Summary: God uses a surge of problems sometimes to DIRECT us, to INSPECT us, to CORRECT us, to CONNECT US, to PROTECT US, to PERFECT us, & to PROJECT us. Link included to free PowerPoint Presentation and formatted text version.
Gone With The Wind
II Cor. 1:8; 4:8-10
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"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble
which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above
strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life."--II Cor. 1:8
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 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."--II Cor. 4:8-10
For the last few weeks we’ve been blown away by the images from the Gulf Coast of Texas and all those who have lost so much, finding themselves underwater… and again we’re all being blown away by the powerful scope and surge of Hurricane Irma. We have sat speechless, watching the surreal scenes. Christians are not immune, and they and their churches get hit as well. God has America’s attention once again, and we’ve been given another chance as a nation to turn to Him. We feel helpless, but there IS something we can do…we can pray. [Care, Share, Prepare!]
The surge of trouble is nothing new to God's people. The Bible is filled with stories of those in trouble. The Hebrew children had their
fiery furnace. Daniel had his den of lions. Joseph was cast into prison.
Paul was shipwrecked and beaten with stripes. Peter was sent to
prison. John was exiled at Patmos. James had his head cut off. David
fled from Saul. Samson had his eyes put out.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
Clyde Gordon, who was completely paralyzed from his neck down,
edited a magazine called The Triumph. In it he said:
Christ is no security against storms,
But He is perfect security in storms.
He does not promise an easy passage,
But He does guarantee a safe landing.
Paul said in I Corinthians 10:13, "There hath no temptation (trouble) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation (trouble ) also make a way to escape."
One old preacher said that we ought to be good to everybody
because everybody is having a tough time. God is no respecter of
persons. He has no pets. In spite of this, we sometimes feel like victims. It
seems that we suffer far more than others. But this is simply
not the case. Our hearts go out to those who are “in deep” right now. What can we learn about them and thus, about ourselves?
7 ways God will use a “surge of problems” in our lives:
1. To Direct Us.
Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God trying to get our attention?
The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.
The world deceives us. But after a serious bout with trouble, we don't usually care as much about what people think.
Pride is plowed under, the world loses its value, the appetites for sin lose their taste. God could have kept Daniel out of the lions' den, Paul and Silas out of jail, the Hebrew children from the fiery furnace; but it was good for all these to go through these experiences.
2. To Inspect Us.
People are like tea bags…if you want to know what's inside them, just drop them in hot water! Has God ever tested your faith with a problem? What do problems reveal about you?
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
3. To Correct Us.
Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It's likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something by losing it."
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
4. To Connect Us.
When someone dies in the family, loved ones gather from far and
near for the funeral. People want to be together when in trouble.
When someone is seriously ill, their friends and neighbors gather in
to check on them and make sure things are all right.
Trouble not only draws people together, but it also draws them
to the Lord. David said in Ps. 119:67, "Before I was afflicted, I went astray". Many a person has called for a preacher in time of trouble