Our Father in heaven, thank you again for the privilege and opportunity back in Your house one more time on this side of eternity with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Father, I thank you for all these that have come out this morning. I pray, Lord, you’d encourage their hearts, I pray you to strengthen them. I pray for those who are listening the way of livestream, Lord, this morning that you might help them them meet their needs, Lord. Encourage them. Pray, Father, let them know we love them, we’re praying for them. I pray that the Holy Spirit of God might speak to us this morning through his word. Through Your word, Lord, I ask You, Father, to bless in this hour. I ask you to bless in the preaching hour. I pray, Father, these to everything said and done bring praise and honor and glory to Thee, Father, I ask you this morning, just take for a few moments and allowed a hush to come upon our hearts, Father, that the cares of the world would not distract us. The outside influences, Father, would not interfere with our train of thought that we might be focused solely upon Thee. These that are here this morning belong to you. And I pray, Father, you would feed them through Your word. I pray you’d encourage them, Lord. They belong to you. They need your help. They need Your help and they need Your encouragement, Lord, and I pray you’d grant it to them as you see fit. Thank you for all You’ve done for us, our family, our church. In Jesus name, amen. Hebrews, chapter number eleven. Begin. In verse number 32. The Bible says, and what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell. Of Gideon, and of Barrack, and of Samson, and objective David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets, who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, wax valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens women received their dead race to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings yay, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sore, asunder were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented, of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and in mountains, and in dens, and in the caves of the earth. And these all, and these all that’s from verse 39 back to verse number one. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise, god, having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. I want to review just real quickly what we talked about last week, because as we get into the lesson this morning. We got to have that foundation. We got to have that basis. We got to have that structure. We talked about what faith is, and the Bible tells us what faith is, right? In Hebrews, verse one, that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. And, boy, we can say for sure that faith is the evidence of things not seen. We’ve seen God do great miracles. Amen. We’ve seen God do great things in our life. Amen. And it’s been an evidence to us of how great our God is. And that’s what faith is. We talk about what faith is not. Faith is not our wants being fulfilled, our worldly lust being fulfilled, or our worldly desires being failed. That’s not what faith is all about. Faith is complete and total confidence in a great God, our great God, to fill in the blank, meet the need, supply the food, pay the bill, whatever it is. And in these days and times, we’re living there, there’s a lot of uncertainty. Amen. Is there a delay? Like, there’s a delay this morning? I know what it is. It’s the fact we set our clocks. Hey, man, that’s what it is. We got that delay. But anyway, we have more than ever, every one of you, all of us have needs that we’re just not sure about. We’ve had days of prosperity. We’ve had days of plenty, and now it’s getting sparse. So faith is key in our life. Knowing our knowing, knowing our God will supply all our needs according to his riches and glory, like that word needs. There’s a big difference between needs and wants. Supply our needs according to his riches, thank God, not ours in glory. So we’ve seen what faith is, what faith is not. And I believe faith as I’ve talked to our young people about we have two of them here this morning, both Jacob’s a man, Jacob squared. We have both of them in here. This morning, we’ve talked about faith. Faith will guide us in our life. Faith will give us direction. Faith will give us will show us what God would have to do. We may not see the end, but we can know each step if we just trust the Lord. Amen. See at their ages a life of uncertainty. They don’t have no idea what tomorrow holds. You and I’ve seen a lot of things in our life, and we’re a little more accustomed to it, if you will, or adjusted to it. But our young people, they don’t know what tomorrow will bring. They have no idea where their future is. But I would tell them and encourage them this morning, put your faith and trust in God and everything will be all right. Amen. Everything will be all right. We’ve talked about what faith is. Faith is not easy because you have faith. You got to let go and let God. Amen. People say ty not and hang on. No, just let go and let God. Ain’t a thing you can do about hanging on. Amen. Just let go and let God. Now, the word of God has given us real examples of faith in the Scriptures. And I believe we see some in our own life, some people that we’ve come across in our life, even in our own situations where God has delivered and we’ve seen miraculous things. Amen. We saw in the Scriptures last week. We talked about Gideon and his amazing victory over the 300 men, with the 300 men over the millionight army of 1350 people. We talked about Beric, who won a great victory for Israel over an army that had 900 chariots. We talked about Samson, who threw faith in the power of God, slew thousands of Philistines. We talked about Jepta, who through believing God’s, promised Abraham that his posterity should possess the land of Canaan and obeying God, how he obtained a great victory over the enemy of the enemies of God’s people. We’ve seen David, whose faith was manifested especially in his combat with Goliath and Samuel. Other things were mentioned. David, we’ve seen great faith and great works done through David and through Samuel and through the prophets. So many great pictures from Genesis all the way through to Balacy that the Lord gives us here in chapter number eleven to encourage us. And let me ask you, did it encourage you? That what God god did, it helped us, didn’t it? Amen. We’ve seen God part the Red Sea. It gave us hope. We’ve seen God knock the walls of Jericho down flat. It gives us great hope. We left after those Sunday morning services, rejoicing in the Lord, knowing what God can do and what God has done. Not only would we rejoice now, but we rejoice also in the fact knowing that that same God, that part of the Red Sea, that same God that brought the walls of Jericho down flat, is the same God we serve today. Amen. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’d leave after a Sunday school lesson or after the pastor of regional Sunday morning, or after the camp meeting. My heart was encouraged in the Lord. Amen. At what God can what God did and what God will do. Amen. Same God. Same God. Great illustrations. Not only see him work in the lives of people, but then we saw the works that he did. And that’s where we kind of left off last week. We talked about last week the great works of faith, the great things that happened. There were kingdoms were subdued, righteousness was wrought, promises were obtained. And then we looked this morning, and this is where I want to pick up is in verse number 33 stop the mouths of lions. Now, some of the things we’ve seen God do, we say, well, that was miraculous, that was tremendous what God did. But think about an animal that has an innate has been bred in them. A desire for red meat, for blood, to kill. I don’t want to be in a room with a wild kitty cat, let alone a lion. Amen. I’ve been in rooms with cats. I’ve been in room with cats that attacked me when I walked by. I’m out. Why would I want to be placed in a den of lions that are hungry? Amen. I’m out. I’m out. Just go ahead. Saw me a thunder. Whatever you need to do, just don’t put me down there, right? But God took that instinct that was in an animal that he put there, calmed it so that Daniel could spend the night there and probably slept with a baby. God did that. Now, you would think on the outside luke that boy, wasn’t it? Poor old Daniel. Poor Daniel’s family. You know, Daniel was a good man. These people probably already wrote his obituary. Amen. There were people. What did Daniel think? Daniel had great faith in the Lord, one way the other. Daniel was coming back out there. If not, it was all right. It was going to be okay. But he had great faith in God, and God did that. God stopped. Look at what the Bible says. The Bible says God stopped the mouths of lions. Only God could do that. That was an instinct in an animal that God put there. And he turned it off. Now, mankind can do a lot of things, but that’s one thing mankind can’t do a man. You see these guys now who they put those tigers and you know they got these tigers doing this, that and the other. And then those tigers, they remember that they’re tigers and they remember that he’s not. And they remember that I can overpower you. And they take him out. See, that guy was done to start with. Shouldn’t have messed up those lines. Amen. But you see, God did something that even that guy couldn’t do. God stopped the mouths of those lines. That’s amazing. We seen the wall so Jericho fall down flat. That was amazing. We see that God stopped the mouths of animals. And that instinct that they had, that natural instinct, he calmed it. That was amazing. But then we see God quenched the Bible tells us here in that same verse, he quenched the next verse. I’m sorry. Quenched the violence of fire. There again is something a man can do a lot of things. Man can put on a protective outfit and maybe go into fire for a short period of time. But man can’t do what God did here. Fire had no effect upon shadracked me shadow bendigo. Amen. None. God did that. Now, I want you to think about that for a minute. Think about what great things God’s done. Because I’m going somewhere. I’m trying to help you. Number one, God did a great thing. He brought down the walls of Jerry co flat. God quenched the violence of fire. God stopped the mouths of lies. God has done great things. We’ve seen him work in people. We’ve seen the worst that he’s done. But let’s look on. He also escaped profits. People who escaped the edge of the sword out of weakness were made strong, wax valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. God did great things, not only with Lazarus, but in the Old Testament. We saw and I thought about this. This is kind of where I wanted to go this morning. This is kind of getting into the Sunday school lesson, which is kind of early for me. Hey, Ben, sometimes it’s 20 minutes of introduction and five minutes of Sunday school lesson. Well, this morning you’re going to get five minutes introduction and 20 minutes of sunschool lesson. Here we see the woman. We’ll take a look at one of the references that may be here, which I think it is, but women raised their received their dead raised to life again. We look at the shuna might woman whose child was restored to life by elisha. And I want to take that illustration this morning, and I want to draw your attention to something about faith. We rejoice in faith. Faith helps us. When you think about when you prayed. You prayed and you prayed for something and God delivers, how happy your heart is and how we rejoice in what God’s done. And then we look at the illustrations here, and our hearts are encouraged by what God has done. And we look at this scripture on the surface and we say, boy, this was tremendous. A woman received her dead son back to life. That was tremendous. Would you agree with me? Is that not a blessing? Now, here’s what I want you to notice and recognize this morning. I think about this unimite woman who lost her son. And I think about this thought. There is nothing that can compare more to a mother receiving her dead child back to life and what a blessing that must have been. However, I want you to consider this. Before the life was given back, there was life taken away. Now I want you to think about faith. We rejoice in the shuttleights woman and received her son back. And what a glorious day that was. Can you imagine? I mean, hallelujah. Would you not be shouting to victory? But what led up to that? What about the days or the hours she had to care for that child? What about the days and the hours that she had to see that young child fade away? What about the days or the hours she spent wiping his brow, caring? All those days, all those years she spent nurturing and loving that child? What are we talking about this when we’re talking about faith, we see the victories in faith. But I want you to know, in faith there’s also sometimes there’s some griefing. You say, well, that’s not makes us very happy this morning, Brother Mark. Well, it’s hard to think about for me to think about this Seraph woman having that child laying therefore on the bed and caring for it, not knowing what dish. She couldn’t call Med Express. She couldn’t run him up to RGH or CAMC. She couldn’t run him here, there John. She couldn’t call 911 and have an analyst say no. It was her, that child and God. There was a time of grieving, there was a time of nurturing, a time of caring. It looked when that child passed away as if all hope was gone. Not only was that her future caregiver, not only was that her future provider, but that was her flesh and blood. That was her son. There was some grieving, there was some hurt, there was some pain. There’s going to be times in our life when faith is rejoicing and faith is shouting the victory and faith is on top of the mountain saying, boy, God’s good. Hallelujah. Thank God. He’s provided the need, he’s met the need, god’s saved so and so God’s done this. God’s answered this prayer. There’s going to be times of rejoicing but there’s going to be times when our faith, as that song says, will be put to the test. There’ll be times when we’ll be sitting gathered together in a place where we’re grieving one with another and we’re wondering why, how, what was God’s plan? Why did this happen? That’s when faith is not sometimes so exciting. That’s when the rubber meets the road that’s when it’s time to just trust the Lord. Only God knows best. I don’t know what’s best. Hey, if it was up to me, we’d all have unicorns and rainbows and all kinds of good stuff, but it’s not up to me. Somebody asked me the other day, said, well, don’t you think we’ll do it this way, Mark? You’re one of the managers here. Don’t you think about this? Well, first of all, my name’s not on a sign, so I can’t do it that way. I like my health insurance too well to do it that way. I prefer employment as to unemployment, same way with the Lord. God has a plan. And we’ve rejoiced as we’ve seen the walls of Jerry Cofold that only God could do. And we rejoiced when God parted the Red Sea and they walked across from dry land. We rejoiced amen and we rejoiced this morning. We rejoiced when we saw David slay the giant. We rejoiced when we saw get in win the victory. We saw great things happen in the word of God and we rejoice over those events. But now we come to a passage of scripture that if you look at it and you read it, there’s a lot of sorrow. But let me encouraging this. Faith is what will get you through those times. There’ll be days. We just don’t understand why. And you’ll question and you’ll wonder. But faith will get you through that time just like faith did. In the good times, faith is still there in the hard times. There was a period of grieving. There was a period of tending to with this, with a lady. There was a period of time before the son passed away that she was by his bedside. She wiped his brow. She tried to make him comfortable. Her son, her only son, had just passed away. And what was she to do? What was she to do? What was she to do? I’ll tell you what she did. She called the man of God. Amen. You say, what power is there in the man of God? There’s no power in the man of God. He’s just as human like we are. And I know this for a fact because I put him on his bridge is going the same way I do. I used to put his on that way and always made sure that I got him on the right way because I didn’t. That’s bad news. Amen. I know the man of God puts his bridges on the same way we do. He’s just as human as we are. But I’ll tell you something that the man of God knows. He knows God. He knows the Lord. And there’s times God will speak through him and comfort your heart and encourage your heart through the pages of His Word. Amen. And we bless the Lord for that, don’t we? So she knew where to get help. She didn’t call up anne Landers. She didn’t call up dear Abbey. Amen. She didn’t call up the horoscope. She didn’t call up all these fake and phony promising websites and these phony preachers. She didn’t call up these phony faith healers. Amen. She called up the mental. Amen. She called up looking and needing some help and needing some hope, and she called the managod. Nothing great and wonderful and supernatural about the man of God but the man of God knows God. Sometimes when you need help, that’s who you get ahold of it. Amen. That’s who you called. So before we could see rejoicing before we could see a great blessing before we could see God what God’s plan was and sometimes, let me encourage you in this and this is an encouragement to you. You may not think so. It encouragement to you. You may never know why you or anyone else or myself go through the things we go through. So when I get onto the other side, it won’t matter. You won’t care. But let me assure you, God has a plan. I don’t know what it is, Brother Gary, but he does. I don’t know what it is. But it’s going to be all right. Ain’t it, brother Bill? It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be all right. You know why? Because God knows the end from the beginning. God knows all points in between. So, dear widow lady, I know it’s hard. I can’t imagine being there as we look over your shoulder and we see attendant to your boy. I don’t know why, I don’t know why all this is going on, but I know God has a plan, and I know this. My God’s still great, my God’s still good. And God’s going to be there to help you. He’s going to encourage amen. He’ll put his arms around you, he’ll lift you up, and he’ll give you hope. Now, God gave her back her son. Well, we rejoice in that, don’t we? Hallelujah. God’s good. We read on. And this is where we get in the hardness of faith, the hardships of faith, I guess you might say. Women received their dead raised to life again and others were tortured. What if you was a family member of that person that was tortured? What if you were the one that was being tortured? What if you were neighbors with the person that was being tortured? What would be the things we would say or question or ask? It’s okay to say, oh, me or Amen, one to other. Some would question, well, I wonder if they’re not being paid back in their life for some sin that they’ve committed against God. Well, first of all, won’t you get your heart right with God? Amen. Amen, man, you should be praying instead of questioning and criticizing. Amen. I don’t know where that came from, but that was good. That wasn’t in the lesson. Here we have a person who’s being tortured, people being tortured. How were they able to go through that, brother Gary? How were they able to go through that? I’ll tell you how. They had faith in God. Was it easy? I ain’t getting in that dental lines. Was it easy? So they burned him at the stake. Did you hear about soandso they tortured Soandso because he had faith in the same Jesus, in the same God that you, sir, did you hear about that person? Yes, I did. What are you going to do? I’m going to keep on keeping on. Why? Because I have faith in a great God. It takes me back to those three Hebrew boys. They stand outside that fire furnace. Amen. But God allows us to go through it, that’s fine. If not, that’s okay, too. They had faith in God, you see. Faith. We look at faith and we rejoice and we bless our Lord and God’s good, and we say, Hallelujah. Thank you, Lord. But there’s some hard times. There’s some hardships for faith. Think about all those around during this time being tortured for their faith in the Lord. And I think about this boy, if God can give them peace in their heart, what can God do for you? Brother Gary? If God can help that person that was tortured, what can God do for you? Amen. Boy, that’s tough. That’s a toughie there, isn’t it? Now look, you hear not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection. Another’s had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings. Moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m dumb. I was born I was raised on the side of the hill in West Virginia, so maybe I’m a little bit dumb, but that don’t sound near as bad than what I read before. But here we finally verse 37. They were stoned 1 st at a time, one pain at a time. They were sawn asunder. Can you imagine that? The blades ripping through cut after cut after cut. You say that’s not easy to think about, Brother Mark. It’s not easy to think about. And I’ll be honest with you. As more as the time is winding down, we’ll see Christians persecuted for their faith. We know that. And I think it’s become more of a reality now than in society in the day and age which we’re living in. Right? We see that if you stepped outside of this country, you’d know it’s real. We’re just seeing the fringes here. It’ll happen. It’ll come. The Bible tells us it will. It will come. So what’s going to get us through that, Brother Mark? Faith? Trusting God? I can’t tell you that every time that saw moved back and forth on that person’s body they didn’t feel any pain. I can’t tell you that. But I can tell you this. I can tell you that there was a great God that was in control and their faith and their hope and their confidence in that great God. Here’s what I’m driving at this morning. Some of these things may look worse than others. Some of these things you’d rather say, well, I’d rather have this kind of death than this kind of death. I don’t know. Me, personally, I prefer none of them. Hey, man, I can’t say. Maybe I’ll say my boss. I’d rather have something good for you. I’d rather just be done. But this I know. We think about everybody around us. And there’s some folks in our church that are going through some really hard times, difficult times, in pain, 24/7 days, weeks. And we wonder, how can they get through from day to day? I’ll tell you how. By faith. By trusting God. You see, they may not be raised up again. There may not be a miracle at the widow’s airpass house. There may be days when women receive their dead to life. But there also may be days when it will be cruel mocking and scourgings. There also may be days when they were stoned and they were sawn asunder. There may be days of difficulty. But let me encourage you in this. God is still in control. And God has not changed. God has not forgotten. God will never forget the same loving arms of God that are around you when he blesses you and he provides those great miracles are the same loving arms that he puts around you and he helps you in those difficult days. God never changes. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. He’s not like me. See, I could when I was working, I could throw in 50 pound bags of concrete all day long, 80 pound bag. Let’s throw him half a day maybe not a whole day, right, Brother Bill? Now you throw those £50. You throw those £80. I can’t even bend over to get a maid, man. So you see, I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know why things happen the way they do. I know we get older and we age. There’s a lot of things that happen in our life and we can say, oh, it’s because of this, it’s because of that. No, you know why things happen in our life? It’s all because it’s in God’s plan. Things happen. God allows things to happen. There’s things, events that happens. There’s things that happen. But God, he allows it to happen. If we trust Him, don’t you think he’ll see us through? Those things may not always be easy there’s, folks. I could have them raise their hand if they say, you know what, Brother Mark? It was not easy going through these trials and these tribulations and these hardships. We’ve seen family members of our own go through hard times, haven’t we? We all know this. The same God that give us those blessings and provided for us and gave us the faith to have great miracles have when they paid that bill that needed to be paid. Gave you that vehicle when you needed a vehicle, provided that job for you when you needed a job, took care of you when you were sick. That same God is the same God that will see you through when the stones come, when the sauls are dividing asunder. It’s the same god. You know, as I read through the first part of chapter eleven you just want to rejoice. Then you look later and you said, boy, it’s hard to rejoice in those times. And it would be, it would be difficult. But this is what I know what helps me. It helps me to realize that the same God that gave me those wonderful victories all my life is the same God that’s going to see me through when times get hard. It’s the same God, the same God that encouraged me and helped me and met my needs. It’s that same God that’s going to be there when I’m having those hard, difficult times. God’s good. God’s good all the time. All the time. Others were tortured. I think about this and people being tortured for their faith. There’s people that have passed away and we see their struggles and we think about all the things that they went through in the word of God. We think about the things that they suffered and a lot of things. That went on in their life. Sometimes we don’t see it, we don’t understand it. But things happen in their lives that are similar to what happened in our lives. And the difference between sometimes us and them is their faith was strong in God. Like I said about the widow woman, that’s their path. You think about her and not being able to call 911 or be able to get down to Med Express or go up to Raleigh General or have a nurse for a wife like me. Amen. You’d wonder how they made it. I tell you how they made it. They had faith in God. So when the stones come, the cruel scourging come, the dividing of sunder comes, the persecution comes, the hard times comes to be encouraged in this, god still on the throne, and he’s just as good today as he was back then. Amen. All right, let’s pray. Our Father in heaven thank you for Jesus mercy, grace and salvation.