Sermon Notes: 3/13/22
📝 = Fill in the Blank
"Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.” Matthew 11:1
“When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?””
I want to speak to you today from this subject…
WHEN GOD FEELS DISTANT
John the Baptist asked….“Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?””
I don’t believe that John’s tone started off like this. I believe as John was being processed, as he traded his clothes that were made of camel’s hair, and as he checked his food in which was locusts and wild honey that….Why are y’all looking at me like that ? Y’all do know that I’m not making this up, Matthew 3:4 says,
John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. Matthew 3:4
So as John was being processed, trading his camel hair clothes in for his orange jumpsuit, I can hear John the Baptist now laughing at the guards telling them, "Y’all done messed up now! Y’all do know who I am right! I’m the cousin of Jesus. I’m the one who was inside of my mothers womb that Luke 1:41 spoke about when it said,
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Uh huh that was me. Elizabeth was my mom, I was the baby who was inside of her womb that leaped in her belly as I was filled with the Holy Spirit. That was me! I’m the one that they wrote about in John 1:29 when it said,
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”
“I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.””
“Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’”
“I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.””
Helllllo! All of those verses were talking about me. I’m definitely not trying to toot my own horn or anything but that guy in Matthew 3:13…that was me! Matthew 3:13 says,
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.”
Yep! So if there’s anybody that Jesus is definitely coming to rescue it’s me! And when he gets here, y’all are going to be in trouble, trouble. Y’all just see. Y’all just see. Y’all just see. But as time went on, I believe that, that tone changed from y’all just wait to, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”” I believe this happened because…
Often as time passes, so does our hope.
Anxiety and worry make there way into our minds with this sentence beginning with, "I thought by now…”
I thought by now I would’ve been out of here.
I thought by now, that this would’ve been behind me.
📝 The enemy of HOPE is TIME.
"HOPE DEFERRED makes the heart sick.”
"Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else!”
In other words, If you are who you say you are, then why am I going through this?
If you are who you say you are, then why am I still here? Here’s the thing church….
📝 Jesus never promised us a life WITHOUT TROUBLE. Jesus promised that He would be with us IN TROUBLE.
““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. IN THIS WORLD YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””
I want to take time to encourage you this morning in what you’re going through….
You’re not ALONE in how you feel.
📝 YOU’RE NOT ALONE IN HOW YOU FEEL. OTHERS HAVE BEEN THERE.
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”
Why are you believing the thoughts that you’re a weak believer? Why are you believing the thoughts that you’re supposed to be above these feelings that you’re feeling? No! We all have days. We all have moments. We all go through difficult times. YOU’RE NOT ALONE IN HOW YOU FEEL—OTHERS HAVE BEEN THERE. This is why 1 Peter 5:8-9 says,
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
1 Peter 5:8-9
The moment that God created you, He gave you permission to be human. He gave you permission to cry. He gave you permission to feel.
What if I told you that David, the man after Gods own heart has been right where you are, right where John the Baptist was feeling. After troubling circumstances to say the least, David found himself in a cave surrounded by trouble, fear, and a few questions for God. It was there where David put pen to paper in Psalm 13, and beginning in verse 1 says,
“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”
“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”
“Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.”
What do you do when God feels distant? Know that you’re not alone in how you feel. You’re not the first to feel this way. You won’t be the last to feel this way. Other great men and women of faith have all been there before but here’s the thing.
📝 It’s ok to HAVE A MOMENT, as long as that moment doesn’t HAVE YOU.
📝 Others have been there before, but they DIDN’T STAY THERE, and neither can you.
📝 You’re not alone in how you feel. IMMANUEL IS THERE.
““Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him IMMANUEL, which means ‘God is with us.’””
“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.””
📝 "Don’t allow the PRESENCE of PAIN to cause you to question my ABSENCE.”
📝 It’s in the PRESENCE OF TROUBLE that you’ll find the guarantee of MY PRESENCE.
📝 "God is our refuge and strength, an EVER-PRESENT help in trouble.”
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17
“At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! BUT THE LORD STOOD BY ME and strengthened me…
2 Timothy 4:16-17
After you embrace the truth that you’re not alone, and that not only have others been there, but Immanuel is there, next….
Invite FAITH to come SIT with your FEELINGS.
That’s how the patriarchs who went on before us did it. They had their questions. They had their flaws, and they had their faith.
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God…
“By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain…”
“By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death…”
“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen…
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”
“By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.”
The writer of Hebrews is giving us the cliff notes version. We know that their story started by faith, and ended by faith, but in the middle time got the best of them, and they lost hope. Somewhere along the journey Sarah invited FAITH to come sit with her FEELINGS. She had a TOUGH a moment, but she didn’t stay there and neither can you. Invite FAITH to come SIT with your FEELINGS.
John the Baptist put Jesus on the spot. How would Jesus respond in this moment, to Johns question of, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?””
"And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you HEAR and SEE: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.”
What was John’s testimony about Jesus again,
“Then John gave this testimony: “I SAW the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water TOLD ME, ‘The man on whom YOU SEE the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I HAVE SEEN and I TESTIFY THAT THIS IS GOD’S CHOSEN ONE.””
And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you HEAR and SEE. In essence Jesus was saying…
📝 Don’t allow what you HEAR AND SEE cause you to forget what you HEARD AND SAW.
Even though David started off rough in Psalm 13, before he closed that Psalm out, David invited faith to come sit with his feelings.
“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for HE HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME.”
David invited faith to come sit with his feelings. It was there that David took time to remember all that he had heard and seen from God’s goodness. David said I know this a tough now, but you have been good to me.
My circumstances doesn’t change who God is.
My circumstances doesn’t dictate His goodness.
IN ALL THINGS GOD WORKS.
When God feels distant, know that you’re not alone. Others have been there. Immanuel is there. Invite faith to come sit with your feelings.
When God feels distant, know that IN ALL THINGS GOD WORKS.
WILL YOU WAIT ON HIM?
The enemy of hope is time.
DON’T LOSE HOPE IN THE WAIT.
“But those who WAIT ON THE LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”
WILL YOU WAIT ON HIM?