First Christian Church
June 19, 2022 1st Service
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  • I Must Tell Jesus (636)
      • 1 Peter 4:8CSB

  • All That Thrills My Soul (511)
  • Be Still And Know (#585)
  • Come Thou Almighty King (#8)
  • INTRODUCTION
    As we continue our series today, we will dig into an area of testing that is one most, if not all of us, have experienced or will, at some point in our life experience.
    Have you ever been in a situation where you felt alone and abandoned?
    What did that feel like?
    The thought of being abandoned is one of the tests we will face in life.
    When you are in that position, where will you turn?
    The feeling of abandonment is a powerful tool of the enemy because when we feel isolated and alone, we start listening to those small voices in our heads that keep getting louder and louder.
    Think of Jesus for a moment.
    Who came calling when Jesus was alone, tired, thirsty, and hungry in the wilderness?
    When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, what did Jesus do?
    Jesus cried out to God to find another way, the temptation to avoid the cross was something He faced.
    In the most powerful verse on the subject of feeling abandoned, listen to Jesus.
    Matthew 27:46 (NET 2nd ed.)
    46 At about three o’clock Jesus shouted with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    ELI, ELI, LAMA SABOTH IN EYE.
    Jesus felt the pain of abandonment on the cross.
    This morning's text takes us to a time when Jesus spoke to His closest disciples.
    This event takes place shortly before the crucifixion.
    After spending time with Jesus, the disciples are told that their relationship will soon be severed.
    Jesus tells them of His coming departure and that it will be soon.
    At this point, the disciples are in a state of shock and disillusionment.
    Their best friend and mentor will no longer be with them, and they're taking the news very hard.
    Most would have reacted the way the disciples did.
    We probably would have reacted this way because we lacked the entire scope of Jesus's plan.
    Out of context, this reality seems so harsh, unnecessary, and even faulty.
    If we were to drive to work every day and observe the daily progress of a unique building being constructed, we might be a little judgmental about its progress.
    Our lack of ability to see the blueprints makes us doubt whether it will ever be finished.
    Similarly, the disciples didn't understand the big picture of what Jesus was trying to accomplish.
    We can act like that, too, when we can't see what God is doing in our lives.
    Without answers, we tend to object to the process we're going through.
    Our BIG IDEA FOR THE MESSAGE TODAY IS:
    When Christ warned the disciples that he'd be leaving them, they didn't take the news very well. He left them with words of comfort and admonition to help them overcome this test in their life.
    Let's begin with John 16:16-17.
    John 16:16–17 (NET 2nd ed.)
    16 In a little while you will see me no longer; again after a little while, you will see me.”
    17 Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What is the meaning of what he is saying, ‘In a little while you will not see me; again after a little while, you will see me,’ and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?”
    SERMON

    I. The sorrow brought by abandonment.

    In verses 16-24, Jesus is with the disciples, and He speaks of the joys and sorrows they will face in the coming days.
    Even though Jesus had talked about His death and subsequent resurrection, the disciples were deeply saddened by the statement that Jesus made, telling them they would see Him no longer.
    I have heard stories of children having one or both parents abandon them.
    It was a heartbreaking time.
    This plays out in divorces, where typically, the father is nowhere to be found after the divorce.
    This leaves emotional scars the children carry with them for the rest of their lives.
    In my volunteer work at the Small Animal shelter, it is heartbreaking to see dogs and cats who had homes be dumped at the shelter.
    Whoever thinks animals cannot love and get attached has no clue.
    I saw a cat at the Sierra Vista shelter a year or so ago whose owner died.
    The poor thing just looked so sad.
    Abandonment brings sorrow.
    The disciples were sad; they had no clue what was happening with Jesus.
    Verse 17 shows that they had no clue.
    When we lose people around us, we feel abandoned.
    When we feel abandoned, it can affect our desire to live life.
    Before anyone ever heard of COVID, one out of two Americans could be classified as lonely.
    That sense of feeling alone or left out was a global epidemic prior to a global pandemic.
    Experts say loneliness can shorten a person’s lifespan by as much as 15 years.
    Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy stated, “During my years caring for patients, the most common pathology I saw was not heart disease or diabetes. It was loneliness.”
    One in six Baby Boomers lives alone - one out of two people don’t know their neighbors’ names – and Generation Z (18-22) & Millennials (23-37) have the highest rate of loneliness.
    Many around us are quite lonely. The Week, 1/11/19, p.11; Daily Briefing, 3/29/17
    The disciples were used to being with Jesus, yet He was telling them He would be leaving them for a while.
    In verse 16, Jesus spoke specifically about His death and resurrection.
    After three days, He would rise again; and for another "little while," a space of 40 days before He ascended to the Father, they would see Him while He remained on earth.
    Of course, these men had no idea what He was speaking of at this point.
    Add to that the fact that they did not want Him to go.
    When we are alone and afraid, the enemy will use that time to attack, and we must be ready for it.
    We have to not allow sorrow to ruin our faith.
    John 16:18–19 (NET 2nd ed.)
    18 So they kept on repeating, “What is the meaning of what he says, ‘In a little while’? We do not understand what he is talking about.”
    19 Jesus could see that they wanted to ask him about these things, so he said to them, “Are you asking each other about this—that I said, ‘In a little while you will not see me; again after a little while, you will see me’?

    II. The confusion brought by abandonment.

    Point two should also include verse 17.
    John 16:17 (NET 2nd ed.)
    17 Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What is the meaning of what he is saying, ‘In a little while you will not see me; again after a little while, you will see me,’ and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?”
    Verse 18 says, "So they were saying…"
    In the original language, "they were saying" is in the imperfect tense.
    In language, tense tells you the time frame in which the word is being written.
    The imperfect is when a past-tense verb is brought into the future.
    It's an ongoing, repeated, habitual past action.
    It's not a "one and done," like a simple past tense.
    In other words, the disciples were so dumbfounded and confused that they repeatedly said to themselves and one another, "What does he mean?"
    How many times during a testing in life do we try to figure out what God is doing in our lives?
    We sit and ask questions and ponder the meaning of it all.
    The wonderful thing is that God knows what we're asking.
    In verse 19, Jesus knew what was happening in the disciples' hearts.
    He takes the time to comfort them in verse 20.
    Think of that child or that pet that gets left behind.
    They are dumbfounded, confused, and scarred.
    John (Joy Greater than Trouble (16:16–33)) (College Press Commentary Series)
    Jesus’ speech quickly causes a buzz of discussion among the disciples.
    The focus of conversation is neither the prophecy about coming persecution nor the promise of the Holy Spirit.
    It is centered on Jesus’ still misunderstood references to his coming departure.
    The disciples are confused about his future destination and about the timing of the coming sequence of events.
    In verses 7 and 10, Jesus told these men that He would be leaving.
    The confusion of the disciples centered around the fact that Jesus said they would not see Him for a little while, and for a little while, they will see Him.
    These guys did not know how this was possible.
    When we feel abandoned, our confusion can lead us to surmise that God has left us, and the enemy will play on that feeling.
    The test is; will I stick with Jesus even if I feel He left me (which He didn't)?
    John 16:20–21 (NET 2nd ed.)
    20 I tell you the solemn truth, you will weep and wail, but the world will rejoice; you will be sad, but your sadness will turn into joy.
    21 When a woman gives birth, she has distress because her time has come, but when her child is born, she no longer remembers the suffering because of her joy that a human being has been born into the world.

    III. The end of abandonment.

    Jesus here shows the disciples their profound grief in connection with His death.
    He tells them they would weep and wail.
    Yet while they are weeping and wailing, the death of Jesus will make His enemies rejoice.
    The Jewish leaders, in particular, were so hostile toward Jesus would be filled with joy thinking He would be out of the picture, rotting in a tomb.
    This sounds bad; however, something will change.
    The disciples' sorrow would be turned to joy by the resurrection of Jesus!
    We are later told that when the disciples returned to Jerusalem after the ascension, the disciples were full of
    While we may not have specific answers to our why questions, God does comfort us during our most vulnerable seasons of life.
    Jesus tells the disciples what they needed to know at that moment.
    They needed to know that eventually, His absence would bring joy in the future.
    Jesus illustrates this point by talking about a woman in labor.
    The woman is not enjoying the painful process of giving birth, but once that baby is delivered and handed to the mother, it's as though she never went through those birth pains (v. 21).
    Jesus is saying that that's how they'll feel when they see him again.
    The same is true for us in our tests of life: there is joy after the pain.
    Jesus is always with you.
    You are never alone.
    During the rough times, you can get through it with Him.
    Psalm 23 (NET 2nd ed.)
    A psalm of David.
    1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    2 He takes me to lush pastures, he leads me to refreshing water.
    3 He restores my strength. He leads me down the right paths for the sake of his reputation.
    4 Even when I must walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff reassure me.
    5 You prepare a feast before me in plain sight of my enemies. You refresh my head with oil; my cup is completely full.
    6 Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days, and I will live in the Lord’s house for the rest of my life.
    CONCLUSION
    Fear of the unknown is often associated with tests.
    We need to know God is always with us!
    What's going to be on the test?
    Is it going to be multiple choice?
    How many essays or fill-in-the-blanks will there be?
    Are we tested over all the material or just a few main points?
    Likewise, the tests of life bring fear that causes many people to worry about what will be on the tests.
    Truthfully, no one but God knows.
    We know that the author of the test is also the one who is with you during the test.
    Psalm 23 tells us that even WHEN we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us; we are NEVER alone!
    God will not leave you alone and afraid!
    Application Point: When we feel alone or disillusioned, we can always find our way back to God.
      • Matthew 27.46NETBIBLE2ED

      • John 16.16-17NETBIBLE2ED

      • John 16.18NETBIBLE2ED

      • John 16.19NETBIBLE2ED

      • John 16.17NETBIBLE2ED

      • John 16.20-21NETBIBLE2ED

      • Psalms 23.1-4NETBIBLE2ED

      • Psalms 23.5-6NETBIBLE2ED

  • His Eye Is On The Sparrow (Why Should I Feel Discouraged)
  • Amazing Grace
  • I Will Sing Of The Mercies

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