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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - Don't Be Afraid of Pressure - Part 1

Creflo Dollar - Don't Be Afraid of Pressure - Part 1

TOPICS: Troubles, Pressure, Fear

A couple of weeks ago, we began a new series of teachings on "Maturity Through Pressure". And this is so important because as Christian people, we got to understand that we cannot remain spiritual babes all while we're here. God intends for us to mature, and that means we've got to put away childish things. There are anointings in your life that, you know, God wants to use you in, but he can't until you mature. And we must mature. And we must understand that there are things that will happen in our lives not because, you know, the devil is so busy as much as it is these are opportunities to mature. An opportunity to put away childish things, that we're not acting like we did when we first got saved. And we're not cast to and fro with every wind of doctrine, and we start recognizing things and understanding things.

And so, Jeremiah gives a good picture. The Old Testament is about pictures and certain things that we can see and can glean and live from. So Jeremiah chapter 9 and verse 10, let's begin there this morning. We're talking about maturity through pressure, but if you have to give it a subtopic, I'm gonna be focusing on "Don't Be Afraid of Trouble," okay? Just 'cause the pressure comes doesn't mean you have to be afraid of it. Verse 10, he says this: "This is what the Lord says: 'You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good, and not for disaster, to give you a future and to give you a hope.'" Verse 10, notice what he says: "You will be in Babylon for seventy years".

You know, I'm sure some of you might think, "Man, I've been in Babylon for a while. I've carried this pain for a while. I've been in this situation for a minute. When is this thing gonna change"? You know, sometimes you would wonder, you know, why Babylon? Why am I going through this situation? Why am I going through this circumstance? And like the apostle Paul, you've got to come to the place of saying, you know, when I'm weak, that's when I'm strong, and not get to an attitude where you're like, oh my God, I just don't know why Lord don't like me; why am I going through this? Just cut that out for a moment. The thing I want to encourage you with today is that they were in Babylon for 70 years, but then there was a "but". I like that B-U-T. That means things are about to change. And in all of our lives, there is a but.

The doctor said you have cancer, but... The money was looking funny, but... The relationship wasn't going too good, but... Something's getting ready to change. It means to zero out what was happening at the beginning, and the only thing that will continue to exist is what comes after the but. You know how some people say, "I love you, I appreciate you, but you get on my nerves". Well, forget about "I love you and I appreciate you," the only thing remains is after that, that "but". He says, "But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised". I believe we are at that time right now where God is coming to do for you all the things that he has promised, amen? Man, I believe that. And he says, "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good, and not for disaster". Another translation says, "Plans for good, and not for evil".

God doesn't have evil plans set up for you. He has things that are good. God is going to run you over with his goodness, praise the Lord. Okay, maybe it's been rough. Maybe things have happened you don't quite understand. Maybe situations and relationships you don't quite understand. But here's what I want you to understand today: the goodness of the Lord is about to show up in your life. And the reason why I'm telling you this is because I want you to start believing for that goodness. David said that I had to believe to see the goodness of the Lord while I was alive. I don't want you to wait to see if goodness is gonna show up. I want you to start believing for the goodness of the Lord every day. I want you to wake up saying, "Father, I believe to see the goodness today". I want you to go to bed, say, "Father, thank you for goodness tomorrow".

I want you to put your faith out there for the goodness of God to show up, and the favor of God's gonna show up in your life, showing you goodness that you didn't deserve, goodness that you didn't earn, goodness where you don't even know where it came from, I'm telling you! The goodness of the Lord is about to run you over, and I'm asking you to believe God for the goodness. I go home on that one. I can tear something up on that one. I can tear something up on that one, praise God. I tell you what, I had a week of the turnaround. I had a week of the turnaround. I told you I wasn't gonna tell you everything until it was totally finished, but I'm telling you, I was going one way, and it turned around and it shift and went the other way. You don't understand. You don't understand. You don't understand, listen, I'm not just talking to you about, you know, what it say here.

I know about this goodness. Taffi... And I'm telling you, God wants to do you good and make you happy. Say this out loud with me: God wants to do me good and make me happy. So no more sad days, no more down days, no more crying days. The goodness of the Lord is about to show up. We are believing for the goodness. We receive the goodness, and we shall walk in the goodness because our God is good. Now don't let the devil take you where, "Well, you know, Brother Dollar, I hadn't been good enough to receive God's good", no, no, God's not good to us because we're good. Get that out of your thinking. Don't let some religious person come tell you, "Well, you know, you ain't been good enough".

God's not good to you because you've been good. God is good to us because he's good. That's what he does. He's in the business of being good and showing some goodness in your life. And I tell you what, there are people in your family that not even saved, but when they see the goodness on you, then that goodness is gonna get on them. What does the Bible say? "And the goodness of the Lord will cause a person to repent". God's gonna start changing some minds of wicked people who didn't believe in him. And his goodness is gonna cause them to believe. His goodness is gonna turn them. His goodness is gonna take 'em out of the strip club. His goodness is gonna get 'em off the drugs. His goodness, hallelujah, is getting ready to turn some things around.

Now, I apologize for getting to screaming at the beginning of this, but, kinda hard to hold yourself when God... God been good to me and Taffi all week long, and I figure if it's happening to us, it's got to be happening to some of y'all. And if it hasn't happened yet, go ahead and keep believing for the goodness! I'm ready to go home and eat my baloney sandwich right now, I'm telling you. My God! I know we not moved by our feelings, but I feel something up in here now. All right, now. Let's look at this. Let's let this speak to us now. Let's go to Romans chapter 5. Romans chapter 5 and verses 2 through 4 here. Maturing through pressure. What's the pressure plan? What is God planning on doing with these things that show up in our lives? These things that show up in our lives that cause us to wonder, "What have I done to deserve this"?

You remember the boy who was born blind. The disciples saw him and they asked, "Lord, who sinned, the boy or his parents, that he would be born blind"? And God said nobody sinned. He said, "But that my glory might be seen". See, just because you're going through temptations and pressure situations, it's not because you sinned. Sin is not the reason it showed up. But that the glory of God can be seen in your life. Just don't let go. See, God's doing something with you so the glory can be seen. God's maturing you so the glory can be seen. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! That mountain showed up so the glory can be seen. You got fired off that job so the glory can be seen.

Somebody said, "Well, what if it was my fault"? The glory gonna be seen! You ain't gonna do that no more! Now, watch this. Romans chapter 5, verse 2 through 4. Let's read it out of the King James first. He says, "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace". So we have access to the grace of God, this unmerited favor of God, all the finished works of Jesus, we access that, take a hold of it by faith, "wherein we stand. And we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also". Think of that! "We glory in tribulation, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience worketh experience, and experience worketh hope".

Now, please understand, "hope maketh not ashamed". Now, oh, maybe 40 years ago, I used to think that tribulation produces patience. Well, if that were the case, everybody would have some, right? No, what it means, the word "worketh," it derives from this word which means employ. So, what he says is when you're in trouble, hire patience. When you're in trouble, employ patience. Now, patience doesn't mean to put up with. It doesn't mean, "Well, I was at the red light for an hour, and I was patient". No, it doesn't mean put up with. Patience means consistently, constantly the same. Whatever you were before the tribulation, you are through the tribulation, you are after the tribulation. In other words, you didn't change about what you were believing God for. Patience means I am constantly, consistently the same.

Now, let's read this out of the NLT and see what else we can dig out of this. Verse 2, I'mma read verse 1: "Therefore since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand. And we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance, that we can rejoice when we run into problems and trials".

In fact, there's no better time to rejoice than when you face a problem or a trial. That's the time the joy of the Lord becomes your strength, right? And joy is not, you know, "hee hee, ha ha". Joy comes from what you know. And what you know is what Jesus has already done. "So we can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials. For we know that they help us develop endurance". The problems and the trials help you to develop endurance. Who is to say that the thing that God has you ready for, that that thing is gonna require endurance? But you don't have very much endurance right now. And so, the problem and the trial helps you develop endurance.

I wrote something down last night as I was reading over this. God is preparing and maturing us to function in the capacity and the anointing that we were created for. He is preparing and maturing us to function in the capacity and the anointing that we were created for. All of us were created for a purpose. All of us have been given an anointing. All of us have been given a reason, and I'm telling you, the pressure is working and developing us. Like I said the other week, there is one thing for you to just kinda grow up, but there's another thing if you want big muscles, you're gonna have to put pressure to develop those muscles. You know, everybody has a bicep muscle, you just can't see everybody's one, it requires the pressure to develop it for it to come into view. Praise God. Hallelujah.

There's an anointing in you that's about to come into view. Are you listening to me? The pressure and the stuff that you're going through, you think, you know, that God just doesn't like you and that he doesn't love you. God is love; he can't do nothing but love you, okay? And you are, you are, you're getting ready to come into view. Hallelujah! And the devil ain't got a hold of you yet, you understand? He ain't seen nothing, 'scuse my English, like you, because all of the stuff that you have gone through and all of the stuff that some of you are still going through is to bring that anointing into view. Oh, Lord have mercy. He said, he said, "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help develop endurance, and endurance helps to develop the strength of character. And the character, the strength of our confidence and our hope in salvation".

I'm showing you that the trial of your faith is basically working to get you to a point in your life where you are no longer in self-dependence, but you are now God-dependent. God-dependent. There are things that'll happen in our lives. We'll come to the point where we will realize, only God can get me out of this. And I would say, don't wait until something like that happens before you depend on God. Start depending on God with everything. The trial of your faith is about burning away self-dependence until you can totally depend on God for everything. There's nothing that I've not gone, that I've gone through in my life where I finally realize I gotta start depending on God for everything.

I mean, most of my prayer this morning was, "God, I need you. God, help me with the utterance. I depend on you. Work through me and do what you need to do through me. There are people that are gonna be hearing this sermon today, I have no idea what's been going on. There are people online. Before the end of the week, there'll be a million people that will hear this sermon. I don't know how to say what you shown me". Paul constantly asked people, "Pray that I might have utterance". It's not that I don't know what I want to say, but I need him to help me to say it, and you need him to help you to hear it. We need him. And we need him now. I believe that pressure can be a gift; that applied pressure can reveal strengths, but it can also reveal some weaknesses.

How you respond to pressure will either produce a benefit or a drawback. How you respond to it. Pressure can show up and you can respond negatively and it's a drawback, or pressure can show up and you can do like Paul and say I'm strong, and start bragging about when I'm weak, I'm strong. And all of a sudden, that pressure, it's kinda like when people dog you out, slander you, you need to give them some credit for your promotion. 'Cause without the hard time you gave me, I wouldn't be able to be where I am right now. So here's a Christmas card, here's a thank you card! I want you to know I ain't scared of you; that right now, I know how to respond to pressure. My goodness. Pressure will produce positive development, or it will produce negative development. It'll produce promotion in your life, or drawback. It'll produce positive development, or negative development. It depends on how you respond to it.

So, how will you respond to the pressures applied to your life? They're gonna be there. How will you respond to the pressures applied to your life? I'm thinking it's part of the program for living here on earth! Somebody says, "Well, I had no pressure, no problem, no temptation since I've been saved". I don't know what kind of saved you got, because the Bible says they that live godly shall suffer persecution.

Look at James chapter 1. Let's go to the King James first, then the NLT. James chapter 1 and verses 2 through 4. James chapter 1, verses 2 through 4. How to respond to it. Verse 2 says, "My brethren, count it all joy". He didn't say count it all faith. He didn't say count it all whatever, he said count it all joy. When do I count it all joy? When you fall into different types of temptations, tests, or trials, count it joy. See, the way you respond to the temptation, test, or trial. You got to change your response because that's gonna determine the aftermath. How I respond to the temptation test. And so he says, count it all joy.

And remember, joy is not just being happy, you know. If you stay with it, you'll eventually get happy, but the difference between joy and development, excuse me, joy and happiness is happiness is based on your comfort. You're happy when you're comfortable. But joy is based on what you know. So he says, "My brethren, count it all joy". When do I count it joy? When I fall into different temptations, tests, and trials. "Knowing this". So I can count it joy knowing this. So what do I need to know when temptations, tests, and trials come? What do I need to know? "Know that the trying of your faith employs or worketh patience".

So when tribulations, testings, or trials come, I'm gonna count it joy because I know that this trying of my faith, employs, employs or causes me to step into patience. And I know that patience, keep going, patience, he says: "But let patience have her perfect work..." Let patience have her perfect work. What's the perfect work of patience? I'm just gon' stay the same. I'm staying the same about the promise of God. What's the perfect work of patience? Let patience have her perfect work, or her complete work, or her mature work, that you may be mature. Let patience have her perfect work that you might be perfect or mature and entire. And notice what he says, and if you do this, you will come out wanting nothing.

See, a lot of people make it or it breaks because, based on how you respond to the trial. You know, if you let joy rise and you're patient about what you know, and you maintain what you know, you're gonna come out wanting nothing, and you're gonna come out with a level of maturity that you didn't have before. Okay, so there are things that been happen, that's happened in my life; I wonder why is it taking so long? When is this gonna move? When is this pain gonna stop? When is this gonna go away?
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