Don’t Look For Applause

By John Thiel

Are you affected by the people around you? If people speak well of you, are you happy? Then you come across people who are accusational. They are negative and they give you that feeling of gloom and you feel depressed. That comes from the atmosphere from which you are enveloped. You become deflated not inflated from such influences. When we read Luke, we read something contradictory to this.

Luke 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed [be ye] poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

6:21 Blessed [are ye] that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed [are ye] that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and shall reproach [you], and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. 6:23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward [is] great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

6:25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

We seldom read the beatitudes in Luke, we often read them in Matthew. But here in Luke there is more detail to help us appreciate the impact of Christ’s message to those who are surrounded and affected in a way which is negative if people mistreat you and are kind to you if people are kind. When people hate and accuse you and speak evil of you, what should you be? Morose and upset? Rejoice in that day, leap for joy. How can you be happy and leap for joy when you are being evil spoken of when reproached and accused? Don’t you normally feel depressed with that? When someone speaks well of you, Jesus says woe unto you when men speak well of you. To rejoice when I am accused and evil spoken of and to feel uncomfortable if I am well spoken of. Why? Why should I feel uncomfortable when I’m well spoken of? Why should I feel happy if I am being accused and attacked by people around me? Why?

Be not satisfied with superficial knowledge. Be not elated by flattery nor depressed by faultfinding. Satan will tempt you to pursue such a course that you may be admired and flattered, but you should turn away from his devices. {4T 567.2}

What’s the reason? Why should you be uncomfortable when you are flattered and elated? Why should you be happy when you are being found fault with? Because Satan is behind it. It is Satan’s device to elate you by people speaking well of you. It is Satan’s device to accuse you and make you depressed. These are Satan’s devices. This is why Jesus said you should be happy when they accuse you because you know that Satan is behind it and you don’t have to be depressed by it. You know that Satan elates people’s life by making them feel good even though they are not good. When he tempted eve he flattered her and there was a big danger. What is the design of Satan? Why is he devising this kind of activity upon us to elate us? Or to depress us? To cause us to be affected by external influences. What is he trying to do? We are familiar with the statement of statements to Christ. What is his design? When you become elated, you are dwelling upon the comfort of yourself that someone is making you feel good. To concentrate your mind activity on yourself is Satan’s device. To concentrate your mind activity on yourself is Satan’s device.

When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. Hence it is Satan’s constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Saviour and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life’s cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections–to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. Do not be misled by his devices. Many who are really conscientious, and who desire to live for God, he too often leads to dwell upon their own faults and weaknesses, and thus by separating them from Christ he hopes to gain the victory. {SC 71.2}

You are really conscientious you want to do everything right and you fail. If you can turn your attention to yourself, you will feel bad if you are not being made happy. Your attention is drawn to yourself and this is what Satan wants. He wants you to concentrate on how you feel instead of concentrating on Jesus. This is what comes forth. By looking to Jesus we observe the direct opposite impact of Christ’s devices. Let us gaze upon Jesus and appreciate something from him to avoid the devices of Satan to understand what Jesus said when he said leap for joy when you are accused and reproached. Be careful when you are made happy by flattery.

In the heart of Christ, where reigned perfect harmony with God, there was perfect peace. He was never elated by applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage. {DA 330.3}

Why? Why should we be like Christ spoke there, why should we rejoice when accused and be upset when spoken well off? It is Satan’s device. Why is it that Jesus was not elated by applause. Why was it that Jesus was not dejected by censure and disappointment? Why? Reflect back at the time of his baptism. What words did he hear from the dove? This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased. This was a tremendous comfort to Jesus. God identified himself audibly to the son to give him the confidence that he the father was well pleased with his son.

Psalms 118:6 The LORD [is] on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

118:7 The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see [my desire] upon them that hate me.

118:8 [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

118:9 [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

This is a beautiful psalm that explains why Jesus was not elated by applause. Take your mind to a point where you might be brought up before the courts, the kings and they come along and say you are a great man, wonderful. To trust that is dangerous. It is better to trust the Lord than to trust man. If the Lord is on your side then you will not fear. You won’t worry what men say to you. The good or the bad. In fact this is what Jesus rested in. I am perfectly dependent upon my father in heaven. You see it reflected when Jesus was going to the cross and they treated him badly in the judgement hall.

Isaiah 50:5 The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.

50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

50:7 For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

Why? Because I have paid close to attention to my father in heaven. I believe what my father in heaven tells me. Although they smote his back and whipped him and plucked off his beard, he did not hide his face from that. He was happy to submit to it. He set his face like a flint because God is the one he really rested in. When people mistreat us, God is near.

Isaiah 50:8 [He is] near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who [is] mine adversary? let him come near to me.

50:9 Behold, the Lord God will help me; who [is] he [that] shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. 50:10 Who [is] among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh [in] darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.

50:11 Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass [yourselves] about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks [that] ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

Jesus was not affected. As we gaze upon him standing calmly in the face of his accusers without having that morose depressed face he was calm as a lamb before his slaughters. When he was accused, he didn’t accuse back. All those calm self possessed dignified manners that he had. When you look at pictures of Jesus, why could he do that? Because it says he had Christian dignity.

You should preserve a true Christian dignity, but avoid all affection. Be strictly honest in heart and life. {CH 383.3}

The reason why Jesus was so dignified as you look upon him, was because he relied on his father. He did not become affected by those surroundings he was in. His mind was wrapped up in his relationship with his father. As we behold Jesus and as we believe in him as my personal saviour, can I correctly embrace what I introduced in the beginning? If you are not beholding Jesus, if Satan affects you, you will be affected by what people say and do around you. If you look at what we are looking at now, here was Jesus standing calmly in applause and ridicule. Why? We read it in Psalm 118. He trust the father. He knew that the father said this is my beloved son in whom I am very pleased. As he was attacked and flogged, he was not ashamed at what he was going through because he trusted in his Father. As he said when he was being smitten, he said the Lord God will help me because I trust in him. I believe in him. If you believe in Jesus as your personal saviour and you behold him, what is your confidence that will fill you to deal with the positives and negatives that Satan will devise.

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?

8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth.

8:34 Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

The God of the universe who has everything under control in the universe, if he is for you, what does it matter what others say? If we will believe this. Here lies the real key, do I really believe that me with my sinful self, that God through Jesus Christ who he did not spare to take my condemnation, to suffer the condemnation that was mine, if I really believe that, then who shall lay anything to my charge? Who will condemn me if God doesn’t? Oh yes I am faulty, yes I have sinned but I repent everyday for my failures. I don’t blatantly push on thinking I’m so good because I know when I look at Jesus I see myself so wretched. If I do that and truly repent and feel very upset about my sinfulness then I accept the beautiful gift of Jesus Christ that I am forgiven as I repent. Then who can condemn?

Romans 8:34 Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

What do I have to take on board anything from any one from any direction? This is why Jesus was not elated by applause or dejected and depressed by accusation. Really take on board that I can immerse myself in the precious appreciation of Jesus Christ.

Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage. {DA 330.3}

Because he hung on Gods declaration of him. Anyone of us who take on Jesus, God says this of us. Jesus says learn of me. As we keep learning of him we are being trained. What do you do when you want to receive the applause of others? Don’t you bend over backwards so they will applaud you? You are always under stress about what they will say about you. If you are in Christ and if you look to him you are emancipated from these ideas. You are relieved from what you have gained in the school darkness. That is Satan’s work to be anxious about what people think about you. There is still something missing. Here it is by looking to Jesus constantly.

“Learn of Me,” says Jesus; “for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest.” We are to enter the school of Christ, to learn from Him meekness and lowliness. Redemption is that process by which the soul is trained for heaven. This training means a knowledge of Christ. It means emancipation from ideas, habits, and practices that have been gained in the school of the prince of darkness. The soul must be delivered from all that is opposed to loyalty to God. {DA 330.2}

In the heart of Christ, where reigned perfect harmony with God, there was perfect peace. He was never elated by applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage. But many who profess to be His followers have an anxious, troubled heart, because they are afraid to trust themselves with God. They do not make a complete surrender to Him; for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve. Unless they do make this surrender, they cannot find peace. {DA 330.3}

Are you under stress? Do you have stress in your life? An anxious troubled heart? We forget that God says you are my beloved son through Jesus Christ. We try to nervously keep up with expectations and if we can’t, we are depressed. That is our human reaction. We do not make a complete surrender to him because of this. Jesus made a complete surrender entirely. Jesus said my peace I give unto you. You want to enjoy what I’m enjoying.

It is the love of self that brings unrest. {DA 330.4}

Let’s be honest, if I feel unrest, don’t blame anything else, it is love of self. There is no other reason for it. If I am dead and totally surrendered to God as Jesus was on the cross then there is perfect rest. Does a person who is dead feel anything?

When we are born from above, the same mind will be in us that was in Jesus, the mind that led Him to humble Himself that we might be saved. Then we shall not be seeking the highest place. We shall desire to sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn of Him. We shall understand that the value of our work does not consist in making a show and noise in the world, and in being active and zealous in our own strength. The value of our work is in proportion to the impartation of the Holy Spirit. Trust in God brings holier qualities of mind, so that in patience we may possess our souls. {DA 330.4}

You know how they say possess yourself, take hold of yourself, the only way we can posses our souls in patience is to trust as Jesus trusted the father. Only by looking to Jesus can I see what he is like. I love the picture and become spell bound by Jesus and I can’t think of myself anymore. We are not to be stirred or elated by what others think of me. We are not to be anxious about what Christ and God think of us. But about what God thinks of Christ our substitute. Isn’t that something to think about? We are not only to be anxious what others are thinking about me, but not to be anxious about what Christ and God think about me but of what God thinks of Christ our substitute. It is a tremendous sense no more anxiety of even what God thinks of me. I am so comforted to know that God regards Jesus Christ my substitute as his son. So how does he regard me as I believe in me. He regards me as his son. Can I not stand as Jesus stood? As we have been exercising our mind as we have done now, by beholding we become changed. We constantly need to behold Jesus and see what he did. You will see he is our substituent and be at peace. People can rant and rave all around you, but you are at peace. You never get depressed. When negative thoughts come your way, you know it’s the devil. Jesus is our substitute he died for us. You never need despair as you whole character is going to change. You need to take this livingly in your daily experience.

Amen.

Posted on September 6, 2009, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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