God Breathes When Life Doesn't Make Sense

Dr. Jon Morrissette - 5/10/2020

On behalf of Lakeside, thanks for joining us! This is a Mother’s Days we’ll remember a long time. My mom, Rosemary, is doing well. She’s been physically distancing herself, “protecting” herself from us “kids”, and her grandkids. She’s been watching online each week. Hello Momma! Lara’s Mom and Dad, Don & Margaret, have been able to visit a few times, they are a bit more adventurous.

I was checking on a dear friend of Lakeside, who’s been living at the Villas Nursing Home in Sherman for years. Fortunately, her building was NOT the one devastated by the virus. Her family has been visiting her through her window! We’d love for you to check-in, post a comment, and tell us how you’re making this day special for your mom.

This morning I’m speaking on the theme “God Breathes… When Life Doesn’t Make Sense.” This is one of the great luxuries of life. Having that trusted person in our life, that person you can always call and say, “Hey, what do you think? What are your thoughts about…? What is your perspective why…? How should I feel about…? What should I do when…?”

This past week I re-read a great book “The Divine Mentor” by Wayne Cordeiro. He talks about how God has surrounded us with all sorts of divine mentors in our lives. (1) For example, God raises up spiritual parents who speak wisdom and knowledge into our lives, giving us greater understanding and perspective. I can’t begin to imagine what my life would be like, if my parents hadn’t so patiently spoke into my life, or if I hadn’t listened! I can’t imagine what Lara would be like, or our marriage, of our ministry… if not for Lara’s parents.

I remember a conversation I had years ago with my Dad. I spent a weekend with friends in Chicago; that same weekend dad had heart surgery. I’ll never forget visiting him that first night, as he recovered. They’d wheeled him to a private room. Nurses were tending to him, answering questions, being so tender/kind. Everyone had left for the day. Physically, he was in such a weakened condition. But he was so encouraged to see me—it sort of caught me off guard—I could tell it meant so much to him—I of course wouldn’t have dreamed of not being there. I was there for all his countless knee operations, later on, his neck operation. 

That same night, however, I was spiritually/emotionally burned out. I was dealing with a lot of strain in ministry. I won't get into all the details, but it was a very strenuous time.  Understand this: The VERY LAST thing on my mind that night, was to burden my dad with any of my struggles! I was there that night for him… I was resolved to struggle silently and alone. But Dad saw right through my mask, and asked how I was doing, and what was going on. When I deflected…and I’m a great deflector… he persisted. He saw some thread, and it was keep pulling on it until my mask unraveled. It sort of caught me off guard! As he lay there, hooked up to all these machines, I explained the situation as simply I could, and wondered aloud whether I should even continue preaching.

Well, he wouldn’t hear anything of that! It was as if the Holy Spirit was speaking directly through him to me. He unequivocally affirmed God’s call on my life, and how he’d seen God at work in/through me, and in the most sincere, godly, passionate manner, pleaded with me to “keep on keeping on.”

That my friends, is what I’m talking about! God raises up Spiritual People who breath wisdom/knowledge, who breath perspective and understanding into our lives when little else makes sense! Now I know what some of you are thinking. You didn’t have a mom or dad like that, right?

 (2) God raises up spiritual surrogates who speak wisdom and knowledge into our lives, giving us greater understanding and perspective. A surrogate is a substitute, a proxy, a replacement, a person who stands-in and fills a gap. So you carry deep wounds in life, because your earthly mother or father or family failed (maybe harmed) you so gravely.

For every failed parent, God raises up a myriad of spiritual fathers and mothers to guide you! For every failed sibling, failed friendship, God raises up dozens of brothers/sisters in Christ to stand alongside you! Pastors. Elders. Ministers. Teachers. Leaders. Friends. Co-workers. Neighbors. Even strangers. If you are struggling alone, its not because of God. If you’re struggling alone it’s often because of us … we have turned down every lifeline God’s thrown you in your pit of despair. You have turned away from every divine mentor… spiritual surrogate… spiritual stand-in, God’s sent your way. Lift up your head. Here you are now, maybe listening to me, a complete stranger on Facebook. Lifeline is just click away!

(3) God raises up spiritual giants. Listen, even if you’re the most reclusive person in the world, you are without excuse. If you are truly a recluse, you probably like to read books. We are privileged to live during the largest explosion of information in the history of the world! Back in the day, Abraham Lincoln would walk days across rugged terrain, being eaten alive by mosquitoes, just to borrow some book he thought would help him. Think what a great man he became, from reading! While I was reading a biography on Abraham Lincoln, in the comfort of my bed, reclined on my soft pillow, I was flipping over to Amazon Kindle, buying all these books Abraham Lincoln read, for just a few dollars!

But open your APPS. Forget about Abraham Lincoln, he was a political giant. Do you realize the writings, of most every Spiritual Giant in history, is readily available to you, for practically free, on your phone, on your tablet? Every great Christian man and woman… their story, their wisdom/knowledge, their perspective/understanding. Whenever I read about one giant, I realize that giant is standing on the shoulders of another giant, and another giant, and so on. Only a fool wouldn’t tap into the wisdom of ages.

(4) God raised up inspired servants (witnesses). Every spiritual giant in history stood on the shoulders of God’s servants, prophets, priests, kings, apostles. Noah. Abraham. Isaac. Jacob. Joseph. Job. Moses. Aaron. David. Elijah. Elisha. Isaiah. Jeremiah. Daniel. Ezra, Nehemiah. Ezekiel. Hebrews 11!! Peter. James. John. The Twelve.

Listen carefully to 2 Peter 1:16-18. “We did not follow cleverly contrived myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus; instead we were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased!” We ourselves heard this voice when it came from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain.” The Apostles themselves were giants! They knew Christ personally! But look, there is more? Upon whose shoulders did even the Apostles stand?

2 Peter 1:19-21, “We also have the prophetic word strong confirmed, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophets own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Whoa. We have the Holy Spirit inspired word stocked full of accounts of God’s dealing with mankind from the very beginning of time into the present! 

(5) God inspired His written word. Could I mention Romans 15:4? “For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures.” If you’d have the courage to take this book, and open it, and read it, you’d find all the guidance you’d ever possibly need.

2 Timothy 3:14-17, what did Paul teach young Timothy? “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Hebrews 2:1, 3-4, “we must pay attention all the more to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. . . how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? This salvation had its beginning when it was spoken of by the Lord, and it was confirmed to us by those who heard him. At the same time, God also testified by signs and wonders, various miracles, and distributions of gifts from the Holy Spirit according to his will…”

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

(6) God sent forth His One and Only Son. We can’t ever overstate the immense value of Christ’s life. There are two things we need to understand about Jesus. First, all of the written word (Scripture) testifies to Jesus. The Old Testament foretells, the New Testament reveals, his coming, his every word/deed, his life and ministry, his death-burial-resurrection, his ascension to the right hand of God in glory. Every word in the written word points to Jesus.

But secondly, Jesus is the Living Word. He isn’t an old, dead guy, he is alive. He is the fullness of God, now resurrected, now reigning at the right hand of God. When life doesn’t make sense, Jesus is the very purest, the most perfect one, upon whom we can fix our gaze and find life. Colossians 3:10 says, “[you] have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.” Just the mere knowledge, the mere contemplation of Jesus, breathes new life into us. Just hearing a sermon, singing a song, reading a Bible verse about Jesus is transformative. Jesus is our great example, our Great God and Savior and Lord.

If you're sitting in dark, it’s on you, it’s because you want to sit in the dark.

I’ll end by mentioning the greatest gift of all! God raises up spiritual people, spiritual surrogates, spiritual giants, his inspire servants, his inspired word… he sent forth his one-only Son, to be the living word, the living embodiment of God, an example for us to follow for all time…

Here is the best part of all. (7) God has sent forth a Divine Mentor. From the lips of Jesus, came the most remarkable promises ever. To whom do I turn when life doesn’t make sense? Jesus promised, that upon his ascension into heaven, that God would send forth his Holy Spirit into the world. In John 6:45 Jesus (quoting the ancient prophets) says, “They will all be taught by God.” By his Holy Spirit the Father will draw all men to Himself for salvation. Not everyone will listen, not everyone will learn and be teachable. But they’ll be called by the gospel.

John 14:16-17, Jesus says, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor (Mentor) to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.”

John 16:7-11, “7 Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9 About sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; 11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”

John 16:12-15, “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. 15 Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you.”

Under what dark rock, in this dark Universe, can you hide and God not shine light on you? God Breathes… When Life Doesn’t Make Sense. He raises up Spirit mentors. Spiritual surrogates. Spiritual giants. His Inspired Servants of old. His Inspired Written Word. His One-Only Son, the Living Word. And most of all… God sends forth His Holy Spirit… our Divine Mentor (capital M)… to woo us, convict us, call us, guide us, teach us, instruct us, encourage us, lead us.

Like… we're not ever so alone. We’re never so isolated, or sheltered, so as to not be reached, touched, breathed on by God’s Spirit. Praise be to God!

Scripture Verses

2 Peter 1:16-21, Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 3:14-17, Hebrews 2:1-4, 4:12, John 14:7-17

Worship Playlist

Your Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture

Tremble by Mosaic MSC

God of the Promise by Elevation Worship

Christ Be Magnified by Cody Carnes

Study Questions

1. On what occasions has it seemed to you that life doesn’t make sense? From today’s sermon, what are our resources for making sense of our world?
2. Which of the passages used in this week’s sermon encourages you and fortifies your faith most? How?
3. In light of this week’s message, where do you want to invite the Holy Spirit to give you clarity or understanding in your life? How will you make yourself available to Him?
4. Write a prayer to the Father asking Him to guide you and give you understanding through His Spirit living within.

Apply It!