Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: We must trust that od has everything under control....even when we can’t see it!

Isa. 55:6-9 seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts

There is a story about a man who wanted to climb the highest mountain. After many years of preparation, he was ready to make the attempt....but he wanted to have this glory all for himself, so he decided to go alone.As daylight gave way to night, the darkness of the mountain was overwhelming.....he could barley see his hands in front of him. The moon and stars were blocked by the heavy clouds Everything was black...zero visibility. He was almost to the top, only a few feet away when he suddenly lost his footing and fell. As he fell into the darkness, sucked by gravity, all he could see was darkness all around him. Certain that he would die, he began to reflect upon his life. As he resigned himself to certan death, wondering how much longer he would have before hitting the ground, he felt the rope around his waist suddenly tighten and stop him from falling. As his body was helplessly dangling from the rope in the quietness of the night he suddenly cried out "HELP ME GOD!" All of a sudden a deep voice came from the sky "WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?" The man cried out "SAVE ME GOD!" The voice answered "DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT I CAN SAVE YOU?" The man said "OF COURSE I REALLY BELIEVE YOU CAN." The voice answered "THEN CUT THE ROPE"....there was a moment of silence..the man pulled out his knife for a moment.....then put it away. The man decided to hold on with all his might to that rope. The story ends with the rescue team finding a frozen, stiff body dangling from a rope....only 10 ft above the ground! The question is...how attached are you to your rope? Are you willing to "cut the rope" in faith? Do you trust God or only give Him lip service? We all would like to believe we do have that kind of faith....but how many of us REALLY have it? We all say it...but do we REALLY believe it ourselves?

God has a plan....for you! Jer 29:11 says For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. We don’t understand....9/11...Okla. City....Katrina...Bad things that happen. Even in our personal life we experience tragedies. Things happen and we question God. The Bible tells us in Prov 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. We can’t understand how God thinks...but we can know that He is working for us personally a plan that will fit His overall plan. What WE need to understand is the plan He has for us individually will fit perfectly into His plan for mankind. 3 points I want to make today:

1. GOD HAS A LONG RANGE PLAN We tend to see life only as we know it...but there were thousands of generations before us! And millions of people! And God had plans for EVERY ONE of them! We must understand that sometimes a tragedy MUST occur for Gods will to be done......no, it’s NOT Gods will that innocent people should perish. He didn’t fly those airplanes on 9/11....what about Katrina, the Tsunami? I don’t know...we saw there in Isa. that we don’t understand how God thinks...His ways are higher than ours! Turn to Rm 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. How do you think the disciples felt when they saw Jesus ’s bloody, lifless body dead on that cross? He was the Messiah! Hung and disgraced upon a cross. They scattered! What they could not see at the time was that Gods long range plan for our salvation that was begun in Genesis was finally completed when our Lord cried out "it is finished!"

Many times in life, we don’t understand. I’ve had training as a counseler. a minister but...sometimes there just isn’t an answer to certain things that happen in our lives. In those times, we must trust that God is still on the throne..and in charge....and whatever happened, there was a reason for it. He is too loving to be unkind and too wise to make a mistake. Our pain here is temporary...even if you carry it with you all your life (Jesus can heal that) it’s nothing compared to eternity.

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