Just Faith It Pt.5

How Can A Sermon On Faith In Hard Times Like These Help Us?

James Greer
Sep 20, 2020    34m
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How do you react when you feel your faith is running out? Be sure you have someone that you can talk to, that you trust. A sermon on faith in hard times can show us how to forgive and trust others. Remember, God always works things out for our good. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer (00:00):
Well, good morning Journey Church. Amen? Man, it's so exciting to see so many people and see so many people back coming to church. Hey, let's congratulate Mike and Brooke, they got engaged. Hey man, now the other day when Mike was on stage he said, I've been trying to figure out why God brought me here. And then he said, I looked outside and I got a Cadillac and Brooke was standing behind. I almost started laughing. And my granddaughter, she turned 21. Whew, Amen. Andrew and Taylor are back. I'm so excited. Yeah. And most of all, I'm so excited for so many people back in church. I'm excited that we've baptized 80 people already this year. Amen? We've got a goal to baptize, a hundred. Janet, I'm so glad to see you back in church. I mean, you just had surgery and you've got cancer, and you love the Lord. You come every chance you get. Amen? Woo. I mean, so many of us look for a reason not to come to church, and you all look for a reason to come to church. Amen? I'm just loving it.

James Greer (00:50):
Then I'm excited today because our series has been called, Faith It. And we're going to be looking at the man that had the greatest faith in all the Bible and his name was Jesus Christ. And we're going to be looking at the time that he was in the garden of Gethsemane And I had a wonderful time. Me and the Floyds were over there a couple of years back and I can never forget the time that we stood in the garden of Gethsemane and when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, he was tempted physically and emotionally and spiritually.

James Greer (01:42):
You got to remember his friends betrayed him. He wanted to Jesus to remove the cup from him. He knew what he was going to go through and he chose faith to go through it in spite of what he was going to face. And so I believe that Jesus was definitely, uh, the greatest example of faith. He was betrayed and we can learn what it's like, how we respond after somebody betrays us and hurts. He trusted God to do the right thing, even though he was going to go through the worst thing that anybody could ever go through and he still trusted him. So we can learn so much today about real faith. I want to give you a few insights before we even get into the message of that.

James Greer (02:42):
Number one is you can trust God, even when you can't trust those closest to you. I can tell you can have the most faithful person in the world that people love you the most, but there's going to be some times that even those people closest to you are going to hurt you. So, trust God, even when you can't trust those that are closest to you. Second of all, you better run to put your faith in God, not man. 1 Corinthians 2:5 says, that your faith not standing in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God. There's a lot of bitter people out there and they're bitter because their faith was in man. They're bitter because maybe a mate betrayed them, a mother left them, a father left them. Somebody on the job stole or embezzled from them and they're still bitter and they won't let it go. And your faith was in that person instead of God. Let it go today. God never intended your faith to be in another person. Not even your mate, not your boss, not your pastor. I've had mentors that have committed all kinds of things and that my faith was not in them. I love them. I still love them, but my faith was not in them. So, your faith is to be in God, Amen? Not any person, not any job in nothing, but God. And if you don't do that, you become very fragile in your life.

James Greer (03:39):
Third, God can take what looks like the worst and most unfair acts and conditions in the world and still turn them around to something good. Jesus is in the garden of Gethsemane and then he went to the cross, look like the most, and it was, the most unfair suffering that ever took place. And I hear people sometimes they say, well, it's just so unfair. Awe, well, we look at it in an earthly perspective. A guy can take the things that looked like the most unfair things in the world. Like he did Jesus Christ. He turned into the greatest act that was ever happened. It's our way of salvation.

James Greer (04:50):
Jesus never sinned yet died the most, one of the worst and unfair death. And God still turned it around. We sin, we deserve really what we get. I hear people say, all the time, we just don't deserve that. We don't deserve that. Yeah, you do. I do too. But yet, God still loves us so much, He turns it around for our good. That's why we have to hold on to Romans 8:28, that we know that all things work together for good, for those that love God and called according to his purpose. He didn't say we understand. He didn't even say we had to like it. He said, but we've got to believe it. Amen? And in spite of what others think, in spite of what you think. Despite of what might look like what's going on in the world today, God is ultimately in control.

James Greer (05:38):
I can show you later on. If we get time that when Judas was about to portray Jesus with a kiss. Can you imagine being so close to Jesus Christ, you kiss him on cheek and you go to hell. That the other disciples thought they were going to defend him and he said, Hey, don't do that. He said, don't you realize, in Matthew 26:16, don't you realize I could ask my father for thousands of angels to protect us and he'd send them instantly. Every instant in your life. God's in control. He was in control when they took him and put him in the cross. In fact, they really didn't take him. He gave himself to them. God's in control. He's in control. What's going on in the world today, though, it looks like, it's out of control. God's still in control. So, you can just relax today.

James Greer (06:37):
I don't know what's going on in your life. I don't know what you're going through. God's still in control of our series, Faith It. We're looking at the greatest example of faith there ever was and that ever will be. And Jesus, our greatest example of faith. Jesus' greatest example of faith was not when he was healing the sick though, that had to be great. He would speak the word and they would be healed. His greatest example wasn't even when he brought Lazarus back from dead. His greatest example wasn't when he fed the 5,000. That had to be exciting times. I mean, I love the exciting times when everything's going great and we're baptizing people and people are getting saved. I mean, just all kinds of exciting things are happening. Amen? People are getting healed. I mean, we're seeing it happen every single week. God's doing great things. Those were exciting times. Amen?

James Greer (07:29):
That isn't when Jesus showed his greatest faith, his greatest faith was when he was about to be crucified. He was going to be tortured. He was horrified. He was going to be put to death. That's what he showed his greatest faith. It's easy to have great faith when everything's going good. It's not so easy to have great faith when we're suffering and hurting and in pain and been betrayed and in sorrow. Jesus did that. Jesus believed that his father knew what was right. When everything in the world looked like it was wrong. God's will is always right. God's will is not always going to allow us to miss the pain, just to have the gain. Sometimes he allows us to go through unbelievable pain before we have the gain. And sometimes the gain is not here it's only in heaven.

James Greer (08:43):
So first of all, I want you to know that Jesus had faith that he would be United back in unity with those people who betrayed him. And the reason I tell you that, you're going to go through life, you're going to have friends that betray you. You're going to have heartaches, you're going to have split ups. You're going to have, but that does not mean you're going to have it with family. You're going to have in-laws. You're going to have an outlaws. It doesn't one day you still might not be United together. Jesus loved the disciples. He washed their feet right before they betrayed him. Every one of them deserted him. He still loved them. Starting in Matthew 26:31. It says, and Jesus said to them, to the disciples, tonight you will all desert me. How many of you going to desert Jesus Christ? All. They're going to all desert me for it is written in the scripture. I want you to see that that God will smite the shepherd. Let me tell you what happens when you smite the shepherd, the sheep scatter.

James Greer (09:37):
Did you know that the same thing is true? If the devil knows he can get the shepherd, he'll scatter the sheep. And it happens all the time. We see all the time that when the Pastor falls, that the sheep scatter. It's been said that every Pastor that has any influence also has a target on his back. Because if you can smite the shepherd, the sheep will scatter. Now, mainly what he was talking about is Jesus Christ. When the shepherd was crucified, the disciples scattered. But he says, listen to this, as soon as he knows they're going to scatter the very next verse, can you believe it? He says in verse 32, but after I had been brought back after to life again, I'm going to go to Galilee and meet you there. Dude, you're saying, hey, you all are going to betray me. You are all going to leave me. Remember, I was going to come back and meet you again. I would say, dude, you're going leave me. You're going to betray me. I won't see you again.

James Greer (10:38):
Now, Peter really believes this. Peter declares, everyone else deserts you, not me. Now I believe Peter at this point really believed that. And the reason I want you to know that, because I believe there's people that are in love and love each other, loyal to each other, and really believed that they would never hurt the other person, and still hurt them. Jesus told them the truth though. This very night before the cock crows, at dawn you're going to deny me three times. But you know, he said, it's going to happen. And I said, and Peter declares, everyone else does it, not me. I'd die first, he says. You'd die first? Peter insisted. All the other disciples, they did what? Said the same thing in verse 35. You know, sometimes those who say they love you the most, sometimes leave you the first.

James Greer (11:45):
Be careful. It's easy to talk the talk. It's easy to say, I'm going to be loyal. It's easy to say, I'm going to be there with you. It's easy to say, God, I'm going to serve you. It's easy to say, I'm going to give. It's easy to say Jesus, I'm on your side. I mean, we got people that six months ago said, God, I want to serve you and your not even in church today. We got people say, man, I'm going to tithe, I am going to give. What did something come up? They can't pay their bills. The first thing to do is give it up. I mean, I'm going to tell you, you got to be careful. Matthew 11:6 says, blessed are those who are not offended because of Jesus Christ. If you don't get offended easily because of the Jesus, God says I got special blessings for you.

James Greer (12:28):
The disciples, I don't believe they planned on betraying Jesus. I think there's people all the time that hurt somebody that they don't really plan ahead of time. I want to give you a free insight. None of us know how much pressure we can take before we give in. You don't know how much pressure that you can take before you respond the wrong way. You don't know how much pressure you take before you would steal. You don't know how much pressure you'd take before you'd blame God, you don't want much pressure. You would take like some of our, we've got many members at our church right now that have cancer. You don't know how you would respond, how you'd live, like they're living. You think you do. I don't want to know. I'm going to just be honest with you, but you don't know how you would respond. You don't know how you'd respond if to sexual immorality, if you're attempted a certain way. So, the best way to do it is eliminate as many possibilities as possible. Men and women. Amen?

James Greer (13:45):
You're going to be betrayed at some point in life. I believe everybody betrays Jesus at some point in life, I believe you'll deny Him, whether it's physically or spiritually or not standing up or doing something. We've got to be very careful. I can tell you this though. I know people that are in church, married couples right now, that the mate betrayed them. And yeah, you probably had legal grounds and biblical grounds for divorce, but you don't have to divorce them. I'm not condoning this. I'm just telling you. I had one of the couples tell me the other day, they've tried to work it out and biblically and have worked it out. And they've got the best marriage they've ever had in their entire life. That same couple told me if there's anybody here, that's going through the same problems. That one mate has been unfaithful and they would like to meet with them. They want to take their tragedy now and that'd be their ministry now. Oh, and that's something they want to take one of the worst things that ever happened. They're going to turn it around to something good. And they're willing to minister to other people that are going through it. So I'm going to tell you, God can take the worst thing that ever happened in your life. And he could still turn it around into something good. And everybody said, Amen.

James Greer (14:41):
Second by faith. Jesus brought them with him. Anyway, he brought them along. He knew they were going to betray him. And by faith, Jesus said, Hey, I'm going to do it. Many of them aren't going to realize how they grew until after Jesus returned. Jesus brought them to the garden. I can tell you, you're going to bring them along, and sure you are. Many of your kids and our grandkids.

James Greer (15:32):
They're not going to realize or appreciate you to their grown. Until they go through it, they can't appreciate what you're doing. It's going to happen at work. You're going to pour your life into people. You're going to have mates, employees, parents that have betrayed you. Are you going to forgive them? Sure. One day you still might be united with them. Jesus brought them with him to the garden of Gethsemane and he told him to sit there and to wait while he went ahead. And while he prayed and not only did he do that, he took Peter. Peter was one that was really close to him. And he took Zebedee's two sons and James and John. And he began to be filled with anguish and despair by faith. Jesus shared listen, his innermost feelings with those closest to him.

James Greer (16:30):
I believe like way back in Genesis 2:18. It says not good for man to be alone, but I want to read verse 38. This is Jesus speaking. Now Jesus had God the father. Amen? But I think even Jesus wanted to have some flesh and blood to share with it. The reason that I tell you that, that I know that you've got God the father, you've got the Holy Spirit. He'll never leave you. He'll always be with you. But, I also believe there's a time that you need others. Jesus told the disciples, Peter, James and John, my soul is crushed with horror. Why is he so terrified? Because he knew what was going to happen and sadness to the point of death. Then he says, stay here, stay awake with me.

James Greer (17:19):
Jesus understands how you feel. I don't care what you're going through. I know you may not imagine he can, but he can. I think everybody needs somebody that can share their inner most hurts, fears, sadness, concerns, and sorrow with. Since the pandemic, suicides are up. Depression's up. Isolation is bringing desolation. I've got the actual facts, I typed in today. Adults in the United States, mental health has impacted them due to worry and stress. But since the coronavirus is up 53%. Even the senior adults, 65 and up it's up 47%. They continue to worry. It's affecting their mental health. you all ready, 4 out of 10 youth have now contemplated suicide.

James Greer (18:21):
We've got to stop the isolation. We've got to tell the youth there's hope. There is. There's a future. Any youth that we have their even contemplating that, we want you to know that we'll offer you free help. We'll pay for your first visit to the doctor. We'll pay for your first visit to J D, we'll pay for your first visit to other doctors. If you don't have insurance, we know Jesus has a better life for you. And if you give it time, it will get better. Most don't share their concerns because they're afraid they will be betrayed and tell somebody about it. I think you've got to be careful who you share with. Be very careful. Everybody needs somebody, you all ready, say this: Everybody needs somebody. With me it's my wife, but everybody doesn't have a wife like I have, that can share everything with. And if you don't have a mate that you can find somebody.

James Greer (19:01):
I just want to tell you once again, especially you at Journey Church, if you're at that point, we want you to tell somebody. We'll do whatever we can do. I can tell you whether Darryl will be at the front. And I don't know who else will be. Mike, maybe. You can tell, they will not share with anybody. They're very confidential. Even the next step list. Basically me and Daryl get those or maybe one of the other Pastors. We don't share. If you need professional help, we'll do whatever we can do. We're here for what we can do for you, not what we can get from you. And we are concerned. So, you need somebody to share with. Warning for those that are in small groups. I think everybody needs to be in a small group, but when those that are a small group and they share their hurts, their fears or sadness, their sorrows and their concerns, do not share it outside that small group. And everybody said, Amen? Without permission of that person. That's why I believe everybody needs somebody.

James Greer (19:57):
And I think that that's why everybody needs to be in a small group. I believe that's why everybody needs to be in church. I believe it more now than any other time in my life. Now Tony called me, didn't he? I called Tony. I don't know. Anyway, I was telling Tony how concerned I was the other day about, and today is proof, everybody's getting back in church. I'm so thankful. I'm so excited. I could just stand up and preach to you. I'm like, But I said, Tony, I said, Tony, there's still a concern. I want people back in church. I said, how can you and Janet and Kurt and Claudia, and I've told him, I told him four or five other people. How can you all come to church in your all compromised position, really, when so many can't? And he said, well, me and Janet felt like we need church. We need the fellowship. We need the word. We don't need to be out of church. We need to be what? In church. And I thought, precious Jesus. Isn't that right? And it's true. And I need it and you need it.

James Greer (20:58):
Something else Jesus did though. He shared it with the disciples. Of course they fell asleep on him. So, he took it to the father. He took it to his father, but can I tell you something? He had hurts, he had sorrows, he had been betrayed. He took it to his father, but after, because of his resurrection, his father is now our Father. In fact, I could skip over to John 20:17 and where Jesus said this, he said to her, he's talking to Mary, don't cling to me. It's after the resurrection, because I hadn't sent it to my father yet. But yeah, go tell your brothers and say to them, I've got something for you. And I said, I got something you can tell them now. I'm ascending to my father. And now it's your father. It's my God. Now it's your God. Do you understand? After the resurrection, we can go, God, the father he's now my father. And now he's your God. Just like he was with Jesus.

James Greer (21:51):
He said, I've got some great news for you, Journey Church. It doesn't matter if your best friend falls asleep on you and you can't share with them, you now got a father in heaven. You can go to him just like Jesus did. Whoop, that's good. That's the first thing he said to go tell the disciples. You now you got a daddy and he's in heaven. And he's always there.

James Greer (22:44):
Fifth, by faith Jesus believed his father's will was best, in spite of what he was fixing to face. Oh, me. He thought God's will, was best in spite of what he's about to face. This is real faith. Sometimes we know what we need to do, even though it doesn't look pleasant, but we need to do it anyway. Jesus did that. Verse 39 tells us this. He went forward a little and fell on his face, downward to the ground and he prayed my father if it's possible, please let this cup be taken away from me, but not my will, but your will be done. Worst time in Jesus' life. But by faith, he said, I'm going to trust the father.

James Greer (23:45):
Can I tell you, I don't know what you're going through. I guarantee you between online and church here, there's some of you that are really hurting and you need a word from God. And God's saying, I know you're hurting, but trust me, trust me. It's a picture of the worst times in our life. And God wants you to trust him, that he knows best. He goes on in verse 48. He says, and when he returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping. After he had just told him he's going through the worst thing in his life. He said, I'm horrified. Peter, he called him. Couldn't you even stay awake just for one hour, keep alert? Can you pray with me? Otherwise, tempted to overpower you temptation for the spirit is indeed willing, but how we, the body is. And again, he left. And what did he do? He went and prayed my father. You know, if this cup can not go away until I drink it again, your will be done. Wow.

James Greer (24:49):
When we're hurting and sad, sorrow, what are we to do? I think the first thing we should always do is just like him is ask God to remove the hurt. I don't know what you're going through, but if you're hurting, ask God to remove it. As a matter of fact, today if you're in sorrow, hurting, say Jesus as a group, we want Jesus to remove it. Second of all, we ask God to give you the strength to go through it. Third of all, I want you to have faith that God knows what's best. Whew, that's tough. Then he returned again. He found them sleeping again and their eyes were heavy. So, he went back and so he prayed a third time saying the same thing again. Jesus asked the father three times, would you please remove this cup? God told him the same thing.

James Greer (25:40):
Sometimes God is not going to remove our suffering. Sometimes we're not going to understand it until heaven. That's why we've got to have faith that God knows what's best. That's not preached very often. We want to preach that. It's all going to be okay here. We are only here for a short time. We're going to be in heaven forever. Six, by faith, Jesus allowed one of his disciples to betray him. He allowed it to happen. It didn't just happen. He allowed it to happen. In Matthew 26:53, as they were getting about to betray him and take him, Jesus said, don't you realize that I could have asked my father a thousand angels. Can you imagine, a thousand angels would come protect me? And they would have done it in an instant. You ready? Sometimes we have to allow people to do things we wish they wouldn't do. We can't control what everybody does. Sometimes we just have to allow them to do it.

James Greer (26:52):
Verse 45 says, and then he came to the disciples and said, sleep on now, take your rest. My time has come. I'll be betrayed by the hands of an evil man. You all know who the evil man was? Judas. One of the ones that he loved. If you get down to the end of the story in verse 50, he says my friend go ahead and do what you must do. Then they grabbed him, kissed him. Wow. Getting ready to close. Can I tell you something? Jews Judas was one of the disciples who was close to Jesus, still died and went to hell. It's important that you don't just know about Jesus, but that you know Jesus, I always have a concern that he, that we have people that come to church that watch online, they know about Jesus, but they don't know him personally. And if you're here today and you know about Jesus, but you don't know Jesus, you never had a transformation process. Your life has never changed. There's no better time than today to come and either take your next step card or come down and see brother Darrell and say today, I want to give my life to Jesus Christ as a personal Savior.

James Greer (28:19):
Some of you been hurt. You've been betrayed. I think all of us have. You don't know it, but you have betrayed people before and you've hurt people. Forgive them before they ask. Are you live in fear of relationships and fragile in your relationships. You'll be very fragile if you haven't forgiven somebody else. There's something will come up in the new relationship. And you're so fragile. You'll be blowing up all the time and you don't even know why, because you're afraid that the person you're with now, it's going to do what somebody did for you in the past. I see it all the time. I have good friends. I say, well, you know, they did it to you. They're going to do it to me. Not necessarily. You can't live like that. Forgive them. Some of them don't even know how bad they hurt you. You don't even know how bad you've hurt other people. Move on. Forgive them.

James Greer (29:15):
Believe that some of the people that betrayed you and some of the people that you betrayed, that one day you can have unity again. It might be a mother or a father or a sister or a brother, that you've been in disunity with. Believe that one day you might be in unity again. Don't, don't, warning, warning. Don't put yourself in a situation that could hurt you physically, sometimes emotionally. But I do believe there's times. I believe in my life. I'm getting to see some people maybe that betrayed me and maybe I betrayed them or however they see it. And I'm fixing to have unity with them. I think it's great. I'm excited about it. I'd never believed it my whole life. God can do that.

James Greer (30:09):
I believe by faith, whatever you're going through right now, whatever it is, listen, right now. Allow God to give you the strength to go through it. This is, this is kind of an imitation. God give them the strength to go through it. God, please remove it. Or God use it. Strength to go through it, remove it. God that'd be my wish, or God use it. Remember this. Jesus does understand what you're going through. Hebrews 4:15,16. He tells you something that you got to be reminded of, for Jesus and a high priest that cannot sympathize with our weakness, but it was all points tempted as we are without sin. In other words, there's nothing that you're going through. Nothing that Jesus has not been tempting, that he doesn't understand that he can't sympathize with. You know what he says, after that, let us therefore boldly come to the throne of grace boldly come the throne of grace. You know what? That you may obtain mercy where he can give you what you need, not what you deserve. Isn't that great? He said, I want you to boldly come to the throne of grace. I want you to obtain mercy. I want you to get what you need, not what you deserve and find grace. You know what that means. I want to give you the strength and the power to go through whatever you're going through and bring glory to me.

James Greer (31:59):
To help you in time of need. Jesus himself said, I died. I went through all this where I can understand what you're going through and when you're going through it, I'm giving you an invitation, almost a commandment to come to me, and to come to me boldly where I can help you. Would you accept this invitation this morning? If not, why not? Would you stand with me and let me pray with you and pray for you. And whether you want to take the next step card, Daryl or whether they want to come to the front, that'll be up to them. If you do come to the front and you have a mask, I prefer to keep it on. Darryl, if you come to the front, Mike, if you're here come to the front too. You don't have to do that, you can use your next step card, but I'm going to pray for you.

James Greer (32:46):
Father. I just thank you for today. I'm so happy. Joyful would be a better word. I'm so glad to see so many people back today. I'll give you the honor and the glory and the praise. I want to pray for those that are here. And those that are online. I especially want to pray for those that are hurting to accept the invitation from Jesus Christ, who says that he sympathized with you and he understands what's going on in your life. If you're here today and you need to accept that, he said, boldly, come to the throne. Boldly, accept his mercy. Let him give you what you need, not what you deserve. Come and get the grace of God that you can go through it. That it will bring honor and glory to God. Maybe you want to join the church today. Maybe you need somebody to pray with you. Maybe you want to follow through in public baptism, whatever God's laid upon your heart. Maybe you want to pray for unity. Maybe there's somebody that you struggle with for years. And you know that you'd like to get back and have unity with them. Whatever God's laid them on your heart, I pray that you would let them have his will and his way right now. It's in the precious name of Jesus. And everybody said, Amen.

Speaker 2 (34:03):
On behalf of Pastor James. We're so glad you joined us today in worship. If you still want someone to pray with you, we have people on standby right now, click the link below and someone will pray with you. And for you at Journey Church, we've been blessed and it's all because of you who give we've been blessed by God phenomenally. We've had 80 baptisms so far. We've had baptisms for the past eight weeks. God has truly blessed us. So, we're asking you to give to the ministries of Journey Church. Click the link below and give whatever the Lord puts on your heart. We're going to see you next Sunday. As we continue with the series, Faith It.



Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360
318-640-1273