Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Ten Years of Encouraging Hearts

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss says no matter what is going on in the world around you, it’s possible to respond like this . . .  

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I will not fear. Why? Because God is my refuge. He is my strength, and He is an abundantly available help in time of trouble.

Leslie
: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, September 9, 2011.

You’ve joined Revive Our Hearts during a big week. We’re celebrating God’s goodness and marking a significant milestone.  

"Congratulations for ten great years."

"Ten years, that’s a decade."

"It’s hard to believe."

"Ten years of incredible faithfulness."

"It has flown."

"Happy Birthday
Revive Our Hearts!"   

Leslie: This week we’ve focused on some of the main themes covered on Revive Our Hearts over these ten years. Today, we'll focus on endurance. From the beginning, Revive Our Hearts listeners have been encouraged to persevere during times of suffering.

We’ve explored this topic through real-life stories from women who have watched God care for them through trials.

Dorie Van Stone: The reason you don’t see the hate or hear it in my voice is that a long, long time ago down in that room that we call a parlor, I met a man named Jesus. He brought me to the place where I am able to totally forgive the perpetrators of the crimes committed in that room. (No Place to Cry, with Dorie Van Stone)

Rachel Barkey: I have been diagnosed with cancer twice now and the second time, barring a miracle, will end my life before I’ve reached my 38th birthday. In His providence, God has used the tough things in my life to draw me closer to Him, to show me His great love and to teach me many things.

I have learned that I am not perfect, and I have the scars to prove it13 of them. They serve as a physical reminder of a spiritual reality, that I can never be perfect on my own. I need a Savior. (Death Is Not Dying, with Rachel Barkey)  

Joni Eareckson Tada: Oh, I want to be where God’s grace is. God’s grace, the desire and power to do His will, the desire and power to obey, is sufficient for my paralysis and for your pain and problems; for your struggling marriage or singleness; for your dead-end job, because Jesus Christ is your co-laborer in all this stuff called "suffering." I mean, He has been tempted and tested and tried. He is with you. He is worth it all. (God's Jewels, with Joni Eareckson Tada)

Jennifer Rothschild: You know what I’ve learned as a true woman who navigates in the darkness of faith and blindness? Is that it doesn’t have to be well with your circumstances for it to be well with your soul. We don’t wait for our circumstances to change so that we can experience a level of contentment in our faith. We ask God to change us in the midst of those circumstances. (Lessons I Learned in the Dark, with Jennifer Rothschild)

Angie Smith: I remember rocking in a rocking chair one night, putting my girls to bed and having Abby sit up and look at me and say, “Why did God take Audrey? Why don’t we have her?” 

Nancy
: You don’t have time to prepare for that kind of question.

Angie Smith: You don’t. And so I looked at her and said, “I don’t know.” And sometimes, as believers, we need to not be afraid of saying, “I don’t know.” I don’t need to know the whys as much as I need to know the Who, and so that needs to be the focus of these conversations. We aren’t going to understand it and that there are moments where we just have to say we don’t. (I Will Carry You, with Angie Smith)

Kim Jaggers: This was my best friend, the love of my life. At this point we had been together for ten years, and he was gone. He had driven to a warehouse owned by his company, and he had put a hose that was attached to the tailpipe into the cab of the truck, and he had died in a matter of minutes.

Over the next days and the next month, God proved Himself true to every Word in His bible. He and He alone was the reason that I could go on. He was strength for the day. His Daily Bread gave me the ability to walk through those gut-wrenching, hard days. He became a Father to the fatherless. He reminded me over and over again that He would never leave me. He would never forsake me. (What to Do When Life Falls Apart, with Kim Jaggers)

Karen Loritts: Has my joy been waning? Honestly, yes. I have a good faith sometimes, but if you could see my heart, my heart breaks for my children. My heart breaks for the future of our family. My heart breaks for this other family. My heart is broken, but God is a good God. And according to the Word of God, He says don’t be a fool, be a wise woman because you will be delivered. (A True Woman Learns to Trust, with Karen Loritts)

Leslie: And Nancy has encouraged us to persevere through suffering in many teaching series such as Under His Wings.

Nancy: The fact is, we can’t make it on our own. So if we want to experience the protection of the wings of God, we have to humble ourselves, admit our neediness and stop pretending that we’re so strong.

Leslie:
Storm Shelter.

Nancy: Don’t expect to be immune from the storms. In fact, the closer you walk to God it may be that the more God will entrust you with some storms that He is using to fit you, to fulfill His purposes.

Leslie: Dealing with Discouragement.

Nancy: You’ll never experience all there is to know of God until you have found yourself in a place of drought, a place of desperation, and a place where you think you are drowning. And in the midst of those most desperate circumstances, you will be driven in that little boat of yours on that overwhelming sea, you’ll be driven to the place that is your only true hope, and that is in God.

Leslie: What to Do When Life Hurts.

Nancy:
Our conclusion is, if I don’t feel it, it must not be true. Now we wouldn’t say that, but it is what we feel generally as woman that matters more to us than what we know. This is where I think a lot of women end up crippled emotionally and spiritually because they are relying on their feelings to be an accurate barometer of what is true.

Leslie: The Blessing of Thorns.

Nancy: Those afflictions, the things that pierce and prick us, can actually become a means of our being transformed into the likeness of Christ. They are means of preparing and fitting us for a thornless eternity.

Leslie: Hope for Uncertain Times. Surviving and Thriving in an Economic Crisis.

Nancy: If you want to survive and thrive in an economic crisis, rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice in the Lord. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy. Regardless of what is going on in the world or in your personal financial situation.

Leslie: Psalm of the Cross.

Nancy: I believe God at times will let us be in a place where we feel there is no one else to help so that we will turn to the One who can help; the only One who can help.

Leslie: The ABC’s of Handling a Meltdown.

Nancy: You see, how I respond when I’m under pressure has an influence on the people around me. I can lift them up, or I can pull them down. God has used people to lift me up by them praising the Lord in the midst of their difficult circumstances.  

Leslie: And just last month, A Calm Heart in a Troubled World, Psalm 37.

Nancy: Any of my circumstances, when I’m being wronged or when I’m being affected by wrong doing, is an incredible opportunity to manifest to the world, to unbelievers, to believers, to my family, to my co-workers, to my friends how wonderfully perfect and extraordinarily pure the Son of God is.

Leslie: Why has endurance been such an important topic over these last ten years?

Nancy: I think we know, Leslie, that difficulty, suffering, hardship, painthose are part of life. They are part of everyone’s life. They are inescapable, unavoidable. Everyone is familiar with pain in some way. If you’re not facing difficulty at the moment, just wait, as sooner or later you will.

So the question isn’t will we suffer, but do we have a biblical perspective on how to deal with suffering? When suffering comes into our lives, in whatever form that may be, we can be prepared if we have our minds filled with the Word of God and are thinking His way about suffering.

I think another reason this has been such a recurring theme over the years is that I want my teaching to be out of the overflow of my life. Over these past ten years, I have experienced plenty of challenges, some of them big, some of them little, some wouldn’t seem so big to you, but they are big to me.

In the midst of those experiences I have been stretched again and again, sometimes further that I thought I could bear to be stretched. In those difficult moments, I have learned to cry out to the Lord in desperation and found that I really can lean on Him for strength for those situations that I just can’t handle on my own.

As the Lord has met with me in many of those tear-filled moments, I have been able to share out of those experiences to minister into other’s lives, and isn’t that really the way it should be? Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1, that “God comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction through the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (v. 4).
 
So many times when I’m teaching out of a psalm or another part of Scripture about God’s perspective on adversity, it may be because God has met me in my adversity and I want to share with others the comfort, the consolation, the blessings that I’ve received from the Lord as I have learned to lean hard on Him in those difficult times.

Leslie: Nancy, God has used Revive Our Hearts to encourage women in their personal trials, and He’s used Revive Our Hearts to speak to some national trials as well.

Nancy: Revive Our Hearts had actually just been on the air for eight days when our nation experienced the attacks of 9/11. As God would have it, in His providential timing, we were in the middle of airing a series called, Finding God in the Desert.

The material that was broadcast that day was just what a lot of people needed right at that time. Then, because this was such a traumatic event in our nation, we felt that a further biblical response was needed.

A few weeks later we created some special programming addressing 9/11 specifically. We encouraged women to see what was undeniably a tragedy as also being a God-sent opportunity. An opportunity to point people to Christ and to display peace that didn’t make sense to a worried world.

Leslie:
This weekend our nation will be marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. To give you some perspective as we remember this event, we’ll hear a portion of Nancy's series that aired in 2001A Biblical Response to America’s Tragedy.

Nancy:
I received an email last week from a woman friend who like many of us is trying to process the events of the last few weeks. She said, and I think she speaks for many of us,  

I feel at a loss for what a homemaker and mother of four children can do. It seems that Jesus’ return is drawing near. So what am I to be doing in the meantime? I feel I need to step out of my comfort zone but where and how?   

What can we do? I’ve been asking myself that question; you’ve been asking that question. I just want to make several suggestions today about what we can do that can really make a difference.

Number one, I think it's so important that we weep with those who weepthat we enter into the suffering and the hurts and the wounds of those who have lost loved ones, those who've suffered incredible loss in this tragedy. Who more than those who belong to Christ should be able to demonstrate the merciful, the compassionate, the tender heart of God?

As I've been reading some of the gospels over the last few weeks, I've been caught by the tender, compassionate heart of Christ, who from His innermost being was troubled with the life circumstances some of His friends found themselves in.

Then, it's important that we refuse to give in to fear, that we demonstrate the reality of God's peace in the midst of this turmoil. We do live in a fragile, fallen, broken worldwhere there is no ultimate security apart from trusting in Christ.

And then this is a time for us to do a little heart checkmaybe a big heart check. You know that intense security measures are now in place in our airports, and many of us have experienced what it's like to have those big machines take our baggage and purses, our handbags, and everything that we have and take them through that machine where an x-ray looks and penetrates and shows what's inside. Then we walk through that passageway, that machine, where they look inside us and see if we have any weapons, anything that might be dangerous.  

I wonder if God is not giving each of us an opportunity to walk through His heavenly x-ray equipment and to say there are things about us that are more deadly and more dangerous than terrorist’s knives. There are things in our hearts that God wants to expose, to bring to the light. He wants to show us issues and needs in our own lives.

See, the danger at a time like this is that we would just point the finger at others and say they have done all the evil. But I think in times like this, God wants us to examine our own hearts and to say, "Lord, I'll walk through that x-ray machine myself and let You search and examine my own heart.”

I went to church last Sunday, and as I was getting ready to leave and spend some time with the Lord, a picture came to mind of another woman in my church who I had come to understand had something against me. There had been a misunderstanding between us, and my heart had been justifying and feeling that I didn't do anything wrong in this.

I had gone through all the defending myself and justifying. But as I was getting ready to go to church, that verse came to mind from Matthew 5 where Jesus said if you're getting ready to give a gift at the altar and you remember that somebody has something against you, leave your gift there at the altar and go first and be reconciled to your brother.

As I went to church last Sunday, I had to go and find that woman and say, "Could we go talk?" We ended up spending the whole service in a little side room, opening up our hearts to each other and saying to my friend, "I want to be right with you."

You see, I knew I was coming here to teach this week. I knew that I would be offering up a sacrifice to the Lord. I knew that when I went to church I was going to offer God myself and my offerings, and I knew that it was absolutely essential that I not only be right with God but that I be right with every person to the best of my ability, that my conscience be clear.

And then the call to pray. Pray, of course, for the victims, for those whose lives will never be the same as a result of the loss they've experienced over these weeks. Not only the victims, but I believe we have a call, according to God's Word, to pray for the perpetrators, to pray for those who've done this evil. God's Word says that we are to pray for those who despitefully use and persecute us; pray that their hearts would be turned to Christ.

I think about how God turned a man named Saul of Tarsus, when he was out persecuting and killing believers. But God stopped him there on the road to Damascus. He encountered God in a life-changing way, and his life was changed. He became the great apostle Paul. We have much of the Word of God today because of the transformation that took place in that man's life.

Don't think that could not happen to Osama bin Laden. We need to pray for him. We need to pray for wicked rulers as well as righteous rulers in this worldthat God will have His way in their lives.  

We need to pray for those who've been blinded by religions that are false religions, because all religion apart from Christ is deadly. It's not just an innocent religion apart from Christ. It's deadly. We need to pray for billions of people in our world today who have been blinded by religious activity and religious beliefs that are contrary to the truth.

We need to pray that God would use these events to turn the hearts of people who may have been more sensitized by what has been happening and perhaps more open to matters of eternity.

We need to pray for our nation. We've seen it; we've sung it; we've prayed it: "God bless America." But the question is why? Why should He? Perhaps we should be praying, "God, have mercy on America. And God, do something in us as a nation that would give You a reason to be able to bless us." God tells us what kind of nation is blessed: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD”not just any God, but God the Lord. So we need to pray that God will have mercy on our country.

I believe this is a time perhaps as never before to appeal to our friends and loved ones and co-workers to prepare to meet God, to prepare for eternity.

I was deeply moved by one CBS reporter that I heard talking to Dan Rather on the morning of September 11. She was still visibly shaken, because she had run out of one of those collapsing buildings. Here she was now, sitting on camera next to Dan Rather. She was out of breath; she was just on the brink of tears. You could see she was very, very shaken. She was thanking publicly those rescuers who had helped to get her out of that building. Here's what she said when she spoke about one.  

He threw me into a building, threw his body against me and covered me from the falling debris. There was a police officer who grabbed my hand and led me through that falling building, and another firefighter who gave me his mask so that I could breathe.  

She is a woman who will be forever indebted to those search and rescue workers, forever grateful. Where would she be today? See, that's what had shaken her. She knew where she'd be if it hadn't been for those who were willing to make these valiant, courageous rescue attempts.

I wonder if there is someone who is collapsing under the weight and guilt of their sinsomeone in my family, someone in yours; someone in my place of work, someone in yours; someone in my neighborhood, someone in your neighborhood. I have neighbors who don't know the Lord, and I'm praying, "Oh God, show me how to reach out." It's not easy, because in this case, most of those people who need to be rescued don't realize that they need to be rescued. They're not looking for help.  

Nonetheless, isn't this a time for us to give them our mask so they can breathe, to say "We have a lifeline," to take them by the hand and say, "I'm going to lead you out of this burning building. I'm going to risk what you think of me because I know there's judgment coming. And I'm going to plead with you to flee from the wrath to come."

What an opportunity, because, you see, the gospel is still the Good News. The gospel is what our world needs to hear, the gospel of Jesus Christ. May we not fail in this moment to be the people of God, doing the work of God, and seeing the kingdom of God established in the hearts of His people.

And I would just ask you, is God speaking to your heart about one or more of these in particular?  

  • Do you need to weep with those who weep?
  • Do you need to demonstrate the freedom from fear; the peace of God in the midst of turmoil.
  • Do you need to examine your own heart or let God examine it to make sure that you’re right with God and that your conscience it clear with every person that you know?
  • Perhaps you need to be evaluating your priorities. Are the things you are living for really worth dying for?
  • All of us need to pray, to pray as God directs. We need to lay hold of God and say, “Oh, Lord! We have no hope but in You. We have nowhere to turn but to You. But we do turn to You, and we believe You to have Your way and Your will in this time of national crisis.
  • Is there someone you need to reach out to? Say, “Here is my hand, here is my heart. I want to help you spiritually to prepare to meet God. I am willing to risk what you think. I am willing to risk your rejection in order to show you how you can get out, how you can flee from the wrath of God.”


Leslie: That is Nancy Leigh DeMoss recorded in 2001 when many Americans were living in the fear of terrorism. I hope that message provides you with hope as our nation marks the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. To read that complete message, visit ReviveOurHearts.com. The series is A Biblical Response to the Attack on America, or order it on CD.

Not long ago Nancy met with the Revive Our Hearts team and offered ten principles she’s learned over ten years of radio ministry. She is going to share them with you as well. Please be back Monday for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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

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

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