Summary: Handling trouble before trouble handles us.
Dealing With Trouble
Theme: Handling trouble before trouble handles us.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we always felt as though we were always on "top of the world?" That we would always be in a positive mood, with circumstances involving us always to our liking. That people would always treat us with the respect we feel is due us, and give us all the affirmation and love that we desire and need
This sounds good when we let our thoughts dwell on it, but all of us know from our own personal experiences in everyday living that life doesn’t come to us neatly packaged like that. Life does have its days of sunshine filled with laughter and expectancy. But it also has its days of storms that are filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Storms filled with the fierce winds of conflict, challenge, and change. Storms that bring troubles into our life that we must learn to deal with before they shipwreck us on the sea of life.
Today/tonight, I want to share with you some practical biblical truths that will help us weather the storm of trouble when it blows into our life. I’ve labeled this teaching " How to Deal With Trouble." It’s based on an incident in the life of the Apostle Paul that’s recorded in the twenty seventh chapter of the book of Acts. It’s the story of Paul’s encounter with a storm on the Mediterranean Sea on his way to Rome as a prisoner to be tried before Caesar. From this incident, I believe we can learn how to stay calm and maintain our confidence and courage when we are encountering storms (troubles) in our life no matter how fierce they may be.
Dealing With Our Troubles
As you turn in your bibles to Acts 27, I mention three things about trouble you need to know.
You have just gotten out of it
You’re in it right now
You are headed for it
Trouble is something that belongs to the human race. I’ve yet to meet anyone who can boast of being totally free from it. It is one of those common denominators that links everyone who has lived, who is now living, or who will live on this earth. Job, who had his share of troubles, tells us "man is born unto trouble" (Job 5:7) and again "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble." Job 14:1. Troubles plague the human race.
Troubles produce "tough days." We’ve all experienced them and we know that some seem to be worse than others are. I’ve had days "pop up" in my life and no doubt you have too, when you wonder why you ever crawled out of bed that morning, and then you wonder if you’re going to make it back to bed that night. In the comic strip Peanuts, Charlie Brown is saying to Lucy, "I’ve got so many troubles that if anything happens to me today it will be two weeks before I can worry about it." Can you identify with Charlie? Here’s a fact about life that you can count on happening no matter who you are. Trouble, in one or more of its various forms, is going to come knocking unexpectedly at your door one day. Don’t spend your time looking for it - for it will find you. Trouble knows your address. Prepare yourself in advance to deal with whatever your "it" may be.
Christians encounter "tough days" too. We really do a great injustice to others if we leave the impression in our preaching and witnessing that becoming a Christian will automatically exempt a person from experiencing any troubles or difficulties in life. When Job said, "A man is born unto trouble," he stated a truth that applies to all mankind. Not even Christian "super faith" can change that truth. Christ brings many gifts into our life when we are born again, but a state of perpetual tranquillity free from troubles is not one of them. In this life, there are no utopias for us to live in. There are no cities, neighborhoods, nor churches that are ideal or free from troubles or does not need change or improvement in some way. There are no jobs that don’t have its share of frustrations, discouragement or disappointments. Some have more than others do. It’s unrealistic to believe that every venture we endeavor will be successful or that we will be perfect in all we attempt to do. Sometimes for various reasons we may fail to achieve the goal we have set. But we shouldn’t let that failure become fatal to us. Jesus told the disciples, "In this world you will have troubles, but take heart, I have overcome the world." John 16:33 Although none of us has immunity from the troubles of life that come our way, God gives us a message of encouragement in His Word when He promises to help us when those troubles come.