All our anxiety arises from our lack of faith in the Word of God. We will not take God at His Word.
Luke 24:36-39, 36And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. The Peace of Christ removes the need for Him to ask, why are you troubled? The question becomes what is it about Christ that should terrify a person who claims to be a disciple? How is it possible that the real Christ appears to us and we conclude we’re seeing a ghost? Tonight we explore the answer to all these questions under the umbrella of God has answers.
Why Are You Troubled?Wherever you are we are glad you took the time to come and I pray as I said earlier that God will bless us through this message. Each of us has different needs but God and His power and His might can take the same message and meet every need, that’s the way God functions.
Before I begin, as usual, do three little favors for me;
- favor number one – please turn off your cell phones. I don’t even bring mine, so it can’t go off please turn them off and anything else that may make a noise
- favor number two – while I’m speaking pray for me and say; Lord put your Words in that man’s mouth
- favor number three – I would like you very much to think as you listen
Opening prayer –
Let us pray
Our Father in Heaven, we come into your presence at your invitation to come boldly to the throne of grace and we have come dear Father in the name of Jesus Christ, a name you will never refuse. And in His name, we ask you first to forgive our sins, cleanse us dear God and even now create in us a clean heart, renew a right spirit within us. Father we’ve assembled to listen to your Word and we ask dear God that your Holy Spirit will lead us, guide us into truth because if He does not do that, we will guide ourselves into error and we do not want to do that. So, guide us dear God, give us willing hearts to not only hear the truth, but to obey the truth. I humble myself in your presence Father and I ask you to use me as you see fit in Jesus name we pray, Amen!
Why are you troubled?
- There are as many anxieties and troubles among you as there are different faces. The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders is always increasing its number of mental disorders.
- There’s a move from the American Psychiatric Association, I believe it is, to include grief as a psychological disorder, a psychiatric disorder. If you grieve longer than two weeks, then you need to see a psychiatrist.
Go with me to Luke chapter 24, we shall read from verse 36. Luke chapter 24 reading from verse 36 and Luke was a medical doctor. He was the only Bible writer who was not a Jew, all the others were Jews. Luke, it is believed was a Gentile and Luke also wrote the book of Acts. So exactly two volumes, volume one is Luke, volume two is the book of Acts. Luke chapter 24 reading from verse 36 the Bible says 36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. Let us Pause right there.
Jesus, this is after the resurrection, He appears to the disciples who were assembled in a room and the Bible tells us more than once the doors were locked because those men were assembled not to worship but out of fear that what the Jews did to Christ, they would do to them. Jesus appears to them and says peace be unto you. Now when Jesus says peace, if we accept that peace, we ought not to be troubled. Christ cannot say peace and I accept that peace and then He follows up that peace by asking why are you troubled? Are you following me? The Peace of Christ removes the need for Him to ask why are you troubled? And so, Jesus when He appeared the Bible says in verse 37 but they were terrified and affrighted. The question becomes what is it about Christ that should terrify a person who claims to be a disciple? They assont>umed, they supposed the Bible says that He was a spirit. How is it possible that the real Christ appears to us and we conclude we’re seeing a ghost? There’s an answer to all these questions and He said unto them verse 38 why are you troubled and why do thoughts arise in your heart? And that question is for us tonight as we present this message under the umbrella of God has answers and there is an answer for the question: why are you troubled? and there is an answer for trouble and anxiety and we will give that tonight.
Behold My hands and My feet that it is I Myself. Now Jesus immediately begins to try and put their minds at ease and He tells them behold My hands and My feet that it is I Myself, because Christ realizes that they are doubting the reality of His presence and Christ never hesitates to put our minds at ease. There are some things God will hesitate to do, other things He does immediately. And Jesus says behold My hands and My feet that it is I Myself and He issued a glorious invitation. What does He say? Handle Me. Handle Me and do what? And see. Not see with the eye, with the optical apparatus, but if you handle Me, says Christ, you will come to the unavoidable conclusion that I am real. For many Christians, Christ is a figure in the Bible, He’s not a reality in their lives. You didn’t hear what I said, let me say it again: For many Christians, I didn’t say unbelievers – for many Christians, Christ is a nice man who lives in the pages of the Bible, but does not have an active role in their lives and there is a reason for that and we will answer that.
Handle Me, says Christ, and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see Me have – that happened 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ issues the same invitation today, to handle Him and the question becomes, how do I handle Christ? Back then Christ’s invitation was, hold me physically, handle Me. In John chapter 20 verse 27, 27 Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. How do we handle Christ? But let’s go back to the question why are you troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your heart. Let’s find out why they were troubled.
- I will be killed and shall rise the 3rd day – Mark 8:31
- you can kill Christ in the life of a church member through constant discouragement,
- we can kill Christ in a sense by not focusing on the Word of truth but presenting theories that are attractive.
- I will be killed and shall rise the 3rd day – Mark 9:31
- I will be killed and shall rise the 3rd day – Mark 10:33
Now let’s go back to Luke chapter 24 and read from verse 36. Our subject is why are you troubled? 36 And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said unto them, why are ye troubled? And if they were honest, what should they have said? What should they have said if they were honest? We did not believe your Word which you told us over and over and over. How many times does the Bible say the seventh day is a Sabbath? Most people don’t believe it. Mark 8:31, Mark 9:31, Mark 10:33, Jesus told them I will rise the third day. Each verse is specific not I will rise at some point, the third day. When He rose, because they did not believe the Word of God, when Christ rose instead of rejoicing at His resurrection, they were terrified and affrighted and concluded that this man we’re seeing is not real, He’s a ghost.
Before you and I look down our noses of those men 2,000 years ago, when we do not live by faith, Christ is similarly unreal to us How many of us regard Christ as a ghost in our lives? Someone who’s not real, someone whose existence we have never proven for ourselves? Because Jesus says
handle Me and see. We have to handle Christ. How do we handle Christ? We handle Christ through the Word.
And so, the question comes to us again, why are you troubled? Well let me particularize it: why are you troubled?
The answers, is in God’s Word. The Bible says in Malachi chapter 3 verse 10
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Now what does the Bible mean by: pour you out a blessing, open the windows of heaven?
In Genesis chapter 7, the chapter in which the flood comes, in verse 11 the Bible says that the Fountains of the deep were broken up and the windows of heaven God opened. Malachi is using language borrowed from the flood story. When the windows of heaven were opened, how much water came down on the earth? How much of the earth was covered? All. The Bible says in Genesis 7 I believe is verse 20, 15 cubits upward did the waters prevail and the mountains were covered. The very highest mountain, however high they were back then, were covered 15 cubits above the highest level.
Now Malachi says, if we bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in My house and prove Me, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and cover all your needs so that every mountain of need is covered.
- Why are you troubled? Is it because of sickness? Exodus 15: 26 And said, if thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. The same Word that brings financial blessing, brings healing.
- Why are you troubled? Turmoil in the family? The Bible has the answer. The Words are put in the mouth of Joshua – Joshua chapter 24 verse 15 as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
And so, I ask the question again: Why are you troubled? Why are we troubled? All our anxiety arises from our lack of faith in the Word of God. We will not take God at His Word. In Desired of Ages page 330 paragraph 3 Ellen White writes these Words: but many who profess to be His followers, meaning Christ’s followers, have an anxious trouble heart. That’s what we’re talking about. Then she gives a reason because they are afraid to trust themselves with God.
And so, we surrender part of our lives to God and we tell God you handle that part, I will handle this part. In other Words,
- Father I surrender my life to you, let me handle my romantic life, don’t tell me who to date
- Father I surrender my life to you, don’t tell me how to spend my money, tell me everything else
- Father I surrender my life to you, yes God control everything else, don’t tell me how to eat
- Father I surrender my life, don’t tell me how to dress
To surrender to God, is to surrender to the claims and the dictates of His Word. You cannot surrender to God outside of God’s Word. Let me say differently, there are some people who say they have faith in God, but they don’t read the Word. You can’t have faith in God outside of God’s Word. God does everything through His Word:
- He creates through the Word, am I right?
- He sustains creation through the Word
- He saves through the Word
- He sanctifies through the Word
- He heals through the Word
- He forgives through the Word
- He performs miracles through the Word
- He cast out demons through the Word
- He cleanses us through the Word
And so, I ask the question again why are you troubled?
Christians believe that the Christian life must be full of problems. Do you know that’s not biblical? If you don’t believe me read Deuteronomy 28 the first 14 verses, and read Deuteronomy chapter 7 from first 10 down to the end of that chapter I think is verse 26. The Christian life by God’s design is to be overflowing with blessings and here’s a reason for that – that blessed life then becomes an evangelistic advertisement. Ah, you’re not following me, maybe I’m speaking clumsily, let me try it again. Let me say this way, as an evangelist myself, I have spent decades designing flyers and handbills and trying to find ways to beg people to come to the meetings. Do you know there’s a form of evangelism, in the Bible that does not require fliers? It simply is, you obey God 100% and God will bless you so much people will come running to find out what’s going on. You’re sleeping with your eyes open. People will rush:
- How is it your children are so healthy?
- How is it your children at the top of the class?
- How is it there’s no divorce in the Seventh Day Adventists Church
- How is it you’re so healthy
My brothers and sisters I ask you the question again; why are you troubled? Now I know you troubled about something. Now am I saying the Christian life is entirely problem-free, I am NOT saying that but I’m saying there are too many miserable Christians and it’s a bad advertisement for those whom we would love to come to know Christ because they conclude – if coming to Christ will make me as miserable as you, let me stay where I am. Are you following me? Let me stay where I am, but let me repeat: God’s will for Israel was that He would bless them so abundantly. Remember when the spies came to the house of Rehab? You know what she said? She said – We heard what you did to those nations, what your God did through you. We heard and our knees are knocking. We heard. Listen to Ellen White, Early writings page 227 paragraph 1 I saw, now this is no guesswork. I saw that if the church had always retained a peculiar holy character, the power of the Holy Spirit which was committed to the disciples or imparted the disciples would still be with her. The sick would be healed, devils would be rebuked and cast out and she would be mighty and a terror to her enemies. I saw.
You know what a terror to your enemies means? People will be saying, you see those Adventist, don’t mess with them, because you’ll come down with leprosy. Don’t mess with the Adventists, that’s what Rahab was virtually saying – we heard what your God did to those other nations and we are terrified and Rehab said look please when you come through save me and my house. What is the foundation for that kind of life? Taking God at His Word.
Listen to me, we live in a world where some things are more valuable than other things. I was talking to a young man few years ago, at a youth camp meeting and he was crying. I said why are you crying? He said when I pick up the Bible to study it, my father has kicked it out of my hands, not taking it out of his hand. I said kicked it? He said yes. I said, is your father an Adventist? Yes, he’s an Adventist. Why would your father kick the Bible out of your hands? He told me the Bible will not get me a high score on the SAT. Now some of you chuckled and you’re probably identifying personally to what I’m saying.
At the same camp meeting a young lady came to me, pastor I want to talk to you. Okay. We sat down, we talked. She’s crying. Why are you crying? Why are you troubled? Why are you crying? I begged my parents to send me to send me to Seventh Day Adventists School. And they said no, the level of education is too low. You need to go to secular school where there’s a high standard of education. She said when I went to that school, all my beliefs were tested immediately. She said I have one foot in the church, one foot in the world.
Why am I saying that? There are things we value above the Word of God? We see education as a savior. Is this mic working? Is it working? Let me explain what I mean. Before you leave this place saying that the preacher said we should all be ignorant. I’m not saying that. I am saying, here’s how we reason. Let me put it this way. Go to the best elementary school, go to the best, what’s the next one, middle school, go to the best high school, go to the best college, go to the best university and get a degree that has a name behind it. With that degree, you get a good job so you can buy a big house with two garages and your two cars and 2.5 children. That’s how many Adventist view life. No plan for the world to come.
Now when Christ comes, the house burns. Are you with me? The car burns, the diploma burns. Everything burns, the only thing that passes untouched is what? The character. Now Christ never said don’t go to school, don’t get an education, never said that. Here’s what He said what shall it profit a man if he gets all of that and then go straight to hell. So, the question isn’t there’s no criticism of Education, the criticism is, is that the priority number one in your life? Priority number one should be to live by the Word of God and so Jesus said and I’ll talk about this sometime during the week, when the devil tempted Him He said it is written man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word.
Let’s apply that to the message. If those disciples had lived by the Word of Christ as found in Mark 9:31, Mark 10:33 – I will rise the third day, they would have been waiting for Christ, not shocked, not surprised, waiting for Christ. They should have said, what took you so long? It’s already 10 minutes after the third day. What took you so long? But when we do not live according to God’s Word, my brothers and sisters, we may flourish in this world but there’s no entrance for us in God’s kingdom and so I ask again, why are you troubled? Why do thoughts arise in your heart or in my heart? The answer is, we must live by the Word of God. What does God say about any area of our lives? We live by that and the anxiety diminishes. The anxiety vanishes.
Jesus says peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you not as the world giveth. So, there are two kinds of peace in this world: the peace of God, the peace of the world. Jesus says I give you My peace not the peace of the world, then He says let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
My brothers and sisters, I appeal to you from my heart, the answer to any question you have is found in complying with the Word of God.
- The Word of God is life. I said that before
- The Word of God is direction
- The Word of God is light – Psalm 119 verse 105 says what – thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. What’s the Bible saying, the way to live your life, is in the light of God’s Word. Trust God, believe God and the only way to do that is to trust God’s Word
Many years ago, there was an advertisement using Casper, the Friendly Ghost. Anyone remember him? He went into a refrigerator to get a soft drink and he couldn’t pull his hand out. Well, he could pull his hand out but he had to let the drink go because the drink couldn’t come to the refrigerator. A ghost can stick his hand in and out. Well whatever ghost is. Christ wants to prove I am NOT Casper the friendly ghost. Bring Me some food 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb, and the Bible says in verse 43 of Luke chapter 24 and He took it and did eat before them. Now before them, doesn’t mean He ate first and they followed, it meant in their presence that they might see what? I am real and the more real Christ becomes to you, the less anxiety you have because you realize that the leader of your life is the owner of the universe. He is the most powerful being in the universe. He has conquered death, hell, the grave, sin and Satan, and it’s He who tells us if God be for you, who can be against you, that includes the Democrats and the Republicans.
Why do I say that before I close? Many of us we are anxious and troubled about who will win the election. I mean literally anxious and troubled. When you understand prophecy, you realize the Beast doesn’t care whether the person who passes Sunday law is a Republican or Democrat, are you with me? The Sunday law is coming, mmh, the death penalty is coming. So, those of us with an intelligent understanding of prophecy, we function at a level that is so high, we allow political bickering for others who have no understanding. Should we pray for the leaders of the world? Yes. The Bible says that, we must pray and then we leave it up to God.
I want you to make a commitment tonight to obey God’s Word. It will reduce our anxiety. To obey God’s Word is to live by faith, not by sight. Let me say again, to obey God’s Word is to live by faith, not by sight. And so tonight, I ask you as you contemplate the question: Why are you troubled? The question comes from Christ, not from me. Why do thoughts arise in your heart? The clear answer is, if we had believed God’s Word we not have been troubles as the disciples we would not have been affrighted and afraid we will not have seen the Living Christ and called Him a ghost. I want you to make a decision tonight to live by God’s Word, not by most of it, not by the parts that we like, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Let me tell you in the presence of the Living God and the recording angel, if you live that way, your life will change, your view of the world will change. What used to stress you, will stress you no more.
How many will say Father, help me to live in obedience to your Word, may I see your hand? Help me to live in obedience to your Word, would you stand with us please? Was it yesterday or the day before I asked you to take 15 minutes every day? When was it? It wasn’t today. When was it? The day before Sabbath? All right. How many of you have begun to do that? All right okay, okay. The reason why I do that is because many people make commitments in church and they forget it the moment they pull their hands down. Never make a commitment to God and then walk away and forget, you better off not making it in the sense that you’re not held responsible and accountable. When you make a commitment to God keep it. Let me ask you again and see if you want to change your mind. How many of us would say Father help me to live in obedience to your Word, can I see your hand?
Father in Heaven, we thank you so much dear God for the simplicity of your message. We thank you Father that the answers to our problems are easily found in your Word and one fundamental answer is, obey God. Father in Heaven, we thank you for the example of the disciples. Help us to learn from their mistake because if we will believe your Word and live by your Word, our anxieties, our stresses, our fears would drop dramatically. Please God put into us a love for your Word, the divine common-sense that tells us that the way you’ve chosen for us is the best way and that the way we choose is the way that leads to death because your Word says there’s a way that seemeth right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Father there’s life in obedience to your Word. We’ve raised our hands to say help us to obey. Please God, grant us that power in the person of Your Spirit who is the Spirit of Christ that He may combine His power with our effort and quickly God release your blessing into our lives that we may see the benefits of obedience. Bless every man, woman, boy and girl, every family. Take us home safely dear God and bring us back tomorrow to hear your Word again. I offer this prayer in Jesus name, and all God’s people say, amen and amen.
Before you sit, I’d like to introduce a friend of mine. This is brother Ted from Nairobi Kenya. Ted turn around and wave to my brothers and sisters. Come on say Amen for my brother. I’m very fond of his family in Nairobi, very faithful to God and Ted is doing a 1 year something internship somewhere Washington DC ok and his sisters in Ghana doing a one-year thing as well and so Ted I’m very happy to see you, God bless you and use you mightily. He preached on some church two weeks ago, the first time you have a preach can you say Amen for brother Ted.
Thank you for coming. God, bless you, I love you. Keep the speed limit. You know we pray Lord grant me traveling mercies, then we speed. That’s like washing your hands and drying it in dirt. Don’t do that. Keep the speed limit. We must obey the laws of the land so the Holy Ghost and the angels may cooperate in taking us safely to our destinations. God, bless you!