Slaying the Giants Interview with Dr. David Jeremiah
God Is With You
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.
Sometimes Christians ask, “Given the Bible’s promises about God’s protection, why do Christians still experience hurtful, even evil, events?” Psalm 121 is a good example of such promises.
a little place in Fort Wayne.
There wasn’t very far from where I grew up in Cedarville and God called me to start a church there with seven families.
And I remember the fear that I had that I was gonna fail in front of everybody and embarrassed my parents and embarrassed my family.
I had no idea what I was doing, but fears can be great motivators too.
And I was probably motivated somebody that fear. People asked me when I had cancer. I was afraid.
Were you afraid when you had cancer? And I think, uh, absolutely I was.
And it was interesting because I could isolate my fear during that time, and I wasn’t afraid of dying.
I was afraid of leaving my wife and my children, and I mean, sounds noble, but it’s just the way it was.
That’s what I cared about most, and I was afraid.
And then I had a few things, I had a biopsy on my spleen once, and it was really scary.
And I I remember some of those things, but I always remember that my fear was real, but it was ultimately replaced with sense of god’s presence in his peace.
remember one time I was getting ready to go into, um, a really difficult test when I had lymphoma.
And I wanted to pray. And I told Donna, honey, I can’t pray. I said, I’ll just cry.
So she said, well, I can pray. And she prayed this incredible prayer. She didn’t cry or anything.
It was the most incredible prayer I think I’ve ever heard her pray.
Wow. And it just gave me so much strength, and I just, you know, I knew I knew I knew I was gonna be okay.
Nothing is as profound as the word of god. And now, Doctor.
Jeremiah has a Bible for every member of the family.
There are numerous versions of the Jeremiah study Bible, perfect for adults and teens.
And the Airship Genesis kid study bible will bring the truth of god’s word to the young ones in your life.
For more information or to order, go to david jeremiah dot org slash bible.
In faith, to face foes greater and mightier than ourselves.
Giants, great and tall.
Giants, cunning, and cruel. But let us not run from the battle.
Run to Victor For our god, goes before us as a consuming fire that we may fight the giant of fear.
Destroy the giant of discouragement. Be liberated from loneliness.
Win over worry.
Guard ourselves from guilt.
Tame the giant temptation, attack anger, disarm doubt when we feel overtaken and find freedom in defeating failure.
Our god will slay the giants in the land and bring them down before us. Through his power.
We shall drive them out and destroy them quickly as the Lord has promised us. Do not be afraid.
Our god will be with us. He will empower us.
We can defeat our giants. We can win the battle.
We can live victoriously.
Introducing turning point plus, a Bible strong Library of On Demand Teaching from Doctor.
Jeremiah. Over forty years of Bible Strong teaching and more available on all your favorite devices.
Watch the turning point series you love at any time. Plus discover new never before seen programming.
Visit turning point plus dot org to get started today.
And now, here is Sheila Walsh and David Jeremiah.
Well, this is a really fun place. To be.
We’ve been in some amazing locations, but this I mean, this is like some kind of ancient castle that we’re in, which seems very appropriate for slaying the giant in your life.
We’re gonna talk about some of the particular giants, but I wondered, first of all, why do you call them giants.
Well, you know, I think this probably started Sheila when I was studying the life of David.
Of course, the famous story of David and Goliath.
And we love that story, and it speaks to us But I really wanted to concentrate on the giants that we face in our culture today and how they’re just as big to us as a nine foot six giant was to David.
One of the things I love about your teaching, and especially so again here is every single thing you’re dealing with is something, honestly, I’ve dealt with in my life.
But before we get to the individual giants, I wanted to ask you, so many people say to me, If I love god, why is life so hard?
Why can’t god make life easy? Why do we face so many issues in life?
Well, life is filled with problems. There’s no question about it.
If you study the Bible carefully, you will find out that there is a tremendous, um, relationship between pain and joy.
Wow. James said it this way counted all joy when you fall into very trials.
I mean, that sounds almost like double speak.
If you don’t have trials, you can’t ever have joy.
If you don’t have the black notes on your piano, you can’t play harmony.
None of us like that, but usually if we’re intuitive enough, we look back and we see how god used those problems to toughen us up and get us ready to do the things he’s called us to do.
I don’t choose pain, but pain sometimes chooses me.
Yeah. So let’s dive in because each one of these giant is something that I know whoever’s listening or watching this has dealt with in their life.
Let’s talk about fear, the number one.
I mean, we live in a culture where sometimes people, when they wake up in the morning, they’re almost scared to go outside.
There’s so much that’s going on in life.
And I wonder just from your own years in ministry, have you faced fears that were giants for you?
Oh, sure. You know, when I
first started in the ministry, Sheila,
I went to a little place in Fort Wayne.
There wasn’t very far from where I grew up in Cedarville, and God called me to start a church there with seven families, and I remember the fear that I had that I was gonna fail in front of everybody and embarrassed my parents, embarrassed my family.
I had no idea what I was doing, but fears can be great motivators too.
And I I was probably motivated somebody that fear. People asked me when I had cancer. I was afraid.
Were you afraid when you had cancer? And I think, uh, absolutely I was.
And it was interesting because I could isolate my fear during that time, and it wasn’t afraid of dying.
I was afraid of leaving my wife and my children, and, I mean, sounds noble, but it’s just the way it was.
That’s what I cared about most, and I was afraid.
I remember some of those things, but I always remember that my fear was real, but it was ultimately replaced with a sense of god’s presence in his peace.
remember one time I was getting ready to go into, um, a really difficult test when I had lymphoma, and I wanted to pray And I told Donna, honey, I can’t pray.
I said, I’ll just cry. So she said, well, I can pray. And she prayed this incredible prayer.
She didn’t cry or anything.
It was the most incredible prayer I think I’ve ever heard her pray. Wow.
And it just gave me so much strength and I just, you know, I knew I knew I was gonna be okay.
And I think you talk about that too in this teaching series.
About the fact that sometimes these giants, we actually can look back and see how god used those in our life, that they were almost a gift.
They made us stronger.
The Bible tells us that we are not to be creatures of fear.
Fear not for I am with you.
Be not afraid for I am your God I think there’s a healthy kind of fear, which is a respect, but the scared kind of fear, that isn’t something that god has for us, unless he’s growing us up at a very high level, we are not to live our lives in fear.
I don’t think that’s the will of god for us.
One of the other issues you talk about. One of the other giants is discouragement. Mhmm.
You know, and let’s face it. Life is tough. We’re all gonna face discouragement.
At some point in our life, some point in our week. How have you managed to handle the courage?
You know, Sheila, I think that Satan’s favorite tool to use on me. Wow.
Yeah. I think that people who do what I do, people who are put together who are type a people like we are, they are more susceptible to that.
Yeah. Because when you spend all your energy and you just go and go and go, you’re gonna have some hard hard days.
What do you do if you find yourself as a pastor of a large church, huge ministry worldwide, and you find yourself discouraged.
What helps you?
Well, you know, there’s a wonderful text in the old testament about David who must have felt like we do sometimes.
And I remember one time Uh, he he got himself in a situation where he left camp with a few of his men when he came back.
All the wives were gone and and the the children were gone and he was theft and The Bible says this, and David encouraged himself in the lord.
Wow. Sometimes you you don’t have anybody to do that, especially if you’re a pastor and do you go to?
And I’ve learned how to encourage myself in the lord.
How do you do that?
I do it through, uh, music.
I love music and music often ministers to my soul, and I have some songs that I can when I hear that song, I remember when God used it to help me over a hard time.
When I was discouraged. My wife is a great encouragement to me.
I I we often talk I try to talk things out.
Sometimes I just need to be alone in in the scripture.
And then, of course, we have wonderful friends too who are great encouragement to us.
And I don’t get discouraged a lot, but I I probably have two or three bouts a year when I get to sleep.
But now you have Benji.
Oh, yes. Now I have my Benji my dog.
Okay. I want to talk about one of the things that I think is almost an epidemic in our culture, and that is loneliness.
I sense that there’s so many people through social media, they think they’re connected, but they’re really not connected.
No. And As a pastor, how do you deal with the loneliness that you see in our culture?
Well, you know, in our church, we we really work hard.
And trying to get people into small groups and to network with people, and they’re not doing this over the internet.
They’re sitting there. And one of the things that happens in a church like ours in Southern California, uh, especially with young couples is usually both of them work.
Yeah. If they have children We were trying to get them into small groups, and we we weren’t doing very well.
So my, uh, son-in-law, Emmanuel Sanchez had the idea let’s do small groups on Sunday morning like Sunday school.
They literally have a small group experience. Somebody teaches for a little while. They have a small group experience.
And while they’re doing that their kids are in Sunday school, their children are in the nursery downstairs in the same building.
I can’t tell you what that’s meant.
You know, we have a lot of military couple in our church, and I have had many, many conversations with these couples saying you cannot know what a lifesaver that was.
It connected You know, we have to work hard at connecting people in our church.
If we don’t do that, the church size itself is so intimidating.
It causes, people to feel a great loneliness that they wouldn’t otherwise feel.
Wow. That’s very encouraging. One of the other giants you talk about that I think is huge is worry.
Knowing that we were gonna be talking about this, I googled worry and anxiety and was blown away by the number of studies being conducted worldwide.
The medications, the the solutions. Why do you think that anxiety is such an epidemic at the moment?
Well, obviously the ultimate answer for that is the absence of god creates anxiety.
And, of course, we’re living more and more in a godless culture. It’s created the opioid crisis.
And, I mean, you look at that whole problem, and it’s kind of at the center of a lot of presenting problems.
Here’s what the Bible says. The Bible says, be anxious for nothing.
But in everything, by prayer and supplication, let your request be made known unto god. Yeah.
I don’t think we should forget either that at the end of that, it says, and when you think, think positive thoughts and then we have a whole list of positive things we’re to think.
I really believe more than ever before sheila that we live in a world that is negative and the negativity of the world wants to get into your life.
And if you let negativity in the door, it will take a seat at your table.
And if you let it take a seat at your table, it’ll be living in your bed. Wow.
You cannot live a life surrounded by negativity and not take a stand against it.
I can get very down if I end up spending a lot of time with negative people, always just and the interesting thing is, don’t know if people realize the Bible says we’re to encourage one another.
That means we’re to pour courage into other people. That’s what it means.
I love that.
To encourage people. We’re empty of courage when you encourage somebody, you take some of your courage and you pour it into that person.
I love that. I know a lot of college students love your ministry and follow your ministry.
I also know that on my son goes to Texas A and M, thousands of students.
If you want to get a counselor, the waiting list is two to three months.
And I’m wondering if Some of the young people who are watching who do struggle with anxiety, where do you begin to slay that giant in your life?
Well, you know, for them, it’s really a double sword, be a double edged sword because many of these kids don’t go to church.
And they dropped out of church, not because of anything they did, but the church just sort of became irrelevant to them.
And, uh, we don’t want that to happen.
First place you need to go when you are struggling with something, obviously, is you need to go to God and you need people to help you get there.
Yeah. You need people to walk with you to that place.
And the and the church is a good place to start with that.
And of course, you’re aware of the fact that on all of our college campuses, even yet today, There are many faith based organizations that are having the ministry of these kids.
Yeah. There’s a way to god if you want it.
Yeah. One of the issues that I often deal with, um, when I’m speaking to young women is, is the issue the giant of guilt of something that they’ve done that they can’t undo, something that’s in the past, why would you speak to the giant of guilt of something that you can’t take away?
Well, first of all, Sheila, we must understand that that giant is real.
It’s almost as real as if it were, uh, physically present with you.
If you read David’s description of his guilt in Psalm thirty two and Psalm fifty one, it is riveting.
And it, it affected his bones.
You know, he, and he said he was broken. And until he came and confessed it, he suffered greatly.
What I try to help people understand is this, you mentioned, uh, that sometimes they can’t forgive themselves.
And it’s interesting that there is no place in the Bible where it ever says anything about us forgiving ourselves.
Wow. I’ve never thought of that.
And I was say, do you believe god forgave you? Yeah.
And so you’re you can’t feel forgiven because you haven’t forgiven yourself Doesn’t that seem like your standard of forgiveness is higher than god’s?
Wow. And they’ll look, oh, no. I said, listen to me. God forgives. Completely fully, unconditionally.
And when god forgives, you are forgiven.
Now you have to keep reminding yourself over and over again that you are forgiven by the highest authority in the forever world.
You know, I think it’s a tool of the enemy to think that we’re in charge of forgiving ourselves.
I mean, I understand that. But the issue is that the great forgiver is God. Yeah. Not us.
I’ve never heard anyone say that there’s nothing in scripture that says we’re supposed to forgive ourselves.
We’re just as
Rather receive God’s forgiveness.
That’s It’s powerful.
Kind of in the same vein. I want us to look at the giant of temptation.
Is it a sin to be tempted?
Well, it can’t be because Jesus was tempted.
And the Bible actually says he was tempted at all points, such as we are, yet without sin.
When the devil took him into the wilderness and tempted him um, he did not sin.
It is not a sin to be tempted. It is a sin to yield a temptation.
Temperature is hearing a knock at the door.
But yielding is opening the door and letting it in. Wow.
So to be tempted is not to be, it’s not to be sinful, but to yield them the temptation, that’s sinful.
So what would you say to someone who struggles with something like like online pornography or alcohol or something that they know as a believer, they shouldn’t, but they keep being tempted.
What do they do at that moment?
Well, let me just tell you the foundational passage scripture is one Corinthians ten thirteen.
It says, there has no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man, but god is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation also provide a way of escape.
So what that means is that the idea that I am so tempted, I cannot be victorious.
That’s not true. And there are strategies, for instance, a guy came to me one time and he told me there was a girl that worked kind of like next to him, and he was they were at the beginning of getting involved with each other in ways that they shouldn’t.
And I said, well, are you serious about this? You’re married. You got a family.
You don’t want this to happen. And I said, well, then you should get another job. Yeah.
And he goes, what? Get another job.
I said, there’s only one way you can be victorious over sexual temptation, and the Bible says, you’re to flee from it.
It’s one of the few things in the Bible we’re told to run away from, and then I’d like to use the illustration of Joseph, who was tempted by potiphar’s wife, and the Bible says he ran out of the house.
Yeah. So there are some things in the Bible about temptation.
It’s important to know that temptation is not a sin.
To be tempted is not a sin, but if you begin to coddle it and yield to it, That’s when sin enters.
One of the giants that seems to be gaining momentum in our culture at the moment is anger.
We seem to be living in a very angry world.
You turn on the TV and you see things at road rage. But it’s interesting.
You point out in your teaching series that scripture says that not all anger is bad, that there can be a place for for righteous anger.
Actually, the Bible says, be angry and sin non. And then I love this.
The Bible says, don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
And I heard about a guy who said, yeah, he said, we really practice at our house, and we haven’t slept for two weeks, you know.
So It’s so interesting how practical the word of God is. Yeah.
That one thing, don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
Something that I’ve noticed and perhaps sometimes more with women than men is the giant up resentment, kind of related to anger, but how would you define resentment?
Here’s my definition of resentment. Resentment is anger gone underground. Oh, wow.
Resentment is anger you don’t deal with, and you stuff it down into your into your spirit, and it lays there, and it lays there, and it lays there.
And then in an unappropriate moment that you never dreamed what’s going to happen, boom, you explode.
And all that resentment comes out. That’s why if you don’t deal with anger anger turns into resentment.
If someone is listening to this, um, watching this and they think, yeah, that’s absolutely me.
How do you defeat the giant of resentment?
You know, in all of these things we’re talking about Sheila, one of the main things is to be able to acknowledge it.
Yeah. To be able to recognize it. Why do I feel this way?
Why do I have this feeling in my heart? Why am I so resentful?
And then try to isolate it.
You know, get it in a place where you can see it in living color. This is, this is wrong.
How did this start? Where did this come from?
And then just go and say, God, help me with this. Help me to get this.
And then sometimes if you have a resentment that’s because you haven’t settled an issue, you have to go back and settle that issue.
In the story of David, when he got near to the giant, the Bible says he ran toward him.
Isn’t that amazing?
Yeah. And so what he was doing is he was he wasn’t gonna wait till the giant came to him.
He went to the giant and and had victory.
But that’s one of the things that is throughout every session of this teaching series of you.
Your thing is these giants do exist but we don’t run from them.
With the power of God, we run toward
So let’s talk about doubt. You have an interesting take in your teaching on doubt.
That doubt is not always a bad thing. No. Talk to us about
Somebody once said there is more faith in an honest doubt than in anything else you can ever have.
You know, many, many people that I know have become greatly, uh, gifted and strong apologetic teachers.
And it started with doubt. Because when you have doubt, what do you wanna do?
You wanna find out, why do I, why do I, is this true or is it not?
And I love the story of Thomas who, you know, he said unless I see this, I won’t believe.
Doubt drives you to find answers.
If you don’t just stuff it down in your in your spirit and walk away from it when you face it.
And I’ll be honest with you.
You cannot really have been a Christian for very long that you haven’t had moments where you think, what if this isn’t true?
You know, what if all this that I’ve given in my life, what if it’s not true?
And then you go back and you find in the scripture, it is true. We know it’s true.
It it it is absolutely true, but sometimes those doubts come and they drive you to greater faith and greater belief.
So have you had moments like that in your
own words? I’ve had some times when I’ve doubt it.
Wow. I think that’s a tremendous encouragement to people Doctor Jeremiah. Mhmm.
Because of your years in ministry, but you say that not to not to be afraid of debts.
Doubt is not evil unless you let it become your whole life.
One of the giants that you talked about, I found it interesting because I’m not sure everyone would see this as a spiritual issue, and that’s procrastination.
Yeah. Why is that important?
Here’s what I believe. That the time between when god tells you to do something and when you do it, That time belongs to the devil.
Wow. And I really have come to understand that over the years that when god says do this, you do it.
And every minute that you don’t obey, you open the door to the enemy to come in so that ultimately he pushes you away and you don’t do it.
Wow. And the older we get, the more that we know when god tells you to do something, you do it as quickly as you can.
Let me just tell you that has really spoken to me because Yeah.
Sometimes it’s easy to think, well, I’ll do that tomorrow, or I’ll I’ll get to that.
But in essence, that’s that’s disobedience, really. Okay.
I think one of the greatest giants that we face is failure, fear of failing.
And I was wondering in all your years of studying the word of god, is there a passage of scripture that has been the most helpful to you in dealing with that?
Well, obviously, the great, um, experiment in failure is Peter’s failure.
And his denial of the lord.
And when you get to John twenty one and you see the lord Jesus embracing him and his failure, And just as he failed three times, he recommissions him three times.
He sits down at breakfast with him. He loves on him and restores him.
Several things are true about this, Sheila. When you fail, you don’t become a failure.
You know, all of us fail. At something. We’re always failing at something.
Failure is never final, unless you let it be. Yeah.
I remember a book Erwin Lutzer wrote that was one of my favorite books for a number of months.
It was called The Backdoor to Success.
Oh, it’s a great title.
Yeah. And, and it was, like, how, sometimes, the things we fail at, god uses to take us to a bigger victory.
Have you ever faced that in your own life? Mhmm. Some place where you felt that you failed.
I can hardly imagine that, but if you have, but God is used now.
Let me tell you the story.
I became the pastor Shadowont Community Church, we were doing five services a week, three in El Cajon, and two downtown.
This was long before venues. And, um, people were lining up because there was no room.
I wanted that worship center because I knew that if we didn’t get that built, we couldn’t grow, and it took eight years to get permission to get that building.
We couldn’t get the council in the town to prove it. We couldn’t get the permits.
I’ve never seen anything like that. And I felt like such a failure leading us into that thing.
But it was during that time, during that quote, unquote, failure, that god laid the National Radio Ministry on my heart.
I figured if I can’t reach any more people here, because I haven’t any more room, maybe I can reach to them on the radio, and I started radio.
And now I’d look back on that at this point in time.
And, you know, We just went over the three thousand station account in America.
We are on three thousand radio stations every day.
That came out of the failure to be able to build a building, because I couldn’t get it permitted.
Sometimes god lets you fail at something because he’s got something better for you that he wants to do.
I hope that’s encouraging to people who are listening in.
The very last giant that you discuss in this series, um, is the giant of jealousy.
And I think in our day of social media, where people look at photographs of, you know, people in their perfect moments with three filters over them.
It’s very easy for jealousy. To kind of slip in and you think that everybody’s life is better than your life.
How do you deal with that giant of jealousy so insidious.
Well, you’re absolutely right about that whole thing, especially with kids, but one of the things they deal with is they see themselves against the touched up pictures of their friends.
And they never feel like they can ever. And so they become jealous.
One of the things we’ve tried to address in our school this year is that issue respecting god, respecting your parents, respecting the administrators, respecting your teachers, and respecting the internet.
Wow. Somebody asked me one time, what’s the difference between envy and jealousy?
Jealousy is the way you feel about other people. Envy is the way you feel about other things.
You’re envious of this, you’re envious of that.
But when you’re jealous you have a person in your focus and you’re jealous of that person.
And I’ve seen that destroy people.
So how as a believer? Do you let joy outweigh jealousy?
If you look at somebody, I’m thinking of not just kids, but, you know, anybody who thinks that their life looks better than my life, how as a believer do you let the weight of joy be greater than the weight of jealousy?
Well, in joy is is not happiness.
Joy is a relationship, and joy is is, um, based upon your relationship with Jesus Christ.
And when you have a wholesome relationship with Jesus Christ, you’re aware of the fact that god made you special, and he has a special plan for your life.
And that you’re here on this earth because god carved you out in his plan and put you here.
So you shouldn’t be jealous of somebody else because you didn’t come here to do that.
You came here to do this. And we get our eyes off on somebody else.
When we get our eyes off of what god’s doing for us and on what he’s doing for somebody else, we can get John to
And I don’t care how old we are or how long we’ve been doing it.
That’ll always be an issue that we have to deal with.
Well, I have to say I love this series. It’s profound. It’s very practical.
Do you have just a final word that you would like to say?
Well, I want to tell you that the same thing God did for David, he wants to do for all of us.
David came before the giant, and he said to the giant, You come to me in your own strength, but I come to you in the name of the lord god of Israel.
We can’t face our giants, Sheila, and our own strength. That’s the world’s way.
Our giants are probably not going to get solved at the secular counselor’s office, but when we face our giants, in the name of the lord, in the power of his might, we can have the same victory that David had.
Connect with turning point on the go anytime anywhere.
Download the newly redesigned turning point app To listen to turning point radio, watch turning point television, read daily devotionals, and more.
Plus for the young ones in your life, the new Airship Genesis Hathway to Jesus mobile game, an engaging narrative puzzle adventure game that explores the life of Jesus available now on the app store.
Thank you for joining me today on turning point.
The more we study god’s word, the more we understand that our loving god desires to have a personal relationship with each one of If you would like to begin that relationship with him, the first step is to repent of your sin and to ask Christ to become your lord and savior.
Once you make that decision to accept god’s free gift of salvation, your journey with God as a new creation in Christ will begin.
So if you have taken this step of faith today, I encourage you to share your decision with other Christians at a trustworthy ministry or a local church, and to continue your growth in your newfound faith.
May god bless you as you begin your walk with god, and I look forward to seeing you next time right here on turning point.