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Christy Wimber - Wednesday April 26, 2017

CBN's special Week of Prayer service from April 26, 2017 with author Christy Wimber. Read Transcript


[MUSIC PLAYING]

We magnify the Lord with [INAUDIBLE].

Bless the name of Jesus.

We please the Lord when we come to Him in prayer.

This is the activation part of the service,

when we pray to Jesus.

The Lord loves for us to bring these things to Him.

Just express-- as Dr. Robertson wrote--

"I'm asking you to take a step of faith

and write down your prayer requests on this card.

Mail it back to us.

Let this be your declaration to God that you're trusting

Him to answer your prayer."

You have prayer requests in your hand.

Please take ahold of those right now.

This is a person's declaration of their trust in God.

It's like, written on your money, "in God we trust."

Listen to this.

"My uncle was in a terrible automobile accident.

Rehab needs a miracle."

"My family relationships, my community."

"My son Mark is coming out of prison

after being locked up for many years at 40 years of age."

I thought, Jesus was in prison.

He visited Mark.

If you have requests, look at them.

Drugs, salvation, diabetes-- all of these things.

Either our God is bigger, or he's not.

And after we've been entrusted with tens of thousands

in handwriting--

almost 40,000 now-- all the e-mails, the calls--

tens of thousands-- would you put your trust in God

with what these people have done?

I can't hear you.

Let's pray.

Father, thank you, in the name of Jesus,

that we have audience.

We thank you that you're greater.

The Greater One is here.

In your waiting, you said, "Come to me, those

that are heavy, laden, weary."

You said, "God is present in time of trouble."

We hold these before you.

We ask for the miracle working power of Jesus--

the glory of your mind, God--

to order all of these situations,

that the name of Jesus would be magnified.

The exalted-- the gift of faith, Lord-- as we pray, none of this

is too big for you, or too complex.

We believe you, Lord.

And with these precious partners,

this is our confession.

Your greater, Lord, do a mighty work, for it's in Jesus' name

that we make our prayer.

Amen.

You may be seated.

You may be seated.

At this time, I just want to tell you a little bit

about our speaker for today.

I remember the first time I ever heard her speak.

She talked about being naturally supernatural.

And I remember it really, really messed me up

in the best of ways to think about the necessity

of the supernatural in everyday life.

Christy Wimber is an author, a teacher, and a leader

within The Vineyard Movement.

She's traveled the world extensively

for the last 25 years speaking into the church

on a variety of topics, as her passion is to love, encourage,

and equip the church.

She's taking on encouraging the church in how to love and serve

those struggling and/or caring for those with mental health

issues, as well as helping the church empower

women in leadership in the local church.

Formerly with Vineyard Music, Christy

planted the Vineyard Church in 2006

in Yorba Linda, California, and is currently

working with Vineyard US in the area of church planting.

She resides with her husband Sean

in Yorba Linda, where they have two children and one

son-in-law.

Please give a warm welcome to Christy Wimber.

[APPLAUSE]

Thank you.

Good morning.

Or good afternoon, actually, isn't it, now?

[AUDIENCE RESPONDS]

Yes.

Time just flies when I'm here.

How's everybody doing?

[AUDIENCE RESPONDS]

Good.

Worship was wonderful.

[AUDIENCE RESPONDS]

Pleasant surprise.

I always love it.

I love to worship, actually.

I love to worship all the time.

But when I'm about to preach, man, worship doesn't happen.

I don't usually happen.

So it's good.

It's good that we had a time of worship.

This is a huge privilege for me to be here.

I actually haven't been in this chapel before.

So I hear this is a new thing in the last few years.

Is that right?

Yeah.

OK.

So good.

No strikes yet.

It's quite lovely, actually.

You're really blessed.

You're really blessed.

So this is good.

I feel like this is a bit of a reunion for me,

seeing lots of people I love, and just seeing

how God is continuing to advance His kingdom

in all kinds of different ways.

So I love seeing my friends around the world,

and just seeing how they've continued on

with what they feel like God's asked them to do,

and what God's called them to.

And just seeing it continue in so many different ways here

is just really fantastic.

So lovely to be here with you.

My hope is to encourage you a bit.

I was praying for you.

Before I go somewhere, I tend to ask the Lord, "Lord,

what do you want me to say for these people?

What is it that you want me to encourage them in?"

And I really felt like the Lord wanted

me to talk about some things of just encouraging you how

God wastes nothing in our life.

And I think it's a great reminder for us that,

no matter what we go through, no matter what we encounter--

whether it be good, whether it be difficult,

whether it be suffering-- no matter what it is--

that at the end of the day, God has the last word.

[AUDIENCE RESPONDS]

That God always has the last word over our lives.

God always has the last word over our families.

God always has the last word over anything

that we're walking through.

And I think it's a really important reminder

that in that, it's not just surviving

and it's not just getting to the next thing.

But God has this ability to cause everything

in our life to work for some good, for some purpose.

He wastes nothing.

God is very economical.

He's very economical and it's one of the things

that I love about Him.

I want to talk out of James a little bit, just

the first chapter.

I'm just going to jump around here in the first chapter

just a little bit.

Because I want to encourage us, in this journey--

in this transformation-- this is one of the things

that the Lord's really been talking to me

about the last several years-- is the importance

of transformation, living a transformed life, saying yes

to God along the journey.

And how many know?

Every time you go before the Lord,

He'll show you something else.

And there's always something to work on.

Like, one of the best prayers to pray

is, "God, what's wrong with me?"

Because he'll be faithful.

He's faithful.

He'll show you.

But God desires to transform us, and to transform

every area of our life.

And oftentimes, God uses the things

that we would never pick--

people that we would never choose--

in circumstances that we would we

would never want to encounter, in order

to grow us in ways that we wouldn't grow otherwise.

And so in James here, this is a really good, I think,

short picture of what it looks like to perseverance,

especially in trials, especially in temptation, especially

in suffering.

James is one that had authority in this.

I mean, lived his life for Christ.

He was martyred for Christ.

It's said that when James died, that he was put at the top

of the temple-- he was known for praying--

he was placed at the top of the temple, pushed off the temple,

and survived.

And at the bottom of the temple, he got up--

they called him "camel knees," actually,

because he was a man of prayer--

and that he got on his knees and he

began to pray for those who were trying to murder him.

So he has authority.

There's something about when you actually persevere,

and you live what you talk about,

you have an authority in it.

And so James has an authority when

he's speaking to us about this power of even persevering

through trials, and through temptation.

And really, if you want to jump down, chapter one here

of James, just to give you a bit of context, at the end here,

it says this.

"Do not be deceived, my brothers.

For every good and perfect gift is from above,

coming down from the Father of heavenly light, who does not

change like shifting shadows.

He chose to give us birth through the word of truth,

that we might be kind of first fruits for all

that He has created."

So this is sort of a promise at the end.

And I want to start with that.

Because I think it's very important.

Because the truth is, we won't trust

and we won't lean into somebody that we

don't know has our back--

that we don't know is solid-- that we

don't know is trustworthy.

So the promise here that James gives us in verse 16 and 18

here, he talks about that God does not waver.

He's so solid.

Like, God is not shakable.

And we need to know that.

We need to know that for our own lives.

We need to know that as the world around us shakes--

how many know the world is shaking?

The world is fractured.

The world will shake even more.

But our God is unshakable.

So to rest in that truth is what gives us the ability

to trust that truth.

God will not waver.

He does not change.

He is so consistent.

And he is so faithful.

It's just not in Him.

It's not who He is.

God wavering-- it's just not who He is.

And so sometimes, it's hard to wrap our minds around that,

because we change all the time.

And we change on how we feel, or what's happening in our life,

or whatever season that we're walking through.

But God is never changing.

He is so consistent.

So it's impossible.

It's impossible, really, to look at the world around us.

It's impossible to look at even things that we in our own lives

walk through, and not get shaken a bit.

There's just no way you can turn on the news

these days in any form and not be shaken.

Because it is screaming--

really, honestly, Romans 8, the Earth is groaning.

All creation is groaning.

And the groaning will get louder and louder.

And the shaking will happen.

So it's impossible not to be shaked on some level.

So the confidence that we have, no matter

what we're walking in, is that God is so faithful,

that God is so continuous, that God is never wavering.

No matter how much we shake, nothing shakes God.

That's a great promise.

And it's a great reminder for us.

The second thing that James reminds us of

is that every gift that God gives us-- he

is such a gift-giving God.

So I love this, actually, because he's

talking about trials.

He's talking about temptations.

He's talking about difficult things

that we have to make the choice to persevere through.

But in that, he talks about the promise of God not wavering.

But in that, God actually gives us gifts.

Like, it's a picture of our gift-giving God--

who's all provisional, by the way.

He is the great provider.

That's not just for money.

He loves to be provisional.

He always provides for vision.

He's pro vision.

That's how you know whether or not

your vision is from the Lord, is that he provides for it.

And one of the ways that God provides for us

is that He places inside of us different gifts.

He gives us different things.

Whether it be in the spiritual, whether it be in the natural,

God loves to give gifts to his children.

There's nothing that we have that is not

a byproduct of God's hand.

And so God will put things inside of you.

God will bless you with different things.

The Kingdom of God is really about stewardship.

Your ability to steward the gifts

that God gives to you today will determine what you

get to steward down the road.

So lots of times, I hear people talk about spiritual gifts.

I love spiritual gifts.

Of course, we want to be gifted.

We want to be favored, right?

But how many know, with favor requires more responsibility?

The gifts that God gives to you really say nothing about you.

They say everything about our gift-giving, generous God.

Now, what you do with those gifts is your gift back to God.

So God will anoint you, and God will call you here.

God will put things inside of you.

And God will give you favor and things.

But your ability to handle that well

is your gift back to your Lord.

And it shows the stewardess-- the faithfulness--

of, no matter what season we go through,

we will be faithful with what God has entrusted to us.

So we have to hold onto that truth.

There's a reason why James is giving us

this insight on why we need to know that God never wavers,

but also that God gives us lots of promises of gifts and things

that he puts inside of us.

It's not just a physical thing.

It's a spiritual thing.

It's an emotional gift.

There's all kinds of gifts that God gives to us.

Now, this is the thing I've found about God.

How many have found this?

God will speak something to you, but maybe those gifts coming

about, or the promise of what God has spoken,

there's a big difference of the timing.

God will usually speak something,

and then there's usually quite a bit of problems--

quite a bit of perseverance that,

actually, we have to walk through

in order to get to the promise.

So the minute that God speaks a promise to us,

we're to hold onto that thing.

Because we don't know when it's actually going to come about.

You know that great scripture--

I see it all over the place.

It might be here somewhere.

So I need to be careful.

But you know that great scripture in Jeremiah 29:11,

where it talks about, "For I know the good plans that I

have for you, says the Lord.

Plans of hope, and for a future."

And we usually stop there.

We stop.

I'll take that.

I'll take the hope and I'll take the future.

Because we want that.

That is who God is, by the way.

That is who He is.

But when God spoke that word, the people were in captivity.

And those people were in captivity for another 70 years.

So sometimes, God will encourage us in something,

but it coming about-- the timing is so much different.

And that's why here, James is talking

to us about perseverance, and James

is talking to us about the importance of holding on

to the truths of what God has said.

Because we need to know how to do this right.

So in verse one, he begins here, where he says, "Consider it

pure joy--" I mean two, sorry--

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers,

whenever you face trials of many kinds,

because you know that the testing of your faith

develops perseverance.

Perseverance must finish its work in you

so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should

ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault.

And it will be given to him.

But when he asks, he must believe, and not doubt.

Because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea,

blown and tossed by the wind.

That man should not think he will receive anything

from the Lord, he is a double-minded man,

unstable in all that he does

But the brother in humble circumstances

ought to take pride in his position.

But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position,

because he will pass like a wildflower.

For the sun rises with the scorching heat

and withers the plant.

It blossoms, falls, and His beauty is destroyed.

And in the same way, the rich man

will fade away even while he goes about his business."

Verse 12.

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial,

because when he has stood the test,

he will receive the crown of life

that God has promised to those who love him"

So I'm going to stop there, because it really is just

the context of the promises of what

God has given to us-- the promise that this life is not

it.

How many of you are glad this life is not it?

We live way too temporary.

We are to live our life in light of eternity.

And so this life goes so fast.

This life is just a breath.

And what James says here is, he says, you need to count this.

You need to consider this.

Actually, it's an accounting term.

So it's very important.

It's sort of like, count-- really consider your life.

See where you're at today.

It means to take stock of.

It means to consider carefully-- investigate fully.

He's talking about your life here.

Investigate your life.

Line up all the numbers.

Add them up.

What are the things that we are to consider?

And James is saying, we need to learn to consider

the facts about this--

about trials.

James does not say "if trials come," James says,

"when they come."

So in life, it's not about if hardship's going to come,

if pain is going to come.

It's just part of it.

How many know suffering's in the New Testament?

Yeah.

I didn't put it there.

If I wrote it, I wouldn't have put it in there.

You know what I mean?

But suffering is New Testament.

And so the real question is, we need

to consider, what is my response going to be in what I'm facing?

What is my response going to be in trial?

What is my response going to be when I'm tempted?

What is my response going to be when

I have to walk through things that I don't necessarily

want to walk through?

And that's why Paul was so brilliant

talking about the importance of justification,

but also sanctification--

that this is a journey--

that transformation is a journey.

God doing stuff in us is a journey.

It's lifelong-- growing up in Christ

before we grow old, right?

We want to mature, right?

We want to mature?

We want to look more like Jesus.

We want to know more of who he is.

But we also want to look like Him.

We want to act like Him.

But maturity is a choice.

Spiritual maturity is a choice.

It's not a given.

And it is not easy.

It's why we find so many people that actually

have been to church their whole life,

but they've never learned the art of spiritual maturity.

They've never known the art of true obedience to Jesus.

So this all comes down to choice.

And I'm just going to tell you, most of the choices

that we have in trial and temptation and suffering,

and the things that we would never, ever pick

are the things that sometimes, God does His deepest

and His best work in us.

Things just happen to us on a level

that wouldn't happen otherwise.

And one of the ways--

in fact, I think the mark of the spiritual believer is love.

And under love, the marks-- the earmarks,

the fruit of the spirit, where we're

marked with the maturity of Christ, which is really

patience and endurance and all of those things

that God gives to us.

But it's the ability to keep going no matter what

is happening in our life--

the ability to obey God no matter what--

no matter the opposition, no matter

the battle, no matter the hardship, even

the good stuff-- even the success.

Because success takes a lot of people out, as well.

No matter what is happening in our life, that doesn't have us.

Jesus has us.

So what we face is not an indicator of our response.

Because our response has to come before we

encounter the hardship.

In other words, there has to be a resign in you.

Paul talked about it I have a great conviction.

I am convicted of my relationship in Christ.

Therefore, I'm not ashamed of the Gospel.

He was convicted before he encountered the persecution.

You've got to know what you're convicted of.

You've got to have your yes towards Jesus now,

before you encounter the things that you

hope or wish you never would have to encounter or face

in your life.

Because many a time, we wait until the last minute.

And a big part of even working through perseverance

is that we make the decision way in advance.

It's part of becoming mature.

Immature people are often impatient.

Immature people, we want things.

And this is a part of our culture.

This is a part of our society.

This is a part of our nation.

We love the immediate.

We want a quick fix.

We want to go through a drive-through.

We want everything to happen right away.

We don't want to take the long road.

Who wants to take the long road?

Who wants to take the hard road?

We want to take the easy way out.

And oftentimes, spiritual immaturity

is when impatience is sort of playing its role in our life,

or we're looking for a way out rather than a way

through with the Lord.

And so it's very important that we

ask God to fill us with this gift of perseverance

to say yes to Him before we encounter some hardship.

How many know God actually doesn't work

in you without your consent?

You make the decision on what you're

going to yield to the Lord.

He's not going to work against you.

He gives us free will for a reason.

So it's the security of our God.

He knows who he is.

He's not shaken by your choices.

But it's also the lovingness of the Father

that he wants you to yield to him because he

loves you that much.

He wants you to say yes to Him, because he

knows that His plan for you is better

than even your plan for you.

Here's a thing I hear all the time, because--

well, just in all kinds of different ways

where people are always wanting to see God move right

away-- which, I love it.

I mean, who doesn't love miracles?

We love miracles, right?

We love miracles.

When God moves, I love it.

I want to be there.

But at the end of the day, we always want a miracle.

We just don't want to live in the place

where we actually need a miracle.

And what James is saying to us here--

and this is what I believe--

I truly believe that some of the best miracles

come in the hardest of times.

And sometimes, we exit too early and we miss the greatness

of what God wants to do in us.

Because it's always in us before it's through us.

And what James is encouraging us in is this whole thing

of perseverance-- of pushing through--

because no matter what, if we allow doubt

to be more to be stronger than our faith,

then it usually overpowers our yes to God.

We have to make a choice.

We're either going to empower doubt,

or we're going to empower faith.

We're either going to empower fear

or we're going to empower faith.

And James is saying, don't even give doubt--

don't even give it any room.

Don't think about it.

Don't dream about it.

Don't have a conversation with it.

Don't give it power in your thinking.

Because how we think is how we behave.

And if we empower doubt, it really

can kill the faith that God puts inside of us.

So yes, we will encounter testing.

Yes, we will encounter temptation.

Yes, we will have trials of all kinds.

But it's producing something.

And this is the other promise.

This is what I love about Jesus.

He is so provisional.

He's doing something in us.

I'm just going to tell you this about the Kingdom of God.

God's kingdom is advancing, whether or not

we feel it or not.

Whether or not we feel it, whether or not we see it,

God is at work.

And if you are given your yes to God, He's at work in you.

And you may not feel it.

You may not see it.

You might be frustrated.

But I'm telling you, God is at work.

And many times, again, the best work that God is doing in us,

it's not the thing that we're actually looking for.

It's stuff that He's doing deep within us.

God is always at work.

This testing is producing something.

And one of the things that it's testing us in

and that it's producing is because we're

getting tested by temptations.

We're getting tested by trials translated.

I don't have time to go into all of it.

But everything in this translation-- it

covers everything.

So when the enemy comes after you,

it basically covers how the enemy comes after you.

He comes after your mind.

He comes after your body.

He comes after your spirit.

He comes after you in all kinds of different ways,

throwing you into whatever you can throw you in to take you

outside of God's best for you.

He's always trying to deter us.

He's always trying to distract us.

But what's being tested in us, it's not our neighbors.

It's not our boss.

It's not our school.

It's not actually the people around us

that are being tested.

What's being tested is our faith.

The faith that you have--

the yes that you said to Jesus-- you

have to know the Jesus that you said yes to.

Because the Jesus you said yes to is the Jesus

you'll end up following.

And so what gets tested in trial-- what gets tested when

you're tempted is your faith.

That's why the importance of understanding that faith

is actually a gift.

And gifts we get from God's spirit.

They get imparted to us.

That's why every day, we're to get up and say, "Lord,

I need you to give me faith today,

because I don't have faith.

I don't have faith to face this today.

I need new faith every day, new mercy every day."

God does it like this, because we need it.

We need new faith every day.

We need new mercy every day.

Because that faith in us is always going to get tested.

It's getting refined.

It's getting defined.

God's doing a deep work in us, taking us into deeper things.

And many times we feel like God is breaking us, when,

in fact, God is making us.

He's forming us to become more like Himself.

And discipleship is not for the faint of heart.

Dying for Jesus, saying yes to Jesus, it's not always easy.

We have this illusion that it's easy.

It is not easy.

Dying to self is sometimes painful.

And following God in difficult times is not always a feeling.

Sometimes, we're just going out of it,

because we know that God is bigger,

that we choose to believe-- in spite of what we see,

in spite of what we feel-- that we just choose to believe God.

I saw this great quote that said this.

Christians have bumper stickers and catchphrases.

Believers have creeds and promises.

Disciples have scars and stories.

That's really true.

When people hide their scars or their life, I'm like,

don't do that.

Because your scars actually reveal

the depth of how you've loved and how you've survived

and how you've come out the other side.

And people will identify with that more than anything else.

People don't identify with our strengths.

They actually relate to our humanity.

So don't hide your scars.

Don't hide your testimony.

Don't hide where you feel like God

is taking you because there's something in that.

The trials that you've been in, the temptations that you've

overcome, that's actually the testimony

to the people around us.

And how many know-- testimonies only

take place because of a test.

We only get great testimonies because

of what we walk through.

So will the trials ever end?

Yes.

Being the very pastoral person than I am,

somebody came up to me one time and said,

"I'm so tired of this battle.

I'm so tired.

I just feel like I'm always in a battle.

When is this going to end?"

And I said, "When you're dead."

When you're dead, when you're with Jesus--

but that's been very pastoral, obviously.

It will end.

But I'll just tell you, I really do believe this.

And we have to understand that we're in a battle.

And we have to understand that the kingdom is advancing.

We're either in a battle, we're going out of a battle,

or about to go into a new one.

And so in that process, God's refining

us and God's growing us.

And God is building our faith.

God is doing a deeper work.

It's very important.

1 Peter 4:12 says this.

"Don't be surprised or shocked that you're

going through testing.

That is like walking through fire.

Be glad for the chance to suffer as Christ suffered.

It will prepare you for even greater happiness

when he makes his glorious return."

Suffering and hardships-- so important--

will do things in us that don't happen when all is good.

Don't try to get through it.

I'll just tell you--

I think sometimes, we pray away the very thing

that God wants to use to grow us up.

The very things that we're just trying to get out of,

or just trying to get through, God

wants to use that thing to change us.

So instead of trying to get through it,

why don't you ask God to do whatever he needs to do in you

so that you don't have to be in that again--

so you don't have to be in that season again?

It's part of it.

Oswald Chambers said this about suffering.

He said, "Suffering is the heritage of the bad,

of the repentant, and the Son of God.

Each one ends in the cross.

The bad thief is crucified, the repentant thief is crucified,

and the Son of God is crucified.

By these signs we know the widespread heritage

of suffering."

We find it all through the Scriptures.

We find where God allows his saints to go through suffering.

God could have kept Joseph out of jail,

Daniel out of the lion's den, Jeremiah out of the pit,

Paul from being beaten and shipwrecked.

I mean, just think about all the things

that God could have rescued all of these people from.

The three boys in the fiery furnace--

he rescued them, but he rescued them differently.

He allowed them to go in.

So many times, we think God is just going to remove something.

But many times, God just walks along side of us.

Someone asked C.S. Lewis at one point about suffering.

They said, "Why is it that the righteous have to suffer?"

C.S. Lewis said, "Why not?

They're the only ones who can take it."

There is something deeper in us of what we have-- a resolve,

a power--

a power-- a sustaining power from Jesus Christ

to be able to walk through whatever.

So God does permit things.

He does allow things.

But he doesn't cause things.

He allows things in order to form us,

for us to become all that we're supposed to be.

And that's why James mentions the power of perseverance here.

Perseverance, in the Greek, it's a combination,

where it comes from the word [SPEAKING GREEK] which

means "under," and [SPEAKING GREEK]

which means "to abide or to remain."

So it's basically "to stay under a heavy load."

We find this many times-- especially

those of you that are in trial or suffering--

we find this promise of God that if you would just stand.

Don't run away, is basically the promise.

Just stay where you're at.

Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Don't allow the pressure to define you.

But at all costs, do not allow yourself to run away.

Because first of all, you have no armor for your back.

So if you turn around, you're a dead duck.

You know what I mean?

That pressure is a real thing.

Perseverance is a real thing.

It means to stay under.

It also means patient.

It means steadfastness.

The perseverance means that God puts a steadfastness in us,

a perseverance and an endurance in us,

but it also means a resilience.

So when you stand, what's happening,

whether or not you feel it, is God putting something deeper

in you that wasn't there before.

He is at work.

It is His promise.

So that's why he says, in James, when he jumps down to verse 12,

where he talks about, "Blessed is the man.

Favor on the man when he or she has stood."

Standing is very important to the Lord--

that you stand, and that no matter what you're in,

that you make God your choice.

Make Him your choice now, so that no matter what you

go through, it's always a yes.

Jesus has always got my yes.

It doesn't mean that I like what I'm in.

It doesn't mean that I'm really excited when

I'm having to walk through.

But I know this, because I've been here too many times--

more than I wish.

I know this.

I know that God has this ability to make amazing things come out

of the most difficult times.

And God has the ability to do things in us when we thought

nothing would ever change.

It all comes in the yielding.

And it all comes in the just standing.

But in the standing, it's not just the perseverance

that James addresses.

He addresses the wisdom.

Don't just try to get through it.

Turn towards the Lord and say, "Lord,

can you give me wisdom in this?

Can you teach me?"

I'll just tell you this.

The Holy Spirit is a teacher, which

means not everything you go through,

you're actually growing from.

You have to allow God's spirit to teach you.

So James is basically saying, you

have to turn towards the Lord.

You have to ask the Holy Spirit, "Can you actually

teach me what it is that I need to learn?

Give me a wisdom in this.

Teach me your ways, Lord.

I need to have a wisdom so that if I'm here again,

I'm actually learning something.

I'm actually growing in this area."

It's not just about getting through.

It's also growing up.

And it's gaining wisdom.

Wisdom is not wasting our lives with things that we go through.

And I'll just say this, because God never does waste anything.

And those of you that are in difficulty, I would say,

don't allow the enemy to steal or waste your pain.

Don't waste your pain.

Let God use that for a greater purpose.

And in the meantime, which is a great promise--

a great promise of focus--

Wesley said this in 1788 when he was preaching in London,

just about keeping our focus on the Lord.

He said this.

He said, "Labor to have God in all your thoughts,

to have eternity in your eye.

Look continually not at the things that are seen,

but at the things which are not not seen.

Let your hearts be fixed there, where Christ sitteth

at the right hand of God, that whensoever he calls you,

an entrance may be ministered unto you abundantly

into His everlasting kingdom."

Keeping our eyes on Jesus.

Nothing in our life is meant to go to a waste.

Nothing in our life is just a byproduct of life.

God is fully aware.

God is fully with us.

And many times, we just need to ask God to give us the power--

the persevering power to endure wherever

we're at-- and at the same time, asking

God to fill us with wisdom so we're

learning from whatever we're in.

Amen?

[AUDIENCE RESPONDS]

Amen.

Why don't you stand?

I'm going to pray for you.

I'm just telling you.

I'm not even asking you.

I'm just saying I am going to pray for you.

But I actually would like it if you

put your hand over your heart.

I just do this I think it's very important.

The enemy is a thief.

And he loves to steal God's word from within us.

And many times, God will speak something to us,

and the Lord will remind us a few weeks later.

And we've got to hide God's word deep inside of us.

And so let's just pray together.

Lord, we thank you for your word today.

We thank you for the power of your word.

We thank you, Lord, how your word sharpens us.

We thanks you, Lord, how your word challenges us.

We thank you, Lord, how your word encourages us

in lots of different ways.

And Lord, we also want to thank you

for the promises of your word, Lord.

We want to consider your word.

We want to take an inventory, Lord, of the things

that you've spoken to us.

And, Lord, I ask, Lord, that the promise, Lord--

that the persevering promise of your presence--

would be with us, Lord.

The enduring power of your promise

would be sealed over our heart again today.

Lord, that you are so faithful.

Lord, you are the one who never leaves us.

You never abandon us, Lord.

You are Emmanuel.

And no matter what we walk in, Lord, you are so present.

And Lord, I thank you for that truth.

I pray, Lord, that you seal that truth over us today no matter

what we're facing, no matter what we feel,

no matter what we see, that you are in control,

that you're fully aware, and that your promise is

to be with us.

I just think it would be really good--

those of you that are in a situation--

Can I do this?

Those of you that are in a situation

right now where I can feel you're just

a bit tired, a bit weary--

you just feel like, "Man I don't have any endurance right now,"

and just feel like you're at sort

of the end of your robe in some things-- plus,

I'm also feeling some of you where

you're very frustrated at where your life is.

It just has turned out a bit different.

And you're kind of realizing some things about saying yes

to the Lord and the cost involved in that.

And I feel like we should pray for you today,

So if that's you, can you just come forward?

So can we do that?

Well, I already did it, didn't I?

[LAUGHTER]

Let's pray for you.

I think it's really important that, if you need prayer--

I'll just say this.

I say this in my church every week--

if you need some ministry, get it, because you'll regret it.

You'll just regret it.

Yeah, there's this woman here.

You have two sons.

One of your sons is not walking with the Lord.

It's a very heavy pressure on you--

very concerned for his life and some of the things

that he's walking in right now.

I just feel like to pray for you and just to encourage you

today, if that's you, just to come forward for prayer.

And then I think, do we just want to--

Jason, do you have a ministry team--

people that can come up and pray with us, as well?

Those of you that come and pray, why don't you come

and pray for these--

encourage these people.

Just come alongside.

This is very important.

This is the body at work.

It's sort of, sometimes you receive,

and sometimes you give.

But I probably need a little bit more helpers to pray.

Yeah, Lord, so we just thank you for your presence.

We ask, Lord, that you would bless these people, Lord,

that came forward, Lord--

that you would give them what they need, Lord.

You know what they need more than anybody else, Lord.

So we ask right now, Lord, that you would just give them hope.

Some of you need hope in your circumstances.

I pray hope--

God's hope-- into you right now, in Jesus' /

I pray, Lord, that those that feel week--

somebody that's been in lots of trials--

it just feels like it's ongoing, and there's this weariness--

I pray, Lord, that your strength would fill them, Lord.

You are the God of strength, Lord.

You cause us to rise up, Lord.

You put a strength within us.

Lord, would you do that today?

Lord, would you give strength to your people?

Lord, would you remove the weariness?

Lord, you have this ability, Lord, to lift things off

of us-- lift burdens off of us.

I pray, Lord, that you would lift burdens off

of people today in Jesus' name.

I just need a couple more women to pray over there.

Can I get that, actually?

That'd be great.

And I just want to pray against discouragement.

I keep feeling this deep discouragement.

So if you're feeling discouraged,

I just pray-- just pray right now.

You can actually just put your hand over your heart.

Lord, I pray, Lord, that you remove this discouragement,

Lord, where the enemy's causing so much of their life to feel

like it's never changing.

Lord, I pray that you'd remove this discouragement now.

In the name of Jesus Christ, I break the power

of discouragement over their hearts, over their minds,

over their bodies, and I pray, Lord, that once again, Lord,

that you would fill them with that hope.

And we just pray mercy.

I just ask for God's mercy towards you.

God's mercy in you--

God so loves you.

He is so with you God is so with you.

You need to know God is so with you.

God is for you.

Some of you in your families and what you're walking through--

I just pray God's presence to be there with your family.

Some of you, you're the only believer in your family.

And you've been praying for years

for your family to get saved.

I just pray, Lord, that you would, Lord,

move on their family, Lord-- even

cross over the oceans, Lord.

Do what you need to do, Lord, to reach those people for you.

Now, Lord, we bless your presence, Lord.

[CHATTER]

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