What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Wiser

Adulting is the worst. When poop hits the fan, where do you turn for answers? Come hear about how finding Wisdom from the Bible can help you through hard times.

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    - Did you know you can use Tabasco on your hemorrhoids?
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    [buzzer] - Cut! No, Ew! - Cut.
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    - Well, hey, welcome to Crossroads.
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    We're so glad that you joined us.
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    I'm actually getting ready to head out for my summer vacation
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    and to visit some of our amazing Crossroads Anywhere community
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    around the country.
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    But as many of us take summer vacations and we find ourselves
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    in different places than we would normally be,
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    I just want to remind you, just because you leave home
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    doesn't mean you have to leave your church.
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    The beautiful thing about Crossroads is that
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    you can take your church with you anywhere you go.
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    So take time with us in the app and online,
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    catching up on the weekend service, participating,
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    praying for people and receiving prayer,
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    connecting with your community and continuing to grow
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    even while you take some much needed time off.
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    We're going to start off our time today
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    by singing some songs.
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    This isn't just the soundtrack for your road trip or your day.
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    It's actually the start of a conversation
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    between you and God.
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    So as we sing, turn up the volume, consider these words
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    as the opening dialog in a conversation
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    between you and a God who loves you.
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    - That's right, He set us free once and for all.
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    - That's right. That's the hope we have.
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    I want to read these words to us from Paul,
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    a guy named Paul, who was one of the earliest followers of Jesus,
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    written in the first century. He says this:
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    Can I get an amen?
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    There's no more words to that verse, so just look away.
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    We're just going to go on. Look at it.
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    That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,
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    and, you ready for it?
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    I don't know if you are. I don't know if I am.
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    He's my living hope. I want hope and resurrection.
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    Amen. Hallelujah.
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    And then [Fx], hit the brakes, we share His suffering.
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    That's -- That's on the secret menu.
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    I didn't see that up there.
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    I'm in for hope. I'm in for resurrection.
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    Regardless of if this is your first time in here
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    or you don't believe in Jesus,
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    you could get behind, "I want more hope.
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    I want to believe life can be resurrected."
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    But those of us who follow Jesus, we say, "Yeah,
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    that second part is true too,
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    that I may share in His sufferings."
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    We wrote this next song directly out of those scriptures.
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    And you know what I said when we started writing it?
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    I'm not kidding, this is no exaggeration from a stage
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    because lights are on or because there's a microphone.
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    No exaggeration.
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    I sat right in the room back there side stage and said,
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    "I don't know that our church can sing these words,"
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    because I wrestle with them.
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    Because I don't know if I'm ready to sing them fully.
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    I had a friend recently who heard this song and he said,
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    "Man, I love all the songs you guys have been writing,
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    except this one."
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    He's kind of new to his faith with Jesus.
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    And he said, "Man, I'm all for know you
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    and the power of your resurrection,
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    but share His sufferings?
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    I don't know about that. That's just weird."
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    It is. Uncomfortable? Yeah. Odd? Yes.
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    But the pathway to life that Jesus gave us is one where
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    He stood in front of the superpowers of His day,
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    in front of the extreme powers of Rome
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    and the religious elite and the religious establishment.
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    And you know what our King did? He laid His life down.
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    And so every day I've found life by dying to myself.
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    And so every day I say, "Then let me give generously
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    and not hold tightly to my finances and my money.
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    Lord, let me live humbly and lay my ego down, instead of pride.
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    Lord, let me radically forgive those who wronged me
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    instead of choosing hate."
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    Death to myself so that I can have life in Jesus,
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    that's the way we follow.
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    We're going to sing these words.
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    If you're not ready, it's okay.
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    But man, if you are, there's life through it.
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    There's life on the other side and I want that for you.
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    - Father, I'll just say it because I just saw it:
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    We want more of You.
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    Our church wants to go into deeper waters.
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    We want more of You, because the great mystery is that
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    I find life when I die to myself.
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    That at the death of me I found the life You offered.
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    Not just once, Not 20 some years ago in Louisville, Kentucky,
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    when I got baptized, but every single day.
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    To say, let me get off the throne,
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    let me lay my heart down on this altar,
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    You take it and You lead me by Your hand.
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    You have life to give and I want it fully, not half way.
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    So I want Your death and I want Your resurrection.
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    And I trust You through it.
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    I pray all this because I've seen You real, Jesus.
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    You changed my life. Amen.
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    - There you go. Will you say Hi, Crossroads Anywhere?
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    - Hi, Crossroads Anywhere.
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    - Can you guys wave? Good.
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    Hey, we're almost packed up and ready to go,
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    and we just can't wait to see some of you guys
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    over the next two weeks.
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    We're actually on a road trip
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    and we're going to be hanging out with you all
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    in Kentucky, Tennessee, and then to Orlando, Florida,
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    for our next big Crossroads Anywhere meetup.
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    But Crossroads isn't just a video on a screen.
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    It's a real church that you can belong to
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    no matter where you are
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    and no matter where your summer plans take you.
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    A couple of ways for you to connect with this place
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    over your summer.
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    One is through the Crossroads Anywhere app.
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    It's a really, really fantastic tool that gives you
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    not just great content to watch,
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    but great people to connect with.
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    Secondly, hey,
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    all of the great stuff that happens around Crossroads
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    only happens because people are faithful
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    and they give consistently.
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    If you're interested in joining the team of faithful givers,
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    who helps make Crossroads happen,
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    or you've got questions about how we spend our money,
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    hey, you can head to Crossroads.net/give.
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    Now we're going to be talking about wisdom today.
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    And it's one of those things that we often times associate
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    with being old or gray, but that's because
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    it's built through experience and even through difficulty.
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    And today we're going to see how when we go through tough things,
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    we can gain godly wisdom on the other side.
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    - We all want a life that works.
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    We buy books, we listen to podcasts, and we follow gurus
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    who promise the secret to what we crave:
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    A life full of meaning, connection, fun and adventure.
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    We look to those who have done well before us
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    and we ask ourselves, "How can I get some of that?"
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    We seek knowledge and understanding,
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    but we need something deeper.
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    We need wisdom.
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    The Bible gives us a path to wisdom
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    laid out in three Old Testament books,
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    often called The Wisdom Literature.
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    Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job are the roadmap to understanding
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    where godly wisdom comes from and what God has to say
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    about how to live our lives well.
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    - Hey, Crossroads, this is Brian.
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    I'm what's known around Crossroads as a Senior Pastor.
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    Sorry I can't be with you today.
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    I'm in the midst of a summer break that I'm taking,
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    so thank you for affording me the opportunity
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    to stay off and stay fresh.
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    I've lined up a real good thing for you today.
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    We want to have great teaching every week at Crossroads.
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    But this week I've gone outside and asked a friend
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    to come and speak to us and push us all to the next level.
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    His name is Matt Chandler.
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    I've been at Crossroads, started Crossroads about 28 years ago.
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    Matt, a similar situation, started a church in Texas.
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    I've known of Matt, I've known about Matt for a long time
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    because he's frankly one of the greatest teachers
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    of our generation in the church today.
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    He's a brilliant, brilliant guy. We've got a lot in common.
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    Brilliance is not one of the things that we have in common.
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    We're both hunters.
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    That's the other thing we have in common.
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    But I really look up to this guy.
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    I appreciate him a lot.
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    In the last few years,
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    I've become personal friends with Matt.
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    I love this guy. I trust him. I trust his integrity.
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    He not only has a great mind, he's got a great heart.
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    And I made a personal ask.
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    I said, "Hey, man, would you come and build into
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    the people of Crossroads?
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    Because I think you've got a lot to offer us."
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    And as a good friend would, he said, "Absolutely, man, I'm in."
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    So bummed I can't be there with you and with him today,
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    but you're in good hands.
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    Just sit back, and here's my friend Matt Chandler.
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    - Hey, guys. [cheers & applause] I'm not going to lie,
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    I'm a little bit disoriented by the Taylor Swift reference.
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    I don't quite know. It'll take me a while to figure out
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    whether that's encouraging or discouraging, but we'll see.
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    Hey, when my oldest daughter was around,
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    I think she was probably around seven,
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    I was doing something similar to Pastor Brian,
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    I was taking a couple of weeks off and so we all got in our car
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    and we're headed to a lake
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    probably about two hours from my house.
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    My daughter had been bitten by a spider or a mosquito.
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    I don't know, everything tries to kill you in Texas.
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    And so so we put a little medicine on it
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    and then put her in the back in her car seat
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    and we're heading towards the lake.
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    And stopped about an hour in to get gas.
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    And my in-laws were coming with us.
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    And that's not the suffering
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    that I'm trying to highlight in this talk.
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    They're actually exceptional people.
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    Some of our closest friends, they're awesome.
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    Won the lottery on in-laws.
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    And my mother-in-law, who I just want to say for the record
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    and for the sake of this story is not on the spectrum,
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    comes up and this is her grandbaby.
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    So she raps on the door and sweet Audrey, I mean, you know,
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    Gigi gives her whatever she wants, rolls down that window
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    and points out her bump.
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    And my mother-in-law, like, who raised children,
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    says to my seven year old,
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    "Oh, that looks like it's turning into a boil.
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    They might have to lance that."
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    Now, my daughter hadn't watched Gray's Anatomy or anything.
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    She doesn't know what's happening,
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    but she is inquisitive and so she asks what does that mean?
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    And yet again, I want to praise the intelligence
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    of my mother-in-law
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    and then say maybe she just forgot some things
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    because she answered that question like this:
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    "It means they'll need to take, like, a scalpel, a kind of razor
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    and cut it open so the bad stuff can come out."
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    What do you think the next hour of our life
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    was like in that car?
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    So the whole way, the rest of the way, another hour.
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    Like, I cannot get my radio loud enough to cover the screams of,
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    "I don't want him to cut my leg. I don't want him to cut my leg.
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    I don't want him to cut my leg."
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    I'm like, "They're not going to cut your leg.
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    They're not going to cut your leg."
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    And we finally get to the lake house and we're unloading,
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    and dadgummit, the bump's big, it's red, it's hot to the touch.
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    And so I was like, "Oh, now I've got to get her to the doctor."
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    And so we get in the car, and, you know, listen,
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    she's not like, "I'm really excited about this."
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    There ain't enough lollipops in the universe
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    to cover up what she thinks is coming.
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    And so we get there and they get us in this room
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    and they look at it and the nurses confirm out loud,
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    "Yeah, this is a boil."
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    And so you can just feel it happening in the room.
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    And this poor doctor, I mean, he's young.
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    I mean, he maybe -- it's small, like, Mineral Wells, Texas.
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    I think it was the vet in town too.
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    And he comes in and he looks at my girl.
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    Now, he doesn't know any of the backstory of today.
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    He doesn't know what we've been through.
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    He can clearly see my daughter is upset,
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    but it's a seven year old in the E.R.
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    Maybe that's just what seven year old's in the E.R. act like.
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    He said, this guy says out loud,
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    "We're going to need to lance that."
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    Now, at that moment, my seven year old daughter
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    somehow has the strength of a thousand suns and she decides,
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    "Oh, no, you won't."
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    And I know pastors are prone to hyperbole,
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    but she picked up one of those nurses and body slammed.
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    I mean, they could not pin her to that table.
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    They're trying to numb it so they can lance it.
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    And she ain't having it and she ain't having it having it.
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    And so she's putting up a fight.
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    I mean, it's like she's put some dude in a rear naked choke
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    and just put him to sleep.
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    I was like, "Oh, what are we going to do?"
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    And the doctor looks at me and he says, "Dad."
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    So I'm looking for Mom, frigging Lauren just like, left.
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    Just like left the room, like in the waiting room.
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    What kind of mom is that? Where are you?
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    What kind of mom is that?
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    So I have to get on this bed,
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    tears and terror on this little girl's face.
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    This little girl has my soul.
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    Dads remember that that first thought
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    when you held your baby girl for the first time?
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    I realized then, "Oh, I'm still capable of violence."
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    Like I held her and I thought
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    I would physically kill a man with my hands.
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    I hadn't had that thought in years.
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    I thought Jesus took that out of me.
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    I held Audrey and I was like, "No, I'll kill a guy.
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    I'll kill a man."
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    And now I've got to pin her with my forearm to this bed.
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    Tears, betrayal. What are you doing?
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    While they numb that and lance it so it doesn't poison her leg.
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    And for just a second,
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    just a second at this, like, tiny little space
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    I think I understood God and suffering.
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    Now the Bible, here's why I love the Bible.
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    I love -- the Bible is such a grimey book.
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    Like, if you'd actually read, read it, it is a grimey book.
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    I don't know how it became fairy tales and children's fables.
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    You know, like you're tucking in your kid and you're like,
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    and then God drowned everyone on Earth. Night-night.
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    I mean, it's not -- it is a grimy, grimy book.
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    And I'm telling you, every bit of disappointment,
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    every bit of death, difficulty, disease, heartbreak,
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    soul crushing, waiting on the Lord, long suffering pain
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    that you have ever experienced, imagined or seen,
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    it's in The Book.
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    Like the Bible is not painting a picture of reality
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    that is inconsistent with our human experience.
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    Now you can cherry pick verses and you can create
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    a whole new way of understanding the universe.
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    But the Bible is grimy from beginning to end.
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    The story of the Bible is not that there won't be a mess,
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    but that God will be with you in it.
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    That's The Book.
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    And so if you would read it honestly,
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    you would see this everywhere.
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    And so really the argument of Scripture is this,
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    and here's what I want you to take away today:
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    Suffering is normal and Jesus is good.
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    Suffering is normal and Jesus is good.
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    Now you can clap because that --
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    I know you're probably clapping for the second part of that,
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    So one of the issues that we're having,
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    one of the issues you're having and I'm having is we're living
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    in one of the most unique moments in human history.
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    In fact, never before has the default setting
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    of human expectation been, "I'm primarily going to be happy."
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    That's never happened in human.
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    That is less than 100 years old.
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    It has not been the driver.
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    The driver has been survival.
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    And now it's like the whole framework is is happy
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    and that all days of year are going to be glad hearted.
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    Well, sociologists are now finding out
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    that you orient like that,
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    you're actually going to move more into depression,
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    suffering and anxiety and difficulty, not less,
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    because our normal human experience isn't that
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    Tuesday is going to be filled with happiness.
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    You know what I mean by Tuesday?
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    So like Monday is like, ugh,
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    you know Monday is going to be tough, right?
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    Friday is like, woo, Friday.
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    Wednesday is like we're almost there.
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    Tuesday, just -- it's just Tuesday.
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    Like the normal outworking of life
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    isn't going to be what you're scrolling through.
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    And the sociological data is showing that this framework
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    that I'm primarily going to be happy,
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    I'm primarily going to have good times is actually poisoning us
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    in a way that's leading to more heartbreak, not less.
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    In fact, this is already starting to work its way out
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    in popular level books
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    that are on the New York Times bestseller list.
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    Let me just give you some of them Amusing Ourselves to Death,
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    The Happiness Trap.
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    I'm guessing these aren't books you buy.
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    I'm going to buy The Happiness Trap. Probably not.
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    But a lot of people are as they're trying to make sense
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    of why do I have all this stuff and I'm not fulfilled?
  • 00:34:31
    Why do I have all the things I thought I needed
  • 00:34:33
    and it's not working?
  • 00:34:35
    Another one is called Antifragile.
  • 00:34:37
    Another one is called The Coddling of the American Mind.
  • 00:34:39
    And the last one's called Lost Connections.
  • 00:34:41
    These are popular level books from a ton of sociological data
  • 00:34:46
    that says if you orient your life's expectation on that
  • 00:34:50
    I'm primarily supposed to be happy, then that usually means
  • 00:34:53
    you're not only going to not be happy, but you're going to --
  • 00:34:56
    you're not going to get the normal gladness.
  • 00:34:58
    Now, the Christian response to that
  • 00:35:00
    is not to become a bunch of Eeyors.
  • 00:35:01
    All right?
  • 00:35:02
    The Christian response is like, "No, we just -- life's hard."
  • 00:35:05
    That's not supposed to be us either.
  • 00:35:06
    In fact, we are a weird, strange people
  • 00:35:08
    who, even in the difficulty can rejoice,
  • 00:35:10
    makes us outliers in this strange world
  • 00:35:12
    that says everybody's supposed to be happy.
  • 00:35:14
    What we're saying is our life will be
  • 00:35:16
    a mixture of happiness and sorrow,
  • 00:35:20
    and our God is sovereign over both.
  • 00:35:22
    And the sorrow and the joy are gifts of grace.
  • 00:35:26
    That's how we orient.
  • 00:35:27
    Now in the middle of the Bible,
  • 00:35:28
    several people have already said it,
  • 00:35:30
    in the middle of the Bible, there are these three books.
  • 00:35:32
    They're called the Wisdom Literature.
  • 00:35:34
    And really, the two that kind of are telling the same story
  • 00:35:37
    from opposite directions are Ecclesiastes and Job.
  • 00:35:41
    And here's what happens in Ecclesiastes.
  • 00:35:42
    In Ecclesiastes, Solomon, King Solomon,
  • 00:35:46
    wealthiest man on earth at the time.
  • 00:35:48
    He says he sets his heart to discover
  • 00:35:52
    if there is anything worth living for under the sun.
  • 00:35:55
    And the first part of his life, you can read all about this
  • 00:35:58
    in Ecclesiastes and you can see some of it in 1 Kings.
  • 00:36:00
    He started out partying, and I don't know if you party.
  • 00:36:04
    I don't know if your backstory is you got, you know,
  • 00:36:06
    a little, little -- you had a season.
  • 00:36:08
    But my man went hard, hard, hard.
  • 00:36:10
    And so here's how he did party.
  • 00:36:11
    Here's how he wanted to test it.
  • 00:36:13
    So he throws a party
  • 00:36:14
    and you know what he says about the party?
  • 00:36:16
    It was awesome, so he threw it again.
  • 00:36:18
    And you know what?
  • 00:36:20
    It was awesome. And then he threw it again.
  • 00:36:22
    He was like, "I mean, it was awesome, but..."
  • 00:36:24
    He just got used to it.
  • 00:36:25
    So, you know, he did? Leveled up.
  • 00:36:27
    Invited more people, added some live music.
  • 00:36:31
    Awesome again. Incredible again.
  • 00:36:34
    And then it kind of ran out of gas and he leveled up again.
  • 00:36:36
    By the time Solomon gets to the end of his partying phase,
  • 00:36:40
    you can read about what he was killing animal wise for it.
  • 00:36:44
    And it would feed half of Cincinnati.
  • 00:36:46
    I mean, I'm not kidding, you just check it out.
  • 00:36:48
    You just go read that.
  • 00:36:49
    I mean, it's just like a thousand chickens and 42 bulls.
  • 00:36:53
    And I mean, it was just like the barbecue of all barbecues.
  • 00:36:55
    I don't know if you guys Q it up here in Cincinnati,
  • 00:36:58
    but this thing, this is big time, and it doesn't work.
  • 00:37:00
    Are you tracking me? He gets to the end of partying.
  • 00:37:03
    Can't get any bigger, can't get any better,
  • 00:37:05
    can't get any more getting after it and it doesn't work.
  • 00:37:10
    So then he turns his heart to pleasure.
  • 00:37:13
    There is not a single sexual experience
  • 00:37:15
    that he withholds from himself,
  • 00:37:17
    not a body type, not a hair color, not a shape, not --
  • 00:37:21
    You tracking with me?
  • 00:37:22
    I'm not going to get any more graphic than that.
  • 00:37:24
    All right? This isn't my church.
  • 00:37:25
    My church I might go a little further.
  • 00:37:27
    Not here, right? I'm in somebody else's house. Right.
  • 00:37:29
    So, no, he gives himself over to it.
  • 00:37:31
    And here's what he decides.
  • 00:37:32
    He has sex. He's like, that's awesome.
  • 00:37:34
    And I think the room would say, amen.
  • 00:37:36
    And then he has sex again. He's like, that was great.
  • 00:37:38
    And then he has it and he's like,
  • 00:37:40
    Well, that's not -- so let's mix it up.
  • 00:37:41
    And then what happens? It runs out of gas.
  • 00:37:43
    So then he gives himself over to kind of building an empire
  • 00:37:46
    and he gets into real estate, man.
  • 00:37:48
    And it's vineyards and it's real estate,
  • 00:37:50
    and he becomes the most powerful man imaginable.
  • 00:37:53
    He built homes and vineyards and ranches, and he gets to the end,
  • 00:37:56
    there's there's nothing more to build.
  • 00:37:58
    He's the CEO of CEOs
  • 00:37:59
    and he's like, "Dang, it doesn't work either."
  • 00:38:02
    Then he gives himself to leisure.
  • 00:38:04
    He just got a couple of PAs and a couple of EAs
  • 00:38:07
    and just gets that morning massage and then takes a nap,
  • 00:38:11
    flies to the ranch.
  • 00:38:13
    That's a text and then just hangs out at the ranch.
  • 00:38:17
    He gives himself to leisure.
  • 00:38:18
    And at the end of it all, here's what he says,
  • 00:38:20
    just a chipper little book: Meaningless. Meaningless.
  • 00:38:25
    All is meaningless.
  • 00:38:28
    And there is nothing under the sun
  • 00:38:30
    that will satisfy the hearts of men.
  • 00:38:33
    Now, Job loses everything
  • 00:38:39
    and finds out God is enough.
  • 00:38:42
    So Solomon gets everything you and I are chasing after
  • 00:38:45
    and will never achieve. You tracking me?
  • 00:38:48
    We're chasing it and we're not going to get where he got.
  • 00:38:51
    And he said, "Guess what? You don't have to.
  • 00:38:52
    I made it. It ain't going to work."
  • 00:38:55
    And Job lives into our greatest fears and says,
  • 00:39:03
    "When you've lost it all, He's enough."
  • 00:39:06
    And so these two books play off of each other.
  • 00:39:09
    And so I want us to look at Job again.
  • 00:39:12
    I can't believe this is what Pastor Brian gave me.
  • 00:39:14
    He's like, "You want to come?" I was like, "Sure."
  • 00:39:16
    He's like, "Job."
  • 00:39:17
    I was like, "Job, really?" Job in the summer?'
  • 00:39:20
    Here we are. Blame him.
  • 00:39:22
    Job 1:1:
  • 00:39:36
    He's a good dude. All right?
  • 00:39:38
    He ain't got some shady back life.
  • 00:39:40
    He ain't got some secret sin.
  • 00:39:42
    He ain't got, like, another family in Jerusalem.
  • 00:39:44
    This is like a good dude. He's upright.
  • 00:39:47
    The Bible called him blameless.
  • 00:39:49
    And then the book shifts to this kind of mind bending scene
  • 00:39:54
    where God is on His throne and the angels
  • 00:39:56
    are presenting themselves before the Lord and Satan shows up.
  • 00:39:59
    And so God says, "Satan, what are you doing here?"
  • 00:40:01
    And he's like, "I was looking around at the sons of men.
  • 00:40:04
    I was judging humankind."
  • 00:40:06
    And God says, "Have you considered my God Job?
  • 00:40:09
    Upright, blameless, fears my name."
  • 00:40:12
    Now, if Job knew what was coming,
  • 00:40:13
    he'd probably go, "You know what?
  • 00:40:15
    Don't worry about me, just kind of move on down.
  • 00:40:17
    Might maybe point somebody else out."
  • 00:40:19
    Because Satan answers, "Of course, Job loves you.
  • 00:40:22
    You've made him the richest man on earth.
  • 00:40:24
    He has more cattle, donkey, children,
  • 00:40:26
    money than anyone else on earth.
  • 00:40:28
    Of course he's going to praise You.
  • 00:40:29
    You've blessed him. You've made him untouchable.
  • 00:40:31
    You've put a hedge of protection around him
  • 00:40:34
    so that nothing befalls him that's difficult.
  • 00:40:36
    Of course he praises You."
  • 00:40:38
    And then Satan says to the Lord, "Let me take his wealth.
  • 00:40:43
    Let me take his reputation, and he'll curse Your Name."
  • 00:40:49
    And for reasons we will not understand, God says, "Bet."
  • 00:40:55
    I'm probably too old to say that, but deal, right?
  • 00:40:59
    The kids in the room was like, "Don't, bro, don't."
  • 00:41:01
    And then here's what we read, toughest day ever.
  • 00:41:03
    I don't know your backstory; this wins.
  • 00:41:06
    Here we go, Job 1 starting in verse 13.
  • 00:42:28
  • 00:42:45
    This man is better than us.
  • 00:42:48
    I have made charge against God for much less.
  • 00:42:53
    I have been frustrated at Jesus's sovereign reign
  • 00:42:56
    for not a 10th of this, not a fifth of this.
  • 00:43:00
    And so he loses everything that would have his reputation
  • 00:43:03
    and name attached to it, including his sons and daughters
  • 00:43:06
    in succession in a matter of a day,
  • 00:43:10
    and this man tears his clothes.
  • 00:43:12
    So he doesn't do that thing some Christians do, be like --
  • 00:43:15
    He works out all things together for the good of love
  • 00:43:17
    and call according to it. He doesn't do that thing.
  • 00:43:20
    He didn't slap some bumper sticker theology on it.
  • 00:43:22
    He falls on the ground and tears his clothes.
  • 00:43:24
    He shaves his head.
  • 00:43:25
    He doesn't put some sort of stupid spirit sprinkle on it.
  • 00:43:28
    It hurts. It's terrible. It's awful.
  • 00:43:30
    He falls on the ground and makes no accusation against God.
  • 00:43:35
    We were talking in the back,
  • 00:43:37
    some of us have made accusations against God
  • 00:43:38
    when when that Netflix password didn't work this past week.
  • 00:43:42
    How long, O Lord. Right?
  • 00:43:44
    And yet this man, he endures, like, you can't imagine.
  • 00:43:48
    I can't imagine this. I can't get my head around this.
  • 00:43:52
    And so then it's back to the throne room.
  • 00:43:54
    God's on His throne. Here come the angels. Satan shows back up.
  • 00:43:56
    And I love this because God talks a little noise.
  • 00:43:58
    I don't know how you picture God in your mind, but he's like,
  • 00:44:01
    "Hey, Satan, shh, shh. You're hear?
  • 00:44:03
    Oh, my gosh, is that Job worshiping me right now?
  • 00:44:05
    What's up, man?
  • 00:44:08
    Oh, naked I came, naked -- Yeah. See, my boy loves me.
  • 00:44:11
    So you touched him, and what's up? He's still worshiping.
  • 00:44:13
    I thought you said he would curse My Name?"
  • 00:44:15
    And so Satan says, "Oh, yeah,
  • 00:44:17
    it's because you've given him his physical health.
  • 00:44:20
    Let me touch his body and he'll curse your name."
  • 00:44:23
    And again, for reasons we won't get to understand,
  • 00:44:25
    but we will get some answer,
  • 00:44:27
    God says okay, but you will not kill him,
  • 00:44:32
    but you can touch him."
  • 00:44:33
    And so here's where we pick back up the story, Job 2:7-9:
  • 00:44:51
    This is just gross.
  • 00:44:54
    Now, listen to this, like things couldn't be worse.
  • 00:45:05
    I think I'd start to barter with the Lord.
  • 00:45:07
    I wouldn't have bartered until this moment.
  • 00:45:09
    And then I said,
  • 00:45:11
    "Can you give me back my dog and take this woman?
  • 00:45:13
    like this -- this is who you leave me?
  • 00:45:15
    Like this is like, man, give me one of those mini donks, man.
  • 00:45:19
    Those things are cute.
  • 00:45:20
    I could at least cuddle with somebody in this madness.
  • 00:45:22
    This is what you leave for me?"
  • 00:45:23
    I don't know if Job hadn't been sowing into date night
  • 00:45:26
    or something.
  • 00:45:27
    I don't know what's going on here,
  • 00:45:28
    but the only one that survives these waves is his bride.
  • 00:45:32
    And if you didn't read that, you'd be like,
  • 00:45:34
    "Oh, well, that's kind of nice."
  • 00:45:36
    Until she shows up, like, hearing you worship.
  • 00:45:40
    What are you doing? You still holding on to your integrity?
  • 00:45:43
    Curse God and die, you fool.
  • 00:45:45
    Now, I won't have enough time to say this, but when you suffer,
  • 00:45:47
    be careful of Job's wife in your life.
  • 00:45:50
    Be careful who you listen to.
  • 00:45:52
    Be careful who, even if they're supposed to be close,
  • 00:45:55
    be careful who you give your ears to when things get hard,
  • 00:45:57
    and things will get hard.
  • 00:45:59
    So now what happens next in the story
  • 00:46:01
    is Job's three friends come,
  • 00:46:02
    and there's a reason why you don't know their names.
  • 00:46:05
    And it's not because they're hard to pronounce.
  • 00:46:07
    They show up, like, it's what you would think.
  • 00:46:09
    Man, if it all hit the fan,
  • 00:46:10
    I would expect my boys to come be with me. Right?
  • 00:46:13
    And they show up and it looks like for a second there,
  • 00:46:16
    man, they're good dudes.
  • 00:46:17
    Like, they don't say anything for seven days.
  • 00:46:20
    They just weep with him.
  • 00:46:22
    Like, that's your boys right there.
  • 00:46:24
    Don't show up with bumper sticker theology.
  • 00:46:26
    They don't come with a bunch of bourbon.
  • 00:46:28
    They just kind of show up. Their hearts are broken for you.
  • 00:46:31
    They just weep for seven days.
  • 00:46:35
    The sight of their friend is so disorienting to them
  • 00:46:38
    that they just sit there and they weep.
  • 00:46:41
    And if that's all they would have done,
  • 00:46:44
    they would have been examples of how to walk
  • 00:46:46
    with brothers and sisters who suffer.
  • 00:46:48
    But they can't help it, and they open up their mouth.
  • 00:46:52
    And it's in the opening of their mouth that we begin to see
  • 00:46:56
    the frameworks that God wants us to live by.
  • 00:46:58
    So I'm going to call Job's friends.
  • 00:47:00
    I can't go through each argument because each of them
  • 00:47:02
    have multiple speeches and Job has responses.
  • 00:47:04
    And again, it's a book that I would preach in 12 weeks
  • 00:47:07
    and Brian gave me 35 minutes.
  • 00:47:08
    So I'm trying to do a book in 35.
  • 00:47:10
    So what I want to do is
  • 00:47:11
    I want to just kind of create this category.
  • 00:47:13
    Job's friends, what they bring to Job is what I would call
  • 00:47:18
    suffering and looking around, rather than looking up.
  • 00:47:22
    So these are philosophies in suffering that will land flat
  • 00:47:28
    and lead to more bondage and pain,
  • 00:47:30
    not the freedom of rejoicing
  • 00:47:32
    that belongs to the children of God.
  • 00:47:33
    And here's what that looks like.
  • 00:47:35
    The first one, if we're talking about Job's friends
  • 00:47:37
    and them coming in and we're like,
  • 00:47:38
    "Hey, you need to be careful of this
  • 00:47:40
    and watch out for this, and surely you did this."
  • 00:47:42
    Is this idea of fatalism.
  • 00:47:43
    And fatalism is when you just kind of just surrender
  • 00:47:46
    that your life's going to be terrible.
  • 00:47:47
    So think, I know I'm going to date myself here.
  • 00:47:49
    Think Cameron off of Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
  • 00:47:51
    Yeah, that's it. That's fatalism, right?
  • 00:47:54
    Doesn't want to get out of bed.
  • 00:47:55
    Doesn't want to try. Doesn't want to work for it.
  • 00:47:58
    Why? Because he's going to fail. It's going to suck.
  • 00:48:00
    It's not, I mean, that's just --
  • 00:48:01
    it's fatalism. It's what happens.
  • 00:48:03
    And I'm telling you, I see this a lot, and it might even be you.
  • 00:48:05
    And I want to try to call you out of it.
  • 00:48:07
    It's when you start to identify with your suffering
  • 00:48:10
    in such a way that you become the suffering.
  • 00:48:13
    Hey, look at it, you're not your worst day.
  • 00:48:16
    You hear me? You're not that thing you did.
  • 00:48:18
    You're not that struggle. You're not that. That is not.
  • 00:48:21
    That is suffering. That's not you.
  • 00:48:23
    And when you identify with it like a fatalist,
  • 00:48:27
    you actually twist yourself up and step more into bondage,
  • 00:48:31
    not into the freedom that Christ has for you.
  • 00:48:33
    When you become the struggle you're navel gazing.
  • 00:48:38
    You're tracking with me? You're staring at your own navel.
  • 00:48:41
    This is not what the Lord has for us.
  • 00:48:43
    And on on top of fatalism, there's this.
  • 00:48:47
    I've noticed it and I notice it most in men,
  • 00:48:50
    but it's certainly not just men.
  • 00:48:54
    The second thing that we can often do with suffering,
  • 00:48:56
    especially if something went bad early.
  • 00:48:59
    So we experienced something early on.
  • 00:49:01
    We make this vow
  • 00:49:03
    that no one will ever hurt us like that again.
  • 00:49:05
    I won't get hurt like that again.
  • 00:49:06
    I won't be caught off guard like that again. I won't.
  • 00:49:09
    And what happens is,
  • 00:49:10
    rather than orienting ourselves like Christians,
  • 00:49:12
    we start to orient ourselves like Buddhists.
  • 00:49:14
    Now, I don't know what you've studied, what you know.
  • 00:49:16
    Buddhists would say
  • 00:49:18
    that suffering actually doesn't exist.
  • 00:49:21
    What the problem is is that you have too many attachments
  • 00:49:24
    and that if you would detach, then you wouldn't suffer.
  • 00:49:27
    So the idea is don't love too much.
  • 00:49:30
    You can love, but don't love too much. Right?
  • 00:49:32
    Don't enjoy too much. Don't own. Don't detach.
  • 00:49:36
    And then you won't suffer because you won't, you know,
  • 00:49:38
    your life won't be intertwined in this.
  • 00:49:40
    Now I'm just --
  • 00:49:41
    I ain't trying to start beef with the Buddhists.
  • 00:49:43
    What a terrible life.
  • 00:49:45
    Be careful not to love anyone too much?
  • 00:49:50
  • 00:49:51
    Don't enjoy the goodness of God's creation?
  • 00:49:54
    You know,
  • 00:49:56
    the Psalms are filled with enjoy the stuff that God's created.
  • 00:49:59
    So don't love too much?
  • 00:50:01
    The number of brothers I know, the number of men I know
  • 00:50:04
    who made some stupid vow because when they were a seventh grader
  • 00:50:08
    some jackass said something to them that wounded their soul.
  • 00:50:10
    And now they won't let their wife in.
  • 00:50:12
    They won't let other men in.
  • 00:50:13
    They're only making sure people see their strengths,
  • 00:50:16
    not letting anybody see their weakness.
  • 00:50:17
    They shrink and become almost a shell of what they could be.
  • 00:50:22
    Now women do this, too,
  • 00:50:24
    I just don't know exactly how it works. I'm not one.
  • 00:50:28
    But women do this.
  • 00:50:30
    This is like this idea of I'm going to pull back.
  • 00:50:35
    Suffering is too painful. I'm going to pull back.
  • 00:50:38
    And then on top of that, there's --
  • 00:50:40
    and Job's friends are the worst at this karma.
  • 00:50:42
    Well, you obviously did something.
  • 00:50:44
    I mean, if you're suffering, you obviously did something.
  • 00:50:47
    Now, here's something I believe.
  • 00:50:48
    I believe more than other people will say that about you,
  • 00:50:51
    you will say that to you.
  • 00:50:53
    Might throw out there
  • 00:50:55
    that probably no one is as mean to you as you are?
  • 00:50:58
    Do you know anybody that is down on you as you are?
  • 00:51:01
    Anyone who's betrayed you more than you have?
  • 00:51:03
    Anybody who's lied to you more than you lie to you?
  • 00:51:05
    Like when bad things happen, we're the first to go.
  • 00:51:07
    "Oh, man. I should have got up and had that quiet time.
  • 00:51:10
    Or Oh, man, this has to do with I know the other day
  • 00:51:12
    I just felt like I should have gave that guy money
  • 00:51:14
    and I didn't give him money and so now I got cancer."
  • 00:51:17
    I mean, it's just madness, but this is what we do.
  • 00:51:19
    Bad things happen
  • 00:51:21
    and we immediately go, "I must have done something."
  • 00:51:25
    Well, that's not the gospel.
  • 00:51:27
    We're not under karma. We're under grace.
  • 00:51:29
    We're not under wrath. We're under mercy.
  • 00:51:31
    This is not what we believe.
  • 00:51:34
    This is sideways. This is navel gazing.
  • 00:51:36
    And then lastly, that suffering is meaningless.
  • 00:51:40
    It is meaningless and it's random.
  • 00:51:43
    Now, that's one way to orient.
  • 00:51:46
    I call that whole way of orientation
  • 00:51:49
    looking around or navel gazing.
  • 00:51:53
    What we see happen in Job, what's fascinating about Job
  • 00:51:56
    is Job throughout, he hears the speeches of his friends
  • 00:52:00
    and then he says, "Not true.
  • 00:52:01
    Complete lie. I want God to tell me.
  • 00:52:04
    I need God to explain to me.
  • 00:52:06
    I want God to make sense of this for me."
  • 00:52:09
    And here's what's crazy, God answers him,
  • 00:52:12
    but He doesn't answer that question. Here's why.
  • 00:52:18
    The Triune God of the universe is outside of time and space.
  • 00:52:23
    Are you tracking with me when I say that?
  • 00:52:25
    Let me let me try to explain it like this.
  • 00:52:26
    The future isn't something God knows about,
  • 00:52:29
    it's where He is right now. Right?
  • 00:52:33
    He is here in entirety and He is there in entirety,
  • 00:52:37
    so that God is not prophetic in regards to the future.
  • 00:52:41
    It's a place that He already is.
  • 00:52:44
    Since that's true,
  • 00:52:45
    how are you and I that are here like a millisecond
  • 00:52:49
    ever going to comprehend how He reigns and governs?
  • 00:52:53
    I don't think we can.
  • 00:52:54
    It's like walking into a four hour movie for four seconds
  • 00:52:57
    and then expecting to understand the plot.
  • 00:52:59
    Man, you ain't -- you don't even to know who's good or who's bad.
  • 00:53:02
    You're going to guess all wrong.
  • 00:53:04
    And God in His infinite span
  • 00:53:08
    won't explain to Job the whys,
  • 00:53:12
    but lifts his head to show him the who.
  • 00:53:15
    In fact, Augustine's,
  • 00:53:17
    he's an ancient friend of mine. We've hung out a bunch.
  • 00:53:20
    And Augustine kind of described --
  • 00:53:23
    he described life on a fallen planet,
  • 00:53:26
    like having your face pressed against a stained glass window.
  • 00:53:29
    Like just right there.
  • 00:53:30
    So what you see is you see jagged pieces of glass.
  • 00:53:33
    But it's I mean, there's some red, there's some yellow,
  • 00:53:35
    but it's jagged and broken.
  • 00:53:37
    And we can't get back enough to see the beauty of it.
  • 00:53:41
    So rather than God trying to explain as infinite
  • 00:53:45
    to something that's here today and gone today,
  • 00:53:48
    that's how the Bible talks about us.
  • 00:53:50
    You know the old adage here today, gone tomorrow.
  • 00:53:52
    The Bible is like here today, gone by lunch.
  • 00:53:55
    You're like dew on the grass in the morning,
  • 00:53:58
    that by lunchtime is gone.
  • 00:53:59
    We're going to understand
  • 00:54:01
    all the intricacies of God's sovereign plan,
  • 00:54:03
    this one who knows every event that has ever occurred
  • 00:54:05
    and how those events create other events
  • 00:54:07
    that lead to other events,
  • 00:54:08
    that lead to other events that lead us to
  • 00:54:09
    this very moment in time without a strain on His brain?
  • 00:54:12
    I'm not sure where my keys are right now,
  • 00:54:14
    but I'm supposed to comprehend
  • 00:54:17
    why bad things might be happening?
  • 00:54:19
    So here's what he does.
  • 00:54:21
    He starts to orient Job around His God-ness.
  • 00:54:26
    He says, "No, no. Quit looking at your navel.
  • 00:54:28
    Quit looking around at your dumb friends. Look up here."
  • 00:54:32
    So here's what He does, He tells Job, "Oh, you've got questions?
  • 00:54:35
    Hey, I've got some questions.
  • 00:54:36
    Why don't you dress for action like a man
  • 00:54:38
    and I'll ask you some questions.
  • 00:54:40
    And if you can answer my questions, I'll answer yours."
  • 00:54:43
    It's not cruel. It's loving. Here's what he says: Hey, Job,
  • 00:55:23
    See what He's doing?
  • 00:55:24
    Like, where were you when I put the moon up there that
  • 00:55:26
    controlled the gravitational pulls of the ocean?
  • 00:55:28
    Where were you when I just told water to be and it was?
  • 00:55:30
    Surely you know.
  • 00:55:32
    Hey, why doesn't -- why doesn't water cover the whole earth?
  • 00:55:35
    Why does it stop in certain locations and boundaries?
  • 00:55:37
    You know, Job. Tell me about that."
  • 00:55:39
    And He just keeps going.
  • 00:55:42
    This is -- He does this for four chapters.
  • 00:55:43
    Guys, I'm only reading you a few verses.
  • 00:56:31
    Now for us, it's, like, "Why is God being so snarky?
  • 00:56:34
    Man, Job's had a tough week."
  • 00:56:36
    He is being unbelievably loving here.
  • 00:56:40
    If you look at you, if you look around you,
  • 00:56:43
    you're going to drown.
  • 00:56:45
    So let me reorient you around My greatness,
  • 00:56:48
    not your smallness.
  • 00:56:50
    Let me reorient you around what I know,
  • 00:56:53
    not what you do not know.
  • 00:56:55
    Let me show you the majesty and might of My reign
  • 00:57:00
    in a way where at least you can look to that
  • 00:57:03
    and trust in goodness despite the hurt and pain.
  • 00:57:07
    And this is what happens,
  • 00:57:09
    like, the Bible starts to when we look up
  • 00:57:11
    and don't look around, there are these promises
  • 00:57:14
    that start to be laid across our lives, like the 23rd Psalm.
  • 00:57:18
    And man, you don't even have to be a Christian
  • 00:57:20
    and you've got like a coffee cup
  • 00:57:21
    or a bookmark with the 23rd Psalm on it
  • 00:57:23
    in your -- you'd be a staunch atheist. [slurps]
  • 00:57:25
    They'll walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
  • 00:57:27
    It's just right there on that coffee cup.
  • 00:57:29
    And the 23rd Psalm says this:
  • 00:57:31
    that when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
  • 00:57:34
    we will fear no evil. Why? For you are with me.
  • 00:57:37
    The promise, if you look up, what you get is
  • 00:57:39
    the presence of God is with you.
  • 00:57:41
    So the good news of the gospel, and I'm big on this,
  • 00:57:44
    is not that if you give your life to Jesus
  • 00:57:46
    you're going to get everything you want.
  • 00:57:48
    Christ isn't your errand boy.
  • 00:57:50
    You ain't going to ring a bell and have Him fetch you a pillow.
  • 00:57:52
    The good news of the gospel is that if we give our hearts
  • 00:57:56
    and souls to Jesus, regardless of what comes,
  • 00:57:59
    we get God and we'll find Him to be enough.
  • 00:58:01
    That's the good news. That's what we're leaning into.
  • 00:58:04
    So if you're like, "I don't know about this Christianity thing,"
  • 00:58:07
    I want you to hear me say this Christianity thing
  • 00:58:09
    isn't give your life to Jesus
  • 00:58:11
    and all your dreams are going to come true.
  • 00:58:13
    In fact, the testimony of many of us, some things got harder,
  • 00:58:17
    but everything got richer and deeper and better.
  • 00:58:21
    And so we have God here saying, no, no, no.
  • 00:58:22
    And you know that the book of Hebrews says that
  • 00:58:25
    Jesus is an empathetic high priest.
  • 00:58:28
    How cool is that?
  • 00:58:29
    I have a good friend that says he knows it's scary to be us.
  • 00:58:35
    The Gospel of John, right before He raises Lazarus from the dead,
  • 00:58:38
    He steps in and the sisters are wailing and mourning,
  • 00:58:40
    and all His friends are heartbroken.
  • 00:58:42
    Lazarus has been dead for days.
  • 00:58:44
    And Jesus weeps. He weeps.
  • 00:58:49
    We have an empathetic high priest
  • 00:58:51
    who's with us in the mess.
  • 00:58:53
    This is what begins to orient in your hearts when you're in it
  • 00:58:56
    if you'll look up and not navel gaze or look around.
  • 00:59:01
    And then this is so big, the gospel when you look up
  • 00:59:08
    what you learn is that nothing is ever wasted.
  • 00:59:14
    Not a single tear. Not a single hardship.
  • 00:59:17
    Not a single heartbreak.
  • 00:59:19
    I don't know how you guys do things here at Crossroads.
  • 00:59:22
    I probably should have asked before I got here,
  • 00:59:24
    but I mean, on this front at The Village when we do baptisms,
  • 00:59:28
    we let people kind of share a little bit of their story
  • 00:59:30
    before we baptize them.
  • 00:59:31
    And one of the things, and I guess if you're a church person,
  • 00:59:34
    this doesn't resonate with you,
  • 00:59:35
    but like people get in the water,
  • 00:59:36
    they say some crazy stuff in that water.
  • 00:59:39
    Like we had some NC-17 stuff mentioned in the water.
  • 00:59:43
    I had my son one time on the way home
  • 00:59:45
    asked me what was wrong with swinging.
  • 00:59:47
    And I was like -- not, not, not what you do in the backyard.
  • 00:59:50
    That's a whole 'nother thing, right? Ask your mom.
  • 00:59:52
    And so, like, think about this moment
  • 00:59:54
    where people get in the water
  • 00:59:57
    and they testify to their darkest stuff. Right?
  • 00:59:59
    This is what -- I mean they get in front of thousands of people
  • 01:00:02
    that they don't know
  • 01:00:03
    and they're like, "Man, I was having an affair
  • 01:00:05
    with other men and other women.
  • 01:00:07
    And here's where Jesus met me."
  • 01:00:08
    "Or I was addicted so bad, I'd led to this. Man, I did."
  • 01:00:11
    And they're sharing these deplorable, wicked things
  • 01:00:16
    in front of strangers, like, what's happening?
  • 01:00:18
    Redemption is happening.
  • 01:00:20
    They're testifying in that moment that there is no sin
  • 01:00:23
    with more power than the Cross of Jesus Christ.
  • 01:00:25
    And then they're saying in the water that
  • 01:00:28
    they're not only not under wrath,
  • 01:00:30
    but they're a trophy of God's grace.
  • 01:00:31
    They're saying to everybody in the room,
  • 01:00:33
    "You have not out sinned the grace of God.
  • 01:00:35
    I have not out sinned the grace of God, and all the struggle,
  • 01:00:39
    all the suffering, all the brokenness,
  • 01:00:41
    redeemed and weaponized against the author of it all."
  • 01:00:45
    Right? This is redemption.
  • 01:00:48
    And then let me do this.
  • 01:00:51
    There are 66 books in the Bible, 66 books.
  • 01:00:57
    They all tell the same story. I don't know if you knew that.
  • 01:01:00
    That just blows my mind. 1500 years.
  • 01:01:03
    I mean, written on three different continents,
  • 01:01:05
    three different languages, all with crazy unity.
  • 01:01:08
    And if you wanted to distill the Bible down into three words,
  • 01:01:12
    here are your three words: God with us. That's the story.
  • 01:01:17
    So the creator, God of the universe creates man and woman
  • 01:01:19
    and puts them in the garden.
  • 01:01:21
    The Bible says He's walking with them in the cool of the day.
  • 01:01:24
    Sin enters the universe and fractures it.
  • 01:01:26
    Humanity spins into chaos, murder, death, perversion,
  • 01:01:30
    wickedness, twisted, nonsensical madness.
  • 01:01:33
    And what does He do? He moves towards them in love.
  • 01:01:36
    He rescues them, through Moses, out of slavery
  • 01:01:40
    and establishes a tabernacle right in the middle of them.
  • 01:01:43
    So here's what He did, He had all of them orient their tents
  • 01:01:47
    around this mobile center of worship
  • 01:01:50
    where His visible, tangible presence was.
  • 01:01:52
    And in the morning when you opened up your tent,
  • 01:01:54
    there's the tabernacle with either a pillar of fire
  • 01:01:56
    or a cloud resting on it to let you know God was there.
  • 01:02:00
    And because we're dumb, they rebelled again.
  • 01:02:02
    And what does God do?
  • 01:02:04
    He moves towards them in love by sending them David.
  • 01:02:06
    And David establishes the temple
  • 01:02:08
    and the glory of God falls on the temple.
  • 01:02:10
    And it's not like we do, like,
  • 01:02:12
    the visible manifest presence of God is in the temple.
  • 01:02:16
    And what do we do? Because we're dumb, we rebel.
  • 01:02:20
    And so God, the Son, second person of the Trinity,
  • 01:02:23
    co-eternal with the Father
  • 01:02:25
    condescends and puts on flesh and blood
  • 01:02:29
    and dwells among us.
  • 01:02:31
    Emmanuel. What does it mean? God with us.
  • 01:02:37
    And He goes to the Cross.
  • 01:02:38
    And on the Cross He absorbs all of God's wrath
  • 01:02:41
    towards all disobedience
  • 01:02:43
    to those who had put their faith in Him.
  • 01:02:45
    And He resurrects on the third day as evidence
  • 01:02:48
    that the bill has been paid in full.
  • 01:02:49
    If there is no resurrection,
  • 01:02:51
    we're all still stuck in our sins.
  • 01:02:52
    There is a resurrection, none of us are that believe in His Name.
  • 01:02:55
    He ascends to the Father and He sends the Holy Spirit
  • 01:02:58
    to dwell in the soul of the believer. God with us.
  • 01:03:04
    Jerusalem's cool.
  • 01:03:05
    You'll be no nearer to Jesus Christ in Jerusalem
  • 01:03:08
    as you are in your living room.
  • 01:03:10
    Why? Because the Spirit of God dwells inside of you.
  • 01:03:13
    The Spirit of Jesus
  • 01:03:14
    came to live inside of you when you became a believer.
  • 01:03:16
    This is the story of the Bible.
  • 01:03:18
    So I want you to watch how this starts to orient us.
  • 01:03:21
    So suffering comes. It's not if it comes, it's when it comes.
  • 01:03:24
    And it could be catastrophic
  • 01:03:25
    or it could just be death by a thousand cuts.
  • 01:03:28
    Are you tracking with me?
  • 01:03:29
    It's not a big thing. It's just like another thing.
  • 01:03:32
    And if we get this, like,
  • 01:03:34
    if we get this, what I'm sharing God with us,
  • 01:03:37
    then what ends up happening is
  • 01:03:39
    we can look to Christ on the Cross,
  • 01:03:41
    we can lift up our heads out of the situation
  • 01:03:43
    where we gaze upon the beauty of Jesus.
  • 01:03:45
    We can know that all of our sin,
  • 01:03:48
    all of it, past, present and future,
  • 01:03:51
    is fully, freely and forever forgiven.
  • 01:03:53
    All of your sin was future sin when Jesus died on the Cross.
  • 01:03:57
    Look at me. God does not love some future version of you.
  • 01:04:01
    It's you right now, like, it's you right now. [applause]
  • 01:04:06
    It's not -- He's not waiting for --
  • 01:04:07
    He's not looking at you now and wanting a mulligan.
  • 01:04:10
    It's not like you were a good idea 2000 years ago
  • 01:04:13
    and now He sees you
  • 01:04:14
    and He's like, "God, I wish I wouldn't have done that."
  • 01:04:16
    That is not our God.
  • 01:04:18
    He knew what He was buying on that Cross.
  • 01:04:22
    Why do you think it's so grotesque?
  • 01:04:23
    Why do you think it was so violent?
  • 01:04:25
    Why do you think it was so painful?
  • 01:04:26
    He knew what he was buying: you at your worst.
  • 01:04:30
    Not you at your best, you at your worst.
  • 01:04:32
    That's what the book says: that while we were yet sinners,
  • 01:04:36
    Christ died for us.
  • 01:04:38
    You know that memory that you try to avoid
  • 01:04:39
    that if you think about it you feel nauseous?
  • 01:04:42
    That moment that you did
  • 01:04:43
    more than you thought you were capable of?
  • 01:04:45
    That thing you're trying to always push out of your head?
  • 01:04:48
    He knows, and He's moved towards you.

Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend-Follow Up! This is the group part of the Bible Challenge, so your questions are based on specific Bible passages from the weekend message. Each week, your group will discover what God might be saying to you, and how you can respond through a group discussion.

  1. What’s a pet peeve of yours that you just can’t stand?

  2. What stood out to you most from the message?

  3. What thoughts and emotions come up when talking about suffering?

  4. Are you often surprised by suffering, or do you expect to experience it? Why do you think that is?

  5. Where do you turn for comfort, hope, or escape in times of suffering?

  6. How could knowing God is constantly with us in the mess change your perspective on Him? How could it change how you engage in your situation?

  7. Why is it hard to connect with God in the middle of the mess?

  8. What is one specific way you can connect with God in the midst of your circumstances this week?

  9. Let’s end with prayer. You can say something like, “Jesus, thank you for being by our side in the middle of the mess. Thank you for weeping with us, for caring for us, and for giving us hope in our broken world. Give us the eyes to see you even when our tears might be blinding. Amen.”

More from the Weekend

Bonus Questions! Check these out if you’re on a roll and want to go a little deeper.

  • Name a specific way suffering has grown your faith (or a difficult season where you saw God at work). How did your confidence in God or your relationship with Him deepen?
  • What’s something in your life that’s difficult for you to give to God? What’s keeping you from handing it to Him?
  • How would approaching suffering as a loved and protected child of God change how you embrace hard times?

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(This stuff helps us figure out how many fruitcakes to make come December)

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Got it! Enjoy your discussion.

Jun 25, 2023

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