Summary: Frequently when we experience bad circumstances we begin feeling like God doesn’t love us or has failed to keep His Word. God's trying to teach us to trust Him no matter what our situations look like.
DON’T PUT A QUESTION MARK WHERE GOD PUTS A PERIOD!
A. HUMOR: BED FEARS
1. From childhood, a man had a terrible fear that someone was under his bed at night. Finally he went to a Psychiatrist, who told him he could solve his problems.
2. "Just put yourself in my hands for one year," said the psychiatrist. "Come talk to me three times a week and I’ll get rid of those fears."
3. "How much do you charge?" "$150 per visit," replied the doctor. "I’ll sleep on it and get back to you," he said.
4. Six months later the Psychiatrist met him on the street. "You haven’t been back about your fears. Why not?" he asked.
5. “$150 per visit, 3X a week for a year is $23,400. An Assemblies of God preacher cured me for $10! I was so happy to have saved all that money that I went and bought me a new pickup truck."
6. "Is that so?" said the psychiatrist. “How may I ask, did an Assemblies of God preacher cure you?” "I made a $10 donation in the offering and afterward asked the preacher what to do. He told me to cut the legs off of my bed – ain’t nobody under there now!"
B. TEXT & THESIS
6 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, 2 and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. 11 Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” 13 Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” 14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” Judges 6:1-2,11-14, NKJV.
1. It had been a bunch of bad years for the Israelites. They’d been invaded, defeated, and oppressed by their enemies because of their sins.
2. Gideon's first response to God was, “But Sir, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?” (13).
3. When we have trials, the enemy always tries to make us question God’s goodness, or make us think that God’s abandoned us.
4. Gideon’s next question was to point out the lack of God’s intervening; "Where are all His miracles?"
5. DO YOU THINK IT WAS GOD’S WILL FOR THERE TO BE NO MIRACLES? NO! God hadn't changed! Then what was the problem? Their sins had separated them from their God and hindered His working!
6 Sometimes we, like Gideon, fall into the same trap of seeing our bad circumstances and feeling God doesn’t love us or has failed to keep His Word.
7. That’s why I want to speak to the subject; “Don’t Put A Question Mark Where God Puts A Period!”
I. MEN/WOMEN OF FAITH AND BAD CIRCS
A. DIRE SITUATIONS
Many times in Scripture, circumstances defied believer’s walks of faith with God. Like God had failed. Examples:
1. God promised Abram a son when he was seventy-five... but 24 years passed and no son was born to Sarah, and they both passed child-bearing range. ‘Hello, God?’
2. A widow and her son had prayed for food. Their food finally ran out. So they went out to collect a few sticks to cook their last meal before they died.
3. Lazarus became ill. His two sisters send for Jesus, but Jesus never comes. Lazarus finally dies and was put in the tomb. Jesus finally arrives four days late. ‘Oops!’
4. Moses felt called to deliver Israel (Acts 7:24-25). He struggled with an Egyptian and ended up killing him and becoming a fugitive from justice for 40 years. ‘What is that?’
5. Joseph was given dreams that he would become a ruler. Instead, his brothers sell him into slavery and he’s imprisoned for 13 years. ‘Ouch!’
6. Samson was supposed to defeat the Philistines, but because he messed up, he was blinded. So how could a blind man fulfill his calling? ‘Oops!’
7. A father brought his son to Jesus’ disciples. Instead of getting better, the boy grew worse and the disciples couldn’t do anything to help him. ‘Wow!’