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Sermon 4/27/03
My Ways - Isaiah 55:9


 Audio Sermon

My Ways

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9)

We attended the annual Passover Seder of Adat Hamashiach in Irvine, California, a week ago.  We listened with renewed delight, as the speaker again gave us information about the four cups, the unleavened bread, the questions of the children, and more.  We were delighted by the familiar faces of friends at our table and at other tables near us.

At our table though, two chairs were vacant.  Yvonne and her friend Gayle were supposed to be there, but as time went by, it became apparent they would not be present.  We remembered an accident on the freeway we had passed and wondered, was it them?  Could they have been hurt?  Genevieve, my wife, called Yvonne just before the Seder started and left a message.  Later, there was a message on our office phone.  It WAS Yvonne and Gayle who were in the accident, and Yvonne was the point of impact when they were hit!  They had spent hours at the hospital!

When we spoke to her later, we learned that Yvonne was in pain.  An out-of-control car had struck them twice, once on the passenger door where Yvonne was sitting and then in the front.  They were spinning around at high speed, and Yvonne screamed, "Stop the car", because Gayle, the driver was frozen by what had happened.  So often, events go into "slow motion" at such a time, with a clarity remembered for the rest of our lives, and that was what was happening to them at that moment.

In that long moment, Yvonne was also thinking about Ron and Genevieve.  She wanted to be at the Seder with us, and regretted, as the car was still spinning, that she and Gayle obviously couldn't make it.  She didn't want to disappoint us.  You have to understand that Yvonne has a Doctorate in Religious Studies, is the Chaplain of a hospice, and teaches Hebrew at her church.  She also has a full-time job for a nearby city, and is practically impossible to "catch" for an evening out.  She, of course, knew that and wanted to be there for us.

In the phone call of the next day, we learned that, despite her discomfort, Yvonne managed to go to church on Easter Sunday (Resurrection Sunday as Yvonne calls it).  She was in excruciating pain, but her arm still worked a little bit and she could maneuver.  The pastor asked for her testimony in relation to the accident of the previous evening.  She went forward in her church and told the people how God had saved her life.

25-people went to the front and accepted the Lord because of her testimony.

Who could imagine that an auto accident could lead to ANY good thing?  Nobody likes disasters of any kind and we reasonably avoid them at any cost.  Yvonne IS very responsive to the Lord and that is a key factor in good outcomes.  WHATEVER our circumstances, we need to trust in Him.  As the Lord said, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9).  We tend to limit God in our lives through unbelief, often without even realizing that we are doing it.  He has no limits and we need not fear.

Decades ago, Pastor A. B. Simpson wrote, "He is the God of boundless resources.  The only limit is in us.  Our asking, our thinking, our praying are too small; our expectations are too limited.  He is trying to lift us up to a higher conception, and lure us on to a mightier expectation and limit to what we may ask and expect of our glorious God."

Yvonne is suffering.  She has pain in her arm, leg and back.  She's going to several doctors right now.  Many people wonder about God - Why would He allow problems in the lives of those who love Him?  Indeed Yvonne does love Him and serves Him with everything she's got.  Let's suppose for a minute that Yvonne continues to have difficulties - what would her response be?  Why, she would praise the Lord and thank Him all the days of her life!  She belongs to Him and trusts Him with all her heart.  Life is Christ for her.

Any pain in this life is only temporary.  We suffer for a few moments, years, or decades, and then, if we love Him, we are to be with Him - forever!  He gives much, and a key to understanding was mentioned earlier in this sermon.   All of us will soon enter eternity, including Yvonne, who will be healed; will be in the presence of her Lord, and be filled with His joy.  But she will also be with at least 25-people, who, BECAUSE of the accident, will be rejoicing due to the testimony she was willing to give.

Yvonne is "believing the Lord" for her complete healing in relation to this accident.  We believe with her and encourage you to join us in prayer for Yvonne, who is God's saint and heir to eternity, His ambassador on this earth, filled with the Spirit of the living God - that she will be healed right now.

But even more, may His will be done.  As the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9).  And we shout "Amen" with Pastor A. B. Simpson, who said" The only limit is in us."  Our prayers tend to not be high enough.  Our thinking is too small.  Our expectations limit His outcomes for our lives.  Let yourself be raised to a higher place in our Lord.  Trust in Him right now.

With that in mind, we lift Yvonne, Gayle, and those in the other vehicle to You, Lord.  We ask You to wonderfully heal them of any physical difficulties that might arise from the accident and even more, we ask that Your will be done.  Comfort her, Gayle and the others, and give them peace.  We thank You for the circumstances that led 25-people to Christ, and ask that others will come to You because of what has happened.  Fill them all with the love and power of the Lord, and lead many to Your Son through these events.  Give them Your Spirit, and bless the ministry and life of our beloved sister, Yvonne.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

    Ron Beckham, Pastor
   Friday Study Ministries
Tel: (562) 688-5559
    PO Box 92131
    Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
    "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)


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