922 Ministries - The CORE & St. Peter Lutheran

When there is no end in sight, we lose hope quickly. But when we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, we find strength to endure. This is why Jesus promised us that our pain will not be eternal. Very soon, everything broken will be “no more,” a promise that helps us persevere until the day of Jesus’ return 

What is 922 Ministries - The CORE & St. Peter Lutheran?

The episodes are the weekly sermons from 922 Ministries (St. Peter and The CORE) of Appleton, Wisconsin.

Promise Land
Week 5 - St. Peter
Pastor Tim Glende

I'm not a runner.

Never have been and never, ever will be.

But some of you are. So you might know more about this topic than I do especially if you're a long distance runner. Any long distance runners in here today? Half marathon, marathon? See there are only a few of you just so we're clear. Like, who's the crazy ones?

I'll get it aside. I know a lot of people who love running they, they enjoy it. There's something called a runner's high. There's something about a race and an accomplishment of a half marathon and a marathon, but a lot of people will just try and check that box once in their life because It's hard. And not everyone does. I can't train for it. Don't want to train for it. It takes a lot of work and a lot of effort. And here's one thing that I've learned, as I've seen people run, my wife ran a half marathon once. And I've heard a lot about when I watch Marathon races on TV and Olympics and otherwise,

That most people probably have heard as well. That for any person who's run that length, no matter how well you've trained, no matter how well you've high rate hydrated, no matter how good a job, you did it carb loading before the race. If you run and run a lot, there will come a point in your running life where you run one of those races. And as much as you've done to be prepared, you hit the proverbial wall.

Like long distance runners understand the reality of the wall.

Like, there's a fancy name for it in running circles, but the wall is what you hit when after a long in a long distance race. And yet still a long ways away from the end, all of a sudden, your legs go to jelly. Like, you can barely stand. And you can't put one in front of the other because they feel like they weigh eight tons.

The wall.

If people tell you, you should be ready for it. People tell you, you can somewhat mentally prepare for it, but, but in that moment, what makes it hard as most people would tell you. It happens about three quarters into the race. About a quarter left in the race. A lot of times it happens about mile 18 of a marathon. And do the math 26.2 minus.

18 equals 8.2 miles left. Like, I'm just telling you, I ran a couple 5Ks here at 922 Ministries.

The Finish Line was a lot closer. And I almost quit like 10 times along the way. Like from the shin splints I experienced. At the end of that day. I had to preached the next morning. I barely could stand. I think my wife had to help me get out of bed. Like the wall is real and when you hit it, it's usually long before you can see the line up in front of you.

Like, if you get to the last mile, the race like that and, you know, the Finish Line isn't that far away. The crowds are getting bigger close to the end. There's a few people of your family and friends cheering you along, like you can almost see it off in the distance. If it's a street enough shot, like you can get there. But at mile 18, when there's hills and curves, No long, the sidelines.

It's hard.

And it's easy to lose hope.

Like, there's a whole lot of things you could do, if you feel like you're hitting the wall to slow down to hydrate as much as possible. Experts, tell you mentally prepare for it in advance like Visualize, the Finish Line. Maybe, remember why you're doing it? Like a lot of people run a race like that for someone for a cause, like, some people say, even right their names on the bib that you're wearing, so you can see it to get you to the Finish Line because the wall is real. And be easy to quit.

And with that, in mind,

I want you to think about what the Bible oftentimes refers to as a race. Our journey from point A to a point B from birth to death.

Living in the here and now, waiting for the promised land, it is like a race. The Apostle Paul says, And it's not a Sprint. It's a marathon. It's a long journey.

And along the way, there will be obstacles, there will be challenges things that will entangle you things that will trip you up. Things that will cause you to be paralyzed, literally, spiritually emotionally, like hitting the wall. Jelly legs. Can't move quicksand moments.

And all the promises we've heard up to this point help. From point A to point B.

But sometimes along the way from point A to point B. There's a point where we hit a wall that wall those moments.

Where it appears that all hope is lost.

And maybe, just maybe, like a marathon runner, you wonder. Can I make it to the Finish Line when there's seemingly no end in sight.

That's the struggle I want you to have in mind today.

Like, when you get to that point when It appears that. The Finish Line is so far off in the future. When you don't know, if you can make it, how you're going to make it what to do. Do you know what you and I, oftentimes will do.

Ask this question.

And I think it's important for us to personalize it as well, but I'll let you fill in the blank first, our struggle. That promise. Number five, really addresses. It's so important to have and to hold on to because there will come times in your life where you will raise this question. I know I have maybe you have. If you haven't yet, you will will this Ever end.

At first, I want you to personalize it. I want you to Write down or mentally write down.

When you've asked that question, and what you're this was,

God, will this ever end.

Maybe you know this is the loss of a loved one and the pain that has come from it.

You just hit the wall emotionally, like no more. Like, just take it away. God.

Or maybe you know this is relational.

Like, there's something going on. There's such a big hurt.

And you don't see an end in sight. No healing or reconciliation. It's so broken and so bad. Will this ever end?

Or, maybe for you. It's the diagnosis.

Like maybe it's cancer.

Maybe it's a chronic disease that your body is broken.

Like I know people who are in their 30s who get diagnoses from doctors that say you're going to deal with this every day for the rest of your life and it's going to get slowly but surely worse.

It's not going to end your life very soon.

Will this ever end?

Or, maybe it's work-related.

Like what is it? Maybe that you're going through, right? Nor have gone through that, you saw no end in sight. You kept banging your head against a wall. You thought perhaps that was the end and it wasn't. And that was the end, and it wasn't. And that was the end and it wasn't Like, what's your this? And I want you to think as you're thinking of it. How you responded and how you reacted, and where you were at on the Holt meter?

Like if you've been around here long enough, I haven't had any real physical this moments, but I've had some work ones being here at 922. There was a time period in our history where it was really hard.

My friend was, Not able to do ministry anymore. It was hard. We thought, and we fought and we banged on doors. We hope doors would open.

And sometimes the two of us pose that question. It was ever end.

And there were times when we asked it, you know what, our response was. Like, I'll be honest with all of you.

Like, maybe it's time just to give up.

Like milk truck Monday would be a whole lot of better than preaching Sunday.

Those of you who don't understand that, like being a milk truck guy, Is the greatest job ever, you just deliver the milk and you walk away and you drive your truck.

And no responsibility.

Like I've been there.

And it's not fun.

And then there's the world, this Like we have a collective. Will this ever end? If you've watched the news over the course of the last few weeks month,

Two years, five years, ten years. If you've been around 70 plus years, You know, how many times we ask this question? Like will this? Ever end. Like this hatred and this fighting. And these Wars

Whatever end terrorism. Will it ever end sex trafficking?

Come on it's got to end like the abuse that that is doled out from people in relationships, whether it's marriage, whether it's from parent to child, whether it's the hurt upon others. Like with this end,

Like the older, I get the, the more this In the world. And wanted it to end. Weighs on my head and my heart.

And that's what is part of the spiritual struggle. Because we know someone who can


Like my struggle when I was going through. This was like, God, you could do something about this.

Like the person who's wrestling and struggling with disease, that they've been diagnosed with, they know, examples of in the Bible where Jesus himself stepped in and healed miraculously, it happens. It does.

The Bible says he can make Wars cease like God in a snap of a finger can bring down a nation.

So why not just stop the whole Israel thing right now? Why not just take out Hamas right now? Whatever it is that you want or think would cause healing like God can but God doesn't and so we wrestle with, will this ever end? We hit a wall. We doubt God. Spiritually, we question God's control.

We challenge God. Emotions. Like, all those things are part of this question. That's our struggle.

And somebody down the road, the odds are good that you or me. Are going to have more of those moments this.

And when we hit the wall, God doesn't want us to give up and we have to wall emotionally. God doesn't want us to walk the other direction. And away from him. No, he wants us to get to the Finish Line. No matter how hard it might be. No matter how far away it might seem

That's the promise today that I pray will make a difference as we tie them all together.

And in order to really grasp this promise, our God had to allow the Apostle John to see it. Like seeing is believing right?

When it comes to a promise, a promise is something unknown remember like you can't see it. It's off in the distant future, someone gives you their word and yet it's out there. You have experienced it in person. So you know what God allowed John to do in the Book of Revelation, see it

In the Book of Revelation, if you want a simple summary like if you're a newbie Christian, most of you are really excited about the Book of Revelation. It is super confusing. There's a whole lot of things going on signs and seals and Wars and and beasts and all sorts of images. Can I just give you a little of what Revelation is from beginning to end? It's John's Glimpse of the New Testament Church from the time of Jesus returned to Heaven, and it's clearly the last book that was written to time. Jesus will return once again. And all the different sections and all the different parts and all the different visualizations. In the middle of this, and the here and the right now, there's a whole lot of will this ever end? Christians are suffering and struggling the church is being persecuted. But at the end of all the little sections, Two words summarize the Book of Revelation Jesus wins. In the end, Jesus wins in the end Jesus always wins no matter how bad it is, no matter how many times you wrestle with. Will this ever end at the end? Jesus wins? And because Jesus wins You win? I win. The Finish Line. The, the medal, all the prizes are ours. That's the picture, but John, God gave a vision of that end that Finish Line, what it looked like because seeing is believing so that you and I could have the promise and perhaps even visualize it in an amazing way to give comfort to our hearts in a hard world. So here's Revelation, 21, four verses I'm gonna pack them first by verse for you just so you see it understand it, and what the promise is. And why the promise matters. And then today, as I wrap up, I want to give you a summary statement of all the promises in a how-to better. Maybe. Hold on to them.

Like in a world filled with trouble where we oftentimes panic, where there's a whole lot to be afraid of God wants you to be flowing. With faith and overflowing with peace. So here's what God allowed. John to see.

About what awaits About the Finish Line. Then I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth. For the first Heaven, in the first Earth that passed away. And there was no longer any sea.

Funny statement from someone in the first service? I don't know if this is true or not. They applied this and said just so you know, in heaven, there is no beach.

I don't buy that. We can have man-made pools, it's just fine by me. Um, Just kidding. Like what God allowed? John to see. Was basically a visual of what will be?

John, who acknowledges of the Bible understood one chapter right before the end of the Bible Revelation 21, there's only 22 chapters in it. God allows him to see a vision of what will be.

Which takes us back to what? Was created at the beginning.

A new Earth, right? God, created the heavens and the Earth. When God spoke the words it all came into being when God had spent six days creating on the seventh day he rested at the end of all of it. What did God say? He looked at all of it and it was I gotta wake up. People like there's Hunters who got up at five o'clock this morning it's like 9:35 Like you're awake. So are they God's all that you made? And it was Good Earth was good.

In the beginning, when God created Earth was good. Genesis chapter 3.

And as much as when God looked at it said, Earth,

We live in it now and Earth.

So we're going to celebrate a lot of amazing things about Earth this week. Like the food on our table, the people sitting around it.

Like time off from work, amen.


Even this week when there's a whole lot about Earth, that's good. There's

There's a whole lot about Earth, that's not

Like, for some people, these holidays will be the first one where that seat is no longer sat in by that person.


Some people won't be able to make it because Earth means sickness and disease.

Earth means broken relationships. Like, I love Earth. From many things.

There's a lot of times when Earth, Is filled with a whole lot of this.

And that's why what John saw is so important. What God made knew at the beginning, what Adam and Eve sin and sin has continued to do, has brought down, God will make a new Heaven and a new Earth Earth. Like, that's what God allowed John to see.

And I want you to imagine what John saw. He didn't subscribe. This God's creation of a new Heaven and new Earth, he gives you. And I have a visual of how important this promise is to hold on to and why it's so important to hold on to, and push through the wall when you hit it and get to the Finish Line and not waver in your faith. Here's what? That new Heaven and new, Earth looked like I saw the holy city when everything God made was perfect. It was without saying this new place, there will be no sin, it'll be perfect and holy the New Jerusalem. Jerusalem is symbolic of the presence of God, the place of God, the dwelling of God, like his Covenant, that stayed in Jerusalem, the place where God's worship was done for thousands of years. Like the New Jerusalem is a representation of the place that God lives and God dwells Coming down out of Heaven, from God. It's his creation. Prepared. As a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. Like, here's the visual of this new Earth. So great, how many of you guys?

For Mary just stood up here, or in a church like it before waiting for your bride.

There are a lot of hunters. The husband's gone today. So there's a few husbands like I see you. I want you to remember this moment.

Like, when your wife turned the corner with her dad,

Did you go?

Like if you would have because I've stood alongside a bunch of grooms, I would have kicked your you know what, out the back door. And I would have said to that lady. Sorry, don't do it. Not the guy.

Most groups stand up here next to me. And I tell them when your bride starts coming down move they’re paralyzed. Like, I have to nudge him in the back, like,

They're wow.

For some, it's a smile from ear to ear.

For others. It's tears flowing down.

But to a person, I've never seen someone so beautiful.

It's your person. On your day. And they look that great.

Like we sometimes think this Earth is great. What John was allowed to see the new Heaven and the new Earth that God will bring will be wow.

Like seeing God, Will cause your jaw to drop. It's why I love the Christian song. I can only imagine. Maybe it's resonated with you. It's been around for a long time. Like what will it be like will I dance? Well, I weep well, I sing, I don't know. But it'll be, wow.

Like there can be some wild moments. Earth. But there's a whole lot.

Will this end moments too?

And God wants you to know it will And how great it will be. And then he says this about that. Like what that will be. Like, I heard a loud voice from the throne saying because well, John got to see it, so he got to understand what the promise would be. Got a lot of him to visualize the future and what it looked like, but then he also revealed to him through word. What it would be like, God's dwelling place is now among them look like God's people, literally, once again, are dwelling with God, back in the garden, before sitting entered the world. Remember the verses and God walked amongst the garden with Adam and Eve like God and Adam. And Eve did life together and now because of sin, we don't get to do life with God. He kicked them out of his presence, but when this happens, when he brings it all to an end, when he calls you home to heaven, God will live with you and dwell with you. He will be right there, literally, with you. He'll be there God and they will be his people. He will be with them and be their God, you know, sometimes God, says over and over again, some things like he wants you to know you and me. We're gonna do life together. We're going to be together in heaven, like, When will this end? Hold on. Because this will begin. He will wipe away, and this is a beautiful part, every tear from their eyes.

There'll be no more death, mourning, crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away. So many of the when will this end moments of this life? Or about those things, right? I lose someone, I love death ends. It will never happen there. Sadly, it happens. Here, there is pain, this side of Heaven, from disease, from loss, from broken relationships. There will be no pain there. It won't ever be where you'll ask when will this end? You will only say, how long will this go on? And God will say it will never end.

The old order of things has passed away. It has died. It is deceased. There will come a day when God returns in glory, and he will create a new heavens and a new Earth or God in his goodness. One day will come back and take you to be with him in heaven. And, and this will end Understand what God is telling you. In these words, he will address it. He promises that he will.

So don't lose hope and don't lose. Heart when you hit the wall spiritually, don't doubt. Don't run away. Don't stop fighting through.

And hold on to this promise of God. By holding on to the other promises of God.

Like how do I get through the wall? I am with you. Write it on your number, as you run in the race.

How can I do it? You can do all things through me. I give you the strength. How do I?

Not lose hope, remember that there's help all the promises of God. Help us on this journey to get from this.

Beyond this.

And just so John, wouldn't miss it. God had to repeat it one more time.

He said this in verse 5,

He who received it on their own said, I am making everything new. It's my promise. I'm making everything new.

Whatever your this is, you won't will not experience it for eternity, whatever. Your this is, I will help you get through it, but I need you to make it to the end. I want you to make it the end, I'll help you make it to the end.

Because everything new will be so beautiful and so great. He said right now write this down for these words Our trustworthy. And they are true.

See, God is a promise for you and for me, Like when we're wrestling with attention, like the Apostle Paul wrestled with attention, and 2 Corinthians chapter 12, he pleaded three times for God to take it away. I'll give any of you've ever had chronic pain. You pleaded with God, to take it away. You hope that God will take it away. You're no different than the Apostle Paul who pleaded for his ailment. That was slowing him down. That was like hitting the wall. He couldn't do everything he wanted to do.

Did He take it away? God said, no.

My power is made perfect. In your weakness, the Apostle Paul your journey.

Be as easy if I get to the end might take longer and it might go slower and it might be more difficult, but

But on that Journey, I want you to remember and hold on, to the ultimate promise, my grace is sufficient for you. Like at the end of the day, the thing that matters, the only thing that matters as long as you have it and know it and hold on to it by by grace through faith.

You get the ultimate reward for everything new. See, God's promised to you and to me no matter what year this is.

He will end this.

Like it might be personally for you that you will never see at this side of Heaven.

I wish I could tell you, otherwise.

Like, for those of you who are struggling with that chronic disease, I wish And you probably do too that. Just for one day, you could have a day where that didn't exist.

I wish.

But I need you to not give up along the way and Lewis hope along the way and hit the wall and stop going that way to the promised land. Hear God, he will end this.

He'll end your pain because there will be a place where it is no more.

And right now, if you're struggling with the emotional loss, That come from someone, you love. That grief that morning that pain. It will end one day.

It might get less. Day by day.

But it'll end on that day when God reunites you with that person around his throne and all who believe God will end this. He will.

He'll end the war and he'll end abuse. And he will end every last thing about this world. That's so filled with him because there will be no sin there, like God, designed a perfect world. Sin has broken that perfect world. And God has a plan. And a promise. I will end it. And make everything new.

And that's the what?

And it's all that it is and it's such an amazing promise, but I don't think it's enough for today, for me to just say that to you to help you get through the wall when it hits when you're next. This comes. So how do you get prepared for this? Like a runner Who doesn't want to hit the wall? How do we get prepared? Spiritually, and emotionally. To live in light of that promise and to hold on to it when the this of the life that we live, caused us to forget that, that God belongs to give us that awaits. I don't give you two verses.

Here's one of them. One thing I asked the Lord, only do I see King David. You know, King David was Inspired by God to write this question. There's one thing. If I God asked me what's the one thing you want from me? The one thing you're seeking? And sandwiched around it are perhaps the worst two life situations. One could experience as bad as a good good. So these moments of this life, the first one for David was related to his his job as king. Like when the evil nation surrounds me, when armies are surrounding my city, like that's about as bad as it gets for a king. You know why? Because you know what, most foreign enemies did to a king to make a statement to the people. Like if they surrounded the city. And got into the city and captured the city. They take the king. They would take his head and they would put it on a stick.

Like, that was the way they proved like, David knew how bad that could be.

And on the other side of it, just sandwich this the father and mother forsake me like relationally. The worst thing someone could imagine is Mom or dad, the people who are supposed to love and care for turning their back on you King. David says, Those two things, no matter if they were to happen. The one thing I want, the thing that holds me together. The thing that helps me get through the this of any of those moments. Is what I look forward to there. The new Heaven and the new Earth dwelling in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord, and to seek him in his Temple. And it wasn't just a look ahead to that right now. In the year of this Earth, King David could dwell in God's house spend time with God, could gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.

Do you know what they say about things that are beautiful?

Like, when you see something beautiful, It's one of the few things in this life that takes your focus off of yourself.

Like we are self-absorbed, selfish people. It's about us in the, this of this moment, but when I see a beautiful sunset, you know, who I'm not thinking about.

Pastor Tim and all his problems.

You know what? I'm not thinking about my kids and their stuff.

Do something beautiful, takes you off of you and put you on it.

And that could be a song that could be a picture. That could be anything and everything this side of Heaven. But life-changing, game-changing to getting from point A to point B, when we hit the wall to prepare properly for when we do, Gaze on the beauty of the Lord.

Like to gaze is to more than a glance.

Like gazing is long and not being able to take your eyes off of when you read God's word and I pray you do every day. If you don't have a girl root where you're in the word for a few minutes a day, you're missing out on something, but can I convince you that just checking the Box? It's not going to help you as much when you hit the wall, can I convince you to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord?

Like, take smaller sections when you find a verse that says something amazing about God. Stop and pause, and thank God for all that. He's done for you. In Jesus. Thank God for all that. He's done for you spiritually. Thank God for the gifts that he's given to you as a result.

Like, if you want to gaze on the beauty of the Lord,

And just spend some time thinking about the cross and gazing at it. But the world says is foolishness.

So beautiful.

The Son of God came down, and gave up his life so that you and I might have life.

And when it all appeared, it's darkest. And all hope was lost for those disciples' gaze on the beauty of what Easter means for you. That he came back to life. New life is yours.

Because he lives you two will live gaze on that.

Maybe every, once some of you come to church, like talk to your friends, have fun.

Maybe send a few minutes just looking here.

Like gaze at this thing. Might not be the one you were baptized that but here in the water is a baptism. God the Holy Spirit, gave you new life? Forgave your sins connected you to God made you as child. You belong to him in one day, we'll get to experience that new Heaven and new Earth. When you celebrate the supper next time here, at St, Peter, or downtown campus, the CORE, like literally gaze on the beauty of a God, who gives you his very body and blood so that you can leave this place going. I am forgiven, redeemed, child of God, the gaze on the beauty of the Lord dig into his word celebrate, his amazing love. Read assamade or maybe through Christmas. We're going to focus on the Gospel of John like reading a chapter of John a day. I guarantee you, you can't go a chapter of John without finding something great about God to gaze on.

Because when you're gazing on God in his Beauty, you're taking it off of you and the this of this world and putting on him in the that of his promise, I'll end it.

Which the Apostle Paul knew. Like earlier in 2 Corinthians before he had his pleading moments. He said this

Therefore, we do not lose heart. Like we can hit the wall but we do not lose heart. We can ask the question. When will this end and be overwhelmed? But we will not lose heart. Inwardly. We might be outwardly, we might be wasting away. This life is hard. Our bodies are broken. This Earth is not all. It's cracked up to be yet inwardly. We are being renewed day by day, but you don't see is what God is doing. As you gaze on his beauty how God is. Renewing, you and use it for good. For a light and momentary troubles. I know it's big and this is real.

But they're achieving for us an eternal glory. That far away, the moment. Awaits Us. In this Earth, the new Heaven, and the new Earth. Far away is anything that this?

Bro, has to offer and far out ways. All the best things holding you back. And so we fix our eyes, not on. What is seen? Like John's promise. He got to see it you and I don't get to see it. Fix your eyes on what? John tells. You awaits you. Fix your eyes on what is unseen since what is seen as temporary but what is unseen is eternal

My good friend. Jay knew that like Jesus. Pastor friend of mine. He's a coach and the coaching network with me? He played football with me at Northwestern, he was two years younger than me. He went to high school with my wife, Northwestern Prep back in the day.

And just a few short months ago, his daughter Susannah died of a disease.

She was diagnosed with it at about, in a crippled, her life for the last 18 years.

Like it's a crippling disease.

Like this side of Heaven because of that disease. She experienced more time in hospitals than anyone experiencing many people experience in their lifetime. If they live to 80 or 90,

So you can never really play or run or jump like kids. Love to do never.

She had other issues as well, like her life was hard. I would have to imagine over 18 years. There were times when when Jay and his wife, Jess, and their family. And their friends said, Lord, pull this end. With this ever end.

And Susanna probably did.

In a few months ago, it did.

Like, I couldn't begin to imagine like they're this. And it ending pales in comparison to anything I've experienced.

And while Jay did the funeral, he stood up after the funeral and said a few things about his daughter.

Like his daughter who are one of the consequences of that disease could never shed a tear this side of Heaven.

That as she took her final breath as they sang songs around her. Remember held on to God's promises a little tear came out of her eye.

As you're speaking to God's people in his church, He quoted Revelation 21.

Like she may have shed a tear.

Final moments here but she will never shed one again.

She will run and jump and play. Because the old order of things is passed away.

Like, for them. That picture and God's promise that he will end, this was the be-all-end-all, hold on to it to get through this. Brothers and sisters, there will be times when we experience this. Remember, it is a part of the Earth. And what God is in store for is the Earth, a new one.

It should be so amazing until then.

Keep your eyes focused. Gaze upon his beauty.

And remember his promises.

Like if you want to put them all together,

And this journey from point A to point B and the ultimate promised land. Remember this about God. We'll use this for your spiritual good. He promises to Romans 8. And you can do this Philippians 4 13 through Christ and his strength until God ends. This Revelation 21 he promises. He will do it because God is here. He is here with us. Always Matthew chapter 28 and God will help us.

That's the promised land. Hold on to them. Until that day, you reach the promised land.