Summary: Everyone deals with some type of problems in life. We need to lean on Jesus to help us make it through
Dealing with the Tough Stuff of Life
June 19, 2011
One of the classic baseball television shots comes from the 1975 World Series, in which NBC captured Carlton Fisk, jumping up and down, waving his arms, trying to coax his hit to stay fair. It did--for a home run. That colorful close-up would have been missed had the cameraman followed the ball with his camera, as was his responsibility. But the cameraman inside the Fenway Park scoreboard had one eye on a rat that was circling him. So instead of focusing the camera on the ball, he left it on Fisk.
When life hits you with problems, you have a choice to make; you can either become bitter or you can become better. The Bible is filled with people who endured the tough stuff of life.
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers
Jeremiah was thrown into a well
Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt with the infant Jesus
Jesus was betrayed by His disciples: Judas may have turned Him over to the Jewish leaders but the rest turned and ran to save themselves
Peter and John were beaten for preaching the gospel
Paul was beaten and thrown into prison
What kind of tough stuff have you had to deal with?
You experienced the tough stuff of betrayal when your spouse walked out the door and called it quits.
You experienced the tough stuff of sorrow when you stood by the grave of a loved one that had passed away
You experienced the tough stuff of illness when you discovered your need for surgery
You experienced the tough stuff of doubt when you felt like God had left you
Every problem is an opportunity to prove God's power. Every day we encounter countless golden opportunities, brilliantly disguised as insurmountable problems. C. Swindoll
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Key words to understand
Hard Pressed (thlibomenoi)
The word means to be squeezed, oppressed, hedged in or troubled.
Paul is describing the daily reality of problems that create an ongoing pressure in life. Paul is talking about a situation that is filled with problems that will not relent.
On every side
Paul is expressing that there were problems in every possible way, at every place and every occasion.
This word is the root of our English strenuous. The word means to be kept in a narrow, cramped space ¡V to be continually distressed.
Paul makes it clear that while trouble and problems may surround us, we do not have to be overwhelmed by them.
Perplexed means to be at a loss, to be doubting, not knowing or questioning. It is wondering which way to go, what to do, what to say.
Despair means to be hopeless, to have no confidence, no sense of security
We may be persecuted but Christ never forsakes us
Persecution comes in many forms
a.) Isolation b.) Slander c.) Criticism