Over the past five years, people — and I mean heathens as well as Christians who attend church regularly — have said to me some variation of, “God wouldn’t want you to be in an unhealthy relationship. He wants you to be happy.” That never ceases to astound me. God didn’t put us on this Earth to be happy. He put us here to make a difference — like Jesus did. If you want to fix your family, you’re going to have to pour blood, sweat, and tears into it — like Jesus did, as Matt Hagee preached in a sermon that aired this morning.
“I want to take you to a place where blood, sweat and tears came together not to do just another common and ordinary thing but to do an extraordinary thing,” Hagee said. “Today, we turn and we look at Jesus Christ, the author and the finisher of our faith, who shed his blood, and poured out his sweat, and cried out his tears for each and every one of you.
“Your blood represents your life. Everything you do with your life, you have contributed your blood to. You might not have shed your blood, but if blood stops flowing through your body, you start dying. So when you get up and go to work, you’re putting your blood in at work. When you come home, your blood is coming home. When you’re at church, your blood is at church. … [Leviticus 17:11 says], ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood.’ … If your natural body stops providing circulation to some area of the body, that area starts to die. …
“Sweat reflects what you’re willing to work for. When you pour out your sweat, you’re demonstrating to others that you’ll put effort in towards accomplishing a goal. And you need to know that nothing great gets accomplished without you pouring out some sweat. …
“We live in a generation that has absolutely deceived itself into believing that we can have the best of things without working for it. But greatness requires great effort. Great effort is lots of sweat, long days, hard hours, toil, struggle, and strain. Comfort does not create quality. And, young people, if anybody told you that you could have quality without sacrifice, they lied. It’s the sacrifice that you make for your marriage that will determine the quality of your relationship. … It’s the sacrifice that you’re willing to make for your family that will determine whether or not your family succeeds. It’s the sacrifice that you’re willing to make for the cause of Christ that determines how much of God’s glory and how much of God’s power you receive in this life. Jesus told us in Luke 9:24 … ‘Whoever desires to save his life is going to lose it, but whoever loses it for my sake, he will save it.’ He was saying to each and every one of us today, ‘Your blood, your sweat, and your tears are required for success.’
“In 33 years [and] three years of ministry, [Jesus] walked the Earth, and everything that God told him to do, he did. He even told an audience, ‘I don’t say a word unless the father in heaven tells me to speak it.’ And here he kneels, and here he prays, and he says, ‘God, if — if –‘ Jesus Christ never said ‘if’ until this moment. ‘If’ we can get out of this. ‘If’ you can take this cup. ‘If’ you can find another way, do it. And then he finished by saying, ‘Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.’ And there he bled for you because he believes in you.
“I want you to let that sink in for a moment. Jesus Christ, the son of God, the word made flesh dwelling among us, believes in you. He doesn’t believe what others are saying about you. He believes in what he created you to be. He doesn’t believe in your past. He buried it in the sea of forgetfulness. He doesn’t believe in expert opinions about the statistics and the analysis of how impossible your situation happens to be. When you’ve got a problem, don’t bring your excuses to Jesus. Excuses are useless to a God who can do all things. …
“The Bible says of us all, ‘While we were sinners, Christ died for us.’ When you were at your very worst, he gave his very best, and his son bled because he believes in you.
“He believes in your healing, which is why he took stripes on his back.
“He believes in your redemption, which is why he was nailed to a cross [so] that you might go free.
“He believes that you are royalty, which is why he wore a crown of thorns in shame so that you can be crowned an heir and a joint heir, a son and a daughter of the living God.
“The question I have for you this morning is not, ‘Does Christ believe in you?’ but ‘Do you believe in him?’ And once you believe in [him], you’ve got to work for [him]. Success only comes with work. I’ve heard this all of my life, so I’m going to borrow the phrase [from my father] and share it with you: ‘The only place where you find success before work is in the dictionary.’ … Not some work. Hard work. We’ve [raised] a generation that thinks some work is enough work.
[Luke 22:44 said:]
“Why? Because not only did he believe in you, but he was working hard for you. … This moment was far from easy. This moment was something like he had never known before. … The Bible says, ‘He who knew no sin became sin.’ So that those who were in sin could go free. And the reason he sweat great drops of blood is because in this moment sin was being placed upon him, and it was creating what sin always creates, and that’s separation from God … And yet, for your sake and mine, he went to work, and he struggled with that so that those who were far from God could be brought near … Hear him cry upon the cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?‘ and know that he did that for you.
“He sweat because he was struggling, and he was struggling because he believed in you. What are you willing to struggle for? What are you willing to pour your sweat out for? There are a lot of people in the world that we live in that are willing to put out a lot of sweat for stuff that really doesn’t matter. They’ll sweat for all kinds of temporary things. [If] you don’t think so, just go to the gym. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for healthy living. I want you to be good and fit and strong. But you see how much sweat people are pouring out, and then you read in the Bible, ‘From dust you came and to dust you shall return.’ I mean, some of y’all can do a lot with dirt, but it don’t change the fact that your physical body is temporary. …
“What are you willing to sweat for? What if you took all of that effort that you put out at the gym, what if you took all of that energy and all of that monthly investment and instead of going to the gym for an hour and a half, you took the money and the time and you went out with your wife for an hour and a half? … What if you were willing to work for her like you work there?
“Ladies, what if you took the hair and the nails and the shoes … what if you took that time and that effort and that energy and rather than work on temporal things, you went home and you had dinner ready when the husband walked through the door? Now, that might not sound like much fun and it might sound like a lot of work, but we’ve got a problem in our society when we work harder at getting married than we work at staying married.
“Great marriages come from work! They don’t happen by accident. You don’t do 50-year anniversaries because it was easy. You do it because you put out blood, sweat, and tears for the relationship. Do you believe your marriage is worth working for?
“What about your kids? Do you believe they’re worth working for? Are you willing to do what the Bible says that you as parents should do? We’ve got a lot of information on parenting, but the Bible is very clear what it requires of parents:
“He didn’t say, ‘And you schoolteachers.’ He didn’t say, ‘And you Sunday school leaders.’ He didn’t say, ‘And you youth pastors.’ He said, ‘And you fathers.’
“Solomon, Moses and Paul all echoed the same command … they said go to work and train your children. The Bible didn’t tell you to give them an iPhone and follow them on Instagram. … Now I know that plows up some turnips and steps on some toes, but I’d rather tell you the truth. Parenting is hard work. Parenting does not always get fully appreciated. Parenting often gets overlooked, but I assure you, though it’s filled with long days and short years, it will be the most gratifying thing in the world when you see your children grow up and become men and women of God training your grandchildren how to become men and women of God.
“[And] don’t think that God can’t enroll you in some continuing education courses that you might not sign up for. He’ll take you to school. He’ll teach you how to pray. He’ll teach you, through series of circumstances, giving you problems that you can’t solve, giving you burdens that you can’t bear until you learn how to call upon him so that he’ll show you great and mighty things that you know not. …
“[T]he final ingredient is your tears. You see, tears are your passion. And it’s passion that pushes you on whenever ‘quit’ looks good. And it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, someday, sometime ‘quit’ is going to look really good. But that’s when those hot tears that you’ve cried that nobody got to see remind you that there’s just too much to gain to lose.
“You need to know something, church. God can interpret your tears. There are all kinds of reasons why people cry. I’ve got four kids and as an earthly father, I can interpret my children’s tears. I know when my 4-year-old walks into the room [taking deep breaths], she just wants Dad to go spank one of her siblings. … But just like this earthly father can interpret the tears of his natural children, God can interpret your tears. God knows when you’re crying because you’re angry. He knows when you’re crying because you’re selfish. And he knows when you’re crying because your heart is broken. And when it comes to those brokenhearted tears, here’s what God says:
“God has an accounting department [and] every tear you’ve ever cried with a broken heart … God caught those tears. … [but joy comes in the morning].
“Church, your blood, your sweat, and your tears will bring a breakthrough. Your blood, your sweat, and your tears will bless the next generation. Your blood, your sweat, and your tears will change the world if you are willing to put your faith and your trust in the God who bled for you. He believes in you. Will you believe in him today?”