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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1285

Hope for the Weary
Part One

May 21, 2017

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1285 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Praise the Lord! I believe, in one sense, we could go home and be refreshed and thankful because the Lord is certainly faithful. He’s been with us and He is worthy of our lives, worthy of being praised and lifted up. And I just…I don’t know, I just put myself in the Lord’s hands, because He’s the only one that deserves to be lifted up.

( congregational amens ).

And I just pray that He will take His Word and make it fresh. I’d like to turn to a familiar book of the Bible, in Isaiah chapter 40. And I don’t know how much of this is where I’ve been at and things I’ve been going through, but I don’t think that any of us is alone.

And many times we feel that way when we’re experiencing things in our walk with the Lord. You know, we look around and say, everybody else is doing great and I’m feeling this and I’m feeling that, and something’s…what’s wrong? And the thing is, the one that you’re looking at is feeling the same way about you. But I’ll tell you, the One that we can trust in, in every circumstance, is the Lord, because He doesn’t change.

And Isaiah, I guess…well I don’t guess…his book is the longest. He was a prophet for many, many years. He lived through several kings of Judah. He lived through Hezekiah, who was, in great measure, a man who served God but he also lived into the reign of a terrible monarch that followed. And actually, his reward for all of the glorious prophecy that he uttered, the words of God that live today, his reward was to be sawed in half.

I’ll tell you, we need to realize what kind of a world we live in, what the true spirit of this world is. And you know, it’s decision time, to serve God, or not. And I just pray that God will reveal Himself in fresh ways and prepare His people for the end of the age.

But anyway, right now, God’s people were certainly having to live through tough times. And there was that believing remnant at the worst of times, as we referred to what the Lord revealed to Elijah on that one occasion. But at the worst of times there was, nonetheless, a faithful remnant of people. Those were the ones that God’s promises were to.

You trace the theme through the Scriptures and you will see…you could go on into chapter 41 of this and you would see how God refers to Abraham, My friend, and his seed that followed. Well, we know that that seed is not just a physical thing. Thank God it includes some of his physical children, but it is a spiritual seed in which we participate, who believe today. All of God’s people, throughout history, have been children of Abraham, because they’ve been children of his faith.

And so…but God has a way and He certainly understands our situation. He understands what we’re made of. He understands what we feel. And so, he was coming in the last half, or more than half of the book of Isaiah, there was just a…not more than a half. Anyway, a lot of it…from 40 on, most of it is prophecy of encouragement to God’s people, saying, I know you’re in tough times, I know things don’t look good, I know you feel powerless, I know it doesn’t look like I’m fulfilling my promises, but just wait.

There’s a time, I’m promising. There’s One who’s going to come. My servant is gonna come. And when He comes, everything is gonna change. I’m gonna fulfill my promises. You’re gonna see my Glory. You’re gonna see my promises fulfilled. And that’s the sense that you get from this.

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” (NIV). Well, you know, that alone lets us know that He was aware that they needed some help, they needed some encouragement. Anybody here that needs encouragement? Yeah, I think we all do. We’re feeling the pressures of this world and what it means to live for God in a world that hates Him.

There’s no other way to put it. It’s not a nice world. It’s a world that is arrayed in rebellion against God. And it tries to portray itself as nice, but it’s not! And you go into some of the corners of this world and you will see the spirit of Satan completely unmasked! And you know, some of our brothers, praise God, they’re getting a one-way ticket to heaven. So, they’re not losing! But I’ll tell you, we need to wake up and realize. But God’s Word is a word of encouragement and of comfort.

“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.” Now what’s he talking about there? Where is that fulfilled?

( congregational response ).

That was John the Baptist, wasn’t it? He quoted that scripture and said, this is the fulfillment of that! God is fulfilling His promise! He spoke it so long ago, but now it’s the time for those words to come to life and find fulfillment in history. And so, God sent John into the world to proclaim the coming of the One who would bring in everlasting life.

“Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.” That is a…like our fruited plains, level ground. “…The glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.” Unfortunately, not all mankind recognized it for what it was. But they saw it. “For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Now, the Lord wants to give a sense of perspective about the world and about men and what…you know, we tend, as I said, we tend to feel weak, we tend to feel small in the scope of life on Earth. We see things happening around us. We don’t feel like we’re in control, and it tends to minister fear to us, if we listen and pay too much attention.

So, “A voice says, ‘Cry out.’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’ ‘All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.’”

Oh, we need to every day maintain our perspective of what is lasting, what is important, what matters, what’s really in charge! God is absolutely fulfilling something that is eternal and most of the time, down here, it’s not gonna look like it. And I’ll tell you, there’s a…but there’s something that is birthed in the hearts of God’s people, and it’s a thing called faith, that enables us to see beyond what we see simply with our natural eyes. And oh, how God wants us to lean, through that faith, upon Him and to believe His Word in the face of what’s going on in our world. Tell you what, it’s a dangerous world, isn’t it?

But anyway, “You who bring good tidings to Zion…” Good News, “…go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, Here is your God! See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.”

Well, right there you’re seeing a sense of triumph. God is wanting, through the imagery of going up on a high mountain and shouting out with boldness…! Now you think about…bring that down to our day. Suppose the Lord said to go up in a high place and I want you to shout in the face of your culture and the face of everything that’s going on, I want you to shout out about Jesus and tell…you know, we’d kind of feel, who me? We would tend to feel something of the weakness that we all are plagued with.

But I’ll tell you, there’s the sense that God wanted to convey here, of someone who’s in charge, of someone who…our imagination, our faith needs to be captivated by who He is. And so you see that theme being carried throughout this passage. Oh, don’t worry! I’ll tell you, I’m coming! My arm rules! I’ve got a reward!

And you know, at this point you can almost get the idea, oh, my God, this is an awesome, almost scary, powerful being. And we project our human nature on God, so much of the time, and on whatever we see we project our own ways of thinking. And so, somehow, awesomeness and what’s coming next doesn’t seem to quite fit, because if you’ve got this amazing God…and it’s gonna go on and describe something of His greatness and His power, and yet, in the face of this, the magnitude of one who can do all that He can do. He can come in with power against Satan’s kingdom!

Then it turns around and says, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Oh, my! I need a complete picture of this God that we serve. How is it possible? It just doesn’t fit in our way of thinking, that someone can be so amazingly powerful and so incredibly tender! Here’s a God who can…who knows every star. He says that later in the passage. And yet, He knows when the sparrow falls. He knows every hair on our head.

I’ll tell you, I’m with Him. I’m with Him on His side. I surrender to Him. It’s what we just sang about. Oh, my God! You want to go against that? You want to just live your life and just spit in His face after what Jesus did? Oh, my God!

And of course, Jesus came and He talked about the Good Shepherd. It’s not just the tenderness. He gives His life for the sheep. Oh, my! What a revelation of the very heart and the character of God. I want to live every day, don’t you, with that sense? My God is mighty, but He’s tender! I can trust the big picture but I can trust that me and all of my weakness, He carries me when I need carrying! He loves me! He understands what’s wrong with me! He understands my need. That’s why He comes like a shepherd.

You know, sheep are pretty dumb, stupid animals…very, very dependent. But I’ll gladly take that place. The more I go, the more I realize how little I know, how little I can do…

( congregational amens ).

…How much I need Him. I’m glad to say, oh, God, You’re gonna have to help me here. I don’t know. Lord, you’re the One who’s on a throne. You have the whole…you have everything in your control and I’m just…I’m just me. I just got here. I don’t know anything. Oh, I’ll tell you what, the one…Paul said, the one who thinks he knows a thing, knows nothing as he ought to know it. I’m content to know Him. He can let me know things I need to know. But oh, what a place of rest and trust He seeks to bring us to.

What a word this must have…what a comfort this must have brought to God’s people who looked around and didn’t see any of this but yet they had the word of God, and there was something on the inside that says, that’s true—that’s true! This is gonna pass away. All this that looks so great and so imposing and is such a seeming hindrance to the purpose of God, God can just go…

( puffing sound ).

…And it’s gone!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! Praise the Lord! Well, if that’s true, He must have a reason…you think? God has a reason why He’s allowing things to unfold as He does. But lot of it is so we’ll feel that kind of a need. Oh, I’ll tell you, sometimes when we’re young, we feel our oats and we think we know stuff. Just wait a while.

( laughing ).

( laughter ).

Wait a while. Better to learn it when you’re young. Oh, I’ll tell you what, praise God! So, “He tends his flock like a shepherd.” What a picture that is of the awesome character of our God, who can be that tender and yet that mighty. And now, again, He wants to…God wants to paint a picture for His people. And He talks in terms that they can sort of relate to and understand. Obviously, He’s a lot greater than what He’s describing here. But yet, oh, how important it is for us to see and to get this sense. We need it renewed constantly, don’t we?

( congregational response ).

How easy it is to forget this and get buried in the moment and feel the pressure and feel the weakness and we sink down! A lot of this is related to last week, I guess. Well, praise God! I don’t think I’m the only one, am I?

( congregational response ).

No! We need—we need a heart…we need to see God’s heart in what He’s allowing in our lives and how He’s dealing with us. You know, I was thinking about the convention in June and I remember the message the Lord gave me, “Whatever it Takes.” That’s a dangerous prayer, because we’re sort of like my dad when he came to the work. He had been a minister for many years and he moved down to Florida and his testimony, after a while was, I came here, and I thought I needed a spiritual tune-up. And he realized, after a while, he needed an engine overhaul! He needed a major overhaul! And of course Brother Thomas piped up and said he needed a new engine!

( laughter ).

But you know, that’s the truth with every one of us, because our engine, without trying, is us. And God gives us a brand-new engine. I need that one. And oh, how hard it is to learn that, in a practical sense. We can know the theory all we want. But I mean, learning that means living life here, under real difficult circumstances and learning how to trust God anyway!

( congregational amens ).

And it just doesn’t come any other way. We’re gonna have to go through the school of hard knocks. But I’ll tell you, there’s One who goes with us!

( congregational amens ).

And the thing that you constantly got to go back to in this passage is the picture of a shepherd carrying lambs in His arms. What an awesome thing…to never get away from that! Praise God!

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand….” You’ll see God saying, I wonder how much water is in the ocean today. Let’s see. You know, all the oceans of the world, and just, okay…you know, that’s the picture He’s trying to paint. “…Or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?” Let’s see…let’s see, this Galaxy, that’s a little one…no.

This is a mighty God! Lord have mercy! We’re so intimidated by little stuff around us and we’ve got a God who’s on the throne who loves us! And He wants us to understand that we’re in His hands. “Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?” Okay, I’ve got a set of scales here, let’s see what Everest weighs today. Or, let’s see what the Blue Ridge weighs today. Yeah, this is just simple language that just conveys what He wants us to understand.

“Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor? Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?” You know, we’re the ones that don’t have the wisdom. We need what comes from Him!

( congregational amens ).

What simple language to convey to us His greatness, and One who knows everything, who has it all in hand. “Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket...” Okay, let’s get our bucket out here and get an eye dropper and…splat. All the nations in the world that we look and we see the power of this one and the conflict there, and all this stuff that seems so big and so imposing to us and it’s just…oh, praise God! We’ve got a mighty God! “…They are regarded as dust on the scales…” Okay, I’m gonna weigh something, let’s go…

( blowing ).

…Let’s clean it off so we’ll have a clean start here. “…He weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.” I can see Him getting out a magnifying glass. There’s England. That’s the Philippines? Hawaiian Islands and all those things…just little tiny…it’s not to diminish the Earth so much as it is to magnify Him.

( congregational amens ).

It’s to lift Him up, because it’s a matter of perspective. Yeah, there are things that are pretty imposing to us because we’re down in the middle of it. But we’ve got somebody up there that’s just absolutely in control. Praise God! And He wants us to know that! He wants us to learn how to reckon on that, not just in our theology class, but in life, because it does make a difference. Praise God! I’m like you. I don’t always do that as well as I should.

( congregational amens ).

Am I like you or not?

( laughing ).

( congregational response ).

Or are you like me? Yeah! We wobble and waver and we get bogged down, but I’ll tell you what, God stays the same. He’s the same every day. “Lebanon…” So now, He’s gonna think about…I mean they’re familiar with offering offerings to God. And Lebanon was a place known for its huge cedar trees. So, He’s using something that they understood.

He said, “Lebanon is not sufficient…” not enough, “…for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing. To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to?”

Well, of course, the people of the world, they had their idols, didn’t they? To them, this is our god, we serve him. He’s the one that we supplicate. We ask him when we go into battle. We ask him to bless our crops. This is our national god. And it’s just a block of wood, or block of stone, or something like that.

“What image will you compare him to? As for an idol, a craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it.” Like that’s gonna help! “A man too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot…” Oh, that’s gonna help. “…He looks for a skilled craftsman to set up an idol that will not topple.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 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.”

Even in that day that had to be an amazing word picture, because they could see the expanse of the sky and they could see a few thousand stars. But I mean, think about what we know about the universe and its incredible size. Okay, he just…all right, here’s where I’m gonna live. Good Lord! He fills it all! He’s aware every moment of every, not just atom, but every subatomic particle that they’ll ever discover. He’s aware of it fully, all the time, instantly! I mean, that’s an amazing God!

( congregational amens ).

“He brings princes to naught…” to nothing, “…reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.”

Well, one thing that tells me is, if you’ve got somebody who’s really puffed up and ruling and just making a lot of proud noise in this world, it’s because God is allowing it! It’s not because God is sitting there having an emergency counsel in heaven, trying to figure out what to do! He knows exactly and He is allowing Satan to hang himself! He is allowing what is happening in our world! And He simply wants His people to be aware and not to be hindered by it, not to be shut down because of what is happening. Praise the Lord! None of this is a problem to Him.

“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal? says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?” And where did it come from? Not a big bang, I’ll tell you. It’s a big God! He didn’t need a big bang.

“He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name….” You know, we talked about this before. It’s one thing to think about a few thousand visible stars, but when you start thinking in the order of trillions, that’s a pretty good language to have that many words. Wow! For Him to know every single one, know its orbit, know where it’s at, keep it orderly, and yet to be able to come down to the end and say, time shall be no more, and boom! He can just dissolve it that quick. I’ll tell you what, I want to live for His purpose. I want to be His.