Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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The Reality of Resurrection

Leslie Basham: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says when you feel abandoned or humiliated, know Jesus felt that way, too.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Remember that His humiliation turned into His exaltation. Remember that His suffering—His cross—is not the end of the story. And as you do, remember that your suffering and your cross are not the end of the story. Remember that there’s a resurrection beyond the cross.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of The Quiet Place, for Wednesday, June 19, 2019.

We’ll hear how the resurrection of Jesus will transform the way you view life’s hardships. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy: I remember several years ago watching a video called Peter and Paul, and it was on the lives of these two great servants of God who were so involved in the birthing of the early church.

I remember one particularly moving scene. I haven’t watched it in a long time, so I may not have it quite right, but what I recall is that Peter was sitting on a hillside.

He’s an older man, and he was speaking to a group of disciples, followers of Christ, and he knew and they knew that it was close to the time when he would be taken away to be crucified.

You remember, he was crucified upside down because he didn’t feel he was worthy to die in the same way that our Savior did.

But they knew this would be his final message, his final words. Peter just pours out his heart, and what he is saying is, in essence, what you read about in the epistles of First and Second Peter. In the movie, that’s what they’re having him say.

It’s just the context—I want to remind you of these things. He’s exalting Christ, and it’s a very stirring scene. As he continues to speak with a strong voice, you see these Roman soldiers coming over the hill to take him away, and he is giving his final message to the church.

Now, as we’re looking at 2 Timothy, authored by the apostle Paul, in this series on endurance, Paul is perhaps just weeks from death.

Second Timothy is the last letter we have that Paul wrote. It is, so to speak, his last will and testament. And you want to know, what is he going to say to encourage Timothy who is his young son in the faith?

What will he say? How will he encourage him? And what would Paul say to me? And what would he say to you in relation to the circumstances that we’re facing?

Timothy had his circumstances, and Paul addressed those very specifically in the book of Timothy. But as we said, Paul ended this book by saying, “Grace be with you all,” There are other circumstances that other believers of all times face.

I believe that the principles in this book teach us how to endure hardship and suffering of all types. What would Paul say to us about the circumstances we’re facing? the battles? the pressures? the problems we endure? the stresses? the strains? the struggles that make us want to throw in the towel? 

We’ve looked, over the last several days, at nine different perspectives or insights from the book of 2 Timothy, and we have those available. If you’ve missed any of those, you can go to ReviveOurHearts.com and have a list of those available for you there.

Today, I want to talk about a tenth principle or insight, a tenth perspective that may be, of all ten, the most important. I can say it in three words because the apostle Paul says it in three words in chapter 2, verse 8 of 2 Timothy: “Remember Jesus Christ.”

Remember Jesus Christ. You want to endure in times of hardship and suffering? Remember Jesus Christ. He says, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal” (2 Tim. 2:8–9).

Now think about this for a moment. Paul is writing to Timothy. Timothy is a pastor. He’s a godly man. He’s got some insecurities. He’s got some fears, but he’s a man of God. He’s a young man of God.

But Timothy is a pastor. How could he forget Jesus Christ? You think, Paul would you need to tell Timothy "Remember Jesus Christ"? Why would you need to tell a pastor, “Remember Jesus Christ”? Why, for heaven’s sake, would he need to tell any of us, “Remember Jesus Christ”?

You know why? Because when we’re under pressure, when we’re facing hardship, we tend to forget Jesus. We tend to forget. Now, we don’t forget intellectually. We don’t forget His name.

But we forget Him so easily, and Paul says, “Don’t forget Him.” Remember Jesus Christ. In fact, the original language here stresses that this is a continuing action. Be continually remembering Jesus Christ—not just once or twice or three times, not just now, not just next week, but continually between now and the time you get to the end of the race, until you get to the finish line, be continually remembering Jesus Christ.

I want to talk in this session about several things that we need to remember about Jesus Christ. There’s not anything new to you, most likely, that I’m going to say, not anything new to me.

But as I have been meditating on what it means to remember Jesus Christ in my own personal walk and asking myself how can that help me endure, here are some things I think are important to remember.

(By the way, this list is not exhaustive.) We need to remember His life, how He was born to a virgin, and born in Bethlehem—an obscure birth, but at the same time, worshiped by angels, by shepherds, and by wise men.

We need to remember how He grew up in Nazareth and lived among us. Paul says in 2 Timothy that He’s the offspring, or the descendent, of David. That says that He was a real man. He was flesh and blood. He knew what it was to be hungry, to be thirsty, to be tired, to be opposed.

He endured our pain and our suffering. He lived our life. He walked on our planet. He walked in our shoes. Remember His life.

But remember He was more than a man. He was God. He was the God-man, and the resurrection from the dead ultimately validated Him as the Son of God. He was God Himself.

But He lived a holy life. Remember that. Remember that He spoke the truth. Every time He spoke, He was speaking truth because He was the truth. He did miracles. He made the blind to see. He helped those who were lame to walk.

He healed lepers. He fed the hungry. He had compassion on those who were outcast. Remember Jesus Christ. Remember His life.

Remember as you look back on His life that He is Lord over all creation, and you see it throughout His earthly ministry over the wind and the waves, over all of creation. He’s powerful. He’s compassionate. He’s merciful.

I find it’s important to spend time regularly in the Gospels. You want to remember Jesus Christ? Be reading the Gospels. Now, Jesus is all through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, but remember His life. Live in the Gospels. Focus there, not just in the Gospels, but keep remembering His life.

Remember His suffering and His sacrifice. Remember what some of us have known since we were little, little, little, but don’t forget it. Keep continually remembering that He was rejected, that He was opposed by the religious establishment.

Remember how He was betrayed by one of His closest friends, this good, compassionate, gentle, tender-hearted Savior we’ve just been reading about, the One who loved others. Remember how He was rejected.

Remember that He was falsely accused. He was mocked. He was scorned. He was cruelly persecuted. He was condemned to die as a criminal.

Remember that He prayed, if possible, to be spared from having to take on Himself the sin of the world, but that when He knew it was the Father’s will, He surrendered Himself from eternity past all the way to the cross to fulfill the will of the Father.

He said, “I delight to do Your will.” He lived that surrendered life. Remember as you think about His sufferings and His sacrifice that in the process of going to the cross and being rejected and being crucified, that He never became bitter.

He never lashed out at His enemies. Instead, He forgave those who crucified Him, laid down His life for His friends and for His enemies. Remember that. When you think your suffering is more than you can handle, remember Jesus Christ.

Remember His suffering and His sacrifice. Remember what He endured for you. Remember that when you are suffering as a believer, you are sharing in His sufferings.

I have a collection of emails from a dear friend who has been through some very, very difficult, excruciatingly difficult waters over the last several years. As I was preparing this series just in the last day or so, I looked up some of those emails and was just reminded of how this woman has endured by remembering Jesus Christ.

In one of those emails, she said, “If my hope was not in Him right now, I could not endure. His rejection and being despised, insulted, and afflicted, was so much, much greater than mine.”

She remembered Jesus Christ, and as she’s been continually remembering Christ and His sufferings, she has been given courage and grace to endure.

And then remember not just His suffering and His sacrifice, but as you remember Jesus Christ, remember His triumph over death, and as He triumphed over death, remember that He also triumphed over Satan and sin.

Remember His triumph. That’s what Paul said in verse 8 of 2 Timothy 2, “Remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead.” Risen from the dead. Remember that He didn’t stay on that cross. He didn’t stay in that tomb.

On the third day, He rose from the dead by the power of God. Remember that His humiliation turned into His exaltation. Remember that His suffering—His cross—is not the end of the story. And your suffering is not the end of the story.

Remember that there’s a resurrection beyond the cross. When Paul says, “Remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead,” that word risen underscores that fact that He rose, and He now lives.

He’s still alive. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, triumphant over Satan and sin and death, and remember that the resurrected Christ lives in us and among us.

He is alive. He rose. He is risen, and as you think that your sufferings are perhaps, in some cases, going to take you under, that you may not be able to physically survive your sufferings—be they physical or financial, marital or relational, whatever the issue—remember that the resurrected Christ lives in you to give you hope. Because He has been raised from the dead, we too shall live with Him eternally.

Remember that when you think there’s no way you can make it. Remember Jesus Christ. Remember His power, His promise, and His presence.

Remember how He stood on the mountaintop with His disciples after the resurrection, and He said in Matthew chapter 28, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . . and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18–20).

Now shortly after He said those words, what did He do? He ascended back to heaven, to the right hand of God. So if He was getting ready to leave the earth, how could he say, “I am with you always?”

But he told His disciples before He left, “When I go, I will ask the Father to send to you a Comforter, to send the Holy Spirit. He will live in you. He will be among you” (John 14:16 paraphrased).

The Holy Spirit is nothing less than the person of Jesus Christ living in us. The Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. It’s Christ in us, our hope of glory. And remember that Christ said, “I have all authority in heaven and on earth. It’s been given to me by my Father. You are to go. You are to make disciples of all nations as you go. You’re to teach them, to make other Christians, followers of Christ in your home, in your workplace, in your community.”

That’s what you’re to be doing. And you say, “But Lord, how can I do it? It’s so hard in my home. It’s so hard in my community. It’s hard in my church sometimes. How can I do that, Lord? How can I endure? It’s so hard.”

He says, “I have all authority, and I am with you.” If He is with you, then how much authority is with you? All authority in heaven and on earth, the authority of Christ, the power of Christ, in you. And He says, “I am with you always from here to the finish line.” Remember His power, His promises, and His presence.

And then, as you remember Jesus Christ, remember what He is doing today for you in heaven. Remember that He is continuing to act on your behalf. He says in John chapter 14, beginning in verse 2, “I go to prepare a place for you.” Verse 3, “I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

Jesus is building a home for us in heaven. Remember that when you think you can’t survive much longer here on earth. You’ve got something to look forward to. Remember Jesus Christ, what He is doing for you today.

And then Romans 8:34 says, “Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” He prays for us. Romans 8 tells us also the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us. Jesus intercedes for us. How can you lose? What more do you need?

You say, “I don’t know how to pray for this circumstance.” Ask Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to pray for you. Ask them to show you how to pray. Remember what He is doing for you in heaven. Remember Jesus Christ.

Ray Stedman was for many years a pastor of a wonderful church in Northern California. He went to be with the Lord in 1992. I found on the Internet a sermon that he preached on this text, and I just have to read to you part of what he said about remembering Jesus Christ. I think it makes it so practical for where we live. He said:

The greatest provision ever made by God to handle pressure, problems, danger, and disappointment seems to be the last resort for many Christians. They apparently prefer to spend thousands of dollars on counseling and psychiatry bills or battle with fears and worries for years on end, or even blow out their brains rather than to follow the simple advice given by the apostle Paul in his last letter to young Timothy.

He says, as we’ve been learning in this past series,

Paul was writing from a prison cell in Rome to a young man who had been left alone in a great pagan city to face the battles of the Christian life. Here are the apostle’s words of advice: "Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel.” That one verse is a pattern for handling difficulty in life.

Most of the Christian counseling that is done here [speaking of his own church], as in every other church, would be eliminated if people took seriously this great truth: Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead.1

Now, I don’t mean to suggest by that, and I don’t think Dr. Stedman meant to imply, that there is no place for biblical counseling.

But I think he was absolutely right when he said that so many, many of our issues that seem to drag on and on, that we can’t get victory over, that we can’t seem to find perspective, they seem to drag us down, and then we drag everyone else into our problems with us.

I’m not meaning to in any way disparage people who have big problems. But he’s saying, remember Jesus Christ. How many of those issues would look different if we could just remember Jesus Christ, the Wonderful Counselor, no less.

He’s not saying all the problems would go away. Jesus didn’t say that. But he’s saying we would have grace and wisdom to know how to deal with those problems if we would just remember Jesus Christ risen from the dead.

So, the writer to the Hebrews says in chapter 12, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” We started out this series by talking about running a race and wanting to make it all the way to the finish line.

The writer to the Hebrews says, “Run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus.” Remember Jesus Christ. “Looking to Jesus, the founder, the perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1–2).

Verse 3, “Consider Him.” Remember Jesus Christ. “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”

And don’t we tend to do that? I do so easily. It seems like the older I get, the more easily I grow weary in well-doing. Be he said you will not have to grow weary or fainthearted. If you will keep considering Christ and what He endured, you will be enabled to endure.

Then he says, Hebrews 12, verse 4, “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Now some have, but most of us have not. I told you that I’d found some emails from my friend who’s been through such difficult deep waters over the last several years.

Here’s another one. She wrote on a day when she was really, really struggling. It felt to her as if she were going to drown in this messy situation, through no fault of her own. It had to do with the sin of another who had deeply impacted her life and family.

And she said, “The Lord so blessed me today just with one thought. Surely He (Christ) has borne my grief and carried my sorrow” (Isa. 53:4). What did she do? She remembered Jesus Christ.

She said, “Oh how foolish to carry them myself, when He has already borne them for me. I just had to repent for my lack of worship in recent days and for trying to carry things myself when He has already done so. I know I’m in a desperate place physically right now, and He bore that, too. So I’m flinging it all on Him and have felt my spirit refreshed.”

What lifted that woman up out of the slough of despond, a place we all find ourselves at times? Remembering Jesus Christ. Remember Him, and even if we come to the place where, as Paul did, and as many others have, our life is taken from us, we still continue to remember Jesus Christ.

I remember in high school doing a study on Savonarola, that fifteenth century Italian preacher who was ultimately hanged and burned. He said, "They may kill me. They may tear me in pieces, but never, never, never shall they tear from my heart the living Lord Jesus."

How did he endure? He remembered Jesus Christ risen from the dead.

And so as you press on in this race and you seek to endure, not just to survive, but to thrive by God’s grace in the hardship and the suffering, be continually remembering Him. Keep Him always in the forefront of your mind.

Remember the One who rose from the dead, the One who is the source of everything that you need as you suffer, the One who will sustain you through your hardship, the One who will enable you to endure.

Remember Jesus Christ, and keep on remembering Jesus Christ.

Leslie: In any hardship, remember Jesus. If the power of our Savior who endured so much is living in you, then you can endure as well. Nancy will be back in a moment to pray.

Today’s message is from a practical series called, “Enduring Life’s Hardships.” We’re airing it as part of our month-long emphasis on the subject of perseverance. And during this month, we’re offering to our listeners a brand-new resource from Elisabeth Elliot: Suffering Is Never for Nothing. This book contains never-before-published material from the teachings of Elisabeth Elliot.

You can get a copy by visiting ReviveOurHearts.com and making a donation of any size. The ministry is listener-supported and your gift will help us spread biblical truth to women on the radio and online. You can also give by phone by calling 1–800–569–5959. Be sure to ask for Elisabeth Elliot’s book when you call.

How would you respond if your husband suddenly quit his successful job and said he’s trusting the Lord to provide and waiting for Him to reveal what to do next? Tomorrow we’ll hear from a wife who experienced this particular kind of hardship. I hope you can be back.

Now here's Nancy to pray.

Nancy: Forgive us Lord, forgive me Lord, for how often I forget Jesus, and how often I’m more conscience of my pressures and problems and issues and challenges than I am of Christ. It’s been a sweet thing in these moments to just counsel my own heart and to remember Jesus Christ. Hallelujah, what a Savior! And thank You, Lord Jesus, for what You endured and for the grace that You give me and each of us to endure as we continue to remember You. I give You thanks in Jesus’ name, amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants you to remember that suffering is not the end of the story. The program is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

1Ray Stedman, “Follow the Leader.” 

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love …

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