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Summary: How to hold onto your faith when life hurts most.

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HOLDING ONTO YOUR FAITH

When Life Hurts the Most

I. Intro: When was the last time life served you a curve ball? Life has a way of doing that you know? Jesus promised in John 16:33 that we would suffer many of life’s curve balls in life. His exact words were, "in Me you have peace, in the world, you have tribulation, but take courage (don’t lose faith, don’t give up, don’t fear, don’t worry) for I have overcome the world." These are encouraging words. However, how many of you have found yourself in the midst of the storms of life, asking "WHY GOD?"

A. WHY? The most asked question and the most unanswered.

*Did you ever wonder why when you tell a man there’s 400 billion stars in the sky, he’ll believe you, but if you tell him there’s wet paint, and he has to touch it?

*Why is it called a HAMburger, when it’s made out of beef?

*Why do we put suits in garment bags and garments in suitcases?

*Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

*Why when two airplanes almost collide, they call it a near miss instead of a near hit?

*Why are they called apartments when they’re stuck together?

*Why are they called buildings after they are built, shouldn’t they be called builts?

*If the black box flight recorder is never damaged in a plane crash, why isn’t the whole airplane made out of that?

*Kindergarten class field trip to local police station. Saw pictures of most wanted criminals. Kindergartener asked one of the officers if those were real pictures. He said, "yes, we want them really bad because they’ve done some really bad things." To that the Kindergartener replied, "well, why didn’t you just keep them when you took their pictures?"

B. These are all funny, "WHY?" Questions. However, many times our "WHY’S?" are anything but funny. Like...

...the 6 year old child who looks at his mom and asks, "Mommy, why did daddy leave? Is he ever coming home again?"

...or like my 14 yr old little brother asked when he was dying a terribly painful death, "Kelly, WHY is God allowing this? Doesn’t He love me anymore?"

...or the 42 yr old mother of 3 young children who asks, "Why God? Why did the doctor have to say cancer?"

...or the single person who feels so lonely and asks again and again, "Why can’t I find a mate? Why do I have to remain single?"

...or the man or woman who says, "Why God? Why did you allow me to be physically abused by my mom or my dad when I was a helpless child?"

What are your "WHY" questions? Is it...God, WHY did you take my husband or my wife when we still had so much living to do together?

Or maybe...WHY is life so painful? WHY can’t I seem to get free from this depression? WHY have my children strayed from God when I’ve raised them in a Christian home? WHY is my wife’s heart still hardened twd God when I’ve prayed for yrs and yrs for her to be saved? WHY did my child have to be stricken with leukemia, or Muscular Dystrophy, or Down’s Syndrome...or any number of other things? WHY God? WHY?

C. ONE FAMILY’S REACTION TO A DEADLY CURVE BALL

1) Todd (my husband) and I are very blessed to be able to get to know and to spend time with some of the greatest men and women of God in the Kingdom today (Besides all of you of Course).

a. But right now I’m talking specifically about other church and Christian leaders.

b. Last year we were privileged to be able to spend some time with Alton Garrison (Pastors a large church in Little Rock, Ak)

c. A wonderful man of God

2) I’m going to read to you part of his testimony about a time in his life when his family was dealt a pretty devastating blow.

a. "PLEASING GOD, PLEASING YOU" pg. 89-90

(Read from this book)

3) How do you react when life throws you a curve ball?

II. HOW DO WE HANDLE LIFE’S CURVE BALLS?

A. 1Thes 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJ)

1) REJOICE ALWAYS!

a. Rejoice when? When things are going my way? Surely God doesn’t expect me to rejoice when things are bad...does He?

b. The word "rejoice" means to be joyful. Now, how in the world can we be joyful when all hell has come against us with a full frontal attack? Get serious!

c. Well He is serious that’s why He says this in:

Rom 12:12 "Base your happiness on your hope in Christ. When trials come, endure them patiently; steadfastly maintain the habit of prayer." (phillips)

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