Summary: Our lives are filled with discouragements. Paul mentions "the encouragement of the Scriptures," Rom. 15:4. Here are seven reasons that every believer should be encouraged and positive about their lives and futures.
A. THE SCOPE OF HUMAN NEED
1. It seems like our needs are so great; we need everything -- money for houses, cars, insurance, food and clothing, gas, utilities, and a 1,000 other things. It's like the proverbial rat running wheel; we keep running and running and never seem to get anywhere.
2. But I'm glad that no matter how great human needs are, God has the ability to meet those needs.
3. JOKE. Every woman needs at least four men in her life: a banker, an actor, a minister, and a mortician. One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, four to go!
B. GOD IS SUPER-ABUNDANT TO MEET THEM
1. God didn’t promise to supply all of our "wants," but to supply all of our "needs.” Americans are used to a lavish lifestyle. The apostle Paul said, "if we have food and clothing, let us therewith be content."
2. God is in control. He may use a little widow-woman who only has a handful of flour and a table spoon-full of oil. We may share some little boy’s lunch.
3. We may be fed by a Raven or dine on a fish caught in a miraculous manner, but God will supply our needs! God knows what we need and will supply them “abundantly!”
III. GOD CAUSES EVERY TRIAL TO HAVE MEANING
A. A PURPOSE TO RANDOM TRIALS?
1. Many times it seems impossible to imagine that our trials have any purpose. What significance can there be in our dish washer going out? Or us having insufficient funds in our account? In the nagging pain of arthritis? How can there be a purpose in such things?
2. But if God is omnipotent (as the Bible says), and is in all places at all times, then anything is possible. He orders everything in the universe: from the infinite sub-atomic particles to the movements of galaxies.
3. If He can do all that, can’t he orchestrate all the minutia of your life? Why does He allow us to suffer? I don’t know. His ways are “past finding out” Job 9:10; Rom. 11:33.
B. GOD OF THE BIG PICTURE
1. ILLUS. “Looking at the Wrong Side”
a. A minister went to visit a woman who was very despondent and bitter at God over the circumstances of her life.
b. As the Minister tried to give her some words of comfort, she gave him the cold shoulder and kept working away at her knitting, needle work. She was developing a picture on one side of the material. Finally she said, “If God was really doing His job, my life wouldn’t be such a mess!”
c. The Minister, on a sudden inspiration, stepped over and snatched the needle work from her hands. Looking at the under side – which was a tangle of cut threads – said, “I don’t know why you bother doing this; it looks like nothing but a jumble of meaningless threads!”
d. She snatched it back and declared with chagrin, “You’re looking at the wrong side! It’s on this other side that you can see the design I’m working on!”
e. “That is my point exactly,” he said. “You are looking at the wrong side of what God is doing in your life; He has a wonderful plan and you need to see it from His eternal perspective!”