even face death, but he said we are the Lord's. It doesn't make too much difference, he said whether I'm awake or whether I'm asleep, I am the Lord's. When you can look up into God's face and say I am the Lord's, somehow it shoves other things back. He is my Shepherd. If He is your Shepherd, He knows how to lead, He said that none of these things that could come our way would come our way but what He would make a way of escape. He said there were two things that you could look for. One would be an escape hatch. You just think that the wall is blank and suddenly you hit the right button and whoop, and you come flying out. Make a way of escape, or he said if you don't happen to spot the escape hatch, I'll make your muscles get big, and I'll give you a calm and a confidence and you will have strength to bear it. I'll do it; I'll take care of this thing. It isn't that He doesn't know He has other ways of taking care of it.


Then I like what Paul said, "None of these things shall separate. There's some things coming but they shall never separate me from God's love. I just love that verse again in Hebrew chapter one, where he said speaking about Jesus' coming. "The scepter of His kingdom is the scepter of His righteousness. The scepter of His kingdom is a scepter of righteousness." His mark of ruling power which was the scepter, the mark of the King, it's a symbol of His ruling authority. The scepter of His kingdom, the mark of Jesus' Kingship is the scepter of righteousness. And you mark this down. That word righteousness has nothing to do with sin. It has to do with God's character, and that word righteousness means His unfailing ability to always do the right thing. And so I can look up into God's face and I can say I can affirm my faith, I can trust Him; He will do the right thing by me. Praise God. Praise God.


And then I like the Apostle Paul when he said "I'm not worried, for I know Him, I can trust Him." How do you feel about that? I wonder how many people here today have had big old question marks; you've wondered you've struggled with a thing, wondered why. Oh I know that God put this in my heart to bring you because there's so many that have battled this thing. Turn your eyes away from the problem. When you're looking for reasons why your prayers aren't answered, and you're studying it out, now if I do this and this and this I'll be able to get God to answer my prayer, you're conditioned toward the problem, you're problem conscious even while you're looking for a way out. All the things that you're doing, you're doing because there's a problem. But the Lord's, the Apostle Paul's advice there is to turn your eyes on Him, "but we see Jesus," then you become Jesus conscious, and when you're Jesus conscious you become victory conscious. And you're not so concerned about building up on this problem ways that you're going to have to meet this great old problem that's coming your way. But you've turned your eyes, hallelujah, and you can say with Paul, Paul you mean those rocks pelting down upon you was light? Well they were light when I look this way. When we look not at the things that were seen but at the things that are not seen.


This lady that I referred to at the funeral of this 15-year-old girl this week, she was weighted down. She and her husbands mind were filled with these questions, why, why. But in the hurt and the strain, they looked away at something that could have caused devastation in their lives and they projected Jesus, and drew strength from Him. The whys were still there but it was behind them, now she was looking toward Jesus. I'm going to read to you in conclusion just to show you a living example though we have the buildings full of them. I want you to hear something so cutting and seemingly so cruel, and so many people said "why did it have to happen if God was on the throne?" And so many people were saying the devil killed her. And these people were concerned how come God let the devil kill her. And all these why's came. I want to let you know that the devil doesn't have the power to do that. Quit thinking the devil's going around and killing people. I tell you, we're all in bad shape if we're in danger of getting killed by the devil. Quit looking for all the blowing up of the devil's strength. He isn't going to hurt you. You read Luke chapter 10 verses 24-27, you'll hear Jesus say, "I was watching and I saw satan fall from heaven as a flash of lightning. It is true; that I have given you the authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, I have given you authority over all of the power of the enemy," and then He said "nothing shall by any means do you any harm." Hallelujah.


I wish people would quit being so fearful that satan is going to choke them to death. All you need to do is stick your tongue out and say "Boo." And let him go. That's right. satan cannot stand the name of Jesus. Use the name of Jesus, project Jesus into your problem, Jesus is the Light. And His light pushes back the powers of darkness, it destroys it. God's answer to darkness is light, and Jesus is Light. I hope I'm blasting someone's theology this morning all to pieces. I would rather you know how strong Jesus is then the enemy. We sometimes give him some rights in our lives by walking around in fear, but Jesus came to destroy him who had the power of death even the devil and deliver people who all their lifetime were afraid of him. That's what Jesus came to do, to deliver people who have been afraid of him all their lives.


Listen to this, this mother wrote this poem moments away from the anguish. "Lord will the heart ever mend from the hurt and the pain. Do the tears stop falling like new fallen rain when the lost of our loved ones tears us apart? Does a crack ever mend that's torn in our heart, do we ever find peace and learn to bear this cross we've been given by You to share? Are we chosen for this for some special deed? Do we learn to accept out of some kind of need? I guess the answer is have faith and pray. And you will answer us all on that glorious day, but oh Lord, give us strength to carry us through until we will all be standing with you. And let us know as there's noon and there's sun, precious Jesus from Heaven Thy will be done." This came right out of the heart of someone who was completely drowned in grief, but she projected Jesus unto the grief. And the hurt went back into focus and the big picture went back into place. And she saw things not the way they looked but the way they are. One more little verse that she wrote. "In the garden stood a rose bush, it was early in the spring; she was putting forth her buds with more promises to bring. As the buds grew into blossoms in the summer in the fall. She bloomed in all her glory, her beauty pleasing all. As the blossoms slowly withered and her petals drifted to the ground it was like the rose was crying silently without sound. And through all this she was saying I'm just going for a while. Though I'll sleep through winter, in the spring I'll be back with a smile."


I wanted to give you these this morning because of truth that is connected there. When you see Jesus, you will not need the understanding of those whys. Turn your eyes upon Him. Things are going to fall into place when you do. "Somebody knows when our problems and our trials need chasing away. Somebody knows when you're weary, tired and discouraged, and blue. Somebody wants you to know Him and to know that He truly loves you. He wants you to know. Oh Jesus. Jesus. "Jesus there are people standing before you now whose hearts have been hurting. Jesus there are some out through the congregation whose hearts are hurting. Jesus we ask that by Your Spirit you would move across this entire congregation, bring the healing balm, the salve of the Holy Spirit that would bring that healing, that would remove the hurt and the sting and the resentment of the years. Oh God may this be a new day beginning today for these who have come to your presence. Praise God, we thank you that You're here. I pray dear God that this day will be the beginning of a whole new horizon of life for each of these that stand before You. For every person in this building may we behold Jesus in a way that we've never seen Him before. Praise God, Praise God, Oh Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.