Summary: It is difficult, from time to time, to understand that as Christians we will find ourselves in some “interesting” storms. What is even more important is to understand that the storms that come in our lives are allowed by the permissive decree of God.
Evangelist Herman E. Wesley III
When God Has His Hand on You
To my good friend and minister of this congregation of saints, Brother David M. Tillman, Jr., brother Arlester Johnson and others who are numbered among the leadership. Members of the Narrow Lane Church family, my good friend and minister of the College Street Church in Greenville, who always does an excellent job, brother Bishnoo Rampersad, and to all of you are visiting with this church today, for its Revival services; we bring you greetings from the NorthPointe Church where we have been blessed to plant and serve the saints of God in that place, and minister to that community. I am most happy to have my wife, Sonja, and my sons with us today, along with brother Floyd Murry, the hardest working man in real estate...if you need a realtor, call brother Murry! Brother Murry works alongside me in the ministry, and we appreciate him, as well as all of the good folk at NorthPointe, and a number of members from the NorthPointe family are with us today as well. Now, your theme for this “FULL DAY” of instruction and inspiration is: LESSONS THAT WILL HELP US, WHILE THE ENEMY IS TRYING TO HURT US.
I would like to draw your attention to the Word of the Lord as penned by the Hebrew writer in Hebrews, chapter 12, verses 4-11:
You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, " "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives." It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have be-come partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the perfect fruit of righteousness. (12:4-11).
“LESSONS THAT WILL HELP US, WHILE THE ENEMY IS TRYING TO HURT US.”
THE SUBJECT I WANT TO DEPOSIT INTO YOUR ACCOUNT THIS MORNING...WHEN GOD HAS HIS HAND ON YOU.
All the Jews to whom the book of Hebrews was written were undergoing persecution because of their break with Judaism. It was coming from their Jewish friends and relatives, who resented their turning their backs on the religious customs and traditions in which they had been born and raised. The readers had been reminded about "the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly, by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated” (10:32-33). Even the unbelieving Jews who were involved with the church must have suffered because of their association with Christians.
The affliction had largely been in the form of social and economic pressure, though some of them had been imprisoned (10:34). We can imagine the arguments they heard for rejecting the new faith. "Look at what you have gotten yourselves into. You have become Christians and all you have had are problems, criticism, hardship, and suffering. You have lost your friends, your families, your synagogues, your traditions, your heritage—everything."
It is difficult, from time to time, to understand that as Christians we will find ourselves in some “interesting” storms. What is even more important is to understand that the storms that come in our lives are allowed by the permissive decree of God. You remember Job, and how it was God Himself who singled Job out for the challenge of His faith by Satan. God, metaphorically, put His hand on Job! Not only did God put His hand on Job, but God, to this day, puts His hand on us! In the text, some believers perhaps were wondering why, if their God was a God of power and of peace, they were suffering so much. "Why are we not winning out over our enemies, instead of our enemies seeming always to have the upper hand? Where is the God who is supposed to supply all our needs and give us the answers to our questions, and fulfillment to our lives? Why, when we turned to a God of love, did everyone start hating us?"