Summary: This sermon addresses the qualities necessary in overcoming difficulties in life.

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- Read 1 Samuel 17:1-52

This is a passage, an account; most of you are very familiar with, the account of David and Goliath. There are several items I would like you to notice with me as we look at this passage. First, I would like you to notice that difficulties in life are inevitable.


- 1 Samuel 17:17-18, 20

Now, who was David? David was the son of Jesse. He was a young boy. In verse 33, Saul called him a youth, and that word carries the idea of someone around 12-13 years old.

What was David doing? David was minding his own business! He was doing what his daddy sent him to do. He was taking food to his brothers in the army, and checking on them. When David arrived, he heard Goliath’s challenge.

When David left his dad’s house that morning, was he looking for trouble? When David started out that day, was he itching for a fight? No! David was minding his own business, doing what his dad told him, when he heard the giant’s call.

My friend, difficulties in life are inevitable. If you are alive, you will face difficulties. You will face struggles. You will face seemingly impossible odds. It’s part of life. Difficulties in life are inevitable.


While difficulties in life are inevitable, your response to those difficulties is optional.

- 1 Samuel 17:11

- 1 Samuel 17:26b

Let’s face it Goliath was a big guy. He was huge. His head was almost as high as a basketball goal. The armor he wore weighed 125 pounds, probably more than David did. He was huge.

Saul and the other soldiers looked only at the giant. They looked at the obstacle and responded with fear.

David was different. When he looked at Goliath, he didn’t see an obstacle. He didn’t see a giant. He looked and saw an opportunity for God to work, so David responded with faith.

David and the soldiers both looked at the same situation, but they saw completely different things.

“A young woman named Florence Chadwick attempted to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast in 1952 in an attempt to set a record for covering that distance. When she entered the water, a heavy fog had settled itself on the path before her. Blinded by fog, she became disoriented and discouraged and gave up. When she finally decided she couldn’t go on, her escorts in a boat helped her out of the water. The escorts feared to tell her the truth – Florence was less than 300 yards from the goal. Her only reply after learning how close she actually came was, ‘All I could see was hopeless.’ Her clouded vision kept her from victory.” (David Beirne, Facing Your Goliath, Sermon Central).

Difficulties in life are inevitable, but how you respond to those difficulties is optional. It’s up to you and whether you see that difficulty as insurmountable, or as an opportunity for God to work.

Haddon Robinson has said, “In any situation, what you ARE determines what you see, what you SEE determines what you DO.”

My friend, I don’t know what difficulty you are facing right now. I don’t know what struggle has come your way. For some of you, the giant in your life may be an addiction. For others, your giant may be a physical problem. Your giant may be marriage or family problems. You may have the worse boss in the world. I don’t know what your giant is, but I do know that God is bigger than what you face.

> 1 John 4:4 You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Tell somebody, “God is greater than Goliath!” Tell somebody, “God is greater than any giant!”

Goliath may be 10 feet tall, but my God made the dirt he’s standing on. Your Boss may be a terror, but my God made the air he’s sucking in. Your bills may be threatening to drown you, but my Abba; my Daddy owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Your relationships may be suffering, but my God changed a persecuting Saul, into a preaching Paul.

You may be sinking into the darkness of despair, depression, and discouragement, but my God put life into the rotting corpse of Lazarus, and He can give you joy again too. He raised a sinking Peter from the waves and He can lift you. You may be looking around and all you see is darkness, but my God opened the eyes of the blind and He can give you a new vision. You may feel locked into a situation, powerless to escape and powerless to change. You say, “I’ve been defeated too long. There’s no hope for me.” Never forget, they said that about Jesus too, but after 3 days God rolled the stone away!”

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Kenneth Paris

commented on Sep 30, 2006

This is the kind of sermon that should be preached to every congregation. Thank you Gene Gregory!

Don Jones

commented on Oct 2, 2006

Good sermon, good illustrations. Thank you for reminding me of this great truth.

Elena Bogdan

commented on Oct 3, 2006

Relevant. Clear. Encouraging. Thank you, Gene Gregory!

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