Summary: Second in a series of sermons for dealing with difficult times.
"Handles for the Hard Times" (Part #2)
TEXT: Gen 45:1-8 and 50:15-20
· One day Linus and Charlie Brown are walking along and chatting with one another. Linus says, "I don’t like to face problems head on. I think the best way to solve problems is to avoid them. In fact, this is a distinct philosophy of mine. No problem is so big or so complicated that it can’t be run away from!"
· Second of five sermons on handling the hard times
· Give total of 10 handles to hang on to
· Review of last time
I. HANDLE #1: ACCEPT IT AS AN APPOINTMENT RATHER THAN AN ACCIDENT
A. I Thess 3:3 - "...you know quite well we were destined for them..."
1. Are a sign of or punishment for sinfulness & disobedience- not necessarily true
a. Problems/trials happen to everyone
b. May even be a sign or result of our obedience
2. God’s primary goal for us is our happiness/success/easy life
a. His primary goal is our salvation & spiritual growth
C. Each trial is designed specifically for you
1. Qthg that comes to me has already passed thru the hands of my Heavenly
Father & has received His stamp of approval
II. HANDLE #2: ACCEPT IT WITHOUT KNOWING THE REASON WHY
(IL) One day Linus and Charlie Brown are walking along and chatting with one another. Linus says, "I don’t like to face problems head on. I think the best way to solve problems is to avoid them. In fact, this is a distinct philosophy of mine. No problem is so big or so complicated that it can’t be run away from!"
A. Can haunt all of us when difficulties arise
1. The question that wants to make sense of seemingly senseless suffering
2. The question that wants to understand the unfairness in life
3. The question that can us even cause us to doubt G is a loving G
(IL) Father, 27, 3 kids, ETS in 2 wks, paralyzed from neck down;
4. The qt that never has an answer that satisfies
a. No philosophy, theology, or world view
B. I can’t answer the "why" qt, but can tell you we need to accept the fact we may never know the reason some thgs happen
1. OK to struggle
2. G understand our desire to know, our struggle, our confusion & doesn’t hold it against us
3. Must come to the point we move beyond the struggle, place our lives in the hands of God, & accept the fact we may never know the reason some things happen
C. Dt 29:29: "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us & to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of the law."
D. Prov 25:2: "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter..."
(IL) Jan 1983 Uncle Bill’s funeral preacher asked why Bill Thompson died @ young age died because of cancer
(IL) 27 year old father of three was paralyzed because he dove into water that was too shallow & broke his neck
1. Accept thgs for what they are sometimes rather than search for an answer that isn’t there ...AND...
III. HANDLE #3: BELIEVE THAT GOD IS IN CHARGE, EVEN OF THE TRIAL
A. Easy to do when all is going well
1. Family healthy, new grandkids, promoted, life going smoothly
2. Challenge when our lives are full of chaos
B. Oswald Chambers: (Pg 353) “The circumstances of a saint’s life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance. God by His providence brings you into circumstances you cannot understand at all. All your circumstances are in the hand of God, therefore never think it strange concerning the circumstances you are in.”
C. Problem is we do think it strange, don’t see G in it at all, because we look @ the problem
(IL) Mat 14 - Jesus told Peter to walk on the water. Peter did fine until he took his eyes off J & looked at the wind. Then he began to sink. Had he kept his eyes on the Sovereign Lord who controls the wind & waves he would have been fine.
D. God being in charge, even of the trial is portrayed beautifully in life of OT Joseph
1. Brothers jealous cause of favoritism & special treatment by father Jacob
2. Throw in pit
3. Sell to Ishmaelite traders on way to Egypt
4. Put animal blood on his coat & tell Jacob he’s dead
5. Goes to Egypt
6. A slave in Potiphar’s house
a. Mrs. Potiphar seduces him & wants affair
b. He runs away
c. She cries “rape” & he’s put in jail