Pain and Longsuffering

Chris Gardner

January 13, 2019

Yeah, as you're going through the book of Romans, we were in verse 19 through 21. We're talking about the patient's the long-suffering of God and we talked about our position. What our position is before God and this this idea of our position really matters because a lot of times we think that we have rights. To blame God or we have rights to speak back to God for something. We don't agree with and what he's saying is this is our position. This is who we are and I want to read this quote one more time. That was the last one we filled out on Sunday because on two Sundays ago, here's what is stated here. The truth is that no one will ever stand before the father and state that he was unloved by his creator. No one will ever stand before God and say God you did not love me that will never ever happen. And that's what we're following in Romans chapter 9 and so we're going to we're going to pray before we really dive in this morning and hopefully we can walk away talking about how great of a God we serve dear Lord. We thank you for your word Lord. I become more convicted every day of. The need for the centrality of your word into church Lord, I ask you that you would help me to to almost disappear behind your word that people might walk away knowing that you and your word truly truly matter. I asked you if you would help us to dive into what said and that you would help us to live by what we. Learn new order we stand in all of you today. We stand in all of your word and we ask you that we might be molded. We might be changed by what we see in the your word in Jesus name. I pray amen. So we find here this this this idea that we're never going to stand before the father and say God you didn't love me and we will start by reading the verses again verse 19 through 21, and then we'll dive into the messages morning. That won't say then and they'll say then unto me why? He yet find fault for who has resisted. His will did God really just predicted all this was going to happen nay, but o man thou art that nay nay, but o man who art thou that repliest against God so exactly who Do You Think You Are. To come to God and say God. Why did you do things this way? Have you ever noticed if that's the number one approach of the people that claim to be atheist? The number one approaches saying hey, why does well God can't if God does that then he can't be God and God goes. Do you really get to dictate? What makes me God and what does not make me God he says exactly who do you think you are to stand in front of me in to talk about this who has resisted his will nay but o man who art thou that repliest against God shall the thing formed say to him that formed it. Why has she met? Why hast Thou made me thus why did you make me this way? God created us the way we are. Do we really think we have a right to say God you made me can you imagine how laughable it is that we would paint a painting number one that's laughable for me because I can't paint the painting but let's just imagine that I'm a painter and I can paint this beautiful canvas and then the canvas looks at me and goes I don't like those colors. Like how crazy is that? And and what God is saying is this you are not God. I'm God. That's that position is taken. I alone. Am God verse 21 has that not the power the Potter power over the clay of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonour and so finally in Genesis 1825. He teaches us one thing about God's character. We love looking at God and judging God, but we find in Genesis 18 25 is the. Let me far from thee to do this matter to slay the righteous with the wicked and the righteous shall should be as the wicked that be far from thee shall not the judge of all the earth. Look at that with me shall not the judge of all the Earth. Help me out with some of those last two words, which shall not the judge of all the Earth. What? Do right. Do you really think that the judge of all the Earth? Is not going to do right. So in light of these truths we must understand that our perception if it differs from what the scriptures say. It might not be a Bible problem. It might be an understanding part the problem on our part. For them, they would only seem to be one answer to this question and their answer was this. Oh, the problem is God's unfair. That's the problem. God is unfair and he goes, oh, no, this is not a god unfair deal. This is a you don't understand deal and you're trying to understand me and who I am God must be unfair as you saw in the last messages. This wouldn't be a fair thought at all. Because if you look at Romans 9 what you find is this Pharaoh hardened his heart way before God hardens it he took what Pharaoh had already decided. He wasn't the one that made him make. The decision so, you know you sit there and you go. Oh, this is what I'm going to do and a parent tells their kid will if you do that be careful because this is going to happen and they go I don't really care what you say Dad. I know what I'm doing and because of that I'm going to do this and then they do it and it happens exactly like what you said would happen in my house. There's this sound that I make every time that happens in my kids hate it they say Dad this just happened and I go hmm. My kids go Dad. Stop. It. Don't do that because that means did we not talk about this and I tell you that this was exactly what was going to go down funny thing is I'm sitting around the other day listening and I hear Hannah go hmm to one of my brothers and so I know that I'm teaching well even without trying to teach God goes listen Pharaoh. You harden your. Don't look at it as if I'm hardening your heart because I just did I just took what you gave me and continued it on to this question. Paul asked a question in Romans 9:22. It sounds a lot like the question that God asked job when he begins to question God as well. Here's what he says in Romans 9 20 man, who are you to reply against me? Exactly, who are you to reply against me? Shall the thing formed say to that which it Formed it? Why hast Thou made me thus we find this in the Book of Job Job chapter 38 verse 4 through 11, Joba sitting there talking to God and God says so exactly where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth. Jokes in there going God I just don't get it. Why is this and why is this and he goes so Joe. Can you explain to me exactly where you were when I laid the foundations of the Earth? Declare if you have any understanding on that tell me about it. If you think you know, tell me where were you exactly? Where exactly were you when I did this who has laid the measures their it down North Shore who stretched the line upon it who built the Earth the way that it is built. We're upon other foundations there a Fastener who laid the Cornerstone there of who laid this Cornerstone that is going to dictate how the world operates exactly. Where where are you Joe? Exactly. Where were you you are nowhere to be found. You are not near as powerful as you think you are. You're not near as as as as as able as you think you are when the morning Stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for Joy or who shut up the sea with doors when it Break Forth as if it had issued out of the womb. When I made the cloud the Garment thereof and the thick darkness and the swaddling brand for it and break up for every break up for it my decreed place and set bars and doors and said hitherto shalt Thou come but no further and here's shall thy proud waves be stayed. He says, you know, what who tells the oceans where to stop. I do Joe. When's the last time you went out and said I want to change where the ocean stop. Exactly. Remember who you are remember who I am. We stand in all of God not in Judgment of God. We don't look at God and say God. Why do you we look at God and say God, why would you love me? That's a whole different approach. We don't stand before God wagging our finger of judgment. We stand before our God on our knees and all of who God is. We stand and we do not stand in front of every time that it's amazing to me. You look at the Book of John you look at the gospels and you find John and John is so close to Jesus. They lays his head on his chest. Like he literally heard the heartbeat of the creator of the universe. Can you imagine being that close to God? And then God shows him his glory when he's riding in the Book of Revelation. And guess what happens in The Book of Revelation when he sees his glory he falls on his face and says, oh no like I'm like dead. I cannot even imagine I cannot fathom we go before our God not in judgment we go before our God and all. And can I say that many many times many many times we come to church so long we've read our Bible so many times that we lose that one thing that should always be in us the all of the king of the world. We lose the of that you got Paul looks at it. He says exactly who are we to be questioning that God shows God says to job. He says just realize who you're asking about this. Remember who you're asking about this? Do you really think that you're in a place to where you can question God. Are you sure you want to reply? Are you sure you want to speak? Are you sure you want to accuse God do you really think that it's a good idea for you to start pointing a finger there on your paper. Do you really think it's a good idea for you to start pointing a finger? Do you really think that it's a good idea for you to start pointing a finger what Paul is saying is this don't forget who you are who you are questioning. Don't forget who you're questioning. And also don't forget your position. Don't forget who you are. Don't forget who you are. But it's so easy to forget our position. It's easy to forget who we truly are, you know, why because humility isn't something that comes naturally to us. Humility is not something that comes naturally to us. We fight to be humble every single day. It is not natural for us to be humble. It is not natural for us to submit. The word submit is a four-letter word in most of our vernacular because the idea that I have to be under somebody else or under something else or under some Authority just boggles our mind because humility is not. Humility is not natural. We love to think more of ourselves than we should and we love to think less of others than we ought to. We love to think less of others than we ought to have you ever noticed how when you're driving in Atlanta traffic that person does something that you might have done before but that person is an idiot because they don't realize how important you are to cut you off like that that's natural innocent it. It's natural in all of us. It's not a one-person thing. This is a every person around here. And if you're giving somebody an elbow on the rib, don't worry, you're going to get one back because are we not all like that the Inca, you know why we get upset when it takes too long and go through the drive-through at the restaurant to pick something up. Do you know why we get so upset because they don't understand how important my time is. See humility is not something that comes natural to us. It's not something that comes natural to us. We love to think more of ourselves than we should and less of others than we ought to James chapter 4 and verse 6 teaches us how dangerous this is. Here's what the Bible says, but he giveth more grace because he says God resists the proud. But gives Grace. to the humble. He resists the proud back in the day when Jake was just growing up. He used to want to fight with me. He'd be five six years old and did not have any muscles anywhere, you know, not no visible muscles now, he's changed quite a bit and he and he works out and all that kind of stuff. But I still remember when he was five six seven eight years old Jacob commitment. He wanted to fight with me and I put my hand on him on his head. Anybody ever done that before and Jake are you tired yet? I was resisting Jake I don't do that anymore because I have a hand on his head. He might twist my arm and may I gotta be careful now now I've got to walk armed wherever I'm at because I got to be careful because Jake's almost as strong as I am now, but God says I want you to understand what happens to the proud. The same way Chris could resist a five six seven eight year old Jacob and it wasn't a big deal and he would laugh and he would talk to his wife while Jacob was giving everything in his being to try and fight with me while God goes. I want you to understand that when there's pride in your life. That's exactly what I do in your life. I resist the problem. I resist the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. To challenge God's right to run the world. They're on your paper to challenge God's right to run the world is to bid for the throne of the universe for ourselves. When you sit there and you want to tell God how he just does not know what he's doing. When you do that what you're saying is hey that Throne that runs the universe want that to be mine. I deserve that. And God goes. Oh, no, there's one way you can take over the Throne of the universe. And here's the way you can take on the throne of the universe when you can say let there be light. And there was light. Now that encount walk into room saying let there be light and you flip the switch we're talking about literally he says and let there be light. And the Sun that we still stare at and Marvel over. Pops in the sky. then you can take over his throne of the universe may be or you can at least compete with him and tell him how you deserve it. But what we don't understand is that we're to challenge God's right there in the world. It's a bid for the throne of the universe for ourselves as politicians to answer this question. He responds with a parable about the pod. Here's what he says. He uses Jeremiah 18136. Here's here's what you have to understand about the Bible that you hold in your hands. There are going to be people that tell you that certain parts of the Bible don't matter, you know, the Old Testament really not that important. What if that was the case do you really understand that Paul could not have written any of the New Testament because guess what he quotes in the New Testament. The New Testament is built upon the foundations of the Old Testament built my house put this concrete up and it's standing everywhere and it's ready to put the house on top of it. And you know, you don't even see that concrete anymore. You don't really even see it anymore. But those foundations matter would you not agree those foundations matter if you don't have those foundations you are in serious. Trouble we had to understand this this the Old Testament Paul is quoting from the Old Testament in Romans chapter 9. Here's what he says in Jeremiah 18 verse 1 through 6 the word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying arise go down to The Potter's House and then I'm going to cause you to hear my words. I went down to The Potter's House and behold. He wrought a work on the wheels and the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the Potter. She made it again another vessel. I seemed good to the Potter to make it this is the verse that Paul is quoting here. Then the word of the Lord came to me saying O House of Israel. Can I not do with you as this Potter? Saith the Lord behold as the clay is in The Potters hand. So you are in my hand o House of most Last Word by the word. This is not speaking of a person. Speaking of the House of Israel is speaking of a Nation God is the part Potter and the nations of the world and their leaders are the vessels the nations of the world and the leaders are their vessels. This has to do with God shaping this nation's destiny. God has the authority of her creation to set his plan and purpose is in motion and to select one nation for one purpose another Nation for another purpose. He's saying Israel, you need to realize who I am and what my decision process look at. My decision-making process looks like because see this puny Nation stands before the God who knows the end from the beginning they stand before the one that has never learned anything because he has always known everything. He's Perfection of wisdom and of love. No, you sure that you want to talk back to him. And explain to him. Do you really think you know enough to do that? But you have to understand is this there on your paper. God does not answer to humanity any more than he must answer to trees. God does not answer the humanity Humanity does not dictate to him what happens he is speaking to a nation not an individual concerning salvation the way you can know Paul is the session salvation for is not discussing salvation for individual or when he is or not as when you see this very important word in the Book of Romans. There's this word and the word is justification when he's talking about justification. He's talking about salvation. This word tells you that no doubt. That's what he's speaking about. What? In here to us in Romans 9 is this I am the king of kings and the Lord of Lord. I'm Sovereign over the nation's now. Can I just say this? Right. Now there's a government shutdown and people are kind of freaking out. He's still King over the nation's God's not in heaven wringing his hands going. What do I do now? That's not at all what he's doing. The word tells you that no doubt. He's speaking about salvation when we find that word what he's trying to say. This here is just I am Sovereign over history doesn't the Potter have power over the clay to where he can make sure that from one lump. There's the from the same lump one vessel is for honor and the other ones for. Now here he isn't talking about heaven and hell at all. You have to read that into the passage to get here what he's saying is this God can raise up Israel for blessing and he can bring judgment on Egypt doesn't even mean that individuals cannot be saved from their this means that as a nation God has chosen the direction for the history of history for them many people pretend. That is a heartless discipline of God, but you're going to see in this passage that even though he forms it you saw in Jeremiah when he forms it. He says that it didn't turn out that way. Let's go ahead and reform it into something else. We know that these are National entities because of the context of where he's writing in Jeremiah 18 and the middle of that passage though. Remember that a nation can actually say wait a minute. I want to turn to God because he got always tells Nations. Please turn to me in the middle of the passage. We still find a loving and compassionate God even in the National setting just because God said he was going to do something does not mean that he can't or that he will not change his course. Now the people want to follow after God even then God can and will have mercy what we need to understand about God is that we serve a kind compassionate merciful god. How many times have you made a promise to God? And not kept it. Like do you have enough fingers to even count them? How many times have you said? Well this year I'm going to and you don't aren't you glad we serve a compassionate forgiving God how many times have your kids told you that? I'm sorry. I'll never do that again. And that never is usually means until tomorrow. Because that's who we are what happens here. He says, you know what? I'm a kind compassionate God 2nd Corinthians. 7:14 says if my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways. I'll hear them from Heaven. I'll forgive their sins. I'm going to heal their land. This verse is an application of what we find in the book of Jeremiah. The principle here is this if any Nation whom God has spoken against turns from its evil God is able and willing to show mercy God wants to show Mercy. The principle is clearly seen in the Book of Jonah. Jonas one of the funniest books in the Old Testament. It's clearly seen their Nineveh turns to God and decide to she decides then to show them Mercy because what you have to understand about our God as this God does not create people to damn those people. Let me create them so that I can damn them to Eternity separated from me. That's not at all what he's doing when people behave like Pharaoh God deals with them the exact way they behave the one thing to remember in these next few verses that the only way that God deals with Israel has never been at the expense of his love. To all men, but you have to understand is this our God is a just God. Our God is a so the question is is there a price to pay for sin? And the answer is unequivocally? Yes who has paid the price for that sin and his name is Jesus and the question is does his love or does his Justice which one matters more and the answer is neither because both are who our God is. Both are who our God is but God never takes from his love to damn men to hell. That's not at all. What he does. Remember these verses are God's merciful god and he Longs for us to choose him. He Longs for us to follow him. I'm not God in any way form or fashion, but there's just something about when Claire and Lily decide to run to me at church to give me a hug. Like I'm standing over there today. We're talking with David and chanela and all of a sudden they just look and they try and they get very their arms are wide open God in heaven is looking for God in heaven is looking for Ryan and crystals daughter today. I'm talking to somebody and I feel somebody hit me on my back and turn around and not she's like, hey, let me give you a hint that there's nothing like that now I can I just tell you there are days when Lily doesn't act like that at all. Lily's not always chipper nice fun. Smiley girl, like sometimes you're like what in the world? God says, you know what I love I love it when my children come to me. I love it when my children come to me. He Longs for us to follow him. He Longs for our hearts to be turned towards him. That's what he loves. What a promise for you and I today maybe it's time that we turn our hearts. Port home. Can I say to you that I would do believe that something happens in the heart of my god when I wake up in the morning and I open my bible, and I said I just want to spend time with you. Turn your heart towards him because he's a loving caring compassionate God and you know what? There's nothing my wife found the other day a big old box of book of letters. That we had between each other and I honestly fear for the generation of today because they text message so much that it doesn't mean anything anymore. You know what I mean is like, hey, we have 5 million text messages going back and forth and we talked every you know, whenever we want Kay. Yay, LOL ROFL, you know, we're doing all these things and they talk so much, but you know what there was something price for me when I was a missionary in Peru, and my wife was living in Columbus, Georgia and every single day. She would write me a letter. And it would come to the post office. She found that box the other day and I've got a box full of letters and it's sweet to go back and look through those and read through those and you can get can I explain to you that we have a God in heaven that loves us more than I could ever love my wife and more than my wife could ever love me when we decide to turn our hearts toward him. It does something in our God. What's funny is I don't have time to read the Bible. What's amazing have time to eat? Why haven't timed I don't have time to pray it's amazing you have time to text message. I don't have time to but Netflix would scream liar at the top of its lungs at you if it had a voice. Turning our hearts toward him. And God says, you know what? I'm a loving compassionate God and I create people for relationship and I create people that seek after me and that is our job as people that call ourselves Christians. We are people of the book and so it matters what we do with the book that we hold in our hands number two, you can write this down and we'll close before we get far with it but his purpose. The second point you see there's just purpose. Look at Romans 9 verse 22 verse 24 the Bible says verse 22. What did what if what if God willing to show his wrath and to make his power known endured with much long-suffering the vessels of Wrath fitted for destructive destruction that he might make known The Riches of his glory on the vessels of Mercy, which he had afore prepared unto Glory even us whom he hath called not of the Jews only but also, Of the Gentiles by the way, you see here. I didn't just call Jews. I also called Gentiles Paul goes on to explain what this really means. He says what if God was making his power known as he shown his wrath but even in showing his wrath the Bible says he showed his wrath with much and this is a keyword. How did he show his wrath? He showed his Wrath of the much long-suffering. He showed his wrath with long-suffering and other words. He did not want to do that. That was not his desire. He was not in heaven going. I really want to punish people it. Can I say that as a parent punishing? My children is not fund. It's not fun at all. I do not enjoy telling my kids they've got to stop doing stuff. I've known enjoy back in the day when they were when they were first born and growing up. I did not enjoy spanking my children. I did not enjoy there was never a thing of enjoyment for me. It was never a thing of anger for me. It was never a thing of rats for me is this thing where you're sitting there going? This hurts me? I don't like punishing you because I want you. God said he had to show his wrath but he had to show his wrath with much long-suffering had to show it with much long-suffering. This patients was how he chose to operate the so that they would have time to choose him. You know, when you look at your kids and you give them that look of please stop because if you stop we can leave it at a look. And you can try timeouts and you can try time ends and you can try anything you want to try with them but you're sitting there and you don't whole reason you do this is because you're patient with them you love them you care for them that's reason you do that. The patient's is how he chose to operate so that they have time to choose him. He was patient you sit there patiently going would you please stop? I've said it please stop. I've said it I know this never happened in your home. But how many times have you said? I promise you if you do that again, I will and we all know what that means 95% of the times you're lying because you don't do it the next time you go one. I'm going to count to three and you go one. But the people who do this two and a half two and three quarters two point seven five eight you trying your hardest thing, you know, and it's not because you don't love your children because you're trying to be patient with them. Patience was how he chose to operate so they would have a chance to choose him through his patients. He can make known The Riches of his glory on the vessels of Mercy. These vessels were not only Jews also had to do with the Gentiles. We must never think they got in heaven was enjoying watching a tyrant like pharaoh. God is not in heaven gone. Oh, wow. Yes, sock it to him. He needs more of that. That's not the god that we serve. The scripture says this the scripture teaches us that he endured it Exodus chapter 3 verse 7 says the Lord said I have surely seen the Affliction of my people which are in Egypt and have heard their Cry by reason of their taskmasters for I know their sorrows he endured. It we see that they're in the rest of the story of Exodus that he was long-suffering with Pharaoh giving him ample opportunity to be saved because of the heart of God that we understand God wants people to believe in him. And because of that he's patient. He's long-suffering. He cares second Peter 3:9 says this the Lord is not slack concerning his promise. No words. He doesn't just promise to promise, you know, you got those people that when they promise, you know exactly what that means nothing, you know to mean you're like, oh, yeah that promise means nothing that promise me that promise might mean something Lord is not slack in his promises. He doesn't do that. He doesn't just promise to. Let's summon with count slackness, but is long-suffering to us-ward he suffers long for us. You know, why cause he's not willing that any should perish his desire is not for any to perish but that all. Should come to repentance and Moses and Israel. God revealed The Riches of his mercy and Farren Egypt. He revealed the the power and his power and his wrath he gave time for farad or repent. He gave him many opportunities to change. Why did God choose to do things so slowly in the book of Exodus? If you read the book of Exodus, it's kind of funny if you don't let my people go. God does something during my people go there's 10 different place that come up and he brings up each play each time in your like what kind of an idiot would not let his people go by now like number one. Okay, that might be in a fluke. Number two that might have been a crazy fluke number three, who knows this might just be I'm the most unlucky guy in the world by number nine. He should be saying goodness gracious. Why did God do that? You know, I did it because he's patient. Because he's loving. And because he's kind why did God choose to do things slowly next to us? Why did he treat them with such patience? He did that because he understood that they needed to repent according to James chapter 1 and verse 13 men fit themselves for wrath. God doesn't lead them into sin. Look at James 1:13. Let no man say when he is tempted. I'm tempted of God for God cannot be tempted with evil nor neither tempteth he any man. The opposite is true. God Saves men and wants all men to be saved and prepares each and every one of those to whom choose to come to him. He promises them a place in heaven. We serve a good good God. You know many times you're going through troubles in our life. We're going through difficulties in our life and we're sitting there going man. I don't understand why all of this is happening. Can I just say that many times in your life when you're going through problems is nothing more than God showing his patients towards you because if you were to get what you deserve you would be in hell. He's being patient. He's being long-suffering with us. And that's exactly who are God is doing when we come to you.

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