Learn How To Trust God's Timing with Rick Warren

– I want to say Merry Christmas to all 19 of our other campuses on four different continents Would you just clap and say Merry Christmas to all of them? (congregation clapping and whistling) God bless you, guys This is the 39th Saddleback Community Christmas services of the last 39 years I’ve done all 39 of ’em and this year, Saddleback has grown so much, we’re offering 105 Christmas services (congregation cheering) Right I’ll be checking into the hospital the day after Christmas (congregation laughing) Actually, I’m not gonna try to do all of them live Can’t do 104, five services without using a little bit of video But if you’re new to Saddleback, inside your program there a thing called message notes It’s kinda a little cheat sheet if you’ll pull it out It’s kind of a direction of where we’re gonna go in our service this year I have studied the Christmas story my entire life I mean, for over 50 years, I’ve studied the Christmas story But this year, when I went to begin studying the text of the Bible and the Christmas story, I saw something I’ve never ever seen before It was a new discovery to me And what I saw was the emphasis on the word time Using the different translations of scripture, I saw that there are 16 different references to time and timing in the Christmas story, that God had a timetable for Christmas Now, having the right time, having a sense of timing is important in so many areas of your life Most of the stress in your life comes from poor timing Either you’re in a hurry or there’s a delay and both of those things can stress you out, being too fast or too slow On the other hand, one of the keys to success in life is wise timing and when you do the right thing at the right time, it just works On the other hand, can you say the right thing but say it in the wrong time and it’s a disaster? Yeah Can you do the right thing but do it at the wrong time and it’s a disaster? Yes Timing is everything Timing is the difference between a good joke and a bad joke Comedians have great timing Timing is the difference between when they play one baseball player, a professional one, a pitcher, $80 million to throw a ball and they won’t pay another guy, an amateur, any money to throw the ball It’s the same two and three-quarter inch ball, it’s the same number of feet from the pitcher to the batter The difference is the $80 million guy has a better sense of timing They’re paying him $80 million for timing The difference between a great leader and a poor leader is not just knowing what to do but knowing when to do it The timing is everything The difference between a speaker who holds your attention and is interesting and a boring one, the difference those two is (laughs) timing (congregation laughing) Had you there for a minute (congregation laughing) Now what is the birth of Jesus tell us about God’s timing in your life? Well, this is really important so I want you to write down these five truths, great truths, about God’s timing in your life It’s gonna lower your stress, it’s gonna raise your success if you’ll understand how to cooperate with God’s timing So let’s look at this Number one, what do we learn from Jesus’ birth about God’s timing? That God has a timetable, number one, God has a timetable for everything that happens God has a timetable for everything that happens This is taught all through the Bible In Ecclesiastes 3:1 it says this There’s an appointed time for everything and there’s a right time for every activity under heaven Says, there’s a right time for everything There’s an appointed time Look up here on the screen In another translation, Today’s English Version, Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses God has a timetable for everything and He even had a timetable for Christmas Look at the next verse, Galatians chapter 4 in the Bible, verses 3 to 5 says this When the right time came, God sent His Son to earth, born of a woman and living under the law, so that His Son could pay for our freedom from the law, set us free, and adopt us as His children into God’s family That’s what God sent Jesus to do, to show us what God’s like, to save us from our sins, to adopt us into God’s family But notice the phrase, when the time was right, God sent His Son

Christmas happened at just the right time What made it the right time? We don’t know Why 2000 years ago? We don’t know Why not 2000 years earlier? I mean, God had been telling the world, I’m gonna send a Savior for thousands of years, but He waited a long time before He sent Jesus Or why not 50 years from this year to send the Savior? We don’t know why it was the right time but God says it was the right time to send Jesus Now that leads me to the second truth, write this down God does not tell us the details in advance He has a timetable for your life but He doesn’t tell you the details in advance Ecclesiastes 3:11 says this God has given us the desire to know the future And He always does everything just right and on time, but people can never completely understand what God is doing Everybody agree with that verse? Yeah, why, because God is God and you’re not For me to try and understand God’s timetable is like an ant trying to understand the internet I don’t have the brain capacity If you could understand why God does everything God does, you’d be God Now He says that God given us this desire to know the future Have you noticed all the crazy things people try to do to figure out the future? Tarot cards, palm reading, tea leaves, astrology, all kinds of crazy things trying to figure out the future But the Bible says, God doesn’t let us know the timetable Why? Why didn’t God just tell you everything that’s gonna happen in your life right up front? Well, I think there are two or three reasons First, it would overwhelm you, probably scare you to death You couldn’t handle the truth, to quote Jack Nicholson (congregation laughing) (laughs) Second is you’d probably abuse it If you saw everything that was gonna happen in your life, go, I don’t like that part I’m gonna change that Kinda like Back to the Future We’re gonna change history before it even happens But the real reason God doesn’t announce His timetable to you is He wants you to trust Him He says, Just live one day at a time Trust Me, I’m a good God I’m a loving God Everything I do in your life is for love, but you just gotta trust Me In Acts chapter 1, in the Bible, the Bible says this, Jesus said in verse 7, You don’t get to know the time Timing is the Father’s business Now the subtext of that is it’s none of your business So you’re just not ever gonna know stuff in advance You don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow in your life much less the rest of your life God has a timetable for your life but He doesn’t give you the details in advance Now here’s the third thing we learn from Christmas is that God is never in a hurry and He’s never late God is never in a hurry and He’s never late He’s always on time His timing is perfect Now, the reason for this is because God is on a different wavelength than we are God has a different view of time because God is timeless Now this is kinda hard to understand God is not bound by time He’s not limited by time God can be in the past and the present and the future all at the same time Your view of time, my view of time happens because we happen to live on a planet called Earth that circles 24 hours, every 24 hours it rotates and every 365 days, it goes around the sun So you have marked your life in 24 hour days and 365 day years If you lived on Mars or Pluto, your concept of time would be very very different And God doesn’t live on a planet so God is timeless Einstein wrote a lot about this, the space-time continuum and how it’s very different than what we typically think about time God is never in a hurry and He’s never late Now let me show you God’s understanding of time Look up here on the screen 2 Peter, the Bible says, chapter 3, verse 8 Never forget this: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day Does that sound like the way you treat time? That’s the way it feels when I’m waiting for a meal (congregation laughing) Okay, that feels like a thousand years sometimes But no no, we don’t think in those terms God’s timelessness that I’m talking about has big implications for your life So let’s just go back When God created you, He puts a dream in your heart Most people start off with a dream, what do they want to do with their life They have a vision, a big vision, a big goal They have some kind of dream or plan or project that they want to do with their life, their vision What’s the vision God has given you? Now I’ve talked to tens of thousands of people

over the years and I’ve discovered that while everybody tends to start off early in life with a vision, here’s what I’d like to do with my life Here’s what I dream of doing Then as life goes on, more and more people give up on the dream before it’s accomplished They give up on the vision They give up on the goal because it doesn’t happen fast enough Some of you have had your dream battered Some of you have had your dream bruised Some of you have had your dream broken And some of you, out of discouragement and disappointment, have buried your dream You’ve given up on it God doesn’t want you to do that If God gave you that dream for your life, it’s gonna happen It just has to happen in His timetable, not in yours Let me show you one of the great promises of the Bible It’s this next verse Habakkuk 2:3, God says this about your dream, about your vision, the one that He gives you The vision will happen at the right time that I have appointed It moves steadily toward the goal It will not be proven false If it seems slow or delayed, just wait for it It will certainly happen It will not be late Some of you need to write that Bible verse down on a little three by five card and put it in your visor, on your bathroom mirror, on your windshield or in your refrigerator door so you see it everyday, to not give up on the dream that God has given you Because He said it’ll happen Now, if it’s your dream, you just made it up, well then God’s not obligated to do that But if it’s a dream that God has put in your heart You go, I know God made me to do this, I know I’m wired to do this He says, you just need to wait patiently It will happen It will not be late One of the hardest truths that we all have to learn, I’ve had to learn it a thousand times We have to actually relearn it over and over and over is this God’s timing is perfect My timing is imperfect I always want stuff now When I started this church 39 years ago, I was 25 years old When I started this church, I was in a hurry I was just in a hurry to get everything, and God says, no, it’s not all gonna happen Slowly, steadily, the vision will be fulfilled And one of the things you have to learn is that God is never early in your life God is never late in your life God is always on time It’s a big lesson And here’s the fourth thing that we learn, write this down Is that God’s timing, while He has a timing and it will happen at the right time, God’s timing is not always convenient God’s plan for your life and God’s timing for your life, it’s a good plan It’s for your benefit It’s a loving plan but it doesn’t mean it’s painless and it doesn’t mean that it’ll always be easy No, God’s plan is not always convenient God’s timing for your life is always your best but it’s not the easiest For instance, Jesus’ birth Jesus’ birth was not convenient for Mary and Joseph I mean, think about this Here’s a young couple Jesus is going to have, is gonna be born Mary is not had sex with Joseph Who’s gonna believe that story? Would you believe that if your teenage daughter comes home, Hi Mom, I’m pregnant I’ve never had sex and the baby is God (congregation laughing) Oh yeah (humming “Twilight Zone Theme Song”) (congregation laughing) But an angel appears to Joseph, goes, She’s telling the real story And then in the middle of all of this, the Caesar of Rome, Caesar Augustus, decides to throw a census And he says, Everybody has to go back to the town that they were born in to be registered for this census of the Roman Empire Now let’s put this in perspective He’s not saying you’re gonna get counted wherever you are If tomorrow the government made a rule that in America, everybody’s gonna be in the census You’re gonna be counted but you have to tomorrow go back to the town you were born in, it would be chaos in America Everybody trying to go back to the town that they were born in Every plane, train, automobile would be booked Every highway would be filled ’cause everybody’s trying to go back at the same time for a census And so the day before Mary delivers, she’s nine months pregnant, Joseph goes, Honey, I gotta put you on a donkey and we gotta take a trip to Bethlehem Okay, that’s not convenient Those of you ladies who’ve had babies could probably give us a testimony what it might feel like if you are, the day before you’re gonna deliver,

gonna take a long journey on the back of a donkey That wouldn’t be convenient And then when she gets to Bethlehem, she’s never had a baby before, she has to deliver her own baby by herself without her mom, without her aunt, without a midwife, in a barn with a bunch of animals This is God’s plan and God’s timing because the Bible says Jesus would be born in Bethlehem It was not convenient But it was a bigger plan than Joseph and Mary had ever planned for their life and their baby and it was a better plan It’s not convenient A lot of stuff God does in your life, but it is bigger and it is better Everything God has done in my life has been bigger and better than I ever imagined when I would just trust Him in it So God’s timing is not always convenient The Bible tells us in Luke chapter 2 that at that time Caesar Augustus ordered all people under Roman rule to return to their hometown to register in a census So Joseph took Mary with him to Bethlehem and by this time, she’s very pregnant and in Bethlehem the time came for her to have her baby None of that was convenient Now there’s a fifth truth that we learn We learn that God has a timetable for your life, that He doesn’t tell you the details in advance, that He’s always on time He’s never late but He’s never in a hurry That it’s not always convenient And then here’s the fifth thing At the right time, God can do anything instantly At the right time, God can do anything instantly God can do more in one millisecond than I can do in five, 10, 20 years of my entire life of the wrong timing At the right time, God can do it instantly so He doesn’t worry about time ’cause He doesn’t need time to accomplish what He wants to do In Isaiah 60:22, God says this I am the Lord, so when the right time comes, I will make it all happen, how? Quickly Circle that, quickly When, I’m God, so when it’s the right time, I’ll make it all happen quickly Now this is hard for us to accept The most difficult place for you to be in life is in God’s waiting room In God’s waiting room Some of you are in God’s waiting room right now What is God’s waiting room? When you’re in a hurry for something to happen and God isn’t That’s God’s waiting room Some of you are in a hurry to graduate Some of you are in a hurry to get married Some of you are in a hurry to start a family Some of you are in a hurry to launch a new business, to close a big deal Some of you are in a hurry for a big goal, a big dream, a big accomplishment Some of you are in a hurry for all kinds of different things and God isn’t And you’re seeing the time getting shorter and shorter, you go, God, there ain’t a whole lot of time left This is either gonna happen or it’s gonna not God doesn’t need a lot of time ’cause He can do everything instantly Quickly It’s not like, well, I need two years to get this project done He can do it, God can do more in a second than you can do in a year You say, well if God can do everything quickly, then why do I have delays in life? Well, God allows delays in your life for two reasons Number one, to test your faith Will you trust Him? And second, to build your character To test your faith and to build your character You see, while you’re working on your project, your goal, your dream, your vision, God’s working on you and God’s much more interested in you than in what you’re trying to accomplish ’cause you’re not taking your accomplishments to heaven but you are taking your character And sometimes God says, yeah, I intend to give you what I’ve promised you I intend to answer that prayer I intend to fulfill the vision, but you’re not ready yet You need to grow up You need to man up and be a godly man You need to be the woman, the strong woman that God intends for you to be I want you to grow and when you’re ready, then it’s gonna happen A lot of times we think we’re waiting on God for something to happen, like a prayer to be answered God says, you’re not waiting on me I’m waiting on you I’m trying to prepare you I’m testing your faith Will you trust Me? But I’m also trying to grow you up because the blessing I want to give you is so much bigger than you can handle right now You’re not ready for it You can’t handle it yet In Isaiah 49:8, God says this At the right time, there’s that phrase again That phrase is used about 96 times

in the Bible, at the right time At the right time, I will, not might, I will answer your prayers Another thing you have to learn in life is that a delay is not a denial There’s a big difference between no and not yet Now, immature children don’t know the difference You tell a kid, Not yet, they start crying and having a hissy fit because they think it means no They don’t understand a delay is not a denial And God is saying, I intend to do these things in your life that I’ve given you the vision, the dream to do but you’re just not ready yet and at the right time, I will answer your prayer God’s often waiting on us Now why is this important? Because when you’re in God’s waiting room, you fall temptation to all kinds of negative emotions When you’re in a hurry for something to happen and it isn’t happening yet, I want to get married I want a husband Somebody as sexy like Rick Warren (congregation laughing) Don’t pray that That would be a bad prayer I’m in a hurry God, I’m in a hurry And God says, Kinda cool your jets a minute At the right time, the right place, My timing is perfect But when there’s a delay in your life, it can create all kinds of negative emotions You start worrying, you start stressing out, you get anxious, you get irritable, you get spiritual ADD You can get envious You can get jealous You go, Hey, he got a promotion and I didn’t get the promotion She’s having a baby I’m not having a baby She got engaged I didn’t get engaged He’s starting a new business, it’s taking off What about mine? And all these kind of negative emotions can come into your life and then you get frustrated and then you start having a pity party So what does God want you to do when you’re in the waiting room of life and you, ’cause you’re gonna go through it many many times God is not a vending machine where you put in the prayer and then you pull the thing and you instantly get it There’s always a delay The delays are by design The delays are by design to teach you to trust Him and to grow up in your character So what does God want me to do while I’m waiting on God’s timetable for what I want to see happen in my life? You do four things You do four things and I want to spend the rest of our time just looking at that God gives us in the Bible four phrases These are Old English phrases from the King James Version of the Bible and they are these He says, fear not, fret not, forget not and faint not Fear not, fret not, forget not and faint not Let me explain these to you because this is what God wants you to do when things don’t happen as fast or as slow as you want them to happen Number one, write this down Fear not When things don’t happen in your timetable, fear not means trust God Fear not, to fear not means to trust God The opposite of fear is faith When you fill your life with faith, then you don’t have the fear Fear goes out the back door And so when you, the more you trust God, then less you’re gonna be afraid The less you trust God, the more you’re going to be afraid In Mark 5:36, Jesus says, Don’t be afraid Just trust Me Now this is such a big message in the Bible that it’s there 365 times The phrase, fear not, is in the Bible 365 times God says, Fear not, fear not, fear, don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid 365 times That’s one for every day of the year He’s saying, I want you to get the message I never want you to be afraid You just need to trust My timing Trusting God is the number one stress reliever in your life, and the more you trust God, the more your stress is gonna go down The less you trust God, the more your stress is gonna go up And so what you want to do is pray a prayer like this, Psalm 31:14-15 I trust You, Lord I trust in You, Lord You are my God and my times are in Your hands Have you ever prayed a prayer like that? You might want to memorize that verse and pray it every morning And you get up and go, I trust You, Lord You’re my God My times are in Your hands What does that mean? God, I got more to do today than I’ve got time to get done I have so many appointments there’s no way I’ll get it all done Help me sort it all out Do what matters most and not worry about the rest My times are in Your hand I surrender my schedule, I surrender my calendar,

I surrender my agenda, my times are in Your hand And that means I’m not gonna fear I’m gonna trust You Another, by the way, stress reliever is when you ask God for something in prayer and the Bible says you can ask God for anything in prayer, but when you do, don’t set the time limit on it When you do, don’t determine the deadline Don’t dictate the timing Leave the timing up to God That’ll lower your stress Look at the next verse, Psalm 69:13 I pray to You, Lord, so when the time is right, please answer me and help me with Your wonderful love What a great prayer Say, God, I’m praying to Ya and here’s what I need, and you mention what you need You need a new job or you need a raise, or whatever you need I pray to You, Lord, and when the time is right, please answer me What you’re saying is, I trust that You know better timing than me I’m telling You what I need but I’m not dictating the timing on it That’s trust That’s fearing not, but trusting God Now the second thing you want to do is fret not and fret not, if you want to write this down means to be patient To be patient and humble To fret not means to be patient and humble The word fret is an Old English word that just means worry And when you fret, you get all stressed out, you get anxious, you get irritable, you get worried, you fret, you fuss, you get all, you’re in a bundle of nerves It is, fretting is the opposite of patience Fretting is impatient When you fret, you are impatient And we worry all the time and we worry because things are either happening too fast and that’ll cause some people worry I can’t handle this change It’s too fast Or we worry because things are going too slow Come on, God, speed it up Can’t we get to where I want to get? I’m asking Ya, I’m praying, I’m asking for all this I don’t know if you ever realize this but waiting patiently on God is actually a statement of faith You’re complimenting God When you wait patiently, you’re going, God, I trust You I have faith in You I’m waiting on You and I’m humble I’m dependent upon You See, we don’t usually mind waiting if we can gripe about it But God says, No, I don’t want you to not only don’t fear, don’t fret Don’t gripe, don’t get irritable The Bible says it like this in Psalm 37 Wait and trust the Lord Don’t fret Don’t fret when others prosper or when their dishonest plans succeed And don’t get angry or upset It only leads to trouble When you get fretting, it’s gonna lead to a lot of other negative emotions in your life Now I want you to circle, if you’re taking notes, circle the word others It says, Don’t fret when others prosper What does that mean? It means you’re looking at somebody else and that’s causing you to worry One of the big reasons you get stressed out is ’cause you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people She just got a new job I didn’t He’s got a better lawn than we do They got a new car Every time you compare yourself to others, you’re being foolish because you’re one of a kind You’re not them They’re not you God has a plan for your life and your plan for your life is different than their plan and if you’re trying to be their plan, you’re gonna miss the plan for your life And so when you compare, those people are getting ahead, they’re getting, that guy got the promotion, I didn’t And you start fretting You start worrying Now here’s the problem You know what the problem with worry is? It’s totally worthless Any second you spend in your life worrying you’ve just wasted that second because worry can’t do anything Worry is worthless Worry can’t change the past Not gonna change the past Worry can’t control the future Not gonna control the future All worry does is make the day miserable It is stewing without doing It’s like sitting in a rocking chair You’re going back and forth, back and forth You’re not making any progress, wasting a lot of energy Any second you’re worrying, you’re wasting energy God says, Don’t fret Don’t worry Instead, just be patient and be humble Look at this next verse Philippians 4:6 Don’t fret or worry, God says Instead of worrying, pray Now that is a good alternative ’cause prayer can change things Worry will never change anything but prayer can change things Don’t fret or worry Instead of worrying, pray

Let your petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers I love that Shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns This last year was an incredibly frustrating year to me personally As most of you know, I had a lot of health problems I have a very rare disease that I’ve had for many many years, least 25 years Been to Mayo Clinic and John Hopkins and UCLA doctors have all worked on me And this year with the medicine I’ve been taking for 25 years stopped working and I was ill much of this year That meant that a lot of the things that I planned to get done on my agenda, on my list of stuff to accomplish in this year, it didn’t happen Now, I could have gotten all frustrated by that I could have been fearful and I could have been fretful But I wasn’t I wasn’t stressed out at all about it Why, because I’m one of those at the right time kind of followers of Jesus Christ My times are in His hands I’m not worried about it And if all the stuff I planned to get done this year didn’t get done but I’m trusting God, He could get it all done in January the next year in an instant He can do more on His time than I can do in my timetable So I didn’t stress out about it I didn’t worry about it I didn’t fret about it I just go, My times are in His hand God knew before I was born that this particular year I was gonna have a tough year with some chronic illness stuff And so it didn’t stress me out because my times are in His hands You see, patience is actually related to humility Look up here on the screen The Bible says this 1 Peter 5:6, Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand, so that He can lift you up at just the right time God looks out on earth, looking for people who trust Him, who will depend on Him That’s called humility God, I’m depending on You instead of depending on myself And He goes, There’s a woman who’s humble I’m gonna raise her up I’m gonna lift her up I’m gonna give her a new status I’m gonna give her a better position, more prestige, more power I’m gonna give her more influence Because she humbles herself, I’m gonna lift her up Let me show you this verse in another translation Look up here on the screen In The Message paraphrase, So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs Don’t act like you’re somebody you’re not Just be authentic, be the real deal God’s strong hand is on you And He’ll promote you when? When? – [Congregation] At the right time – [Rick] When? – [Congregation] At the right time – At the right time He will promote You know what, that’ll do a whole lot more than hiring a PR company You don’t need to go hire an image consultant, start marketing yourself and trying to get yourself, climb the ladder of success, because if you could climb the ladder, it may be leaning against the wrong wall But if you are content, say God, I’m just gonna trust You with this I’m not gonna fear and I’m not gonna fret, but I’m gonna be patient and I’m gonna be humble, God says, That’s the kind of person I like to give a promotion to I could give you a hundred illustrations from my own personal life about that verse That you don’t have to know the key men in life if you know the Man who holds the keys And I know God and He can do anything He wants to do and He can open doors or close doors I could give you so many illustrations of that I don’t have time to do it So the Bible says fear not and the Bible says fret not, just relax and trust God and be patient But the third thing God says is this, write it down Forget not What does that mean? He says, There’s some things I don’t want you to forget that while you’re waiting, while you’re in God’s waiting room, you’re waiting on Me to do the fulfillment of this dream, I want you to focus on what I’ve told you in My Word I don’t want you to forget what I’ve already told you So write this down Forget not means study God’s promises Study God’s promises This book, the Bible, is God’s Word to you Did you know that in this book, there are over 6000 promises of God to you? Can you name one of ’em? Can you name a single promise of God to you? If you can’t even name it, how in the world can you claim it? How can you take advantage of it? It’s kinda like this If I’ve got an insurance policy and I don’t know what it covers and I’m in an accident, I am gonna be fearful and I am gonna fretful and I am gonna stress out ’cause I’m gonna go, Oh man, I gotta pay for all this But if on the other hand, I know what the insurance company has promised to cover,

I get in an accident, I go, I’m not worried about that Insurance company’s covered it This is the policy on your life and if you don’t ever read it, you don’t know what God’s promised to do in your life No wonder you’re stressed out No wonder you’re worried ’cause you don’t know what God has offered to do if you’ll trust Him So, the third thing you gotta do is forget not and that means you need to go study this book There’s over 6000 promises, as I said Let me show you a couple verses The Book of James, chapter 1 in the Bible says this Verse 25 If you keep looking closely into God’s perfect Word, that’s the Bible, that sets people free Jesus said the truth will set you free And you keep studying it and you don’t forget it and you put it into daily practice, you will be blessed by God in some of what you do Oh that’s not what it says It says, if you do those things, you’ll be blessed by God in what? – [Congregation] All – All you do You might circle that word I just had to check that out for myself The Bible is written in the New Testament, written in Greek I’ve had six years of Greek I went back and looked up that word You know the word in Greek, all, it means all (congregation laughing) He says, I’ll bless you in every single area of your life What does He say? If you look at closely at My Word, that means you read a little bit of this book everyday That’s looking closely And then He says, and then you study it That means you write some stuff down The difference between reading and studying is you use pencil You go, oh that’s a good verse I need to write that down Now you’ve gone from reading to studying And then He says, and then you remember it That means you memorize it Have you ever memorized a single verse of the Bible? Because if you haven’t, God can’t call them to memory when you’re stressed out Those promises you don’t even remember You go, I know it’s somewhere in there, there’s a promise about this But if you’ve memorized it, God can bring it to mind Go, oh man, my stress just went down And there’s a thousand other uses too And then He says, and then you put it into action You will be blessed by God in all you do So, friends, this next year, you got a choice You want to be stressed, you want to be blessed It’s your choice God says, You get to choose You want to be stressed, you be blessed? What’s the key to being blessed? You read, you study, you remember and you do what this says And He says the more you do it, the more you’re gonna be blessed in all you do This Christmas as your pastor, as your spiritual coach, I want to give you a Christmas gift that’ll last you the rest of your life This is the best possible gift you can get As a promise that everything else you do in life, you will succeed at doing You say, you gotta be kidding me No, and not only that, you’ll be happy too You say, what’s that promise? Well, look at the next verse You want to be happy, you want to be successful? Here’s what the Bible says, Psalm 1:1-3 Happy are those who find joy in obeying the Word of God, the Word of the Lord and they study it day and night In other words, they follow it They are trees that grow strong beside a stream and they bear fruit at the right time What’s that mean? You’re gonna be productive Your life will be productive You will bear fruit in your life at the right time Your life will be productive Your life will be meaningful Your life will be significant if you’re obeying the Word of God He says, you’ll be like a tree by the river You’re not drying up In other words, you don’t flake out You don’t blow away It says, they will succeed in everything they do Now friends, either that verse is true or God is a flat-out liar You gotta just decide, am I gonna believe what God says or am I just gonna doubt it? And if you don’t believe that verse, you have to take an X-ACTO knife and cut it out of your Bible and throw it away He says, you will succeed in everything you do if you’ll do it My way Let me recommend to you that you trust not your feelings but you trust what God says because eternity is a long time to be wrong It’s like you’re wrong for the rest of eternity Oh Fear not, fret not, forget not And then God says, There’s one other thing I want you to do when My timetable is different than your timetable, when you’re in the waiting room of life, when things are delayed or things are too fast

or too slow and you’re not and you’re stressed out by it He says, Fear not And He says, Forget not And He says, Fret not And then He says, Faint not Now that’s an Old English phrase Comes out of the King James Version of the Bible, faint not It means don’t quit It means don’t give up It means keep on keepin’ on Be determined, be diligent Have endurance And He says, just ’cause things don’t happen right away, keep on keeping on Keep on keeping on Look at this verse, Galatians 6:9 We must never get tired of doing what is right and doing what is good, for at the right time There’s that phrase again, God’s timing At the right time, that’s God’s time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up or quit Question In this Christmas, what do you feel like giving up on? I mean, if you’re really gut level honest, if you let us crawl inside your mind, what do you feel like giving up on? Some of you feel like giving up on your marriage, if the truth told It’s dead and going nowhere I can’t get on with it, I can’t get out of it You feel like giving up on your marriage Some of you feel like giving up on your career I have tried and tried and tried It just isn’t happening Some of you feel like giving up on your dream Some of you feel like giving up on your kids or a friend or a goal Some of you feel like giving up on yourself You’ve thought about taking your life And I want you to know that a thousand years before you were born, God knew that you would be sitting in Saddleback Church on Christmas Eve or Christmas week this year, so God could have me say this to you as your spiritual coach Don’t Don’t Don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t you dare The light is at the end of the tunnel You may be just around the corner Don’t don’t give up Now is the time, He says We must never get tired, for at the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up Don’t give up Look up Look up Look up to God Now you’re gonna need a spiritual family, that’s called the church, to help you through the tough times of your life There’s gonna be a lot of times in your life you feel like giving up I’m so glad I didn’t give up on God but I’m also glad that God didn’t give up on me so many times in my life You need a family Now I want to close by talking to you about two times in your life where God says it’s always the right time to do this We can’t say this about a lot of stuff but there are two things in life that God says is always the right time to do these two things And the first one is it is always the right time to come back home to God It’s always the right time to come back home to God Look at what the Bible says, Acts 3:19 Now, now is the time to change your ways and come back to God so He can wipe away your sins and pour out showers of blessing to refresh you You need a little refreshment in your life? You feeling a little dried up? You feeling like there’s no, no fresh refreshment in my life I need some renewal, I need some revival, I need some refreshment in my life Come back to God Come back to, you say, Rick, you don’t know what I’ve done I don’t need to know I don’t have to know I don’t care to know Why, because it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done or who you’ve done it with or how long you’ve done it, God says, I still want you to come back to Me You say, well, isn’t God gonna like scold me? I’ve been away from God for months or years or decades Look at the next verse The Bible says this And here’s what God will do if you come back to Him God says, With deep love I will take you back With deep love I will take you back No matter what’s happened, with deep love I will take you back We started this service talking about love came down God is love With deep love I will take you back You see, God isn’t mad at you God is mad about you No one will ever love you more

than the Creator who made you God the Father created you Jesus the Son died for you God’s Spirit wants to live in you No one will ever love you more With deep love I will take you back But you know what? As pastor and has talked, as I said, to thousands of people, I know that some people just can’t feel God’s love And I’ve thought about it a lot Why is it that they can’t feel God’s love? ‘Cause I feel God’s love all the time Why can’t they feel God’s love? And I’ve discovered it’s because they’re listening to different voices Now, if you listen to what other people say about you, you’re gonna get down If you listen to what you tell yourself, you’re gonna get down I want to give you permission to stop believing everything you tell yourself ’cause it’s not true You lie to yourself more than you lie to anybody else I’ll say it again You lie to yourself more than you lie to anybody else You tell yourself things are better than they really are when they’re not and sometimes you tell yourself they’re worse off They’re not as bad as you say they are You’re not a really of that a judge of you Feelings lie You may have just eaten a bad burrito (congregation laughing) Now you may be in God’s waiting room and you’re still waiting for something to happen that just hasn’t happened and you’ve dreamed of it but it hasn’t happened yet But I told there are two things it’s always the right time for Number one, it’s always the right time to come home to God no matter how far you’ve drifted away The second thing it’s always the right time for is to accept the saving grace of Jesus Christ, which is why He came at Christmas and died on the cross and rose again on Easter It’s always the right time to accept the saving grace of Jesus Once you understand it, it will be foolish to procrastinate the very thing you need to live for eternity and to be reconnected to the God who made you So you do it like right now I mean, right now Look at the last two verses, what the Bible says about receiving the grace of Jesus Christ 1 Timothy 2:6 And the Bible says this God, Jesus, gave Himself to pay for the sins of everyone That means me, that means you We’re included in every Did you realize, do you know that all the things you’ve ever done wrong have already been paid for? Even the sins you haven’t even committed yet, like the ones next year and then in the next 10 years and in 20 years Every one of your sins have already been paid for Maybe you don’t know that That’s what Jesus Christ came to do Jesus Himself gave Himself to pay for the sins of everyone He is the proof that God wants all of us to be saved All of us I don’t care if you’re Buddhist or Baptist or Hindu or Methodist or Muslim or Mormon or Catholic or Jews or atheist or agnostic or no religion at all I don’t care any of that The Bible says He wants, God wants all of us to be saved Doesn’t matter what your religious or ethnic or financial background is He says He wants all of us to be saved And that proof came at the right time At the right time That’s what Christmas is all about Last verse, 2 Corinthians chapter 6 God says this to you This hour is the right time This hour is the right time to receive My grace This is the day of salvation The day of salvation is now Today I’m ready to save you I mean, like, like right now I have had the privilege of helping tens of thousands of people step across that spiritual line It would be my honor and my humble privilege to help you do that right now So let’s bow our heads I’m gonna pray for you as a pastor and then I’m gonna invite you to pray with me to God a prayer of salvation Father, this issue of time and timing and delays and rushing really creates stress and anxiety in our lives especially when we forget how much You love us And it creates enormous pressure

when we forget how that You know what’s best for us You know us better than we even know ourselves ’cause You made us And we forget about how You’ve taken care of us in the past, even when we totally ignored You You’re a good God Father, today there are a lot of people here that I care about who are waiting for something to happen in their lives and it hasn’t happened yet And I pray that today that each of us will come back to You, will receive Your grace, will begin to trust You for the timing, the right timing in our lives I want all of these people, everybody in our church family and all of our guests that we’re so happy to have here tonight I want every one of these people to be blessed, not stressed in the new year Now you pray You say, What do I say? Doesn’t matter what you say What matters is not the words but an attitude of humility Just tell God you need Him Be humble Say, I really don’t know what to pray Okay, I’ll pray a prayer and as I pray this prayer, you can say, Me too, God What Rick’s saying, that’s me That represents my heart, okay? Just say something like this God, I admit that I often get stressed by the timing of things in my life I don’t like to be rushed and I don’t like delays And there’s some things in my life that just move way too slow And there’s some other things in my life that move way too fast And God, I need Your help to stop fearing and fretting and forgetting and feeling like giving up Would You please forgive me for all the times I’ve impatiently rushed ahead ’cause I was in a hurry and I made a dumb decision? And would You forgive me for all the times that I’ve tried to control the situation and have even tried to control other people? I’m sorry I want to learn to relax God, I want to learn to relax and trust Your perfect timing Help me to remember that You’re never late, that I don’t have to run ahead of You, and that You’re always on time That Your timing is perfect That You can do more at the right time than I could ever do on my own effort in an entire lifetime Jesus, Jesus, thank You for coming to save me at the right time Thanks for Christmas I want to come back home to God and I want to receive Your saving grace So please, please save me I don’t even understand it all but I’m asking You to save me Save me from myself There are things about me I don’t like but I just can’t change Save me from my sins Save me from my mistakes God, save me from my stress Save me from my sadness, my loneliness, and all the other things, the worries and the shame or guilt and anxieties I need salvation in every area of my life Thank You that You want to save me I want to learn to trust You everyday and trust Your timing And I want to live in Your love and peace for the rest of my life I humbly ask this in Your name, Jesus, amen – Thanks for checking out this message on YouTube My name is Jay and I’m Saddleback’s online pastor I want to invite you to take your next step by checking out our online community or help get you connected to a local Saddleback campus Three things we have to offer you right now First, learn more about belonging to our church family by taking Class 101 Second, don’t live life alone and get into community with others by joining an online small group or a local home group in your area Third, join our Facebook group to be more engaged with our online community throughout the week Take your next step and learn where a local campus is near you by visiting saddleback.com/online or email online@saddleback.com Hope to hear from you soon