Stop crying, it’s coming is the title of Pastor Steven Furtick’s message from November 7, 2021. Furtick is the pastor of Elevation Church in Ballantyne, North Carolina.
Stop Crying, It’s Coming Sermon Notes
The key themes of this message revolve around:
- looking forward instead of at your present circumstances
- working instead of worrying
- joy and wailing can coexist
- choosing your focus
- laying a good foundation
Pastor Furtick also said he would give us the 4 R’s of Reinvention. He only got to one, which leads me to believe he will preach the rest in his next sermon.
The key text for this sermon is Haggai 2:1-9. Here are some key passages I took note of:
“The world of the Lord came through Haggai…Ask them, who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now?…Be strong, declares the Lord…and work. For I am with you, declares the Lord Almighty…do not fear. ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
Rebuilding the Temple
In Haggai 2, they’re rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. This is not hype, but hope: they’re going to reinvent their template.
This was completely unfamiliar to that generation. They’d never seen it, they’d just heard about it.
Solomon’s temple was so grand that half of the gold in the world at that time was used to overlay the temple.
“I’m not stuck in your scarcity. I can bless you in my runover…you will break your back trying to carry home what is leftover if you seek me first.” (God’s voice as paraphrased by Pastor Furtick).
What feels true to you may not be actually true, but just your template.
Every blessing has a context. For us, spirituality is the last thing we consider when making decisions. The pattern of this world is “God is an add-on or an app…and scripture is a salad bar and I’ll pick what I want.”
John 11:35: “Jesus wept.”
It’s all about expectation. Jesus didn’t show up when they thought he should. He could, but he didn’t, and they were crying.
Jesus didn’t say to the sisters, “If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about.” He wept with them.
He knows my disappointments. They can come out in the light of day. He knows the history of my disappointment. He knows the descendants of my disappointment. He knows why you push people away that are trying to love you.
If your template is: “Every relationship ends in betrayal”, you’ll create the very thing that prevents you from being surprised by it ever again.
These people had so much gold, they had to start putting gold in weird places (like a washbasin).
The weird thing about losing weight is that no one compliments you for keeping it off and not fluctuating.
Not only have we been rebuilding the past two years, we’ve had to reinvent.
God can give you a breakthrough where there is no building.
Sometimes your template is too small for what God wants to do.
Haggai 2 is a text about temples, tears, trauma. It’s a text about reinventing. Disappointment and anger don’t make you wrong. There’s as much of a danger with stuffing it and having it come out sideways. God uses all of it in our lives.
Sometimes the help and healing you need come through people (the world of the Lord spoke through Haggai). What God is trying to get the people to do in Haggai 2 is not just to build what they had before, but to get ready for something better.
All this time you’re spending wishing like it was before is completely wasted. God’s not going to make it what it was before. If he listens to you and makes it like it was before, he can’t make it better. God is not consulting your template. It will be according to His truth. It will be better.
Are we reinventing or are we dead? Those are your two options.
4 R’s of Reinvention
Haggai 2:2 – “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. “
Remnant means what’s left, the small part that stayed. When you find yourself in reinvention and nothing makes sense or matches where you’ve been before, God says speak to the remnant. The remnant can represent a fragment.
The hardest thing about staying in the ministry is staying after people leave, even when it breaks your heart. If I’m the enemy, I’m going to get you so focused on who left that you don’t see what’s left. There’s still a remnant!
The Lord said to Steven in one season of ministry, “If you keep focusing on who left and what’s lost, you won’t see who’s lost and what’s left.”
The devil can’t take what God gave you. But if he can get you so depressed, distracted, and disappointed, he wants to keep you crying to keep you seeing what’s coming.
Stop crying, it’s coming! For everything that left your life, God has made a covenant with you: I am with you to this day. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31)
He’s reforming you through your pain. With songs, the worse they suck in the beginning, the better they end up in the end. The devil has some of you in “demo-itis”.
You thought the first version was the only version of who you are, what you do. But God says, “I can’t make you better if you keep going back.”
Trauma is real; it will make you cry. In Jn 11:38, “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. He cried, and then he came.” I don’t want the old temple to keep me from seeing Jesus.
Haggai 2:5 – the Israelites’ biggest problem was letting go of Moses, not having Pharoh let them go. When Jesus came, they couldn’t recognize him. You have to let go of former glory to receive present help. He came to show them who he was and reinvent their template of God. He came to prefigure what He would do.
You have a Christ who will cry. But after he stopped crying, he came to the tomb. He’s coming to the part that’s dead, buried, rotten, etc…but then he called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43).
He’s speaking to your joy, peace, strategy, and spirit. The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed.
He cried. He came. He called.
You have to call some things out today. They won’t come automatically. You can cry over it as long as you want, but something deeper is crying out from the inside. You have to do the work.
Is wishing for something you don’t have keeping you from working with what you do have?
You can cry, but eventually, you have to come and you have to call. The promise is a covenant, not a commitment (the latter can be broken, the former cannot…especially from someone who cannot lie).
Ezra 3:10 – “When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD…with praise and thanksgiving they said to the Lord…and all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.”
Some of us are comparing our foundation to someone else’s finish line. (Next week: how to shout about foundations). How to celebrate when you lose a pound (when you lose a pound, you don’t eat cookies, you buy shoes. But if you’re trying to get out of debt, you don’t buy shoes, you eat cookies).
Ezra 3:12 – “Many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.”
When the older saw the temple that didn’t match their template, they wept. (This isn’t how I thought my marriage would be, the city I would live in, etc.). One generation is weeping about how it doesn’t look how they thought. Another is shouting for joy over what it can and could be.
You’re not building this by yourself and you’re not building it like it was before. And you’re not building by yourself. God transcends that.
In the same body, you have shouts for joy and weeping. Which one will you listen to? Which one will you obey?
Maybe God brought you here to remind you what you’re working with.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 – “There is a time for everything and a season for everything under heaven...a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (Sometimes you’re doing both in the same season). Sometimes you have to dance while you dry the tears out of your eyes. For the glory of this present house will be greater!
God didn’t leave you, he’s showing you himself in a different dimension. You keep looking for the gold, but I’m trying to fill it with glory!
Keep working, even while you’re weeping. Strengthen what remains, because it’s only the foundation. Your best days are not behind you.
Read more sermon notes from Elevation Church.