Dr. Tony Evans shares profound truths regarding the struggles of life. With God’s help, you can overcome the pain of life, stay steady through the storms of life, and be close to the heart of God even when you don’t know if you’ll make it through. This sermon will encourage, inspire, and equip you to come out of your test a better follower of Jesus than when you started. You can watch the full sermons from these clips below! – How to Have Strength in Your Struggles –    • How to Have Strength in Your Struggle…   – God Is Going to Equip You to Get You Through –    • God Is Going to Equip You to Get You …   – Trusting God in a Storm –    • Trusting God in a Storm | Tony Evans …   If you would like to download two encouraging, FREE full-length MP3s of Tony’s popular sermons: “The Sovereignty of God” and “How to Handle a Crisis,” you can do so by clicking on this link: https://share.hsforms.com/1atT9MJvXQN…

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Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative and author of over 100 books, booklets and Bible studies. The first African American to earn a doctorate of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, he has been named one of the 12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World by Baylor University. Dr. Evans holds the honor of writing and publishing the first full-Bible commentary and study Bible by an African American. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on over 1,400 radio outlets daily and in more than 130 countries. Dr. Evans’ sermons are also streamed and downloaded over 20,000,000 times annually. #tonyevans #struggles #stormsoflife 0:00 Intro 0:28 You Are Where You Need to Be, The Great Cloud of Witnesses is Cheering You On 14:30 Do Not Give Up, God Isn’t Done Working 29:48 Jesus Is Still God in the Storm

if we were to tell the truth

and shame the devil

there have been those times

when we have to raise the question like

Martha and Mary where were you when I

needed you because if you would have

been here

it wouldn’t be this painful it wouldn’t

take this long and it wouldn’t hurt this



do you really care or is that just

theological nonsense I was raised to



let me serve notice on you right now

God is hard to understand

he can be extraordinarily confusing

his understanding is

inscrutable it doesn’t off always add up

you think he’s going this way

and he does a curve on you

and he doesn’t make sense Deuteronomy 29

29 says God has secret things

things that he doesn’t tell anybody

things that he chooses not to explain

sometimes he will explain

sometimes it will give you reasons other


he will hold it close to the vest

either for a time or for all time

you can ask God a question but you can’t

question God

let me say that again

you can ask God a question

but you can’t question God now what’s

the difference to ask him a question is

to say God

would you help me to understand that

to question God is to challenge him

your children can ask you a question

but that’s different than your children

challenging you

when you ask a question you may or may

not get an answer

when you challenge

you’re demanding an answer

God will allow a question he will not

allow a challenge

his understanding is inscrutable you try

to figure out what God has chosen not to

reveal and you’re going to need all of


there Excedrin PM you’re going to need

all the walking to deal with the

headache of his inscrutability

he says you have to understand this

because if you do not understand it when

your world is unraveling

then you will fall prey to the


and not to the Creator Everlasting

omniscient God who is overseeing the


I must admit

I have had my series of questions

why this why this much why this now why

this in light of all these prayers I

have had my questions and I’ve had to

back up because sometimes I move from

question to questioning

and then I have to jump back

because I’m in territory I’m not allowed

to go in

can I ask a question I can’t question

because it is up to him

what he will explain and what he will

refuse to explain

and if he refuses to explain it

it’s because

it is Sovereign knowledge it’s best for

us not to know it

don’t we do that we answer some

questions by our children and others we

don’t bother to answer

because they wouldn’t understand it

appreciate it or benefit from it

maybe not then maybe never

these people are in crisis

and in this chapter a chapter worth

reading over and over a chapter I’ve had

to read as I’ve wrestled with these


of one thing after another

let me just read a few verses from

chapter 40 Verse 18 to whom then will

you liking me

whom were you liking God or what

likeness will you compare with him

he says as for the idol a Craftsman cast

it he says don’t go away from God to

something God made

because that’s idolatry

who were you liking me you’re gonna go

to something I made and try to get from

something I made

information that I’m not giving you

he says

in verse 22

is he who sits above the circle of the

earth and its inhabitants are like

grasshoppers who searches out for

Heavens like a curtain and spreads them

out like a tent to dwell in he sits over

the Earth

he’s not in it he’s over it

verse 25 to whom then will you liken me

I’m the incomparable one that I would be

that I would be his equal says the Holy


he says let me help you out lift up your

eyes verse 26 and see who has created

these Stars

the one who leads forth their host by

number he calls them all by name you

know how many stars

there are

there are millions of stars

he says one I created them all

two I got a name for each one of them

and I’ve never forgotten forgotten any

one of their names

thirdly because of the greatness of his

might and the strength of his power no

one of them is missing they’re not

allowed to fall out of heaven

he created them named them and told them

to stay there

so he is powerful to make stars

but he’s personal to know each one by


so he’s the big God up there and he’s

the intimate God down here he’s a God

who created you but who still knows your


we call that Transcendence

of their

imminent involved down here

and he says who do you know that can do


to whom will you liken me

when my world your world our world is

collapsing as life would have it happen


he says you run to this God not from him

you don’t go to anything that competes

with him

which is idolatry you know position him

in an inferior location

just because

life has collapsed on you

it reminds me of the humorous story of


the pope who had to make an address at

the United Nations

when his plane landed the chauffeur

picked him up opened the door let the

Pope in to get a seat

the chauffeur got behind the wheel to

drive him from the airport to the United

Nations where the pope was to make a key


the pope however was running late

and said to the driver I need you to go

fast I’m running behind I’ve got to make

important address to the United Nations

that’s when the driver said I’m sorry


I’ve already gotten two tickets

that are unpaid

if I get a third ticket

they will arrest me and I can’t risk

speeding and getting a ticket

the pope said but I have got to get to

the United Nations

on time I’m in a hurry

he then told the driver to pull over

the driver pulled over

the pope got out the car and told the

driver to get in the back seat

he said I’ll drive

the pope then got behind the wheel and


to get to the United Nations

as he was speeding down the road to get

to the United Nations he passed the

police car

going a hundred miles an hour

the lights on the police car began to


pull up behind the limousine

and pulled it over

there were two policemen in the car

the police car one of them got out went

over to the window

roll it down

the window was rolled down the policeman

looked at the driver

turned around and walked away

he went back to the police car

his friend who was still in the car


you didn’t give him a ticket he said I

sure didn’t

he was speeding almost 100 miles an hour

he sure was

but you didn’t give him a ticket I sure


why didn’t you give him a ticket with

that kind of speeding he says cause you

don’t know who was in that car

he said well what was it the mayor no

was it the governor


was it the president


then who was in the car that you

wouldn’t give him a ticket

he said I don’t know who was in the car

but the pope was his chauffeur


see a lot of us have this backwards

we want God to be our chauffeur

we want God

to serve us

we want God to adapt to us

he says to whom were you liking me

a low view of God

in a crisis

means the crisis will control and own


a high view of God

in the crisis

means that the crisis has no longer the

last word

do not settle for the creation

don’t go looking at the stars for your


he says I made those Stars

they don’t dictate your future

I dictate your future

I am a king and I’m not a Burger King

where you get to have it your way

he says I want you to recognize me even

in the crisis of life

but we live in a day

of the dumbing down of God

a God who only exists to bless us

help us

Deliver Us

Empower us

but not a God who can dictate to us

we we live in a day where if I give you

your two hours you ought to be happy God

and so when the world caves in

and we’re not used to dealing with the

character of this God

we got all these blame games on God

because he is God when times are up

and I had to remind myself he is God

when times are down

he is God when babies are born

and he is still god with mates

are deceased

he has to be still God in both scenarios

for you to make it through any scenario

he must be God


treated and respected

as such


Toulouse heart means to quit to throw in

the towel to run away to abandon the

circumstance in one way or another

that’s what the Bible talks about when

it talks about losing heart

the book of Hebrews was written to

Christians who were losing heart

this is a book written to discourage

Christians who didn’t know whether it

was worth it to keep going

the struggle was too great The

difficulty was too daunting

the pain was too palpable

and the question was

is it worth keeping going

and many wanted to quit

they wanted to go back to the old way

they wanted to abandon Christ to abandon


so the author of Hebrews writes the book

to challenge them not to lose heart

so we find ourselves

in Hebrews chapter 12.

where he says therefore since we have so

great a cloud of witnesses surrounding


let us also lay aside every encumbrance

and the sin which so easily entangles us

and let us run with endurance the race

that is set before us

fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and

Perfecter of Faith who for the joy set

before him endured the cross despising

the shame

and has sat down at the right hand of

the Throne of God for consider him

who has endured such hostility by

Sinners against themselves so that you

will not grow weary and lose heart

my challenge for me

as I preach to me as I preach to us

is simply to never give up

as hard as things have been as hard as

things are

the author of Hebrews is telling them

and is speaking to us and he’s saying

never give up

in chapter 10 for example he says in

verse 35 therefore do not throw away

your confidence which has great reward

for you have need of endurance

so that when you have done the will of

God you may receive what is promised

verse 39 and we are not of those who

shrink back to destruction

but of those who have faith to the to

the persevering of the Soul

what he is simply saying is

don’t give up

as hard as it is

as challenging as it has been for me for

you and I speak to us

the word of the Lord for today in the

reset that he is doing is don’t

give up

now that’s easy to say

and I’m sure most would agree with

having heard it

but a lot of things are easier to say

than to do

especially when you’re overwhelmed

by life’s negatives negative realities

so he’s going to say

three things

to help you and me and us

in spite of all the turmoil we are in


ecclesiologically culturally racially

politically socially economically

never give up

the first thing he wants to say is

to encourage you never to give up

therefore since we have so great a cloud

of witnesses surrounding us

therefore since we have so great a cloud

of witnesses

surrounding us

now whenever you see the word therefore

in the Bible you must ask what it’s

there for

therefore means in light of what I just


that’s what I’m getting ready to talk

about but it’s predicated on what I just

said now you have to read all of Hebrews


to get his point about the cloud of


a witness

gives agreement or testimony to


a witness in a courtroom gives testimony

to the reality of what is being said he

calls them a cloud of testimony givers

or Witnesses

he says these Witnesses are surrounding


present tense

they’re right here right now and they

will testify many of you who grew up in

the old church remember the preacher

saying can I get a witness

what he was asking was is there anybody

who can confirm what I’m saying

the author of Hebrews says there is a

cloud of witnesses there is a body of

people who will testify

that you can make it and that you ought

never give up

that testimony is given by men and women

who are described in chapter 11.

now obviously time will not allow us to

go through 40 verses in chapter 11 over

each person

but I will sum it up with the first

couple of verses of chapter 11.

now Faith is the Assurance of things

hoped for the conviction of Things Not


for by it the men of old gained approval

by faith we understand that the worlds

were prepared by the word of God so that

what is seen was not made out of things

which are visible

the cloud of witnesses that he goes on

to describe

he will say the words by faith

then he’ll give the name of the witness

and then he’ll tell you what the witness


he will say by faith this witness

Abraham Abel Noah Enoch Sarah Rahab on

and on and then it’ll tell you what they


by faith

so the testimonies that he gives in 11

leading him to talk to us beginning in

chapter 12.

is a testimony

that the key to making it and not giving

up is learning to live by faith

so that that’s the key the way you’re

going to make it

I’m going to make it in spite of the

headache and heartaches of life

is to learn what they modeled and that

was learning to live by faith

he says faith

is the conviction or persuasion

of what you don’t have empirical

evidence to validate

in other words

faith has to deal with unseen reality

faith is different than sight

is something you have empirical reality

you can look at it with your own two

eyes he says faith is the Assurance of

things hoped for

it involves an expectation hope

it is being confident about the


and the way you know you’re confident

about the expectation is that you move

in faith even though you haven’t seen it


so you don’t see it

but it’s real

and you have to move by faith in light

of what you do not see

he says let me illustrate what I’m

talking about

he says we know

that the worlds were created by the word

of God

but I don’t know that anybody has seen


so what you see the world

came from somebody you don’t see

in other words

we know God is real not because we’ve

seen God but we’ve seen what he can do

I’ve never seen Picasso but his work

speaks for his name

I’ve never seen Mozart but his work

speaks for his name

there are many things we believe that

we’ve never seen

the source of

if you and I are going to not quit give

up throw in the towel we must learn to

live by faith

and faith is not merely the event when

you got saved it is supposed to be the

lifestyle that you live now that you are


Romans 1 17 for example says that we are

to go from Faith to Faith for the just

shall live by faith faith is supposed to

be a lifestyle not an event alone

he says in Romans 14 23 whatever is not

of faith is sin

so to not live by faith is to live


he says in second Corinthians 5 7

that we walk by faith not by sight

so if you from Missouri

and you need to see it first

then you will be subject

to the circumstances around you

and be limited by them

since we have a cloud of witnesses

Witnesses testify

you know when they have a professional

boxing match

heavyweight boxing match

previous Champion comes come into the

ring and shake the contestants hands

previous heavyweight champions come in

and shake the hand and this guy in this

corner the guy in this corner

what they’re saying is I’ve been in this


I fought here before

and I’m here to testify you can come out

a winner

they bring past Heroes to give testimony

about a present battle

chapter 11 is full of men and women who

went through what we’re going through in

different times different sagas

and they give testimony I’ve been there

I’ve heard where you’ve hurt struggled

where you’ve struggled been rejected

where you’ve been rejected but I’m here

to testify you can make it by faith

now I’m often asked the question

do people in heaven know what we are

dealing with

are they are is there an awareness

in another dimension

of what we’re going through in this


he goes into it in more detail

uh later on in his book

in chapter 12 this same chapter

when he begins to talk about verses 18

through 24 you can read that on your own

but he says we’ve come to Mount Zion

and he says that we’ve come to a place

with burning fire

and he says in verse 23 we’ve come to

the general assembly of the Church of

the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven

he says we have come to a place where

folks have already gone

so there is in some mystical way a place

of contact

Between Heaven and Earth it’s another

dimension so we don’t see it and feel it

but it’s real so when he says in verse 1

we are surrounded there is a sense in


in the intercessory work of Jesus Christ

those who have been faithful to God who

have gone before

partner with him

in continuing us moving in faith

there is a point of contact the details

of which we can’t get into today but the

point is these Witnesses are here to

give testimony don’t you quit and I

don’t know about you but I need that

testimony on some days

so yes it’s the testimony of God it’s

the testimony of his word but it’s also

the testimony of being surrounded

when he talks about Abel in chapter 11

he says Abel who was dead still speaks

there there is a voice even though

he had already died

so there is this point of linking

between the dimension of the physical in

which we live

but the contact with the spiritual in

which we are to exist

and so when I worked my way through this

chapter 11 and was reminded of all of

those who had the struggle by faith

now some of these people

you don’t know how they got in here

you don’t know how they got in there you

say they don’t belong in here

but that’s the good news you can start

Where You Are

you can start Where You Are

and say the rest of my life I’m going to

live by faith I’m going to act like God

is telling the truth even though I don’t

see the result yet


they woke up Jesus and said in verse 38

teacher do you not care that we are

perishing see that’s a spiritual storm

because their circumstances were out of

control and their emotions have gone

crazy now they question whether what

they have been believing is true


if the truth be told and you would tell

the truth and shame the devil

there aren’t many of us who haven’t

questioned God

who haven’t said I’m not sure I should

be believing this anymore

I’m not sure I could should be

continuing this because what I’m hearing

on Sunday and what I’m experiencing on

Monday don’t

I heard the preacher say

that you care I don’t see you caring for


I I heard the preacher say you can fix

it but you ain’t fixing it for me

I heard somebody say You’re A Healer I’m

still sick I heard somebody say you’re a

lawyer in the courtroom but I’m in


I heard somebody say that that you will

be a friend to the friendliest and I

feel more lonely than ever

so what I heard about you

and what I’m experiencing

don’t match and I’m not sure

this is real

if we were to tell the truth

and shame the devil

there have been those times

when we have to raise the question like

Martha and Mary where were you when I

needed you because if you would have

been here

it wouldn’t be this painful it wouldn’t

take this long and it wouldn’t hurt this



do you really care or is that just

theological nonsense I was raised to


tell the truth and shame the devil there

are those times in our lives

particularly when the storm rages we

don’t have this problem when there’s no


we prayed in the Lord we’re waving our

hand in the air like we just don’t care

when there is no storm

but in the middle of a storm

especially one that just shoots up on

you unexpected that looks like it will

wipe you out

and you’re terrified afraid insecure

because you’re overwhelmed

that naturally leads to a spiritual


where were you God

let’s go a little deeper

because verse 38 says Jesus himself was

in the stern asleep

on the cushion

no you didn’t

oh no you didn’t Jesus

I’m in a storm and you’re snoring

I’m in a storm and you’re sleeping

what good is a savior who sleeps when

you’re in your storm

we call you savior

Jesus this is not the time to be tired

because we’re in a storm

not only is Jesus asleep

he’s asleep on a cushion

a cushion is a pillow

so he’s not only asleep if you asleep on

a pillow that meant you meant to go to

sleep see if you didn’t tuck the pillar

up under your head that’s not like

nodding off that’s I’m tired I’m going

to bed let me get this pillar just right

and I’m gonna get on now lay me down to


pray the Lord my soul to keep you know

this is serious sleep so that meant he

sleep on purpose

so not only is Jesus

asleep not only is asleep on purpose

he’s asleep in a storm okay now I got

another problem

cause he’s sleeping on me

and he’s in the same storm I’m in

because he’s on the same boat I’m on

he sleep

on the storm and the only way he gets up

is I got to wake him up

it says they woke him up

so he deep he’s sleeping so that Jesus

why the storm not messing with you

because if you’re messing with everybody

else on this boat and you are sound

asleep and we got to shake it and bake

it we got to stir you

uh one version says they had to arouse

him which means they didn’t just say


time to get up

no they had to shake him back that Jesus

wake up

that’s when you crying out because it’s

so bad so deep for so long

and they they they they they shook him

and they said

don’t you care

because if you can’t we wouldn’t even

have even if you were tired we wouldn’t

have to wake you up

you got you getting wet like we getting

wet the boat’s flipping and flopping you

like it’s flipping and flopping us

and you are asleep have you ever noticed


when you were taking your midterm exams

how quiet the teacher was

remember that

the teacher would either leave the room

or go sit behind the desk

she wouldn’t say anything he wouldn’t

say anything

why wouldn’t the teacher say something

because you’re

taking a test

so the teacher is quiet when you’re

taking a test

because you should be taking the test

off of information already received


so the teacher not saying much

I know you want to raise your hand and

say teacher number five number five I’m

having trouble with number five wake up

teacher wake up teacher

but right now the teacher

it’s quiet

teacher doesn’t have much to say

because you’re taking a test

and so they’re In This Storm they’re

struggling Jesus asleep

and they had a question

where were you

do you you care about me you cared about

me I wasn’t going to be going through

this like this

don’t you care how bad was it that we

are perishing

so this is Major

we think we’re going to drown out here

and die

I’m gonna die

we all have sponges in our homes

you dip the sponge in water

it becomes full of it

and then when you apply a little


what was soaked in comes out

now if you squeeze and unimersed

you know you you squeeze it

but you never immerse the sponge

don’t look for something to come out

because there was nothing absorbed in

what storms have

an amazing ability to do

is to show you

whether what you heard in the sermon was


whether it got beyond the external

hearing the message

and whether it was soaked in but the

only way what is soaked in the sponge

comes out is when there’s a little


you put you squeeze it you you press it

and all of a sudden whatever was soaked

comes out the reason why when we’re

under pressure a lot doesn’t come out

there’s a lot haven’t been soaked in

we were around the water

we didn’t absorb it so what the pressure

reveals is air

because it wasn’t soaked

Jesus is just taught the disciples they

just come from church so to speak and

now they’re under pressure

and it’s tough does Jesus care about my

pain my finances my loneliness my hurt

my depression

because I’m in his will and I feel all


and so

they wake Jesus up

verse 39 Jesus gets up

and he rebukes the wind and says to the


hush of us

hush be still

notice who Jesus is talking to

he going to talk to them and he’s not

talking to him right now he’s talking to

the circumstance

the circumstance is the wind and the Sea

it’s a storm

he doesn’t speak to them yet he speaks

to the situation but when does he speak

to the situation after they wake him up

so Jesus is asleep they wake him up when

they wake him up

he speaks to the circumstance that was

causing the crisis

so don’t let it be said your crisis

continues because you never took the

time to wake the Savior up

in other words you were not so concerned

about it that getting his attention to

it was unimportant

because we’ll wake up our friends we’ll

wake up people with power we’ll wake up

people who we think can change it and a

lot of times we don’t try to wake up the


now I’m explaining you because I know

what you’re saying you say well he

shouldn’t be sleep

I got you stick with me here

because see I know what you’re thinking

and the reason I know what you’re

thinking is because I’ve had to think it


because we all face storms

different shapes different sizes equally


and so Jesus now turns to his disciples

why are you afraid verse 40 how is it

that you have no faith

now I don’t know about you but I have

issues with the question

I got issues with that question

because that question doesn’t make sense

to me

they wake Jesus up the boat’s fill them

with water they’re in a lilac it’s a

terrible storm they don’t even know

whether they’re going to live or die and

Jesus is going to ask a question like


why are you afraid

and why do you have no faith

oh I don’t know Jesus maybe it’s because

we’re getting ready to die

I mean a question like that is like

somebody asking to swim who just gets

out the water why you wet isn’t it

pretty obvious

I mean this is this is not that deep gee

excuse me Jesus

it’s not that deep

we’re in trouble

why are you afraid

why the question

well that takes us back to verse 35.

because in verse 35 Jesus said let us go

to the other side

not let me go to the other side

not let go let us go halfway and die on

our way to the other side

I told y’all when we got in the boat

because Jesus got a little texting in

him I told y’all when we got in the boat

let all of us go from here

to the others I never said on our way

there there won’t be trouble

I never said on our way there they won’t

be inconveniences I never said they’re

on our way there there won’t be

circumstances out of your control I just

told you where we starting and where

we’re going to wind up but between there

and here and there there may be

circumstances I I didn’t talk to you

about all that I just told you we are

going to the other side in fact

disciples when I told you that I heard

you amen other side of the side praise

God for the other side God’s Got Us

telling me get to the other side we’re

going to make it to the other side you

left shouting you were excited to get in

the boat with me but when the

circumstances showed up they overrode

what I said

in other words

your problem overrode my promise

so you were now living in light of the

problem no longer living in light of the

promise and when you live in light of

the problem and no longer in light of

the promise the problem will dominate

you and it will totally erase the fact I

ever made one

God never once

your circumstances he doesn’t want you

to deny them a storm is a storm you

don’t call it a Sunshine Day

a storm is reality but he never wants

your circumstance to Trump his word

not only does he not want your

circumstance to Trump his word he

doesn’t want your circumstance to Trump

his presence

because he’s on the boat too

in John chapter 16 verses 31 to 33

Jesus tells his disciples on his way to

the Cross peace I leave with you and I’m

gonna leave my peace with you and then

he says but in this world you will have


but be of good cheer because in me you

have overcome the world

in other words yeah they’re going to be

trouble and sometimes there will be

trouble in my will you’re doing exactly

what I told you to do

but because of the next level I’m taking

you to

I will appear to be asleep

you won’t hear anything from Heaven

you’ll be like job 23 I look for God in

the north I couldn’t find him I looked

for God in the South I couldn’t find him

I look for God in the East and the west

and he was unlocatable

I kept searching for God while I was

going through hell on Earth and he was

nowhere to be found

and then in that same chapter job says

but when I come through this

I will be pure as gold

because storms are designed to deepen

your faith

and heighten your experience with him