Summary: Can we survive the hard times?

Blessings in Hard Times

Phil 4:6-7

STORY about Chinese farmer and horse, son’s leg, army

“Good luck, bad luck, Who knows?’

It is a hard thing to determine

What works for our good and what works for our detriment?

Many things happen that we cannot know will help us

I did not get a promotion and a raise that I deserved more than any other candidate did

I vacillated among shaking my fist at God, asking God’s forgiveness and thanking God for the opportunities that would come

Then I started all over again

The reality is, had I received that promotion, I would be a Lt, or Capt (maybe a chief) at TTU PD today instead of doing what I was called to do over forty years ago.

Father knows best (1950’s – 60’s)

Really true = Heavenly Father DOES know best

Another Example

The wife I had married “until death” went back to Lubbock

Did not want to be married any more

She called and told me the night before I did a sermon on “Do not let ANYBODY steal your joy”

In the sermon was the scripture, “Weeping may last for a night but JOY comes in the morning.” (Psl 30:5)

I was crushed, devastated

Then I met my soul mate and learned that I had never been in love before

And, will probably never be again

I can even tell you about the one in High school that turned me down

Humiliated me in front of my friends

Today, she is not the girl I would take home to Mother

Thank you, Jesus

She really was not back then either

I could not see it

Jesus could

You have had the same types of situations

You may not want to air them in public, as I just did

You can list them just as I did

When I was called to preach, could not speak to Jr. High students (STORY)

God lead me through police work, counseling, psychology, civilian courses, politics, Amway, teaching LE classes

Learned how to teach and speak in public

Learned how to handle criticism

Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?

We are living in interesting times

Chinese curse = “May you live in interesting times.”

Now we know why it is a curse

Many of us are nervous – even scared

We have no idea what to expect

The media has no idea what to expect

Everybody says something different

Politicians have no idea what to expect

Every body says something different

Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?

Lots of talk this week concerning the Big Three

Should they be bailed out?

Should they be forced into bankruptcy?

What might happen to the US? The world?

Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?

Let us talk a minute about bankruptcy

Fact is, I have been bankrupt several times in my life

Have you? I hope so

Many church members believe they are Christians even though they still sit on the throne of their lives

Okay, how about this . . . Many church members still make their own plans regarding work, play, money, savings.

“God wants me to buy a boat.” “God wants me to get a divorce.” “God made me a homosexual.” “God wants me to buy, build, invest, etc. on credit.

Okay, how about this . . . 18 And he said, I will do this: I will pull down my storehouses and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain or produce and my goods.

19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many good things laid up, [enough] for many years. Take your ease; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself merrily.

The story of the foolish farmer Lk 12

He was not bankrupt = would have been better had he been

Until you quit trying to do everything yourself, you will NEVER see a miracle

The only way some people can give up their own throne, is to fail completely

When their world comes crashing down around them, and they are bankrupt . . .

They jump out of a window or they turn to God

Be ready . . . be strong . . . show something others will want

Courage, confidence, love, joy, peace, kindness

Give them a question o ask you before they go out a window

“How can you not worry in these troubled times?”

“I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”

And, if you begin to feel bankrupt, let go and let God

Let Him take control of your life

Let Him sit on the throne

It really is easier on you

Think about it

To read more go to

Rev. O. K. Neal

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