Three days after the tragic loss of Beni Johnson of Bethel Church, Bill Johnson stood up to speak an incredibly moving word. Many have taken to record his thoughts and make momentous of what amazing things he touched on. I was deeply inspired by what he said especially in the poignancy of losing his wife. He put such a brilliant perspective on things that are just too good not to share.
Today, I'm mainly going to share a couple quotes from the message with a handful of Bible verse that come to mind.
You can catch the full sermon here.
"The backslider in heart will always judges God by what He didn't do."
Disappointment will take you away fro trusting God's sovereignty and into a space of fear that He is not good and He did not do good.
(Romans 8vs28 NLT)
"And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
"Running with tenderness for who He is will always define Him by what He has said, by what He's promised, by what He's done...
... I've seen too much of His kindness to think anything other than, He is absolutely good. "
He is a God of life and of faithfulness, He has never let you down and when you think He has, you'll soon learn that He only had your best intentions at heart!
(Nahum 1vs7 NIV)
"The Lord is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.He cares for those who trust in him."
"He say's things like 'rejoice always,' 'pray without ceasing' and 'in everything give thanks.' Those verses are completely useless unless you're going to experience loss and disappointments. Nobody needs to be taught to rejoice if everything is always good. "
This is so true! We wouldn't truly experience Joy if we didn't experience pain, nor peace if there wasn't turmoil, nor love if there wasn't so much hate around us. But we are not called to join into this strife but to stand up in the goodness of God.
(1 Thessalonians 5vs16~18 NIV)
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
"The level of revelation God gives you will always be equal to the measure of mystery you're willing to live with and the inability to live with mystery is your resistance to childlikeness."
We have to surrender like a child to receive the measure of the Kingdom he has for us... This is true Humility.
(Matthew 18vs2~4 NIV)
"Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven."
"There are measures of His presence you can only find in the valley of the shadow of death...
... He gives us these opportunities to grow down, to become childlike. It's the simplicity of faith that just trusts Him no matter what."
There are times when your greatest pain access the greatest comfort.
(Psalm 34vs18 NIV)
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
"I don't want my why to ever take me away from Him."
Back to God's faithfulness ~ He has never failed you and He never will. We can't allow the limits of our human experience to doubt the eternal God.
(Isaiah 51vs12 NIV)
"I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear?"
"Is God my friend? Yes. But He was my Lord before He was my friend. My friendship with God can only go where His Lordship has already been."
This is good! This is where the fear of God comes in. Not that we are afraid, but we know our place in the Kingdom and that is under His authority.
(Isaiah 40vs22 NIV)
"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in."
"In loss, the disappointment is huge, the pain is annoying, the questions, all this stuff. But all of that pain and discomfort, I will never have in heaven. I will worship and bow down and celebrate Him for all of eternity. But I'll never have the chance to do it with pain. And I want to give Him the most priceless gift I can give Him and that is joy in loss, that is celebration in pain, that is giving up my right to understand."
This is our sacrifice of Worship. Brining our all to Him in praise despite what it is that we are experiencing.
(Romans 12vs1~2 NIV)
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
"I have to give up my right to understand to enjoy the peace that surpasses all understanding.
... Why did this happen? I don't know, He doesn't work for me, I work for Him. He never owes me an explanation. "
(Philippians 4vs7 NLT)
"Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
"Laughter with tears makes a beautiful rainbow."
I don't have a verse to match this with, but it is just a beautiful thought!
"I'm going to do the best I can to give Him an offering that costs me something. I'm going to give Him a sacrifice that I'll never have a chance to give Him again. I have one chance in this painful moment."
We only have one option in our pain if we are choosing not to walk down the path of sorrow and depression... it's to rejoice in the pain.
(Philippians 4vs4~5 NLT)
"Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon."
"There's two options in mouring. mourning will either take you into the comforter (into the presence of the Holy Spirit) or it will take you to unbelief."
(Matthew 5vs4 NLT)
"God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted."
"When we've experienced loss, answers won't fix the problem, presence will."
His presence is our resting place in all circumstances!
(Psalm 23vs4 MSG)
"Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure."
"Sorrow means grieving, mourning, lamenting. He is saying, I don't want you to mourn like those who have no hope. That gives us a clue - Biblical mourning must be enhanced with Hope or it will lead to unbelief! There's got to be something more than the hellish moment you're in right now!"
There's got to be more than the very moment you are in right now - good or bad - we all have a deep longing for this to all mean more.
(1 Thessalonians 4vs13 NLT)
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope."
"Even Jesus endured the cross for the hope He had in the joy that was set before Him!...
....you will never be overtaken by a situation if you have Hope. Because Hope is the joyful anticipation of good."
(Hebrews 12vs2 NLT)
"We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne."
"Praise without surrender is just a business deal. ..
...every part of this journey is surredner. Great faith doesn't come from striving - it comes from surrender ."
We must remember the baton of faith that we have been handed. Not to live in our time in vain but to surrender each day in living and active praise.
(Hebrews 12vs1 NIV)
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
"No one who is conscious of eternity can feel the sting of death. Eternity has already started, every believer who has had a tast of Jesus can feel the sting...
...Holiness and endurance are usually equal to my awareness of eternity."
Because God is outside of our time, we must believe that eternity is already in pace. So death holds no power, it holds no sting becuase we are victorious in Jesus.
(1 Corinthians 15vs55~57 NIV)
"O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ."
"Live aware... we're not alone and it's nto completely about us.
.... every loss and disappointment can become a seed for increase. (if it's walked through with the lord)."
Seeds actually need to die to produce their fruit. They must surrender to the soil to increase. Be aware of where you are landing - are you on the soil or on the stone?
(John 12vs24 NIV)
"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives."
"I don't need explanations from Him - I just need Him..."
...When it doesn't work out like you thought - youu give it to the one who knows you.... and the most important thing is that He will be glorified."
Just like Paul experienced each time he was in jail... He was in chains but fought for fearlessness in glorifying God.
(Ephesians 6vs19~20 NIV)
"Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."
"We don't see it the way He does. Like Mary breaking the purfume. She just wanted to give something of value to HIm. Her act of surrender imacted all of eternity."
Jesus said her actions would be spoken of for all time ~ and they have been!
(Matthew 26vs13 NIV)
"Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
And this is what I loved the most.... When Mary left Jesus's feet, She smelt just like Him. There is a remarkable transaction in giving it all to Jesus and getting all your life back from Him!
"When she left the house that day ~ she smelt like Jesus did. She gave it all to Him, but she left smelling just like He did!...
...Something happens in the transaction when I give it all to Jesus, and he says, I'm all here for you. "
(2 Corinthians 2vs14 ESV) "But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere."
I hope that you have been inspired and touched by these words. Remeber that in Jesus we have all we need and the mroe we surrender to Him, the more He has to use in a glorious reworking in our lives. It's going to counteract what we planned ~ but that's ok because He's the King and He knows best!
~ X ~