Sermon Illustrations


Satan employs a number of tactics against us, which most often God uses for our greater good. One of those tactics is to place a straight jacket of circumstance upon us, something that we are unable to deal with ourselves. Such a straight jacket might relate to a number of problems which can surface in our lives, such as a difficult relationship, financial bondage, or failing health.

A straight jacket is designed to be fastened from the back, and cannot be opened by the wearer. When a Christian finds that their circumstances are akin to a straight jacket wrapped around them, then the only way to get released from the straight jacket is with God’s help. And this is where God’s higher purpose comes into play. God does not actually send trouble our way, but he will allow events to overtake us, if he can teach us a lesson from such adverse situations.

With the straight jacket, God is teaching us that there are circumstances which we cannot sort out ourselves. And yet, we persist in making every endeavour to release ourselves from something that is impossible to do. We know from the apostle Paul’s discourse on battling with the flesh, in Roman Chapter 7, that no amount of effort on his part (and our part) will result in any form of human release from such a predicament. His final analysis on Romans Chapter 7 can be found in verses 7:24-25 (KJV), "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." Here the apostle Paul discovered that only God’s help through Christ Jesus was the answer.

There will be circumstances in your life and mine, which we cannot deal with ourselves. The only answer, for our varying predicaments, is to spent time in prayer at he foot of the Cross of Jesus, seeking God for release from such difficulties. Approaching God with such circumstances is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it is a sign that we need God to help us through whatever it is that represents our trials.

Such a dependency upon God does not mean that God does not want us to stand on our own two feet. Neither does it dissolve our need for faith. Quite the reverse. By seeking God in prayer for those things we cannot attend to ourselves, allows God to impart faith into us, so that we might overcome all obstacles. And that’s the problem right there. Circumstances can sometimes be bigger than the current level of faith we are employing in our current walk with God. The very fact that we are spending time in prayer, means that we are also spending time in the presence of God, where our faith can grow.

So never fear when circumstances of whatever shape or size befalls you. Such circumstances are often God’s calling card, inviting you to spend more time with him, until your faith grows strong enough to defeat whatever circumstance would dare to raise it’s ugly head against your walk with God. Finally, we can all acknowledge that God is well able to use our difficult circumstances, encouraging us to believe that everything works together for the good of those who love the Lord!

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