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5. Developing an Above and Beyond Faith, Even When God is Silent!

Melody Mason

Description

How to grow a faith that will last through the storms, and endure to the end. How to hold on even when your dreams die, and your heart is broken. (For those who haven’t yet experienced the romantic love relationship they’ve hoped for, this seminar will encourage you to hold on and trust God!)

Presenter

Melody Mason

Coordinator of the United Prayer program and assists with the Revival and Reformation Initiatives at the General Conference

Conference

Recorded

  • December 30, 2016
    9:15 AM
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This message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference call has been heard in Houston Texas for other resources like this visit us online at W G Y C. Women who are good morning. I was hoping that we would get started a little earlier because I have so many things I want to share with you today. But it's going to bless and help us make up for the time. How many of you were part of the United prayer time this morning. And if you go to that morning prayer time. That was powerful. Wasn't it. If you have not been I want to encourage you to go to the six AM United prayer and room three hundred and thirty A It's all the way down at the other end you'll see the big orange prayer sign for the United and prayer and it's just up powerful way to start our days together as a family of believers. This you can also take this united prayer for those of you that have experienced it. Maybe for the first time you can take it back to your churches and your home groups and your families that's really really powerful. OK Well we have a lot to cover the smarting seminar is growing and above and beyond face now where do we have above and beyond from I actually get it from a fusion three twenty which is one of my favorite Bible verses now and to him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think so. In talk about growing in above and beyond faith even when we don't understand what God is doing. Even when it seems like he's not working. Even when it looks like he's silo. And and I'm going to share some more of my own testimony today as well. So before we began our heads for a word of prayer. To Avonlea Father thank you so much again for the opportunity to come together and I just pray that you would speak through me. I just pray that your strength would be made perfect in my weakness this morning. Father I ask that you would cover me with your righteousness and father I'm just asking that you would. Just touch our hearts in the special way that we would not to leave this room the same way that we walked in. The you know the hurts the pains the discouragement that we've been through in our lives in our lives and sometimes in our prayer life not understanding what you're doing and I just pray that today faith could be rekindled to hold on to you. So just please touch our hearts I pray. Thank you for hearing this prayer in your precious name Amen. Just real quick as we're getting started. I just want to remind you again I'm going to be sharing a lot of quotes as I've been sharing in each seminar and if you want to go back and look at those quotes because you're not necessarily going to time to take pictures of them. They're all going to be in P.D.F. so on daring to ask for more website just go to daring to ask for more dot com And if you go to above and beyond seminars pick the G Y C seminar and you can click and you can download all six of the presentation P.D.F. there as well as the prayer cards that I talked about yesterday and other prayer resources off the website. So how do we have an above and beyond faith. I want to talk about faith. To begin with because we see in the scriptures that faith is one of the most emphasized gifts in all of the scripture. We find that faith is actually the gateway to receiving all their gifts you see that the sick are healed by faith were saved through faith justified by faith we worked. Faith we live by faith on and on and on we see that faith is a vital part of our receiving every other gift that we have and it's really interesting to see that if we don't have faith. That's actually sent right now remember to all it's been given a measure of faith but we cannot allow that measure to be taken away in Revelation twenty one twenty one and I was really shocked to read one time this list of all the different people. That is talking about. Let's just look there really quick Revelation twenty one a. Revelation twenty one a is is but the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable and murders whoremonger sources adulterers all these things will have their part in the lake of fire and you see this lest what is the very first on the list is the fearful and unbelieving and when I saw that through the for the first time I was so shocked I mean why are fearful and unbelieving on the list of those that we're told actually are going to be in the lake of fire. It's because God has to have a people that will trust Him and trust his word. Where did the fall happen. It happened over the reliability of his word Eve says I believe what you're saying rather than what God says we have to trust God's word. We have to have faith in God's word and so that is a prerequisite and he has given us that face. It's very interesting because when we look at what happened with the children of Israel coming out of Egypt they came all the way through the wilderness and to the promised land. And they sent twelve spies into the Promised Land right to see what the promised land was like ten of them came back with an evil report two of them came back with a positive report. Ten of them came back and said there's giants of the land. It's too gray we can't overcome it all of this right. But the ten said God has led us this far he's going to give us the rest of the way we can do this and the ten No no no we can't do this and they sway the people the people are. Why did you bring us here to die we can't do this right. You know the story. And so what did God do he said numbers fourteen twenty eight as the Lord said as you have spoken in my ears so shall I do to you. Do you realize the power of the spoken word when we speak doubt when God has told us to go forward. This is what happens. He says you don't believe as you've said that's what it's going to be it is so important that we speak face. We're told to talk and act as if our faith was invincible The Lord is rich in resources he owns the world look heavenward in place in fact we're told never even to give a place to a thought of discouragement in the work of God. In their unbelief Israel actually limited the power of God You know it's easy for us when we look at what happened with the children of Israel and to think if I had been them like I wouldn't of I would have been complaining after all look at what God did right and we think how could they do that they were almost to the promised land and their doubt held them back but listen what Ellen White says and patriarchs and prophets to ninety three many look back to the Israelites and marvel at their unbelief and murmuring feeling that they themselves would not have been so ungrateful but when their faith is tested even by little trials they manifest no more faith or patience than did ancient Is role. This Is Us today when brought into straight places they murmur at the process by which God has chosen to purify them and though their present needs are supplied many are unwilling to trust God for the future and they are in constant anxiety less poverty should come upon them and their children be left to suffer. We don't. Want to repeat what happened with the children of Israel. We've been talking a lot about prayer and prayer being the key and the hand of faith faith is so foundational if our prayers and our lives and our actions are not rooted in the Word of God and in faith. It's going to it's going to fall flat where I want to talk briefly about the battle over fact versus feeling this is something I've struggled with a lot in my life and I'm sure many of you have as well. So this is talk about the difference between fact versus feeling. Fact is what we find in God's word fact although built on unseen realities and invisible promises does not waver as it reflects the end changing nature of God He cannot lie. He will not change he's the same yesterday today and forever and he is more eager to give us good gifts than we are to give good gifts to our children. So when we base faith on fact we have a firm foundation to weather any storms and that is when we are based and the fact of course is the Word of God feeling on the other hand is constantly wavering. It's based on our personal experiences changing emotions anxieties spiritual lethargy and prayers rather than counseling the Word of God for its decisions feelings takes counsel from self from worldly wisdom from skeptical friends and the past unproductive Christian experience when we base based on feelings which come and go. It says it says if we are building our house upon the sand the storms come and we don't have the strength to stand because our feelings are constantly changing. Just like the sand. So what his face looked like in daily life. This is powerful. This is really been revolutionary to me faith takes God at His word. With or without feeling it is the substance of things hoped for the end. The dense of things not seen. We can believe our fellow man can we not trust the word of God. When we go to him for wisdom or grace we're not to look to ourselves to see if he's given us the special feeling that is the answer to our prayers feeling there's no critic and great evils have resulted when Christians have followed feeling. How do I know that Jesus hears my prayers. How do we know. We know it by his promise he says he will hear the needy when they cry and tell him and I believe his word. He's never said to the seed of Jacob seek a me in vain. If we walk in the light we may come to the throne of grace with the holy boldness. We may present the promises of God in living faith in urge our petitions and although we are weak and erring and unworthy and just in case you wondered this is all of us is not some of us are a little weak an erring an unworthy I'm not more worthy than you are we are all worthy of the grace of God but yet we are told the Spirit helps our infirmities remember our greatest qualification is our great need. This is our greatest qualification. When we have offered our petitions Once we must not then abandon it. But says to Jacob when he wrestled all night I will not let you go except you. Bless me and like him. We shall prevail. I have different people ask me and when I speak and talk a lot about prayer. Do you always feel like praying. Do you think I always feel like praying. No I don't I struggle. You know with those up and down feelings just like you do but I have to go back and just like the Lord help me. I'm not in a very good mood right now. I don't feel like praying I don't feel like whatever but I have to based on your word of God and that's what I'm continually seeking to turn myself back to it's really interesting because this actually holds back our prayers many times because we don't feel like praying and we're like well why should I pray right it's just going to be a mockery to God if I pray right now I should wait till I'm more in the mood and. It will be right. But listen Satan uses this very point to keep us from praying the enemy holds many of you from prayer by telling you that you do not feel your prayers. And you would better wait until you realize more of the spirit of intercession less your prayer should be a mockery but you must say to say ten. It is written that men ought always to pray and not to faint. We should pray until we have the burden of our wants upon our souls and if we persevere we shall have it. The Lord will be us with His Spirit. So when you don't feel like praying. That's when we need to start praying that's when we need to ask God to help us pray now I'm going to go through rather quickly for a test of perseverance prayer and faith and these are tests that I believe like many of us walk through if we haven't walked through it. We probably will at some point I want to start by turning in our Bibles to Matthew fifteen so if you wouldn't mind opening your Bible with me to Matthew fifteen. Here in Matthew Chapter fifteen we're actually going to start. In verse twenty two. We have a Canaanite woman that has come to Jesus and she has a daughter that is very sick. And fact her daughter's grevious leave vexed with the devil right she's very sick. And she's coming to Jesus because she's heard that he's a worker Americal ZX she's heard about this man that is healing people and so she comes probably as a last hope to Jesus hoping that he can help her daughter. So let's just look at the story together. Matthew fifteen starting verse twenty two. And behold a woman came out of the same coast and cried on to him saying Have mercy on me Lord the Son of David my daughter's grievously vexed with the devil. Verse twenty three but he answered her not a word to stop right there. So she has come with her request. And she comes pleading. Lord please have mercy on me heal my daughter she said and he answered her not a word. How would you feel if you came with a request to somebody and and you were basically ignored. Now be a little harder. Be a little hard but listen what happens next. And his disciples came a buzz saw him saying send her away for she cry if after us. So not only did he ignore her. But evidently she is making a little bit of a nuisance of herself and the disciples notice that Jesus ignores her and he says Send her away. She's crying out for us send her away. And so how would you feel if you were this mother come with your child to Jesus and you pleaded. Lord please have mercy on my child. Please heal my child he doesn't even act like he sees you right. And then his disciples sent her away. She's unknowing us would you stick would you still stick around and keep giving your request. OK let's go on. If you didn't know the end of the story would you stick around. OK. Verse twenty four Finally Jesus speaks. And he answered and said I'm not but in the law sheep of the house of Israel. Now listen. Look at this. Watch me. She's cried after Jesus ignores her. The disciples say send her away. She's annoying us and then he finally does speak to her. And he says. I didn't come to help you. I came to help. How would that be if you were that person making that request. Just like an arrow through your heart right like but lowered I came I need a miracle Lord. I didn't come to help you. I came to help the law sheep of the house of Israel would you keep asking. But what is her response instead of running away in verse twenty five. Her response lured she worships him help me please Lord help me. The story continues. Verse twenty six Jesus speaks again but he answered said it's not me to take the children's bread and to cast into the dogs. Do you see what Jesus did say just said. So not only has he ignored her requests the disciples tried to send her away he said I didn't come for you. I came for them and then he just said it's not me to cast the children spread before the dogs. He basically just called her a little dog. How would you feel if that was you coming before somebody who you desperately need to help you. And this is their response would you keep asking. Listen what she says. Verse twenty seven truth. Lord. Yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table so this is what she's saying I don't know about you but I'm sure there's been times in your life where you have prayed and you haven't seen an answer. You see other people praying and they're getting answers and you're like oh Lord why you know to be honest you're thinking to yourself I'm really not worthy of America. They're you know they're good Christians they do such and such. I'm not worthy. I can understand. I'm not worthy. But you know what this woman says. I mean. The worry they I might be a dog with the dogs eat of the crimes of the master's table. Lord please. I just need a craw. She would be so happy with just a crumb and she's perseverant with that be our response. Now listen Jesus finally speaks again in verse twenty eight then Jesus answered and said on to her all woman grade is that I faith be it unto thee even thou wilt. Now I want to ask you as we reflect on that story. Do you think that Jesus really felt like she was being an annoyance. No. He certainly didn't feel like she was just a dog Ray you know why this woman was allowed to go through these steps. Were actually told and inspiration that it was to be a lesson for us to perseverance and hold on. Even when we do not immediately see the answers to our prayers. It was testing the genuine this of her face. How was she really going to hold on what she really going to ten tenaciously hold on and say I will not let go except to bless me. We're told the steps to Christ page ninety six that through sincere prayer we are brought into connection with the mind of the infinite we may have had no remarkable evidence that the face of our Redeemer is bending over us and compassion and love but this is even so we may not feel his visible touch but his hand is upon us in love and pitting tenderness. Test number two. We already talked about Lazarus yesterday. But what do you do. When God appears to have forgotten. I imagine there is a few of you in this room the feel like God showed up four days too late you prayed and you pray and. You came too late. The miracle that you prayed for didn't happen. But you know when God is late. It is because there is a reason and we have to keep trusting him. We're actually told that he did not many mighty works with the children of Israel because of their unbelief we need to hold on. Here's an interesting quote on the purpose of delay. Answers delayed reveal our selfishness he bless the nobleman it come Permian is just as desirous of blessing us. But like the afflicted father were often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some earthly good and upon the granting of our requests we rest our confidence in His love the Savior longs to give us a greater blessing than we ask any delays the answer to our request that he may show us the evil of our hearts and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to Reynosa selfishness that leads us to seek him confessing our helplessness and better need we are to trust ourselves holding to his love. If God just immediately gave us everything we asked for. We would become very selfish even more self-centered people than we are he know he has to grow us and often as we pray we also begin to realize maybe what we are praying for isn't exactly what we needed. Maybe there's a real purpose in the delay. Test number three. When the natural realm seems too powerful think about Peter walking on water. He was called out of the boat but then he looks around in the waves in the sea are getting to mulch us and he's beginning to think what was I doing. Oh no. What was I doing. And you know I've seen this happen again and again and again when we step out in faith to follow God. We are going to be tested. Because the enemy's going to throw up the sand storm of the winds and the waves then he's going to be saying just how. Serious are you. You really think that you're going to do this for God Who do you think you are and our whole focus is we have to keep our eyes on Jesus because the storm is going to seem too powerful and we're going to feel like we stepped out of the boat and we're sinking. And that's why we have to keep our eyes on Jesus will you hold on. Will you trust him when the natural realm seems too powerful. You know we're told desire of ages natural impossibilities cannot prevent the work of the omnipotent one. I remember a few years ago a very very dear friend and she is she's like an adopted mother for me because I lived in their home for about ten years while I was going to school and. She came down choose diagnosed with colon cancer and the more that we saw the doctor and the more things were going on the worse her diagnosis was getting and it was a real it was a real earth shaking event for all of us because I feel like I was about to lose one of my best friends and mentors and just didn't know what to do and I was crying and crying and devastated I never had somebody really close to me that I had lost and so I remember I was driving to the hospital one time and I was praying and I was just like Lord. You can heal you know do something about this you have to heal we can't you know we can't lose her. And I was purring and crying and was in the car. I remember the Holy Spirit speaking to me. You know the story of Daniel and his three friends in the fiery furnace right from Daniel three seventeen and eighteen Daniel's three friends were faced with a fiery furnace and they were said you know ye other bowed down or you're going to go into that fiery furnace and you know what they told the king. They said our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from this fiery furnace. But even if he doesn't deliver. We're not going to bow down. That's what God spoke to me in that car that day when I was travelling and just devastating crying because it's looking like she may not live. And I felt like God was telling me you know I'm a melody. I'm able to heal. But even if I don't. Are you still going to trust me. Are you going to hold on. That's the test that we often are faced with we serve a God who is able. I told stories yesterday about how he's raised God is raised people from the dead even in today's generation. It's happening even now we see what he is doing. He is able but he's looking for a people that are just going to trust him when he does what they ask him to do. He's looking for people that are going to trust him because he's God and He knows what's best. And we're going to trust him because he is good. Incidentally praise the Lord machine to have having surgery and she's cancer free to stay so God did work on her behalf and I praise God for that that was a real trial in my life. We wonder sometimes why try Holsten all these things come upon us. You know I don't know about you have ever prayed Lord help me help me have more of a character like you and then all these trials come upon you to help you have a character like him. Many even sincerely consecrate their lives to God's service are surprised and disappointed to find themselves as never before confronted by obstacles and beset by trials and perplexities. They pray for Christ likeness of character for a fitness for the Lord's work in their place and circumstances that seem to call forth all the evil of their nature of your felt like that. Oh Lord. Why did you put me here. If it was not for this church I could actually be a good Christian if it was not for this family actually actually be a good witness. You know he puts us in situations actually to build our character and to show us how to be witnesses in those situations faults are revealed of which they did not even suspect the existence like Israel of old a question of God leading us why do all these things come upon us. But it's because God is leading that these things come. Trials and all. The Lord's chosen methods of discipline and his appointed conditions of success. He resorts of men knows their characters better than they know themselves he sees that some have powers and susceptibilities which are rightly directed might be used in the advancement of his work in his providence he brings these person into different positions and varied circumstances that they may discover their character defects which have been concealed from their own knowledge he gives them opportunity to correct these defects in the fit themselves for his service. Often he permits the fires of affliction to assail them that they may be purified the fact that we're called upon to endure trials shows that the Lord season something season as something precious which he desires to develop. So encourage you today. If you're having a trial in your life. That means God is building something precious feces something precious in your life that he is seeking to refine he does not cast worthless or into the fire. The ole time it tests the first test is how do we trust God and hold on. When it appears that he is silent test number two how do we hold on. When it appears that he has forgotten test number three. How do we hold on. When the natural realm seems impossible test number four. How do you hold on. When it seems like God has failed. How do we hold on and trust God when it seems like he has not come through a mansion with me. HOWELL the disciples must have felt. They have been with Jesus these years they've heard him talk of the of the kid coming kingdom and and what God's going to do and their whole all their hopes are centered on Jesus and then Jesus is whole the way. And beat him in the end crowned with crown of thorns and he's put up on a cross to die. Can you imagine the does. I poles looking up at their Savior and Lord. They don't understand what happened like this wasn't supposed to happen I mean you are the Messiah. Aren't you. This wasn't supposed to happen. What do we do when it seems like God has failed. Again I don't know your stories in this room or what you have been through or what you're going through but there are times in our lives that we feel like God's failed us. There are times that we feel like he's betrayed us. He didn't come through. How can we trust God doesn't come through. Some of you may have heard of the story of David Wilkerson and David Wilkerson was an evangelist. In the. Hope to lead many young people in the Gangs of New York to Christ back in the eighteen and eight hundred eighty S. nine hundred eighty S. not that long ago he's known for the cross and the Switchblade some of you may have heard about him. Anyway just a tremendous witness. To many. And in his later years still being used for God and he wrote this blog. One day on his devotional blog that he wrote and two hours after he wrote that blog. He went out to run some errands and he was killed in a tragic car wreck and everybody is like how could this happen. You know why did God allow this to happen. Why did this tragedy happen. But I want to read you what David wrote what this man of God wrote before he was killed two hours before he was killed. To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable. Jesus said to Tom. As you have believe because you have seen but blessed that are those that do believe and have not seen. Blessed are those who believe when there is no evidence of an answer to prayer who trust beyond hope when all means have failed. Someone has come to the place of hopelessness the end of hope the end of all means a loved one's facing death and the doctors are giving no hope. Death. Seems inevitable hope is gone the miracle that you prayed for is not happening. That is when Satan's hordes come to attack your mind with fear and overwhelming questions. Where is your god now. You prayed until you had no tears left you fast did you stand on the promises. Where is your god now. You trusted him. Blasphemous thoughts will be injected into your mind prayer failed faith fail don't quit on God just do not trust him any more. It doesn't pay even questioning God's existence will be injected into your mind. These have been the devices of Satan for centuries. Some of the Godless men and women who ever lived were under such demonic attacks. To those going through the valley of the Shadow of Death hear these words. Weeping will last through some dark nights. And in that darkness you will soon hear the father whisper I am with you. I cannot tell you why. Right now but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was part of my plan it was no accident. It was no failure on your part to hold fast let me and brace you in your hour of pain beloved God has never failed but to act in goodness and love when all means fail his love prevails hold fast to your face stand fast in his word. There is no other hope in this world. No other hope in this world. Will we trust when it seems all means have failed. You know Ellen White speaks of this very clearly as well. How despondency may shake the most her ROIC face if it's going to happen at some point in our lives but God understands he still pities and loves he resists motives and purposes of the heart to wait patiently to trust when everything looks dark is the lesson that the leaders of God's work need to learn heaven will not fail them in their day of adversity nothing is apparently more helpless really more invincible than the soul that feels it's nothingness and realize holy on God. Will we trust God will we hold on. When it appears that he's silent when it appears that he has forgotten the house when it appears that the natural ground seems too powerful. When it seems like he's failed when we trust God. That is the test that many of us if we do not walk through will walk through some point. God is looking for a people when he comes back who have faith. Where are the people where are the people trusting in my Word where the people that will hold on to me. Now want to share a little bit of my testimony and this is where it gets really interesting. We all have different growing up. Dreams and things we just we grow up thinking you know this is what I want God to do for me right. You know we have dreams whether it's to do something special. As far as a job or career or whatever. And we have dreams of what we think our life and family's going to be like and all of that and I remember from being a very young girl just thinking about the fact that I was going to grow up and get married and have a big family. I wanted twelve children actually some say because they're cheaper by the dozen. But I just love children when I was young. Even still a teenager. You know had people giving me their kids just because I love to hold them and play with them and all of that and so this was my dream. Growing up that my parents actually met when they were very young when they were still Oh I think they even met before they were teenagers. But then got to know each other more when they were teenagers and my dad decided when he was about fourteen or fifteen. He was interested in my Mom and continued to work over the years and about six or six years later they were married. Like when they were twenty and twenty one or something like that at a very young age. Anyway. God bless them. They've had a happy marriage and I remember growing up watching that and thinking that's the story I want to write when you see something good you want to imitate it of course when you see something bad you don't want to imitate it but you see something good you want to imitate and so this is my story and so I. There was a family in our lives at the time that had a couple boys and one was older than the younger one was older one was younger and I liked the older young man but my parents told me I was still very young at the time because we knew this family growing up and they said actually when you get older I think it's going to be the younger man that you're going to want to be with and I was of course like you know he's younger than me. I like Mr older brother. But as time went on we ended up going to high school together even though he was younger than me and he was behind me in that up and high school together eventually and we just became better and better friends time went on. Neither one of us were dating or in a relationship and we were just becoming better friends and I began praying actually when I was a teenager for my future husband I began praying for that man that God would have for me but I also had eyes on this certain man and I began praying that God would bring us together after all my parents had told. When I was thirteen. This is the man we think you should marry when you get older. So I'm praying time goes on. I keep praying. It was actually due to his influence that I ended up going to the college that I did the university that I did it was due to his influence that I really got involved in missions and became a nurse and so he had a really really profound influence on my life which I'm really thankful for and we were becoming better friends he wasn't dating anybody I wasn't dating him anybody and the interesting thing was he would tell me we were such good friends he would tell me about the different girls that he was kind of interested in. And I would be thinking in my head like when thinking to wake up and realize she's right here in front of him. But it wasn't happening and it wasn't happening finally somewhere near the end of college. Another good friend that I had become friends with a college this was of course very private. No one knew what I was praying this was just in my own personal heart you know I was very serious. I have to say when I was a young person. I wasn't I was one of those girls I was looking at guys and thinking. This is the type of guy. I'd like to marry. Maybe we should be better friends maybe he's the type of guy. I'd like to marry right. But it wasn't just like oh I want to have a boyfriend just to have fun. I was really really serious and some people say I'm still too serious but anyway. So this was my this was my mentality so nobody knew it was just very private my own hard. Anyway we were at the university together and one of my close girlfriends she invited me to go with her to a special banquet that they were having. Well it turns out another young man asked her to go to the same banquet she was kind of nervous and she says. Melanie would you go with us to the banquet even. As I was like sure I'll go with you and then I found out who had invited her to the banquet and it was him and I was like oh lord i get myself into but I wanted to support her. So I went. Her to the spank what course she and I were friends. And she and I were friends but this was very awkward. So it's very very difficult situation. And we went home after that and she and I talked and prayed and I said I just want you to know this guy is a really good guy and if. If God leads you to gether I support you one hundred percent but leave me out of your dating life because I can the list. So anyway we had a good talk and just really opened and then of course helped our friendship become stronger time went on and they ended up getting engaged and ended up getting married and then it up asking me to be in their wedding and some people may say well this is crazy. How could you do that. But you know what I knew when I saw them get together that God had called them to be together. Why would I try to separate that you know why would I try to get in the way of their relationship it was just perfect. I don't know why I didn't see it coming before. And so I was like I'm going to stand in support it was a little weird walking down the aisle with the guy that I thought I was going to be married but I knew that God was leading them together. But do you know how long I actually waited and prayed for that guy. Eight years eight years I prayed and I waited thinking that he was the one all these different things kept happening and happening and it just kept going on seeming like God's leading us together. You know you're praying about someone you have this in your head and and this happens and you're like God. He's opening the door a look at this providential thing happened to God and you keep thinking and so I went all these years seeing all these things happening thinking he was the one he was the destination for me and so when it actually happened. I saw that they were to be together. So that was not a problem. I was not angry at them. But I became very angry at God. Because I was thinking in my head like. Why did you allow me to pray eight years thinking I was going to marry this man. I mean my in my thoughts we were going to go off and be missionaries together and do this together and do that and I basically built my little future around him and I began thinking. Lord I mean like what's what's the matter if I really pray anyway. He's just going to do what he's going to do after all why are you my praying I mean if anyone was claiming the promises and standing upon the word or all these things I was doing it and I was like Lord you failed me. You know because of this situation a very very difficult experience in my life I actually lost my faith in God for a period of time. And it wasn't just like I chose to walk away from God it wasn't like I just chose to stop believing in God. But I was like I can't trust him he let me down. He betrayed me I can't trust him. So I stopped reading the word. I stopped praying I stopped memorizing scripture all things that I was doing. I stopped praying the word all these things and gradually my life went down down down. I managed to graduate from college from Southern administering a versity. It was sheer grit. That got me through that last semester and went home. And began working as a nurse as a registered nurse and that's basically when my life started falling apart more and I wasn't taking care of myself I wasn't eating properly. My heart was broken. I didn't feel like I could trust the word of God So I started filling my mind with things to take away the pain. Now I wasn't the type that could just like I'm going to go drink and do drugs and stuff like that. You know that wasn't an attraction for me at all but you know my love story failed the one that I dreamed about. So I started filling my mind with you know the fake ones. You know different romance movies and things like that because at least for a little time I could enjoy someone else's love story and romance because mine hadn't worked out right. So you kind of numb your mind with these different things but it was a really really difficult predicament that I found myself in. Because I didn't feel like I could trust God. I didn't feel like I could really whole and to his word on the other hand I didn't want to go live in the world of darkness. I didn't want to go serve Satan. I mean I mean all that stuff just hord you know I don't want to be that. So what do you do when you're stuck in the middle. You can't trust God you can't serve the devil you don't want to go there but it's just like you have nowhere to go. It's a very very dark discouraging place and I basically fell into a very very deep depression. Now initially I didn't recognise what was going on and I have to be honest I shared some of this earlier. So you may have gotten this. I always thought it was a really pretty good person. You know I had God given me success in this and this people sought me for spiritual leadership and different things and you know if somebody needed a right answer. Actually in high school I had girlfriends that would come to me at night for counseling and special things because they thought Melody had an answer for them and so I was just you know one of those people that had quote unquote the answers but now I don't have the answers. But I was very very private about this because I don't want anybody to know what I'm going through. And when you fall into depression often it is a very very private thing because you're like What's wrong with me and nobody can see this and so it's very private people don't know you begin to put on this mask and you're going about your life and you're just empty and hollow inside and I go home and cry and all these things and my parents be like Moody. I think you have depression and you need help and I'm like I do not have depression just give me time and I'm crying and weeping and all these things. It was it was so horrible. I began going down down down and actually got so bad and this is this is really hard to imagine if people would have seen where I was during this time. You would never imagine that I would be doing what I am today because God has brought me out of such a pit of darkness there was a time in my life not very long ago. You know I'm I'm looking probably twelve years ago. You know that I didn't want to live. I felt like like I said I had no option. Both sides. I didn't know what to do and I began thinking in my heart in my head. How can I in my life in such a way that it would not look like it was a suicide. I don't want to leave that legacy for my family right. I don't want them to have that on them but I don't I just. My whatever for living. My purpose for living has been wiped away and it was just such a low spot. I began recognizing about this time and someone also did me the favor of showing me some of the you may have heard of the Ned Lee depression recovery program which is a powerful program someone showed me some of their ten hit categories that people with depression struggle with and I looked at those and they showed me. You have this you have this you have this you have this I had seven out of the ten hit categories and I was like wow. I think I need help. I think I need help and so I began recognizing you know if something didn't happen. It was it was going to be over. I remember one day at one of my last times just had a fight with some of my family members I'd been very angry and frustrated and just had nowhere to vent my frustration I had broken some things it was just really frustrating and very dark and I went wow I went for this walk this one day and it was raining how perfect. The day you're you're feeling horrible and I always think when I'm feeling horrible and I go outside and it's raining God's crying with me. And that comforts me he's crying with me I'm crying out there in the rain and I'm just like God can you still do anything with my life. I felt like when I'm C.E.O. you have a purpose for me to feel like you have a future no hope. But I have to use. I've blown it. I've lost it and you know I haven't been spending time with you and only feel like I have faith to be more like God can you still save me. Can you still do something in my life once was crying. I was like God please help me but I don't know what to do but if you can just show me that you're still here. I'm crying and right then when I prayed that prayer please help me. The clouds above me literally opened up. And the sun sharing came down right on me where I was in the rain and I remember looking up at the sunshine and thinking Oh Lord. You're still there. You still care. You've heard me. You have a purpose for me and it was that point it was that turning point that God began to pull me up out of that pit of depression but I actually had to come to a point where I recognized I was completely hopeless completely lost and I could not go forward. There was nothing good in myself anymore. I mean there was nothing good I could hold on to it was out of this experience that God began to instill in my heart you know what I mean to make my life I tried for twenty some years to make my life. What I thought it was supposed to be and I failed big time. I don't want to do this anymore I want you to make my life. Show me. I don't even understand the cross. I don't even understand what the cross should mean to be show me the cross means to me. It was out of that difficult circumstance that I began asking Lord help me show me I don't want to go back to just life as normal living I don't want to go back to just mediocre Christianity which I lived for those first years and it's not like it was a bad life it was a good life but it was a mediocre wilderness experience and I began praying Lord. Show me take me more. It was that experience and as I did and of course I ended up doing the nearly depression recovery program. I ended up starting all over again just like a baby reading the scriptures and saying OK Lord. We're start at the beginning teach me again how to have faith in your word I started remove the word I started praying just out of my desperate need. I've lost it but I trust that you have the answers and that you can help me and God slowly slowly slowly. Actually it wasn't so slowly. He's very merciful. I was the one that was slow he rebuilt my faith and he actually brought me to an even better experience as I've been sharing over the last day of what it is like to have a vibrant walk with him you know there's this. Powerful I'm quoting gospel workers that says the very trials that test our faith most severely and make it seem that God has for sake and us are designed to lead us nearer to Christ that we may lay all our burden say his feet and receive the peace that he gives us in exchange. When you surrender yourself entirely to God when you fall broke upon Jesus you will be rewarded by a victory the joy of which you have never yet realized. So long as the soul rest with unshaken confidence in the virtue and power of the tell me it will stand firm as a rock to principle in the power of Satan and his angels cannot sway it from its integrity. The truth as it is in Jesus is a wall of fire around the soul that clings to him now as I began to come out of this experience. I want to tell you. In the early part of my Christian walk my faith was very much an emotional feely up and down rollercoaster. But God. Began to teach me. You have to have faith in the Word of God My faith was founded in a person. And when that person left me and failed me. Keep in mind we were never together to start with we never had an official whatever relationship. I was just praying and believing this was what God was going to do right. That's what I thought in my head my faith was founded in a dream and when that dream failed my faith did as well. God began to teach me you have to have trust in me. You have to base your love relationship with me and it was out of this experience that he grew what I what I like to call is my heavenly love. I don't always share this when I do some in ours but I'm just going to run through this really quickly. This will especially speak to the women in the audience but the men can transform this as well to their own side of things but I recognize you know instead of saying my you know dreams and wishes for this earthly Prince I was praying for me to be rooted in God He has to be my first love. He has to be my first companion so there are things that I had prayed for in a future husband and I'm going to share those with you really quickly. I pray for a man committed to God Jesus said I and my Father are one. I pray for a man who would be a spiritual leader Jesus unashamedly declared I am the Way the Truth and the Life no one comes to the Father except by me. I prayed for a man of high standards and integrity others testified he did. No said to me there was guile found in his mouth. I prayed for a man of the word Jesus opened up his arms with love as he whispered. I'm the living word and I came to live with you. I prayed for a man who knew how to be a servant and then I heard others whisper with amazement Jesus made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. I prayed for a man who was full of spiritual life he smiled again I've come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. I prayed for a man who would be the head of the home that I realized that Jesus was knocking. On my door begging to be allowed to be the head of my home and heart. Behold I stand at the door knock. I prayed for a man of steel and velvet someone who would be strong but also tender that I remember Jesus' words as the nails were driven into his hands Father forgive them for they do not know what they do and how even on the cross he cared for his mother. I prayed for a man who knew how to love others even the unpleasant outcast Jesus replied in that. Well you were still centers the lowest outcast. I died for you. I pray for someone who I could share my deepest thoughts dreams someone who would walk with me through joys and sorrows someone that would hold not only my hand but my heart and someone I could stand behind love and respect with all my heart I stood up. I looked up and all. As he not only began to walk beside me and hold my hand but also began to share with me. The hidden riches and secrets of eternity a hard companionship and beauty that I had never had with another and I just knew that he was someone I could not only love but stand behind and serve for the rest of my life. You're going to love this one. I know this may be for love God and it's a small thing but could you send me someone romantic. I've prayed could you send me someone who will love me so much that he'll want me and only me and will be willing to do whatever it takes to win my heart. She's a said nothing is he laid down his heavenly honor and came to earth to win me. Although I doubted his love and resisted his advances at first he slowly sweetly tenderly won my heart in love then he laid me to lead me to his banqueting house in the banner he put over me was love. Last but not least I prayed for a man who would not be afraid of pain or trials. I then realized that it was he. Jesus who was carrying my cross and making the ultimate sacrifice of love not just for anyone but for me. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I stood in awe and my heart melted Jesus is not just any man he is all. This and so much more our Lord our Savior our large give our King our best friend. Truly he is my all and all the true love. I still have yet to truly understand you know this is what Jesus wants to be for each one of us so often we go to relationships looking for them to fulfill what we need in our lives looking to them to fulfill that empty place that we need filled but only he can fill it. Only he can satisfy our deep deepest longings and he began to teach me. I want to be your true love. You've been praying all these years eight years for this man to be you know your love and you think you can live happily ever after. I want to be your true love and this really began to change my life in my experience and just brought me back to a very vibrant walk with him. If you want to hear part two. So part two of the story. God has healed me has brought me back to such a healthier place in fact better place than I ever was before and God began to lead in different ways with ministries starting in different things that I was involved with and I met another man and then he was I thought that I thought when I met him. I'm like now I understand why DIDN'T me. I mean why didn't you get with number one right because God Number two is much better. And so I began praying and we were working together and doing different things even did some mission trips together with the ministry and time went on. And I kept praying. And he found the woman of his dreams and it wasn't me. He found the woman of his dreams and they got married and again when they got married I was just like you know they're supposed to be together. That was right you know how long I prayed and waited for that guy. Eight years. It was another eight years actually. But there was a difference this time. Because when I was praying for this guy a really good guy by the way who's texting me I was praying for this guy my hands were open the first time they weren't open right I was clutching But the second time when this happened I was like Lord. If this is not to be the man it seems like you might be leading this way but if this is not to be the rain. Take him send him to the right person help him to meet the girl and so when that happened. I was like thank you for answering my prayer. And I was able to move on. It was almost like God had to take me around Mt Sinai again to see if I was actually if I was actually going to trust him but I was thinking. I mean another eight years you know what I tell young people. Now when I tell the test I'm running before you start praying for a guy. Wait to start praying for him until he actually asks you to marry various not best to start praying for him until you know without a shadow of a doubt that he's actually interested in you and he wants to be together because this was the story of my life but listen we're going to close off your just a few more minutes in the future life we're told the mysteries that have annoyed and disappointed us will be made plain we shall see that our seemingly. Unanswered prayers and disappointed hopes have been among our greatest blessings. It's hard to understand. But God knows what he's doing you know. Looking back after those two min. I spent sixteen years of my life. Praying for two men. That did not end up to be my Housman. But looking back from the vantage point of where I am today and this is and I've actually felt this way for a few years now. I'm so thankful that God did not allow me to marry either one of those men. They're really good men they're spiritual men they're serving God in the capacity that God has given them but I would not be where I am today. Daring to ask for more would have never been written all these are. And things that God has been leading me in ministry not the ways I was thinking or dreaming because I wanted to be a missionary down in the jungles of South Africa or South America. That's what I thought. But I am so thankful that God did not answer those prayers that I passionately prayed for sixteen years because he knew. OK real quick. Do you want to know. Part three. OK really quick. Two thousand and fourteen. Working over there in Silver Spring Maryland at the G.C.. I met a man and yes I met a man and it just seemed very providential how God brought us together in our meeting and story and everything and he left no reason for me to question or doubt he actually made his intentions known very quickly. He talked to my father and we actually started a court ship in December of two thousand and fourteen. And this was the first official relationship for me. First official boyfriend that I've ever had in my adult or childhood life. Anyway so we went and you know courtship is a is a very important process because it is meant to help decide. Is this to be the person that you're supposed to marry. If this isn't is not supposed to be the person you shouldn't stay together right. This is not just for play courtship is not just like dating let's have some fun. Let's have some fun courtship and specifically is this a person that God wants me to marry you know God blessed in my relationship with this man we had so many things in common and belief that all these things all the core issues where they're just an amazing godly guy but we have some issues that we can work out. And so in January of two thousand and fifteen. Two thousand and sixteen two thousand and sixteen the year that we're in almost one year ago. We broke up. And I. I was thinking in my heart like Lord how could you allow this to happen. I waited all these years I prayed all these years I started praying for my future husband when I was a teenager I prayed all these years I prayed. Don't let me start a relationship with anybody until it's the right one. God really works. Not to let me start a relationship. And then we have almost a year together and then we break up. Why in the world. This is about this was a very very hard experience for me to go through but as I'm praying and I'm trying to trust God because I have to trust him even though I don't understand right. He says Romans eight twenty all things work together for good. I have to trust him. Cory Ten Boom actually makes the statement really interesting every experience that God gives us every person he puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only he can see. So I began to say Well Lord I don't I don't quite understand what this is and it's very hard. It's very hard for me this actually this last winter just praying and struggling through this but I'm like I'm determined to trust you and I was crying Romans eight twenty I was like God you say all things work together for good. I want to see good. I want to see good come out of this and I felt like the summer I began to see good. I went to the Philippines and this was actually the first time I can see that you know. This is the first time I actually started sharing this testimony. Because you know for almost twenty four years I have been walking. A single journey thinking God what are you doing. Trying to be faithful trying to serve you're trying to trust you. I have prayed for some of my dearest friends to be married. They've married godly companions and like Lord. You answered my prayers for them. What about me. Have you forgotten me. Seems like it's getting a little late. Did you forget your silent what's going on now it seems like the natural realms are giving me. More and more impossible you know you think you know we girls think you know when we turn thirty that our biological clock is ticking and it's about to run out and. You're thinking all these things like God what are you doing. But I have walked the journey seeking to trust God in silence. So this summer I was struggling with this group of young people. I was like Lord how do I reach them. I was struggling How do I communicate with them. I spent almost a night in prayer purring because of this group that I was speaking to just wasn't going through and I felt like God told me you've been telling people all around the world how he's answering your prayers and the different things that he's doing in your life. Why don't you trouble her. Well if you tell him about the time see how does it insert your prayers and how he has grown you and brought you would you be the person you are today. If you had not walked through twenty three almost twenty four years of praying and waving and trusting and growing and growing and trusting and falling back and then picking up again and holding on and asking him to take you would you be who you are if you hadn't gone through that. So I was praying. And I was like OK God. This is a vulnerable part of my life I haven't shared with people before I really don't want to share until the story is done after style. Then I'll share. But I felt like he was asking me to do this and when I was in Philippines I felt like he began to show me why he had allowed me to go through this. I shared my testimony this young man came up to me and he said Miss Melody God said no to you. So that he could say yes to us so that you could come and teach us how to have a relationship with him. When it be worth the are going through this pain the struggle these trials. If even one soul came into the kingdom as a result. It's hard to think that but it would be worth it if one soul came into the kingdom because of a no that God gave you. Well I know we're out of time. Shall I share part four. I think we should just stop the seminar and go home because it's late. OK. This is Part four. OK this is a man. You want to stand out come over here. Thank you so the same it was part three. God actually had to do a deeper work. And both of our lives and hearts because he knew that he was leading us together but he still had growing to do before he brought us back together and over this last summer and fall. He has begun to do that work if you want to say anything militarism amazing woman isn't she. And I can see God really answers prayers. Millett prayed for almost twenty four years. For the right man. And then two years ago I met her and she is a good man but I want to better man and really change my heart from her prayers and there were prison for that God answers prayers. So we just praise God for what he is doing. Sometimes it's easy when you grow up with an ideal and different things you think in your mind and whatever. And we have to allow God to break our hearts and remove selfishness and pride and all these things and I didn't realize the issues that I had in my heart going into this relationship but praise the Lord God has taken both he and I through a deeper surrender. This past year and then brought us back together and now it's just like a taste of heaven and we. Praise God for what he's doing the story is not completed but we say that God who began the work in us will be faithful to complete it. I want to share a recommendation of two books that have made a profound influence in my life when it comes to waiting and trusting in God and then I have a final quote that I'm going to share for you this first one quest for love by Elizabethtown Elliot has really helped me wait on God and then sacred singleness by Leslie Lutie actually my story is actually featured in this book and this is powerful. What do we do when God says no. When we do not receive the very things we ask for at the time we ask we're still to believe that the Lord hears and that he will answer our prayers. We are so erring in short sighted that we sometimes ask for things that would not be a blessing to us and our Heavenly Father and love answers our prayers by good bringing us that which would be for our highest good now which we ourselves would desire for the vision divinely light and we could see all things as they really are. When our Percy not to be answered. We are to cling to the promise for the time of answering will surely come. We shall receive the blessing when we need it most. But to claim that prayer will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing we desire is presumption God is too wise dare too good to withhold any good thing from those that trust and walk with him. And this is the final quote I want you to take this to heart. God never leads his children. Otherwise than they would choose to be led if they could see the end from the beginning and deserving the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as coworkers with him. God knows what we need when we do not receive it exactly as we hope or exactly as we pray I want to challenge you wait on him. I waited twenty four years and God has already given me so many pictures of what it's like to be in a relationship that centered on him. He's my spiritual leader he's pointing my eyes to Jesus. He's encouraging me to keep Jesus first in our relationship. And this makes all the difference in the world when we are together seeking to die to self daily and God is the center let's be. Terribly Father thank you so much that you are faithful even when we are faithful us but that you will carry us through Him Father I just pray sharing a little piece of this testimony even though it's hard for me to share even know that this can touch someone's life in this room and that they will be encouraged to hold on. Even if they don't understand what you're doing in their lives. Thank you Father. No go with us as we go to outreach and training just use us today for your glory and your precious name on this message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been heard in Houston Texas a supporting Ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and soul winning Christians for other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C Web dot org.

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