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Summary: WHAT DOES GOD SAY TO US WHEN WE ENCOUNTER CHANGES IN OUR PLANS AND EXPECTATIONS?

Hi, thank you for looking at this sermon. I hope it helps. Please do not say the sermon did not help you just because you did not like the style or could not use the entire message for your own needs. I have discovered a few souls automatically hit the ’did not help me’ button if the message they read was not what they were looking for. Please only hit that button if you think God’s people would not be blessed by the message below. Thank you.

Text: Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

Title: Everything According To His Design!

Date: December 30th, 2001

Well! Here we are at the end of another year. Each of you in 2001 went through quite a lot of trials. Do you think you could have predicted those trials or the outcome? Or for the most part did you just wait, and thus prayed on various issues hoping that answers would come soon. And quite often, no matter how strong you thought your faith really was during those moments, it did not always manifest itself when you were struggling for answers. What did manifest itself were things like worry, impatience, doubt, hopelessness and despair. For those of you who had to visit hospitals this year, while you were lying in that hospital bed, you most likely had no idea how long of a stay you would have, and sometimes that can be very frightening. For those of you who struggled at home with illness or finances, I bet there were times when you wondered how you would be able to make it through another day. Even with day to day life, all of us can admit from time to time, that when we go to bed, we wish we could just wake up in paradise because at least there, we would not have these pressures, commitments and duties to stress us out even more. With everything said, we have all the more reason to continue to rest on God, since He will always have the strength to get us through the day.

Throughout the year, we have heard God say to us, in many and various ways that He is in control, that He is present with us, that He is comes to us in the Word itself. We have heard our Lord tell us that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and when we hear those truths, although the trials do not immediately vanish, our stress and hopeless anticipation’s might. So, as we find ourselves only moments away from an entirely new year, where anything can be possible, we also find ourselves wondering what is next? What does life have in store for us now? And maybe, just maybe, as we are looking toward the New Year, we are also wondering what God will be doing within us, and through us and for us in the year 2002.

Would you all like to know exactly what our Lord will be doing in our lives in 2002? I can you tell you if you would like to know. But what I have to tell you is not a prediction, nor is it just one of many possibilities. And it certainly is not just an opinion. Although, we are able to surmise from time to time just what God is trying to do in our lives. For example it does not take a rocket scientist to know that there are many professed Christians in this world that do not pray regularly, so after September 11th, we were able to surmise that God allowed the terrorist attacks possibly to bring our nation together in prayer.

But what about all those times when one of our Family at Trinity has been hurting, what do we think God is doing during those moments? I truly believe that one person’s hurt is another person’s opportunity to serve. As Christians if we know a person is suffering and needs our help, we are going to see to that person’s needs as best we can, and who knows, maybe the results of our responding to other peoples needs was the entire reason why God allowed that person to get sick in the first place. There have been many times when God has used pastors and Christians to come and minister to the sick and only by doing so was that sick person made well; maybe not always physically but often spiritually.

God has also given us the blessed ability to see many of His plans completely run its course. This enables us to speculate how God works with even greater accuracy. For example On Christmas day, we celebrated the birth of our Savior. We looked into the manger, and we saw the face of our Lord. We rejoiced that with Jesus, our salvation was now at hand. And even though we know that this Child, in less than 35 years from His birth, was to be crucified, we are still able to rejoice. We rejoice because we know that God had a plan. And that plan was to allow His Son to live as we live, and for Him to have time to teach, direct and guide us so completely that our entire lives can be changed just by hearing His Holy Word. God’s plan was to bring us into His Kingdom, as adopted sons and God’s plan was also to allow His Son to suffer more than we ever could. And in looking back and seeing how God worked things out we can see the logic, we can even see the plan. And we even agree with it! We know that only by way of the shedding of perfect and innocent blood, could we have ever been redeemed. But, Joseph and Mary did not have the benefit of knowing all the historic details that surrounded the life, death and resurrection of their baby boy and that is why we will now look into their lives, because they are wondering what is next, just like you and I.

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