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Sermon Notes: 11/26/23

"Faith For The Middle"

Pastor Albert Almore


From Christmas to Resurrection Sunday, we’re going to be in a study called, "Son Of Man—The Gospel According To Luke.” But before we go there, we must go HERE (point to the blank page in the Bible, between the Old Testament and The New Testament.) Don’t hurt your eyes too bad now. You’re seeing correctly—ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

After the OT closed out, For 400 years, this is all God’s people got—SILENCE.


Not a Word. Not a peep. Not a text.

No email. No fax. No smoke signal. No nothing for 400 years! IN BETWEEN the Old Testament and the New Testament, this is all they got.


HOW DO YOU KEEP FAITH IN THIS?


HOW DO YOU KEEP JOY IN THIS?


IN BETWEEN the Old Testament and the New Testament, this is all they got.

That’s the question right there…


HOW DO YOU KEEP FAITH IN BETWEEN?


The in between place of what He said versus what you’re seeing.


The in between place of where you used to be, versus where you’re going.

I’m not where I used to be, but I’m not where I’m going. I’m somewhere in the middle.


I want to share a message with you this morning called…


FAITH FOR THE MIDDLE


This message is timely because….


A LOT CAN HAPPEN IN THE MIDDLE.


The middle is often the hardest of times.


The middle is often where we feel what many describe as SILENT TIMES.


A quick run through the scriptures, and you’ll find many others making their plea for what often feels like silent times. Psalm 28:1,


“To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock: DO NOT BE SILENT TO ME, Lest, if You are SILENT TO ME, I become like those who go down to the pit.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭28‬:‭1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


God, DO NOT KEEP SILENT. DO NOT KEEP SILENT, and do not be still, God.

Psalm 83:1 NHEB


IN BETWEEN the Old Testament and the New Testament, this is all they got, and this often referred to as the 400 years of silence or the intertestamental period. The middle is hard. The middle is difficult. Quite frankly, the middle sucks, but…


THE WORST THING THAT YOU CAN DO IS LOSE FAITH IN THE MIDDLE.


“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through FAITHand PATIENCE INHERIT WHAT HAS BEEN PROMISED.

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭6‬:‭12‬ ‭NIV‬‬


THE WORST THING THAT YOU CAN DO IS LOSE FAITH IN THE MIDDLE.


So how do we handle the middle so that the middle doesn’t handle us? How do we handle what appears to be silent times, so that silent times don’t handle us?


📝 REMEMBER ALL THAT HE’S DONE.


Asaph, the psalmist found himself in the middle and wrote Psalms 77, let’s pick up in verse 5 where it reads,


“I think of the good old days, long since ended, when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and ponder the difference now.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭77‬:‭5‬-‭6‬ ‭NLT‬‬


“Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion? Interlude”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭77‬:‭7‬-‭9‬ ‭NLT‬‬


“And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.””

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭77‬:‭10‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Because if not careful, that’s what the middle tells you. This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.


BUT THEN I RECALL ALL YOU HAVE DONE, O Lord; I REMEMBER your wonderful deeds of long ago. 12) They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭77‬:‭11‬-‭12‬ ‭NLT‬‬


📝 I’m in the middle, BUT I REMEMBER.


“Search for the Lord and for HIS STRENGTH; continually seek him. 5) REMEMBER the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given,”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭105‬:‭4‬-‭5‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Those verses are everything. Those verses tell us…


📝 STRENGTH comes when you REMEMBER.


📝 While in THE MIDDLE, remember what He SAID in THE BEGINNING.

📝 While in THE MIDDLE, remember what He SHOWED you about THE ENDING.


and here’s why…


📝 The middle doesn’t have THE LAST SAY SO.


I declare THE END FROM THE BEGINNING, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: MY PLAN WILL TAKE PLACE, and I WILL DO ALL MY WILL.

Isaiah 46:10


Can I tell you something….


📝 The One Who calls the ending from the beginning SAW the middle. The One Who calls the ending from the beginning KNOWS the middle.


📝 The middle doesn’t have the last say so. The middle is PREPARING you for what God SAID.


And here’s why. To God…


📝 WHO you need to be is greater than WHERE you need to be.


So how do we handle the middle so that the middle doesn’t handle us?


📝 EXPECT ALL THAT HE’S GOING TO DO.


This cry of, "Lord where are you, Lord I can’t do this without you,” is a beautiful cry, because Jesus Himself said in Matthew 5:3,


““Blessed are the POOR IN SPIRIT, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭3‬ ‭NKJV‬


I’m poor in spirit without your presence. I’m poor in spirit without your promises. I’m poor in spirit without your goodness. I’m poor in spirit without your hand upon me. I can’t do this thing without you. I. NEED. YOU. That’s a good place to be because Psalms‬ ‭9‬:‭18 tells us…


“For the needy shall not always be forgotten; THE EXPECTATION of the poor shall not perish forever.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭9‬:‭18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


DON’T ALLOW THE MIDDLE TO ROB YOU OF YOUR EXPECTATION.


“My soul, wait silently for God alone, For MY EXPECTATION is from Him.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭62‬:‭5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed THAT I WOULD SEE the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27‬:‭13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Hear me beloved….


📝 Don’t allow THE MIDDLE to talk you out of sticking around for THE ENDING.


“being confident of this, that HE WHO BEGAN a good work in you WILL CARRY IT ON TO COMPLETION until the day of Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬ ‭NIV‬‬


What do I do meanwhile AB? I’ll tell you what you do meanwhile….


📝 PRAISE HIM IN THE MIDDLE.


“My God, WHOM I PRAISE, do not remain silent,”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭109‬:‭1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I’m in the middle, but I praise you. It feels silent at times, but I’ll still praise you.


When David found himself "In The Middle” in Psalm 13, he started off by saying….


“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭13‬:‭1‬ ‭NIV‬‬


By the time it was all said and done David says,


“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6) I WILL SING THE LORD’S PRAISE, FOR HE HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭13‬:‭5‬-‭6‬ ‭NIV‬‬


HE HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME…


History tells His Story of His goodness.

History tells His Story of His faithfulness.


I may be in the middle but He’s PRESENT.

I may be in the middle but He’s LISTENING.

I may be in the middle but He’s WORKING.


And for that, I’ll praise you.


What is God working on???


📝 He’s working on YOUR BEHALF.

📝 He’s working on YOU.

📝 He’s working because HE’S WITH YOU.


Don’t confuse silent times with neglected times.

Don’t confuse silent times with abandoned times.


The first thing Luke records from Heaven, coming out of the silent times was Luke 1:13…


“But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! GOD HAS HEARD YOUR PRAYER...

‭‭Luke‬ ‭1‬:‭13‬ ‭NLT‬‬


I know you’re in the middle. I know you feel like you’re in silent times, but you must believe that God is present. You must believe that God heard you. You must believe that God is Working on YOUR BEHALF.


How is He working? Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭28 tells us…


“And we know that in all things God works FOR THE GOOD of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭28‬ ‭NIV‬‬


HE’S WORKING FOR THE GOOD OF YOU.


📝 "He has made everything BEAUTIFUL in its time...

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3‬:‭11‬ ‭NIV‬‬


📝 If it's not GOOD then He's not DONE.


The middle is tough. The middle is hard. No night lasts forever. No storm last forever.


📝 ….Weeping may endure for a night, BUT JOY comes in THE MORNING.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭30‬:‭5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


I know it’s been rough. I know you’ve been in the middle longer than expected, but…


DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE MORNING?


Do you believe that no storm last forever? Do you believe that no night last forever? Do you believe that there will be a morning for you?

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