Sermon Illustrations


That word for "commit" is actually a banking term. It means to deposit something for safekeeping. Well, that's what we're to do with our lives when we go through times of suffering. Deposit your life in God's bank (so to speak) for safe-keeping. Trust Him to preserve you in the fire. Give yourself to the Lord by continuing to do good.

That's what Bethany Hamilton did. At one time, Bethany was ranked as the #1 amateur teen surfer in Hawaii. Then she lost an arm to a tiger shark in October 2003, but she never lost her faith.

Soon after the attack, she began to raise money to restore a man's eyesight. While visiting New York City, she gave her ski coat to homeless girl. When asked about the gift, she said she had more than she needed in life.

At the time, Steve Thompson, her pastor, said, "She's looking forward to the future. She's asking herself, 'How can I show the world I still have a life, that I enjoy my life, and that my life is filled with joy?' She has an underlying trust that God is taking care of her."

(Jill Lieber, "Teen Surfer Riding Wave of Amazing Grace," USA Today, 3-19-04;

Bethany Hamilton entrusted herself to her faithful Creator. She didn't quit living when she lost her arm. No! She gave her life to God. She deposited her life for safekeeping into His hands; and now, God has given her an international platform from which to share her story and bring Him glory. Bethany Hamilton returned to surfing; and just over a year after the shark attack, she took 1st place in the Explorer Women's division of the 2005 NSSA National Championships -- winning her first National Title. Since then, she has turned pro, and a major motion picture about her life was just released this last April (2011). It's called Soul Surfer, and God is using it to bring hope to people all over the world. (

(From a sermon by C. Philip Green, In the Fire! 7/30/2011)

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