Sunday, February 14, 2016

It's Not Over!

 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (NIV)

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
Verse seven sounds a note of victory in my spirit and I can recall, what I call companion verses, that accompany it elsewhere in the Word:

1 John 4:4(NKJV)

4 you are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Philippians 4:13(NIV) 

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
If you live long enough you will eventually discover that life is not always fair and bad things happen to everyone regardless of how “good” you are.  Sometimes God’s children face financial trials, they get sick, they struggle with personal battles in their marriages, in their minds, in their flesh, and their appetites.  The Apostle Paul said: I have been troubled on every side, and perplexed, persecuted and knocked down, but he also says: not distressed, not in despair, not forsaken, not destroyed.

I want to tell somebody today: It doesn’t matter what the enemy is telling you, or what you’re struggling with, the Bible says that no weapon that is formed against you shall be able to prosper. God never promised that Satan would never form weapons against you, or that he would never launch them at you, or that they would never touch you, but He promise that they "shall not prosper!"

What His word says is…”all things work together for them who love the lord and are called according to His purpose!”

No matter how spiritual you are, at some point life is going to deal you an unexpected blow.  The good news is that although we will all encounter these unexpected attacks, problems, and circumstances, we have a promise:

Revelation 12:11 
“And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.”

I am talking to somebody today who has been knocked down.   life has thrown you an unexpected curve ball and has left you flatfooted in the batter's box: a divorce, sickness, financial burdens, a child on drugs, maybe you lost your job.  I'm talking to a pastor today: your church released you, your dreams of ministry have been crushed.  It may be a thousand different things, but you weren’t expecting it and it hurts, your life has been thrown into a tail spin.  You’ve been sucker punched in the gut and you're gasping to regain your breath.

When I was a kid I was climbing on the garage roof and my grandmother called me, I quickly jumped off the roof because I didn’t want grandma to catch me upon the roof.  Unfortunately I didn’t land on my feet, I landed on my back and it knocked the breath out of me. I could not breathe, I thought I was going to die. That was over thirty five years ago and obviously I’m still here and it didn’t kill me.
Since that time life has thrown me some unexpected curve balls and there have been times when the circumstances of life have knocked the breath out of me spiritually has spiritually, but it didn’t kill me.

Paul had a similar experience:

Acts 14:19-20 

“And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having (stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead). Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, (he rose up), and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.”

They thought Paul was dead, but they just knocked the breath out of him. I’m talking to somebody today who has taken a hard hit, and there’s no denying it, you’re hurting, you’ve been knocked down, it’s knocked the breath out of you, and you’re feeling hopeless.
Listen to me!  You’re still here, it hasn’t killed you!  Yes, it may have knocked you off your feet but you can turn it around because when you get knocked off your feet, you’re closer to your knees and when we hit our knees we touch heaven, and when we touch heaven hell trembles!

I want to tell somebody: You may have lost a round, but this fight is fixed! Before you ever stepped into the ring the outcome was determined!

I cannot say that I will never be knocked down, I cannot say that I will never be caught off guard, I cannot say that I will never be troubled or perplexed or even feel forsaken, but I can say, "I’m going to make it!"

I can say, "Nothing shall separate me from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I can say, "I know whom I have believed and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I've committed unto him against that day." 

And I can say, "I know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
As my pastor preached last year in a very powerful message, if we remain in Him, the Lord will turn life’s monsters into miracles.  Trust in Him and remember that the best is yet to come and this current set back, is just a setup, for a comeback.

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