Summary: DON’T JUST DEAL WITH PROBLEMS OF LIFE; TURN THEM AROUND TO YOUR OWN USE. DON’T JUST COPE CONQUER LIFE.
Title: From Coping To Conquering
Text: II Corinthians 4:5-12
Intro: You know it is a bad day when:
- You call the suicide prevention hotline and they put you on hold.
- Your stuck in traffic and your horn gets stuck behind a group of Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang.
- You get to work to find a 60 minutes crew in your office.
- You hit a hole-in-one and your playing by yourself
ILL. Cowboy chased by a bull jumps into a hole in and out several times passer-by shouts “why not stay in the hole.” Cowboy says, “because there is a bear in there.”
ILL. Airplane engine catches on fire. Pilot say’s, “don’t worry we can fly with three engine. Then 2nd engine on fire “it’s O.K. we can fly with 2 engines.” 3rd engine catches on fire, Pilot is seen walking down the aisle with a parachute, he turns to the passengers and says “Don’t anybody panic, I’m going for help.”
Paul knew what it was to have bad days. He had several, anything from beatings, to shipwrecks, to imprisonment. But he knew that his pilot would never bail-out on him. That is why he could say:
2 Cor 4:8-10
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
Many of us live, Under the Circumstances, but it is time that we move from under the circumstances to over the top. Paul’s life was not a testimony for circumstances but it was a testimony of the truth that we are victors not victims. To move from coping with life’s problems to conquering them we must:
I. Realize that Opposition is part of life
1. When you become a Christian you are not taken to some mystic utopia where the wind is always at your back and it is smooth sailing.
2. The first words of M. Scott Peck’s book The Road Less Traveled are “Life is hard.”
3. But if there is one thing that we can learn about our God is that through the storms of life; that through the Valley of Death, He is with us.
ILL. Josiah Wedgewood
- had to leave school at age 9
- At age 13 sever case of small pox left him crippled
- But nothing could defeat him.
- Today he is known world wide for his pottery and it’s beauty
- Faced with the thought of being deaf
- New that he could never be happy without composing music
- Although he could not hear the sound was still able to compose “ODE TO JOY” and many others.
- Circumstances would not defeat him.
ILL. Grandma Moses
- Anna Mary Robertson loved to do needle work.
- At age eighty she could no longer handle a needle to embroider
- She decided to take up painting
- Starting at eighty year old she painted 1500 paintings
- 25% were painted after she turned 100 years old
4. Life is hard, and only those that confront that fact and plunge into it with determination and the power of the Holy Ghost will move from Coping to Conquering.
II. Opposition often presents Opportunity
ILL. Salesman stuck on elevator between floors. Found a phone and called for the repair crew to get him out. Over one and one-half hours late he is freed. Ask, “what did you do during that time,” The salesman said, “I picked up the phone in the elevator and begin to call my customers in the building and fill my orders.”
ILL. The greatest Bible salesman ever stutters through presentation and ask, “do you want to buy one or do you want me to read it to you.”
Philippians 4:21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.
What Paul was saying is that Hey People are being saved. I get new guards everyday and they are lead to Jesus. Even people that are part of the family of Ceasar are being saved.
1. Trust that in every situation God can and will get the glory.
- Joseph in prison “what Satan has meant for evil God has meant for good.
- Queen Esther Know that it was for such a time as this. God put her where she needed to be to accomplish his purpose.
2. We need not just cope but we can conquer
- By God’s grace and power opposition is turn to opportunity in our lives.