#72 "When All Hell Breaks Loose"
November 14, 2006
"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]" (John 16:33 Amplified Bible)
Sometimes life just hits you in the gut. It seems as if it's just one thing after the other. Life is sometimes a big, fat, ugly bully...in your face...making you feel bewildered, discouraged, confused and unable to make sense of it all. British author, Gilbert K. Chesterton says, "I believe in getting into hot water. I think it keeps you clean." I don't know about that, but I do know that sometimes all hell breaks loose in life and we ask "what in the world are we supposed to do????"
Jesus' disciples must have felt just that way. They were bewildered. They were confused. Jesus told them that He had to go away (John 7:34, 8:21, 12:8, 35, 13:33). He told them that He would die (12: 32-33). He said that one of them would be a traitor (13:21), that Peter would disown Him three times (13: 38). To add insult to injury, Jesus said that Satan was at work against all of them (Luke 22: 31-32) and that all the disciples would fall away (Matt. 26: 31). The cumulative weight of these revelations must have greatly depressed them. They thought that Jesus was going to usher in the earthly Kingdom and get them out from under Roman rule. They thought that His saving work was in the here and now. Even though He had told them the things that must happen over and over again, they just didn't get it and now they hear nothing but bad news, one thing after another. All hell was breaking loose.
God, my gracious Father, allowed me to read this passage of Scripture at the beginning of a day where all hell was breaking loose in my life. Things just seemed to be getting worse by the minute. I was reading about all the trouble that the disciples were finding themselves in and then, wait a minute, the next words were in red! Jesus was about to speak. I said, "Okay, Lord. I feel like all hell is breaking loose. You're about to speak. Tell me what I'm supposed to do." Aren't you thankful for the Word of God? In the midst of the roaring waves and burning fire, Jesus can speak right to the situation. Right where you are. And that morning, He showed me three things to do when all hell breaks loose in your life. I'd like to share those with you. They are too important and too life-saving to miss. So turn your ears to John, Chapter 14 and listen to Jesus speaking right into your situation.
The first thing to do is Trust God. Sounds too simple and maybe a little like a platitude, but this was the command of Jesus, not a suggestion. John 14:1 says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me." The Greek word for "troubled" is "tarassestho" which means "stirred or agitated." So Jesus commands, "Don't let your hearts be stirred or agitated." When He says "do not let", it implies that you have control over this. Don't let yourself get stirred up, troubled and agitated. Trust God. The King James Version used the word "believe" instead of trust. Strong's Bible Concordance defines this as "to be persuaded, place confidence in, to trust Jesus as able to aid in doing something". So to some it all up: "Do not let your heart be stirred up and agitated and troubled over this. Believe, trust, be persuaded and place your confidence in Christ. He is able to do what you need done. And He's an Ephesians 3:20 Savior...He's able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than you could ever ask or think." Need I say more!
Second, Pray. In Verses 12-14, Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." Praying in Jesus' name is not a magical formula of invocation. But the prayers of believers, as Christ's representatives doing His business, will be answered. Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." 1 Thessalonians 5: 17 says, "pray without ceasing [continually]." In Luke 18:1 "Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up." The words that struck me to the heart were "and I will do it." If I ask in Jesus' name, which means with faith in all that He is and according to His will, HE WILL DO IT! He will do it! Are you praying for something that is in God's will? Are you filled with faith in who Jesus is? Then, my friend, He will do it! So when all hell is breaking loose....Pray!
Third, know that you are not alone. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer. The very Spirit of the Living God is living on the inside of you. Right now, in the midst of your trial...Jesus is there, by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit is your Counselor, the Spirit of Truth in the midst of the lies of the enemy. Jesus says that He lives in you and is with you. He says that the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and remind you of everything that Jesus has for you. Romans 8: 11 says that "the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you." That's some kind of power living on the inside of you! You have power, you have a Counselor to lead you and guide you in the way you should go. And the Bible says that same Spirit helps you in your weakness. And when you don't know how to pray, He himself intercedes for you with groans that words cannot express. (Romans 8: 26) Author, Sue Richards says, "How empowering in our weakest moments, when we don't know how to express our own overwhelming needs, to cling to the words of God. When Christ gave us the Holy Spirit, he left us much more than an inner spiritual discernment. Our triune God lives within and intercedes for each of us when we are at our weakest moments." The Holy Spirit will lead you into the truth of God's Word. He will call to mind Scriptures for you to hang on to and confess to replace those lies that the devil is putting into your head. You will say, "It is written..." and you will be able to wield that Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, because the Holy Spirit Himself will call those to mind for you. Our God is an Awesome God! You are not alone!!Isaiah 43: 2 says, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
I don't know who I'm writing for today. What I do know is that I write as someone who has just come out of a week of all hell breaking loose. I can testify that if it weren't for the truths that I have given you today...well, I don't know where I would be. I am so thankful for the Word of God. It truly does hold all of the answers. I fall more in love with Jesus and more in love with His Word each day and with each new trial. In this passage of Scripture Jesus tells His disciples twice that He leaves them His peace. And in our headline verse, John 16:33, He says that in this world we will have trouble, but that we are to take heart [be courageous, cheer up] because He has overcome the world. Jesus is the Victor! And so are you! Psalm 108: 13 says, "With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies." Hallelujah! It's true. I'm telling you so that you will be encouraged. God gained the victory in my situation. He trampled down my enemies! His Word is true. And He is no respecter of persons. He'll do it for you too. If He will do it for me, He'll do it for you! If God is for you, who can be against you? (Romans 8:31) "No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you." (Isaiah 54: 17) Are you a servant of the Lord? This same verse says that if you are, this is your heritage and your vindication from the Lord. This is for you. Claim it. Hold onto it! It is the truth!
God heard and answered my prayers rather quickly this time. Maybe because of the gravity of the situations. But it doesn't always happen that way. Sometimes hell is breaking loose for a much longer time. You may be there today. In the midst of some hell the devil has sent your way to destroy you. Don't let him. Trust God. Pray. Rely on the Holy Spirit...He is with you...you are not alone. And remember that Jesus has already overcome what you are going through. He has defeated Satan, death, hell and the grave. This problem is not too much for Him. He knows what you're going through. He sees your tears. He will hear your cry for mercy when all hell is breaking loose. And because Jesus won, you, in union with Him, can win also.
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