Dealing with Delay
Sermon shared by Ajai Prakash
Summary: We have our Christian beliefs, yes-but that isnít the same as believing God. Believing God is a personal response that grows out of our Christian faith and is expressed by our increasing trust in Him while waiting on Him and His promises.
Audience: Seeker adults
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Opening illustration: In April 2010, clouds of ash spewed by a volcano in Iceland closed airports across the UK and Europe for 5 days. Nearly 100,000 flights were canceled and millions of passengers around the world found themselves in an enormous holding pattern on the ground. People missed important events, businesses lost money, and no one knew when it would end.
When our plans fall apart and there is no remedy, how do we deal with frustration and delay? Isaiah 26: 3-4 is an anchor for our souls in every storm of life: ďYou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in [Jehovah], the Lord, is everlasting strength.Ē Whether weíre facing annoying inconvenience or heartbreaking loss, this rock-solid promise is worth memorizing and repeating every night when we close our eyes to sleep.
Introduction: In this chapter the Lord tells how He will restore the nation. The emphasis is on righteousness and peace. Peace may be outward and inward. Isaiah pictured the day when Christ will return to establish physical peace in the world. The picture is one of the redeemed entering the millennial kingdom. There will be complete peace with no wars, no crime, and no violence of any kind. Salvation is Godís total provision for His peopleís needs (v. 1). The prophet encourages Godís suffering people by describing blessings that await them in the future.
Few things (if anything at all) in this fallen world can be called perfect. But God promises to keep us in ďperfect peaceĒ if we keep our minds focused on Him and continue trusting Him (Isaiah 26:3). So why do we find it so difficult to trust Him? Often, itís because weíre afraid that things wonít go as we want them to unless we control them ourselves. The less we are in control, the more anxious and worried we become. Yet we often think our situation is too difficult for God. If we canít solve things ourselves, we doubt that He can. We have our Christian beliefs, yes-but that isnít the same as believing God. Believing God is a personal response that grows out of our Christian faith and is expressed by our increasing trust in Him while waiting on Him and His promises.
As our mind remains on Him, He keeps us in perfect peace. This has been the experience of countless believers, and you can experience it too.
How to deal with delay in our lives?
1. Trusting God (vs. 1-4)
What?" youíre asking. "Thatís no secret. Iíve read that dozens of times in the Bible and heard lots of sermons on it. What does he mean secret?" The secret lies in putting this truth into practice, by making it such a powerful theme in your life that you view every event, every sorrow, every prayer with the unshakable conviction that God is totally, spotlessly trustworthy.
Thatís where we mess up. We want to trust in anything rather than the Lord. Weíll trust in our own abilities, in our bossís judgment of us, in our money, our doctor, even in an airline pilot. But the Lord? Well Ö Itís easy to trust in things we can see. Sure, we believe in God, but to allow him to run our life? Thatís asking a little too much, we think.
The bottom line is that our wants may not agree with Godís wants for us. After all, itís our life, isnít it? Shouldnít we have the say over it? Shouldnít we be the one who calls the shots? God gave us free will, didnít he? When
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