Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: In difficult times we must: 1- Count the blessings 2- Consider the source 3- Continue the life

INTRO.- ILL.- 22 year-old pop singer Britney Spears got married again for the second time in nine months. The first marriage lasted only about 55 hours. Someone calculated that if she kept up this pace by the time she is 50 she will be married some 39 times. SHE GOT MARRIED AGAIN. I say, so what? It’s no big deal. Not to most of us.

ILL.- Actor Billy Bob Thornton and his girlfriend announced last Wednesday that she has given birth to a baby girl. So what?

ILL.- On Sept. 14th, 2004, Oprah Winfrey gave away 276 brand new G-6 Pontiac cars on her TV show. Of course, billionairess Oprah didn’t actually give these cars away. That is, she didn’t pay for these cars. Pontiac did this as an advertising stunt. And here’s the after effect. Each of those 276 people will pay about $7000 in taxes for those cars…still, a bargain by most people’s standards. BUT NOT IF YOU DON’T HAVE $7000 DOLLARS! But again, I say, so what?

ILL.- TV’s CBS network got the bill last Wednesday for Janet Jackson’s eye-catching flash dance during the Super Bowl halftime show: a record $550,000. So what? I think they should get fined for a lot more stuff.

Most average American citizens are not worried about new cars, pop singers getting married, what TV networks do or don’t do, actors and actresses having babies, they are simply concerned about being able to live, pay bills (or make ends meet), raise their kids and survive this so-called rat race.

ILL.- Someone came up with the “Top 10 Signs of Job Burnout“

10. You’re so tired, you now answer the phone with "Leave me alone!"

9. Your friends call to ask how you’ve been, and you immediately scream, "Stop asking me all these questions!"

8. Your garbage can IS your "Inbox"!

7. You wake up to discover your house is on fire, but go back to sleep because you just don’t care.

6. You consider a 40-hour week a vacation.

5. Visions of the upcoming weekend help you make it through Monday.

4. You don’t set your alarm anymore because you know your pager will go off before your alarm does.

3. You leave for a party and instinctively bring your ID badge.

2. Your Day Timer/Work Planner exploded a week ago.

And the NUMBER ONE sign that you are burned out because of work:

1. You think about how relaxing it would be if you were in jail right now.

I think some people may feel this way about all of life because life is so stressful.

II Tim. 3:1 Amplified “BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].”

Job 14:1 “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” I don’t like this verse of scripture but I think it’s true.

I think most people would agree that life is a tough course. As we get older we think that things should get better, but it doesn’t always work that way.

When the kids are grown and gone everything should be better. WRONG! That’s wishful thinking. No matter where we are in life there will always be a certain amount of stress and/or trouble. It’s just that we experience different types of stress at different stages in our lives.

When you’re young and in school it’s the stress of school and peer pressure. When you’re out in the working world, it’s work and relationships. When you’re married and have children, it’s both work and children.

When the kids are gone and on their own, it can still be your kids. At least, part of the time. And no matter where you are in life, you still have to deal the stress of health and finances. Making a living is, in some ways, harder than it used to be.

People make more money than they used to, but it also takes more to live….or perhaps more to play with! We have become accustomed to living with everything….we have everything and want everything and it costs money, which some people don’t have. There are the haves, the have-nots and the charge-its.

Even if you have it, there will always be other problems that cause stress.

ILL.- One preacher friend of mine in southern IL is 65 years old and preaches at a Baptist church that runs around 450 in attendance. He has an excellent salary of $65,000 a year and seemingly has it made. He told me that he was putting away over $20,000 a year in savings. Frankly, I don’t know of many people who can do that.

Things were pretty good until he had a health breakdown with his back, then had surgery and is still not recovered and may never completely recover. Now he has decided to retire at the end of Oct. He said, “And with a $65,000 cut in pay!” But at least, it sounds like he will have a decent retirement and he apparently is just thinking of taking care of what health he has left.

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