John Hagee - The Purpose of the Problem
What unspeakable joy there is for the person who knows how to search the rich veins of the gold mine found in this sacred text. The promises of God are the Magna Carta of liberty. The promises of God are the title deed to your eternal soul and your mansion in heaven. They are the crowned Jewels of the royalty of heaven and you are the royalty of heaven if you know Jesus Christ. He is already a king, and she is already a queen, who has the silver key, which unlocks the unsearchable riches of this book.
How do we obtain those promises? How do we release their awesome power into our lives? That's what this series is about. Read with me Deuteronomy 6:3. Ready? Therefore, hear o Israel, and be careful to observe it: that it may be well with you: and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you a land flowing with milk and honey.
Father, thank you for the rich and precious promises of God. Now let us discover today how to obtain those promises and release them in our lives to produce miraculous provision. In Jesus' name, we pray. And all of God's children said, amen.
You may be seated. After the promise comes the problem. Say that with me, after the promise comes the problem. God promises to give you a land flowing with milk and honey. He crushes Pharaoh, which is a type of satan. He leads you out of Egypt, which is the type of sin, because sin is slavery. Then he led them through the Red Sea, which is the type of water baptism. And he led them straight into the wilderness, which is a problem. They were in this wilderness experience for 40 years. Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God was also led into a wilderness. He was there for 40 days.
Why did they stay in the problem for 40 years and Jesus was in the problem for 40 days? Here's the answer very simplified. Every time God gave them a chance to step forward in faith and receive the provision, they whined, they complained, and they bellyached about what God was doing. When satan was face to face with Jesus Christ in the wilderness, saying, "If you really are the Son of God, turn these stones to bread," he said, "It is written... It is written... It is written... It is written..". He answered with the Word of God. He knocked satan on his backside. He walked out of that wilderness and began his miracle ministry, because he knew that in the problem, if you'll stay with the Word of God, you'll go straight through the problem and not make a career of your problem. Give the Lord praise in the house.
So my question to you and to you and to you is: how do you deal with your problems? Everyone in this room has some kind of problem right now. Don't expect that a problem is going to vanish unless you engage the problem. Don't react to a problem until you know all the facts. As a parent, you know when your children were in trouble and they came to you and presented the facts of the situation, it was always skewed in their favor. When you found out all the facts, it was an entirely different situation. A wife said to her husband, that new car you bought me, Harry, it won't start. Harry said, so why won't it start? She said, well, I think there's water in the carburetor. He very sarcastically said, you don't know the tail pipe from a carburetor. Where's the car? She said, it's in the swimming pool. She was right.
How you react to the problem determines how long you stay in the problem. The rewards that you're going to gain in life will be determined by the problems you solve. If all you are remembered by is the problems you create, you've got lots of problems. When you disobey God in the problem, he doesn't reach over and grab the maalox bottle, and say, oh, they're disobeying me: what am I going to do? He'll just shove you right around mount Sinai one more time. And you start looping this thing until you wear out your shoes. You get around here. I've got the Ten Commandments. Are you going to keep those? They didn't. Another lap around the hill, boy. Get used to it. Just a closer walk with thee. Just another lap for you and me.
Here we are. God never will give you an advance of your instructions until you obey the last thing he told you to do. I want you to hear that. There are people, who are running around, saying, well, I wonder when God's going to speak to me? He's not going to speak to you again until you obeyed what he asked you to do the last time. God does not force you to obey him. You have a freewill. With that freewill, you can plunge into the gates of hell, and God will let you go. Because you have the freewill to choose who you will serve. But he does put you in a position to reevaluate your decision to obey him.
The purpose of the problem is not to discourage you: it's to develop you. Problems are living proof that you're a card-carrying member of the human race. How can you know that God is a healer unless you've been sick? How can you know that God is a provider unless you're been without? How can you know that God is your defender unless you have been in a battle? How can you know that God is a comforter unless you have spent the night in a Garden of Gethsemane weeping in agony? How do you know that he's a mighty counselor unless you've been in a crisis, in which you needed the answer? How do you know that he's the Prince of Peace unless you were living in a great storm? How would you know that he's the God of all hope unless you had a moment where hopelessness literally consumed you? Do you have a problem? Do you have a problem? That's fantastic. You are right on the edge of discovering the power of God. Lift your hands and shout "Hallelujah" because God is getting ready to show you how he can solve that problem and bring you to the Promised Land! Give the Lord praise in the house!
Problems, problems are an asset. David said: it is good that I have been in trouble. Why? Because on in trouble do you find out really how good God is. David didn't know how great God was until he took on that giant. And then he really knew. We run from problems. We complain about problems. But problems are the things that make you what you are. Remember it is the oyster irritated by sand that produces the priceless pearl. Quit waiting around in the misery of your past problems, whining about what's happened to you yesterday. Look into the future, and hold the hand of God, and go straight through that problem. I want you to teach yourself a therapeutic phrase that I have used all of my adult life. It is, "Get over it". Get over it. I want you to get that in your mind. When I drop my hand, I want you to say it. Have you been hurt? Have you been criticized? Have you been betrayed? Have you failed? Turn to the person next to you and say, I'm over it. Everything's cool. Yeah! Give the Lord praise in the house!
Problems are nothing more than resistance. If what you're doing doesn't have resistance, it's not worth doing. Without the resistance of water, a ship can't float. Without the resistance of air, those big boeing 747's could not fly. Without the resistance of gravity, you cannot walk across the ground. A rubber band is effective only when it's stretched to its limit. Remember the tea kettle. It doesn't sing its best song until it's up to its neck in hot water. Kites rise against the wind, not with the wind. Winston Churchill, one of my favorite historical people, made this quote. He said, "The nose of a bulldog is sloped back so he can bite and breathe without turning loose".
Get a picture of that. What do you see when you look at a mighty oak tree? One day a tiny seed fell into the soil. It took root. And it began to fight its way through the rock and the dirt to sunshine and fresh air. It struggles through the storms, through the snow before it becomes a mighty oak of years of endurance. The point is God uses no one until he puts you through a blast furnace to see how you handle adversity. God is the founder of the university of adversity. You must enroll. Toughen up! Nothing in life is free. No one gets through this thing called life without resistance and without problems. Get over the idea of even quitting. The Bible says: he that puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not worthy of the kingdom. The Bible says: he that endures to the end shall be saved. The message is fight on. Fight on! Press on! Press on! God is with you! You cannot be defeated! Go through the problem! It is written! It is written! It is written! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!
Never complain about what you permit. Don't complain about Pharaoh if you refuse to follow Moses. Don't complain about children, who misbehave if you permit it. Don't say, well, I just don't know how to make my children behave. I've got a few tips for you, by the way. I've raised five and three more. I know. I've been to sea world. They've train a porpoise out there to play basketball. If they can train a fish to shoot a basketball through a hoop, you can train your kid to carry out the trash.
Deuteronomy 6:23: he brought us out that he might bring us in. You have to leave Egypt before you can reach the Promised Land. You have to say, "No" to sin before you can say, "Yes" to God. If you do not embarrass sin, sin will embarrass you. You have to walk away from anger before you can embrace love. You have to walk away from fear before you can embrace faith. You have to walk away from poverty before you can embrace prosperity. If you have a poverty complex, break it. It's not a Bible spirituality. You simply are going around the mountain one more time. You have to walk away from depression before you can receive joy. Okay. You were offended in 1962. Get over it! And move on. The Bible says: let no man take your joy from you. Say that with me, let no man take your joy from you. You are as happy as you decide to be. The world didn't give you your joy and the world cannot take it away. The joy of the Lord is our strength. It comes from heaven. It doesn't come from Washington, the newspaper, or the 10 o'clock news! It comes from the throne of God! Give the Lord praise in this house!
Now listen to this closely. Abraham and Lot's herdsmen got into an argument. Abraham said to Lot, you choose the land that you want. And Lot chose the fertile plains of the Jordan. The Bible is an eastern book, a Jewish book. And by eastern custom, Abraham being the senior, had the right of first choice. But he gave up what was his right to be reconciled. That's another sermon for another day. The point I'm pressing toward here is Lot and Abraham. The word "Lot" means a veil, like something over your face that keeps you from seeing. As soon as Lot left, God said to Abraham in Genesis 13:14: lift up your eyes and look north, south, east and west, and I will show you all the land that I'm going to give to you and to your descendants forever. He was talking about the land of Israel. As long as Lot, the veil, was around, God did not show Abraham his inheritance. But the instant that the veil was removed, God showed him the inheritance, which was far greater than anything he had ever dreamed.
Some of you in this room and some of you watching by television have a Lot in your life, a veil, that prevents God from showing you your full potential, your spiritual inheritance. This is a rhema word for someone here today, let Lot go. Let Lot go. God has a future for you that's going to blow your mind. But he's not going to show it to you until Lot leaves. Hear this. When you want something you've never had, you've got to be willing to do what you've never done. If you want to be in the Promised Land, leave Egypt. If you want liberty, be bold enough to walk away from bondage. God is a loving God toward his children. Think how you love your children. But the love of God for you is thousands of times greater than that. God gives his children a good thing.
I'm going to say this: that good is the enemy of better, and better is the enemy of best. God gives us something good, and we grab hold of it with both hands, and we hold onto it. And God starts trying to take it away from us. And we hold on, and we pray, and we whine, and won't let it go. Finally, he rips it out of our hands and gives us something better. You say, oh. If I'd have known this is how it was going to go, I'd have given up a long time ago. Now you have something better and you're holding onto it. God says, I have the best for you. And he finally rips that out of your hand and gives you the best. Oh, if I'd have known it was going to be this good, I would have given up a long time ago. I want to say this to you. God never takes something from you unless he's going to give you something far better than what you've had. The purpose of the problem is to motivate you to a new level of accomplishment.
In the northeast, codfish are a great commodity. The problem is how to catch the codfish on the east coast, ship them to the west coast when they are alive and fresh. They tried salt water. But the codfish, when they arrived on the west coast were soggy. They tried a dozen different things and they failed. And finally a fisherman said, put a catfish in their tank. The catfish is the natural born enemy of the codfish. So they put a catfish in the tank with the codfish that they were shipping from east to west. When they opened the tank on the west coast, those codfish were alive and fresh. They were moving everywhere, running from that catfish. They were full of vigor. They were stimulated. They were alive.
The point is sometimes when you get complaisant in your life, God drops a catfish in your tank. It'll stimulate you. It'll keep you fresh. It'll make you full of vigor, because that's the only way to enjoy your life. The provision: you have the Promised Land of God flowing with milk and honey. You have endured the problem in the wilderness for 40 years, confusing motion with progress. Now you must decide to enter into the provision by faith. You will not solve your problem and enter into the provision because of the sacredness of sameness, having the same thing, same thing, the sacredness of sameness. You want things to be different, but you don't want anything to change. That's sacred sameness.
Numbers 11:6 said, we remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt. We remember the leeks and the garlics. The tacos and the jalapeno peppers. We remember the grits and the fat back and the barbecue. Where is that? This manna, we're tired of it. Around the rock one more time, bud. You see that touch of nostalgia on graduation day when everybody is leaving everybody and change is happening. Boys are shaking hands warmly and promising to make the class reunion. The girls are crying. And twenty years later, they all come back, look at each other, and really cry.
America, right now, is Romantically remembering the 50's, a time of security, a time of tranquility, a time when we honored policemen: they were not being shot while on duty by anarchists, a time when a man in a military uniform was a hero, a time when men were marrying women and then they had children, in that order, by the way. Today America's swimming in a moral sewer with aids, abortion, anarchy, drugs, divorce, satanism, witchcraft, pornography, drive-by shootings, rape, incest. No wonder we are reaching for the past.
But you can't go back to yesterday: it's over. You have to live life where you are. You can't go back to Egypt. You must go to the Promised Land. You must live victoriously for Christ right now. You cannot go back to the leeks and the garlics. You must face the giant that is before you. Quit waiting around in the boneyard of your bitter past. Paul said: forgetting those things, which are past, I press toward the Mark of the prize of the high calling, which is in Christ Jesus. Put your hand in the hand of God. Keep following the cloud by day and the fire by night. Move into the Promised Land and know that this land is your land, because God gave it to you in every promise of the Word of God. Give the Lord praise in the house of God.
Magnify the Lord with me and let us glorify his name together! Can we stand together? How many of you in this room can say, pastor, there's some kind of problem in my life that I would like to see the Lord change. Let me see your hand. Most. For all who confess to become satisfied with the status quo, you're locked in a rut, and you want that to be broken. Lift your hand, please. God bless you. How many of you here can say, our marriage can be a better marriage, and I want it to be that. Let me see your hand. Thank you.
I want you to leave this service, today, motivated by the power of the Holy Spirit to reach the new level of accomplishment in your personal and spiritual life. I want you to get tired of the grit and the sun, and walk through the refreshing water of that Jordan river into the land flowing with milk and honey. That's what God wants you to have. Thousands of you have raised your hand. Those of you watching by television, I invite you to call our prayer counselors and let them pray with you. Lift your hands and all of you pray here. Those of you that are watching by television, you can pray this prayer.
Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, you know the problems in my life that are destroying the quality of my life. Right now I give you those problems. I want you to lead me through the problem. I have been in it far too long. I am renouncing its domination over me. And I am going to receive God's answer today, in the authority of Jesus' name. I'm leaving this auditorium filled with the victory and the divine purpose that God has given me for my life, in Jesus' name. Amen.