Summary: It is often in the difficult times of life that we grow the most in Christ. Those times when it may even seem as though God has forsaken us, are times we can look back at later, and see his presence and grace abiding with us. It is often in those times
GOD’S GRACE WHEN LIFE IS HARD
1.)Several years ago Lanny and Marietta Wolfe wrote a hymn of the faith whose chorus goes:
A.)"For whatever it takes to draw closer to you, Lord, That’s what I’ll be willing to do;
For whatever it takes to be more like you,
That’s what I’ll be willing to do.
I’ll trade sunshine for rain, comfort for pain,
That’s what I’ll be willing to do;
For whatever it takes for my will to break,
That’s what I’ll be willing to do.
B.) One day it occurred to me while singing this song that I could not say an Amen to that song.
2.) I see times in my life when my walk with God has been the only thing there was in my life.
A.) I have had times that my dependence upon, and relationship with God were so powerful that at times I have looked back with envy of where I was at in my spiritual walk with God at that time.
3.) Having said that, the song I have mentioned is still not one I could honestly make as my prayer.
A.) You see the reality is that those special and powerful times were times that came as the result of extreme pain, upset, and loss in my life.
B.) To be honest, as much as I have grown and developed because of times that have been difficult, in all honesty I would have at those times been satisfied with where I was spiritually to have avoided the pain, the loss, and the sorrow.
4.) The more I live and go through life, the more I see that often it is in the midst of the hard times that the Amazing Grace of God really shines through our lives.
I.) AS WE GO THROUGH LIFE, MANY TIMES LIFE CAN BE HARD.
1.) Every year we live on this earth presents more trials, and more times of loss and of sorrow and pain.
2.) What is the pain and loss that is present in this room?
A.) Today we live in a world where there is no such thing as job security
aa.) Some here may be dealing with the loss of employment, and uncertainty of the future.
aa-1.) Perhaps now or in the past , or the near future there is the prospect of bankruptcy.
B.) There are those here in the room who have experienced the pain of losing your spouse to either death or divorce.
C.) Some of you have experienced or are now experiencing the pain of a loved one with serious illness in their lives. Rather the sickness was in yourself or a loved one, it is a very hard thing to deal with. Almost daily we hear of cancer, and countless other diseases that affect the body or the mind, and the well-being of a person.
ca.) I have seen the agony of loved ones battling with cancer and other diseases.
cb.) Even now, I have a grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.
ca-1.) It is painful seeing your loved one with a blank stare on their
face, and perhaps not even knowing you.
D.) It is quite possible that some in this room have experienced sexual abuse or rape, and rather in the past or even now, it does such damage to your self-worth, and the pain can be so difficult.
da.) Statistics show that 1 out of 6 females, and 1 out of ever 10 males have experienced this.
db.) There was a time when I would have been naive enough to say that is not a problem in the church, but I have met too many in churches who are victims to know that this is not the truth.
E.) Some may have to deal with cancer, and other diseases in yourself or loved ones.
ea.) Many here have seen that loved one lose to the battle.
eb.) If that one you lost was you spouse or your child the pain is even more intense.
F.) If you have children or grand children that have forsaken the values you tried to instil in them it is very painful and brings pain as you watch the course of their life.
fa.) Today because of the work place and the changing society we live in, many families are not able to be geographically close to children or grandchildren.
G.) A challenge of life that every one of us has to face is growing old, and all that goes with that.
ga.) For many growing old is not pleasant, and death terrifies many people.
gb.) Ecc. 12:1-5
H.) We could list many other trials and hardships that are likely present in this room.
ha.) The reality is that in life we are each one faced with many hard and difficult times. Times and events that challenge our every being, and shake our lives to what seems like the very limits of our endurance.