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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - No Troubled Hearts, No Fear - Part 2

Allen Jackson - No Troubled Hearts, No Fear - Part 2

Allen Jackson - No Troubled Hearts, No Fear - Part 2

It's a privilege to be with you today. We're gonna complete our study on "No Troubled Hearts and No Fear". Now we live in a troubling world and there's a lot of frightening stuff happening, but Jesus said, we don't have to let our hearts be troubled and we don't have to be afraid. If Jesus said it, it's our truth. We started this session in a previous lesson, we talked about the reality of God's people having great needs. That doesn't mean you're a failure or you missed God. The journey through time means we face those times and places of great needs, and we compound that with not always understanding God's timing, yet in the midst of that, God is moving. What we wanna understand is how to continue to say yes to him, so that God's momentum continues to carry us through to a place of victory. God has not abandoned you, he's walking with you, we don't have to be frightened, and we don't have to be filled with anxiety. Grab your Bible and a notepad, but most importantly, open your heart.

Folks, we've just given place to some things that we don't have to, we don't have to. I'm not saying that the feelings aren't real, I'm not saying that the motivations behind them aren't legitimate, we have to choose whether we're gonna give in to troubled hearts and anxiety, or we're going to walk in the triumph, and the victory that's ours. Now we're walking through troubled times, but we don't have to be filled with trouble. That's the truth. And so John 14, Jesus is speaking, he's begun to prepare his disciples for his exit and he said, "The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you". That's a pretty amazing promise. That we have a counselor, that God has provided for us that will teach us all things.

What kind of student are you? What kind of student are you? I promise you, there will be a contingent of voices ready with discouragement. There'll be all kinds of people around you who will say, "Oh, it can't be done". You're not one of those people, are you? You know, they'll show up and say, "Well, I'm a pragmatist, I'm a realist". Me too, I like equations and balance, I'm not into goofy. Spiritual is not goofy. Being spontaneous doesn't make you more spiritual. I promise, if God was only spontaneous, we wouldn't have any prophets. If God was only spontaneous, we wouldn't have the book of Revelation, he'd just surprised us all. Lots of fire and stuff. But Jesus told the disciples multiple times before they ever got to Jerusalem what was gonna happen to him. You see, sometimes we invert spontaneous with being spiritual. There's gonna be all sorts of people with discouraging words. "You're not spiritual enough, you're not something enough".

2 Kings 7, this is the same narrative we read, these are the verses before the ones. "Elisha says, Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says, About this time tomorrow, there'll be lots of food and it'll be cheap". I mean, he gave it a little more elaborately, but that's what he said. And in verse 2, "The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the prophet, Even if the Lord should open the floodgates of heaven, this wouldn't happen! And Elisha said, You will see it with your eyes, but you won't get any". Na na na na na. If you take that sentence, you're thinking, "Well that doesn't sound like something the Lord would say".

Folks, we're in a circumstance where being cuddly isn't probably gonna help us across the finish line. It's gonna take a different inward response from us. The people are starving to death in the city, they have a prophet. Elisha is a man twice as many miracles through his ministry in his life, as Elijah had had. Dead people raised to life again, I mean remarkable miracles, and yet the city where he is staying, the people are starving. That's awkward, and now the Lord gives him a message. He says, "Tell the people tomorrow happy meals for everybody". And the king's attendant mocks him and he said, "Oh, you'll see it, but you don't get one". Wow! We're not gonna make it through these places that we find ourselves in, unless we have the will to overcome the discouraging voices. It's easier to go commiserate with people that'll help moan with you, tell you how mistreated you are, how wrong everyone around you is, or whoever the point of your angst happens to be. I would strongly encourage you not to do that, it's not helpful.

Number four, God will provide help from unlikely candidates. He is frequently through the stories of scripture and through the history of the church used the most unlikely. The overlooked, the ill prepared, those that other people don't deem too significant, the underdogs, if you prefer that language. In the narrative that we've read, he used four gaunt leprous men willing to march forward. Anybody in the city could have gone over to the other camp, but the only four that were willing to volunteer were these four men, they felt like they had less to lose, and the rest of them were dying. It wasn't pretty. No, we've seen the, I don't remember the painter, the picture from the American Revolution, we've got the little drum and bugle and the five, then they got the head bandaged, and I mean, it's a classic picture.

These four, were not photo worthy. They're gaunt, they're stumbling, they're uncomfortable to look at, they've got a visible disease. I'm sure they fell more than once, they're taking painful step after painful step, they're fearful. They arrive at the camp and it's empty, they're confused, they're bewildered, they don't understand. They peek in the tent, they're selfish. I mean, it's just not a very, if you had a video of it, you'd go, "Oh, don't play that". You see some of us imagine that following God is this pretty happy dance. Just filled with understanding and knowing and absolute certainty. And throngs of people cheering and the angels standing around giving you high fives. We have pristine prayer parties while we frolic from one victory to the other. It's not like that. Serving the Lord is not like that.

Look, in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 26, "God chose the foolish things of the world". God chose them. How many know God chose you? How many of you really know God chose you? Okay, I can tell you now why he chose you. "God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise: God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. And he chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not to nullify the things that are". And just as much as God has done that in us and through us, he'll bring help to your life from some unlikely places. The value of being in community is difficult to overestimate, the strength we gain from one another. The encouragement that comes from hearing the words that you share, and the prayers that you pray, and your willingness to respond to one another. It's tremendously significant.

The next component of this little journey is movement. If we just do what we've always done, you know the answer to that, right? You're just always gonna get the same result, and when you find yourself in these places, we're gonna have to be willing to move to initiate a change in this narrative that we're following, it's halting progress. They had to help one another up, they'd fall and climb and climb back to their feet and they'd go a little further. They didn't have faith for a victory, they didn't say, "If we'll walk over there, they'll feed us". Or "If we'll walk over there, they'll welcome us". Or "If we'll walk over there, they'll interrogate us and then we can have something to eat". They said, "We go over there, we could die". It wasn't like they had this tremendous faith, but they were willing to move, all the faith they had was enough to stumble forward. And in the darkest, most challenging places in my life, I bet that's really all I had.

The little opportunity we had a while ago to give thanks to the Lord, of the most challenging times in my life, I haven't been able to do that. The only thing I could take hold of was the character of God that I knew about. I would say, "God, I know you're faithful. I don't feel like you're faithful, but I know you are. God, I know you're just, at the moment I don't even feel like you're being just with me, but I know you're just". Then I will declare that my God is just, and he's faithful. "And God, I know you love me. I feel pretty alone, and I feel pretty isolated, and I don't really feel like I'm just wrapped in a lot of love right now, but I know you're faithful and you're just, and you love me". Are you with me?

Don't imagine you're gonna wait until you have the faith to know what the ending's gonna be and you're gonna declare it and you're gonna post it on the social media. In my life, most of those places where I've begun to move towards freedom and a breakthrough, all I could do was take whatever simple step I knew to take, and if I would take that, somehow the Lord would meet me there. You've got enough faith to start, and if you'll start, I believe God will help you finish. He will. Matthew 14, we get a little example of this. Jesus is with his disciples, he's ministered to a group of people all day long, everybody's tired, the disciples are really tired. They've talked to all the people, they've answered all the Jesus questions, they've given directions, they've showed everybody where the bathrooms are, they've worked the welcome center. Some of them worked in the nursery, others helped park cars. Some of them were out there with the tow truck hauling off the cars that wouldn't park between the white lines.

Don't park like a pagan when you come to church. And they're at the end of themselves. So the disciples come and say that there's too many people, they're hungry, send them home, and Jesus says, "They don't need to go away, you give them something to eat". If you can close your eyes and use your imagination, you can see the disciple's eyes rolling. They're thinking, "Feed 'em"? And they said, "We've only got five loaves of bread and two fish". And Jesus said, "Bring them to me". "What, so you can eat"? "And he directed the people to sit down on the grass, and he took the five loaves and the two fish and he looked up to heaven and he gave thanks and he broke the loaves. And then he gave to them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people".

Now that's the piece I wanna talk to one of those. He's got five loaves and two fish and he breaks them up and shares them with the disciples, says, "Now you go feed these people". I don't know how it multiplied or when that started, but at some point in that process, I think it got like hilarious, right? 'Cause you know how people, let's say we're all hungry, and we've only got one pizza, or we all like chocolate, I've only got one bag of M&M's. And I said, "Look, I wanna share these with you". But I start on the front row. She's laughing 'cause she's on the front row, she's got a really good shot at an M&M.

I didn't see anybody back here in the back of the room laughing. You're all like, "We sat in the wrong place tonight, we're gonna get hungry". But if row after row got it means by the time I got back to you, you're like, "Woohoo, fill my shirt with them," right? Movement. The disciples didn't understand, they never seen that before, it was outside of their ability, they were tired, they weren't in the mood for a lesson. Folks, when I'm in those places, I don't wanna lesson, I'm not trying to learn about the character, I just want out from under, right? I'll learn a spiritual lesson later, right now, could I just get out of this mess please. But when I get out of the mess, I don't have very big ears anymore. Now I'll give you my testimony. We gotta move, we're gonna start thanking the Lord with some determination and some perseverance.

The last component is we'll find God's unexpected help as we begin to move forward. I promise you, you don't understand what your faith sounds like to the devil. He hates it when people believe God. He'll do everything he can to discourage you, to dissuade you, to distract you. He'll put temptations around you, he'll put people in your path to invite you towards ungodly responses. He hates it when you're willing to believe the Lord. Find the things you can do that are disruptive to evil and give yourself to them. I'll give you people like say to you, "Do I have to speak in Tongues"? No, but you can. Why wouldn't you wanna give that place to the Holy Spirit in your life? Those four lepers men started forward and God stepped in. I don't know where or exactly how, it doesn't give us the details, it just tells us what they heard, but he unleashed the host of heaven.

The earth shook with the force, they felt the army coming. God did that. The air was thick with the sounds of battle, those were seasoned veterans troops that had been in siege, after siege, after siege, they're not easily threatened or intimidated and something so real and so terrifying caused them to flee, leaving the dinner on the table. Those four leperous men had no idea what was happening when they moved, and neither do we. We gotta make, we're just not that smart, we don't have all the sensory apparatus to understand everything that's around us, what we're asked to do is to be people of faith and engage. Now I'm for your intellect, and for learning, and studying, and training, you'll need your brain to fulfill your assignment with the Lord, but more than that you're gonna need your heart.

John chapter 2 is another example of this, it's one of my favorite miracles. Jesus has taken his newly recruited disciples to a wedding, don't you know they were happy about that? A bunch of teenage guys being asked to go to a wedding. You can just see the joy on their faces. And then they run out of wine, whatever you think about that, I'm thinking the teenage guys at the weddings don't think it's a good thing. And Mary, Jesus's mom pulls him aside, you know the story, "On the third day a wedding took place at Cana. Jesus's mother was there and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. And when the wine was gone, Jesus's mother said to him, 'They have no more wine.' And Jesus said to her, 'Why do you involve me? My time has not yet come.'"

Now here's the punchline, this is so good. Mary says to the servants, now why they would listen to her, I don't know, but she says to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you. Whatever he tells you, you do that". We know Mary got an angelic visit when she was a frightened young woman, and we know that she carried and then gave birth to that most remarkable scenario. And we know that when Jesus was 12, she left him and had to go back and find him, and when she found him, they were startled at what he understood, but beyond that, we don't really have much information about miraculous or supernatural, the stories suggest that either Mary's awareness of what happened in her has grown tremendously since that angelic visit, or there's some other parts of the story that we don't have access to, it isn't clear, but what's very clear, is Mary believes Jesus is about to engage.

And that what he's going to say probably isn't gonna fit in the logic of an equation. It's not like he's gonna go rob a liquor store and roll in with several new cases, or she didn't say to him, you know, take the cash you've got and call Amazon, go swipe your card. It wasn't like she's expecting a logical response to that circumstance, she says to the servants, "Whatever he tells you to do, whatever he tells you to do".

I wanna suggest to you that we won't all know the Lord, in that wide variety of ways with this confidence perhaps that Mary had, whatever he tells you to do, but as God leads you through that place where you are, and you learn to trust him in walking out of that, you'll have the ability to say to other people that are in a similar place, "You can walk out of that. You can walk out of that, 'cause I've walked out of that and I was more broken than you are and God will bring you through".

And collectively we'll be able to say, "Just do whatever he tells you, just do whatever he tells you". Our God is a deliverer, it's the story of the book. From the fall in the opening chapters in Eden, to the deliverance from Egyptian slavery, to the exile being rolled back in spite of the stubbornness of the people, to Jesus arriving in an earth suite to a group of people that wouldn't accept him. To the story in the Book of Acts, to the story of the history of the church, our God is a redeemer. He's a restorer, and a deliverer, and he can reach through the pain and the difficulty and the challenges of our lives, and he can make a way. Let's go back to what Jesus said, it's at the very beginning of your outline.

In John chapter 14, "Do not let your hearts be troubled and don't be afraid". You can say, "I'm in a difficult place, okay, but I'm not gonna let my heart be troubled and I'm not gonna give in to the fear". You can walk through a frightening place but not be overwhelmed by fear. You can walk through a troubling place but not be overwhelmed by the anxiety and the stress of the trouble. Don't deny it, don't ignore it. We'll have to change, we'll have to grow, we'll have to repent, we'll have to trust the Lord, we'll have to move, we'll have to initiate, but we're not gonna give into the trouble and the fear. And we picked up one tool tonight, we're gonna give thanks like we don't have good sense.

I brought you a prayer, we better stand to read it, my time's up. Do you keep your prayers? If you don't keep those, you can get the daily devotional every morning there will be a prayer show up in your inbox. Don't let a day come and go without you saying a prayer out loud. I trust you don't let a day go by without having a let's pray moment with somebody other than yourself. If you don't have one with somebody, you need to have one for somebody. Say a little sentence prayer for somebody, we got to get over the horizon of me, we do. You'll begin to see God move in all kinds of ways. "Yeah, but I want him to move in my way". I got that, but the more you see him move, the more you believe he's gonna move on your behalf. Have you found your prayer? Let's say it together:

I'm a child of Almighty God. Jesus is Lord of my life and the Holy Spirit is my helper. God Himself has called me for his purposes. He designed me to make a difference in my generation for his kingdom. I choose God's path with my entire being. May God give me the strength I need to complete the course he has chosen, amen.

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