Psalm 31:9 “Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.”
1Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. He didn’t come to mingle with the religious law-abiding folks. He came to bring help and deliverance to the troubled lives of those around Him.
It would be wonderful if we had no need at all. But, more times than not, we have a need. Sometimes, God does that to you to draw you closer to Himself.
God has this problem: He thinks He’s God and He acts like it.
Our problem: We don’t know how to act like His people. Here’s a sobering revelation: You are NOT God.
You have a God who allows stuff to happen, but He always has a way out for you. Broken hearts are a magnet to God. The end of the thing is better than the beginning of the thing. Everything has a season. God has made it all beautiful in its time.
The earth is groaning now more than ever before. This world is waxing worse and worse with relationships. Marriages are being broken through words now more than ever before. There aren’t ‘normal’ sinners anymore. There are kids all over the place, different moms and dads. But, there is no brokenness that God can’t handle.
The darker it is, the brighter God will be.
The world has gone down, but the church has sunk down as well. We’re just a little above. We need to not sink down with the world. We need to stay with God. God heals broken hearts.
Psalm 34:18-19 “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”
God sometimes breaks hearts so He can heal them. Even when you feel like you can’t draw close to Him, if you are broken, He draws close to you. He doesn’t want to see you suffer; He wants to draw you to Him so He can heal you.
When we come to the Lord, we come out of something we never knew we could come out of.
When God stopped the storm His disciples said, ‘Surely this is the Son of God.’ When the three Hebrew children came out of the fire, the king said, ‘I’ve never seen a God like this.’ They weren’t even burnt. Only their bonds were gone.
How can there be a display of healing if no one is sick? How can there be a miracle if one is not needed?
God delivers us out of our struggles. Even if He delivers us in a trial, but if our spirits are broken, He wants to deliver us out of it. When hope is gone, God wants to help you, to deliver you, to heal you. We get desolate at times.
Have you ever prayed, ‘God, where are you?’
When Satan comes, you need to say, ‘You can either go or I’ll call Someone to deal with you.’ God will show up!
Judges 3 revolutionized my life. ‘God did not allow Israel to totally annihilate the evil all around so His people could learn how to fight.’
Judges 3:1-2 “Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;”
How can God put something new into us if we are happy and satisfied with the old?
Our pastor wants us to change. ‘I don’t like how you are right now, I want you to be different when you walk out of here.’ We need to be transformed. We need more than maintaining. We need to go from glory to glory, victory to victory.
We need to know Him and His power, but it comes with the fellowship of His suffering.
‘Lord if you have to break us so that Christ can ooze out of us, so be it.’
The woman who saved about an annual salary’s worth of oil, she put into a jar. She came to Jesus and opened the jar—broke it, never to be used again. She spilled it out, filling the room with the aroma. No one would ever know what was on the inside unless the vessel was broken.
If you’re living for God, the breaking process is easier and more ‘handleable’ than for other people. God is always in control. Satan is on a leash and can only go so far as God allows. Satan wanted to kill Job, but God said, ‘no’. If the devil could kill you, he would have already done it.
God allows brokenness to come in your life so He can reveal Himself to you. Your faith will be tried like gold. Fire brings heat and heat allows imperfections in precious metals like gold and silver to rise to the surface to be scraped away. God is working on you! He wants to transform you and change you. This is working so good. You keep coming to Me.
Israel, when God blessed them, ended up serving other gods. When God allowed trials, they called upon Him. You need to learn to draw closer to God when you’re in trouble or not. Trouble should be the same to you as blessing in drawing closer to God.
Psalm 66:10-12 “For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.”
Psalm 66: 10-12 “He trained us first, passed us like silver through refining fires, Brought us into hardscrabble country, pushed us to our very limit, Road-tested us inside and out, took us to hell and back; Finally he brought us to this well-watered place,”(The Message).
Job 23:8-10 “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
Stop worshipping at the altar of what someone else thinks of you, especially when you have a God who thinks better of you than you think of yourself!
If my wife went around talking about how ugly she was, I’d tell her, ‘I don’t let anyone talk about my wife that way, even my wife!’God doesn’t want His children to talk bad about anybody, including themselves.
God allows and heals brokenness!
Jesus needed to surrender Himself to the cup of suffering. For the joy that was set before Him, Jesus endured the cross for our sakes.
You can’t think, ‘I’m saved,’ ‘I’ve arrived.’ Be careful. Don’t think it’s okay to complain or be arrogant or whatever. All kinds of process goes on and you’ve got to come to realize that whatever is in me that needs to be removed let it be done.
How to Go Through:
- Be consistent. God knows where you are, keep doing the right thing on a consistent basis.
- Be comfortable with who you are. Be uniquely you. He only made one of you.
- Never strive for someone else’s position. If God lifts you up, no one can take you down.
- Don’t seek attention. That is a signal for God to send something your way. You spell pride the same way you spell sin, with a big, o’l ‘I’ right in the middle.
In every heart there is a throne and a cross. Either Christ is on the throne and you are on the cross or you are on the throne and Christ is on the cross.
The egg, carrot, and coffee goes in the boiling water of trial and tribulation. There appears to be no change with the egg. Nothing seems to faze it, but then when you break it, it’s totally different inside. The breaking reveals the inside. The carrot is just mush, the water has destroyed it, totally. The third pot of water with coffee grounds, the water changed! The coffee mixed with the trial changed the water! What you become in your situation is exactly what God is after.
Things happen, but we have a choice in how we act in those circumstances.
There are men in the Bible who are in the will of God going through some things. Don’t shake your fist at God, He’s doing something in you. Stephen was stoned to death in the will of God. James was imprisoned and lost his head. Peter was in prison and was released. Esther became the wife of a pagan, heathen king. She was in the will of God. Hosea married a harlot in the will of God. Ruth was a Moabite but was in the will of God and became one of Jesus’ ancestors.
God is concerned about you abiding in Him.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.