November 13, 2023
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Well, I'd been asked to speak at an adult couples thing at our church. And they did this auction sort of deal. It was sort of a "Let's Make a Deal game." I think some people call it a White Elephant Auction or something like that. It's the kind of game where you go to your garage and you get something you really want to throw away, and you wrap it up in real pretty paper and you bring it to the auction. And what happens is this: One person goes up and has to pick one of those packages, and they open it and then they have it. From that point on everyone can either take an unwrapped package and take their chances on that, or they can trade for something that's already been unwrapped that looks interesting.
Well, there was really only one valuable thing there that night. It was like this beautiful hand-carved lamp stand. And I'll tell you, these were adults, but they were acting like ten-year-old kids going crazy like, "Where's that lamp stand?" Ladies had it under their skirts; men took it to the Men's Room with them. I mean, it was nuts! Everybody was going bananas except for one guy. He sat there the whole time kind of just smiling wisely. And I thought, "Hey, wake up man. Get with the program! What's the deal here?" You know who he was? He was the guy who opened the first package. Yeah, he was the only one who remembered the rules of the game, which are that the person who opens the first one, since he didn't get to make a trade, he's going to make the last trade of the game. So, this guy's sitting there while everyone else is going crazy saying to himself, "I know how this is going to end!" You know what? That could be you.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When It Looks Like It's Over."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 30:5, and today is especially for someone who's got a heavy burden on their heart. Maybe there's a major disappointment recently, or a painful loss, or a deep hurt. This is for you. Psalm 30:5, "Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."
God does not deny the pain or the tears. They're real. But compared to the joy coming, God says, they're brief. He's seen your tears. The Bible says He stores them up in a bottle; He's so involved in your grief. And He's also scheduled the morning celebration. Now, I know it feels like it's always going to be like this, but rejoicing will come in the morning. This is temporary. This, too, shall pass.
Lord Wellington won for Great Britain at the famous Battle of Waterloo. He defeated Napoleon, and he passed the word up the British coast by semaphore - by flags. And finally the word got to the Tower of London, where they posted the message up on the tower. Here's what it said, "Wellington defeated..." And then - it's London - a fog settled in, and for an hour no one could see anything else. They couldn't see the rest of the message, and I mean people were so depressed. "Wellington has lost!" And then the fog cleared, and they saw the rest of the message, "Wellington defeated the enemy."
You know, right now your feelings are sending you only half the news, and it feels like a defeat. It seems over, like it did for Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus died and Jesus didn't do anything about it. Little did they know He was going to do something far greater than they ever dreamed. That which seems to have won right now will be defeated unless you despair and you walk away from the God who will finish this battle victoriously.
Right now it's night time and there still are tears, and you need to dig deep into His strength until the rest of the message comes clear. You can stay peaceful, you can stay poised while everybody else is going crazy, because you know that ultimately joy is coming, victory is coming. You can sit back and smile in the middle of great chaos and hurt and say, "I know how this is going to end!"