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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Matt Hagee » Matt Hagee - Easier Said Than Done

Matt Hagee - Easier Said Than Done

Matt Hagee - Easier Said Than Done
Matt Hagee - Easier Said Than Done
TOPICS: Thanksgiving, Thankfulness

"Rejoice always". Say that with me, "Rejoice always". That's easier said than done. It's easy to rejoice when you feel like it, but on the most difficult days of your life, that's when rejoicing is the most important. "Pray without ceasing". It's easier said than done. Most of the time, we like to use prayer as an emergency hotline that we pick up and use to speak to God just before everything falls to pieces. But Paul says, before it gets to being a bad situation, pray. Let God lead you. Other people don't use prayer for emergencies. They just use prayer like it's the old request hotline on Friday night with your favorite DJ. How many of you remember the good old days when you could call and request a song on the radio? This one goes out to you know who. We treat God like that.

When we want something, we pray about it, so that he knows exactly what we want. And we tell him when we expect to receive it. But that's not what prayer is. "Pray without ceasing" it's easier said than done. And then he says, "And in everything", say that with me, "In everything give thanks". The opposite of these three things, rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, and in everything give thanks, come down to one common denominator. You are either rejoicing or you're complaining. You are either praying or you are whining about what you wish God would change if you would pray. You are either rejoicing or you are nagging about the life that you wish you had. What you have to understand is that our responsibility, as redeemed children of God, as the light of the world, is to give God glory so that the world cannot forget who created heaven and earth and all that he's worthy of.

We live in a world that is so filled with so much instant gratification made possible by so much technology: that we take for granted everything that we see God do on a daily basis. Think about how often we talk about the impressive download speeds that technology has. You know I can get stuff on my phone without buffering. I don't really care if you're 3g, 4g, 5g or no g. You know what an impressive download speed is? Six hundred and seventy million, six hundred and sixteen thousand, six hundred and twenty-nine miles an hour. That's how fast God downloads sunshine from heaven to earth. If you're grateful, but you're not thankful, it's like wrapping up a gift and refusing to give it away. Gratitude is what I feel about what you do for me. Thankfulness is when I tell you how grateful I am.

And there are a lot of people that feel gratitude, but don't express thanks. The problem is, when you don't express thanks for the gratefulness that you feel, you make people feel like you don't appreciate them. When you don't express thanks for the things that God does for you, you don't let him feel underappreciated. You take his glory from him, because his glory belongs to him and him alone. King David said so in his final prayer. He made it known, "The power and the glory belong to God". What did Jesus tell his disciples to pray? "Thine is the kingdom. Thine is the power. Thine is the glory". Our God is a glorious God. And he deserves to receive all of the glory from each and every one of us for what he has created, for what he has redeemed, for what he has done. It is vital that you realize how powerful it is for you to live a life of thanksgiving. Why? Because when you give God thanks, you are giving God what he truly deserves, which is the glory that's due his name. God is a gracious God. God will share all kinds of things with you, but his glory, he said, I will share with no one.

The prophet Isaiah, in Isaiah 42:8, he said (the Lord speaking), "My glory I will share with no one". Think about that. God will share with you his kingdom. The book of Ephesians says, "It's by grace that you have been saved through faith. It is the gift of God". Meaning he expressly gave it to you. Through faith in his son Jesus Christ, he has grafted you into his family and made you a part of his will. He said, "Believe in your heart and profess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and you'll be saved". Salvation comes with a commitment from God Almighty that you are now an heir and a joint heir in his kingdom. That means you're a part of the final document. He's willing to give you power.

How do you get power? 1 Thessalonians 5, "Pray without ceasing". Realize that the most powerful position that you will ever be in, in all of your life, is the position of a bended knee speaking to Almighty God in prayer. He said, "Whatever you ask the father in my name, he will do it". Child of God, that's powerful. Jesus said, "Whatever you bind, it is bound in heaven. Whatever you loose, it is loosed in heaven". You speak to a mountain, it shall be moved. You lay hands on the sick, they will recover. You come against a demon spirit, that power and principality has to flee. Child of God, that is powerful stuff! God is willing to share his power. God is willing to share his kingdom. But when it comes to his glory, he said, that alone is mine. I'm not going to share that with anybody. Why? Because he and he alone is God. He and he alone sits on the throne.

There isn't one thing that you have in your life, there isn't anything that you've ever done, there isn't any good that will ever come to you that God alone did not allow, which is why he deserves the glory for it all. Every physical ability you possess, the Bible says, "In him we live: and in him we move: and in him we have our being". When it comes to God's great ability to redeem, people often want to stop and argue, "I just don't understand it. I don't understand it. I don't understand it". You'll never understand it. Just be glad that he did it. I don't know how he could see from the foundations of the earth that you and I would need to be redeemed: and yet, he created the earth anyway.

The Bible says that from the beginning of the foundations, he is the Lamb of God slain. I don't know how God remained faithful to mankind after century and century and century of men walking away from him, turning their back to him, worshiping idols in front of him. I don't know how he could choose a teenage girl in the hills of Nazareth and fill her with the Holy Spirit to the point that she could bear his only begotten son. And I don't know how that only begotten son could grow in faith and wisdom, and become the one who would redeem you and I at a place called Calvary. I don't understand the God who would watch that boy be rejected, and mocked and scorned, and arrested, and beaten, and crucified, and die: and in doing so, reach out to someone like me and pull me from the wages and clutches of sin, death, hell and the grave, and set me free. But I'm here today to say, "God, I'm grateful for what you have done and how you have redeemed"!

I don't understand the Bible verse that says, he knew you and he loved you, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". When you were at your worst, he was at his best: for which he deserves the glory. Remember I told you, "It's easier said than done". And sometimes we take for granted such great things that God has done that when somebody says something about it, we go, "Oh yeah, I know that". Think about how short sided we are: that we could actually wake up in a world where the one who came to redeem us, not only died that he would set us free from death, but then he rose again, and he's still alive. He's still alive. He's still alive. And we don't know how to celebrate it. He's still alive and we don't know how to be thankful for it. He's still alive and we don't know that we have power over death, hell, and the grave because he's sitting on the throne. He is a risen Savior. He has resurrected, conquering the chasm of death and given us the keys. And we don't know how to be grateful for it! He's still alive! Give the Lord a shout of praise!

The Bible says, "Rejoice in the joy of your salvation". Do you know where your salvation comes from? Not a cold and dead prophet of old, but from a risen Savior, who is sitting on the throne right next to God the Father, who created heaven and earth. The Bible says that he paid the full price of death and he gave us everlasting life. That means because he lives, I'm going to live. That means because he lives, this earth is not my home. That means because he lives, I have hope that the world didn't give. Because he lives, I have joy the world can't take away. Because he lives, I'm more than a conqueror through Christ. Because he lives, he deserves all of the glory, all of the honor, all of the praise!

Now give the Lord a living shout in this house today! We look at all of God's goodness, and all of God's grace, and all of God's might, and all of God's majesty, and all of God's power: and we don't know how to give thanks. We say, "Good Lord, I'm grateful," but we wrap up the gift and keep it to ourselves instead of letting it out so loudly that the world knows what we're excited about. I saw people just a few hours ago that were telling me, "W-o-o-h, my team won. My team won. My team won". What would happen if you walked up and down the street saying, "Jesus lives. Jesus lives. Jesus lives"?

And the Bible says very clearly that the Lord resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. And I don't know anyone who would intentionally sign up to be resisted by God. But every time that we want to keep some of the glory for ourselves, that's exactly what we're doing. Proverbs 6 says that there's a list of things God hates. Number one, "A proud look". He says, I hate it. He doesn't say he hates it because that's a strong word. He says he hates it because that word means it stirs up the hot anger within me. Now if you want to know what God's hot anger looked like, go reference Sodom and Gomorrah. Paul told Timothy that in the end times, perilous times would come, because men would be lovers of themselves: that they would be boasters, and they would be proud. In our pride, we take glory from God and we give it to ourselves.

Now here's the balance of it: people often feel guilty when it's time to celebrate achievement. God is not against you celebrating achievement. But God wants you to remember where your achievements came from. He's the reason for it all. He just lets you be a part of it. Did you have a great year in your business last year? Were all your bills paid and you made more money than you know what to do with? That came from God. He did it. He just let you participate in it. But it's so much easier said than done, because we want to keep a little bit of it for ourselves. Oh, but you don't know how hard I worked. "Faith without works is dead". You had to work hard. But the work of your hands, God gave you the strength to do. You can't escape it. Jesus said, "Apart from me, you can do nothing". God will give you grace if you stay humble. But he'll resist you if you get prideful, because pride takes the glory from the God who truly deserves it. Pride will cost you your position.

Consider Lucifer in Isaiah 14. He's the glorious angel who calls all of the other angels to worship. He's the anointed cherub. That's how the Bible describes him. He is the angel above all other angels. He's prettier than they are. He's more talented than they are. He's got more gifts than they do. When he opens his mouth, he summons all of them to the throne of God: that they can give God the glory that he deserves. And one day Lucifer is doing what God created him to do, and he's watching the millions of angels around the throne honor God, who sits upon it. And then he wonders to himself. He says, why don't they honor me? Why aren't they giving me just a little bit of that glory? I'm better than they are. Where would they be without me? How could they do it if I didn't do my part? He looked in the mirror, and said, "Lucy, Lucy, Lucy. You good-looking thing". And in all of his vanity and pride, he got "I" trouble. He said, "I will ascend and become like God. I will sit upon the throne of God. I will walk in the garden of God. I will stand on God's hill".

Pride will give you "I" trouble where you start talking about all "I" am going to do. But the problem is Lucifer forgot the most important thing for every human being to ever remember: that he was not a Creator: he was created. Pride cost him his position as God cast him down from heaven. There's another kind of pride. It comes in a different form. It's not as arrogant as the boaster, but it's just as devious. It's called self-pity. How many of you know people who use self-pity to control others? It's the subtle side of pride. You ever met anybody who complains with their posture? It's not what they say: it's how they say it. How was your day? "Good". How are you feeling? "Fine". And all they're doing is just putting out little pathetic breadcrumbs for you to pick up until you get to the caldron of misery that they want you to sit in. They're waiting for you to pet them and tell them, "It's going to be okay. It's going to be okay. It's going to be okay".

Let me tell you something: grow up and get over it. You say, "Well that doesn't sound very spiritual". Let me read to you 2 Corinthians 7. I'm so glad you asked. It says, "godly sorrow produces repentance". That means that when you're sad because you see things that break God's heart, God gives you repentance and that leads to salvation. It says, "But the sorrow of the world produces death". So when you choose to be self-piteous, that's worldly sorrow. You have "I" trouble. All you're focused on is what you think is going wrong in your life. And all you talk to people about is poor me. Poor me: I didn't have a good day. But the Bible says, "This is the day that the Lord has made". Poor me: nobody cares. The Bible says, "Cast all your cares upon him, because he cares for you". Poor me: I'm all alone in this situation. The Bible says, "I'll never leave you nor forsake you," even to the end of the age.

When you take on a self-piteous attitude, you're rejecting the provision and the company that God has already made for you. Having a bad day is a normal part of life. Making that bad day your personality is how you use guilt to control others. Here's how God handles self-pity. Go read 1 Kings 19. This is the story of Elijah. Elijah, after he has seen God's power on mount Carmel, fire falls from heaven, consumes the sacrifice. Elijah takes a sword and he conquers and kills the 450 prophets of Baal. He's had a long day. Honey, how'd your day go? I had to kill 450 people. Elijah, chased by the chariot of Jezebel from one end of Israel all the way to the other, and he outran it. That's enough to wear anybody out. So he's physically, and emotionally, and spiritually exhausted.

And in 1 Kings 19:4, he tells the Lord, "I alone am left". Poor me. Nobody else loves you down here but me. Kill me so I can be with you. That's a dangerous and pretty stupid prayer to pray to God. God being a supernatural God, says, Elijah, you are naturally tired. You are naturally weary. You're naturally cranky. Take a nap. God understands that in seasons of stress, sometimes the thing that'll change your mood is just some rest. And that's a good word for some of you in this room. Sometimes you just need some rest. Elijah wakes up and he says, God, I've slept and nobody else loves you but me. Kill me. God says, Elijah, you need a sandwich. Sometimes if sleep don't do it, the sandwich will. God sends food. Elijah eats.

Then God says to Elijah, "I'm going to reveal myself to you, Elijah," and he sends an earthquake. But the Bible says God wasn't in the earthquake, and he sends a mighty wind, but got wasn't in the wind. And he sends a whisper. And the Bible says, "God was in the whisper," which I believe is God consoling Elijah. God is saying, I'm here. It's okay. Have faith. Don't give up. And in spite of the rest and in spite of the restoration, and in spite of the consolation, Elijah still self-piteously says, "Kill me". And here's what God says: he says, Elijah, I've heard your prayer. I want you to know there's 7,000 men in the next village that serve me and are ready to serve me now. Right now, I'm using you. But if you don't get over this, I'm going to punch your ticket and I'm going to take one of them.

You see, God will give you time to get over yourself. But then he expects you to turn your frown upside down, square your shoulders, and remember the God that you serve is fighting for you, standing beside you, and walking with you. He hasn't brought you this far just to let you fail. He hasn't taken you through your seasons of sorrow for you to give up. Listen to the words of king David. He says, "Why are you cast down, o my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope thou in God". Say that with me. "Hope thou in God".

Child of God, are you going through a difficult time? "Hope thou in God". Are you looking for provision? "Hope thou in God". Are you in a season of sickness? "Hope thou in God". Is this a time of the storm? "Hope thou in God". Praise him for the help of his countenance, because he is great and greatly to be praised! You have to give thanks. You can't think thanks. You can't be close to thanks. You can't sit next to thanks and think that that's being thankful. Thankfulness is something that you intentionally do when you open your mouth and you express how grateful you are for the things that you have received. It's easier said than done. But today, I want to give you the chance to do it.

So would you stand right where you are? King David said, "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall be in my mouth". I don't want you to think that because you're in a room full of thankful people that you don't have to offer thanks yourself. I want you to take the opportunity to just tell the Lord for a few moments what you're grateful for. I want you to lift your hands and open your mouth, and say:

Father, I thank you. I thank you today because this is the day that you have made. I thank you because you are the one who is worthy of all of the glory, of all of the honor, and all of the praise. I thank you, Heavenly Father, because your works are marvelous, and your hand is mighty in my life. I thank you because you've been faithful to me each and every day, each and every hour, in each and every season. You've been better than I can express. You've opened up the windows of heaven and you've poured out upon me blessings that I cannot contain. You've blessed me with peace in times of the storm. You've blessed me with provision in times of need. You've blessed me with strength in seasons of weakness. You've blessed me with joy in hours of sorrow. You've given me comfort when others would have afflicted me. You've made a way where there seems to be no way. You've conquered sickness and disease by the stripes that were on your back. I thank you because you've delivered me from the clutches of death, hell and the grave. I thank you because you've given your angels charge over me to protect me in all of my ways.

I thank you, Heavenly Father, because you are a provider who has given me more than I can contain. I praise you, because from the rising of the sun, you are worthy to be praised. I give you honor today, because the heavens declare your glory. I give you all that I am and all that I have, because all that you are is in me. I bless you because you have redeemed me, you have forgiven me, you have loved me, you've been good to me, your mercy is renewed in my life every morning.

I thank you, Father, because I don't know where I'd be without you. You've prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies. I thank you because you are the God who has created heaven and earth. You've conquered death, hell and the grave. And you've given me victory, in Jesus' name. So Lord, today I say all of the honor, all of the glory, all of the power, all of the might, and all of the majesty belong to you. I magnify your holy name. I thank you, Lord.

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