Courage for our Conflicts

Pastor Mike will be speaking on Courage for our Conflicts. He will be reading out of 2nd Corinthians 4:1-7.

And you need to recognize that God has been good to you and that even in the most trying times and the difficult times, you have been blessed in a supreme way and God has shown mercy upon us. Welcome.

This is Hope Worth Having, this is Pastor Mike Sanders, and we’re excited that you could be with us today as we are broadcasting the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. And today we’re going to be in 2 Corinthians chapter 4, and we’ll be covering verses 1 through 7 talking about courage for our conflict.

As we learn from the Apostle Paul how we can have that courage, I hope that it’ll bless you and encourage and strengthen you in your journey of faith. So let’s dive into 2nd Corinthians, chapter four, learning about Courage for Conflict.

I want you to take your Bible this morning and turn with me to 2 Corinthians chapter 4 and today I want to talk to you about courage for our conflicts. There are many conflicting and difficult times that we are dealing with but we want encourage you today with God’s Word and there are times that can periodically be tempted to be discouraged as God people.

As we serve our God, sometimes we can come to the point that we lose heart. There are conflicts on the outside and on inside we have fears. At times we are surrounded by impossibilities and threatened by apprehensions.

What are we to do in such troubling times as we endure these trials? The Scriptures tell us to consider Him, meaning Christ, who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

No one faced more battles and betrayals than the Lord Jesus Christ. No one served more faithfully than our Savior Jesus Christ. In battle after battle, Jesus Christ was victorious because of the guiding hand of The Heavenly Father.

And today you and I can count on the Lord to pour out His grace upon us and bring us through the trials and the temptations victoriously, because we have a God who certainly loves us and a god who cares about the details of our life.

As we look to our text this morning in 2 Corinthians chapter four, there are two verses I want to begin with that help us to understand the theme of this chapter, that helped us bring everything into context and to interpret every word and every verse in this chapter that we may align it according to what God would want us to understand.

In 2 Corinthians chapter four and verse one, the Bible says, therefore, since we have this ministry, as we had received mercy, we do not lose heart. Jump down to verse 16 again, the bible says therefore we do not lose heart even though our outward man is perishing yet the inward man, is being renewed day by day.

You see that phrase it is mentioned twice in this chapter and that is that we do NOT lose HEART. The point of this whole chapter is the Apostle is trying to encourage us that in the midst of our troubles, we can have courage, we could have strength, we continue to experience triumph in our life and we don’t have to be discouraged, we do not have be defeated as God’s people.

We do lose heart. So how do we experience triumph during troubling times? I just wanna give you two principles and number one, It is essential that we remember God’s mercy. It’s essential we that remember Gods mercy after the apostle starts in verse one, he says, therefore, since we have this ministry, now whenever therefore is there, you have to say why is it there?

For, why did he say that? He just taught us in chapter three about the new covenant. He taught about transition from the old covenant to the New Covenant. He taught us about this new ministry that God has given us.

It is the ministry of grace. It’s the Ministry of Forgiveness. It the the mystery of salvation that is found in Jesus Christ. For by grace are you saved through faith, that not of yourselves. It a gift of God.

Not of works lest any man should boast. You and I do not work our way to heaven, but rather through the work of Christ on the cross, we have received this New Ministry, this new covenant, it is the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So the Apostle says therefore since we have this ministry of The Gospel, since We have This ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. So again, underscore that. We received Mercy. It’s important for you to have courage, and for You to Have courage in the midst of troubling times, you need to remember God’s mercy in your life.

The call to salvation and the call to serve God is an expression of the Lord’s Mercy in you life, the Bible puts it like this, not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing of Holy Spirit.

See friends, it is the mercy of God that called you out of darkness into life it’s the mercy of God that pulled you out of sin and put you on the solid rock in Jesus Christ that you would have true salvation.

It’s The Mercy of God, that would allow you to lift a finger for God. It is the Mercy of God that will allow you to serve Him in any capacity, whether small or great. Whatever we do, it is because of the mercy of God someone once said that grace was receiving what we do not deserve.

But mercy is just the opposite. It is not receiving what we do deserve. Now I see people running around and they are protesting and there are demanding their rights and their are frustrated because they feel like they’re under the attack.

But listen to me my friends, if you would understand how merciful God is, you will not ask for your rights and you wouldn’t ask what you deserve because the truth is what will deserve is hell. We deserve to be separated from God.

We deserved to die in our sins. We deserves to the unforgiven. We deserve to deal with the punishment of our sin. But friends, because of God’s mercy, he does not give you what you deserve. And I think it would be more Christian and more biblical in your life to quit running around demanding your rights and protesting and for you to humble and for me to be humble and all of us to humble and say, God, thank you for showing me mercy.

Thank you not giving me my rights and thank You for not given me what I deserve. But thank for you showing grace to me and mercy to and love to Me. And out of that, I am motivated to serve You as a faithful servant.

Now how? How is it that I can do a better job of remembering God’s mercy in my life. Let me give you three things. Number one, change the way you look at your life, change, the outlook of your light.

You see, again, it’s this mentality. It’s the mentality, I deserve rights, I deserved this, you don’t deserve anything, friends. Every good gift comes down from above. Quit asking for what you think you deserve because you really don’ want what your deserve.

And you need to change your outlook on life and you need to recognize that God has been good to you and that even in the most trying times and the difficult times, you and I have been blessed in a supreme way and God had shown mercy upon us.

We should come to God in faith, we should to come God and trust, we to to Come to god believing and knowing that He is sovereign, that we trust Him and even when we walk the windy roads of a trying times in life that we trust that God has got this, that he is in charge, he in control and he will not fail his people.

A leading psychologist at John Hopkins University said that 70% of people with clinical depression recover quicker and more often if they are people of faith. Now why is that? because people of faith look at life different.

The Bible teaches us that we are to be a different people. We are distinct, we’re distinct. If people look your life and they think you’re just like everybody else, then you are not living a godly life.

A godley life is different, it is distinct it’s a life that stands out before the Lord Jesus Christ. The world is pessimistic, but Christians are hopeful. The word is selfish, but Christian are servants.

The World is looking out for what they want, but, Christians, are looking for others. The Word wants it all to be about them, but we, as believers, want it to about Jesus Christ. These are the things, these are attitudes that are distinct and different about the believer, and this needs to stand out.

And this is a reflection that as we look at life differently, we’ll look it according to the word of God as people of faith that we are hopeful people, not pessimistic people. That we’re people who are looking for the coming of Christ, and we our people are trusting in a savior who gave his life for us.

The second way to remember God’s mercy is to understand that your service to God is a privilege. The service, the opportunity to do something on behalf of the Lord is given to us on the basis of His mercy.

God does not have to use you. God doesn’t have have save you, God just not half to allow you opportunities. God it’s not your genie and God God is not up there waiting for you to tell him what to do.

But rather that if we can do anything for God, we are blessed beyond measure. You are bless that you could serve on behalf of God to encourage the people of God. And if you can share Christ with others, if you can pray with other, then you ought to give thanks to God for the privilege to do that.

So many people say, how can a loving God send someone to hell? and I have to tell them that I think they got the question all backwards. Let’s turn it upside down. How can a holy God send people to heaven?

That’s really what ought to shock us. How is it that this holy god who is righteous and just send anyone to Heaven? I tell you how he can do it. He does it through the work of Christ on the cross and through resurrection, that because Christ gave his life for us, this holy, righteous God and the demands that are upon all who must pay for their sins has been satisfied by Christ and Christ gave His life and paid the penalty for us so that we could have eternal life.

And that’s how a holy God sends people to heaven. Now is God mandated? Does he have to save you? Absolutely not, but he did. and today you and I should change the way we look at life and understand that God saved us to serve Him and it’s a privilege to serve him.

If we were called to save God based on our own resources there’s no doubt we would lose heart. If it was all about our sufficiency we would loose heart and Paul is saying in this text that because we have received this ministry of the gospel we do not lose heart because it was given to us by God through His mercy.

Earlier Paul told the Corinthians in chapter 7, 1 Corinthians 7 verse 25, that he was one who by the Lord’s mercy was trustworthy. Paul was not bragging on his character, but God found him to be trustworthy and placed him into the ministry.

And I want you to know that as you and I are faithful in the little things, God shows us mercy and he considers us to be trustworthy to serve him but he doesn’t have to use you but thank God he does use all of us for his glory and so we remember God’s mercy by understanding our service to God is a privilege but let me give you a third way to remember god’s mercy, and that is this don’t complain about what you don t have but rejoice in what you do have.

That’s right. You say, Pastor, why do you keep bringing up these protest issues? Because all it is, is people complaining about what they don’t have, it’s our political leaders trying to work people up emotionally and giving rhetoric that leads to nothing and changes nothing.

When really God’s people should not be a complaining people, but rather we should be rejoicing people. The world complains. God’s people rejoice. Why? Even in troubled times, pastor? Absolutely. That is why we’re different.

When you go to a funeral of an unbeliever, there’s weeping and wailing because the people have no hope. But when you go the funeral a believer, there is joy. Oh yes, there’s tears, but there is joyful tears because we’ll certainly miss them.

But we’re so glad that God has promoted them to heaven. And we know that one day we will be reunited together with them and we will be with him forever and ever. This is what stands out. God’s people do not complain about their troubles.

God people don’t complain about the trials. God’s people do not complain about the government. We rejoice that God mercy has been good to us. We rejoiced that god has blessed us beyond measure. We rejoice that even though we walk through trying times that our savior has not left us, he has forsaken us but he is with us every step of the way.

I think one of great examples of a rejoicing Christian is Helen Keller. Helen Keller was blind, Helen Keller was deaf, and she had many handicaps. And despite her handicap, Helen Keller was a grateful person.

She was not only grateful, but she devoted her life to assisting those who were deaf and blind. and she toured the world to promote the life of assisting the deaf and the blind. And she promoted the education of people who were disabled and handicapped.

And I want you to listen to the words of Helen Keller. She said, for three things, and I quote, three fangs I thank God every day of my life. She says, I think God that he has given me the knowledge of his work.

I give deep thanks that God has set in my darkness the lamp of faith. And she went on to say I gave deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to. A life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.

End of quote. Now Helen Keller could have complained that God was unfair to her. She could have said, I don’t deserve this and I demand my rights. But she, even in the midst of her handicaps, gave joy and thanksgiving to God.

How much more for us who are healthy, how much more, for, us, who can see, How Much More for Us who Can Hear, How More For Us that we can wake up this morning and we can breathe life how much more for us that you and I are blessed beyond measure and we do not face some of the trying things that Helen Keller face my friends if you want to remember God’s mercy stop the complaining and start the rejoicing I want us to learn how it is that we can gain courage in the midst of our conflicts and if your taking notes I said number one you must remember for God’s mercy, but number two, you must maintain and grow your integrity.

You must maintaining and growing your integrity even in the midst of conflict. Because friends, it’s not so much what’s going on around me that matters as much as what is going within me. What matters most is what God is doing in my heart, how God changing me, it is not important that God change my circumstances as much as it is that God changed my heart.

It’s not so much important that the world become more like me, but that I would become more Jesus Christ in my life. That God would do something supernatural in me. That he would awaken my hear, that he would revive my heard, that He would renew my spirit and that I will be more in tune with Jesus Christ as a result of this season and as a result of what God is doing within me.

That’s why I say to you this morning that in order to have courage, you need to maintain and grow your integrity. We come to verse two of chapter four, and the scripture says, the apostle is speaking after teaching us that we do not lose heart, he says we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God, but even if our gospel is veiled, it is veil to those who are perishing, whose minds the God of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of gospel of glory of Christ, who is the image of god, should shine on them.” That is a loaded set of verses, But let me help you understand those set of verses relating to our integrity.

The apostle is reminding the Corinthians that he refused to use underhanded methods to try to get them to make decisions or responses to him that he wanted. And we must remember that the apostle is emphasizing that he is a man and his mission team are people of integrity and character.

and even though they walk through this time of conflict and this of trouble, that they will continue to maintain their integrity no matter what false accusations are made about them, no what discrediting attempts are make, no no wonder what mischaracterizations are said about their ministry, but rather they are committed to honoring God and doing what is right.

each of us as believers would make a deeper and longer in lasting impact on others if we would maintain and we would grow our integrity. Jump back to verse 2. Notice commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

And here is what Paul is teaching us that he walks integrity before others and also before God, that He lives integrity before others and he lives integrity before God. Now he lays out for us some steps to help us to maintain and to grow our integrity.

If you’re taking notes you want to write this down, but number one is how do I maintain in grow my integrity? I renounce dishonesty. I renounced dishonicity. Did you see that in verse 2 right at the outset?

We have renouncing the hidden things of shame. These things that are done in secret, these things that are done behind the scenes that are dishonest and that are trying to orchestrate and trying to bring about a certain outcome that these false apostles would want and these falls leaders would want and this false believers would want to try to manipulate the believers by operating in dishonesty behind the scene.

What we are called to do is to speak with integrity, and that as people observe our lives, they see that integrity. And we speak our words, and we spoke with our life. Again, we go back, and notice that he says in verse two, that we have renounced the hidden things of shame.

We jump down, and noticed that that says that we are commending ourselves to every man’s conscience. Here’s what I want you to know, that every man every person is watching your life they are looking at your life you’re the only Bible that they see and here it is are you operating dishonestly do you have ulterior motives are you trying to use shenanigans to get people to do something that is not honorable to God are are walking down a path and living a life that is out of sync with the gospel of Jesus Christ, it should be our desire to live our lives in sync the message that God has given us, and the ministry of the Gospel that He has given to us.

It is not our job to contradict the Gospels. So when you’re posting on Facebook, are you using language that contradicts the gospel Jesus of Christ? Are you presenting an attitude of fear that conflicts with the gospel of faith?

Are you presenting yourself as someone who is living in contradiction to the Word of God? No, listen friends, we are called to be an example of what we proclaim. We are ambassadors and we represent our Savior and We represent His message of forgiveness and grace and we Represent a heavenly Father who loves us and sent His only begotten Son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life renounce dishonesty in your life and choose and strive to live your in actions and in words that are in sync with the message of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

How do I maintain and grow my integrity? Refuse, number two, refuse to manipulate. Now, manipulating people seems to be the favorite tactic of so many. And here the Apostle reminds us that this is how many operated, and look at verse 2 at the beginning, we have renounced the hitting things of shame, not walking in craftiness.

This is the idea of trying to manipulate people through different carnal enticements. The Apostle said in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 verse 1, When I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech and wisdom, meaning the wisdom of the world, but he spoke the truth of god without fear of man.

He spoke, the Truth of, God not trying to manipulate others, but believing that the power of God would do its work. That’s why he would say in Romans 1 16, I’m not ashamed of the gospel for is the Power of God unto salvation.

And you see, friends, we don’t have to retreat from the gospel. We don’t have to retreat from the truth of God. We do not have to back down from what we believe. We believe in a powerful gospel that transforms lives and changes people’s hearts.

We believe that a gospel that can save people from their sins. And so we don t have to have the razzle dazzle. We don d have to have the entertainment. We don have to be crafty and manipulating in how we operate in the world and how we operate within the church and how We conduct our services and live our lives and How we use certain words so that we might manipulate others know my friends let God’s Word do its great work in The hearts of people let the Spirit of God accomplish its mighty work of drawing people to Christ and bringing them to true salvation how is it that we can maintain and grow our integrity we renounce dishonesty we refuse to manipulate others and re -reject the twisting of God’s Word.

Again, look at the text again. We’re in verse 2. He says, we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the Word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth, committing ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of god.

Not handling, nor We’re handling the Word of God deceitfully. So many handle God’s Word deceitful. This is the sacred Word from Genesis to Revelation. Every word, every punctuation mark, every part of the Bible is inerrant, infallible.

It comes from God. It is God -breathed. It’s given to you and I. There is not anything to be added to it. There’s not any thing to taken away from it But it is the precious truth of God’s Word. And any person who tries to add to this Bible, the Bible tells us they are to be cursed.

Any person that tries take away from this bible, the bible says they’re to curse. And this is why your antennas have to up church. This is you have be alert because everybody that’s teaching on the internet is not teaching the word of god.

Many are deceitful in handling the word of God. They are mishandling God’s word and they are telling you that they received a new revelation. They’re telling that God spoke to them on the back of a billboard or that, God, spoke them on a grilled cheese sandwich.

I cannot believe that God people are so foolish and deceitfull and naive that you would believe that god would choose a grill cheese sandwich to talk to you. Now friends, you gotta be smarter than that.

If you want to hear from God, open the Word of God. You have all that He has said and needs to say. In the word of god, you have the full revelation of Jesus Christ. Do not fall into the superstitions of religions and the mysterious of paganism and trying to find what did God say to me?

Someone says to my, well, I’m trying to figure out what God’s will is. If want know what god’s is, is open the Bible, obey what God has already revealed to us, and you will then know the will of God because he has revealed his will within his word, my friends, do not buy into these people who’ve tried to manipulate the scriptures to back up their crazy ideas and their fanatical religion.

religion. The Apostle Paul was communicating to the Corinthians several reasons why they should not be discouraged or not lose heart. It’s easy when the events of life overwhelm us and they literally sometimes overcome us.

And we’re ready to throw in the towel and give up, but God wants you to know it’s too soon to quit And to not be discouraged and that we will reap what we sow and to stay faithful for him I’m so glad that you had the opportunity to hear this message.

I hope it was a blessing This is pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.

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