Summary: Overall, Americans are “mostly” or “completely” satisfied with life despite having daily concerns. But sometimes life’s pressures burden us down. God wants us to know He is going to help us get back up

Please e-mail me with any comments or if you use any part of this at your church at I would love to hear about it. God Bless! - Chris

Series: “What To Do”

See also I Don’t Know What To Do; But I’m Disappointed; But I Just Can’t Win; What You Need, God Has)

Colossians 1:9-14


Intro: Overall, Americans are “mostly” or “completely” satisfied with life despite having daily concerns. But sometimes life’s pressures burden us down. God wants us to know He is going to help us get back up.

I. Know God has a purpose for your life (v. 9)

A. Actions are mere motions if we don’t know why we do them

II. Know your actions demonstrate your faith (v. 10)

A. When you do something good for someone else your faith is alive

III. Know you have a place to go for strength (v. 11)

A. We will overcome our temporary problems with the everlasting power

IV. Know you have a divine resource for endurance (v. 11)

A. When you fall down, get back up (Proverbs 24:16)

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

V. Know you have a ready supply of patience (v. 11)

A. Because patience brings about maturity

Conclusion: Know that you have success in Christ (v. 12-14)


The Barna Organization is an independent marketing research firm that usually surveys Americans on spiritual issues. Well, Barna did a study back in March that asked a nationwide random sample of over 1,000 adults to describe the most pressing challenges and issues they face in their life today. Among the four out of five adults who could identify a problem in their life, the most common difficulties related to finances (listed by 28%), health (19%), career concerns (16%)and parenting struggles (11%). Smaller numbers identified problems with family relationships and accomplishing personal goals as areas of concern. One out of five adults said they have no such challenges. That must be a nice life to live.

It should be noted also that later in the study Barna points out that demographics played a role in which issues were most pressing. For example, overall men ranked career concerns high and women marked parenting high. Which I suppose is both good and bad. And I will watch what I say about that not wanting to get into any trouble.

These are all issues that bog down our lives. Most of us could identify with these issues can’t we? Some of our most common difficulties deal with finances, health, career, and parenting. And we may all choose something different ... something pressing in our lives that may not be pressing to others. But despite people’s choosing of one of these particular difficulties, we are a satisfied nation.

The survey also shows that nearly four out of five American adults (78%) are "completely" or "mostly" satisfied with their life these days. Terrorism, war, and economic recession notwithstanding, one out of four adults - equal to some 52 million adults - is "completely satisfied" with their life.

That’s great news. I think most of us too would mark that we are mostly or completely satisfied with life … especially if the telemarketer calls and asks on a good day right? I mean there are times when life just knocks us down. The difficulties burden us down. And often we start feeling depressed, discouraged, or despondent. Thankfully, for many of us this is a temporary feeling. When we get down we try to find a way to get back up. And God wants us to get back up.

Once, again Paul is the one that offers us some words of encouragement. Paul is writing to one of the churches that he helped create. Paul is writing because of two reasons. He know that life can become too hard, because his life had at times become too hard for him and He knows that the Colossian church needs encouragement when life become too hard for them.

Look at verse 9, Paul explains the purpose of his prayer for the people.

Paul begins by telling everyone that he desires that they have knowledge of God’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

First things first, we have to know. Knowing is the key action verb needed to overcome the hard times. I have heard lots of stories from lots of people who do and do and do. And doing is a good thing. Often it is advisable to get up and do something when we become depressed. Ever seen footage of a psychiatric hospital. The doctors are all the time having the patience do stuff. I mean they are painting or drawing or playing a game or stretching. Action will help you overcome. But knowing will make a world of difference for you and me. Our actions are mere motions if we don’t know why, if we don’t have a purpose for doing them.

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