Summary: A reminder that the only true hope is Jesus
Hope and Healing
INTRODUCTION: Talk about the constant preparedness of the Marines for the physical battle, but how we hurt like everyone else spiritually.
ILLUS - Story of WTC Visit: I visited my brother in Manhattan two months after the World Trade Centers were destroyed on Sept 11. We visited the site and the devasation and destruction were breathtaking. Words cannot possibly describe the damage that was done there. The giant hole in the ground where the WTC used to be was not the most moving sight I saw however. Once we left the center of the area and were making our way around the outer perimeter, I saw a bicycle chained to a lightpost and covered in white ash. There is no doubt it was parked there on the morning of Sept 11, but the owner was killed and never returned. I think the reason that single bicycle was so poignant was that it was easy to see the rubble pile and not see the thousands who perished, but it was impossible to see the bicycle and not feel the loss of its owner. I. The trouble we face comes only from this world
A. God allows trouble because:
1. It reveals our hearts (Mt 13:1-9)
2. It is an opportunity to trust God. (James 1:2-5)
3. It loosens our grip on life and forces us to focus on Him. (Ecc 12:12)
4. God can turn it around to good
B Occassionally we will fail, but Jesus forgives us and trusts us despite our failings.
B. We need to rely on:
1. The Bible – It should top every “must read” list.
2. Each other – Strength in fellowship
3. The church – Body of believers – We cannot get that from TV or radio preachers
II. The peace we find comes only from Jesus
A. Jesus is the ONE source of hope we MUST turn to.
1. His peace transcends circumstances of this world, oppression of this world, and death.
2. We will never be alone for He is with us.
3. He keeps us safe, we cannot be safe without Him.
4. YOU cannot have peace until YOU have Christ.
III. How to overcome
A. Jesus will know final victory.
B. He promises to be with us in this world (Matt 28:20) “…And surely I am with you always until the end of the age.”
1. (Rom. 8:35-37) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
2. (1 Jn.4:4) “…greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world."
CONCLUSION: Have you prepared for the trouble and death you will face by asking Jesus into your heart?