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Summary: How to take life’s lickings and keep on ticking for Christ

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How many of you have ever felt the pressures of life?

Let’s not fool ourselves

We live in a fallen world

And we are surrounded by everyday troubles and stresses

Financial

Family

Ministry

Jobs

A nation in conflict

Today, I am beginning a short series on “I’m at my wits end”

Some of us are at a point in our lives where we feel as if we just can take it any more

For one reason or another, we may feel like we are at the end of our rope

You may be asking yourself, “Why am I going through this? Am I the only one who is having this problem? And how can I bounce back from it?”

Today, I would like to address some of these questions and talk to you about becoming what I call a “Timex” Christian

Back in the 70’s, Timex’s slogan was “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking”

How then can we endure the “lickings” of life and keep on “ticking”?

The Apostle Paul addresses this very issue in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

Looking at this scripture text, let’s draw a few applications from it

1. You are going to have problems

Here we have Paul, who wrote the majority of the New Testament, having and facing problems

He was shipwrecked 3 times

Beaten

Put in prison multiple times

He had many ministry issues

He had a “thorn in the flesh”

It doesn’t matter who you are, how spiritually mature or immature you are, you are going to experience the problems and pressures of life

Just because you come to Jesus, doesn’t mean the world and your enemy are going to cut you any slack

In fact, it will probably intensify

Paul not only describes the types of problems and stresses that we all face, but how we can over come them

2. I’m pressed, but not crushed

Paul is saying that we are “hard pressed on every side”

This is the pressure of the world

But, I am not crushed – why?

Let me illustrate with these two cans

This can is unopened and full of soda

And this one is opened and completely empty

If I take the first can and squeeze with all my might, I can’t crush it

Now, I know that with enough pressure this can will rupture, but bear with me

If I take the empty can and apply only a small amount of pressure, it collapses

Notice that I wasn’t able to crush this can because it isn’t open to the world

Secondly, there is something inside

“Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” – 1 John 4:4

This can collapsed very easily because it 1) was open to the world 2) there was nothing inside it

How then can I be pressed but not crushed?

I make a decision not to open myself up to the world, and allow Christ to be my strength

3. I’m confused, but I’m not freaking out

The word perplexed used here in the Greek literally translates “to have no way out; to be at a mental loss”

Basically, have you ever been confused?

Not knowing where to turn or what to do?

How is it then that I can be “at a mental loss” and not freak out?

Same reason as before, it is Christ within me

Christ is all knowing

He is omniscient

He knows what tomorrow holds

He is in control

The reason I’m not freaking out is because I know that God is going to work it all out for my good

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28 NLT


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