Summary: Father’s Day sermon that stresses we can have victory in the trials of life.
A Cry of Victory
During World War II, the days following Dunkirk were among the darkest for the Allied effort. Forty-seven British warships had been sunk in the operation off Norway after Dunkirk. When the evacuation was completed, half the British destroyers were in the shipyards for repairs while the Royal Air Force had lost forty percent of its bomber strength. Britain was on the brink of famine and her army was without arms or equipment.
When it looked like defeat was imminent, Churchill spoke out for the British: “We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on the beaches; we shall fight in the fields; we shall fight in the streets; and we shall fight in the hill. We shall never surrender and if this island were subjugated and starving, our empire on the seas would carry on the struggle until in God’s good time the New World with all its power and might steps forth to the rescue and liberation of the old.” (Illustrations Unlimited, 952).
Churchill’s cry of victory was daring and inspiring, rallying the British to dig in, and not give up. In due time, the battle was won, even in the face of what seemed certain defeat.
In the book of Mark, we hear another cry of victory in the face of defeat. And, indeed, this cry of victory doesn’t sound very victorious. In the text I read for you this morning, a father admitted his weaknesses before Christ. Still, a statement of lack of faith became a shout of joy. For, in response to a father’s faith, Jesus delivered a young boy from the hands of a demon.
On this Father’s Day, I am looking out at a group of people who need the victory of God in its life. Some of you fathers gathered this morning wonder how you make it from day to day. Some of you may well contemplated bailing out of your responsibilities to family and friends. All of you have experienced defeat in your lives. Consider Bobby Leach, an Englishman who startled the world years ago by successfully going over Niagra Falls in a barrel. He came out, miraculously it seems, unscathed. A short time later, Leach was walking down the street and slipped on a small orange peel. He was rushed to the hospital with a badly broken leg. Perhaps you’ve hit an orange peel in life, and it may well be hard for you to hang on to hope. Listen closely, friends, in the moment of your battles, when it looks as though the Enemy of humankind is going to win the war, please remember, Christ is here to help us in our times of spiritual warfare. How can we be certain to know this help? How can we have victory in our lives? Consider the following keys to shouting out a cry of victory.
I. To have victory, we must realize our need for help.
A. The father in our story understood that he was in trouble.
B. We float through life convinced that we can handle it all. anything is wrong in their lives.
C. The truth is, we cannot handle it all.
II. To have victory, we must know whom to turn to in the time of need.
A. The father had come seeking Jesus—and settled for the disciples only as a last resort.
B. Some of you gathered here this morning have tried everything you can in life to try and make yourself happy and fulfilled.
C. Christian and non-Christian alike, listen carefully—life will never meet its potential as long as you refuse to walk with God.
III. To have victory, we must turn to our Lord as we are.
A. While the father did have faith, please note that it was shaken.
B. You don’t have to have perfect faith my friends.
C. Jesus calls us to trust him—and exercise the faith we have.
The cry of faith needs to ring out in this place this morning. Some of you are in serious trouble, dire straits—and you are not going to make it in this life alone. You are burdened with guilt and shame. Perhaps the weight of hypocrisy is keeping you down. The spiritual warfare in your heart is being won by the Enemy of humankind. YOU NEED HELP! Do you understand that? Do you know to turn to Jesus in this time of your need? Then please, without any hesitation, without any rationalization, come to Jesus right now, just as you are—and turn your life, your meager faith, over into his healing hands! You can walk in victory, you can live the abundant life, if you say to the Lord, “I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!”