Summary: To weather life’s storms, we need convictions that anchor us to spiritual reality even when our minds are in disarray.

Anchors of the Soul

1. LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Southern California man has sued MGM Mirage for preying on his gambling addiction and inducing him to borrow and lose millions of dollars at its Las Vegas casinos.

The suit was filed on Monday in a Los Angeles U.S. District Court by Shibley Horaney, a resident of Newport Beach, California, who says that since 1995 he has lost and paid back about $4 million on credit provided to him by the MGM Grand and $1 million on credit from The Mirage casino.

In 2003, he borrowed and lost another $475,000, which the casinos are still seeking to collect.

2. The question I have is this: If this man had a gambling addiction he was trying to overcome, why did he go to Las Vegas in the first place?

3. I don’t think this man is trying to stop gambling; he is just against losing!

4. But sometimes we find ourselves in trouble through no fault of their own.

5. I wasn’t an angel in high school, but I was a pretty good kid….one day, in the cafeteria, a few of my friends were horsing around…on took an empty styrofoamm bowl that had a few mashed potatoes remaining in it and threw it at another friend…immediately a student hall monitor came by and wrote us all detention slips….he did not care that I had nothing to do with it….guilt by association…

6. Unfortunately, innocent bystanders lose their lives, a limb, or are traumatized because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time…

7. On other occasions, we bring troubles on ourselves.

8. Having pastored for over 25 years, I’ve found that my perspective about life has changed dramatically. Although I still have retained some of the optimism of youth (because I have seen God do some marvelous deeds), I have also been confronted with a simple reality: given time, everyone experiences rough eras of life, sometimes even relentlessly. You really need to master today’s message because you will need it!

Our choice is typically not whether we will experience times that shake us and drain us, but whether we will go through such times leaning upon God or experiencing them alone.

Main Idea: To weather life’s storms, we need convictions that anchor us to spiritual reality even when our minds are in disarray.

I. The Conviction that God is Out for Our GOOD Despite Appearances

A. The Scriptures Are Clear, Though the Nature of the Good Involved May VARY

1. To Israel, God promised:

Deut. 28:12-13 reads, "The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom."

2. To Jeremiah’s generation, God promised:

Jeremiah 29:11-13 reads, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

3. To Christians, Jesus says In John 16:33, "’I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’"

4. Paul adds, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

We like good things. Perhaps that is why in the long, sad history of this planet there have been very few people who have scratched their heads over the presence of goodness. ’Why is there evil in the world? Why do bad things happen?’ These questions are asked routinely. But when was the last time you heard someone crying out, ’How can you explain the presence of excellence? Why do good things happen to people?’ Theologians and philosophers have wrestled from time immemorial with the so-called ’problem of evil,’ but the ’problem of goodness’ does not exist."

SOURCE: Scott Hoezee (Sermoncentral)

5. The truth is that God does not owe us good times…they are of His grace…

“Our circumstances are not an accurate reflection of God’s goodness. Whether life is good or bad, God’s goodness, rooted in His character, is the same.”

— Helen Grace Lescheid (Sermoncentral)

B. That Good May Be Later In THIS Life, or It May Be In Eternity

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