Do You Really Believe God?

My notes from Bro. Gary’s sermon on Sunday morning 3-25-2012

John 16:16-33

“A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and,‘because I am going to the Father’?” So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you,whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.  I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”  His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe?Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

  • Christians are called Believers
  • But you, Oh Christian, do you REALLY believe?
  • The Disciples are faced with crisis: Jesus was going to the cross. Right there in their crisis, He asked them if they believed
  • Does your life feel like a roller coaster? Does your spirit life feel like a roller coaster? (Up, down, and all over the place)
  • It only takes the turn of events or one short moment to change everything
  • Disciples walked and talked with Jesus, and they still experienced doubts
  • We will all experience moments of doubt while we are on this earth
  • But when we get to heaven we won’t have any more doubts!
  • The disciples saw miracles of all kinds and then suddenly Jesus was telling them that CHANGE is coming – that in just a little while He would leave: Death & Ascension
  • Jesus felt the need to prepare them for the Change – and for the emotional roller coaster
  • Jesus started asking them questions – Do they really believe Jesus
  • Do we really believe God?

1) Do we as Christians believe that Jesus came out of the sorrow of life

  • John 16:20-22 =  20 “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
  • Jesus said something will happen that
  • we will be very sorrowful
  • We will ALL face time of great sorrow and trial
  • There will be a time of great trial and the world will be rejoicing  – people will oppose us: we will face time of persecution
  • Sorrow can be turned into JOY (example about a mother giving birth – pain/joy)
  • Great tragedy happens to everyone yet God works it for our good = Romans 8:28 ” And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.”
  • We don’t always understand WHY the bad things happen – but we can KNOW that He will turn the sorrow into Joy
  • We all have times were we face difficulties and are faced with imminent threat of trial and difficulties
  • Sorrow and difficulties do NOT always equal an absence of Joy
  • Do you just believe God when things are going well?
  • Do you still have Joy in your heart, resting in the trusting the Lord when things are going badly?
  • We have to believe that “weeping may endure for the moment, but Joy comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5
  • Joy CAN come of sorrow!
  • We need to be reminded of the totality of life but know that this life is but a fraction of all eternity

2) Do you believe that the Lord CAN and DOES answer prayer?

  • John 16:22-24 = 22 “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you,whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
  • Notice the petition to the Father
  • We are to pray to the Father in Jesus Name
  • Ask so your joy may be full!!!
  • This isn’t a way of rubbing the genie lamp to have your wish granted – this is communion with God, this is building a relationship with him: You are bringing your petitions to the Lord and laying them down at His feet, trusting Him, entrusting your deepest heart felt petitions into His care. Trusting God brings Joy.
  • There will be times when we feel we are being bombarded with attacks from the enemy – we have to retaliate by bombarding heaven with prayers
  • Praying in Jesus Name is powerful! It is our warfare against the enemy!
  • It is not just a phrase, but it is the Authority and Character of Jesus
  • We need to pray in harmony with the character and objectives of Jesus – which is to do the will of the Father
  • We must pray with the will to submit to Jesus’s agenda for our life!!
  • Don’t use prayer as a form of procrastination
  • Is your will aligned with Gods will?
  • We go to church, pray, wing and go on with our day – but is our will aligned with God’s will? Are we REALLY willing to YIELD our ENTIRE being/desires/goals/dreams/agenda to His will?
  • Prayer isn’t for us to do our thing but for us to say “Yes Lord” and to surrender to what God calls us to do
  • Is your life surrendered to Gods will for your life?
  • If God makes interruptions in your life – we say “Yes Lord” and to whatever He commands and make whatever changes He directs
  • We have to be broken before God will use us – I am a wretched sinner, totally incapable of being truly good.
  • When you pray, surrender and obey – then prayers get answered and we are filled with Joy. The prayer may not get answered in the way we would prefer, but we can still have Joy knowing that He is in charge and is taking care of things. Anticipate answered prayers!!
  • LACK OF JOY – a sign that we have to get back to the basics and SURRENDER OURSELVES INTO THE LORDS CARE

3) Do you really believe that God loves you?

  • John 16:26-28 = 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
  • This is a declaration of LOVE is given by Jesus – He is saying that GOD LOVES US!
  • Jesus won’t lie!
  • Jesus knew that we would experience doubts about this – that is why He said “the Lord loves you!”
  • The greatest demonstration of Love – Jesus died for us. We who are so undeserving.
  • How deep, bountiful is the Love of God!
  • If you have ANY question about if God loves you – LOOK AT THE CROSS!
  • In the last section here, the disciples said that Jesus was not speaking in parables and they were getting it. Jesus said “Do you believe? … I have overcome the world!”
  • Jesus has DOMINION over the whole world and we are more than conquerors!!! (Romans 8:37  “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”)
  1. Do you believe that Joy can come out of Sorrow?
  2. Do you believe that God CAN and DOES answer prayer?
  3. Do you believe that Jesus and God loves you?
  • Charles Spurgeon fell into depression
  • No one is exempt form sorrow
  • R. A. Torrey (teacher/preacher at Moody Institute) had a 12 year old girl who died of dyptheria. It was a rainey day funeral. His wife said that she was glad that their child wasn’t in that box on such a dreary day but was with the Lord. Torrey felt a brief moment of joy. The next day his depression really hit hard. He cried out to his daughter. Then the Lord hit him with a sudden rush of Joy – and he wrote: “springing up, always springing up  into everlasting life.”
  • Can you trust God in the midst of sorrow to find Joy?
  • Can you trust God to answer your prayer?
  • Can you trust that God loves you?
  • Do we really believe?
  • Even though we may not FEEL that God loves us, we can trust that He does because He said so!!

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