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The Lies We Believe and the Truth that Sets Us Free

“You Should Just Give Up”

Series: Flip the Script – Part 5

Job 19:25-27

Here’s the thing about what we believe.  What we believe doesn’t have to be true to have the power of truth over us.  We just have to believe it’s true.  And so in this series we’ve been talking about some lies that we live by.  We don’t knowingly live by those lies.  If we knew they were lies, we wouldn’t live by them.  But there are just some things that we’ve accepted, some things we’ve believed without stopping and thinking.  And those lies can have tremendous power over our lives, our relationships, our futures.

 The series is called “Flip the Script,” and what we’ve talked about in this series is that the enemy, every day, hands you a script to read.  And the script is full of lies.  It’s full of lies about who God is.  It’s full of lies about who you are.  And if that’s the script that you read from and that’s the script you keep reading from, it has tremendous power over your life.  But in this series we’re talking about flipping the script, and so we want to recognize the lies that we have believed and we want to be set free by the truth of God’s Word.

I was thinking this week about some of the ways that what we believe impacts who we are.  Just think through this with me.  That what we believe to be true—whether it’s true or not—shapes our attitudes, it governs our emotions, it determines our behaviors, it regulates our relationships, and ultimately what we believe to be true—whether it’s true or not—decides our future.

So just kind of think through a few of the lies that we’ve looked at in this series.  Week one we talked about the lie that you don’t have what it takes.  You don’t have what it takes.  If you believe that…like, if that’s what you wake up and that’s what you tell yourself and that’s what you’ve bought into…you just don’t have what it takes…well, that shapes your attitudes, right?  You probably will find yourself being defensive around other people.  You’ll find yourself critical of others because you’re trying to mask your insecurity that you don’t have what it takes.

It governs your emotions.  You can feel discouraged.  You can feel beaten down and defeated before the day has even begun, because you believe that you don’t have what it takes.

It determines your behavior.  Instead of being passionate…  If you believe you have what it takes, you’re going to be passionate.  If you don’t believe you have what it takes, you’re much more likely just to be passive.

It regulates your relationships with other people.  It makes you feel like you don’t have much to offer.  It regulates your relationship with God.  It might make you feel like He’s abandoned you and put you in an impossible situation.

But when you’re constantly reading from the script that says, “You don’t have what it takes,” ultimately it just…it decides your future, and your future is going to be marked with guilt because you don’t have what it takes.  It’s going to be marked with shame.  Your future is going to be marked with missed opportunities to impact and influence and to change the world because you don’t believe you have what it takes.

But what if you flipped the script?  What if you start reading the truth of God’s Word?  The truth of God’s Word would say, “Yep, you’re right.  You don’t have what it takes, but you know who does.”  Philippians chapter 4 says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (v. 13).  And I start reading from that…?  I mean, that’s how I start my day—“I can do all things that God has called me to do today through His strength, not my own strength”—well, that shapes my attitudes, right?  Because now I’m going to be more optimistic and I’m going to be more positive.

It governs my emotions.  Instead of being stressed out and anxious, I know it doesn’t all depend on me.

It’s going to determine my behavior.  I will start living with greater purpose and passion.

Ultimately it decides my future because if you’re reading from that script—“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”—you’re going to take a different path than you would otherwise.  I mean, if you really start believing that, you’re going to take some risks.  You’re going to start thinking, “All right, God’s going to do something through me today that’s going to make a difference in this world.”  You start living with purpose.

And so, you see how this works?  That what we believe, the script that we read, the story we tell ourselves—whether it’s true or not—has tremendous power.

So think about another lie that we talked about a few weeks ago: “You deserve to be happy.”  If that’s the lie you live by, if you live by the lie “you deserve to be happy,” well, it’s going to shape your attitudes.  Chances are it’s going to make you feel entitled.  Anything good you get…well, you deserved it anyway.

It’s going to govern your emotions.  Ironically, as we talked about, it makes you discontent.  The more you make your happiness central in your life, the more likely you are to be depressed.

It determines your behavior because your life becomes all about…  If you believe the lie that you deserve to be happy, your life becomes all about pursuing happiness; and that, for most of us, translates into pursuing more—more of whatever it is we think will make us happy.

It will regulate our relationships.  If I live by the lie “I deserve to be happy,” then I’m going to define my relationships…I’m going to value people by whether or not they make me feel happy when I’m around them.  It will regulate my relationship with God because if I think I deserve to be happy then it’s God’s job to make me happy.  He needs to grant some wishes. And if He doesn’t make me happy then I start to get bitter because I deserve to be happy.

And if I live by the lie that I deserve to be happy then it ultimately is going to decide my future.  It’s going to be marked by broken relationships, because “this person didn’t make me happy but maybe this person will make me happy.”  It’s going to ultimately be marked by deep disappointment.

But you flip the script, and you start telling yourself a different story; and you’re set free by the truth of God’s Word.  God’s Word says…would teach…you don’t deserve to be happy.  Sorry about that.  You don’t deserve to be happy; you deserve to go to hell, but Jesus has saved you and that should make you happy.  You start living life with that truth, you start looking at your life through that lens—that you’ve been saved even though you didn’t deserve it—and you start to experience a happiness.

And so, you live with that truth, and it shapes your attitudes.  You’re thankful, you’re grateful because God gave you, in Jesus Christ, what you didn’t deserve.

It governs your emotions.  You feel a peace and a joy that’s not dependent on circumstances.

It determines your behavior.  Instead of being exhausted and frustrated from chasing happiness, you understand that it’s something that you receive in Christ.

It regulates your relationships.  Because you have experienced the grace that comes from Jesus, you’re able to live graciously with others.

And ultimately it decides your future.  Because no matter what happens in the future, if I’m living by that truth, I’m going to have joy.  There’s a joy that cannot be touched.  It cannot be stolen by the chances and changes of this life.

So here’s what I want you to do.  Now don’t miss this.  I want you to consider some lies that maybe you’ve believed and I want you to run them through this filter, run them through this grid.  You see, in this series we’ve talked about some general lies that are true for a lot of us at different times in life.  But get a little more specific with it and ask God to reveal some things that maybe you’ve believed for a long time, and then start to run them through this grid and ask yourself, “How has living by that lie impacted me and my attitude and my relationships?  How is it determining the trajectory of my life?”  Because what we believe to be true, whether it’s true or not, has tremendous impact over us.

 And so, in this series we’ve just…we’ve been talking about these lies and the truth that sets us free.  And the key is, as we said last week, that we want to take every thought captive.  It means that we’re going to wrestle it to the ground.  We’re going to handcuff it and we’re going to surrender that thought over to the truth of God’s Word.  We’re going to submit it to the authority of Christ.  And as we begin to do that, we start to experience a freedom.

And so this week we’re wrapping it up by looking at one more lie, and it’s a lie that all of us live by—or are tempted to live by at one time or another.  It’s one of the enemy’s favorite lies.  It goes something like this: You should really just give up.  Really you should just quit.  It’s too late.  Why are you even trying?  Just be done.  In some ways every lie the enemy tells has this as the motivation.  You don’t have what it takes, so you should just give up.  You’ll never be good enough, so you should just give up.  God doesn’t care about you, so you should just give up.  You might as well just quit.

So here’s what I want us to do.  I want us to look at how the enemy will try to communicate this lie to us by studying the Old Testament character of Job.  Now you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with Job.  Typically, when we go through Job’s story, we would look at it through—and appropriately so—through the lens of suffering.  But what I want us to do is do an overview of Job’s story and look at it through this lens of spiritual warfare.  That specifically Job is going to have to decide what script he’s going to read from: the one the enemy hands him or the one that God has given him.

 And so, in Job chapter 1 we find Job is in a pretty good place in life.  Things are going well for him.  I don’t know how aware he was about some of the spiritual warfare that was taking place, but you know, in Job chapter 1 he’s good.

Here’s how it starts: “In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job.  This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.  He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants.  He was the greatest man among all the people of the East” (vv. 1-3).

Now anytime that’s part of your introduction…any time you’re introduced by saying, “And this is the greatest person…well, at least in the East,” that’s a pretty good indication that life’s going well for you, right?  Like, you’re the greatest person in the East, in this hemisphere.  And so life is going well for Job.  He seems to be happy. He seems to be healthy, prosperous.

And then starting in verse 6 there’s this really disturbing conversation that takes place between God and Satan.  Here’s what we read: “One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser…”  Capitol “A” because that’s his name.  …the Accuser, Satan, came with them.  ‘Where have you come from?’ the Lord asked Satan.  Satan answered the Lord, ‘I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on’” (vv. 6-7, NLT).  

That’s how Peter describes our enemy—as a roaring lion who prowls around looking for someone to devour.

 So the enemy says, “God, I’ve been…I’ve been going all over, just paying attention to what’s happening.”  And God says, “Well, have you noticed my servant Job?  Have you noticed how faithful that man is?”  And the enemy says, “Well, yeah.  I mean, I’ve seen Job’s faithfulness.  I’m aware of that.  But look, it’s just because you’ve put this wall of protection around him.  It’s just because there’s this hedge of protection around him and his home and his life.  You lower that hedge of protection, you let me go a few rounds with him, and he’ll curse you to your face!”  And God says, “All right, you’re on.”

 And so in the following chapters what you get is a picture of the enemy’s strategy, of what he does when he wants to get you and me and Job to quit, to give up, to turn away from God.  

And so the first thing that you see is that the enemy attacks Job with difficult circumstances.  

Maybe a better word for this would be “devastating” – devastating circumstances.  It’s really almost unthinkable…the loss that Job experiences in a very short amount of time.  

Maybe a better word for this would be “devastating” – devastating circumstances.  It’s really almost unthinkable…the loss that Job experiences in a very short amount of time.  

In verse 14 all of his oxen are stolen.  It seems like…it seems like a difficult task.  I don’t know how you go about stealing that many oxen.  But they steal all the oxen, and all the farm hands are killed.  

Verse 16 says that while that message was being delivered to Job that another messenger arrived and told Job that there was a fire that killed all of his sheep and his shepherds.  

Verse 17 says that a third messenger arrived and told Job that his camels were stolen and that many of his servants were killed.  

So this was not a good day at the office for Job.  Like, things are not good at work.  And there’s no insurance plan, right?  Like, this is it.  He’s not going to be able to rebuild.  He has lost…he has lost everything.  And just when he’s thinking that things can’t get any worse, we read in verse 18 that another messenger comes on the scene and says, “Job, I don’t know how to tell you this, but all of your sons and daughters were eating at the oldest brother’s house; and there was a violent wind and the house collapsed and all of your children are dead.  All of your children are dead.”

Now some of you read that and, you know, you understand a little bit.  I mean, maybe not to this degree, but let’s be honest, you can…  You know it’s kind of like falling.  You can only fall so fast.  It doesn’t feel that much different.  Where you’re just getting hit with one thing after another after another.  And for a while it felt like you were watching from a distance and it was other people and it was their stories, but now it’s your story.  And you were hoping the tornado would just kind of skip over your house, but it didn’t.  And just…the enemy comes, and it’s one blow after another.  And with each hit he’s saying, “Just quit.  Just give up.”

And here’s what I’ve experienced as a pastor, having kind of a front row seat to see some of these moments in people’s lives: It’s that in that moment people will either push God away or they will lean hard into Him.  The enemy is counting on the fact that you’re going to turn away from God, that you’re going to blame Him for everything, and you’re going to turn your back and be done.  But in that moment people will either push God away or lean into Him.

And look, maybe you are here right now because you’re going through some stuff.  Your marriage has fallen apart, and you know…you know that this is a really critical moment and you recognize that you need God’s help.  And so you haven’t been to church in a while, but you’ve come now.  It was a good decision, because I know there’s part of you that wants to get angry at God and you want to push Him way.  But this is a time where you lean hard into Him.  And some of you are struggling with an illness.  Maybe you were diagnosed this week.  And it had always been someone else’s story, but now it’s your story.  And you suddenly feel very desperate, and you’re asking God questions: “Why?”  And there’s part of you that just wants to walk away and say, “God, I’m blaming You for this one and I am done.”  The question is, “Are you going to walk away from Him, or are you going to run to Him in that moment?”

So Job just has all of these things come at him one after another.  Surely that’ll be enough, right?  I mean, surely that’s enough to get him to quit, to give up, to walk away.  

In verse 20, here’s what we read: Job stood up and tore his robe in grief.”  So he’s not in denial; he is devastated.  “Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground…”  He fell to the ground and he quit?  He fell to the ground and he just gave up?  No, that’s not what it says, He fell to the ground to worship (NLT)).  

One devastating moment after another…  His worst nightmare is coming true, and what does he do?  He falls to the ground; he worships.  

Then he begins to quote Scripture.  He said, ‘I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave.  The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away.  Praise the name of the Lord!’” (v. 21).

Your script, your story doesn’t have to be marked or defined by what happens to you.  It can be defined by how you respond to what happens to you.  And so Job, in this moment, leans hard into God and he worships.

In chapter 2 God allows the enemy to attack Job with physical suffering and sickness.  And so he’s…he’s covered from head to toe with these really painful sores.  And so here’s what you discover.  That in the midst of these difficult circumstances the enemy comes in with another strategy, and he sends somebody into Job’s life to tear him down.  And so you’ve got difficult or devastating circumstances…

And then there are discouraging people.  Where you’re at this place in life where what you really need…what you really need…is somebody to come in and encourage you and strengthen you, somebody to come in and get you through it.  And instead somebody comes on the scene and just tears at you.

So here’s Job’s situation.  He’s sitting in the dirt, you know?  He’s shaved his head.  He’s got this broken piece of pottery and he’s scraping the sores on his body.  And his wife comes in in verse 9 and says to him, “Are you…?  Are you still trying to maintain your integrity?  Seriously?  After all that we’ve gone through, after all that’s just happened to our family, are you…?”  Here’s what she said: “Are you still trying to be faithful to God?  Are you kidding me?  Curse God and die.  Just be done with it.  Just curse God and be done with it.  You might as well just give up” (NLT)

So a few things here…  The enemy knows that if he can’t sell you on a lie, then another strategy he likes to use is he’ll sell somebody you love on the lie.  And he’ll get that person that you love to lie to you—and you’re vulnerable.  You see, when it’s the enemy telling you the lie the guard goes up.  You’re aware of it.  You pay closer attention.  But someone you love that’s bought the lie now speaks the lie to you and it’s more compromising.  It’s somebody that you care about.  It can be especially devastating.  And I’m not saying that the person does that with the intention, but they’ve bought the lie and now they’re telling it.

Recently a preacher friend of mine posted a question on his Facebook page in preparation for an upcoming sermon he was putting together.  He asked his Facebook friends to finish this sentence: “My mother always said _____.”  He thought it would be kind of fun just to get some, you know, things that moms like to say.  And so a lot of his Facebook friends responded.  And so, I began to read through the responses that people posted.  They replied with things like, “My mom always said, ‘Clean your room.’”  “My mom always said, ‘Stand up straight.’”  “My mom always said, ‘Chew with your mouth shut.’”  “My mom always said, ‘Your face will freeze like that.’”  “My mom always said, ‘Don’t squeeze the cat.’”  “My mom always said, ‘Don’t tell your dad about this.’”  And so there were all kinds of these comments about, “My mom always said this.”  There were things that you might expect—you know, kind of fun things.

But then, as I’m reading through them, I’m starting to see these comments that I just…I wasn’t expecting.  “My mom always said, ‘Why can’t you be more like your sister?’”  “My mom always said, ‘You always mess everything up.’”  “My mom always said, ‘You’re not as pretty as other girls, so you need to work harder in school.’”  “My mom always said…”  

Now, look, if that’s what your mama always said, your mom’s not the enemy, but your mom is a victim of the enemy.  You know, if you’ve had some people in your life that you love and care about who have told you some lies about you and told you some lies about God, they’re not your enemy.  They’re not.  But they are victims of the enemy.  They’ve bought into the lie at some point and they’ve lived by the lie.  Maybe their mama said that to them and now they’re saying it to you, but they’re victims of the enemy.  They’re not the enemy.

One of the ways the enemy works as well—and you see this in the Book of Job—is through demoralizing accusations.

So that’s what you read about.  After Job’s wife speaks to him his friends come on the scene.  And they want to console him.  They want to help him.  For a while they do pretty good.  They hang out with him.  They don’t really say anything for a week.  They just kind of cry with him.  But then they begin to speak, and when they begin to speak it goes the wrong direction.  You know, they say some things that are helpful and true…good things…but then they say a lot of things that aren’t helpful and a lot of things that aren’t true.  And pretty soon here’s what they determine and here’s what they begin to tell their friend: “This is your fault, Job.  I mean, we don’t know what it is.  We don’t know what sin you’ve committed, but this isn’t just happening randomly.  This is God punishing you for something.  This is your fault.   You need to get something right in your life, because if this stuff is happening to you, you must’ve done something bad.  Because God is against you.  God has turned His back on you.  What have you done, Job?  This has to be your fault.”  And so they begin to accuse.

And so the enemy…this is what he does.  He’s the Accuser.  That’s his name (chapter 1, verse 6).  He accuses us day and night, the Bible says.  And so here’s how he does it.  He’ll come to you when something bad happens to you and he’ll say, “It’s your fault.”  He’ll say, “This is your fault.  If you wouldn’t have done this back then, this wouldn’t be happening to you now.  This is your fault.  God has turned his back on you.  You went too far.  He’s not going to have anything to do with you anymore.”  

And if that’s the script you’ve been reading from for a while, can I just tell you it’s a lie?  You need to flip the script.  Because the truth is God has not walked away from you.  The truth is that He will never leave you or forsake you.  There are consequences to our decisions and to the sins that we commit, but God…God took our punishment that we deserved upon Himself on the cross.  He paid our punishment.  The enemy will try to demoralize you with accusations by telling you, “You are what you’ve done.”  He likes that one.  So you do something that you know you shouldn’t have done.  You say something that you know you shouldn’t have said.  You commit this sin.  You make this mistake.  And the enemy comes along and he doesn’t just say, “Here’s the sin you’ve committed.  Here’s this thing you’ve done.”  He starts to say, “That’s actually who you are.  That’s who you are.  That’s how you’re always going to be known.  This is you.”  So that every time you see yourself in the mirror you see the accusation.  You see the mistake.  It becomes your identity.  And you start reading from that script for a while; it’s your story.  You start to say, “Well, if that’s who I am I guess…well, I guess that’s who I am.”  

So you’ve got to flip it, and you start telling yourself the truth about what God says about you.  That God says you are His adopted child through Christ.  That God says you are His masterpiece, that you have been chosen, that you are made holy through Jesus, that you have been called, that you have been purchased and redeemed, that you are without blemish and without defect, that you stand before God. Start reading from that script.

So here’s the thing.  The enemy is called the Accuser.  That’s his name—one of his names.  The Holy Spirit…one of the names for the Holy Spirit is Advocate, Encourager.  So every day the enemy comes, the Accuser comes and says, “Here’s a script for you to read”; and every day the Holy Spirit comes…our Advocate…and says, “Here’s a script for you to read.”  And you’ve got to decide which script you’re going to read from.  But whichever one you choose will have tremendous…tremendous influence over your life.

Well, by the time we get to chapter 6 Job is ready to quit.  I mean, at least that’s how he feels.  

In verse 9 he says, “I wish God would crush me.  I wish He would reach out His hand and kill me.  At least I can take comfort in this: Despite the pain, I have not denied the truth.  I have not denied the words of the Holy One.  But I don’t have the strength to endure.  I have nothing to live for.  Do I have the strength of [a rock], a stone?  Is my body made of bronze?  No, I am utterly helpless, without any chance of success” (vv. 9-13, NLT).  

 “I’ve got nothing left,” Job says.  And he feels like quitting.  He feels like it, but he doesn’t do it.  He’s honest about his feelings.  He doesn’t try to hide them.  He says, “This is what I’m feeling.  This is what I’m going through.  This is what I’m struggling with.” 

 And ultimately the question for Job is going to come down to this one same question for all of us with all these lies: “Do I trust God?  Do I trust Him?”  And so he’s struggling with that: “Can I really trust God?”  So he starts questioning God.  He just starts asking God these questions: “Can God be trusted?”

And in Job chapter 38…it’s a powerful chapter where God begins to answer Job’s questions.  And here’s what God says to Job: Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?” (v. 2, NIV 84).  God says, “Who’s knocking at my door that doesn’t know what they’re talking about?  Who is that out there?  Is that you, Job?”  

And God says, “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me” (v. 3).  

So, look, any time God tells you to “brace yourself like a man,” it’s going to hurt a little bit, right?  He says, “Brace yourself like a man.  You’ve been asking me some questions?  Okay, well, I actually have some questions for you.”  

And so He begins to ask Job some questions. “Job, were you around when I laid the foundations of the earth?  Because I don’t remember you there.  Like, I’m trying to think back.  In the beginning there was me and…that’s it.  Yeah, you weren’t even there.  Were you there when I laid the foundations of the earth?  Did you determine how much water the oceans would hold?  Was that your decision, Job?  Have you set the time that the sun will rise?  Have you discovered how the oceans are kept full?  Have you comprehended the vastness of the earth?  Job, do you know how many snowflakes are scheduled to fall on the ground?  Do you have that number?  Because I…I know it.  Do you know how light travels?  Do you determine the course that water will flow?  Job, do you have the power to move constellations?  Because I do.  I mean, I can move a constellation.  Can you do that, Job?  Talk to me when you move a constellation,” right?  And so God just begins to ask Job these questions.  And on one hand they’re indicting; on one hand they’re comforting, because there is something really comforting about a God that big.  That if He chose to explain it, you’d never understand it.

And so in chapter 40 Job kind of gets this, and here’s what he says in verse 4.  He says, I’m unworthy—how can I reply to you?  I put my hand over my mouth” (NIV 84).  I’m just going to be quiet.  I’m just going to cover my mouth and be quiet.  One of the versions translates it this way…paraphrases it this way: “I’m comforted that I am but dust.”  And there is something comforting about that, as God reminds Job of His power.

And when Job feels like giving up, he’s also reminded of the truth that God’s power is not only with him, but God’s presence is with him as well.  Here’s the way Job puts it towards the end of the book—chapter 42, verse 5: My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”  “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”  He sees God in a way that he never has before.  So the beginning of the book things are good.  Everything is going for him.  And he knows about God.  He’d heard stories about God.  Everything falls apart and he sees him.  He sees God.

Some of you understand this so well.  You understand this so well.  Because you’ve gone through some things that you never wanted to go through and you would never want to go through again, but you know who met you there.  It’s God.  And you saw Him in a way that you’d never seen Him before.  It turns out that when we need God most desperately is when we see Him most clearly.  And I can tell you that’s been true.  I mean, that’s how I’ve seen God so many times.  I’ve been in starving communities in the Appalachian hills and I have been in mansions in the big cities, and I can tell you where God shows up.  I can tell you where I see God.  And I have seen stories of God at work in refugee camps, and in leper colonies; and I’ve seen God in prison cells, and I’ve seen God in homeless shelters.  And I’ve seen God in hospital waiting rooms, and I’ve seen God at graveside services.

You want to see God—like, see Him?  Then you go find somebody whose world has fallen apart and you just pay attention for a few minutes, because He’ll show up.  The Bible says in Psalm 34, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted…” (v. 18).

So Job feels like quitting and giving up.  And God…you know, God didn’t give Job all the answers, but He gave Job something better.  He gave Job Himself.

There’s this passage in the middle of the book…kind of right in the middle of it where he’s going through a lot of this pain and suffering.  And I think it’s probably the time where the enemy thinks, “Okay, yeah, he’s about ready to buy into the lie.  He’s about ready to quit.  He’s about ready to give up.”  It’s at that point where Job starts telling himself the truth.  He flips the script and he starts speaking some truth.  

And here’s what Job says in Job chapter 19.  He says…right in the middle of it… “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another.  How my heart yearns within me!” (vv. 25-27).  

So Job just kind of draws a line here and he says, “Look, my story has fallen apart.  Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.”  And he sees no hope probably, at least most likely, for redemption on this side of eternity.  But that’s okay, because his hope is not in this world.  And so he says, “I’m not quitting.  I’m not giving up, because I know my redeemer lives.”  And in the end?  I mean, when it’s all said and done, He’ll stand upon the earth.  In the end He’s going to come and make all things right.  And that’s where his confidence is found.

The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4, “That is why we never give up.  (That’s why we don’t quit!)  That, “…Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.  For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.  Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them all and will last forever!” (vv. 16-17, NLT).  

Paul says, “That’s why we don’t quit.  We don’t give up, because we know that our redeemer lives and in the end He’ll stand upon the earth.  Victory will be His.  He will make things right.”

And so that’s what we know.  That’s the truth that we know.  That God can and will restore. That God can and will redeem.

So the enemy is going to hand you a script, and the script is going to say, “You don’t have what it takes.  You’re just going to mess things up.”  But I know my redeemer lives.  “You’re unemployed?  Nobody wants to hire you.”  “You’re an addict and you’ll never change.”  “With your past no one is going to want you.”  Yeah, but I know my redeemer lives.  “Your decisions have destroyed your marriage and family.  You’re not strong enough to deal with this loss.”  But I know my redeemer lives.  “You’re going to die of this disease.  There’s no hope for you.  You’ve blown it with your kids.  It’s too late now.”  Yeah, but I know…I know this one thing.  I know that my redeemer lives, and in the end He’s going to take a stand on the earth.  That’s what I know.

And you start reading from that script.  You start reading from the script that says, “God can redeem anything.”  You start believing that that’s what God does best: He takes broken pieces and He turns it into something beautiful.  You start believing the truth that when all hope is lost God can show up with incredible strength.  And you start reading from the script that God is your redeemer and He can redeem it.  And you start reading that every day, and you start believing that, and you grab a hold of that with both hands, and you don’t let go—and it will change…it’ll change your story.

But I’m just telling you.  You have an enemy, and night and day he is lying and he is accusing.  Night and day.  And it’s going to be hard for you not to buy into his lie and it’s going to be difficult for us not to read the script.  And so we commit ourselves to the truth of God’s Word.  We commit ourselves to asking Jesus, who is the Truth, to set us free.

So do you need to flip the script?  Is there a lie that you’ve been believing for a while—maybe that you’ve lived by?  If so, then it is time to be set free by Jesus Christ.