Abram got his call late in life. Jacob felt unworthy. Both went through things to come to knowing God in hope. Tribulations are experiences that open our eyes to hope. (Hebrews 12:7; Romans 8:24-25; Romans 5:1-5; Matthew 18:3-4)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller, Mat Gehret
6:30 PM on 1/22/2023
P. Schaller –
Okay. So, tonight we have prayer and praise. P. Mark is over here and he’s going to lead us into that at the end of
our time here tonight. I just want to rehearse a little bit regarding the morning message. Turn
with me to Hebrews 12 as an introductory thought.
How many of you have known a person that kind of got beat up in life and they lost their faith?
How many of you know somebody that was in a church – this one or another one – and maybe
was disappointed or disenchanted and they left and never went back again anywhere?
Anybody? There’s one hand in the back! Okay. There’s a few. How many know maybe
something tragic happened in somebody’s life and they just devastated them and they couldn’t
rebound or couldn’t come back. Carried it with them and were troubled as a result of it?
In Hebrews 12, there is a warning to us about this very thing. Let’s just take a minute here. (Prayer).
vs. 7. There it is. That’s it. If you endure the chastening. Anybody here been chastened? Has
God chastened you? Yeah, I think you are following it. It’s very simple. There is a time when you
feel like God is speaking to you. The following portion says “dealing,” doesn’t it? Verse 7. God
deals with you as sons. Dealing.
I wonder what that means? I think have we heard Christians say that in the past? I feel God is
dealing with me in an area of my life. I have been with believers who have said it with full
confidence. God is dealing with me. Like I know it’s God. It’s not just chance and circumstances
and accidents and stuff. I know God is speaking to my heart and he’s dealing with me.
So, we have two things here. When God deals with us, we are to endure that. Right? Vs. 7.
Endure chastening. This portion was about how does that happen? How do we endure it? We
said in 1 Peter 1:3 down through in vs. 5, we have the way of thinking here by the Apostle writing
to us about how we have a lively hope. I think hope is a big word when you are being
chastened. You receive it when you are being troubled in life.
Like the Jews when they came out of Egypt in the wilderness without food and in trouble, they
were really in trouble and it was so easy for them to attack Moses and to attack and murmur.
And really be upset. We said today that there is a need for me to be submitted and then look to
find from God in Job 23. To seek to speak to God and hear from God in Job 23.
So, here we have in 1 Peter 1:6. You greatly rejoice because of the doctrine, the inheritance and
the doctrine that teaches me what I have. My thinking and processing the trouble, vs. 6. Let’s
put the word “heaviness” here. And opposite we have the word “rejoice.” That’s the mystery of
our lives. This is the key ingredient to your life. It is that you could be in heaviness in many
different forms of trials. We said today disease, sickness, finances, troubled relationships. Long
periods of suffering. Chronic pain maybe. Trouble. All kinds of things that can happen to us
including God dealing with me. Not all trouble is God dealing with me. That’s a very important
point. Not all trouble I have in my life is because God is dealing with me, but the trouble is just a
result of life. Job. 5:7 and John 16:33 teaches us that.
But now the point. When you get hurt, there’s three things: #1. Submit. This is what Job did in
Job 1:21-22. He submitted. He worshipped. He was still weak. He still couldn’t process his pain.
He still couldn’t, he still wasn’t there but he was in the process. He was looking at it the right
way. I will not put my finger in the face of God. I cannot do that.
Later, it seems like he was struggling with that. For sure he is. But he is submitted and #2 he is
seeking an audience with God. And then finally in Job 42, he does see God. He sees God. And
that’s an amazing story in the book of Job in chapter 42.
These are just principles. If we could believe that there’s two realities. There is the pain and
there is the truth and the rejoicing in the truth and the faith in it. And relationship in it, then I
would like to hope and believe that I will see God. This is my hope.
We said this morning that hope is many times just an issue of probability but this in 1 Peter 1:5 is
not about probability. It’s called a lively hope. Lively. Living hope. Guaranteed, 100% sure. So,
we will see God. Absent from the body, present with the Lord. Revelation 22, his name will be on our
forehead and we will see him. 1 John. 3:2, we have not believed a lie. As he is, so are we. We will
see him and we will be like him. And we are even like him in this present world. Wow. Wow.
We said this morning that the early church was able to overcome paganism. Large numbers of
people in populous cities. In some cases, half of the city became Christian over a period of 50
years, 70 years. Over periods of time, the whole Roman Empire eventually shifted to
Christianity. And how could you overcome the flesh? How could you overcome the world? How
could you overcome the devil?
In one sense of course, they didn’t but on the other hand, they had a message that was far
superior. They had evidence in living their lives that they had sorrow but they had a living hope.
They had sorrow like all of us have but had faith in a God you cannot see. People would come
to their meetings and say, “surely of a truth God is in you.” That happened. And it happens
I would like to say in the days that we are living – listen. Suicide rates with teenagers are tripled.
In some demographics, it is doubled. You know what is interesting? The secularists say that is
because of poverty. Lack of education and many of these ideas. But one fact that flies in the
face of that is that the demographic, African American young males do not have any increase in
suicide. This is very interesting. It doesn’t have anything to do with money, economics,
education. No. It has to do with do you believe in God? Do you have any hope? Do you have
understanding about the nature of life.
And by the way, when slavery was extremely strong here in this country in the 19th century and
slaves were singing in 1850 in the plantations, what were they singing? What were the slaves
singing in the United States as slaves? They were singing spiritual hymns, negro spirituals.
Hymns. What were the hymns about? Justice coming. A judgment coming where God will bring
everything that is unjust and bring it into the light. They sang about Christ coming back. They
sang about a judgment seat coming. A world coming. And how did they survive? Because they
had hope. And they sang their hearts out and they died in their poverty and in their problems
and despair, but they had something in this hand. This hand you have sorrow. This hand you
rejoice. How can you do it?
One hand I have sorrow because of the pain and trouble in life. In the other hand, I have the
doctrine. The negro spirituals are the doctrines of the Christian faith. The coming judgment. The
reality of God. The righteous Christ. The suffering Christ who overcame the world. Come on!
That’s why Christianity overcame paganism cause we have a message. And that message is
still resonating today. The gates of hell cannot prevail against it. Communities like ours where
we have our families.
I’m looking forward to the spring when we get out there on our deck out there and just drink
coffees and talk about Jesus all day long. I’m looking forward to the springtime. I’m looking
forward to Eurocon. I’m looking forward to the summertime. Please pray about Bolivia. Maybe
we could go on a mission trip to Bolivia this summer and target some other country. I mean we
are just are like the Cincinnati Bengals, we are going for the jugular vein. We are believing that
we can do it.
We are born again Christians. We are people in the Spirit. We have one hand my chastisement
and on the other hand, I endure the chastisement. I’m able to rejoice with God in our trials and
tribulations. I’m able to see the hand of God in my life and your life. Amen.
P. Matt Gehret –
Hi, everyone. Aren’t rainy days the hardest days to come to church at night?
It’s really great to see all of you here. Yeah. I don’t know how I got here but we made it. We
made it. I want to add a little bit to the conversation about hope, so I have a few verses I’m
going to read to you. And I hope to make a connection by the end. I’ll read these verses and
we’ll pray. Real quick.
Here we go: Romans 8:24-25, Romans 5:1-5, there’s a connection between these two passages that
we will get to in a little bit. Then this last one, Matthew 18:3-4. Bear with me like I said. Hopefully, we
will make a connection at the end. Let’s pray. (Prayer).
How many of you at the age of 75, are excited to start something brand new in your life? Other
than P. Scibelli! How many of you – think about this. You’re not there yet. Maybe some of you
are. How many of you are ready and excited to start something brand new with the rest of your
life however long that may be? Yeah, forget it. Seventy-five. I’ve been there. Done that. That’s it.
In Genesis 12, God calls a man out of the Ur of the Chaldees. What’s his name? His name is Abram.
Abram. His name is changed to Abraham. We’re going to talk about that. His name is Abram.
He’s called out of the Ur of the Chaldees at the age of 75. He said, “get thee out of thy country
and away from your kindred and come after me to follow me and go to a land that I have for
you.” How many of you would hear that and be like, you got the wrong guy! I don’t know what
you are talking about? I feel like that would be any one of us. Any one of us.
Then you have Jacob in Genesis 28. How many of you – let’s ask a different question. How many of
you after deceiving your brother and stealing his birthright, after deceiving your father and
stealing the inheritance, how many of you would feel qualified and ready to receive a blessing
from God after all of that? How many of you – I don’t think so. How many of you would actually
be feeling guilty and distraught and be thinking I don’t even deserve to be in the presence of
God at this point in time?
You have Abram at the age of 75 called to an indescribeable blessing. He’s the father of our
faith. And you have Jacob his grandson, Genesis 28:10-15, how many of you wake up from that
dream believing what God said after everything you had just been through? This idea of hope, it
says in Romans 5 hope is not the first thing that you have. Hope is not the first thing that takes
place. It says in Rom. 8 that hope that is seen is not hope.
And when we look again at Romans 5, there’s a couple things that precede hope. There’s a couple
things that precede hope. In Abraham’s life, a couple of things that preceded hope were his wife
telling him to go and have a child with their servant. After God had promised him a son,
Abraham goes and has a child with his servant and believes that God is going to somehow
In Jacob’s life, he deceives his brother. He deceives his father. Then he goes and deceives is
father-in-law later on. And he goes off and is supposedly going to receive a blessing. What
takes place in Romans 5? In vs. 3, what takes place before hope? Tribulations. vs. 3-4. Hope is not
the first thing that we have naturally speaking. Hope is not the first thing that comes to us.
If we hear God say something to us, most of the time we are kind of doubting it. We are not so
sure about it. We don’t really necessarily believe what he has to say and then tribulation comes
into our life.
Matthew 18 says – was it Matthew 18? Matthew 12? What was it? Matthew 18 says unless you humble yourself
and become like a little child, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. What is hope? What is
Faith is the substance of things hoped for in Hebrew 11. Hope is what we like use to believe in
God. To believe in what he says to us. Abraham goes into a foreign country, Egypt, and he has
to lie about who his wife is. Then, he’s corrected by God and he’s corrected by the king of Egypt to say that wasn’t right. He had to go through a little tribulation to understand that God had a
promise for him and God was serious about the promise for him.
Do you know the promises God lays out for you in the Bible, he’s serious about it in your life
individually? Whatever the promise is. Maybe he promised you a child one day and you can’t
see that happening like Abraham and Sarah. You can’t see that happening. He’s serious about
the promise. He’s going to make that happen.
One way or another, he’s going to work it into your life but do you have faith and do you have
hope that he is going to do so? If you don’t, he’s going to put a tribulation into your life so that
the tribulation can work patience, and the patience experience and the experience can bring you
to hope, to believing to what Christ has for you.
Abraham didn’t learn the first time. He went and did it again. He went and did it again. He went
and did the same thing in another country. He said, no, unless they think she’s too beautiful and
they kill me for being her husband, I’m going to say that Sarah is my sister. Or maybe this was
Isaac. Maybe this was Isaac and Rebekah. They both did the same thing.
But what did he learn from that? What did he learn from that? He went on – there’s like 13 years
of silence in Abraham’s life where he doesn’t hear from God again. He doesn’t know if the
promise is real. He doesn’t know if what he was given in one point in his life was going to
manifest itself one day. Hebrew 6:13, it says because God could swear by no one greater, he
swore by himself for the covenant that he gave to Abraham.
So, think about this. God gives you a promise in your life, whatever that promise may be and
here you are standing in front of God as he is speaking to you and giving you a promise. And
right behind you without you knowing is also God on the other side. And God is speaking to
himself within the Trinity saying this is the plan that we have for this person standing right here
ready to receive my promise. Maybe we are not ready to receive the promise. We’re not there
This is why tribulation and joy go together. This is why rejoicing and calamity are the same
thing. This is why they that sow in tears shall one day reap in joy. Because God is working it into
your life to the point you can say – think about being a little child for a second. Maybe it was a
long time ago for some of you. Think about being a little child for a second.
Your parents told you to do something and you didn’t do it. And it’s maybe something for your
benefit or for your good as a child. It’s maybe something to keep you safe, to keep you out of
harm or keep you from danger. Or maybe it’s something later in your life it’s going to be a
blessing that you learn that principle at whatever age.
So, you heard it. In one ear and out the other and you disobeyed. What do your parents do?
They discipline you. They discipline you. Where does tribulation come in with our walk with
God? He treats us as children, P. Schaller said. Hebrews 12, Proverbs 3, he treats us as sons and
daughters. He is humbling us to get us to the point that we would believe the words that he has
Think about this example, Luke 15. You have the prodigal son who goes away and he spends
all of us father’s substance. Okay. Does he have hope whenever he is getting ready to come
back to his father? I don’t think so. I don’t think he has hope. He actually comes back with the
wrong idea. Luke 15 you read it and it says he came to the end of himself. He comes to the end
of himself and he says if I go back to my father, he will at least treat me like one of the servants
in his house. He will at least treat me like this.
God wants us to get to the point where he says something to us – what happens to the prodigal
son? What happens to the prodigal son? He gets far off and his father sees him. And what does
his father do? He runs right to him. He runs right to him. He throws the robe on him. He throws the ring on him. He puts sandals on his feet. He says to his servants, let’s go kill the fatted calf.
He restores him fully, completely 100% regardless of anything that took place before that in the
prodigal son’s life.
Regardless of the fact that the son took all of us substance ahead of time before it was due to
him and went and wasted it and spent it on horrible, ridiculous things. The father doesn’t see
that at all. He sees his son afar off and he just runs to him. But if the son never went through the
tribulation, if the son never came to the end of himself, if he never had that realization even if it’s
the wrong realization of his father; even if he never had a realization that started him on a path
back to God, he’d never get the opportunity to see God running towards him.
So, when we read Romans 5, and it says in vs. 2-3, this hope is not just something we stumble
upon. This hope is not something that just comes easily or naturally to us. This hope starts
when we see our tribulations. vs. 3-5. By the end of it, we are as little children and we are ready
to receive the kingdom of God. Because we know that all the things we ever went after in our
lives apart from God, they like Paul says it in Philippians 2 and 3. He counts it all as something that is
not even worth anything at this point. That he would get to learn who is Father is in heaven.
The one that runs after him and calls him.
Who in Paul’s life when he was Saul, stops him dead in his tracks when he was going out to
murder and kill and destroy and persecute. The one who stops him dead in his tracks and says I
have a much greater plan for you. I have something way beyond anything that you are thinking,
that you could religiously accomplish in your own life right now. That God is the God who is
calling you. That God is the one who is saying to you, I sent my Son for you. I sent my Son for
you. You have a place in heaven. You have a mansion in heaven. You are seated at the right
hand of the Father.
The first time someone hears that, it’s not so often they are ready to receive it. And then, God
brings in the tribulation and God teaches us patience. And God gives us experience after
experience. And the latter end, the far off thing that Abraham couldn’t see, that Jacob couldn’t
see, you shall have heirs as the stars in heaven. You shall have heirs as the sand of the sea.
Abraham would be the father of the faith. Jacob, his name would become Israel. That would be
the blessed nation.
What does God have for you in your life? If you are hoping for it, if you are hoping for it, maybe
you can’t see it yet and that’s okay. Abraham couldn’t see. He couldn’t even see past Isaac at
one point. He couldn’t even see past Isaac. He had to make a provision for himself before Isaac
even came into the picture.
What do we hope for in our lives? Young men. Young men. What do you hope for in your lives?
Maybe for a call. Maybe to become a pastor. Maybe to become a teacher. Men and women
maybe to become missionaries. Maybe to become workers for God. What do you
believe God for in your life? God has something amazing for you. Something perfect for you and
your life that you get to walk in but he has to get you there. He has to teach you. He has to show
you his ways. He has to teach you his paths. And as he does that, you start to see a God that is
ready to run after you and not some hard taskmaster that is just ready to correct you all the
It says whenever we receive correction in Hebrews 12, we receive it to become partakers of his
holiness. That we receive it to become closer and closer to him that we would be more like him.
So, that’s it. That’s it. Hope makes not ashamed. Hope makes not ashamed and we have the
love of God shed abroad in our hearts in Romans 5. So, let’s pray. (Prayer)
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.