River of Life Church
December 12, 2021
Main Scripture Reference(s)
Hebrews 11:3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11


December 12, 2021 / Hebrews 11:3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11


-This is the 4th message in the series of “HELP! I’M IN A FUNK.”

-Some have asked me to preach about people who put you in a FUNK.

-This series of messages is born out of a desire to help people handle the emotional, mental duress that is compounding in society today.

-If you will lean in tight until the end…I promise you it will be worth it.

I also talked about our emotional well-being which can become low.

This is called depression. I also talked about our spirit becoming wounded, hurt, and cut, this is deeper! (a combination of the physical and emotional becoming worn)

I also believe without consistent emotional health; it is difficult to maintain your spiritual health.  

I have seen many people have spiritual highs that are not maintainable because of wrong emotional processing.

Q-What do you do when you are in a FUNK (burn-out, wounded or depressed, and it looks like God isn’t going to answer?”   (When heaven is quiet -when prayers go unanswered)

God will make a way of escape for you. It may not be the escape you thought.

We can become so disappointed that we stop obeying the mandates of that Bible, and what it says. We can become a causality of the devil before we know it.

If you don’t believe me, just think of the ones not serving God today.

ASK THEM: Do you love God…”OH YES”, but they are full of bitterness, resentment, anger, and confusion.  Well, if you love God, why don’t you just come back and worship in Church? “I CAN’T”——- WHY? “I REALLY DON’T KNOW.”

-I must wait till I get better before I come back to Church. (Got to work some things out)                              

This is one of the lies of the devil. Get better first then come to Church. Get cleaned up first -then commit to the Lord. It doesn’t work that way friend. If the devil can discourage you enough, you get into self-pity.

POINT: God can’t minister to you in this condition. It is very difficult for the HS to minister through self-pity. It is like a barricade that is erected. God literally has to whittle everything away from you little by little.

Life usually serves up its trials, hurts, and abandonment at such a pace that you hardly have time to recover from one before you have another.

                        Text: Hebrews 11:3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11

There are some things that happen by faith, and then there are some things that happen that mature your faith.

Certain things will cause your faith to grow. You have to go through some things in order to grow your faith. We live by faith, and we live with our faith.

v.39-These having obtained a good testimony through faith.

This is the Arlington Cemetery of the NT. This is where the saints of the ages are buried beneath the promises of God.  We can read the epitaph on the tombstones of the mighty men of God. How God delivered Abraham, how God was faithful to deliver many mighty men and women of God.  The great testimony!

36-“but there were others”.

They had faith, they obtained faith, but others were torn to pieces, slain by the sword, feed to lions, starving to death, died horrible deaths.  The needs were not met in the short-term picture of things. Miracles were not done in their life. 

Slide-4–  Some were victors in their faith, and some were victims in their faith.

Where are you, God? Why are you not intervening in my life? Why am I still depressed? Why am I not healed? I don’t know how to get well. Why am I not delivered? Why is there no miracle?  Why is there no answer? 

-I believe in the answers of God, but what do you do when it seems like there is no intervention.

ILLUS.: “God if you won’t do anything, will you at least just say something?” Then God is silent. There is always a purpose when God is silent. There is always a purpose when God is quiet.

Noah endured the storm for 40 days and nights. He made it through the initial 40 days, but what we forget is that Noah drifted for another 150 days before the waters even began to recede.

It is often the drifting of life that is hard. Sometimes we make it through the XRAY. We make it through the Chemo and everything else.  We sometimes just can’t believe where we find ourselves.

  • We have made it through the news of the death of our loved one, now we are preparing for a new normal.

We can’t understand why the tragedy has come. There is a drifting season.  God, what is going on? Why won’t you speak God?


The silence of God during your burn-out is for a reason. There are times in life that I have felt angry where I found myself, but we must in our moments of drifting say: “God I am confused, I am weary, but I still love you with all my heart!”

ILLUS.: God why don’t you do something? You are God! All you have to do is think it and I am healed; I am delivered.

He would not put more on you than you are able to bear.”– His burden is light. -“God I wish you wouldn’t trust me so much!”

A. The heavier the trial the heavier the trust that God has.

The measure of the trial is the measure of God’s trust in you.

When you are depressed, the test seems a lot heavier.

It takes burn-out and wounding to a whole new level.

  • You are unable to gather rest. Your focus in life is becoming a little blurred.
  • Next, your digestive system kicks in and responds to your stress. (Touches of unexplained IBS. Symptoms of spastic bowels. Nervousness…where you get sick at your stomach easier.
  • It causes pain that is misinterpreted as heart problems.)

-Victims of depression often cease to function as normal Dads and Moms. 

-As a student, as a worker. A colleague in a firm. A laborer on the job. A housewife. -They can’t summon enough energy and initiative to get moving and get going again in life.

-Depression will lead to an ENVIRONMENT of hopelessness.

-There is an utter sense of “no way out”, a dead-end street.

-God can take care of other people’s problems, but not mine.

People don’t like their job. They don’t want any more stress. 2021 will go down as the year of JOB CHANGE. (Wall-Street Journal)

They are barraged with stress-filled situations and many are running from these situations…and they run into the arms of alcohol, drugs, or another relationship – trying to get some kind of feeling again.

People begging someone to understand. The reason, some people seem angry…….is because they are screaming out…” please understand me.”  

If you are looking to man for a source of understanding. They really can’t…their life is filled with stress too. If you are looking for hope, encouragement, and understanding….then look to JESUS…He understands.

B. Things that happen to us: trials, tests, temptations.

Trials-Men; Tests-God, Temptations-satan. Temptations: They never come to see if you would do the temptation.

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness: Satan said: “If thou be the son of God”. Temptation doesn’t come to see if we would sin, ultimately it is trying to see if we are a son/daughter of God.

If we are a son/daughter of God. We will say: “I can’t do that because I am a child of God’s.” This is the test: Are we a child of God? I am His!


God does move in people’s lives; He brings miracles. He moves powerfully in people’s lives. I want you to know that my brown eyes have seen the healing of God, upon the souls of men.

I believe when the heart is sick, the whole body

ILLUS.: Young lady in Maryville, MO. She was 30 years of age. God instantly healed her of depression and mental illness. She said: “My mind is whole for the first time.” I remember the scripture that says: “The man from the Gadarenes.” “Sitting by Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind,” I remember seeing God heal her.

I have seen God touch people who were hopeless, destitute, and had no idea how things were going to work out.-There is something called…….and others…

ILLUS.: Searcy, Arkansas-(Angela Webb) Lady in our church. Mother of a girl in the youth group. She had a glowing testimony. God, why didn’t you intervene? Why didn’t you do something? God, why didn’t you send an angel in that situation?

AND OTHERS..…if bitterness cannot affect your spirit then it cannot affect your destiny.

The enemy likes to get into the cracks of the unresolved issues in our lives.  He loves to do his best to find a way to cause doubt, cause burn-out, cause, wounding, cause depression, and cause resentment.=

Sometimes life can hit us so hard that it can almost cause resentment at God. God didn’t stop the tragedy. God didn’t stop the accident. God didn’t stop the horrible situation. It can almost cause RESENTMENT.

There is this thing that discusses the NON-INTERVENTION OF GOD.

The book of Acts begins with miracles, and a surge of power, as the church is birthed, but it ends with great pain, and Paul even being in PRISON. Paul and many Christians were lacerated, beaten, and put to death.

Where is God now? God, why didn’t you intervene?

A. God is doing more in us when we are in distress than when we are in success.

We don’t want to hear anything but success and mountain top experiences today.

But I have learned that God does great works in me when in distress.

The greatest lessons I have learned is when I did something wrong (and learned) as opposed to when I did something right. (I have learned a lot the last several years) Sometimes the greatest things that God is doing in our life are in distress.

BUT GOD has to keep rescuing us out of this because He doesn’t come when we think he ought to.

I have come to say…..even your pain is your friend. It lets you know that you are alive. Paul and Silas learned to sing hymns at midnight when they were in pain.

You know you are maturing when you can praise Him in pain.

Praise when you are burned out, praise when you are wounded…..praise Him in all things!

When you praise in pain, God turns to His earthquake angel and He says

“That isn’t normal praise, but that is pain praise”.

Earthquake angels, go shake the foundations of their past prisons and let them be free.

The midnight hour of our experience is how God comes through. I don’t understand it. God did send an angel, but why did He wait until their backs were whipped with sores. God could have turned those whips into wet noodles.

God, why did you wait until midnight when I was beaten, whipped, bleeding, and spit on.  God has this hang-up—HE THINKS HE’S GOD!

God isn’t always going to come down and explain Himself to us.

This is called GROW-UP 101. Paul had been saved a short time, and he was in a city. Things got so bad that they had to let him down by the wall in a basket. IT GOT SO BAD THAT HE BECAME A BASKET CASE.

I don’t get it, why it seems like God waits until it gets bad, and we become a basket case. If you are a basket case, you are in the right place. Because God specializes in Basket-cases because He is God! God can teach us through our distress. There are some people who WHINE all the time. Every time something doesn’t go their way. When we throw a pity party-there is only 1 attendee=the devil.

How many want some cheese with your whine?

They drag God up for questioning when things don’t go your way -you think they should go.  We complain when we climb a rough mountain, but you can’t climb a smooth mountain.

POINT: If you have prayed, God removes the mountain, remove the mountain, remove the mountain…and if it hasn’t been removed then get your climbing gear on, and get ready to scale the mountain.

“God hasn’t removed the mountain, so I am going to climb over it.”


Paul: Always getting kicked out of cities. Lystra-stoned. Left him on a pile of rocks.  God could of turned those rocks into marshmallows, but He didn’t.

When those stones were hitting his face, I wonder if he was asking God:

 “God where are you?” But when he was under that rock pile, he received some revelations that are a comfort to us today: He was taken up to heaven, and afterward, he told us: “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”-That came from the rock pile.

“Old death where is your sting, old grave where is your victory.”-What a revelation. I am convinced that we want a revelation, but we don’t want the rocks.

The only destructive thing Jesus did ever do in His ministry, was to curse a fig tree. If you and I will endure, and get through the burn-out, get through the wounding, get through the depression, our faith will get larger. God wants to teach us something. This is not the baby bottle this morning.

You know you are getting stronger when the rocks that are thrown at you are used for a foundation to go up higher.

Paul used the rocks they threw at him to build a foundation for his ministry to go up higher. Paul was beaten at Philippi, arrested at Jerusalem, shipwrecked, snake bite, and was thrown into prison and put under house arrest for 2 years. Can you imagine Paul with his ankle bracelet on for 2 years? Why didn’t God set him free?

Why didn’t God deliver him? During those two years, the apostle Luke was going around Interviewing people who knew Paul and also interviewing Paul himself. Those 2 years were crucial for Paul to slow down, so Luke could come and interview Apostle Paul.

DICHOTOMY: Acts 12-James is beheaded. James and Peter are together in prison. James is beheaded, and the next day -God sends an angel and delivers Peter out of prison.  I am sure that Peter’s family was shouting the victory, having revival wooo. Glory…. But James’ family was grieving. How did we miss it just 24 hours earlier? God, couldn’t you have sent an angel a little earlier?

Q-Can you imagine, how that family felt? They were having a funeral, while another family was throwing a party.=

Paul comes and preaches. Who was Saul of Tarsus? One who made orphans and widows out of people. Now he comes to preach to the children whose parents he killed. He preaches to the widows, and he killed their husbands. He is preaching, and I am sure that some widows are sitting there thinking: “I am glad that you had a turnaround, but I wish it would have come about 60 days ago before you cut off the head of my husband.”


It seems like God is not fair. 20/20 vision is always in hindsight. Deu. 29:29-“The secret things belong to the Lord.”


ILLUS.: Exclamation point! Question mark. I will not stop serving him.

A. When God doesn’t intervene, it develops character.

-God is more interested in developing character than solving our problems.

-WHEN He doesn’t intervene because he knows that would inhibit our growth and maturity.

There are some people when there is a problem, they begin to fast and pray and get serious about God, and they cry out GOD DELIVER ME! God says, I’m not going to deliver you, your doing better than you have ever done.

We would be babies if God made every little choice for us.

The only way that I can get you to mature is not to intervene in your problems.

B. When God doesn’t intervene it enables us to show grace!

ILLUS.: Jesus on the cross. My God, My God..Jesus was on the cross. (no intervention) Jesus hung on that cross, to put a face on grace, and to show the world that he doesn’t intervene in everything.


JESUS: 10,000 angels. Sometimes he doesn’t intervene, we have to carry our crosses. It is a message to the world that we have something that is real, that every time something doesn’t go our way, we still serve God.

Sometimes God lets life hit you, so what is in you will come out. (Anger, Resentment, Fruits of the Spirit)

*Stephen is a good man. He looks like an angel. Why doesn’t God do something? How come he let this happen. Well-Standing by is a guy named Paul who is a member of the TALIBAN.

The Bible says that he held the coats of the people who were stoning Steven to death.

“Father lay not this sin to their charge”.—bam, bam. (I don’t have a god-like that) Two chapters later Paul was converted by the grace of God!

ILLUS.: God doesn’t always intervene in your burn-out wounding depression.

God gave man freedom of choice. God moves to preserve human freedom. (Right and wrong)

Good people suffer because ungodly people make unrighteous choices.

ILLUS.: Good people suffer when there are wrongs.

-In order for God to prevent you and me from receiving bad things in our life, God would have to stop the universe. (He didn’t even do that in heaven with Lucifer). -God does not intervene in FREE WILL.

-1/3 of the angels left with a loser named satan, No one has been a loser longer than satan.

-God doesn’t want to reduce us to robots, so he will not take away our ability to choose. Bad things happen to good people because bad people make bad choices.

-We are free moral agents, and good people suffer.

-If the devil can discourage you enough, and you allow him enough room, that you get into self-pity -God can’t minister to you.

It is very difficult for the HS to minister through self-pity. It is like a barricade that is erected. God literally has to whittle everything away from you.


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