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Watch 2022 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Whatever You Keep Tripping Over

Steven Furtick - Whatever You Keep Tripping Over

Steven Furtick - Whatever You Keep Tripping Over
TOPICS: New Year

This is an excerpt from “Hello From the Other Side

That's what a lot of us really want. When we talk about a new year, a new beginning, what we really want is a new situation. "I want out. God, get me out. Get me out of this debt". What if God wants to get in your budget? I'm trying to preach something helpful, because I don't want you to watch the dot disappear, go home, wake up with a headache, and think nothing happened.

No, it's not what happens at midnight. It's what happened after midnight when Paul said, "I know you were expecting me to get out, but I didn't come to Philippi to get out. I came to Philippi to get the gospel in. Paul wasn't trying to get out. He was trying to bring the Word of God in. I need somebody to shout before midnight hits in 2017. Bring it in! I'm not just trying to get out of a sad situation; I'm bringing in my joy. I'm not just trying to get out of a hard situation; I'm bringing in God's strength. Bring it in! "I'm bringing it in. I'm not getting out. I came to Philippi to preach, and now I have a captive audience. Don't kill yourself, Mr. Prison Guard. I know you were supposed to be guarding me, but what happens when the one who was a hostage becomes the host"? Paul turns around and says, "Don't worry about it. I have good news for you". Paul saw an opportunity. Paul didn't see an open prison door. He saw an open door for the gospel.

I want to declare over your life there is an open door of opportunity. Not so you can escape. "2016, get thee behind me". You're going the wrong way. We can never figure out what to call this thing. Every year I go, "Is it Praise Party 2016 or 2017"? I can't ever figure it out. You might be watching this later on TV. It might be 2019 by the time you're watching it. The Word of the Lord is not about my time. I can't figure it out. Which one is it? Is it midnight or is it morning? Memorize, mobilize, maximize. And I'm done.

Before I finish this sermon, I need to finish that story. I just remembered something. When the dot disappeared, it was so anticlimactic. The dot disappeared. It went from p.m. to a.m. It was what I'd always wanted for my eight years on earth. I got it, and it just came and went. Just like church tonight will come and go. This whole sermon tonight is going to come and go. You won't even remember what you were shouting about a minute ago. That's how it is. After midnight, mobilize, memorize. My mom looked at me, and when the dot disappeared she said, "Good morning". I don't know how I remember this. You remember the craziest stuff. I said, "It's not morning; it's midnight". I swear she looked at me and said, "Baby, midnight is morning". When I read it, I was thinking while we're leaving this one year and coming into another, we need to say to the midnight situations in our lives... I know it's difficult, but maybe we need to wave good morning to our midnight, and maybe the only difference between midnight and morning is the way you choose to see it.

About midnight, Paul said, "Cock-a-doodle-doo! I have a song to sing. Good morning, midnight. Good morning, misery. Good morning, pain. Good morning, purpose. Good morning, sorrow. Good morning, strength". It's all in the way you see it. Midnight is morning. I'll prove it to you, but I need to call on James. He was the half-brother of Jesus. He wrote to the twelve tribes that were scattered abroad. He said to these twelve tribes who were scattered abroad because of Jewish persecution, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers..." This is what gets me. "...and sisters..." The women need this too. "...whenever you look back..." Y'all aren't reading it. You're supposed to correct me right now. The way you would put it is, "When you look back on what you've been through, praise God that it didn't kill you". That's fine. James says maturity...

Remember, as you mature, you see things differently. The expectation changes. James says, "If you've come to the point in your life now where you've lived through a few midnight moments, a few moments you didn't know how you were going to make it through or if you were going to see the sun come up again..." "I didn't know if I'd ever be happy again. I didn't know if I'd ever feel love again. I didn't know if my broken heart could ever be put back together again, but I made it through midnight". I don't just look back on it and rejoice. I see it coming, and when I see it coming I wave at it, because I know that when midnight comes, that means I might not see God, I might not feel God, but he is the God who moves at midnight. He is the God who turns my trial into my triumph. "...when you face trials of many kinds..."

I just remembered something else. I remember one more thing. James said when you face it, not just when you're looking back at it. Stop running from it. That's step one. He says not only are you going to endure it, but you're going to embrace it. Good morning, midnight. Remember that book you used to read to kids? Goodnight Moon. Do you all know this book? My kids love to stay up late. They'll do anything to stay up late. They'll fake a stomach flu to stay up late. I can barely stay up till midnight. It's a miracle. How many of y'all it's a miracle you're still awake in my sermon right now? You had to buy out Starbucks to get to this point, just to make it through midnight. But the miracle of midnight is not just that they made it through. Stop thinking that survival is success. Can I tell you a secret? They were going to get out of prison that morning anyway. They were only there overnight. They were there on overnight charges. So the doors open, and Paul is like, "Cool". He turns to the prison guard and starts telling him about Jesus. He wasn't ever trying to get out. He was trying to maximize... "As long as I'm here..."

This is the miracle. It's not just that I made it through midnight; it's how I made it through. I still have my smile. I still have my personality intact. I didn't compromise who I was. I didn't just make it; I made something of it. God does not want you to leave 2016 empty-handed. Do you know how I know that? I remembered something. I have a good memory when I get up here. I forget stuff when I'm not up here. I remembered Exodus 12:29, where the children of Israel were about to leave Egypt. They'd been there 430 years, and God has sent nine plagues to convince Pharaoh to let his people go. Finally, the Bible says after nine of these plagues... Watch what happened. "At midnight..." The last night they would spend in Egypt, the last hour of the last night they would spend in the place where they were.

You have Paul in prison, and you have the children of Israel in Egypt. "At midnight the Lord struck down the firstborn in Egypt..." Everything that was oppressing God's people, God started killing it. God said, "You've held them long enough". Just like the prison doors flew open, the firstborn were struck down at midnight. "...the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. Pharaoh and all his officials and the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead". But the children of Israel who had blood over their doors, the ones who had applied the blood of the lamb... What killed Egypt missed them.

Have you ever had something in your life that just missed you completely? The judgment you should have received, you got mercy instead. At midnight, Pharaoh went to the head man in charge, Moses, and said, "Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested". "Get out of here"! If you've been there for four centuries, don't you want to get out as quickly as you can? But they couldn't leave yet, because God had instructed his people very carefully. "When you leave Egypt, I don't want you to leave empty-handed". Look at verse 36. "The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for". They didn't just escape Egypt. They plundered the Egyptians. The miracle at midnight...

When I shout in 2 minutes and 20 seconds, I'm not just shouting because I'm leaving one year. I'm shouting because of what I'm carrying with me into the next one. Good morning, midnight! I will not leave incomplete. You will not leave incomplete. "Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds," because it's working in me.
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