Summary: Fourth in a series of sermons on dealing with difficult times.
Handles for the Hard Times (Sermon #4)
TEXT: II Cor 12:1-10
· Ever been between a rock & a hard place?
· Times when circum/difficulties/trials are pressing in upon you?
· Life feels like it’s a zoo and the zoo has been turned over to the monkey?
· Times when confusion & chaos seem to rule?
· How do we deal w/ those times?
· 4th in a series of 5 sermons on Handles for the Hard Times
· Handle #1: Accept it as an app’t rather than an accident
· Handle #2: Accept it without knowing the reason why
· Handle #3: Believe God is in charge, even of the trial
· Handle #4 Attitude, have the right one
· Handle #5 Believe God doesn’t change
I. HANDLE #6: ABILITY, UNITE WITH GOD’S
A. In other words, quit trying to handle Qthg yourself (strength, abilities,
resources); come to God, & allow Him to strengthen you
1. Easy for us to try to do Qthg ourselves, to be self-sufficient
2. Want (or often have) a “can do” attitude to the point we see no
need for God
B. F.B. Meyer “Disabilities were meant to unite you w/ G’s ability. G’s
sufficient grace is at its best when human weakness is most profound.”
C. Scripture full of promises regarding G strengthening us
1. II Cor 12: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2. Zec 4:6: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”
3. Phil 4:13: [Amplified Bible] “I have strength for all things in Christ Who
empowers me. I am ready for anything & equal to anything through Him
who infuses inner strength into me.”
(IL) IV hooked into arm w/ G’s strength flowing into us
4. Isa 40:29-31: “He gives strength to the weary & increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired & weary, & young men stumble & fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run & not grow weary, they will walk & not faint.”
a. Heb - “hope” (hope in the Lord): “to bind together, perhaps by twisting.”
b. Paraphrase: those who are bound together, perhaps even
twisted, into the Lord, will renew their strength.
D. Steps of binding (twisting) yourself into G (A-B-C’s)
1. Four steps: A-B-C-D
E. Admit your own weakness & Acknowledge your need for God
1. Admit you don’t have the resources/ability to get thru the trial in a G- honoring way by yourself
a. Get rid of macho, independence, self-sufficiency
2. Acknowledge you need God in your life
a. His Presence, His wisdom, He resources, & all He offers
F. Bible, dig into it
1. Gideon’s B: “...Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, & comfort to cheer you. It is the traveller’s map, the pilgrims’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, & the Xn’s charter.”
2. Dig into it, study it, apply it, & allow it to be all of this in your life
G. Christian fellowship, be a part of it
1. Ro 1:11-12: “I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to make you strong - that is, that you & I may be encouraged by each other’s faith.”
(IL) Three logs on a fire