Summary: What should we do when we find ourselves in a distressing or desperate situation in life? 1- We cry out to God 2- We look to scripture 3- We offer our praise
INTRO.- Life is full difficulties and sometimes it’s more of a disaster than a difficulty. Like Hurricane Sandy hitting New York and New Jersey. That was one of the worst, at least, for them. Or like that tornado that hit Joplin, MO, a year ago last May.
ILL.- Thomas Edison invented the microphone, the phonograph, the incandescent light, the storage battery, and more than 1000 other things. December 1914 he had worked for 10 years on a storage battery. This had greatly strained his finances. This particular evening spontaneous combustion had broken out in the film room. Within minutes all the packing compounds, celluloid for records and film, and other flammable goods were in flames. Fire departments from eight surrounding towns arrived, but the heat was so intense and the water pressure so low that the attempt to douse the flames was futile. Everything was destroyed. Edison was 67. With all his assets going up in flames (although the damage exceeded two million dollars, the buildings were only insured for $238,000 because they were made of concrete and thought to be fireproof), would his spirit be broken?
The inventor’s 24-year old son, Charles, searched frantically for his father. He finally found him, calmly watching the fire, his face glowing in the reflection, his white hair blowing in the wind. "My heart ached for him," said Charles. " He was 67--no longer a young man--and everything was going up in flames. When he saw me, he shouted, ’Charles, where’s your mother?’ ‘When I told him I didn’t know, he said, ’Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this as long as she lives.’"
The next morning, Edison looked at the ruins and said, "There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start all over." Three weeks after the fire, Edison managed to deliver the first phonograph.
Not all disasters turn out so well as this one did. And whenever difficulties or disasters of any kind come, what do we do? Do we ask for help or do we try to “gut it out” on our own?
Life’s difficulties call for help: Work problems, financial problems, raising kids, aging, health problems, etc. We all need help along the road of life. We often find ourselves in difficult or desperate situations.
PROP.- What should we do when we find ourselves in a distressing or desperate situation in life?
1- We cry out to God
2- We look to scripture
3- We offer our praise
I. WE CRY OUT TO GOD
1 I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands
and my soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remembered you, O God, and I groaned;
I mused, and my spirit grew faint.
ILL.- Jim happened to meet the minister on the street one day, and during the conversation told him of all the troubles he had had during the past year. He wound up with: “I tell you right now, preacher, it’s enough to make a man lose his religion.” “Seems to me, Jim,” the minister told him quietly, “it’s enough to make a man use his religion.”
Job 14:1 “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.”
Any time we experience difficulties, trials and troubles in life we should turn to the Lord. Some people don’t know where to turn for help, but we should!
ILL.- Sarah Winchester’s husband had acquired a fortune by manufacturing and selling rifles. After he died of influenza in 1918, she moved to San Jose, California. Because of her grief and her long time interest in spiritism, Sarah sought out a medium to contact her dead husband. The medium told her, "As long as you keep building your home, you will never face death."
Sarah believed the spiritualist, so she bought an unfinished 17-room mansion and started to expand it. The project continued until she died at the age of 85. It cost 5 million dollars at a time when workmen earned 50 cents a day. The mansion had 150 rooms, 13 bathrooms, 2,000 doors, 47 fireplaces, and 10,000 windows. And Mrs. Winchester left enough materials so that they could have continued building for another 80 years.
Today that house stands as more than a tourist attraction. It is a silent witness to the dread of death that holds millions of people in bondage.
That woman was looking for help in the wrong place. And there are many substitutes in this world for God, things that take the place of God but never satisfy the soul or give the answer to life and death.
ILL.- The atheist lawyer, Clarence Darrow, called for three clergymen, a minister, a priest and a rabbi, just before his death. He said, “ Gentlemen, I have written and spoken many things against God and the churches during my lifetime. Now I wished I hadn’t! Now I realize it is entirely possible that I may have been wrong. So I should like to ask a final favor that each one of you intercede for me with the Almighty.”