You don’t have to understand…because God does.
NOVEMBER 17, 2021
Listen, you don’t have to understand…because God does. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
If you’re sick of guilt and manipulation. And if you’re looking for an honest and thoughtful presentation of Biblical truth, you’ve come to the right place. This is Key Life with the founder of Key Life Network, Steve Brown. Keep listening for teaching that make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to the last part of the seventh chapter of Acts and the first part, the first three verses of the eighth chapter of Acts. We’re looking at what followed the death of Stephen, very, very dark time. And, yet God was preparing the greatest movement in the history of the universe that was going to follow right after the darkness. And we’re looking at some principles about what God does with a committed life. And there isn’t much more in this eighth chapter. Well, there is, but we go in a different direction for a while and then we’ll come back to Saul who was left in the eighth chapter, persecuting Christians, throwing them in prison. And even that was a part of God’s plan. And we’re going to see that as we go along, but we’re pausing here in the middle of the darkness without a whole lot of light, really downtime, bad time for the church. We’re pausing here to look at some principles that you’ve got to remember in the dark because God taught them to you in the the light. I was at the Cove this year, the Billy Graham Training Center. And I had quoted what, and I don’t even remember who said it the first time, but it’s a good statement.
Never doubt in the dark, what God taught you in the light.
And then a very good friend of mine, his name is Bill was at the Cove when I was teaching. And, there was a period where you could make comments and he stood up. And when he speaks, he says wise things. He said, I really liked that.
Never doubt in the dark, what God has taught you in the light.
But I’ve got an addition to make to that because I’ve been through a very dark time,
Never doubt in the light, what God taught you in the dark.
It’s right on. That’s true. And so, what we’re doing and the reason we’re pausing here, knowing the rest of the story in the book of Acts, which we’re going to get to in details as we go along. But as we look at this dark time, I don’t want you to doubt in your dark time or in our nation’s dark time, what God has taught us in the light. And then when you get into the light and we’re going to see that happening in the book of Acts, don’t forget what he taught you in the dark because God is the one who deals the cards. Now we saw a principle first that God has a plan and you fit in that plan. You wouldn’t have thought so with Stephen. I mean, here’s this young man with great promise and all of a sudden he’s dead and they’re standing at his grave site. What’s with that? Stephen had a part in God’s plan and it was a major one. And we’re going to see that. And then principle two, you don’t have to understand God’s plan, you just have to be obedient to it. The Christians in Jerusalem didn’t understand what God was doing. I mean, things were coming apart. It looked like, it looked like this grand vision was not going to take place. It looked like it was all coming to an end. It wasn’t. They didn’t understand, but they didn’t have to understand. They just had to do whatever came next. We forget sometimes how complicated and intricate God’s ways are. When Isaiah says that God says.
My thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways.
That’s profound, but we don’t really think so, if there’s a problem with evangelicals and I am one. I’ve been one most of my life, I believe every word of Scripture and all of the great verities of the Christian faith. I believe in miracles, the Virgin birth, physical return of Christ to earth, the physical resurrect. I could go on and on. I believe all of that. And not only do I believe it, I teach it. And not only that, not adequately, but I live it because it’s the very center of my life. And with all of that being said, you never met a more confused Christian than I am. I, you should see some of the, some of the letters I get and some of the e-mails I get. Now, I don’t get to see most of them that come to Key Life. We get thousands and there’s no way I can read all of them, but sometimes a staff person will pass a letter on to me. And this morning I read a three page letter of a woman whose life has just fallen apart. I mean, it’s very dark, has to do with her family and I can’t go into details because I hold secrets well, but you know what I told her, I told her, she wanted me to tell her what was going on, to be able to lay out a plan where she could fix it, so that the religious person would do the right thing by instructing her on how to do the right thing. And, you know what I wrote her, I said, welcome to the club. I’m as confused as you are. I don’t know why in the world all of this is happening this way. Seems to me that it shouldn’t be happening that way. And if I were a God, it wouldn’t be, but I’m not God, but let me tell you something that I do know, God’s in it, he’s in every bit of it. And he has a plan and you’re a part of that plan. You don’t have to understand God. In fact, you can’t. I’ve got, I’ve got more questions than you would believe and you would think, no, Steve, you’re a teacher. I know, but I’ll tell you as I get older, the more I love him and the less I understand him. And that’s okay because in the love that he is given me, he’s given me the gift of trust. And in that trust, I say, you’re God, I’m not, that works for me. You think about that. Amen.
You don’t have to understand because God does. Now, like that. I like that a lot. Very freeing. Thank you Steve. You ever see a Halloween pumpkin that someone forgot to throw away? It’s all shriveled and caved in, no more light inside. It’s kind of sad. Sometimes our hearts feel that way. You know, life just socks you with one thing after another. You certainly don’t feel like giving thanks. And as we approach Thanksgiving, you may be wondering how you’re supposed to do that. How do you give thanks? Well, that’s an honest question that Steve addressed in a message called The Principle of Praise. Take a listen to part of that sermon. Then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Steve.
We’re going to be looking at the principle of praise and somebody says, well whoopi. Nothing new or exciting or different about that. I’m always thanking God, I thank God every day of my life for my health and for my life, I thank God for my family, but we’ve missed the point. The principle of praise asks this question or the Bible does, what do you do when you don’t have good health? What do you do when you are facing death? What do you do when you don’t have a family? What do you do when everything you have built falls to ashes? What do you do about praising then? If you’re looking for a good title for this sermon or for this teaching from Ephesians, you could call it How to be Thankful When You’re Not, or perhaps How to be Thankful When You Have Nothing for Which to be Thankful. Somebody said, everyday the world rolls over on somebody who was just sitting on top of it. I recently read an illustration of how that works. In 1923 at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago at one table in a restaurant in that hotel sat seven men and these seven men were viewed by the whole world as being objects to emulate. They were men who together controlled more money than the entire United States Treasury. At one table, there was the president of the world’s largest utility, same table, the greatest wheat speculator in the world, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, a member of the cabinet of the president of the United States, a man known as the biggest stock trader on wall street, the president of the Bank of International Exchange, and the head of the world’s largest monopoly. Kids all over America looked up to those men, said if I could only be like them, but today, as we are able to put things into perspective, we can write the whole story. The president of the world’s largest utility lived the last days of his life on borrowed money, he died penniless. The great wheat speculator died abroad insolvent. The president of the New York Stock Exchange served a term in Sing Sing Prison. The cabinet member was pardoned from prison because he had a terminal disease and so he could go home and die with his family. A man known as the biggest stock trader on Wall Street, the president of the Bank of International Exchange and the head of the world’s largest monopoly all committed suicide. Everyday the world rolls over on somebody who was just sitting on top of it. And so, the question before the house this morning is simply this, when your heart’s broken, how do you praise God? When everything is in ashes around you, what do you do then, when the Bible says the praise God. Our text Ephesians 5:18-20, let’s read it together.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart,
And here it comes.
always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.
Now, because some of the other things that I’m going to be saying this morning, aren’t going to be accepted by everybody. Let’s check out some other Scripture verses, so that we can see that I’m not just proof texting. I Thessalonians 5:16-18
pray constantly give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Rejoice in the Lord
when you feel like it, doesn’t say that.
Rejoice in the Lord always.
And so, what’s the principle? The principle is that when you’re down and out, when nothing’s working out, when you have tremendous tragedy in your life, praise God for it.
If that just spoke to you, then please call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. And ask for the CD called The Principle of Praise. You can also e-mail your request to Steve@keylife.org. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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