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Summary: Today is a dark and cloudy world… but for those of us who have Christ in our life… the clouds of this world do not bring darkness or dim vision on our part… but because of who we serve our vision in this world should be clear!

Sermon Brief

Date Written: April 22, 2009

Date Preached: April 26, 2009

Where Preached: OPBC (AM)

Sermon Details:

Sermon Series: Life is Hard

Sermon Title: Clear Vision in a Cloudy World

Sermon Text: Nehemiah 2


In our world today life is filled with severe challenges for any and ALL people. Today we are challenged on the economic front, the political front… but as believers we are challenged in a great way today on the spiritual front.

The church in today’s society has all but been deemed irrelevant and out of touch with a modern society. The scandals that have rocked the church over the past 20 yrs have moved the church from a place of prominence in society to a place of ridicule and mockery.

In past years ministers and the church have been looked up to and held up in the eyes of society as stalwarts of society and spiritual rocks of the community… but that has changed!

The Bible tells us that Satan is like a roaring lion… roaming around… to and fro… looking for whomever he can find to chew up and spit out… He is an enemy that is strong AND has a great desire to destroy all of God’s family.

If you listen to the naysayers of the world today you will hear that Christianity is a dead and dying ‘religion’ and in fact that all religion is dying out and that secular humanism and the achievements of man are where its all at now…

For the believer, today is a dark and shadowy day… today is a dim and cloudy day that seems to darken everything we try to see. Today the enemy seeks to cloud our vision with news that we are irrelevant… that we are not worthy… that we are evil for holding others to such standards!

TO this I say… YES today is a dark and cloudy world… but for those of us who have Christ in our life… the clouds of this world do not bring darkness or dim vision on our part… but because of who we serve our vision in this world should be clear!

In 2 Kings 6 we see the story of the prophet Elisha who had been informing to the King of Israel on the movements of the Syrian Army… the Syrians got mad and went after Elisha and one night surrounded the town where Elisha was staying.

The next morning Elisha’s servant went out and saw the Syrian army and panicked because of the size of the Syrian army. But we see that Elisha was NOT panicked because he could SEE clearly what was cloudy to his servant… in v.16-17 we see how confident he was…

16"Don’t be afraid," Elisha answered. "There are more troops on our side than on theirs." 17 Then he prayed, "LORD, please help him to see." And the LORD let the servant see that the hill was covered with fiery horses and flaming chariots all around Elisha.

We see that regardless of what it seemed like to those around him… this prophet had a clear vision of what God could and would do in the face of such great adversity.

It seemed to the world around them that things were hopeless and it was useless for them to try… but what they could not see was what Elisha DID see… and it was that presence of God that delivered them.

Today there are people who are dealing with difficulty in their lives… things like health issues and disease… things like financial trouble, or relationship trouble… and for the believers of this world, the challenge to our faith is to see clearly what the world believes to be CLOUDY!

In our passage today, Nehemiah is in the same situation as many of you are today… He is faced with what seems to be an impossible task. Today, many believers think that sharing their faith and leading people to become disciples of Jesus Christ is a near impossible task!

But this morning I want us to look at the example of Nehemiah and how he faced the challenge that seemed impossible through not only having faith that God could do it… but he chose to live out that faith to see the task through.

The challenge to your faith today is really simple. When the Hard times of life come knocking at your door, you had better have a good foundation to build upon… that foundation has to be Jesus Christ.

This is because when we know Christ and lean on Him, we don’t just survive lean times...but we are able to THRIVE and grow through these difficult times and lean times in our lives! We are able to see great and wonderful things done in the name of the Lord because we are faithful to live out our faith!

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