Summary: We all have issues. God is the solution.
Everybody has ISSUES!
I’ve got ‘em! You’ve got ‘em! We’ve got ‘em!
Issues come from different places and points in our lives!
Some people wear their issues like a t-shirt so everyone can see them!
Others conceal their issues … hiding them … and deceiving people!
What are some of the GREAT issues we face today?
1.Depression and eating disorders
3.Abortion and premarital sex
4.Cutting and other forms of self-abuse
6.Abuse by family members
7.AIDS and other STD’s
In a room this size with this number of people many of these issues are among us!
A lot of these things become larger and larger in our lives because we fail to ever deal with them!
And more often than not we never tell anyone because we feel like we are the only one struggling with that specific thing.
Say it with me tonight … “I’VE GOT ISSUES.”
Listen, even people in the Bible had issues:
•John Mark was rejected.
•Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.
•Jacob was a liar.
•David had an affair.
•Solomon was too rich.
•Peter was afraid of death.
•John was self-righteous.
•Paul was a murderer.
•So was Moses.
•Miriam was a gossip.
•Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
•Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
•Elijah was burned out.
•John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
•Noah got drunk.
•Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse? So did Peter, Paul
Guess what, man, EVERYBODY HAS ISSUES!
The issues may not be the same … we may handle them in different ways … but there is one thing for sure … WE ALL HAVE ISSUES!
Over the next several weeks we are going to tackle some pretty hot topics … so brace yourselves for a wild ride …
Before we talk about some of the issues we have to resolve one thing first … DOES GOD CARE ABOUT YOU?
YES HE DOES!
1 Peter 5:7: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you” (NLT).
Whatever you struggle with … whatever your issue … GOD CARES!!!
Many of you know my story … I was raised in a single-parent, multi-divorced situation … my brothers and I experienced abuse – physical, emotional, and verbal … we didn’t have much stuff … we moved around a lot … my mother had a gun placed to her head by a former husband … we all saw this almost routinely …
It wasn’t until this morning as I was getting ready for tonight that I remembered something that I used to do … it was almost haunting …
Buried in the back of my mind were several instances of self-abuse … I used to take a hot-paper clip to etch lines or images in my arms and thighs … at the time I thought I was just bored or even giving myself a temporary tattoo, but in reality I was inflicting pain on myself to escape the pain in my home!
When I was growing up no one talked about this … I never heard anyone ever say anything about this in school or church …
Now it has become an epidemic among teenagers … it’s called CUTTING!!!
I had and still have ISSUES!
There is one thing that is different about me today … I go to Christ with my “heavy burdens” and he “gives me rest.”
I have discovered that the best kept secret for overcoming our issues is a personal relationship and encounter with Jesus!
So how does Jesus help us through these issues? How does this spiritual being give us the hope and healing we need?
1. He’s got better advice than Dr. Phil or Oprah
There is one thing that I have discovered that always helps me in troubled times … God’s Word!
Finding answers for life in God’s Word is amazing … it’s actually life-changing!
To read something that happened to someone else in the Bible that is similar to what I am going through is refreshing!
Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path” (NLT).
Two truths from this passage about God’s great advice:
1.He meets us where we are … “lamp for my feet”
2.He shows us where we need to be … “light for my path”
God knows what you are going through and he knows what will help you.
Man, when you don’t know what to do ask God to point you in the right direction … even through your issues!
2. He’s more consistent than a politician
Jesus is constant.
Unlike a lot of politicians Jesus does not change … he is not swayed by popular opinion or polls!
Hebrews 13:8-9: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (NLT).
When things go wrong in your life Jesus is not going to walk out on you … he will be by your side!