The Joy of Adversity | TBN

The Joy of Adversity

Watch The Joy of Adversity
September 18, 2020
27:29

During this message Dr. Jeremiah shares what seven of the benefits of adversity are.

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The Joy of Adversity

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  • difficult times right now?
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  • Does it feel impossibleto stay positive
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  • in your current situation?
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  • How do you keep yourself goingeven when it seems like
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  • the whole world is against you?
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  • Well today, I'm going to shareseven reasons
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  • why you should keep looking up,even when life gets you down.
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • Dr. Jeremiah:Hello, I'm David Jeremiah.
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  • We all face adversity.
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  • That is, unfortunate anddistressing circumstances.
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  • But in the book of Philippians,the Apostle Paul gives us
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  • seven reasonswhy we can find joy
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  • even in the midst of adversity.
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  • It may sound impossible,but he did it himself
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  • and I'll explain exactlyhow you can too in my series,
  • 00:01:01.077 --> 00:01:05.048
  • "Count It All Joy,"
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  • on today's edition of,"Turning Point."
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  • ♪♪♪
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  • female announcer:Are you waiting
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  • for joy to find you?
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  • Don't wait,claim a happiness
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  • that circumstances cannot change
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  • with Dr. Jeremiah's book,"Count it All Joy."
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  • In this rich exploration
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  • of the biblical bookof Philippians,
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  • Dr. Jeremiah uncoversthe Apostle Paul's secret
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  • to experiencing a joythat carried Paul
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  • through the mostdifficult times.
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  • Discover this happinessfor yourself with,
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  • "Count it All Joy,"yours as a thank you
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  • when you give a giftof any amount
  • 00:01:44.921 --> 00:01:46.890
  • in support of this program.
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  • And if you generously give$60 or more,
  • 00:01:48.858 --> 00:01:51.194
  • Dr. Jeremiah would liketo send you in appreciation
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  • the "Count it All Joy" set,which includes his book,
  • 00:01:53.763 --> 00:01:57.267
  • his complete newly preached12-message series
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  • on your choice of CD or DVD,and a correlating study guide.
  • 00:02:00.503 --> 00:02:05.041
  • Dr. Jeremiah's,"Count it All Joy" book or set.
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  • Support this programand request these resources
  • 00:02:08.978 --> 00:02:11.781
  • when you contact"Turning Point" today.
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  • male announcer: Thank youfor watching "Count It All Joy"
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  • on "Turning Point."
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  • Now, here is Dr. Jeremiahwith his message,
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  • "The Joy of Adversity."
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  • Dr. Jeremiah: As we startthe next section
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  • of the first chapterwhich begins at verse 12,
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  • the verse starts this way,
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  • "The thingswhich happened to me."
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  • How many of you knowthings happen to us?
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  • Things happen.
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  • Say that with me,"Things happen."
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  • When Paul prayedthat he might have
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  • a prosperous journey to Romein the will of God,
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  • Romans chapter 1 verse 10,I'm sure he had no idea
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  • that his prayer would beanswered the way it was.
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  • My friend Warren Worsebyhas observed he wanted
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  • to go as a preacher andhe ended up going as a prisoner,
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  • which reminds us allthat when we pray to the Lord
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  • we should be very specific,not only about what we desire,
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  • but how we want it to happen.
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  • Everything about Paul'simprisonment was a mockery.
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  • He was insulted and shamed,and yet Paul was still certain
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  • that this sorrowand this suffering
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  • was part of God's planfor his life.
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  • When he wroteto the Corinthians, he said,
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  • "I take pleasure ininfirmities, and in reproaches,
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  • and in needs,and in persecutions,
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  • and in distresses,for Christ's sake.
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  • For when I am weak,then I am strong."
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  • And I looked up that word,"take pleasure."
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  • It means to think well of or tohave the right attitude toward.
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  • As Paul relayed his situationto his friends in Philippi,
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  • he clearly had the rightattitude toward his troubles.
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  • Here we are going to learnhow you can have joy
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  • in the midst of adversityas we watch Paul process
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  • what is happening to him.
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  • His upbeat explanation hasbecome a source of encouragement
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  • to me and to all who read thiswho walk through the valley.
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  • In this letter thatwe are studying,
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  • beginning at the 12th verseof the 1st chapter,
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  • Paul gives us seven provenprinciples as to why adversity
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  • should be viewed in a differentway than we normally view it.
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  • Our normal response is,"Lord, get this away from me
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  • or get me away from this."
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  • But I want you to noticewhat Paul did as he had
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  • the right attitude about this.
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  • He took inventoryof where he was
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  • and how it was affecting him.
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  • And here's the first principle:
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  • adversity promotesthe progress of the gospel.
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  • Philippians 1:12 says this,"I want you to know, brethren,
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  • that the things which happento me have actually turned out
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  • for the furtheranceof the gospel."
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  • When Paul talked abouthis present situation in prison,
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  • notice he didn't talk abouthow bad the food was in jail,
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  • how cold it was at night.
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  • He didn't discuss anyof his personal discomfort.
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  • He was not occupiedwith the inconvenience
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  • that imprisonmenthad caused him.
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  • His concern was primarilyfor the gospel and its advance.
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  • He saw everything in his lifethrough the lens
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  • of winning the world to Christ.
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  • He told his prayer supporters inPhilippi that his imprisonment
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  • had actually put the gospelahead of schedule in Rome.
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  • And he used a word therethat is very interesting.
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  • He described the advance ofthe gospel and he used the word,
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  • "furtherance."
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  • This is a military term usedby engineers who prepare a road
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  • for an advancing armyby removing the obstacles
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  • that are in the way, like rocks,and trees, and of such.
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  • And Paul viewed his imprisonmentas the removal of the barriers
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  • to the gospel coming to Rome.
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  • And we learn moreabout this when we come
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  • to the second point:
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  • adversity providesopportunities for witness.
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  • Verse 13, Paul writes,"So that it has been evident
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  • to the whole palace guard,and to all the rest,
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  • that my chains are in Christ."
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  • When the Apostle Paul spokeof his bonds being evident
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  • to all the palace,he was referring
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  • to the Praetorian Guard,which was a group
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  • of chosen crack imperialtroops that the Romans
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  • used to take care of thosewho were waiting
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  • to have an appointmentwith Caesar.
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  • These guards would have beenexposed to Paul's testimony
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  • as he shared itwith them personally.
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  • And as they listened to himshare it with others,
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  • they couldn't helpbut be changed.
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  • Apart from his imprisonment,Paul would never have had
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  • any way to approachthe highest dignitaries
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  • in the palace of Rome.
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  • We know that someof these high dignitaries
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  • for the militarywere considered
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  • at the very highest echelonof Roman government.
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  • We know that becauseof Paul's presence,
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  • some of these dignitariesbecame Christians.
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  • How do we know that?
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  • Well, in the last wordsof this book we read,
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  • "The Saints who areof Caesar's household."
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  • Every day, 24 hours a day,he was chained
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  • to a Roman soldier.
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  • Every six hoursthe shift changed,
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  • so Paul had four prospectsfor the gospel
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  • every day of the week.
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  • I sat down and figured it out,
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  • what that is likein a two-year imprisonment.
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  • He would have been ableto engage
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  • 3.000 witnessing opportunitiesat the top echelon
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  • of the Roman government.
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  • He was chainedto the Roman soldiers.
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  • And suppose they were atheists,
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  • suppose they didn't wantto hear the gospel.
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  • Tough, man, you're chainedto the number one witness
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  • for the next six hours.
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  • Like it or not,you're gonna hear the gospel.
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  • And as he preachedthe gospel to his soldiers,
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  • everybody listened,and it created a stir,
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  • and it was the beginning ofthe gospel coming to Rome.
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  • I wouldn't have done that.
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  • I wouldn't have come upwith that plan.
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  • God, he throwsall of the normal things away
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  • and he comes upwith his own plan.
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  • Adversity promotes progressin the gospel
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  • and it provides opportunitiesfor witness.
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  • Number three, adversity producescourage in our fellow believers.
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  • Notice verse 14,
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  • "Most of the brethrenin the Lord,
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  • having become confidentby my chains,
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  • are much more bold to speakthe Word without fear."
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  • It is evidentfrom this statement
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  • that when Paul was sentto prison,
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  • it had an effecton all of his associates,
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  • all of his preaching buddies.
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  • He was aware that many of thembecame very confident
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  • and bold because they sawhis courage.
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  • Men and women,bravery is contagious,
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  • don't you know?
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  • Persecution can be productive.
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  • And one has to wonderwhat would have become
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  • of the gospel had it not beenfor persecution.
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  • Isn't it interesting thatGod used persecution
  • 00:09:08.364 --> 00:09:10.700
  • to get people to dowhat he told them to do
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  • and they could have donewillingly?
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  • For instance,back in the early days
  • 00:09:16.639 --> 00:09:18.808
  • of the church whenthe great commission was given,
  • 00:09:18.841 --> 00:09:21.410
  • the priorities the commissionwere very clear,
  • 00:09:21.444 --> 00:09:24.113
  • "Go into Jerusalem, and Samaria,and Judea,
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  • and the uttermost partsof the world."
  • 00:09:26.849 --> 00:09:29.619
  • But the problem is, the gospelgot stuck in Jerusalem.
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  • The Lord said, "Go to Jerusalemand start,
  • 00:09:33.689 --> 00:09:36.459
  • but don't stay in Jerusalem."
  • 00:09:36.492 --> 00:09:38.661
  • Well, let me read to youwhat happened.
  • 00:09:38.694 --> 00:09:40.696
  • Acts chapter 8, verses 1 and 4,
  • 00:09:40.730 --> 00:09:43.699
  • "At that time a greatpersecution arose
  • 00:09:43.733 --> 00:09:46.135
  • against the churchwhich was at Jerusalem;
  • 00:09:46.168 --> 00:09:49.538
  • and they were all scattered.
  • 00:09:49.572 --> 00:09:52.341
  • Thereforethose who were scattered
  • 00:09:52.375 --> 00:09:54.610
  • went everywherepreaching the Word."
  • 00:09:54.644 --> 00:09:57.713
  • God used persecutionto accomplish his purpose.
  • 00:09:57.747 --> 00:10:01.150
  • They wouldn't go willingly.
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  • He sent persecutionand they had to go.
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  • I have to tell you thatin my lifetime I have witnessed
  • 00:10:04.687 --> 00:10:06.689
  • the infectious impactof courageous suffering.
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  • I remember the death of a manby the name of Paul Carlson,
  • 00:10:11.627 --> 00:10:15.364
  • who was a missionaryto the Congo.
  • 00:10:15.398 --> 00:10:17.633
  • I remember the stories,I'm sure you do, of Jim Elliot,
  • 00:10:17.667 --> 00:10:21.170
  • who was a missionaryto Ecuador's Auca Indians,
  • 00:10:21.203 --> 00:10:24.440
  • and Chet Bitterman,missionary to Columbia.
  • 00:10:24.473 --> 00:10:26.976
  • And these people have probablybeen responsible for recruiting
  • 00:10:27.009 --> 00:10:30.880
  • more missionaries than allof the other recruiting programs
  • 00:10:30.913 --> 00:10:33.683
  • put together.
  • 00:10:33.716 --> 00:10:35.184
  • When people see courage,they are drawn to it
  • 00:10:35.217 --> 00:10:38.187
  • like a magnet.
  • 00:10:38.220 --> 00:10:40.289
  • And the Bible says thatwhen Paul went to prison
  • 00:10:40.322 --> 00:10:43.159
  • and his buddies saw his chains,they became more bold
  • 00:10:43.192 --> 00:10:47.463
  • to preach the Word without fear.
  • 00:10:47.496 --> 00:10:51.767
  • Number four,adversity proves the character
  • 00:10:51.801 --> 00:10:55.137
  • of our friendships.
  • 00:10:55.171 --> 00:10:57.206
  • This is kind of a convolutedlittle section of this passage,
  • 00:10:57.239 --> 00:11:00.142
  • but I think if you listencarefully we can unpack it
  • 00:11:00.176 --> 00:11:04.046
  • and you'll getwhat's going on here.
  • 00:11:04.080 --> 00:11:06.482
  • In verse 15, Paul saysthat while he's in prison,
  • 00:11:06.515 --> 00:11:09.318
  • "Some indeedwere preaching Christ
  • 00:11:09.351 --> 00:11:11.053
  • even from envy and strife,and some also from goodwill.
  • 00:11:11.087 --> 00:11:15.858
  • The former preach Christfrom selfish ambition,
  • 00:11:15.891 --> 00:11:18.694
  • not sincerely, supposing to addaffliction to my chains;
  • 00:11:18.728 --> 00:11:22.398
  • but the latter out of love,knowing that I am appointed
  • 00:11:22.431 --> 00:11:25.134
  • for the defense of the gospel.
  • 00:11:25.167 --> 00:11:27.036
  • What then?
  • 00:11:27.069 --> 00:11:28.904
  • Only that in every way,whether in pretense or in truth,
  • 00:11:28.938 --> 00:11:31.874
  • Christ is preached;and in this I rejoice,
  • 00:11:31.907 --> 00:11:34.710
  • yes, and I will rejoice."
  • 00:11:34.744 --> 00:11:37.179
  • Now, here's what's going on.
  • 00:11:37.213 --> 00:11:38.514
  • Paul's in prison,and he looks out,
  • 00:11:38.547 --> 00:11:39.849
  • and he's getting informationfrom his buddies,
  • 00:11:39.882 --> 00:11:41.183
  • and they keep telling himwhat's going on in the church.
  • 00:11:41.217 --> 00:11:43.519
  • And what they're telling himis that some of his associates
  • 00:11:43.552 --> 00:11:45.654
  • have taken advantageof his imprisonment
  • 00:11:45.688 --> 00:11:47.890
  • to advance their own careers.
  • 00:11:47.923 --> 00:11:51.026
  • And actually they're usingthe adversity that's going on
  • 00:11:51.060 --> 00:11:53.929
  • in Paul's life to make thingsbetter for themselves.
  • 00:11:53.963 --> 00:11:57.166
  • I know that doesn't happentoday,
  • 00:11:57.199 --> 00:11:58.768
  • but it happenedback in Bible days.
  • 00:11:58.801 --> 00:12:02.338
  • These people weren'tfalse teachers.
  • 00:12:02.371 --> 00:12:04.573
  • They preached the gospel.
  • 00:12:04.607 --> 00:12:06.909
  • But Paul saw thatthey were using
  • 00:12:06.942 --> 00:12:08.844
  • his incarceration for purposesthat weren't godly.
  • 00:12:08.878 --> 00:12:15.084
  • As he described those who werepreaching for the wrong reasons,
  • 00:12:15.117 --> 00:12:17.920
  • he used an interesting word.
  • 00:12:17.953 --> 00:12:19.488
  • He said they were preachingfrom selfish ambition.
  • 00:12:19.522 --> 00:12:23.259
  • That phrase means to canvasfor office in order
  • 00:12:23.292 --> 00:12:26.662
  • to get people to support you.
  • 00:12:26.695 --> 00:12:28.197
  • Their aim was to get peopleto follow them.
  • 00:12:28.864 --> 00:12:31.467
  • Paul's aim was to get peopleto follow Christ.
  • 00:12:31.500 --> 00:12:34.036
  • They were building a followingfor themselves
  • 00:12:34.069 --> 00:12:36.372
  • and they were usingPaul's imprisonment
  • 00:12:36.405 --> 00:12:38.507
  • as a platform upon whichto preach that message.
  • 00:12:38.541 --> 00:12:42.178
  • But watch what Paul did.
  • 00:12:42.211 --> 00:12:44.413
  • He didn't rail against them.
  • 00:12:44.446 --> 00:12:46.582
  • He didn't send somebodyto correct them.
  • 00:12:46.615 --> 00:12:48.851
  • He sorted this out.
  • 00:12:48.884 --> 00:12:50.820
  • He tried to cometo some resolution,
  • 00:12:50.853 --> 00:12:52.621
  • and here's what he said.
  • 00:12:52.655 --> 00:12:54.089
  • He rejoiced that Christwas being preached.
  • 00:12:54.123 --> 00:12:56.425
  • Even if it was notas he wanted it to be,
  • 00:12:56.458 --> 00:12:59.195
  • he knew that though Christmight not honor the motive
  • 00:12:59.228 --> 00:13:01.964
  • of the messenger, Christ wouldalways honor the message.
  • 00:13:01.997 --> 00:13:06.535
  • Do you know that sometimespeople get saved listening
  • 00:13:06.569 --> 00:13:08.904
  • to a message preachedby somebody
  • 00:13:08.938 --> 00:13:12.041
  • who may not even knowJesus Christ himself?
  • 00:13:12.074 --> 00:13:15.311
  • The power isn'tin the messenger,
  • 00:13:15.344 --> 00:13:17.213
  • the power's in the message.
  • 00:13:17.246 --> 00:13:19.148
  • You set the message free.
  • 00:13:19.181 --> 00:13:21.083
  • And so Paul said,"Okay, I don't like this.
  • 00:13:21.116 --> 00:13:23.219
  • I've certainly got a revelationof who these people are."
  • 00:13:23.252 --> 00:13:26.655
  • How many of you know whenyou go through adversity,
  • 00:13:26.689 --> 00:13:28.357
  • you figure out who your friendsreally are?
  • 00:13:28.390 --> 00:13:30.926
  • Isn't that true?
  • 00:13:30.960 --> 00:13:32.294
  • And some of themthat you thought were really
  • 00:13:32.328 --> 00:13:33.662
  • your friends,adversity sorts it out quickly.
  • 00:13:33.696 --> 00:13:36.999
  • Paul got his friends sorted outwhen he went to prison.
  • 00:13:37.032 --> 00:13:40.135
  • And the bottom line was,and here's Paul,
  • 00:13:40.169 --> 00:13:43.072
  • he cared about one thing,the gospel.
  • 00:13:43.105 --> 00:13:45.574
  • I don't care who preaches it.I don't like what they're doing.
  • 00:13:45.608 --> 00:13:47.676
  • I don't think whatthey're doing is right,
  • 00:13:47.710 --> 00:13:49.011
  • but thank Godthe Word of God
  • 00:13:49.044 --> 00:13:50.512
  • is being set free.
  • 00:13:50.546 --> 00:13:53.182
  • Number five, adversity provokesgrowth in our lives.
  • 00:13:53.215 --> 00:13:58.354
  • He says in verses 19 and 20,"I know this will turn out
  • 00:13:58.387 --> 00:14:01.390
  • for my deliverancethrough your prayer
  • 00:14:01.423 --> 00:14:03.392
  • and the supplyof the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
  • 00:14:03.425 --> 00:14:06.161
  • according to my earnestexpectation and hope
  • 00:14:06.195 --> 00:14:08.230
  • that in nothingI shall be ashamed,
  • 00:14:08.264 --> 00:14:10.366
  • but with all boldness,as always,
  • 00:14:10.399 --> 00:14:12.635
  • so now also Christ will bemagnified in my body,
  • 00:14:12.668 --> 00:14:16.872
  • whether by life or by death."
  • 00:14:16.906 --> 00:14:20.376
  • Paul said as he lookedat his situation,
  • 00:14:20.409 --> 00:14:22.044
  • "I'm gonna take advantageof this and I'm gonna watch
  • 00:14:22.077 --> 00:14:25.714
  • God do in my life somethingthat couldn't be done
  • 00:14:25.748 --> 00:14:28.217
  • if I weren't herein this situation."
  • 00:14:28.250 --> 00:14:30.085
  • How many of you know thatadversity separates men?
  • 00:14:30.119 --> 00:14:33.188
  • It makes some men better;it makes other men bitter.
  • 00:14:33.222 --> 00:14:37.026
  • God has planted within usresources we've never used.
  • 00:14:37.059 --> 00:14:41.230
  • He's given us couragewe've never known.
  • 00:14:41.263 --> 00:14:43.332
  • Adversity sharpensyour attention.
  • 00:14:43.365 --> 00:14:46.235
  • Adversity removes allthe non-essential things
  • 00:14:46.268 --> 00:14:49.672
  • and helps you to see clearly howto do what needs to be done.
  • 00:14:49.705 --> 00:14:55.711
  • Paul went on to talk aboutthe things that helped him
  • 00:14:55.744 --> 00:14:58.047
  • during that time.
  • 00:14:58.080 --> 00:14:59.381
  • He spoke of the prayersof his friends.
  • 00:14:59.415 --> 00:15:01.250
  • He said, "I'm gonnacome through this.
  • 00:15:01.283 --> 00:15:03.118
  • I'm gonna be delivered throughthe prayers of my friends."
  • 00:15:03.152 --> 00:15:06.322
  • In 1 Thessalonians, he wrote,"Making mention of you
  • 00:15:06.355 --> 00:15:09.658
  • in our prayers, night and day.
  • 00:15:09.692 --> 00:15:11.327
  • Brethren, pray for us."
  • 00:15:11.360 --> 00:15:14.229
  • In 2 Thessalonians, he wrote,"Therefore we also pray always
  • 00:15:14.263 --> 00:15:18.567
  • for you.
  • 00:15:18.600 --> 00:15:19.902
  • Finally, brethren, pray for us."
  • 00:15:19.935 --> 00:15:21.770
  • Often when facing trouble,we are the focus
  • 00:15:21.804 --> 00:15:24.573
  • of the prayer of God's people.
  • 00:15:24.606 --> 00:15:26.642
  • And it is through these prayersthat we are able
  • 00:15:26.675 --> 00:15:29.244
  • to survive our crisisand go on to maturity.
  • 00:15:29.278 --> 00:15:33.582
  • Paul had this great thing.
  • 00:15:33.615 --> 00:15:34.950
  • He basically said,"I'm gonna pray for you,
  • 00:15:34.984 --> 00:15:36.352
  • but I expect youto pray for me."
  • 00:15:36.385 --> 00:15:39.355
  • Prayer is a responsibilitywe have to each other
  • 00:15:39.388 --> 00:15:41.957
  • in the body of Christ,is it not?
  • 00:15:41.991 --> 00:15:44.626
  • And it's almost a certain thingthat when you pray
  • 00:15:44.660 --> 00:15:47.229
  • for someone elsethey will pray for you.
  • 00:15:47.262 --> 00:15:49.631
  • It is a part of the dynamicof what it means to be
  • 00:15:49.665 --> 00:15:52.668
  • in the body of Christ.
  • 00:15:52.701 --> 00:15:56.071
  • And then Paul saidthe second thing
  • 00:15:56.105 --> 00:15:57.873
  • that happened to himduring this time was,
  • 00:15:57.906 --> 00:15:59.475
  • he not only had a lot of peoplepraying for him,
  • 00:15:59.508 --> 00:16:01.577
  • but he noticed that he alsoreceived the provision
  • 00:16:01.610 --> 00:16:04.646
  • of the Holy Spirit.
  • 00:16:04.680 --> 00:16:06.648
  • His language is picturesque.
  • 00:16:06.682 --> 00:16:08.517
  • This phrase literally means thefull supply of the Holy Spirit.
  • 00:16:08.550 --> 00:16:13.822
  • I don't know if you've evernoticed this,
  • 00:16:13.856 --> 00:16:15.824
  • but when you go throughadversity,
  • 00:16:15.858 --> 00:16:17.760
  • I know this isn't true actually,but it seems like
  • 00:16:17.793 --> 00:16:20.729
  • God gets closer to you.
  • 00:16:20.763 --> 00:16:23.032
  • How many of you know God isalways as present in any place
  • 00:16:23.065 --> 00:16:27.469
  • as he ever was or ever will be,because he's omnipresent?
  • 00:16:27.503 --> 00:16:32.574
  • It is not true that duringcommunion God is closer to us
  • 00:16:32.608 --> 00:16:36.779
  • than he is in a regular service.
  • 00:16:36.812 --> 00:16:40.049
  • But during those moments ofcommunion and during adversity,
  • 00:16:40.082 --> 00:16:43.919
  • what happens is we becomemore sensitive
  • 00:16:43.952 --> 00:16:47.523
  • to the presence of the Lord.
  • 00:16:47.556 --> 00:16:50.726
  • Isn't that true?
  • 00:16:50.759 --> 00:16:52.394
  • It almost seems like Godhas pulled a chair up next to us
  • 00:16:52.428 --> 00:16:55.597
  • and put his arm around usduring those days.
  • 00:16:55.631 --> 00:16:58.367
  • It's not that God has movedtoward us,
  • 00:16:58.400 --> 00:17:01.437
  • it's that becauseof the situation,
  • 00:17:01.470 --> 00:17:03.839
  • we have moved toward him.
  • 00:17:03.872 --> 00:17:07.476
  • I had an experience whenI was going through cancer
  • 00:17:07.509 --> 00:17:10.045
  • that's always beenone of my favorite things
  • 00:17:10.079 --> 00:17:12.147
  • that I took away from that.
  • 00:17:12.181 --> 00:17:14.416
  • I was preaching on the radioall over the country
  • 00:17:14.450 --> 00:17:17.686
  • when that happened.
  • 00:17:17.719 --> 00:17:19.021
  • That was 20 years ago.
  • 00:17:19.054 --> 00:17:20.355
  • I've been doing thisa long time.
  • 00:17:20.389 --> 00:17:21.924
  • And I got lettersfrom a lot of people.
  • 00:17:21.957 --> 00:17:23.559
  • After I got better and I wasback in the pulpit for a while,
  • 00:17:23.592 --> 00:17:27.229
  • I got a letter froma guy who said this,
  • 00:17:27.262 --> 00:17:29.598
  • "Dear Dr. Jeremiah,I know what you've been through.
  • 00:17:29.631 --> 00:17:31.900
  • I watched it.
  • 00:17:31.934 --> 00:17:34.036
  • I've watch you go through itand prayed for you.
  • 00:17:34.069 --> 00:17:36.972
  • And what I want to tell you isthat since you've been back,
  • 00:17:37.005 --> 00:17:40.342
  • you've been preachinga lot better."
  • 00:17:40.375 --> 00:17:44.313
  • Now, that's kindof a double-sided comment,
  • 00:17:44.346 --> 00:17:46.115
  • you know, 'cause I wonderedhow bad I was preaching before.
  • 00:17:46.148 --> 00:17:49.084
  • But he said, "Since you've comethrough cancer
  • 00:17:49.118 --> 00:17:50.953
  • and I've been listening to you,you're so much better
  • 00:17:50.986 --> 00:17:53.088
  • than you used to be."
  • 00:17:53.122 --> 00:17:55.424
  • I thought it was a nice thingto say,
  • 00:17:55.457 --> 00:17:56.892
  • except here's the funny thing.
  • 00:17:56.925 --> 00:17:58.460
  • What he was listening toon the air were recordings
  • 00:17:58.494 --> 00:18:00.028
  • that I had madebefore I got sick.
  • 00:18:00.062 --> 00:18:03.832
  • Gotcha!
  • 00:18:03.866 --> 00:18:05.934
  • But then, one day,when I thought about that,
  • 00:18:05.968 --> 00:18:07.803
  • it struck me.
  • 00:18:07.836 --> 00:18:09.571
  • I wasn't preaching better,he was listening better.
  • 00:18:09.605 --> 00:18:14.176
  • Because you see,when people know
  • 00:18:14.209 --> 00:18:15.711
  • that you've been throughsomething,
  • 00:18:15.744 --> 00:18:17.179
  • they listen to youwith a different way
  • 00:18:17.212 --> 00:18:18.981
  • than they would if you--
  • 00:18:19.014 --> 00:18:20.983
  • have you ever had anybodycome up to you and say,
  • 00:18:21.016 --> 00:18:22.651
  • "Oh, I know whatyou're going through,"
  • 00:18:22.684 --> 00:18:23.986
  • and you know in your heartthey haven't got a clue
  • 00:18:24.019 --> 00:18:25.754
  • what you're going through?
  • 00:18:25.787 --> 00:18:28.490
  • But when they knowyou're going through something,
  • 00:18:28.524 --> 00:18:31.426
  • they listen to youwith a sensitivity.
  • 00:18:31.460 --> 00:18:33.962
  • That's what Paul's dealingwith here.
  • 00:18:33.996 --> 00:18:37.099
  • And then he talked about hisown personal determination.
  • 00:18:37.132 --> 00:18:39.768
  • He said, "I'm gettingthrough this because
  • 00:18:39.801 --> 00:18:41.904
  • of the prayers of the saints,because of the provision
  • 00:18:41.937 --> 00:18:44.439
  • of the Holy Spirit,and I'm getting through it also
  • 00:18:44.473 --> 00:18:48.076
  • because of my own personaldetermination."
  • 00:18:48.110 --> 00:18:52.047
  • He was confident that he wouldcome through this ordeal.
  • 00:18:52.080 --> 00:18:54.049
  • He describes his attitudeas earnest expectation.
  • 00:18:54.082 --> 00:18:58.120
  • "My earnest expectation,"he said.
  • 00:18:58.153 --> 00:19:01.790
  • And it was his purposein this time that
  • 00:19:01.823 --> 00:19:04.059
  • he would maintain his testimony.
  • 00:19:04.092 --> 00:19:06.595
  • He wrote that, "In nothingI shall be ashamed."
  • 00:19:06.628 --> 00:19:09.831
  • He said, "I want to be boldas always."
  • 00:19:09.865 --> 00:19:12.901
  • So now, in other words,
  • 00:19:12.935 --> 00:19:14.403
  • "I don't want this prisonexperience to change who I am."
  • 00:19:14.436 --> 00:19:17.139
  • We can never allow our adversityto define who we are.
  • 00:19:17.172 --> 00:19:21.276
  • We are who we are.
  • 00:19:21.310 --> 00:19:22.711
  • Adversity is just a footnotein our life journey.
  • 00:19:22.744 --> 00:19:28.617
  • Paul was determined to usehis adversity as an opportunity
  • 00:19:28.650 --> 00:19:31.653
  • to more loudly proclaim Christ.
  • 00:19:31.687 --> 00:19:34.489
  • In one of his lettersto Timothy,
  • 00:19:34.523 --> 00:19:36.191
  • he described the situationlike this,
  • 00:19:36.225 --> 00:19:38.160
  • "I suffer troubleas an evildoer,
  • 00:19:38.193 --> 00:19:40.662
  • even to the point of chains;but the Word of God
  • 00:19:40.696 --> 00:19:44.466
  • is not chained."
  • 00:19:44.499 --> 00:19:46.501
  • Paul knew that whilehe was chained,
  • 00:19:46.535 --> 00:19:49.238
  • the Word of Godwhich he had given his life to
  • 00:19:49.271 --> 00:19:51.740
  • was running free throughthe testimony that he had.
  • 00:19:51.773 --> 00:19:56.712
  • Quite often the Lord usesthe adversity in our lives
  • 00:19:56.745 --> 00:19:59.748
  • as a lens through whichhe can be seen.
  • 00:19:59.781 --> 00:20:04.586
  • So often here as your pastor,I've had people tell me that
  • 00:20:04.620 --> 00:20:07.823
  • their neighbors who've cometo the funeral or their friends
  • 00:20:07.856 --> 00:20:11.126
  • who've come to the hospitalhave made the comment
  • 00:20:11.159 --> 00:20:13.495
  • that there's somethinguniquely different
  • 00:20:13.528 --> 00:20:15.664
  • about the wayyou're handling things.
  • 00:20:15.697 --> 00:20:17.299
  • They don't understand itand they ask a reason
  • 00:20:17.332 --> 00:20:19.668
  • for your faith.
  • 00:20:19.701 --> 00:20:21.503
  • It's when we go throughtough times,
  • 00:20:21.536 --> 00:20:23.372
  • we look back over our shouldersand we thank God
  • 00:20:23.405 --> 00:20:25.274
  • for the tough times,but we thank him also
  • 00:20:25.307 --> 00:20:28.443
  • for the joy he's brought to us.
  • 00:20:28.477 --> 00:20:31.580
  • I need to tell youthat adversity is
  • 00:20:31.613 --> 00:20:34.683
  • an interesting study.
  • 00:20:34.716 --> 00:20:37.853
  • Adversity helps us to seeall of life in perspective.
  • 00:20:37.886 --> 00:20:42.524
  • Paul saw life in perspective.
  • 00:20:42.557 --> 00:20:44.660
  • Later on in this text he says,"Whether it's by life
  • 00:20:44.693 --> 00:20:47.763
  • or by death," he said,"for me to live as Christ,
  • 00:20:47.796 --> 00:20:50.599
  • to die is gain."
  • 00:20:50.632 --> 00:20:52.534
  • Have you ever heardanybody say that?
  • 00:20:52.567 --> 00:20:54.936
  • I don't know whether I wantto go to heaven or stay here.
  • 00:20:54.970 --> 00:20:58.073
  • Paul was so in lovewith Jesus Christ,
  • 00:20:58.106 --> 00:20:59.841
  • his thought of spending timewith the Lord in heaven
  • 00:20:59.875 --> 00:21:02.010
  • was overshadowing anythinghe thought of on this earth.
  • 00:21:02.044 --> 00:21:05.380
  • Of course, Paul spent mostof his time on this earth
  • 00:21:05.414 --> 00:21:07.849
  • in prison, so I can get that.
  • 00:21:07.883 --> 00:21:10.819
  • That's a great attitude to have.
  • 00:21:10.852 --> 00:21:12.154
  • When you become a Christian,something happens in your life
  • 00:21:12.187 --> 00:21:13.989
  • and relationshipto life and death.
  • 00:21:14.022 --> 00:21:16.425
  • Nobody that I know wants to die,but we aren't afraid to die.
  • 00:21:16.458 --> 00:21:22.564
  • And when we know Jesus Christ,death is not the ominous thing
  • 00:21:22.597 --> 00:21:26.835
  • out in our future because weknow that the Lord Jesus Christ
  • 00:21:26.868 --> 00:21:30.305
  • has put his foot on deathand taken all the power away.
  • 00:21:30.339 --> 00:21:35.877
  • Paul saw life and deathas equally desirable.
  • 00:21:35.911 --> 00:21:39.648
  • If he continued to live,he would come to know, and love,
  • 00:21:39.681 --> 00:21:41.850
  • and serve the Lord more fully.
  • 00:21:41.883 --> 00:21:43.819
  • If he died, he would completely,and finally,
  • 00:21:43.852 --> 00:21:45.887
  • and perfectly know the Lord.
  • 00:21:45.921 --> 00:21:49.124
  • He was caught between his desireto be with Christ
  • 00:21:49.157 --> 00:21:51.493
  • and his sense of dutyto help the Philippians.
  • 00:21:51.526 --> 00:21:54.830
  • And his selfless,servant heart is unmatched
  • 00:21:54.863 --> 00:21:57.833
  • outside of Jesus Christ.
  • 00:21:57.866 --> 00:22:01.036
  • I read a statement in a bookby John Ortberg that I thought
  • 00:22:01.069 --> 00:22:03.872
  • was so fitting to whatwe've been talking about today.
  • 00:22:03.905 --> 00:22:08.510
  • He reports that on one occasionhe was part of a survey
  • 00:22:08.543 --> 00:22:10.912
  • on spiritual formation.
  • 00:22:10.946 --> 00:22:14.516
  • He said that thousands of peoplewere asked when they grew
  • 00:22:14.549 --> 00:22:17.853
  • most spiritually and whatcontributed to their growth.
  • 00:22:17.886 --> 00:22:22.224
  • He said the responsewas humbling,
  • 00:22:22.257 --> 00:22:24.893
  • at least for someonewho works at a church.
  • 00:22:24.926 --> 00:22:28.397
  • The number one contributorto spiritual growth
  • 00:22:28.430 --> 00:22:31.299
  • was not transformationalteaching and preaching.
  • 00:22:31.333 --> 00:22:37.139
  • So, that takes meout of the picture.
  • 00:22:37.172 --> 00:22:40.442
  • It was not beingin a small group.
  • 00:22:40.475 --> 00:22:42.110
  • It was not reading deep books.
  • 00:22:42.144 --> 00:22:43.912
  • It was not energeticworship experiences.
  • 00:22:43.945 --> 00:22:47.516
  • It was not findingmeaningful ways to serve.
  • 00:22:47.549 --> 00:22:52.521
  • The most important thing,and the time when people
  • 00:22:52.554 --> 00:22:57.726
  • most grew spiritually,and what contributed
  • 00:22:57.759 --> 00:23:01.163
  • to their growth was suffering.
  • 00:23:01.196 --> 00:23:05.634
  • People said they grewmore during seasons of loss,
  • 00:23:05.667 --> 00:23:08.537
  • and pain, and crisis thanthey did at any other time.
  • 00:23:08.570 --> 00:23:13.942
  • And then John Ortberg said,"I immediately realized that
  • 00:23:13.975 --> 00:23:17.412
  • as a church we had not putanybody in charge
  • 00:23:17.446 --> 00:23:20.849
  • of pain distribution."
  • 00:23:20.882 --> 00:23:24.453
  • Actually, he said,
  • 00:23:24.486 --> 00:23:26.221
  • "The wonderfuland terrible thing
  • 00:23:26.254 --> 00:23:27.556
  • about crisis is thatit's the one resource
  • 00:23:27.589 --> 00:23:29.090
  • we do not have to fund,or staff, or program,
  • 00:23:29.124 --> 00:23:32.060
  • or put in our budget."
  • 00:23:32.093 --> 00:23:33.595
  • It just happens and it's free.
  • 00:23:33.628 --> 00:23:37.232
  • However, we need to understandthat pain does not
  • 00:23:37.265 --> 00:23:40.368
  • automatically producespiritual growth.
  • 00:23:40.402 --> 00:23:43.772
  • Adversity doesn't make youspiritually better,
  • 00:23:43.805 --> 00:23:46.775
  • unless you are in the contextwhere spiritual growth
  • 00:23:46.808 --> 00:23:49.845
  • can happen.
  • 00:23:49.878 --> 00:23:51.346
  • I mean, you can goand find stories
  • 00:23:51.379 --> 00:23:53.248
  • of abusive homes andtrauma wards where pain
  • 00:23:53.281 --> 00:23:56.117
  • is produced and nothing happensbut makes people worse.
  • 00:23:56.151 --> 00:24:00.522
  • They are crippledinstead of helped.
  • 00:24:00.555 --> 00:24:03.658
  • But when you are goingthrough adversity in the context
  • 00:24:03.692 --> 00:24:07.496
  • of a loving congregation,or a loving marriage,
  • 00:24:07.529 --> 00:24:10.732
  • or a loving environment,or a loving neighborhood,
  • 00:24:10.765 --> 00:24:14.970
  • you will discover soul strengthbegins to happen.
  • 00:24:15.003 --> 00:24:18.240
  • If the soul is starved of othernutrients then that won't work,
  • 00:24:18.273 --> 00:24:23.411
  • but if you're in an environmentwhere spiritual resources
  • 00:24:23.445 --> 00:24:26.381
  • are around you,when you go through adversity,
  • 00:24:26.414 --> 00:24:31.720
  • you will be changed.
  • 00:24:31.753 --> 00:24:33.088
  • male announcer: Dr. Jeremiahwill return in a moment
  • 00:24:34.589 --> 00:24:36.191
  • to close today's programright after this.
  • 00:24:36.224 --> 00:24:38.727
  • female announcer: Thank youfor watching "Turning Point."
  • 00:24:40.896 --> 00:24:42.731
  • When you support this programwith a gift of any amount,
  • 00:24:42.764 --> 00:24:45.734
  • Dr. Jeremiah would liketo send you
  • 00:24:45.767 --> 00:24:48.069
  • in appreciation his book,"Count it All Joy."
  • 00:24:48.103 --> 00:24:51.573
  • In its pages you'll discoverpractical steps about how
  • 00:24:51.606 --> 00:24:54.809
  • to claim a happiness thatcircumstances cannot change.
  • 00:24:54.843 --> 00:24:58.713
  • And if you generously give$60 or more,
  • 00:24:58.747 --> 00:25:01.283
  • you will receiveDr. Jeremiah's comprehensive
  • 00:25:01.316 --> 00:25:04.286
  • "Count it All Joy" set,which includes his book,
  • 00:25:04.319 --> 00:25:08.023
  • his complete newly-preached12-message teaching series
  • 00:25:08.056 --> 00:25:11.726
  • on your choice of CD or DVD,and a correlating study guide.
  • 00:25:11.760 --> 00:25:17.566
  • Thank you for watchingand supporting the ministry
  • 00:25:17.599 --> 00:25:19.701
  • of "Turning Point."
  • 00:25:19.734 --> 00:25:21.202
  • Call or go online to requestthese resources today.
  • 00:25:21.236 --> 00:25:24.406
  • male announcer: And now,with one last word
  • 00:25:27.509 --> 00:25:29.110
  • for today's program,here is Dr. Jeremiah.
  • 00:25:29.144 --> 00:25:32.147
  • Dr. Jeremiah:The book of Philippians
  • 00:25:33.381 --> 00:25:34.683
  • could be consideredthe Apostle Paul's memoir,
  • 00:25:34.716 --> 00:25:38.486
  • but this memoir from Paulis like none other
  • 00:25:38.520 --> 00:25:42.190
  • because the theme of this letterhe wrote while sitting
  • 00:25:42.223 --> 00:25:45.393
  • within a Roman jail is joy.
  • 00:25:45.427 --> 00:25:48.763
  • Why was Paul able to writeabout joy
  • 00:25:48.797 --> 00:25:51.600
  • even in the faceof great adversity?
  • 00:25:51.633 --> 00:25:54.102
  • Because the source of his joy,Jesus Christ,
  • 00:25:54.135 --> 00:25:58.540
  • was right there with him,and Christ will be with you
  • 00:25:58.573 --> 00:26:01.910
  • as well in every oneof your difficulties.
  • 00:26:01.943 --> 00:26:04.879
  • But you must first know him.
  • 00:26:04.913 --> 00:26:08.717
  • To help you begin or continuea relationship with Christ,
  • 00:26:08.750 --> 00:26:12.487
  • I hope you'll allow meto send you two free gifts from,
  • 00:26:12.520 --> 00:26:15.657
  • "Turning Point."
  • 00:26:15.690 --> 00:26:17.192
  • One is our booklet called,"Your Greatest Turning Point,"
  • 00:26:17.225 --> 00:26:19.894
  • and the other is our monthlydevotional magazine called,
  • 00:26:19.928 --> 00:26:23.565
  • "Turning Points."
  • 00:26:23.598 --> 00:26:25.500
  • We will gladly send both theseresources to you free of charge
  • 00:26:25.533 --> 00:26:29.371
  • if you will contact us hereat "Turning Point" today.
  • 00:26:29.404 --> 00:26:32.907
  • announcer: In additionto these free study resources,
  • 00:26:34.542 --> 00:26:36.945
  • nothing as profoundas the Word of God.
  • 00:26:36.978 --> 00:26:39.681
  • And now, Dr. Jeremiahhas a Bible for every member
  • 00:26:39.714 --> 00:26:42.784
  • of the family.
  • 00:26:42.817 --> 00:26:44.119
  • There are numerous versions of"The Jeremiah Study Bible,"
  • 00:26:44.152 --> 00:26:46.588
  • perfect for adults and teens.
  • 00:26:46.621 --> 00:26:48.056
  • And the "Airship Genesis Kids'Study Bible" will bring
  • 00:26:48.089 --> 00:26:51.760
  • the truth of God's Wordto the young ones in your life.
  • 00:26:51.793 --> 00:26:54.596
  • Contact "Turning Point" for moreinformation or to order today.
  • 00:26:54.629 --> 00:26:59.134
  • announcer: Next time on,"Turning Point."
  • 00:27:01.636 --> 00:27:03.638
  • Dr. Jeremiah:Paul was saying this,
  • 00:27:04.239 --> 00:27:05.540
  • "I want your faith to bein Christ, not in me.
  • 00:27:05.573 --> 00:27:08.877
  • I want it to be so that whenI'm with you or whether I'm not
  • 00:27:08.910 --> 00:27:11.813
  • with you at all, you stand fastfor the things you believe."
  • 00:27:11.846 --> 00:27:16.017
  • announcer: Thank youfor being with us today.
  • 00:27:16.785 --> 00:27:18.486
  • Join us next timefor Dr. Jeremiah's message,
  • 00:27:18.520 --> 00:27:20.855
  • "The Joy of Integrity,"here on "Turning Point."
  • 00:27:20.889 --> 00:27:24.893