6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: A message on God’s "hedge" of protection around us in our times of trial and struggle.


ƒ{ This is part 2 of our Survivor Series

ƒ{ It is my attempt to give you principles of survival.

ƒ{ Remember the children’s movie; "Over the Hedge"

ƒ{ When the characters went over the hedge they got into all kinds of trouble

ƒ{ God has a place for us to live

ƒ{ If we are going to survive, "don’t go over the hedge"

ƒ{ We know Job as one of the Bibles greatest survivors.

Survivor = Overcomer

Lickin’, keep on tickin’

ƒ{ He is like the poster boy of all life

* Challenges

* Struggles

* Trials

ƒ{ Yet he becomes celebrated for being a survivor

ƒ{ And gets blessed two times more than he ever had

ƒ{ In other words, he got double for his trouble

ƒ{ I’ve seldom preached on Job (oldest book in the Bible)

ƒ{ Too negative, depressing, don’t fully understand

ƒ{ But when you start preaching on surviving you can’t pass him up

ƒ{ I said to the Lord, "nobody wants to hear about Job’s problems, they have enough of their own."

ƒ{ Don’t preach about the problems, preach about the blessing

ƒ{ The blessing that is a result of living behind the hedge

o Or as Psalm 91 says, "under the shadow of the Almighty"

ƒ{ See we always preach about poor old Job

o And forget about how blessed he was

o Forget that God was bragging on him

o Forget that he was wealthy and healthy

o Forget that even his children were blessed

o Forget that God trusted him

ƒ{ All because there is a hedge

ƒ{ The good news for Job is that there is a hedge

ƒ{ His survival strategy was to stay behind "the hedge"

ƒ{ Some of you today feel like Job:

„X Discouraged

„X Alone

„X Abandoned

„X Sick

„X Tired

„X No friends

„X No help

„X Mad

„X Defeated

„X Wondering if God has forgotten you

ƒ{ But I want to remind you there is a hedge

ƒ{ You can’t see it

ƒ{ But the Devil knows it’s there

ƒ{ And he can’t go over the hedge

ƒ{ There may be times the hedge is lowered

„X To test you

„X To promote you

„X To purge you

„X To build your faith

„X To enlarge your vision

ƒ{ But if the hedge has been lowered

ƒ{ God gave permission

ƒ{ So that He can take you into double

ƒ{ Bring you into more

ƒ{ God had enough confidence in you to test you...

o ...after the test is the promotion


ƒ{ You might think you’re in a trial now

ƒ{ But I am convinced it could have been worse

„X Calamities - something assigned by the enemy

„X Tragedies - your children in his sights

„X Accidents - your marriage in his target

„X Wickedness - that missed you and avoided you

„X Because there is a hedge

„X Job teaches us that even your children will be blessed because of your hedge

ƒ{ His children were blessed

ƒ{ His money was blessed

ƒ{ His business was blessed

ƒ{ His health was blessed

o All because there is a hedge

ƒ{ Because of the hedge...

o Satan can’t just do anything

o Nothing bad can happen to you without God knowing about it

o Your tragedies don’t take God by surprise

o That’s why all things work together for good for those who are in Christ Jesus

ƒ{ Remember Peter, Jesus said; "Peter, Satan has desired to sift you like wheat."

o Desire = requisitioned

o In other words...a paper has come across my desk

o But I have prayed for you

Here are some lessons I’ve learned from Job as a Survivor

1. Trouble Without Understanding

* It’s one thing to be in trouble

o And know exactly how you got there

* Sin -- Didn’t fall in...you dove in

* It’s another thing to get blindsided

EXAMPLE: Football 8th Grade

2. Trouble Without Fault

* It’s one thing to be in trouble and you can’t find fault

* You don’t know what or how to fix, to get things back on track

* It doesn’t bother us to be blessed without reason

* We just don’t like problems without reason

3. Trouble Without Helpful Friends

* Have you ever had people try to help you and only hurt you?

* Bildad, Eliphaz, Zophar -- Dodad

* These theological geniuses come to make sense of all this for Job

„X You’re a hypocrite

„X You don’t know God

„X Need to repent

„X Not holy enough

* Whenever a church goes through some stuff

* So God can promote

* I get some wonderful words from self-appointed prophets:

o We need to pray more

o I -- need -- more worship

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