Facing The Impossible

How An Unwavering Faith Will Help You In The Face Of Adversity.

Tim Lundy
Mar 8, 2020    44m
Have you ever felt like you have a problem that is impossible to overcome? Daniel did, and his reaction in the face of adversity was to make a plan and turn to God in prayer. His faith and trust in God can serve as a guide to help you overcome the overwhelming obstacles in your life as well. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: 00:01 Well, let me say good morning to those who are watching online, I think we have a few more watching online this week than we normally do with it, the circumstances being what they are. And it's good for me to be back, just on a personal note, I appreciate your prayers over the last couple of weeks of just finding out first that my mom's health had declined so rapidly. I was thankful, though, I was able to fly out and immediately be able to be with her the last couple of days, my brother and I were literally holding her hand with her as she passed into eternity. And so we're thankful for your prayers. We know where she is, we know that she is enjoying the life, that we long for one day. And so I just appreciate, we certainly grieve anytime you lose a parent, you do, but we are those who do not grieve without hope, we are ones that have hope because of what Christ has done.

Tim Lundy: 00:56 I'm thankful for Chip jumping in, I watched, I worshipped with you online last week. And so I watched it, and engaged with it, what a great message, what a great time with that. And then I was glad to be able to get back to the Bay area while they're still flying planes with it, I got on the plane and my allergies, when I go back to the South, now my allergies kind of go crazy, it makes me sneeze. And literally, I sat down on the plane and I start sneezing for my allergies, and everyone on the flight turns and looks at me. And I'm like, I promise, I don't think it is coronavirus with it.

Tim Lundy: 01:30 But we're in a strange time right now, and I want to encourage you, and I'm thankful to be here to be able to worship together in it. And as you approach this within a church, within a city, people are wired in a lot of different ways. And for some of us, and maybe it's you here that you look at it, and it's almost dismissive that it doesn't feel like that big a deal. Others, it's very fearful, you don't know what it'll mean and the impact of it. And here's the reality, we don't know, we don't know either way. We want to be wise, and so as a church, we are monitoring what the CDC, what the local health officials, say in that. And our desire would continue to be able to worship together, but we'll monitor it. And I'd encourage you, make sure you monitor the church website, as we update. There may be events during the week that we find we have to start pulling back from. There may be the day that we look up, and we go, it's not wise to worship here together. In which case, we will all be online together, we have that capability for you to worship, worship as a family. And we'll be looking for ways, okay, if that's what God's brought, how do we make the most of it? I would encourage you, it may force us to stretch in some ways on how we do worship, how we do life, how we do church. The key is we still need church, we still need each other, we still need to worship God and still need to look to him.

Tim Lundy: 03:01 And I would encourage you as much as anything, if you look throughout church history, sometimes when the worst crisis, sometimes even when an epidemic would come, it was when the church had its greatest witness and influence. Because of instead of responding by fear, the church stepped into it and said, how do we love and minister to others? Because we know who controls our souls? We know, the God we were just singing about, that he's in control, and we can look to him in that. And so I'd encourage you, no matter how this goes, and we really don't. Can we be beacons of light and hope right now, in a culture that frankly is terrified. Yeah. Let's use that opportunity, and then when people ask us, well, aren't you scared of coronavirus? We can tell them, yeah, there's a lot fearful about it, but I have a God who controls my destiny, I have a savior who died for my soul. And he's called me to love and move into places of need, instead of pulling back from that.

Tim Lundy: 04:13 So I encourage you, please do monitor. We might, having built the churches school here, there's some challenges of that, that we want to make sure we're protecting this campus as much as we can. But if anything, this is the time for the church to be the church. And to that end, let's just pray right now, Father, we thank you for the security we have at you. We thank you that you control every one of our days. We thank you that you are a God of goodness and mercy. Lord, we do pray for this just COVID-19, and the impact it's having worldwide. We pray for those who are sick. We pray for China. We pray for Italy. We pray for countries that are being devastated by it. Lord, we pray for our country, and we pray for our region. We pray for protection, we recognize that we are not in control, and that's why we desperately need you. Lord, I pray, could we be your church in this time? Could we be people of hope, no matter what we're facing, because we have you. Could you use even this for your glory? Could you use this to bring people in the Bay area to you? So Father, we lift this before you, we pray these things in your name, thankful that you are in control, you are God and we are not. We pray this in Christ' name. Amen.

Tim Lundy: 05:41 Well, if you've got your Bibles, turn to Daniel chapter 2. If you don't have a Bible, you need one, so go ahead and grab the blue one in front of you, just turn to page 875, 875-876, right in there. As we're looking at, and I think it's an appropriate passage for us, an appropriate topic. You know, when we laid this out, I didn't know what we'd be facing at this time. But you look at the life of a guy like Daniel, whose world suddenly is turned upside down. And we looked at it a couple of weeks ago, Daniel, who was in Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar, and Babylon, and the army comes, they devastate his country, they devastate his Homeland, they grab a group of them, especially the young Nobles. They take them to Babylon to train them, to reprogram them, to reorient them to the Babylonian, religion and way of life.

Tim Lundy: 06:28 Daniel, even as a 14, 15 year old takes a stand that he knows what he believes. And to the best of his ability, he can't control everything in life, but to the best of his ability, he said these things I control, I'm going to be faithful to my God. And we'll see in this story, over every week, how God, over the course of his life, uses this young man and his friends to take a stand and to have influence without compromising his life in it. In Daniel chapter 2, Daniel, who's already in a hard situation, I mean, he's an exile in another country. His life goes from hard to impossible, literally overnight, literally overnight. And you can see in your notes that our lives at times, you know, it could be a hard season. I don't know if you faced it when you're going through a hard time? Maybe it's a hard time of sickness, and then suddenly you get a worst diagnosis. Maybe it's a hard time in your marriage, and suddenly it's impossible. Or financially it's hard, and then it becomes impossible. We hit these walls, we hit these barriers.

Tim Lundy: 07:32 For Daniel, it literally is a life or death impossible situation, because Nebuchadnezzar who's the ruler of Babylon. This mighty ruler, he's brilliant in some ways, brilliant military leader, brilliant organization, brilliant builder, he's made Babylon the kingdom that rivals all around the world, they all looked to Babylon in it. But he's a bit of a narcissist, he makes split decisions, he does really stupid things at times with it as well. I don't know if you can relate to any leaders in the world today that might look like this in it. And in that he has a bad night. Nebuchadnezzar has a dream one night, and he realizes this dream is trying to tell him something. And so normally the case in point, because he has all these wise men and enchanters, divination, they had all forms of occult and spiritualism in order to help him tell the future or understand what was going on.

Tim Lundy: 08:29 The problem is he doesn't trust them anymore, and so he calls him in and he says, hey guys, I had a dream and I want the interpretation. They say, great king, tell us the dream and we'll interpret it. And then he's looking at them going, well, how do I know if they're really interpreting it, how do I know they're not just making it up on the spot? So he said, no, we got a new way of doing it, you're going to tell me the dream first, and then you're going to interpret it. Which is kind of smart and brilliant in its own way, because if you guys really can tell the future, and you guys really are in contact with the spiritual world and all that, go ahead and tell me the dream, tell me the dream and then interpret it. And they look at him, and one of them literally says, oh, King, it would take a God coming from the heavens to do that. And he loses his temper, and he literally threatens him. He says, if you don't, every one of the wise men, every one of the enchanters, every one of the diviners, everyone that's in this whole class of people that I have on the payroll, he doesn't fire them, he says, I'm going to have you literally ripped from limb to limb, I'm going to rip your arms off, all of you.

Tim Lundy: 09:43 Now, here's the problem, Daniel's one of the wise men, Daniels in this classification. And at this stage again, he's probably about 18, 19 years old. I mean, faithful to God, doing the right thing in a hard situation. And overnight the Kings declared your life is threatened, and you're about to be killed for something that's really not your fault. In a moment, life goes from hard to impossible. Some of you right now, maybe your life's not threatened, but it feels impossible, you can't figure out what God is doing, you can't figure out what's going on.

Tim Lundy: 10:28 As I started thinking about it, you know, I think when life starts getting harder like this, we have some common responses we do. In fact, I put it in your notes, just common responses. Some of them are common to me, common to us, with that. It's pretty simple, four W's I think are common responses.

Tim Lundy: 10:41 This is my usual response, just work harder, I can do it. Life gets harder, I'll work harder. There's more to do, I'll do it. Just dive in, keep working, get up earlier, work later, put your shoulder into it, keep doing it, keep doing it, keep doing it until finally you hit that wall and you go, I don't know keep doing this. And you hit either burnout, or kind of a scary point, especially if you're a person who's used to working harder and you kind of hit the wall on it. You go, okay, I don't know if I'm up to this. And you hit it, and you don't know if you're going to be able to take that next step.

Tim Lundy: 11:22 Other common responses, worry constantly. This is where you wake up in the night, can I do this? Can I get through this? When you slow down long enough, and you allow yourself to think a little bit, and the worry starts coming in and it starts gnawing at you, and we get afraid. And I'll tell you one of the things that Jesus warns about, so strongly, in Matthew 6 and other places, is worry is a thief guys. Worry does not help a situation. As I look at it right now, I'm thankful that we have authorities, I'm thankful for the medical personnel, I'm thankful for the people that are speaking. And I think we need to be wise people, I think we need to be diligent as we face something like COVID-19, but honestly worry will not help us. I love the words of Corrie ten Boom, a woman who lost her family in the concentration camps to the hands of the Nazis. But she had such a bright presence her whole life, and she says this phrase, I love it. She says, "Worry doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but it empties today of its strength." Worry won't make tomorrow any better, but he can make today worse.

Tim Lundy: 12:42 The third common response, we whine more, this is not fair. And I don't like whining, I really don't. I mean, it kind of grates me, complaining with it. That's why I'm always thankful when I read through parts of the Old Testament, when God really hates complaining, especially with his children when they're going through the wilderness. Do you remember one time they're going through the wilderness, and the children of Israel start complaining about the food, and they hate the food. Why are we eating this? And God drops snakes down, literally serpents everywhere. And now he's doing a bigger plan, but part of me, I just, I love the response of it. The times, you know, when we're sitting at the dinner table and the kids are all there, you ever had this, when they start complaining about the food? Why are we having this? I hate that. I mean, part of me in my flesh, I want to go Old Testament on them and throw a snake out, just like, boom, deal with that. I bet you won't complain anymore about the food. God had higher purposes than me, mine's just literally for shock effect. I hate complaining, and yet when life gets hard enough, I may not complain out loud, but I complain a lot inside. I find myself whining more, and kind of, come on God, that feeling it's not fair. It kind of starts bleeding out more than you realize.

Tim Lundy: 14:12 The final responses is we wilt. You can just wilt under the pressure. I don't care how strong you are, you just want to disappear, you just want to go away, you just want to turtle. What does a turtle do under pressure? Just pop it all in, hide in the shell, and maybe the world will go away.

Tim Lundy: 14:33 And when you hit hard enough circumstances, man, you can do all four things in the same day. You can find yourself working as hard as you want, but worrying all the time, and whining a little bit, and then just disappearing. And pulling back, maybe from the people that you love, or pulling back from the circumstances, or pulling back in it. This is common to us, this is why I think it's always important that we study real people. This Is what I love about the Bible, the Bible shows us what did real people do in real circumstances?

Tim Lundy: 15:11 Now Daniel's circumstances are exceptional, I said that two weeks ago, and continue to remind you. The miracles in this book, they're exceptional. I'm not teaching this book, that man, if you just do it exactly like this, you'll get those miracles too. God doesn't work that way, he's still a God of miracles. In a room like this there's people that go, man, I saw God show up in miraculous ways in it. But in it, I can learn from Daniel's example. I may not be able to control the miraculous response, that's up to God, but I can't control, do I respond like he does? Do I respond like Daniel does in this circumstance?

Tim Lundy: 15:46 And if you look at this, I want us to look, there's seven things that stand out to me of how Daniel responds, let's read together, starting in verse 13. In verse 13. "So the decree went out, and the wise men were about to be killed; and they sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them. Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. He declared to Arioch, the king’s captain, “Why is the decree of the king so urgent?” Then Arioch made the matter known to Daniel. And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king."

Tim Lundy: 16:31 Look at the first thing that Daniel does, and I think it's good for us, slow down and assess the situation, slow down. I love that they come and they go, hey, we're about to kill everybody, and Daniel, this 18 year old, replies with wisdom and discretion, that is literally what scripture says about him. I wish that was said about me when I was 18. And he looks at him and he says why is this so urgent? I mean, if you really want the interpretation, why are you shutting your window for this to happen in it? And I think this is a good caution for us, a lot of times when we're in a hard situation, we so want to do something about it. We so want to relieve the pressure. We so immediately default to, well, I've got to do something, so I'm going to do it right now. That we take bad situations and we make them worse. Sometimes we create the impossible, because of the urgency we brought to it. That if you have the opportunity, and you don't always have it, but where you have it, can you stop and go, okay, what is God doing here? Okay, what do we need to do before we try to do anything with that?

Tim Lundy: 17:46 Then secondly, look what he does, these couple of verses, there's a lot in these two verses of it. Verse 17, "Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions." These three guys, remember they were with him in it. For some reason, these three, we always remember Daniel by his Hebrew name, we remember the other three by their Babylonian names, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. But Hananiah, and Mishael, and Azariah, "And told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon."

Tim Lundy: 18:25 Now, several things here. Look at the first thing with it, gather the support of godly friends. Gather the support of godly friends. So you find yourself in a impossible situation, you stop and assess it, and notice he doesn't do it alone. He doesn't go, I've got to go figure this out, this is my issue in that. He calls them, and I think one of the reasons Daniel has such a sustained ministry, sustained impact and influence in this time in his life, is he wasn't there alone. I think one of the greatest gifts to Daniel in that culture was, man, he had three other guys, they did together. And they didn't wait until the impossible time to develop this kind of relationship, they already had developed that kind of deep friendship, that deep companionship, where they understood each other and they could face this together. And I say this to you, if you're right now in a hard, impossible situation, don't pull back from the godly people around you. One of the temptations of the enemy, as we get under the pressure, as we want to turtle, we start pulling back from the very people we need speaking into our life encouraging us, walking through it.

Tim Lundy: 19:38 Now here's the other side of it I'd say, if you're not in that hard circumstance, now's the time that you're developing those kinds of relationships. That's why in a church, especially a church, this size, we always encouraging you, you need to be in a small group, you need to be in a class, you need to be with people who know you. You can't experience what I'm talking about in a room this size full of people, you've got to have those people that can speak into your life, that share life with you.

Tim Lundy: 20:02 A few years ago, Wired magazine, they just did a profile. The reporter was, initially, he started just profiling alcoholics anonymous. And the question was, after all of these years, of all the things that we have, of all the treatment programs out there, of all the things we understand about physiology, about psychology, all the strides that we've made, they still have found nothing more effective in treating addiction than a 12 step program that you go through with a group of people that you're close with. And the reporter was like, why is that? What is the power of that, and started studying other groups. [inaudible] back in 1905, there was a doctor who was treating tuberculosis, he was the first to get patients together. And he thought it was just be a quick way for them to be able to get medical information, and tell them about their disease. But he found the power of it, was they shared it together, they shared life together, there was an emotional support. They track those who've experienced PTSD, especially soldiers that have come home. And it's fascinating, soldiers that did personal therapy with the doctors saw about a 31% increase of improvement with their symptoms. Ones that were part of a group and shared it together, saw an 88% increase. And the writer of this article, it was in Wired, it wasn't a Christian article, he said, there's power in groups together, especially when there's shared belief, shared emotion, shared experience. At the end of the article though said, the opposite is true as well. If you surround yourself with people who are doing the wrong habits, if you're trying to break addiction and you hang out with people who still practice those things, invariably they pull you back into it.

Tim Lundy: 21:50 And I say this, because, guys, life is hard. Impossible circumstances are going to keep coming, part of it, God uses in our life. If you don't have a few people in your life, godly people, in your life, people that will encourage you in the right response, people that encourage you to look back to him, people who will share this with you, you're not going to make it. That's just how we're wired, that's how he designed it, he designed it that we need those relationships. And the power that you see in Daniel speaks to us as well. Man, who are those people in your life? And if you're in it right now, how are you drawing them in.

Tim Lundy: 22:36 The second thing you see he does when they get together, they go to God in prayer. They go to God together in prayer. They come together and he says, hey, we've got to pray, we've got to look to God in this, this is impossible, so we need to go to God. And using the circumstance, and I'd encourage you, man, if you go through a hard time, make prayer your first response. If you go through a circumstance, make prayer the immediate response with that, of drawing to God.

Tim Lundy: 23:07 I was reading about a nun who, she lived in a convent, everybody was gone for a long weekend. She was there, 85 years old, she went into the elevator and the power shut down. She was stuck in the elevator for four nights. Now, fortunately, she had taken with her, she was carrying some celery sticks, and a jar of water, and a few cough drops, so that sustained her. But when they came to her, and they said, you're okay? She was absolutely at peace, and she even said to them, she said, you know, I felt like lately God's been prompting me I needed to take a prayer retreat, and so this was my opportunity. And they said, seriously? And I love the line that she said to them, you know, when it first shut down and I'm there in the dark, she said, I had a choice, panic or pray. I just decided to pray, and it was amazing how God showed up.

Tim Lundy: 24:10 In doing that, look at the third thing, when you go to God in prayer in it, recognize your limitations. Recognize your limitations. Daniel gets his buddies together, notice what they don't do, they don't immediately go, okay, we need a game plan, we've got to come up, we can solve this dream thing. Or we got to pitch something else to Nebuchadnezzar, come on, what can we pitch? What can we do? Maybe if we convince him, and maybe if we do that? They just immediately stop and they go, we can't do this, this really is impossible. And I think that's one of the keys, when you come to God and you're in a hard situation, there's a value of just releasing and going, I can't do this, this is beyond me. And allowing yourself to go there, we don't like that, we feel so vulnerable in it.

Tim Lundy: 25:03 There's a book written by Rebecca Solnit called The Field Guide To Getting Lost, and in it, she interviews different people. One person she interviews is a friend of her, Sally, who works with the search and rescue team in the Rocky Mountains. So many people that go hiking, they get lost in it. And as Sally described it, listen to her words on it. Because Sally says one of the most important things, the key to survival often hinges on one thing, knowing and admitting that you're lost. That's why kids are found so much more often than adults. Kids don't stray as far, they usually curl up in a sheltered place and wait for their rescuers. Unlike many adults who get lost in the Rockies, kids don't desperately try to save themselves, instead, they aren't afraid to stop and admit that they need help.

Tim Lundy: 26:00 And sometimes I think God puts us in the impossible, and lets it come into our life, to force us to a place that we have to stop and admit that we need him, we need his help. And as we do that, notice when Daniel had them pray, he said, let's pray to God and ask for his help, and specifically his mercy. His mercy, and that's interesting to me because notice he doesn't pray. He doesn't go to God and go, Hey God, it's not fair that I'm here to begin with. Hey God, I got a raw deal in life. Hey God, I'm living in this foreign country with these pagan people, I'm trying to do the right thing, I've been living a godly life. Hey, I think you owe me something here, God. Come on, God, I'm doing right, so let's deliver. There's no attitude like that. He literally goes to God and goes, if you're going to do anything, it's because you're merciful to me God. I don't deserve this, I can't do this, I don't know how to come up with dreams, so would you be merciful on me?

Tim Lundy: 27:09 Do you pray for God's mercy in your real life, in your daily life? God, would you help me in this relationship? I don't deserve it, maybe I've been faithful in it, maybe I'm doing the right thing. I'm not asking you because you owe me, I'm asking you because I need you. I'm asking you in my work. I'm asking you in my finances. Craig Larson talks about a woman in his church, that she's a website architect. And she worked for a really large bank, and they put her in charge of this huge project, she was really excited about it. Huge project, they said, you've got six months. Our website does not work well with people with disabilities, and so we need total overhaul, and you've got to add that. And as she dove into it, though, she realized it was almost an impossible task. She started calling around the country talking to different technicians, and they said, how long do you have, six months? One of them laughed and said, you can't do that in a year, they're setting you up to fail. She talked to someone else, and they kind of dove into her background, her expertise. And the guy looked at her and just said, I'll be honest with you, you're not qualified to do this, this is so beyond you. And she realized what she thought was a great opportunity, now she's probably going to be fired in six months.

Tim Lundy: 28:31 Do you know what she did? She cried a little bit, and then she made a determination, I'm going to pray over every aspect of this. So every day before she went in with her team of developers, literally she said, I prayed over every line of code, I prayed over every webpage, I prayed over every development that we were doing with it. Even before I'd go in and tell him what we were trying to do, I just started praying, God, you're going to have to do something here, because I can't do this, we can't do this. And for six months, she said, I've never been on a prayer journey like this, where for six months, I'm praying over code, I'm praying over lines, I'm praying over websites, I'm praying over my team. And over and over again, God would just show up, just enough, that six months later they unveiled it with 80 new web pages that integrated with the site, and it was flawless. And even she stepped back from it and said, I can't lead in this. I was not qualified to do this, but God worked through it.

Tim Lundy: 29:37 Guys, do we pray like that? Do we believe God has mercy on our work, and cares about our lives, and cares about the impact that we have? And then as we do that and God shows up, what's our response? Look at Daniel's response, read with me, starting in verse 19, "Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.” These verses, from verse 20 through 23, that might be a good passage of scripture for all us to read during this time. During a time where you're dealing with something like coronavirus, to go God is wise and he's in control. During an election season where it says, God actually puts people on throne and he takes them off, he actually knows what he's doing in the process. To be the people of peace instead of the people of fear.

Tim Lundy: 31:11 Here's the key thing that Daniel does in it, and you can see in the point with it, praise him for his wisdom and his sovereignty, that's the two things in this prayer. He says, God, you're wise, you know what you're doing, so I'm going to praise you for it. He says, God, you're sovereign, you're in control, you have a plan and you're executing. And in that plan, God's going to use this to take Daniel from an impossible situation, to one of the greatest leaders in the land when it's recognized. Because as he declares to him, he says, I have the interpretation of the dream. And the king's guard grabs him, and they take him in, and they take him in to Nebuchadnezzar. And look at what he does in this, and I think this is important for us as well. Verse 25, "Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: “I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation.” 26The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?”.

Tim Lundy: 32:16 And Daniel answered the King, (look how he draws it out here) “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked." He says, all those guys you have on the payroll, all your magicians, all your astrologers, all the guys that are enchanters, all of them that have given himself to all these kind of occultic forms that you use to figure out the future. None of them can do it, let's just make sure we're clear on that. But then notice in that moment, instead of saying, I can do it though. Look who he gives the credit to, look at the very next verse, "But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed."

Tim Lundy: 33:13 And I love that response, and I think it's the point for us, when you're in these circumstances, take
every opportunity to point others to him. Guys, it's never been about us, it wasn't about us. It wasn't about Daniel. He looks at him, and here's your best opportunity before the leader of the free world, to really build your resume, to really point out how great you are. And Daniel looks at him and he goes, Hey, nobody's been able to do this. Do you know why this was done? Because there's a God in heaven. There's a God in heaven who's in control. There's a God in heaven that's different than any God you've dealt with before. And he knows what's going on no matter what you're going through, use it as the opportunity to point people to your God, use it as the opportunity to point to what he's doing in your life. Whether it's the miracle, or the hard time, it's one of your greatest opportunities to show people who your life is about, and who you serve, and who he is.

Tim Lundy: 34:21 And then Daniel looks at him and he says, let me tell you the dream. And we won't go through the whole passage. Let me tell you what the dream was about though, because I do think it speaks to us, and it speaks in it. It's a dream about world events, and what was about to happen. He said, king, you dreamed of this statue. And can you imagine Nebuchadnezzar's face when he starts telling him exactly what he dreamed. He's like, yes, it was a statue. And the head was gold, and then the shoulders were silver, and then it was bronze, and then it was iron. And then down at the very bottom, the irons mixed with clay a little bit. He says, that is the dream. And he says, this is about the kingdoms that are coming. And if you study the Book of Daniel, especially the second half of the book, there's all these amazing prophecies that really do lay out world history as it came after that time. And this is one of the first of them as he speaks about it, he says, hey, these are the empires of the world, and the head that's gold, that's you. And Nebuchadnezzar likes that, Ooh, I like that, I'm the gold head, yes. And it's the Babylonian empire. And then there's going to be an empire that comes right after it, the silver, right here in the chest with the arms, it's the Mito Persian Empire. And then there's a bronze that comes, that's the Greek Empire that would come. And then finally the fourth empire that'll come out is iron, the Roman Empire. But as the Roman empire extends all the way, and if you especially know about the end of the Roman empire, as strong as it was, because it got bigger, it was mixed. There was weakness in it, there was clay and iron. And then he said that statue's there, and suddenly this stone comes, this rock like a mountain, a stone not formed by human hands. And the stone came and it smashed it right there at the iron, at the legs, smashed it at the Roman empire. That one's going to come, establishing a kingdom that's greater than any of these kingdoms of the world.

Tim Lundy: 36:25 Now, what does the stone represent? It's Christ, he came, he's the cornerstone, he's the greater stone. He's the one who will come, during the Roman empire by the way, and establish his kingdom that's greater than any other. Guys in this, just this snapshot, just grab this for a moment. Not only does God give Daniel this miracle that he's able to interpret for the King, and the King makes him one of the greatest rulers over all of Babylon. Not only the miracle there, but it gives us the miracle that we can go back in time and go, man, this was predicted and it's laid out. And in the prediction, notice the key point of the prediction, God wins, God's in control. And the takeaway for us then is, we can come out of it in every season or every situation, guys, God is ultimately in control. God is ultimately in control, and we have to rest in that, and we have to believe it, even in the impossible.

Tim Lundy: 37:30 You know, a lot of times, and I used to teach it, maybe you've heard it taught, that God will never give you more than you can bear. I actually don't believe that's true, and the reason I don't, is I read through the Bible. Over and over again, he gives people more than I can bear. I mean, you take Moses, he's got 3 million people, he's just led them out of Egypt, and suddenly he comes to a Red Sea and he's trapped. That's more than he can bear, It's impossible. You take a guy like Elisha, who looked out, and the army's all the way around his house, and they're all there to kill him. And all it is, is Elisha and his servant, that's more than he can bear. Take a teenage boy like David and he's standing in front of a giant, and he's supposed to kill a 10 foot tall, giant who's an expert at field battle. It's more than he can bear. You take Gideon, who's trying to lead an army, and God keeps weeding out his army to where he's down to 300 men against an army of a hundred thousand. Just do the math, God constantly puts us in places that's more than we can bear. Here's the key though, in all of this, he'll put us in situations that are more than we can bear, and you see the point here, he'll give you more than you can bear, but it's not more than he can bear. God likes it when the odds are impossible, because what's impossible for us, is never impossible for him.

Tim Lundy: 39:06 So maybe right now, you're in a situation that you go, man, it feels impossible. It's more than I can bear, I don't know what God's doing in it. I'd love to tell you if you respond exactly like Daniel, you'll get the exact same miracle. It doesn't work that way, he sovereign, remember. And the times he shows up with miracles, sometimes he answers in ways, at other times, he takes people through really hard situations. Hebrews 11, the hall of fame of faith. There's all the stories of the people that overcome, but there's also the stories of people that were martyred, the people that lived in caves, the people that sacrificed.

Tim Lundy: 39:51 In all of it though, we have an opportunity and we have a savior, and we look to him and surrender. There's a place of spiritual surrender, of coming before him and go, God, I need your mercy on my life to do whatever you're going to do. There's a young man, Jamie Aten, and he's written a book, A Walking Disaster. It's a great title because he's an expert of studying people that have been through disasters. But the title's not about that, it's about his own life. He moved down to the Mississippi coast six days before Katrina hit, and so they had to leave, and Katrina devastated the area. And part of it while he was there, he started studying people that did well through the disasters and others. And here's the thing he said, he started finding this universal thing. The people that handled it the best, especially people of faith. And he's a Christian, and he's writing about it in the Washington Post. But as a Christian, he said, it was interesting that these people that had come to a place of spiritual surrender, they recognized God's control even in the devastation. And he said, when I first came across it, I thought it was a little passive almost, like almost too simplistic.

Tim Lundy: 41:05 Until right after that time, his doctor called him and he was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. They said, it's already in your pelvis, and for the first six months of it, his oncologist would never really given much hope. He said, Jamie, you just better make sure that you have made amends with everyone in your life. God started healing him through chemotherapy, but it was hard. He describes one morning he was taking his garbage can to the street, rolling it out there, and in the cold, as the wind would come, especially his hands and feet because of the chemotherapy, it felt like blades stabbing him. He just said, enough, God, enough, are you even hearing my prayers? As he started to walk back into the house, he said, he just literally fell to his knees. And he cried out with a new prayer, he said, God, even if you don't heal me, will you take care of my wife? Will you take care of my kids? Will you bring glory to yourself out of my life? And he said, despite all of his study and all he knew about it academically, for the first time he suddenly realized, oh, this is spiritual surrender. And it's not passive, he said it was one of the most active things he had done in his life, trusting God in that moment. Jamie's still alive today, God's still using him, but he would point back to that time that no matter what God did, trusting that he's in control.

Tim Lundy: 42:56 Some of you here today, you're in the impossible, and it really may be impossible. It really may be more than you can bear, it's not more than he can bear. In the days ahead, we don't know exactly what's going to happen with this virus, with our world, it may change things drastically. He's in control. In every situation, every opportunity, look to him, trust in him, pray to him, surrender to him. Folks, we have a God who's in control and he's wise, and on top of that, he desperately loves you and wants only your best.

Tim Lundy: 43:46 Let's pray together. Father, I pray we believe that. I pray that we would trust you. I pray that we would look to you. thank you for Daniel, I just thank you for his life, that just speaks to me. Just this radical faith of this young man in a hard, desperate situation. Lord, I thank you that you have not only worked in the past, you're working in the present. And so I pray for all who are hearing this. I pray for those who are struggling with things that maybe no one else knows. I pray that you would continue to strengthen them. I pray that we'd have the courage to spiritually surrender to you, releasing it all to you, as we recognize you are wise and you are sovereign, but you're also good. And you loved us so much, you sent your son. If you loved us like that, can we not trust you now? Lord, we pray these things in Christ's name. Amen.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032