Summary: God takes the disadvantages of our dead ends and uses them as an opportunity to propel His plan into the spectrum of His greater glory and our greater good, as seen in the discourse between the disciples and Christ prior to His ascension.

Have you ever felt like you were at the end of your rope?

- Seeming possibilities--crushed.

- Dreams—deferred.

- Hopes—handcuffed.

- Hands—tied.

- Predicaments—problematic.

- Vision—diminished.

- Life—over

We are living in perilous times. And what tends to add insult to injury, amplify our agony, magnify our misery—is when our present state appears to be our permanent reality.

Can we be real? Have you ever felt like you were at your wits end? Where the situation, not only appeared to be getting worse—but there seemed to be the end of the possibility of all hope of it ever getting any better?

And it was nothing deep that kept you going—you had all but threw in the towel. You were yea shy of calling it quits/giving up/waving the white flag of surrender. You had all but given up physically and externally…but spiritually and internally you were a done a deal/closed case.

An inquiring mind wants to know—have you ever been there? If you have never been there—just keep on living. Because God’s got a way/life’s got a way of turning some peculiar corners that are filled with despair, unexpectedness, trials, tribulations, setbacks, confusion, danger, and disappointments, ups and downs—where inevitably you will find yourself at your wits end, at the end of rope, having hit rock bottom, on the verge of giving up, past the point of no return, in the middle of bad situation—and you’re trying to contemplate how to get over. If you haven’t been there just keep on living. But I don’t have to stay there very long—because the number of people who have never been there…are few and far between.

Most of us have been at the point where we wanted give up.

Most of us have been at a place where we said ‘this is enough’.

Most of us have been at a place where we have written a check paid to the order of “I quit’.

Where the situation was beyond my control/The circumstance was beyond repair/The funeral procession has been done/The eulogy has been spoken/The benediction has been pronounced/The fat lady has sung her song—and you are saying ‘Lord…this is bad—it’s OVER!’

Can I free somebody today? In the midst of your situtation…while you are going through what you’re going through—realize and remember that God is in control.

I. In order to make the best of a bad situation—stop concentrating on the situation and start focusing on the Sovereign Lord. (Vs. 7)

• You do know that He’s sovereign?

• Most of us spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on the TIMING of the season that we miss and bypass and retard the PREPARATION required for the season.

- He said in VERSE 4 ‘wait for the promise’. The word promise here is the Greek word epangellia—announcement, message, or pledge or declaration. It is the same rendering of old testament Hebrew word MAKAWSH that we find in the book of Jeremiah 29:11 ‘I know the thoughts I think toward you’. The word thoughts, MAKAWSH, means purpose, intent or imagination.

- In the book of Jeremiah he has a purpose, intent and thoughts for you. In the passage here, He prepares through Jesus Christ to bring the promise to fruition through the promise, announcement, message, pledge and declaration.

- The Bible says that He’s the same yesterday, today and forever more.

- He told Moses, I am the Lord…I change not.

Which means that every thought and every promise He made about you before the foundations of the earth, before time began—must come to pass. Because He is a God that can not and will not tell a lie.

• If His word is true…He is true. And if He is true…His word is true. And there is nothing about God character/nature that should ever cause us to wonder whether or not He will keep HIS word.

• If He couldn’t back it up—He would have never spoken it in the first place.

• I know why we have a problem with this point because, we know how we are—Flaky, Shady, Some-Timey, Performance-Driven relationships….

R.C. Sproul in his book “The Holiness of God” says this about God’s holiness. “What God does is always consistent with who God is, He always acts according to His holy character. God’s internal righteousness is the moral excellence of His character. It is rooted in His absolute purity. There is no “shadow of turning” in Him. As a holy God, He is utterly incapable of an unholy act. . . .There is a consistency in God, a “straightness” about him.”

Again, R.C. Sproul said it this way about God’s seperateness. “When the Bible calls God holy, it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate. He is so far above and beyond us that He seems almost totally foreign to us. To be holy is to be “other”, to be different in a special way.”...

VERSE 7—the operative word is “KNOW”. Ginosko in the Greek meaning to perceive, to resolve, to understand. (God has a way of moving beyond what you perceive, outside of your understanding, and above what you could ever resolve in your own limited, finite, human way.) That is really why He is God and you are not.

• You keep trying to figure God out—and boil God down to your human understanding and try to figure out what He is up to…but the Word already says that there is no searching of His understanding. (His ways our not our ways; His thoughts are not our thoughts) That is why Moses had enough intelligence and human tenacity and sensibility to declare ‘Lord, will you teach me Your ways.’

TIME—is a little space of human time (chronology)

SEASON—Convenience or occasion

• God is saying that you’re worried about something that doesn’t really even matter. You’re worried about time; but I am at work in eternity. You are worried about the occasion and about your convenience; and I am simply trying to teach you how the submit you arrogant spirit to my will.

• If you really want to please God—stop focusing on the clock and your convenience…and start focusing on Him. Is that not the word? Hebrews 11:6 declares that “…without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”.

- You’re crying about the promotion but God wants you to look to Him

- You keep asking God when the new man is coming…God is saying ‘Look at Me’.

- ………………..

• You’ve got to learn how to talk to God, look to the Father, cry out to Him—and take your eye off of WHEN He is going to do it—and thank Him for just being Who He is. (I am reminded of the story of a young couple who asked their 5 year old daughter—and said, baby, you’re getting to be a big girl, why don’t you say grace? Immediately she started whispering, giggling, smurking, and then proceeded to make some kind of melody. The father could not believe her seeming disrespect and his inability to make out what she was saying and said, ‘I will not have you to make a joke out of saying your grace—go to your room!’ To which the little girl quickly responded, ‘But Daddy, I wasn’t talking to You!’

- Somebody in the room keeps crying over people, things and situations—you better learn how to block out people, things and situations and enter into a pure, unadulterated rendezvous with your Savior and Lord.

- You might as well concentrate and focus on Him; because you are not going to come out of the situation until He gets the glory IN it and you praise Him FOR it.

• He wants to shift the season; but more than His desire to shift the season for your advantage, He desires to be declared King of kings and Lord of lords in every area of your life. (Somehow you get the house and you forget about Him; somehow you get the raise and you forget to give back to Him; somehow you get the new lover and you can’t open up the Word; somehow you get the promotion, new job and the degree—and can’t nobody find you in nair a church come Sunday)

- God would rather have a hooked up saint than He would a jacked up sinner.

o You’re hooked up when you put Him first/He becomes the most important part of your time, talent and treasure/worship Him in Spirit and in Truth/when you love your neighbors and your enemies/Serve in His kingdom/….

• And if we have any parents in the room, you already know that it’s the Father good pleasure and greatest joy to give you what you need and even what you desire—when you’re not looking for Him to do it—but just enjoying Him.

Talking about ‘I’m on my way to my new season’. Not if He’s not at the center… If the text is right—He’s the bookkeeper and He’s keeping the books. He’s also the appointment-maker and He not only knows the schedule but He appoint the schedule.

Always trust an unknown future to a known God--Corrie Ten Boom...

II. In order to make the best of a bad situation—there must be dependence and reliance upon the Supernatural power of God to help you overcome the situation. (Vs. 8a)

- He said in verse 5b that you they were going to be baptized with the power of the Holy Ghost.

“Which the Father put in His own Power”

William Cowper was a Christian, but he had sunk to the depths of despair. One foggy night he called for a horsedrawn carriage and asked to be taken to the London Bridge on the Thames River. He was so overcome by depression that he intended to commit suicide. But after 2 hours of driving through the mist, Cowper’s coachman reluctantly confessed that he was lost. Disgusted by the delay, Cowper left the carriage and decided to find the London Bridge on foot. After walking only a short distance, though, he discovered that he was at his own doorstep! The carriage had been going in circles. Immediately he recognized the restraining hand of God in it all. Convicted by the Spirit, he realized that the way out of his troubles was to look to God, not to jump into the river. As he cast his burden on the Savior, his heart was comforted. With gratitude he sat down and penned these reassuring words: "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm. O fearful saints, fresh courage take, the clouds you so much dread are big with mercy, and shall break in blessings on your head."

See: Col 2:2-3

• Living the God-focused life

• We can easily become consumed and enamored with the things that involve our sight and our sensory

III. In order to make the best of a bad situation—go and share your story/testimony with those who are around you. (Vs. 8b)

- The Bible says, ‘The redeemed of the Lord ought to say so.’

Jerusalem (You)

Judea (Everybody around you)

Samaria (Your enemies)

Uttermost part of the earth (Everybody)

That is why the local church is so important and your hooking up with a local church where you live is so vital—because if you want to look in the earth and where God is moving—He says ‘I’m moving in my house’.

- The White House can only do so much

- The job may give you a paycheck—but God’s house is not to be neglected nor disregarded.

- The Police Station can write you a ticket—but God’s the ultimate judge.

- The stadiums and the arenas may make you feel good but it is only in God’s house can you experience fullness of joy, peace forever more….

“Uttermost parts of the earth”

Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962), the world-famous violinist, earned a fortune with his concerts and compositions, but he generously gave most of it away. So, when he discovered an exquisite violin on one of his trips, he wasn’t able to buy it. Later, having raised enough money to meet the asking price, he returned to the seller, hoping to purchase that beautiful instrument. But to his great dismay it had been sold to a collector. Kreisler made his way to the new owner’s home and offered to buy the violin. The collector said it had become his prized possession and he would not sell it. Keenly disappointed, Kreisler was about to leave when he had an idea. "Could I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?" he asked. Permission was granted, and the great virtuoso filled the room with such heart-moving music that the collector’s emotions were deeply stirred. "I have no right to keep that to myself," he exclaimed. "It’s yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let people hear your music."

You are I in our sinful humanity, depravity and shame—looked one day and saw a life that we could not afford. We discovered that it was life—and life to the full—but we couldn’t afford it. We discovered that Jesus Christ was the Offerer of this life (for He was the way the truth and the life)—but we couldn’t afford it. But Jesus Christ—the crucified Lamb…purchased Salvation by way of His shed blood on the cross of Calvary. He then looks at my sinful humanity, my callous heart, my depraved soul destined for an eternal Hell…He looks at me and gives me the gift of His salvation. He gives it to me with one stipulation—He says ‘Take your story into the world—and let others hear your music.’

Jesus Christ has given you a melody and a harmony and a symphony that only you can conduct and only you can compose.

The Bible says, “He has put a new song in my mouth”.

Go everywhere—and tell everybody—I’ve got a song that the angels can’t sing.

And everything that you had to go through was not a stumbling block—but a stepping stone for God to teach you how to sing of His salvation. That your SONG would point to his THRONE; That your STORY would reveal his GLORY.

In there anybody here who knows that every test that God made your testimony—that everything you had to go through—it was not for you—and He wasn’t trying to hurt you—He was only trying to bring out your MUSIC.