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8. Finishing Strong

Mark Howard
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Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism

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  • June 23, 2018
    6:00 PM
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Good morning happy Sabbath I've been wanting to say that all week every time I get up to speak and I'm thinking wait a minute I told you yesterday what day is it I know what day it is today praise God for that I'm glad you're here I'm glad those of you who are joining us online are doing so today and our listening audience as well our series has it been called Going the Distance and today I want to talk about finishing strong we want to finish strong don't we you know brother this is I told you yesterday how much I love camp meeting so I'm hoping in that context this won't be misunderstood but every can't meeting that we have is a testimony against us in a way isn't it because we're still here and I was praying this morning and I heard great reports from this can't meeting and I love that but I think to myself you know every year I hear this every year I hear Lord this is the best Kaminey ever and this is fantastic and in year after year after year passes and we're still here and I think that what Elder mischief was communicating the other night and even this morning is we are trying to say Lord what can we do so that we were not here anymore so that we can finish this work so that we can all share in the coming of Christ and we can hold our next can't meeting in heaven a man and a keynote speaker will be better than anyone on this earth that's my desire that's what I was praying for especially this morning when I'm talking about finishing strong at this camp meeting I want to see the coming of the Lord I want to see the outpouring of the spirit I want him to do in me what needs to be done and help me to get out of the way when I need to get out of the way men want to pray for the special blessing of the Lord this morning I want invite you to bow your head as I do so our merciful Heavenly Father Father we have been here too long. We know in inspiration that you wanted to finish this up a long time ago Lord I pray I pray that this would be the generation that sees the coming of the Lord that sees him coming face to face the Lord is not going to happen unless we fully embrace your call and we become witnesses on to Jesus throughout this earth or we can't do this ourselves we look to you we asked this morning for the guidance the outpouring of the Holy Spirit here father give us ears to hear and hearts to respond or ask and prayed in Jesus name in them oh boy I want to tell you it's a day's message I wrestled with this I'm taking a little bit of a different turn this morning I had shared this message when I was in California earlier this year and I go to the place I go the advent hope Sabbath school day they go all the recordings go to audio verse how many are familiar with all your verse audio verse is a great resource for free messages and. Let me do this real quick this will help you I think I'm going to be flipping through slides and you're not going to see anything the now that should that should be a little bit better and anyway I you know I I have a friend there the guy who's in charge of the audio and he records this stuff and I send it on to audio verse and this particular. Sabbath morning while I'm doing all of this and rambling on to try to make sure that I'm doing what i'm need to do over here I'm saying that for a reason if I can't tell you how many hindrances have come up before me preaching this message what I'm going to tell you is when I preach an audio verse it got lost. Call the overs Hafter While I've not preached it before I said have you got that and I'm telling you that the message I'm preaching on and I'll just jump the gun a little bit but what I want to touch on this morning is something that the Bible calls the time of Jacob's trouble something that we rarely hear about something that like I said that I was very impressed to speak on I spoke on it and of all things it gets a lot and I tell you even going into preparing for this morning everything has gone wrong and that tells me something from my experience that the somebody who doesn't want it presented and by God's grace it will be Luke Chapter 18 and I want you to notice here a parable this a parable of the persistent widow Luke Chapter 18 verse one it says then he sed Jesus spoke a parable to them that men always ought to pray and not what and not lose heart it says in the New King James saying there was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man now there was a widow in that city and she came to him saying get justice for me from my adversary and he would not for a while but afterward he said within himself though I do not fear God nor regard me and yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her lest by her continual coming she weary me then the Lord said here what the unjust judge said and shall not God avenge his own elect who cry out day and night to him though he bears along with them I tell you that he will avenge them speedily and then he asks this question nevertheless when the Son of Man comes will he really find face on the earth will he really find faith and yours now what kind of faith he's talking about this kind of fate. That was described in this story it's it's a quality of faith a quality of faith that we must possess at the end of time a faith that persists in perseverance beyond circumstantial evidence I mean look at this what an interesting story the woman is is pleading with this judge and Jesus is very clear the guy doesn't care about anybody but himself and yet he offended her and he says how much more is God not willing to avenge and I don't answer all is well then everybody ought to be even no no no because the question is are God's people going to have that quality faith that presses that persists of faith that persistent perseveres be so beyond circumstantial evidence beyond feelings of unworthiness or hopelessness or despair feelings or not faith brothers and sisters of faith that trust and depends upon God in His word despite any and all evidence to the contrary this alone is the faith that will stand in the last days it's what the Scripture calls the faith of Jesus but you notice the statement in Ellen White's commenting on this particular parable we just read Christ had been speaking of the period just before his 2nd coming and of the perils through which his followers must pass with special reference to that time he related the parable to this in that men ought to always pray always to pray and not to think there it context that Jesus was the very thing he was trying to point to was the end of time and the quality of faith God's people need want to share with you a statement from testimonies volume 8 page 20 says the end is very near We who know the truth should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world is what an overwhelming surprise and this statement here is a little more come hits a lot more home fundamentals of Education $526.00 says in the night seasons these words were spoken to me charge the teachers in our schools to prepare the students for what is coming upon the world. And I'm going to tell you what we're talking about this morning I mean not members don't hear about it we have been so up on something that the big thing for the last 50 plus years in the evidence church has been assurance we want to surance we need more assurance and I'm all for assurance The problem is too much of what we've pushed as assurance is just a human feeling in a far surance is based on some feeling we have we're going to fail in the last day or assurance needs to be in Christ we need to have the face not just in Jesus but the Bible says the faith of Jesus Jesus was hanging on the cross and he cried out these words My God my God why have style forsaken me is anybody nowhere else in Scripture we find that OK Psalm 22 now let me ask a question don't we know that in a big part Jesus is crying now because the father was forsaking him the father was withdrawing his presence so why would you think Jesus knew song 20 to one now I can't be certain about this but in my understanding I believe what Jesus was doing there is beyond every feeling that he had he was claiming the promise of the Word of God knowing in Psalm 221 This was foretold that would happen and he was holding on to the fact that even though his whole feelings told him differently God was going to see him through the face of Jesus is the unwavering trust he intends his followers to have in the last days I want you to look real quickly Matthew 20 with me at the chapter 20 this is when the disciples of Jesus a couple of disciples of Jesus came and had a request in fact they had their mom come and talk to him Bible says in Matthew 20 verse 20 then the mother of 7 ds sons that would be James and John. Came to him with her sons kneeling down and asking something from him and he said to her What do you wish and she said to him grant that these 2 sons of mine may sit one on your right hand and the other on the left in your kingdom but Jesus answered and said You do not know us course you know they thought he was about to establish His Earthly throne and so they thought hey when you do that can my son sit on your right left and he said you don't understand that the right and left of the throne I'm going to have now is going to be a cross you don't know what you're asking but then he says this to her and more to them Are you able to drink the cup that I'm about to drink and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with and they said to him we are able and he said to them you will indeed drink my cup and be baptized with the baptism that I'm baptized with but to sit on my right hand in my left is not mine to give that it is for those for whom it is prepared of my father now you're going to see that play out as we continue on this morning you talking about how Jesus prepares us for the quality of faith that will help us to finish strong now I grew up in the 7th Avenue Church for for my family left the church in the time of troubles one of those late night conversation topics for Young man I remember having those conversation with my brother and he get real conspiracy ish I mean you're into hiding places of the government and black helicopters and you know what it's just like the time of trouble are we going to make it DOES ANYBODY relate to that or is just some weird thing I was into what's going to be like and they're going to persecute Al long are you going to enter it Little did I realize at the time that the biggest time of trouble now the Bible talks about multiple times of trouble Bible says In Daniel 12 that when Michael stands up there's going to be a time of trouble such as never was in one of the reasons for that is that when when Michael stands up human bro Basin closes. And the restraint God has put upon the enemy and all his wicked angel has pulled back I mean you look at our world today and then look at all the terrible things that happen in a world and then tell yourself This is while God's spirit is still restraining and you can only imagine what it would look like yes time of trouble such as never was but within the context of that comes another time trouble that the Bible calls the time of Jacob's trouble the time of Jacob's trouble is not a not a defense from the enemy it's as much as it is a spiritual struggle like you've never seen describing that in fact it's called the time of Jacob's trouble precisely for the reason that it emulates and we're going to see this this morning it emulates the experience of Jacob when Jacob was fleeing from his brother Ethan all he heard was coming to take his life and in the darkness of night he felt a hand on him and he thought it was either Esau one of his men who had come to kill him and he fought and he fought for his life and the Bible says He wrestled all night and if you have ever wrestled before and I mean wrestled not just a little playing but you know just wrestling around not for your life necessarily but it wears you out in a few minutes and Jacob was giving it all he had because he thought his life was at stake in the Bible uses that imagery to talk about this time the time of Jacob's trouble I want to show you here in just a moment with me to Jeremiah 32 the language we get the language in Jeremiah 30 Jeremiah 30 and verse 4 will pick up in verse 4 Jeremiah 30 verse forces now these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah for the says the Lord we have heard a voice a trembling of fear and not of peace ask now and see whether a man is ever in labor with child. Odd question right ask if a man is ever in labor with child you ever see a pregnant man no I don't think so so then why do I see every man with his hands on his lawyers like a woman in labor and all faces turned pale Why do I see men with an expression on their face that looks like they're going through the anguish of childbirth What is it alas for that day is great so that there is nothing like it and it is the time of Jacob's trouble praise God for the last part of the verse but he shall be saved out of it praise the Lord for that promise he shall be saved out of it now this time of Jacob's trouble is the time that comes upon the earth when human probation close now this is interesting because I never knew this you know growing up the whole thing is am I going to make it in the time of trouble or am I going to be lost in the time of trouble well here's an interesting little note for you nobody can be lost in the time of trouble who was saved at the time. Because this time of trouble we're talking about both of the ones I just mentioned in fact don't come until human probations close in every case is decided I almost wonder why I even have it well that's we're talking about this morning notice what it says in the book great controversy in the chapter the time of trouble which I would recommend reading it says here the time of trouble such as never was is soon to open upon us and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain and that we're going to let anybody know what that means it kind of means lazy but there's something more to indolence it comes from a French word underlayer which means to avoid pain is not just laziness the kind of the laziness because I don't want to do something hard and this is we need an experience but there are too many of God's people who just don't want to work down hard at it having the experience they need with Christ you know our works don't save us but this kills me people the moment works don't save me so I'm just not going to do anything in my spiritual life I mean well put I can't I can't I can't understand the energy some people put into something. And anybody know a hacky sack is I grew up with something called the 2nd came back around this little ball and you kick it around and you this and that and and everything else number practice that as a kid and I watch kids get put so much energy in the learn how to kick the ball and keep it in the air and I don't want just pick on the kid so much adults put in all kinds of energies and it comes a Christian life and I don't know I just I don't want to be works reality is we're too indolent continues in the statement is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality but this is not true of the crisis before the most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal in that time of trial every soul must stand for himself before God This is the time that's coming time and specifically of Jacob's trouble now let's just review a little bit of the story of Jacob you know Jacob ahead had it come to that point is life where they were there was a whole birth right issue and his mom talked him into deceiving is dat you know the j the name Jacob means deceiver or supplants or usurper he went in and deceived his brother out of the birthright is brother wasn't happy about that Esau was a hunter didn't help matters did it and so Jacob fled home mom said you probably ought to go it really is a tragic story and I'm thankful for the story of Jacob because there are tragedies that we go through because of our own choices and sometimes we're tempted to think that God has cast us off but even as Jacob played and you've got to imagine he's fleeing home it's got to hit his mind that I should have done that and now I'm alone in gods for saken mean you know one of the 1st things that happened is he lay down with a pillow for a stone for a pillow so to speak and the Bible says that heaven opened up to him in a dream and he saw a ladder reaching from heaven to earth. And he saw angels going up and down on that ladder and we woke up he says Surely this must be the house of God So we named the place Bethel which means the house of God and right away God said Jacob out not forsaken you you know we make a lot of bad decisions praise God he doesn't forsake us Amen you know Jesus is the same imagery in the Gospel of John when Philip went and got nothing you only came to Jesus and indeed it then is like a community good thing come out of Nazareth and come and see me talk with Jesus and Jesus said When you are praying under the fig tree I saw you so this is amazing you must mean a messiah he said if you think that's great you're going to see greater things than this you are going to see heaven opened up and you go see the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man and he picked these that latter picture and he basically said I'm the ladder between heaven and earth or Christ made himself known to Jacob early on but Jacob had a hard life he went through this situation trying this 1st wife Rachel and then Leo Well 1st was Leo because it was supposed to be that way you know the whole story and he served all those years with Laban and finally decided to go back home the Lord told him it's time to go back home his mother passed away never get to see her alive again that's a tragic result of a poor choice and as he was heading back home as I said he was on his way home and he heard he saw us coming and sent gifts ahead and try to appease him and and avert any kind of disaster but word was he saw us coming and he is not happy and he's coming with a bunch of his armed men and Jake has not got are many the shepherd and he's got this large family and none of them are soldiers so he sends amount different ways and he remains alone so hopefully can save his family and then he repeats I think is the hand on his shoulder and he can't see anything and he feels like he knows somebody come to take his life and he wrestles any wrestles and he wrestles with the Bible says Genesis 32 let's pick a part of their time to be cognizant of our time this morning Genesis 32 Bible says in verse $22.00 this is where picks up the wrestling event. Genesis 3222 and heroes that night and took his 2 wives his 2 female servants and his 11 sons and crossed over the ford of Jabot he took them sent them over the brook and sent over what he had then Jacob was left alone and his is a man wrestled with him until the breaking of day Hosea calls it an angel jacob calls him God hear a little bit further it's interesting in verse 24 I mean that's all you get a man wrestled with him to the breaking of the day now when he saw that he did not prevail against him he being the one that was wrestling with him it said he touched the socket of his hip and the socket of Jacob's was out of joint Now listen if you're wrestling again if you wrestle before and all it takes for you to end the match is touch in the socket A Somebody is hip and you've been wrestling all night somebody must not a wanted to win too bad right the Lord was wrestling with Jake on a floor want to touch his hip he could've done it hours before keep that in mind that plays into what we're looking at this morning but finally that time came and he touched the socket of Jacob's hip and it was out of joint as he wrestled with him and he Jacob said let me go for the day breaks. But he said I will not let you go unless you bless me now verse 27 is fascinating what does this have to do with anything so he said to him What is your name why is the Lord asking him his name we're going to have this wrestling match I'm going to touch your hip Who are you again but you have to understand that what's happening here is that Jacob his whole life is carrying this bag and he knows that the result where he is in the results of all his hardship came from that bad choice he made so long ago his name is Jacob he's a deceiver that's what he is in for the Lord to call that up I mean I can imagine it wanting to catch in the throat Oh what's your name again I'm the Savior is mine and. Oh and I can imagine the just the heaviness of heart that Jacobs carried this along but that's what the Lord was looking for he wanted to draw that out in a way that it had never been drawn out before the depths of his sin and he wanted to draw that out and then he said now no longer is your name going to be called Jacob your name is Israel because you're a prince with God you're an overcomer Oh how powerful is that Jacob prevailed and so Jacob says Jacob months know his name verse 29 then Jacob said assaying tell me your name I pray and he said why is it that you ask about my name and he blessed in there so Jacob called the name of the place Pinney L. for I have seen God face to face and my life is preserved he knew who he was wrestling with face of God is with Penny I mean this is an experience Jacob went through now the hit this is why this this is weighed heavy on me because there's something within this experience and we get a little bit of it when the Lord is asking his name but I want to share with you a passage one of the most fascinating passages in the writings of Ellen White to my understanding at least from my perspective and that's in a book called Spirit of Prophecy Volume one where Ellen White describes what she sees in this encounter we just read about she says an angel was represented to me I was standing before Jacob presenting his wrong before him in its true character as the age of turns to leave him Jacob holds lays hold of him and will not let go he makes supplication with what with tears he pleads that he is deeply repented of his sins and the wrongs against his brother which have been the means of separating him from his father's house for 20 years. He ventures to plead the promise is of gone he's doing everything right is me and he says serious is seriously confessing he's pleading the promises of God and the tokens of God's favor to him from time to time in his absence from his father's house all night Jacob wrestled with the angel making supplication for a blessing the Angel seemed to be resisting his prayer by continually calling his sins to his remembrance who's a wrestling with you're going to see in a moment he's wrestling with Christ is this Christ really do this Christ is here's Jay completing the thing but what about these sins I made I thought that's only what the devil did fascinating now I'm going to tell you an energetic here the devil does it in a lot different way but just follow along the Angel seemed to be resisting his prayer by continually calling it since remembered and at the same time endeavoring to break away from him I mean think about being burdened with your sin in your confessing it and the Lord just like yeah OK Look I gotta go I'm going to be somewhere What does that communicate total indifference I don't care about you I mean and listen carefully Every circumstantial every feeling Jacob has now is betraying him what's the only reason he keep holding on pure naked faith and who he knows God is. The Angels endeavoring to break away from him Jacob was determined to hold the angel not only by physical strength but by the power of a living faith in his distress Jacob referred to the repentance of his soul the deep humility he had felt for his wrong the angel regarded his prayer with seeming indifference continually making efforts to release himself from the grasp of Jacob Now note. He might have exercised his supernatural power and forced himself from Jacob's grasp but he did not choose to do this there was a purpose that Christ was accomplishing in this seeming indifference in this apparent wanting to get away there was something to that. And that's what we're exploring it says a little bit later in that passage in that chapter it was Christ that was with Jacob through the night with whom he wrestled and whom he persevered they held until he blessed him you know brothers and sisters this really shouldn't surprise us I mean I shouldn't say that it should surprise us from the way we hear Christianity package today everything is so simple look come forward for one altar call and everything's going to change say one simple prayer in your whole life is different but what happens when it doesn't happen that way and you pray in your like nothing happened and people tell me all the time I don't know I must be too wicked for God No you're not too wicked for God have more faith and press your petitions to the throne and trust in His Word sometimes the Lord will draw us out it shouldn't surprise us because we've seen it in Scripture you remember when the disciples were in the lake in the Bible says Jesus was walking on the sea and the Bible says it looked like he would have passed them right on by your member that why did you do that why would he act like he's going to pass them by and then desire of a to say they called him and then he came what about the sorrow Phoenician woman he said look that's not good to give the mat food from the master's table to the dogs now we're told desire of ages that he was trying to emulate to his disciples attitude that they had as a Jewish nation. But he didn't explain that to the woman. I know would have been nice to know a part of me I'm going to be rude to you for a minute but here's why OK I'm giving these guys an example she gets no explanation but what does she do she doesn't waiver and the Bible says He marveled at are fake. At her what it wasn't a feeling her feelings betrayed or feeling said this guy doesn't care at all I'm one of the dogs I don't deserve this but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master state what amazing faith you have the Lord sometimes takes us through those periods of drought the Lord does to strengthen our faith think about Abraham God calls Abraham to say I mean time does not permit me to tell you everything that was wrapped up in I sick Isaac was Abraham's whole life everything he 1st took was for that to be the descendant of the great nation it was all hinting on Isaac and now I want you to get rid of him and every hope he had was gone and you read in the book paychecks and prophets and it says that Abraham you know God had appeared to Abraham angels to come to me converse with angels. And when I said he goes back to those familiar places maybe I'll find one he was you can imagine he's like should I I mean it Lord is this you is this what you want me to do and he went in revisited those places he was a sale with doubts but God said nothing nothing because he was testing his faith you see brothers and sisters in the last days the only way we're finishing strong is to have the kind of faith that goes beyond a feeling I've mentioned it all this week look God says if we confess our sins He is faithful and just a Forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness then he is it doesn't matter if I feel it or if I don't feel it God's true and I'm a liar Gus the one if he said it in his word it's true and our feelings will often be trailers and the Lord will test our faith there's a couple great statements I want to share with you deserve a just 528 says this to all who are reaching out to feel the guiding hand of God the moment of greatest What discouragement is the time when divine help is nearest God is not for sake you in the darkness this is next one is one of my absolute favorite statements. You got a lot of those this week right around in this day with God page 212 it says frequently What does that mean more often than not right the very best evidence that we can have that we are in the right way is when we feel good about it oh no no no is that the least advantage What's an advance one forward step the least advance cost US effort and that darkness trials are pathway we do that again frequently the very best evidence that we can have that we are in the right way not the wrong way is that the least advance cost US effort and that darkness trials are passed way it has been my experience that the whole loftiest heights of faith we can only reach through darkness and clouds and the Lord was pressing those darkness and clouds upon Jacob the Lord Himself was acting indifferent to see if Jacob had enough faith to trust him beyond all appearances that statement that passage goes on to say this is when the angel saw that he prevailed not against Jacob to convince him of his supernatural power he touched his thigh which was immediately out of joint but Jacob would not give up his earnest efforts for bodily pain he would not be deterred His object was to obtain a blessing and pain of body was not sufficient to divert his mind from his object praise the Lord are you allowing the devil through some circumstance in your life to divert your purpose of obtaining the blessing of God don't do it. Don't let him have it don't be diverted and hindered from seeking Christ all that you have. It actually says Jacob's determination was stronger in the last moments of the conflict than at the beginning his faith grew more earnest and perseverance and till the very last even to the breaking of the day he would not let go his hold upon the angel of the angel until he blessed him and had experience the Bible says is going to be repeated with God's people and they're going to need the experience the faith of Jacob we're going to press pass through times in fact brothers and sisters even now there may be some of you here this morning that are passing through time too like why is God for saken me he hasn't the space full trust him I'm just telling you the sun the way we sell Christianity sometimes is so it's so neat and tidy and like I said you just come forward one color say one little prayer a night it's supposed to fix everything I want to share with you something here I wrestle with this it's a little one fact I cut the passage down how many read the book Pilgrim's Progress before I'm going to tell you it's a fascinating book but one of the most fascinating things in that book to me at least recently has been the conversion story of one of the characters called hopefull Now if you don't know Pilgrim's Progress it's an allegory that was written by John Bunyan back in the dark ages about the Christian life the Christian journey and one of his traveling companions a man I'm hopeful was telling his story about his conversion and he talks about how he came to the awakening of his knowledge of his own sin he came under conviction and he didn't know what to do and he talked to another one of the characters named faithful who ended up getting martyred in the story and faithful told him here's what you need to do you need to go to Jesus you need to pray you need to confess your sins you need to seek him on the mercy seat he'll accept you He'll open his arms to you etc etc Now this is we've just gone through all that and so now Christian is asking him so did you do that did you go to Jesus and pray no notice the description. Christian says indeed you do as you are bid and he said yes over and over and over and to the father reveal the son to you not at the 1st nor the 2nd nor the 3rd nor the 4th nor the 5th nor not at the 6th time either we're lucky to get past time number one and then we give up now notice what happened Christian said what did you do then he said why I couldn't tell what to do you ever had those experiences when you're seeking the Lord it just doesn't seem like it's going anywhere what do you do I don't know what to do how did you not thoughts of leaving off praying yes a 100 times twice told and what was the reason you did not this is so powerful hopeful says I believe that it was true which hath been told me to wit that without the righteousness of this Christ all the world could not save me and therefore thought I was myself if I leave off I don't I and I can but die of the throne of grace I prayed I prayed I pleaded I pleaded did you get an answer no I didn't get an answer well I didn't give up because I realized that it was my only hope him and God brought this man to the point that it is the only hope then he revealed his son and as it goes on to say in the conclusion of this passage and with all this came into my mind if it tarry wait for it because it will surely come it will not tarry so I continued praying until the father showed me a son that's a beautiful example of Bible faith notice what Ellen White says about the book page prop Pilgrim's Progress this book Pilgrim's Progress portrays the Christian life so accurately in presents the love of Christ so attractively that through its instrumentality hundreds and thousands have been converted that's an accurate picture. That sometimes you've got to keep pressing the petitions to the throne of God and Jesus in this to a diverse history of any is trying to draw out the quality of faith the faith of Jesus that will stand in the last days listen Christ desires nothing so much as to redeem his heritage from Satan from the dominion of Satan is nothing more he wants them to save your soul there's nothing more but before we are delivered from Satan's power without We must be delivered from his power while within the Lord permits trials in order that we may be cleansed from earthly PNAS from selfishness from harsh and Christ like traits of character he suffers the deep waters of affliction to go over our souls in order that we may know him and Jesus Christ whom he has sent in order that we may have the part longings to be cleansed from defilement and may come forth from the trial purer holier happier off and we enter the furnace of trial with our souls darkened with selfishness but if patient under the crucial test we shall come forth reflecting the divine character when his purpose in the affliction is accomplished he shall bring forth by righteousness as the light in the judgment as the noonday that's the Lord's purpose it was the LORD's purpose for Jacob's LORD's purpose for us in trials review and herald of August $12800.00 forces a time of trouble is the crucible that is to bring out what Christ like characters but brothers and sisters when the Son of Man comes will he really find faith on the earth will he find people who can believe beyond how they feel who believe who can believe beyond circumstances who can trust him because he is true and faithful will he find faith on the years what's the end of our special message here or the day. They keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Praise the Lord here are they who keep the yes there will be a people who have the faith of Jesus I want you to notice this statement from the book early writings it says the 3rd angel closes his message thus Here is the patience of the saints here are they to keep the commandments of God in the faith of Jesus as he repeated these words he pointed where What's that all about the minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place where Jesus stands before the Ark making his final intercession you see there are 32 messages all focus is it's directing our eyes to where Jesus is finishing his work in our behalf and so we guard this where my feelings are my faith needs to lay hold of Jesus this is what the Apostle Paul means in Hebrews Chapter 12 where our scripture reading was Hebrews Chapter 12 we will conclude there this morning starting in the 1st verse he was 12 verse one therefore we also since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses those are all the men and women faith has gone before us in the previous chapter let us lay aside every weight in the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run within Durance the race that is set before us looking where looking at the finish line looking at my progress looking at my weakness no looking unto Jesus the picture I get when I read this is I'm running this race and Jesus is at the finish line and Jesus is encouraging me on I'm focusing on him looking on to Jesus the what the author and brothers and sisters I am so glad this morning the Bible does not just call Jesus the author of My face the same Jesus that authored it will finish it that's a Paul means of Philippians 16 when he says he has begun a good work in you will complete it he's a sudden leave undone projects don't get started on something you get distracted. He is the author in the finisher looking on to him trusting him as the author in the finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross What was the joy what was the joy we are the joy we are the joy that was set before him we're the reason he endured all this he's not going to leave us hang us out to dry he's going to finish what he started and no matter what anything else tells us we've got to hold on to that Jesus is faithful who for the joy that was set before him and during the cross despising the shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself lest you become what we are and discouraged in your soul brothers and sisters Jesus would have us look to him in trust in him one should have I told you I was going to finish there's one more past it's our job I'm not sorry because it's really good job job we're going to Job Chapter 23 this is fascinating I think if it's just perfectly well with what we've looked at I'm going to share this with you and and then one more powerful statement as we conclude job 23 and we're going to start in verse 8 in fact I'm on the screen here I'm having to turn I've been on the screen I'm going to go past I'm going to come back to this job 23 verse 8 says look I go forward what speaking of God but he is not there was serious there but what job thing doesn't feel like he's there I go forward I don't I don't sense him I go forward he's not there and backward but I cannot perceive him when he works on the left hand I cannot behold him when he turns to the right hand I cannot see him but he knows the way I take and when he has tested me that's what's going on I'm being tested I don't see him I don't sense him I don't feel him but always there and he knows the way I take and when he has tested me I'm going to come forth is gold. Oh brother and sister so will you and so will I if we can by the grace of God have the faith do you want to finish with this statement in the book in 1900 materials Ellen White says is the faith of Jesus it is talked of but not understood what constitutes the faith of Jesus that belongs to the 3rd angel's message Jesus becoming our Sin bearer that he might become our sin parting savior he was treated as we deserve to be treated he came to our world and took our sins that we might take his right to snooze faith in the ability of Christ to save us amply and fully and entirely is the faith of Jesus faith in the what the ability of you the belly of Christ to save us how and amply and fully and entirely that's the face of Jesus brothers and sisters Jesus will finish what he started and if we hold fast to him we will all finish strong brothers and sisters you want to finish strong with Jesus today let's bear heads in prayer Father in heaven oh Lord what a time we live in in this Earth history and even with what we've looked at this morning Lord in regard to the history of Jacob are many here today who are no strangers to it even now there are things we go through and there are times when it seems that you are hidden from our view just like job you're working on the right and left but we can't perceive you but we know you're there Lord because you told us because you promised as you said you'll never leave her for sake us and now Lord this morning I'm asking because even faith is a gift I'm asking you to give us the faith of Jesus loading I'm asking you to carry us through I'm asking you to learn to teach us rather through life's experiences now as a test increase not to depend on our own feelings about thing but to trust your word. And to know above all things your faith and Father we thank you for this we thank you for Jesus we thank you for the promise in the hope of eternal life and father we look so forward to that day so very soon. When we can be reunited reunited with you in your kingdom. Even so come Lord Jesus. We pray in his name to him in. This media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse for you would like to listen to more sermon Please Visit W W W dot audio Verse dot org.

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