Steven Furtick - It's Okay To Cry
This is an excerpt from: Stop Crying, It's Coming
If the Enemy can keep you crying, he can keep you from seeing what's coming. Haggai said, "I know what you're thinking. I'm thinking it too. This is nothing compared to that. I saw pictures of Solomon's temple on Pinterest. It was expensive". It was the same place Solomon's temple was but wasn't made of the same stuff, because God is reforming it. He's reforming your life. He's shaping it like a potter and the clay. He's reforming it.
That's what it is. It's his hands, not the Devil's. When we write songs, the worse they suck when we start them, the better they get when we finish them. Then we take it home, and we have the demo, which is the rough version. There's this thing called demoitis. It's when you listen to the first version so much you start thinking it's perfect, but it really needs a lot of work. The Devil has some of y'all in demoitis. You thought the first version was the only version of who you are, of what you do, of what your gifts are, but the Lord said, "I can't make it better if you keep going back".
Stop crying. I know it sounds insensitive. "Pastor Steve, Jesus wept. Didn't you see that"? Yeah, I'm the one who told you about that. But that's not all he did. Look at John 11:38. It says after Jesus cried, which is important… Trauma is real. Seventy years in Babylon will make you cry. It'll make you forget to sing. When you find out what your kid has been doing behind your back, it'll make you cry. When you and your husband don't even look at each other except when you're around people so you can fake it real good, it'll make you cry alone. God doesn't correct the sisters, but I'm glad he didn't stop there, and you can't either.
In John 11:38 it says not "Jesus cried," but "Jesus, once more deeply moved, came…" So, he cried, and then he came. Stop crying; it's coming. I don't want the old temple to keep me from seeing Jesus. Seriously. You know how it said in the verse in Haggai "From the day I brought you out of Egypt until now…"
Did you catch that? It's a really small thing in verse 5. I didn't make a big deal out of it, but it is a big deal. They thought Pharaoh had to let them go for them to leave Egypt. That wasn't their biggest problem. Their biggest problem was letting go of Moses. See, Moses gave them the Law, and they were so committed to that that when Jesus came, who is the true image of God, to show them what God is really like… Not to break the Law but to fulfill it. When Jesus came, they could not recognize better because they were stuck in before. So, while we're fighting like, "Hey, Pharaoh, let me go. Hey, addiction, let me go. Hey, temptation, let me go," God is like, "The thing you're holding on to is the former glory". I don't know who it is. If it's three people, it's worth saying. You have to let go of former glory to receive present help.
Now, that means a lot of things. It means the same Jesus who cried at the gate came to the tomb. It didn't stop him from doing what he came to do. He didn't come just to cry or give them a Hallmark card. He didn't just bake them a roast so they could eat it three days later. He came to show them who he was. He came to reinvent their concept of God and to switch their template of truth, that "Not only am I a healer; I am resurrection". He came to prefigure what he would do. He came. So, he cried. (Come on, don't tap out on me. This is the best part of the sermon. I know y'all aren't going to listen to a sermon about the glory of the latter house and skip the end of the sermon. This is the part I wanted to preach us to.) He cried, and you've been crying. You have a Christ who cries, so that's fine. He will cry with you. But then you have a Christ who, after he stopped crying, came to the tomb.
So, he's coming to the tomb. He's coming to the part that's buried. He's coming to the part that's broken. He's coming to the part that's dead. He's coming to the part that stinks. He's coming to the part that's rotten. He's coming to the part that has given up on. He cried, he came, but that's not the good part. The good part is verse 43: "When he had said this, Jesus called…"
So, he cried, he came, and then he called in a loud voice. I hear that voice calling today through the halls of history, from the pages of Haggai to this very moment in the house of God. "Lazarus, come forth! Come forth"! He's speaking to your joy. He's speaking to your peace. He's speaking to your strategy. He's speaking to your spirit. "Come forth"! So you cried a while. It's all right. I am convinced that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed. Did you catch that whole sermon? He cried. He came. He called. You have to call some things out today. They're not going to come automatically.
You can cry over it as long as you want, but I believe something deeper is calling from the inside. What the prophet told the people was, "You have to do the work". Is wishing for something you don't have keeping you from working with what you do have? I don't know. Maybe it's just me, but I needed this word. The Lord said, "You can cry, but eventually you have to come, and you have to call those things that be not as though they are, beneath your feelings".
The promise is… It's a covenant, not a commitment. Commitments can be broken; covenants cannot, especially when one of the parties is the one who cannot lie. So, it's a lot of pain. When they laid the foundation… Ezra showed us something. When they got that temple started… I think I'm going to pick this up next week for real, y'all, because you all got one point. It's your fault. You were shouting and receiving and glorifying God. I didn't come to get through my points. I came to give you this word: stop crying; it's coming.
The Bible says in Ezra 3:10, "When the builders laid the foundation of [this second temple], the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, [like David told them to]. With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: 'He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.' And all the people…" I want y'all to do what the text says. Stand up. "…gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid".
Now, that's where I'm going to pick up next week, because some of us are comparing our foundation to somebody else's finish line, and that's why we're discouraged. Next week, if you will give me the opportunity and God gives me the strength, I'm going to preach about how to shout about foundations. I'm going to teach you how to do a dance when the scale drops one pound. I'm going to teach you how to dance on the scale. I'm going to teach you how to do it, because when you lose a pound, you don't celebrate by eating a cookie. When you lose a pound, you buy some shoes. But if you're getting out of debt, you don't go buy shoes; you eat cookies.
So, I'm going to teach you about how to shout over little stuff next week and just redistribute the balance of it so you can keep your progress going. Oh, I love y'all. We're going to do it next week. But I have to show you this, because this is really what started me to teach this message. They were shouting about what God was doing, the new thing. "Wow! We're going to have a temple. I've heard about this". One generation was saying, "But it's not like the old one".
Watch what the Bible says in verse 12. "But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads…" The ones who should have been leading, the ones who should have known, "God is with us, and we can't fail. He's going to do a new thing. It's who he is. It's what he does. He's reforming us". When they saw the foundation… They had seen the former temple. They had the old template. "This is what it has to look like. This is what I thought marriage would be. This is the city I thought I would live in forever. This is how old I thought my mom would be when she died. This is how I thought it would be".
When they saw the temple, it didn't match their template, and watch what happened. They wept. The sounds of celebration, the shouts of joy, while others were shouting… One generation is weeping over what it was, and one generation is shouting over what it will be when God gets done with it. What I want to know is…Are you going to keep weeping or start working? You have forgotten who you are working with. The Lord Almighty is in you. It's by his Spirit that you're building. You are not building this by yourself, and you're not going to build it like before. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all you ask, above every template. He transcends that.
So, within the same body, you have shouts of joy and weeping. Which one will you listen to? Which one will you obey? He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it, but you have to be strong and do the work. You're not working on your own. It is God who works in you to will and to do according to his good pleasure. So, maybe God brought you here to remind you what you're working with, that there is a remnant, that God has left everything in your life he intends to use in this next season.