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About this series
Trusting Jesus No Matter What
How to Build an Unshakeable Faith
In many cities around the world, there are buildings specifically engineered to withstand severe disasters - like hurricanes and earthquakes. In this series, Chip plays off that idea by helping us build an unshakable faith that can endure any challenge. Learn why the strength of our faith has nothing to do with our determination or resolve, but in getting an accurate view of God. Discover through various New Testament verses why we can completely trust in Jesus, no matter what comes our way.More from this series
Third question is: What is your role? He’s the head of the body, the Church. The word “head” there means He is the authority and He’s also the source. When He died, He purchased us for the Father. And by His blood we have been forgiven. And now that He doesn’t walk around in a physical body, but we are the extension, we are His body.
And notice it says He’s the firstborn from the dead. In other words, He blazed the trail and if He rose, the apostle Paul teaches us, we also shall rise. And then He’s the supremacy, He has first place in everything.
So, what He did is, yes, He is God. Yes, He has created everything. Yes, He sustains everything. But He was also human and He had to be human to die. And what He did is He came and He lived this perfect life and then He died and He rose from the dead and then He modeled for us, “I am going to overcome death.” You’ll overcome death if you’re a follower of Jesus. “I overcame sin.” You can overcome sin if you’re a follower of Jesus. He overcame Satan and He says to us, “Greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world.”
Are you starting to get a grasp of the Jesus that You can say, “I’m going to trust Him no matter what. The cost is immaterial. He is a forever and forever God who is eternal who loves me. My life, eternal life began when I trusted the Lord Jesus and as it began, I may die, but after I die, my life will continue better and better and better as I’m living in the very presence of God in a new heaven and a new earth.”
See, when you have an eternal perspective and you understand who Jesus is, it starts to get a new view of what matters and what doesn’t matter. And if people reject you and what about…money looks differently and risk looks differently.
This is the kind of Jesus that creates a robust faith that is unwavering, that you don’t have to see it, you don’t know how it’s going to work out, but you trust Him.
My biggest concern for much of the Church is we have a group of people that have followed a set of principles or have some sense that if we do certain things and attend certain activities that somehow that is the thing that pleases God. If those things are really what you’re doing in order to express your faith, they are very important and very valid.
My fear when I look at the maturity of the Church, my fear when I see families disintegrating and abandoning biblical morality, my fear when we see the things that are happening all around us, if there’s not a group, it doesn’t have to be big, just regular people like you and me who say, “I trust You, Lord. No matter what. Because You blazed the trail. I will be resurrected. And this life is very short, and I’m going to walk with You regardless of what it takes.”
In the words of the apostle Paul, “My body is a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to You. And this is my spiritual service of worship.” I’m on mission and my mission isn’t to be happy. My mission is to follow You with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and to love You and love my neighbor as myself. And the amazing thing is the great byproduct is the kind of joy and the kind of peace and the kind of life that you really want. But it’s a very, very different path.
The truth is, Jesus is Lord over the Church and our response? We must obey Him fully and completely.
You know, it’s back to those Old Testament pictures. You know, they’re at the edge of the water, right? And it wasn’t like, “Okay! Come on, man! Let’s get this thing going. Open it up and when it opens up, we’ll all walk through.” What does the text say? The text says it wasn’t until they stepped into the water that the Lord parted the water.
And, see, faith always involves risk. But it’s not that big a risk if the One you’re placing your faith in happens to have created the world, all things visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, powers, rulers.
And He is currently holding it in the palm of His hand and He has been resurrected and promises that if you follow Him, your future is secure. Is it hard? Yes. Is it challenging? Of course. But it’s Christians living like Christians. That’s just what we do.
Question: Where is God speaking to you that you need to obey? I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to who have said, “You know, I believe in Jesus. But I believe in the Jesus that has only a heaven. I believe in a Jesus that, you know, wants to help me. I believe in a Jesus that, you know, I think He’s all love and so I don’t have any problem with, you know, people living different kind of lifestyles, different kind of morality regardless of what the Bible says because my Jesus would…”
Here's what I’m trying to get you to see. We have reframed and created a different Jesus that then becomes a different gospel. And the apostle Paul says heaven forbid. That Jesus doesn’t hold up when someone you love gets cancer. That Jesus doesn’t hold up when you’re clinically depressed and you don’t know what to do or where to go. It doesn’t hold up when people abandon you or betray you, and you find yourself absolutely alone and afraid. The Jesus who made all that there is, who sustains all there is, who blazed the trail, and who currently, with myriads of angels worshipping and crying, “Holy, holy, holy,” is a Jesus that you can count on, a Jesus that you can put your faith in.
And so, you would ask Jesus, “What’s His goal? What’s His mission?” It says, “God was pleased to have all the fulness dwell in Him.” In other words, His mission is to reconcile all things to Himself, things on earth, things in heaven. Jesus is going to make everything right.
Like you, I struggle, okay? I’m not saying this is easy. I have a very, very close friend whose wife had cancer and we battled through it and prayed through it and then she got cancer again. And, I mean, major, major surgeries and reconstruction of everything under the sun. And his wife has had cancer three different times and now it’s like every six weeks she goes in for a scan. I don’t like that. It ticks me off. And I, reverently, “Hey, God! You know, she is one of the most godly people I have ever met.”
A lot of life doesn’t make sense and I don’t like it. But guess what, I’m not all-knowing and neither are you. I am not all-wise. I don’t see the end from the beginning. And God looks at all things through this lens of eternity and what is the best possible ends for the most possible people in the best possible way?
God knows what He’s doing. It doesn’t mean I like it, it doesn’t mean that it’s not hard in a fallen world.
The truth is Jesus is the sovereign King of time and eternity. And our response is we will reign with Him forever.
The apostle Paul may be the greatest example because, you know, you read what he went through, right? You know, a night and a day in the deep and beat with rods three times and left for dead once; stoned. And, yet, he finishes the faith.
He has this picture that people don’t talk about. “I’m going to receive a reward. There’s actually a real heaven, actually, a new earth that’s coming and it’s actually real.” And he lived his life with, like, this crazy idea that everything Jesus said is true. And even the disciples, remember, the very last night they were arguing about who is going to be the greatest?
And Jesus said, “Hey, if you want to be really great,” He gave them a different way to get there, right? Servanthood and humility and be last. But remember what He said to them? He knew what they were going to go through. He said, “You are going to rule with Me on these thrones in the new heaven and the new earth.
I mean, there’s something about getting that big picture that life isn’t just now. It really begins to cause you to have a kind of faith that is different than the Jesus-make-my-life-work-out-today.
Well, I want to ask you two or three questions and then I want to have a very gentle moment of great encouragement.
In light of what we have been talking about, question number one is this. How would you describe Jesus in your own words after reflecting on Colossians 1:15 through 20? I mean, just right now, right? Maybe you’re jogging, maybe you’re in your car, maybe you’re watching on a screen, TV, maybe alone, maybe with a group. And if you just paused in light of this passage and in your own words said, “This is who Jesus is.” How would you describe Him?
And maybe more important, how is that different than how you thought about Him before we studied this together?
Second question for you is what challenge or difficulty do you think now is beyond His ability to help you to get out of or to get through? I mean, in light of who Jesus is, I mean, the Jesus of Scripture. Colossians 1. You think He can handle this one?
So, if so, I think the last question is: What would it look like for you to trust Him?
And right now, over the years, I have been doing this pastor thing for a long time. And when I get right to here, what I realize is when people get really honest, down deep, a lot of them feel like, Okay, I get, I actually intellectually believe all this is true. But it’s probably true for people like you, Chip. I mean, it’s probably true for our pastor or, you know, those three friends that are super godly. But, I mean, you don’t know. I mean, I can’t remember the last time I picked up my Bible or, you know, people don’t even know about that affair. Or, I mean, my family life and my finances are so messed up and, you know, I don’t even know where I’d begin. I don’t think, I don’t think Jesus is going to help someone like me.
Can I tell you His posture toward you right now, not if you clean things up, not if you take, you know, four wonderful steps that are positive. Jesus’ posture toward you right now is this.
Here’s His invitation. “Come to Me all of you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
You see, what qualifies you to get help is if you’re weary, if you’re stressed out, if you’re burdened, if your life isn’t working. You see, He is so loving and He’s so compassionate. Those are the very things that draw Him to you. He’s not saying, “Work your way to Me. Just come. Today! Now! Just come.”
And then it goes on. He says, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly,” or, “humble in heart.” I love that. It’s a – one is literal but the other is a metaphor. He says, “Take My yoke.” In other words, let’s team up together. It’s that picture of, you know, the two oxen and He says, “Let’s get connected together.” “I want you to start following my teaching. I want you to become my apprentice or my follower.”
And so, Jesus is saying, “If you’re weary, your life is not working out, you really feel like no one could care after all that you have done.” I have heard this hundreds of times. But this Jesus that created the world, this Jesus that sustains it, this Jesus that is going to reign forever: “Come. Just come right now just as you are. I’ll give you rest. Your step: Take My yoke.” Lord Jesus, today, right now. I want to get connected to You. I want to go where You want me to go, I want to do what You want me to do. And then I love this. He says, “You’ll find rest for your souls.” That’s the promise. Peace.
So much of our lives are medicating ourselves - trying to find peace, accomplishing things - trying to find peace, going through relationships - trying to find peace. He says, “I’m humble and lowly in heart.” And what He means by that is He is accessible. Yes, He has created all that there is – the heavens, visible and invisible – thrones, dominions. He says, “I am going to descend and I’m going to meet you right where you’re at. I’m going to tell you that I’m here to rescue you. Remember? I’m going to reconcile all things.” That word “all” is big. All things to Himself. And He wants to reconcile you!
You are one of those “all” things. And you might be a follower of Jesus and realize it’s a realignment. Or you may be someone who you consider yourself far from God. And the God of the universe had us meet on this day at this time to say, “I love you and I want you. Come.”
Then the final word is, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” That word “easy,” don’t be fooled. That’s a translation. Literally, it’s, “My yoke is comfortable.” In other words, it will fit you. He knows where you’re at, what you’re going through, what you can handle, what you can’t. And when this was done in the New Testament times, you know, it would be a bigger, stronger oxen, usually with a weaker one so they created it so it fit well and the big one would lead and the other one would learn. And so, the strength of what you need, Jesus is going to carry, but you’ve got to come and you’ve got to be honest and you come as you are. And here’s the result: Peace. Whoo. Peace.
I have had more conversations than you could ever imagine with people with incredible wealth, incredible success, painfully difficult marriages – one, two, or three. Children that don’t talk to them anymore. Spent their life in directions that they thought would bring peace and life and now feel like they are just too far gone. And I want to tell you God wants to give you peace.
If you have never received Jesus as your Savior and you’re thinking, I want the peace. Could you tell me how? It’s an act of the will, it’s receiving what Jesus did on the cross where He died for you and rose from the dead. And like any relationship is you ask. And so, right now. By the way, you don’t have to close your eyes to pray. Jesus says He looked up. You might look up and say, “God, I need You. I have done a lot of things wrong. I’m hurting. And today, I take You up on your invitation. Right now. I come and I ask You to forgive me and to come into my life. I believe today You died on the cross to pay for my sin and You rose from the dead to prove that it’s true. And I’m desperate need for peace. And so, I receive Your yoke today and I want to follow you. So please help me.”
And I would say if you prayed that with me, let me encourage you to text or call the greatest Christian you know and find a Bible-teaching church this weekend and show up and say, “I’m not sure how it all works, but I committed my life and received the Lord Jesus.” And you can even go to our website at Living on the Edge, livingontheedge.o-r-g. And there’s a pretty clear place where you receive Christ, and we have some information we’ll give absolutely free to get you on your way.
If you’re a follower of Jesus and all that I have said is sort of old territory, but you need to put the yoke on because you’re in desperate need of peace, could I encourage you? Turn around. Get back on track. You don’t have to work your way there, you don’t have to feel bad about yourself, you don’t have to whip yourself with wet noodles, “I’m a terrible person.” Just come. Draw near to God, He’ll draw near to you. He loves you, today, right where you’re at and He wants to help you, today. Now the ball is in your court. If you come, He will help you.