I’m excited for the Sunday school lesson this morning. In some ways in some ways I’m not. And you say, well, that’s odd. It’s just difficult. There’s some things here that are difficult to there’s some of these things we don’t recognize daily. And I think it helps us when we look at through the pages of God’s Word and understand that there’s some truths here. There’s some great truths here, but there’s some hard truths here. Hey, buddy, good to see you. Glad you’re here this morning. Jake’s waving at me, I know what that means, but I am glad to be here, and I hope you are as well. Hebrews eleven, verses 35 through verses 40, titled this morning Sunday school lesson of whom the world was not worthy. Of whom the world was not worthy. Let’s pray. Our Father in heaven, we love you this morning. We thank you for all Your goodness, your mercy, your grace and Your salvation. Father, there’s things in our life, things in our church, family’s life that we don’t understand, and we can’t see clearly right now on this side of eternity. But, Father, we know that all things are in Your hands. Father, you are the great God of this universe. You’re the great God of creation. You’re the great God of salvation. And God, you created these bodies. And Lord, if anybody can touch these bodies and heal these bodies, Lord, you can. We know that, father, you can make disease disappear. Father, you can heal blinded eyes. You can make deaf ears to hear again, Father, you can do that. We know that, lord, we understand that. We’ve seen that in the word of God. Father, you put these bodies together. Lord, I ask you to be around about those this morning that are hurting, those are struggling, those that maybe can’t even pray for themselves. Lord, we pray for them and ask You, Lord, to be around about him, helping encourage Him. Then for us that are gathered dear this morning, lord, we need help, we need hope, Lord, we need some comfort, we need some understanding. We need something that we can cling to, Lord, that may help us to get through another day. Father, thank you for allowing us to live and come together on this sign of eternity, but we ask You, Father, to speak to our hearts. Lord, if the Sunday school lesson is not given from you, from the Holy Spirit of God, it won’t be applied, it won’t be touched, we won’t get the help. So I’m asking You, Lord, to speak to Your word and speak to Your people, father, they belong to you. Lord, I ask You, Father, blessed the next hour, bless the man of God he preaches. Continue to encourage him and help him, Father. Lord, I pray that you’ll minister to him and help him carry as the burden, lord, the load upon his shoulder gets heavy. I pray, Father, that you’ll remove that and that you’ll help. And Lord, give him strength and give him grace as only you can. Thank you again for loving us. Thank you for our church. Our church family, those listened by the way of livestream. Lord, I pray you, and encourage him. Let them know we love them as well. In Jesus name, amen. Hebrews, chapter number eleven, verses 35 through verse number 40. We give that to you. The Bible says women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection. Get the page turned here. And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yet moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asundered 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 caves of the earth. And these all, all these all from Hebrews, chapter eleven, verse one through verse number 37 38, these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise, but God, having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. There’s a lot of good stuff here, there really is. And some of us are a little uncomfortable. Well, for me, maybe it’s the way the Lord spoke to my heart. Maybe what the Lord gave me, and that’s all I can do on a Sunday morning, is give you what I feel like the Lord’s giving me. I’ve said this many times, what you get on Sunday mornings for Sunday school has already been digested and given to me. It’s what the Lord sees fit, that I need, and it helps me. And I hope that it helps you. So in a lot of ways you kind of get the leftovers, and I apologize to you for that. But I’m glad that the Lord at least still speaks to my heart about things. Amen. He still encourages me and helps me and reproves me when I need it. And that’s quite often, to be honest. I want you to note something. We know what faith is. Faith is faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We know that. Amen. We’ve talked about that. We’ve seen God do some great things in his Word. We’ve seen some things that just we as humans stand back and marvel. I think we’re a little numb to it because we see so much Hollywood and we see so many things on TV. We’ve kind of grown numb to what God can do. But what God has done in the book of Hebrews, chapter eleven, god is still doing today, god is still providing great miracles. I want you to understand. We may not see physical walls of Jericho coming down, but they’re still coming down. We may not see the Red Sea parted in today’s time, but god is still parting red seas. Amen. We may not see the life as we can look back at Joseph’s life and see all the stops that Joseph had and how God was preparing him and God was using him and God was putting him in a position to be used later on. We may not be seeing that in our lives and in the lives of others. But let me assure you this morning god is still shaping, molding and using men today. He’s still leading people in direction. And so God has not changed, society has changed. And yes, we’re on the downward side of this thing. Amen. The night it’s about to approach midnight. Amen. Jesus is on his way here to receive us unto himself. It could be today. This world’s in bad shape. Amen. Pastor wanted this morning. How come they’re still not able to count some of the votes? Well, that’s because some of the folks that are in the cemetery are having a hard time getting to the top. Holy moods. Amen. So they’re still trying to get those votes counted. Amen. I get that. But you know, it’s a bad time in which we’re living. You can look around and you can see that. I think in some ways these good old mountains of West Virginia kind of shield us from the real world. Amen. You go out of this county, you go out into other states and you go where it’s really bad and you’ll see that we’re on the downward side of this thing. Amen. We’re on our way to heaven. Matter of fact, we’re living in almost heaven. Amen. We’re close. Bless the Lord. We’re close. So I want you to understand some things this morning as we look at this lesson. Faith, the substance, hope for the empty things I’ve seen our lesson today seems to bring to light this truth in a way that sometimes I think we don’t want to look at. When tragedy strikes or sicknesses befall us, whatever the case may be, we tend to view these verses in a different light. Our church family can see our church in these horses. And I can’t remember a time I’ve not been here as many years as many of you have been here. But I can’t remember another time when our church has been in these verses like it is right now. Where we’re seeing things we don’t understand, things that are happening. And these are not bad people that we read about in Hebrews Eleven. These were people that were listed in the word of God because of their faith in God. It seems to us though that these were bad things that happened to these people. But I would ask you this was it really a bad thing that happened to them or was it by design? Was it God’s plan? Maybe we view bad things in our life differently than the way God views them. So I want us to look at these verses this morning and let them speak to our hearts in the manner in which the Lord would have us to receive them. Not the way I would give them to you, but the way the Lord would have us received them. We’ve seen some great things and great examples of faith in the Scriptures. We’ve seen the Lord do great and mighty miracles in the lives of his people, and all they did was simply put their trust in Him. They were not great people. Moses was a good individual. But the things that were accomplished in Moses life was not because of Moses. God did those things. Moses had faith in God, but God performed the act same way with Joshua. Joshua was a good man, but it was not because Joshua was a good man that these works happened. These things happen because God did. The May men now, they had faith in Joshua, had faith in God, but it was God that did the work. When we look at it that way, it kind of reminds us of the things that’s going on in our life, that when great things happen, it’s not because of you, it’s not because of me. It’s because we serve a great God. And when bad things happen, it’s not because of you, it’s not because of me. It’s because we serve a great God, and God knows better than we do. You may not understand, I don’t understand sometimes it’s not for us to understand. But God has a plan. And God had a plan. Way before the beginning of the world was set in place, way before the foundations of the world were ever established, god had a plan. We gave our heart, our life to Jesus Christ, and God set our lives in motion in a path to please Him. But not everything that we read about in Hebrews, chapter eleven, do we see as great victories? Do we? Do you see being sawn as sunder, as a great victory? Do you see being scourged, tormented, tempted, as the Bible says, as a great victory? We don’t, but that’s because it’s our view. But is that God’s view? He said, why would God allow things like that to happen to folks? I don’t know. I don’t have that answer for you. And I would like to tell you that when we get to the other side, we’ll have those answers. But I don’t know that it’ll matter when we get the other side. But I think if there’s ever a time in our life that faith is real, it’s when we’re in those times when the Psalms sawing asunder, when there’s scourgings as the Bible says, people were being stoned, people were being slain with the sword, they were being abandoned, they were being destitute. And I report to you that God was still on the throne. And can I report to you to those folks who were song asunder and to those folks who were stoned god was still in control. Like I told you last week, when Lord gets ready to take me home, just take me home. Don’t saw me asunder I don’t know that I would have the faith that those had or the rocks are being thrown. I get upset when somebody throws rocks at me at work, a bed. Then I’m talking about verbal rocks. I don’t know if I could do that. Lord, just take me. And when it’s my time I don’t want to bring shame to your name, but here these folks went through some pretty tough times and we rejoiced in what God did in the first part of Hebrews don’t we bless the Lord, hallelujah. God’s good. We shout the victory. But can I tell you that even in the last part of chapter number eleven we should still shout the victory? Not easy to do, not easy to lift our voices up and praise the Lord to give God the honor and the glory for difficult things. But can I tell you God’s still in control. God is still in control and God loves us just the same as if everything was going perfect in life. God has not lost any love for us and God has not been even the least bit faithful. God still as faithful as he’s ever been. So if ever there was a time I think that we need hope in our country, in our church, in our lives, in our homes and our family, we need that hope, that help, that encouragement from the word of God. It’s today we could all say amen right there. Amen. So let’s look at some things and continue reading what great things God did for his people. I want you to know what the Bible says there in the verse number. I didn’t mark the verse number down, but we started reading over here in verse number 35. Women received their dead raised to life. We talked about that last week. That’s a glorious thing. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection. Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourging gay, moreover of bonds and imprisonment. As you look at that, you see the women received their dead to life again. Only God could do that. Only God could do that. Others that were tortured not accepting deliverance that they might attain a better resurrection. Only God could bring them through that. There are people in our church this morning that could tell you that the things that they’ve been through in their life only God could have propped them through that. Amen. We look and we listen during the prayer requests and our hearts are heavy. We pray for those that are sick. We pray for those that are not well. We pray for those that are going through difficult times of grieving and our hearts are heavy. Amen. But let me encourage you this morning to know this god is still on the throne. God is still faithful, and God can still provide miracles as God sees fit to do. Women received their dead. Only God could do that. Others were tortured that they might obtain a better resurrection. Only God could do that. Here’s people that went through cruel mockings and scourgings, god gave them the grace to do that. Amen. People had bonds and imprisonment, the Bible tells us, but it was only through their faith and the grace of God only could go through that. They were stoned. Only God could give them the grace and the strength to go through that. How would you like to be a lost person and have no hope, no help, nothing? I don’t know what it’s like to be on the end of a stoning. I don’t know what it’s like to be at the end of a mocking or a scourging. I don’t have any idea. But I know this. This I know the same God that can take my wicked soul and save it from an eternal hell is the same God that can give me grace and strength to go through a difficult time. I don’t know how folks in our church, family or even outside of our church walls, other people that we know, we love dearly are going through hard times right now. I don’t know how they can do that. But I know the same God that dropped the walls of Jericho and the same God that parted the Red Sea is the same God that will be with them every day of their life. And there’s folks in our church this morning that can testify and say god’s grace is sufficient and God will help and God will strengthen. Amen. It’s difficult, storms blowing, the winds are harsh, the waves are high, but God is still in control. When you’re looking at some other things here that I found really difficult to read, but it’s true here. The Bible says they were psalmistander. We talked about that last week. They were tempted. They were slain with the sword. Look at this next one. They wandered about in sheepskins and goat skins. They were destitute, they were afflicted, they were tormented. They wandered in deserts and mountains and dens and in caves of the earth. And the Bible says in all of these received not the promise. The Bible also says, of whom the world was not worthy. We look at these events that happened in the life of these people. We think within ourselves that that’s not a good way for your life to end up, but yet it’s the path that God had for them. You think it caught them by surprise? You think it caught God by surprise when people were sawn asunder do you think it caught people God by surprise when people were stoned? Didn’t catch God by surprise? Do you think? I mean, here’s his family, the folks are being stoned, folks are being sawn, the sunder, folks are being scored. We see people being destitute. People walking around in sheep skins and go skins. Here’s what I have you realize this morning do you think any of that caught God by surprise? Absolutely not. You see, that’s awful. That’s an awful fix to be in, brother. Think about people being with nothing more than sheepskins or goatskins or being destitute. That’s been an awful place to be in. God’s forsaken them. Oh really? You see, they had sheep skins, they had goat skins. Maybe it wasn’t the best clothes from the best places, but God was still providing their needs. God was still meeting their needs. God was still taking care of them. God was still providing for them. They were destitute. They were afflicted, they were tormented. I looked up destitute. Destitute means maybe they didn’t have a surplus of things. Maybe they didn’t have a huge amount of things. Maybe didn’t have all the luxury or the finer things in life. But I never, never read in the word of God, never read in Hebrews eleven where they were forsaken Amen and they were not forgotten. Amen may have been destitute, but they weren’t. Forsaken they may not have had the best things in life, but they did have sheep skins and goatskins. They had something. You know what they got now? They got a mansion. Hey, look what I traded for a mansion. Just look. Can’t imagine what it would be like to watch a loved one go through these hard times in life. I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine. But I can’t imagine this how bad it was and how great it is, how hard it was. But oh, how good it is. You see, God knows and God’s there every step of the way. May not seem like it sometimes. Sometimes it feel like you’re all alone. But I promise you, you’re not. God’s there by your side. He won’t leave you destitute. He won’t leave you. He won’t leave you forsaken he won’t leave you forgotten. He won’t leave you without your needs being met. He’s promised me my God shall supply all your need according to his riches and glory. God’s going to do that. God will always take care of his children. If God’s going to take care of the spare, I think God will take care of you. If God’s going to take care and make sure the animals in the forests are fed, I think God can take care of you. Amen. So here’s a couple of lessons I want to give to you real quick. These folks mentioned in the pastor scripture may not have ever thought their lives within the way that it did. But it ended number one, the way God allowed it to. Here’s what I have you keep in mind. His plans are not our plans. His ways are not our ways and his path for our life is not our path, though it should be. Though it should be. The teaching here this morning is life happens unexpectedly. Life throws us curveballs. In our mind, it’s a curveball, but God said no. That’s the way life was supposed to play out. Life throws us curve balls in the plan of God. He allows these things to come into our life and gives us the grace we need to go through it. When we walk by faith, when our hope is in him, he can turn the darkest night in today. Amen. He can calm the biggest storm. He can bring peace in a world filled with turmoil. But here’s the key. The only time you’ll find the peace and hope and faith if it’s in him, you’ll never find it in the world. I love my nurse. I love our nurses. But I love my nurse more. And rightfully I should. Amen. I love my nurse, and she does everything she can to help people, to get people the right information, to get them where they need to be. She’s a wealth of knowledge. I’m thinking about starting a 1800 call nurse and trying to get some kind of royalty off of it. Amen. She takes calls all hours of the day in the week from a variety of people about different things. She runs and gives shots and does things. She’s a good woman, a good nurse, and I bless the Lord for her. But at the end of the day, they can only do so much. At the end of the day, the best doctors with the most degrees can only do what God allows them to do. It’s all in God’s hands. Is that easy? No. Is it difficult? Yes. But our hope, our faith, our confidence is in the God, not in mankind. Our confidence must be in him. He can bring a peace in a world filled with turmoil, but must be him. I want you to look again. These folks were wandering in sheepskins. They were destitute. They were afflicted. They were tormented. They wandered in deserts and mountains and dens and caves. And it may be true that we may never see the promises come to our rescue. We may never see the promises on our behalf. But we understand this abraham didn’t see his promise fulfilled, but God fulfilled it. Isaac didn’t see it fulfilled, but God still fulfilled it. Jacob saw the beginning of it, but didn’t see it. But yet God fulfilled it. Joseph was in the middle of it, didn’t see it fulfilled, but God still fulfilled it. And then one day there was a man. God raised up Moses. And Moses took the children of Israel out of Egypt. You see, God kept his promises. God kept his promises. It may not be on this side of eternity that God keeps his promises. But God will keep his promises. God answers prayers. God is faithful. These folks that were destitute, these folks that were stoned, these folks that were Solomon, asunder I’d like to report to you this morning, that God was faithful. To them and God will be faithful to you. God will be faithful to your loved ones. God will be faithful to our church family, those that are listening by way of livestream, those are hurting, those that need help, god will be faithful to them, too. God keeps his promises. God rewards faithfulness. There’s another truth I want you to look at here. The Bible says that they wanted in sheep skins, goat skins. Doesn’t seem like much, really doesn’t. But they did have a form of garment to COVID themselves. They were not left to fend for themselves. God did provide. They were destitute, which means they may not have had plenty. But never do I read where they were starved to death. Never do I read if they were forsaken or forgotten. You see, God still took care of them. Never were they forsaken, never were they forgotten. But here’s another tough one, and this is what I wanted to draw your attention to. We’re getting close to the end of the hour, but look what the Bible says. Afflicted. Some being destitute, some were afflicted. Afflicted? Afflicted with what, Brother Mark? I don’t know. I think of afflictions, I think of sicknesses, I think of diseases. Maybe somebody you think about all the people in the Bible that the stories, the miracles we read about where people were blind, deaf, maim, the folks sitting under the five porches. There was a multitude of people there when Jesus walked by. Did it catch Jesus by surprise that any of those folks were maimed, halt withered? No. As a matter of fact, we kind of looked at in our Sunday school list. If you remember, at that time, the Bible says that gentleman was probably about 35, 38 years old. Well, Jesus was right around the age of 30, right by physical years. But who created that man that was born blind, halt, and withered the same one that passed by that day. So the same one that’s going to pass by, the way. The same one that created the person that’s in that state is the same one that can pass by. May pass by will do, may do a word, but it’s the same God. Amen. Blindness, deafness, deformities. Things we don’t understand, things we can’t explain. But we know this god makes no mistakes. But I ended up destitute. I ended up afflicted. I ended up tormented. I ended up wandering in deserts and in mountains and in dens and caves of the earth. Yes did. But God made no mistakes. God makes no mistakes. Does it make it any easier or any easier for us? Does it make it any less painful for these folks to go through? Sure it doesn’t, for sure. But we know this god’s still in control. God’s still in control. So the lesson would be here and this is the final thing I’m giving undone. The lesson would be here. What we see as a problem, God sees as a plan. What we see as a heartache, God has as a plan. It’s easy to trust the Lord when we’re walking through on dry ground, when the Red Sea has been parted. It’s a little harder when we’re destitute. It’s a little harder when we’re being tormented or afflicted. He says it’s an easy Sunday school lesson for you to talk about brotherhood. No, because I hurt when people hurt. You hurt when people hurt. And we pray that way, don’t we? We pray knowing that folks need help, they need encouragement, they need strength. But can I report you this morning, though, even though there were folks that we read about hebrew, chapter Eleven that were stoned, saw and asunder, tempted, slain, wandering, destitute, afflicted and tormented, can I report to you this morning that they were right where God wanted them to be? And if his grace and his faithfulness was good enough to part the Red Sea, it was good enough to be with those that were destitute, afflicted and hurting. So I would encourage you this morning knowing this that God’s still on the throne, God’s still in control may seem like a whirlwind to us, but God sees through all of that. God sees his children. God knows his children. God loves his children and God’s faithful to his children. He will never leave you, nor forsake you, no matter what shape we may be in. Let’s pray. Our Father in heaven to me, sounds like a bunch of rambling thoughts this morning. But I ask you, Father, to take your word. I ask the Holy Spirit of God to take the word of God, put it in the hearts of Your people and encourage them, to strengthen them and help them, give them hope, give them grace, minister to them, Lord. Let me know that you love them. Help us to see, Father, that you’re the same God that part of the Red Sea. You’re the same God that dropped the walls of Jericho, and you’re the same God that created our bodies, and you’re the same God that can heal us and has healed many through the years, many that we will never know about till we get on the other side, how You’ve provided and how You’ve taken care of. And I ask You, Lord, for an extra helping of grace, strength. I ask You, Lord, this morning to encourage those that may be discouraged, blessed bless them, bless their homes, their families, help them, help our church family. We ask bless our pastor in the next hour. Encourage him, help him, guide him, and direct him in Jesus name. Amen.