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From Stressed to Blessed

Alan Parker


Alan Parker

Professor of missions and evangelism and director of Pierson Institute of Evangelism at Southern Adventist University



  • October 25, 2014
    11:30 AM
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are you referring to see what's happening at the meetings last night and we're excited about what God is to do but I know this is a time of year when many of us are stressed right we feel like we're losing out strides and we don't feel like we can manage any longer and has a lot of stress going on it reminds me of a number of years back my family and I were planning on moving out of the house and we would have some functions of the party I don't remember the details but it was highly stressful I had a lot going on at work my wife a lot going on someone was pleading for counseling and so she came over and my wife went into the back room to do some counseling and the first sign that something was wrong with gleeful noises off laughter for my boys the second sign was when my wife finally went up to check on what it happened and discovered that they had picked up a ten pound bag of lentils and distributed them gleefully across the entire living room until there was a pot of lentils across the living room we had the lentils see in our living room and she can apply whatever you do this and that we tried our best to clean it up but I can tell you that even when we were moving out we still found lintels hidden in the corner of that house and your experiences with stress lately yet it is a lot of going on a lot that stressful and so I would like to look at this passage we just read to see the crisis that God allows us to go through and how deterrence strengths into bliss I think Garrett is Mark six was thirty two thirty one and it tells us something about why the disciples were in crisis and why Jesus was saying to the disciples you need to go away and the circumstances here was that he had sent them out to buy two get done some teaching with immediate equipment Howard then I noticed that I want to send you around and have you go out and share this message with others and it was incredible experiences they went out they were seen demons tremble and lean people they were seen people healed that was seen people responding to the good news about an incredible time of being out there in the field they came back and has them back with Jesus they given the report and he tells them something really interesting not with push forward we can do more permits parts before you fall apart and so he encourages them to step aside now why were they so rightful burnout take a look with me back at my chapter six that we just read and it seemed we can identify some principles that led to this burnout he said to them and in Mark six was thirty one side by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while notice life for they were many coming and going and they did not even have time to eat and if you ever been so busy you ninety minutes ID it is like I I don't of time I'm not awake through this I can take lunch I just got to keep working through the federal time and that was seventy two of some of us last night in the summary brought doughnuts you'd also I succumbed to donuts last night because you know there was no time to eat sonatas some of the trigger factors for stress yet exhaustion you know there's just you going so much of the time you just can't keep up a lack of self-care you can't eat because you got to keep going it's too much work to be done and then ministry to others and when you mistreat others any notice how draining it becomes you just feel like I can't do it anymore I'm doing so much I read this little notice the other day and it's in either willing and led by the knowing and doing him hi Wolf will be ungrateful I've done so much for so long that I'm now highly capable of doing anything with nothing but you know that's not true that and so burned out their rightful burnout but you know as I looked at this I'd miss something until I went back to this magnificent book on the life of Christ many of you know at the desire of ages and advocates suggest that these were not the only reasons why they were ripe for burnout there were a couple of other reasons yet notice what they are desire of ages page three sixty as the disciples had seen the success of their labors they were in danger of taking credit to what themselves in danger kerosene spiritual pride and must fully understate those temptations a great work was before them it was the more they must learn that this strength was not in but in see what was going on yes they were saying this is cool did you see how people responded when asked which people were listening when I commanded the demons to go out they left went when I touched up with and they were healed this is incredible the Masai has Sierra Jesus is the one he's got to be king and we are the ones who made at the European endangered of spiritual pride getting to the point where you feel like you've got it all under control see the real problem of the book goes on is to say as activity increases and men become successful in doing any work for God there is a danger of trusting to what human plans and methods is a tendency to pray less and have less faith like the disciples we are in danger of losing sight on out about dependence on God the worst phrase that we can make when restraints is to say I'm to work hard and you notice that under the are you more push myself because that's when you're in danger of either spiritual pride or depression when you can't do it I then excited I'm just going to try and get it all done I'm not pull myself together undefined to make it or depression like it's no use I just can't make it work any of you ever gone between the cycles things are fifty and depression yes I certainly have and we're in danger of praying less and losing sight about dependence on God so in addition to these factors notice to that effect as we identified success did you know that success can lead to stress you know when you do really well you'd think you think you can do more and you can take on more than certainly guilty of that and then trusting to yourself I can do it I got it under control in fact I become persuaded as I look at my own life that the reason for stress is because I want to be in shock when I'm in charge I do make sure that things go right but inevitably I end up stressing law and praying with any of you been in that situation Gary suddenly half and so it sounds good Jesus is come upon raise the wild take a break it's not like you think which of the real sex don't do anything more this is going to be good I mean you are looking forward to vacation how you would like a vacation right I mean that's what it sounds like we're going on a vacation just you and me and we do have a great time but I want to tell you that maybe it's not as simple as that you see the problem here is that the way many of us take our vacations is that they are simply escape mechanisms so we get stressed and it we escape we get stressed again and it would auto escape and the ways we escape are often not helpful for us because our sketch cycles don't see how both deal with the problem infect many of us escape to the nothing box with media in Europe and on the suspicion of the guys we have a little nothing box and we rush off to our media box and that's where we escape and it's really feel like okay I'm to recharge but you know this isn't recharging when God says he wants to give us rest he's talking about the creation when we think of escaping would talking about recreation so you know many of us are engaging in recreations than regression I believe when God gave us the Sabbath he gave us a holy day not a holiday even give us just a day for a vacation to get us a day to really reach shots at how we go to do that is not just by putting off the depth is not just by relaxing something else has to take place and here is what it says in the desire of ages what they needed now was to feed on the bread of life let me tell you when you're stressed this is a signal that God is giving you you need to take time off to feed on me need to take time off your hungry disorders find out if a spiritual hundreds they had to take time to reconnect with me you need a feed on the bread of life and is that we don't feed on junk food who brought those donuts I thought it elects its way to go into that stuff that's not that I help us and we get up engaging and recreation instead of re- creation we need to go back to source of our strength something Jesus gives his disciples beginning says let's go to Bethsaida and that they had out the claimant about and they head out across the lake to the more than sure that through the Seder is not a large town just couple of thousand people then it's a deserted place is a lot of space between that town Capernaum which is on the other side of the Shaw and so they make their way across the other most than ahead way people see them leave significantly due they run alongside of them can imagine how frustrating this is you credit away from people and you can see them running on the hills and reflects an end of the wind against UN and that making up ground even though you are in the boat and I will and and you just realize you not been out run them and so finally they arrived on the shore and there are the people running up to them and I know this just surrounded by walled these people and they coming in you can see them all the way across and gets hired and you're exhausted you have had plenty and if Sierra these people just streaming in all from around and it looks like just when you thought you could get away from your stress is more stress I love ministry if it weren't for people you know they just keep trying reflects that ministry and what is left of all people eleven if the county had just when you feel like you're ready for but not as more of them and watched Jesus go to do in the middle of the situation how is he going to respond to the situation it looks like it is a compounded crisis with a good look at my chapter six again and with thirty two but the melt the Jews sold them to partying a meaning you him and ran there on foot from all the cities and arrived before them and came together to him and Jesus knows what he does and Jesus when he came out sora great mouth of Jude and was moved with what's that keyword compassion moved with compassion why because they were like sheep without a shepherd like sheep without a shepherd I let you know that even when you aren't strengths it doesn't remove you for that from the needs for compassion even when you're going to think you like I I can't do I can come up to one of these nights I got too much going on we are not Sam from compassion because I believe in boundaries your boundaries aware I set up some barriers so that I don't I I don't end up becoming responsible for something I should be responsible for you agree with that you agree with boundaries boundaries must be lived within the context of compassion enough you don't have compassion on people being the boundary just become the strict rules of many be selfish but when you set up God-given boundaries and in you that within the context of compassion you can react differently the slick designer Pages says his heart withstood with what that keyword sympathy interrupted as he was and robbed of his arrest he was not impatient identity that whenever I go to so I greater necessity in amending his attention he was moved with compassion in this biblical wood for compassion that truly means it was kept ranging he saw the miso is no leader these people need someone they need someone to teach them they need some and to lead them there like a sheep mad at wondering around it and not want to help them out the leaders are not helping that they just need somebody to kid and his heart is moved with sympathy if truck range and he says come on it set up shop we got it isn't teaching today it was the ship is hot they moved within it and I I noticed in the life of Jesus that even though he's hungry he can get food from a different source of you notice that you know when he was at the woman at the well he sent his disciples off to buy food and in they come back bearing fruit John kept the fault and that they get back in a Pentagon five from the Samaritans which is scary enough for them nobody did before they master now they excited to come back with food and he tells a minority have food to eat would you know not like that it began in from the Samaritan woman Frank Mokena my food my food is to do the will of him who sent me my food is to reach out to people and to care for them when I have that kind of food makes all the difference in the world right how many of you would love to see someone come to Jesus with a meal for absolutely and so he says look I have to reach out to the crowd because I have a ship and hot but the disciples by the end of the day on not feeling quite so magnanimous and so when you go back to my chapter six yeah we notice how the disciples begin to respond to to what is happening here and so in March at the six it says it says they respond when the day was now far spent with thirty five his disciples came to him and said this is a deserted place and already the hour is late was thirty six what they been wanting to do away send them out okay did run them on its being it's been okay we given them enough now send them away and that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread for them nothing to eat it was posed as it was for them but it was ready for the disciples in your .net are you knowing it would just be best for you if you did it this way and he got out of my head you know we just get rid of them and yet in the midst of this Jesus gives a commission and his commission Jesus commission is simply this his commission is found in verse thirty seven but he answered and said to them you give them something to eat you give them something to eat in John chapter five he literally tells them you go and find some grant what you have now shows the strange thing about Ethan even now as Jesus even now have the people he cannot wherever they go to find red you and you wonder why why is it that no one had read I mean with a disc all that irresponsible feedback and no space you couldn't just take greeted with you across tollgate because what the Romans do they would if she tried to attacks on the bridge again I miss you what opposite nation certificated that she brings great because he's not paying a tax on it but anyone else is like I will despite read when we get there so we don't pay the Romans so they are not carrying bread and they get there but they so interested in Jesus teaching that they don't get great for the whole day and so now Jesus reaches out and he says look you've got to find great for them and so in John we find out that they start having a discussion about it so go with me to John chapter six John kept the six and this does pick up on this notice was five and Jesus lifted up his eyes and seen a great multitude coming toward him he said to Philip John six this life where shall we buy bread that these may eat but this he said to do what what it what it interacts you set it to test them for he himself knew what he would do and Philip answered two hundred denarii with the bread is not sufficient for them that every one of them may have a little so you know Jesus is saying the ten thousand people remedy of five thousand men and in woman and children besides I look at it and I feel that the gospel commission sounds just as ridiculous all ye therefore and make disciples of all nations is like well I can do that that's just way too much and so sometimes we trying to mathematical calculations web we spent so much money yet we can reach this part of the city and that's what Philip was try to do two hundred and not read that's about eight months pay four thousand dollars if I can divided by ten thousand will we run about forty cents per person maybe we can give him a little like what I would hit two hundred denarii anyway eight months with the wages I believe Jesus Gable 's money away that was the problem and Jesus did take a little bit of a type so you how are you going to reach out and feed these people and each tried to a mathematical calculation but that was not what Jesus was asking for notice the statement from desire of ages too often the work of the Christ fails to realize his wife personal responsibility is in danger of shifting is voted upon organizations how are we going to get this done instead of relying upon who and that's Jesus who is the source will strength is a great mistake to trust in human wisdom one numbers in the work of God Euros like a cat how can we figure this out we go to get the company rap and heap of the creditors tabulated his math but it's not working and instead Jesus is saying look this is what you go to do you've got a feed them first Mark six was thirty eight you go out you give them something to eat now if you're on a plane where they tell you know when I thank you ladies and gentlemen for boarding Southwest flight seven sixty seven and I would like to thank you for traveling with us now we just need to remind you that when you put your oxygen masks on put on yours 's first now live in Jesus not follow basic common sense but you notice throughout the Bible that this is how it works you remember this the story in first Kings seventeen with Elijah and he comes to the woman of Arafat than and what does he say no yes what you doing now just getting a little bit of work here and I make a final meal for my my son and myself and how does he respond you make me some food first I will say getting a negative figure first but in principle yet it's really helpful for dealing with stress and that is that when we give to God first when we get to the needs of others he weep brandishes that need within ourselves are you following us I mean this is a critical principle they made a commitment and they went out and of course Andrew Simon Peter 's brother he finds a boy and he and they bring them you know he brings his five loaves and two fish exist but one of these among so many adhesive smiles and says all right organize them puts them into groups fifties and hundreds get the most heated is a lot of grass it was just before Passover was nice and green that had rain and he gets everybody seated down and then he blesses the food he prays and after he's prayed any intercedes for the people then he calls his disciples back any shoes that food and as they share with the people something miraculous happens and I don't want you to miss the miracle here because the miracle comes only when they have exhausted everything that they have and so one by one as the disciples come to begin to notice that a miracle is happening in and in this artistic rendition in the movie you see that initially is just the same five loves but as you keep on moving you see that it grows and grows with each disciple is a come back this morning and because it's showing that Jesus is able to multiply the loads its exponential growth and and I want you to notice the expressions kazoos it is priceless for each person and you can see well you know how is this possible what did you do that come from this and many does the same thing with the fish and I and they handed out and is just an incredible and incredible experience how if you would like to see a miracle in your life 's the best fruits is when you're out on learn when you stretch yourself to go away you didn't want to go before that's where God has numerical waiting to take place and so the people were fed and it was remarkable yes they would stress the disciples but then they would list can you say amen notice the steps they have to check the resources you go and see how much do we have to then when I checked the resources they have to bring their resources to Jesus and give them to Jesus in faith what it mean for that young boy to give away his lunch just think about that and they wanted a mean for the disciples to trust that Jesus is that of a full numerical but having these things doesn't mean you don't get organized you know so he organize them fifties and hundreds just like Moses organizes the people and they're all organized and then when they're organized he prays and that's when the miracle happens I mean you know the stories by George Mueller running an orphanage he just man up with things happen it's eighteen sixty two and his assistant Jim Wright comes to him and says I hate to brought bother you but the children already for breakfast and is not a thing in the house to eat how do you know the story least of your rights what should I tell them and George says I'll take care of it just give me a minute and thirty goes to pray and Nichols Mister Wright 's little daughter Abigail to come with them he says Abigail come and see what God will do and it went into the dining room and if three hundred children all sitting in neat rows behind the chairs in front of the children of the mind tonight before commencement but no food whatsoever to be seen and Abigail asked where is the food in Mueller just replied God will supply in any tilted to the Joseph is not much time I don't want any of you to be late for school so let's pray and as they bow their heads did God we thank you for what you're going to give us to eat a man knows that I have because been seated and they were done with the print and there was a knock at the door and if they go to open the dog of the bake is standing any says Mister mu I couldn't sleep last night and I keep thinking that somehow you would need great this morning and I supposed to get up and make it for you I got up at two o'clock this morning and made three batches of bread hope you can use that bank at leaves and is a second knock at the door and this under the guise setting up bases on the milkman my car just broke down it's too heavy for me to fix the wheel would you mind if you if we unloaded the milky and an interview light enough not to charge you for it but I can fix it without you know the copywriter and so they went and I got the milk and they had bread and milk for breakfast that morning and at that little swig are right always finished their prayer request by saying and please answer my prayers like you dear for Mister George Mueller it's not you want miracles then you go to get to that helpless position would you trust God more than you trust yourself now that we think after you've done these things not only should you pray but the disciples had to get up and give away the food right and it was still hungry they have to work and this is what it means personal responsibilities must be borne personal efforts must be made for those who do not know Christ in the place of shifting your responsibility but someone who thinks more richly endowed that you are what you to do work according to your ability they were to work according to the ability to God-given don't look for someone else to do it thank God I nonstress I believe you can bless you see because this work is our God and he will furnish the means and he will send help is true of his disciples whose hands will also be filled with food for the sobbing melted to see the principle of Scripture risk we can empower only that which we receive from Christ can you say men as you can receive all early as we impart to others you know when you have the full you can't get anything more but as you give to others so you're able to go back and get give more at how many baskets would lift after the feeding of the five thousand twelve one for each disciple Jesus knew they still need of food now they had to eat leftovers but there was more than enough it says and everybody hates and was satisfied you don't want to be like the did see no one makes that if he did know outlets no output it it just all of the salt comes in the name of the water evaporates it gathers more emotional and I can't living creatures can't really survive except for a few little microorganisms they can survive a because it's just too salty if the DNC is going all outlets and Christians have no outlet you do not give away what they have will end up just getting stressed and did so with the Dead Sea you need to be the ritzy know why because the ritzy provided away into the promised land the ritzy open itself up so the people of Israel could march through your to be a conduit for God 's grace amen and as you allow God to work through you you will become what you need to be you know exists it will be times when it's stressful I I was having to preach a sermon and it was only like my third settlement and I was really stressed going over what I was going to do and I developed a nice little settlement called when the going gets tough the test get going and saying Lord I just I need I need to just pull this together in a street light in the handle my some illustrations of mine and it was one part of the Simmons is the tough makes full but they don't give up I think I just just need a good illustration to go with this and then I got my motorcycle and I headed off to church and I have I was halfway there I leaned into the corner with the MRD three fifty leading into the corner and suddenly there was oil on the road at night I could avoided MI motorcycle slip away from you and I went bumping down the road and my first thought as I got up was my wife's sedan I ran over to it and I checked and it was scratches along the side of my jacket was old and I I I checked the motorcycle over and I got on it and miraculously it's not and I took over when I got to church just in time that's what happened to you jacket stole a torn asunder the breach site I was already running late rush them to look to the pool but I preach my stomach and I got to the point where I was saying when the going gets tough the tough may fall but they don't give I fit on my way in yet this morning said rainfall and I slip into the ground and then I got and that's why my jacket 's old haunts in the fly my motorcycle scratch that but I got and I was able to replace my stress and keep on going and everyone started sharing and that's an innocent and that's the last time I asked God for a sermon illustration on way to judge while they took up a collection at the door and bought me a new seats I went to a new suit new seat for the bikers other born in your third and so I realize I'd gone from strength to bless anything a man you seem to have a consequence when we decide to trust God with ourselves and that consequence is that God will come through for us and perform the miracle them means that opposition may not seem to be sufficient for the work but if we move forward in what city would say believing in the all sufficient power of God 's abundant resources will open before us I I want you to see if the work be of God see himself will provide the means for this accomplishment notice the conditions yet all means may not be sufficient but if we will born in faith notice if the work be of God he himself will provide the means if we trust God he will come through for us can you say amen your needlelike because I said I got the Senate enthralled me I'm that come through for you I love you I care about you and I never make it happen if we go to disposable strength without hands of faith outstrips to receive we shall be so sad can you say amen you see you stand at a crossroads and you have to decide either to go down the pathway of escape recreation when you go down the pathway of surrender we creation all you need is to come to Jesus give it all up and within expectant head received back to give to us when I was younger and and my wife confirmed that she did this to your members little boats when you have a rubber band opinion wind it up and it would utter along in the bathtub and I thought when that's all for now lives we wind ourselves at the next race gives us enough momentum to go a little distance but this last summit Summit he showed me something far more impressive it was a remote-controlled powerboats and this little pal about the real little engine in it and he had like thirteen obese and I've got that little boat can really travel and you can see if it's putting up quite a bit of the names that his job was to fix powerboats of you knowing he would make that the power it would just thought about picking up many of us are trying to accomplish the Wiccan on pallets like a rubber band we were just wind us up you know what happens of rubber bands if you wanted to tightly they snapped that's writes that was okay again I'm a rubber band of Smith but when you put the powering when you allow Jesus to put the motor and things change and you know I had the privilege of leading the baptism now it wasn't easy on that day on the day when he was fussy that is the past was supposed to do baptism and he got sick I had been preaching in the morning and I have to preach in the evening and then now the past was sick and he said you have to do the baptisms and so I have spoken to Leon and I said are you sure you want to do this and he said yes I want to do it it's coming the loss of my job to follow Jesus but I wanted to and I said are you sure you want to do since I am willing to surrender at all to Jesus and so that evening I was now the one stressed because the pastor wasn't there we couldn't find baptismal road to confine the baptismal certificates the program I left on my printer at home I didn't know what was going on I was so stressed while I cannot amuse it is everything a writer should know everything about our rights advocate I realize I need to go pray and I I took Leon and we went back to the little room and I said Leon we need to pray and as a train he said thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to trust God and you know not only was Leon baptized that day but his mom and they had not been attending a Christian church and Leon's wife was the seventh day Adventist Christian should become this and that is about ten years ago for ten years should be praying for Leon and for his mother and as I brought them out of the water I looked across at her she was right in front of the little baptismal tank we had and tears were streaming down her face and she just now thanks thanks and in that moment I didn't feel stressed at all I felt list and I want to encourage you to trust God to give yourself over to him and I've asked my wife and one or two to sing a song for us and I believe would to bless the beast with a man through Wes to be stressed but something is going to have to happen to help us move from being stressed to being blessed and that is Jesus command will you give them something we got ahead and get some in order to receive God was a media was brought audio is a website dedicated to spreading God 's word through reading sermon audio and much more I would like to know more about our universe is like the more so than please visit www. on universal .org


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