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Have You Experienced His Strength

Daniel Pel
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At what point in our walk with God can we experience His strength? Daniel Pel shares his experiences as a missionarry in different parts of the world, recalling the times when he saw God's strength revealed in his own personal journey. The message is basesd on 2 Corinthians 12:92 Corinthians 12:9
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Presenter

Daniel Pel

Speaker/Director of Living Water, Norway

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Conference

Recorded

  • June 1, 2016
    10:30 AM
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Father in heaven. We're so grateful for this new morning we're so grateful that your mercy. And long suffering and patience is new every morning. Thank you Lord that we can come into your presence. That we can be gathered together in your name we pray that Lord you will bless our time together that you will speak to us through your Holy Spirit for this. We pray in Jesus' name amen. This is my third devotional talk and if you have been following along with the other two you'll know that each one has been phrased as a question. We looked Friday. Sorry Sabbath morning at the question Would you recognize him. And we looked at you know Jesus do we really know who he is would we recognize him. If we saw him not thinking so much of the physical appearance but his character and then on Sunday morning. We looked at do you really trust his promises and looking at what faith really as from a biblical perspective. And then this morning. The question that we would like to look at is have you experienced his strength. Have you experienced his strength and what I want to do this morning is a little bit different than the other mornings because I want to share a little bit of my testimony not all of the testimony but just some segments of my walk with the Lord that I believe will help. Help give us a perspective of how we can rely upon God's strength. And how we can put our confidence in him and really the stuff the stories that I want to share with you this morning are really based upon a verse in the Bible that I would like to begin with. So if you have your Bibles with you turn with me to the book of second Corinthians second Corinthians and Chapter twelve and looked. Adverse nine second Corinthians chapter twelve. And I'm reading from verse nine and if you have words of Jesus in red in your Bible then you will see that verse nine portion of verse nine is actually in red or it is in my Bible at least in the in you don't find that very often outside of the actual gospels but these are words by Jesus himself spoken to Paul the Apostle Paul second Corinthians Chapter twelve in verse nine and he capital age said to me this is Jesus speaking to Paul. My grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in weakness and then the response of Paul in the second part of the verse is therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me. This is a powerful verse because it shows us where our strength comes from and it shows us also how we actually experience the strength of God or the strength of Christ. We experience the strength of Christ. When we come to the end of ourselves we experience the strength of Christ when we can no longer manage in our own strength. It is then that we feel our dependence upon him a friend of mine said once life begins at the end of your comfort zone and I think that many times when we go forth in our own strength and we manage in our own strength and we strategize in our own strength that we evangelize in our own strength that you know things seem to be working OK but in order to really experience the power of God in order to experience a living dynamic relationship with Christ there will be a moment. And these moments will become more and more frequent where you will realize your own weakness and God in His providence allows you to go through those moments of coming to the end of yourself of realizing that your strength is not sufficient. And then you start relying more upon him and this is a story of dependence and God wants us to grow in our dependence upon him so that we come to the point where we are fully relying upon God and God alone in man. This is where where his strength becomes perfect. I find it so fascinating this verse and this is basically the only verse I really want to talk about this morning in our time second print is twelve nine I just pray that this verse will sing deep into the soil of our hearts my grace God says is sufficient for you for my strength. God's strength is made perfect How is it made perfect in our diplomas in our careers in our opportunities in our money in our now it says in our weakness. At first read it seems strange that God's strength would may be made perfect in our weakness. How does that work. When I became a Bible worker. I was actually studying at a Bible school in Sweden and. I had actually never heard about even the word Bible worker and I remember when someone told me Hey Daniel you should become a Bible worker I thought well what is a bible working to sell Bibles. But then someone explained that no a Bible workers someone that you know travels. Or you know goes door to door meeting people and studying the Bible with them and then I thought when I heard that description I thought yeah I want to be a bible worker and I had the opportunity after this year that I was studying in Sweden to travel to the United States. It's to be involved in a bible work a program there. And I remember that I'd never been to the United States at this time and I thought in my mind that the United States you know it's the land of the opportunities. And I thought to myself you know it is difficult to do mission work in Europe but just wait till I come to the U.S. because there everyone will want to study the Bible with me. It's kind of the mindset that I had you know the American dream. And so I had the opportunity I travel to America and it didn't take very long until I realized that this was not as difficult not as easy as I thought it would be. And I realized that many people they already had a religion and they had their ideas about scripture and who are my you know to come on their door and why would they study the Bible with me and so there was a lot of rejection and those of you that have been door knocking you know what this is like and I have this day where you know basically just rejection after rejection and I felt that things were not going very well and I wondered if this any had even a purpose. What I was doing and I came to a home in the end of the day and I knocked on the door and the woman that I met there said Well no I'm not interested in studying the Bible and so as I'm turning around and about to leave someone else comes behind her and says yes but I am interested in studying the Bible and so I thought to myself. Yes One of my first Bible studies. But she says she told me she said you know but I'm not living here I'm only on it on a day pass I'm visiting a friend and so staying somewhere else and so I ask can I have your address and she gave me an address and she's And we made an appointment to meet. So a few days later I'm driving to this destination and I have this address. And as I'm getting closer and closer I'm realizing that this is a little bit of an awkward address. It wasn't really a residential area at all and I'm getting closer and closer and I realized that this is not a house that I'm driving to. I'm driving to a mental rehabs. Center and so I arrived there and thought OK so she's she's staying here so I went in and I spoke with with the administration there is someone working in the administration I gave my name I said where I am coming and they let me into a little room and they just said OK wait here we'll go and get her and so they went and they got her and they brought her into this little room and here we are sitting and now we're going to have the first Bible study now before I go any further into this experience I need to tell you something I was very young at this time I was twenty one. I'm thirty five. Now I had just started doing Bible work. This was my first real one of my first Bible studies that I was going to give and I had anticipated this very much. I wanted to be perfect and so I was going over the notes of the things that I had learned in the bible school about how to give Bible studies and we would learn you know the importance of getting to know the person before you actually go into the Bible study and so you know we would ask the teacher like how does this work and he would say you know ten minutes. Ask a couple of questions about themselves tell a little bit about yourself. Pray and then go into the Bible study and we would also learn in the bible school that a good topic to begin with would be Daniel Chapter two because it talks about the you know the trustworthiness of God's Word the prophecy that we're familiar with the dream of never can. As I remember the different kingdoms and and so I've been preparing this Bible study. I've been praying very very well because I don't want to use too much of my notes and and so I'm thinking like about all these kingdoms and I'm actually memorizing all the kingdoms I'm memorizing all the time periods so I knew you know Babylon six of five to five thirty nine me to Persia five it and I knew all the dates. I knew all the kingdoms and I thought I'm ready for this Bible study. And even as I was driving to the place I remember just going over. Over the dates and the events that I was going to share with her this knowledge that I was going to share with her. I was also going over for myself. OK I need to get to know her ten minutes and then go into the Bible study and so I have all this lest in my mind and all this expectation in my mind of how exactly this Bible study is going to be. And so there I am I arrive. I'm now waiting in this little room she walks in and she sits down and I asked the question tell me a little bit about yourself. And that's exactly what she did she started telling about herself. But the things that she began telling me I had totally not expected. You know how you sometimes ask someone how you doing. And you just hope that they'll say I'm fine. So you can walk on. Right. And so she starts telling me about her background. To Talk To starts telling me about how she grew up in a very very difficult home she starts telling me about how she actually left that home because it was an abusive home. But how that she was searching for for for for love or acceptance and and she actually found herself in a gang and she thought that that would be her belonging. While she got you know into drugs she got into the wrong kind of lifestyle as you can imagine and just tragedy upon tragedy started unfolding in her life. Eventually she thought she found the right person. But this this man also started abusing her she had a daughter but then her daughter left her and she was just so desperate so disappointed about life that she started cutting herself and she started you know attempting suicide and that's how she ended up in this mental rehab center. And there I am listening to her story. Tears running down her face ten minutes are Way Gone By this time and I'm thinking to myself what am I going to do next. This is something I have not prepared for and something in my mind told me that I don't know if it fits right now to tell her that Babylon existed between six o five and five thirty nine. I am with me and so something in me was going like my whole Bible study has just collapsed because this is what I've prepared. This is what I've come here for these are the dates that I have in my mind I don't know what to say to her. I don't know how to deal with this situation here I am a young man twenty one years old. Hardly any experience in Bible work and she's just unfolded her life before me and I'm supposed to give some meaningful answer and you know sometimes we give these kind of answers you know we say I understand what you're going through and it deep inside we know we don't. And so I was about to say this but I kind of swallowed back the words because I thought to myself No I don't understand what she's going through. And I and at that very moment I started praying in my mind and I said God you've got to help me here. I don't know what to say to this lady but you know exactly what she needs. And at that moment that I came to the end of myself at that moment that I came to the point that I had nothing prepared and the moment that I knew there was something that I had to do here because what I had prepared was not going to work it was then that I felt that the Holy Spirit started to work in me in order to reach her and I said to her something like this I said to her you know I don't really understand what you're going through but I do know someone that understands. And I started speaking about the gospel I remember that words were coming out of my mouth and sentences were coming out of my mouth that I had totally not prepared but that were resonating with her. As I talked about the love of God and I talked about the the sacrifice of Jesus and how that. She was disappointed and could not find love in her life but that there was someone that had created her and that he loves her and that has an interest in her and that wants her salvation and I remember driving home that day and thinking to myself. It's interesting I had this prepared Bible study but I end up saying something totally different and God knew all along. He knows the story from the from the beginning to the end. And it is at these kind of moments in life that we realize that his strength is made perfect in our weakness. We feel weak we feel dependent. We feel that we don't know what to say we feel that we don't have the right answers we feel that were insufficient for this task and then God says. My grace is sufficient for you. A couple of years later we anticipate and we prepared for a mission trip to Kenya and have you been in Kenya East Africa fascinating country. I had a friend from Kenya that invited me to come on a mission trip and so we are preparing for this mission trip and again the preparations turned out a little bit different than what we actually faced in reality. We are preparing for this mission trip and I'm trying to do my best to make sure that everything is in place and so I'm communicating with my friend that has already gone to Kenya that was preparing the grounds for us there and you know I'm communicating with him over the e-mail and I'm asking him about certain things that that should be in place and certain things that we need and every time. Basically I get a very simular e-mail back and it says something like this. Don't worry everything is OK. Kind of Hakuna Matata right. He'll be fine don't worry. And so I'm thinking OK. I'll just I'll just relax and we'll just take it as it comes and so the day arrives and we have this we have this team of workers from Europe and we're now traveling to Kenya we arrive in Kenya and I saw very quickly that not everything was OK The situation was quite shocking to be honest and so we come into this situation where you know we're staying in a place in this there's there's there's no running water. There's no there's no electricity. There's no and all of this is kind of like for us it was a shocking experience but God had prepared something for us a fascinating experience and so where they're preaching the gospel. And then from we're going to stay in one place one month and we're going to go to another place for the second month and as we just finish up the first month of meetings and we're going to go to the next place that night three men broke into the home where we were staying and they robbed us. And they actually walked into my room and I was sleeping and I'm glad I didn't wake up because you don't know what you would do in such a situation. They took all our bags and they left. And I just woke up with someone else in the house shouting like we've been robbed we've been robbed and I started feeling around and yes my bags were gone. Here we are in Kenya just being just been robbed and now we are supposed to go to another place where we're going to preach the gospel for another month and we're sitting down together and thinking to ourselves what should we do what you want to do in this situation. And of course I'm going to I'm going to be very honest with you. I'm not some kind of super missionary I was thinking to myself OK time to go home. You know it's interesting because you know you read that you know you're in you know how you get these magazines about mission reports and thousands of baptisms in these faraway beautiful places and so you're reading the reports and thinking to myself I want to sign up for that you know you see the smiling faces. And the people being baptized then and you think to yourself. Yeah I want to go there. I want to do that but actually when you're then in the mission field when you're actually there you see that hey it's a different story. It's a different story. And here we are robbed not knowing what to do next. And I remember a very well one of one person in the team said something I'll never forget she said you know maybe now we understand a little bit more what Jesus went through when he came to this earth. You know he emptied himself he left a heavenly home he left the riches and the glories of heaven to come to this dark dark earth. To serve us. And here we are you know we've left the comfort of our homes in order to serve and you know what are we going to do. Now what would Paul do would Paul the Apostle go home you know the Bible tells us he was robbed and he was beaten and he was shipwrecked but he continued. And so we encourage one another we decide that we're going to go on. We're going to we're not going to let this stop the work of God And so we move to the second location where we're going to preach but by the by and by this time. Now I'm ready to get up and preach the word and to share the message but I did not have any longer. My own Bible and you know my Bible was stolen as well. It was in my bag and so I had to borrow a Bible you know how it is when you have your Bible you know it always falls open to the right page and then you have a new Bible and suddenly you wonder if the book of have a cook is still in there right. It's like where did it go. You know so so so here I'm going to preach the Word of God from a Bible that is not mine and the projector was taken the computer was taken. So I no longer had my nice slide series and also my notes were taken. So my notes the powerpoint presentation even my own Bible everything was taken and so here I had to do an evangelistic series with a Bible that I borrowed I just got this little Bible from someone. OK use that preach the word. And you know what I felt. So dependent on God because I I had nothing. I had all my preparations but God just removed that in an instance he allowed it to be removed to say it that way. And here we are and I but I when I think back on that evangelistic series that second evangelistic series that I preached there. It's one of the best experiences that I've had in my my ministry because I realized there was no longer me speaking it was now God speaking because I didn't have anything. It was no longer my messages because my notes were taken it was his message and I realize again this verse and second Corinthians twelve that that it's so true. It's so real. When the Bible says when Jesus said to Paul my strength is made perfect in your weakness. It's an amazing truth. It's an amazing experience that God wants to give to every one of us. It's a story of dependence it's a times where you come to the end of yourself and you don't know what you're going to do next. You don't know what tomorrow is going to bring you don't know how you're going to go forward. You don't know how to talk to that person you don't know how to reach out to your loved one and then God says. But when you are weak. I will be strong when you are dependent upon me I will show you my greatness. It's such an experience a wonderful experience that God wants to give to every single one of us and sometimes I think to myself I wish I could live my life like that because the more I experience things like that the more I realize it's all about him. It's not about me it's all about him and he always comes through because he's faithful and so there are these moments where you are more aware of your own of your own limitations and more aware of your need for the power of God. And we can praise God for those moments. If you feel that way if you feel your weakness if you feel your inefficiencies. If you feel that praise God and say God thank You that you are allowing me to understand my my limitations so that I can understand that now your strength can be made perfect in my life cling to the word hold on to the promise of second Corinthians chapter twelve and verse nine these words were spoken to Paul but they're also spoken to us today. Every single one of us a couple of years ago I was going back to my country of birth which is New Zealand. And I was called to do any Vangelis experience in New Zealand. This was in the year two thousand and eleven and so as I'm travelling there. I had a stopover in Sydney Australia and as I was waiting or as as the plane landed I heard some news and that was that I could not travel on to New Zealand. And that was because Right. While we were in the air on the way earthquake had hit the city of Christchurch which is in the South Island of New Zealand maybe some of you remember that from the news in two thousand and seven February it was a bigger earthquake in that city and several hundred people lost their lives and so I'm hearing about this and I'm thinking oh this is what are we going to do. We're prepared this evangelistic series we're prepared to share the word of God and here we are now interrupted by the very earth shaking. What are we going to do. Well I got on the first flight possible and we flew to Christchurch and we got together with the with the elders there and it was interesting because I was supposed to follow up. I was supposed to continue this series where another speaker had begun. And so the other speaker that was already there and preaching was Pastor David Asher Rick and the last message that he had preached was on the subject. Of God's holy Sabbath and then the next day earthquake. Interesting. We got some addresses and we thought of going to visit some of these people and so we tried to visit them but we couldn't really get around in the city because they had closed off the areas where the earthquake had hit most what also happened is that sometimes we would come to a place and there would be just be no one there because after the earthquake thousands and thousands of people left the city. So here we are trying to do some of this follow up and also thinking how are we going to you know continue the series because the very out of Torreon that had been rented for the event had now been turned into a rescue center. But after two weeks we were able to relaunch the series and we were able to get our venue back and we re advertised the meetings but we changed the title and we called it in the wake of the quake where is God when it hurts and. I remember praying and thinking OK how is this going to go you know where in the middle of this evangelistic series and and God's truth has been presented and now this earthquake has disturbed everything. How are we going to go on and but I remember that opening night when we relaunched the series. Hundreds of people came hundreds of people came this is a secular country New Zealand. And they came and I was able to talk with many of them and the interesting thing is that they would tell me that you know they felt so insecure and uncertain but they that they believed that you know they they felt compelled to come to see if there is something that is that they can trust and that they can rely on it's interesting because you know the last thing that you expect to move is that earth under your feet. And when that starts shaking. What else start shaking everything start shaking in your life and you realize is. Anything that is a firm foundation is there anything that I can stand on that I can rely on that I can trust and. That will be unshakable and we know that's the word of God a man. So word of God And so these people came and you know it was even a message that went out into the city that that you were not to gather or that it was not advisable to gather into big holes because of aftershocks that could happen. And so I'm looking out over this auditorium thinking these people they're risking it. They're risking it for God and we have some powerful meetings and people being baptized and it was just amazing to see and I thought to myself looking back I remember when the when I when I landed in Sydney and I hear about this earthquake and the thing to myself or why. God why did this happen and then I look back and I see like God you know he uses even these kind of things and and for His glory to come out you know the devil thought he had a victory. I'll shake up those meetings but then God In the end he comes through and even uses a tragedy like that for new life to spring up and people to find Christ a man. It's in the moments of our weakness that we find his strength. Jesus said to Paul My grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in weakness. I want to close by sharing with you about a dream that Alan White had. It's a dream about the narrow path and I'm going to read it all but she talks about traveling on a narrow way. And she's traveling with a company and the road that she's traveling is getting narrower and narrower and the company is getting less and less They have to leave their horses behind and eventually as they're walking upon this path even have to take off their shoes and they were walking barefoot bare feet on this path. And then the path is so narrow because. So narrow in the stream that she halves that they are about to fall off and then suddenly they see these cords coming down from heaven that they cling to and it's going to rain the last part of this dream for you this morning we inquired in fearful whispers to what is the cord attached a fearful struggle was before i should we fail here all the difficulties of our journey had been experienced for not before us on the other side of the chasm was a beautiful field of green grass about six inches high seas interested in details. I could not see the sun but bright soft beams of light resembling fine gold and silver were resting upon this field. Nothing I had seen upon earth could compare and beauty and glory with this field but could we succeed in reaching it was the anxious inquiry should the cord break we must perish. Again and whispered anguish the words were breathed what holds the cord for a moment we has a tainted to venture. Then we exclaimed our own Lee hope is to trust wholly to the cord. It has been our dependence all the difficult way it will not fail us now. Still we were has a taping and distressed the words were then spoken God holds the cord. We need not fear these words were then repeated by those behind us accompanied with he will not fail us now he has brought us thus far in safety. My husband then swung himself over the fearful abyss into the beautiful field beyond I immediately followed and hope and oh what a sense of relief and gratitude to God We felt I heard voices raised in triumph praise to God I was happy perfectly happy. I awoke and found that from the exile ity I had experienced in passing over the difficult route every nerve in my body seemed to be in a tremor this dream needs no comment. It has made such an impression. My mind that probably every item in it will be vivid before me while my memory shop into a new what a dream a dream of a narrow way. A dream of a cord that they had to hold onto. And then the end of this dream. This beautiful beautiful place and I'm thinking to myself. We're all on that narrow road our way. As we connect ourselves with Christ as we come to Christ as the theme of this conference. As we come to Christ. We will find ourselves. The more we come to him the more we will be separated from this world and the more narrow this path will become but at the same time there will be something that you will be holding on to more and more and that is the cord from above and the cord that comes from above. This is faith. This is the court of faith trusting in the promises of God no longer trusting in your own strength to make this journey work but being fully reliant upon what comes from above the promises from God and you hold onto them and you hold onto them and you hold on to them to the point that those promises they swing you right into eternity Amen. Let's hold on to the promises of Christ. Don't let go. Don't let go. Now the times that are before us. Are not going to be easy. We know that we're living in the last days prophecies are filling around us. It's time of travel as never before is upon this world. The storm is increasing. But in the midst of this storm we can have perfect peace because Jesus is with us. Hold on to the cord for your strength or for his strength is made perfect in our weakness. So we pray Heavenly Father thank you for being with us this morning. Thank you for reminding us of your strength and thank you Lord for the court of faith that we can hold on to. I pray that each one of us will find rest and assurance and Peace by holding on to you. Thank you Lord that you do not leave us in instances in our life where we feel so dependent and then you make yourself known in such a beautiful way. Thank you Lord for this conference and I pray that as we move into our last message bless us pair us the task that you have for this media was brought to you by audio a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio first if you would like to listen to more servants to visit W W W audio verse or.

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