Summary: Many Christians who experience great trials in life often think that there is no hope. Here are 3 reasons why there is hope even in the midst of the most hurting trial that we experience.
Life on earth is a test. Sounds familiar? Yes, this is a statement from Rick Warren¡¦s The Purpose Driven Life. ¡§You are always being tested. God constantly watches your response to people, problems, success, conflict, illness, disappointment, and even the weather!¡¨
We must know and understand that life is a test. Why? Rick Warren writes, ¡§When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life.¡¨ With this in mind, you would understand and realize that every day is an important day and every second is a growth opportunity to deepen your character, demonstrate your love, or to depend on God.
But have you ever asked your selves, ¡§Will life be full of tests? Will life be full of problems, conflicts, illnesses, disappointments, etc? When will these tests end?¡¨ I know that we know the answers to these questions but sometimes because of the hardships that we experience in life, we ask these kinds of questions.
In A View from the Zoo, Gary Richmond tells about the birth of a giraffe: ¡§The first thing to emerge are the baby giraffe¡¦s front hooves and head. A few minutes later the plucky newborn calf is hurled forth, falls ten feet, and lands on its back. Within seconds, he rolls to an upright position with his legs tucked under his body. From this position he considers the world for the first time and shakes off the last vestiges of the birthing fluid from his eyes and ears.
¡§The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look. Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits for about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heels.¡¨
¡§When it doesn¡¦t get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts¡KFinally, the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs. Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again.
Maybe you can somehow relate to the calf. It¡¦s not that you were kicked over and over again by your mother when you were born. ƒº Somehow we can relate ourselves to the calf when it comes to the problems, difficulties, and trials that hit us every now and then. Problems that are sometimes so big that it would send us sprawling head over heels.
Life is full of problems and often times these problems knock us down (golden age, family, work, etc. problems). Mind you, problems or discouragements are no respecter of persons. Whether you are successful or not, rich or poor, beautiful or not so beautiful, ƒº you will experience them. In fact, those who are successful experience many problems than the unsuccessful. But brethren, I would like for us to realize that we may be knocked down, but we are not knocked out. I¡¦ve entitled our message this morning from God¡¦s Word ¡§Knocked Down, Not Knocked Out.¡¨
It is my prayer and desire that after hearing this message from the Word of the Lord that we would realize and understand that every time that we face problems in life, whether big or small, that we¡¦re not knocked out. There is hope in God.
One of the key words in Paul¡¦s second letter to the Corinthians is comfort or encouragement. The verb is used eighteen times in this letter and the noun eleven times. If we would study the life of the Apostle Paul and his ministry, we would see that he has experienced a lot of trials and difficulties.
In spite of the all the trials he experienced, Paul was able (by the grace of God) to write a letter saturated with encouragement. Out of his own difficult experience, Paul tells us how we can find encouragement in God. (Wiersbe)
We¡¦ll study 3 reasons this morning why we should have hope in the midst of the trials and difficulties that we are experiencing in life, why we may be knocked down but not knocked out.
I. You Will Experience God¡¦s Comfort ¡§who comforts us¡K¡¨
The first reason why we¡¦re not knocked out is because we or you will experience God¡¦s comfort.
God¡¦s Word is not saying that you might experience God¡¦s comfort or probably you will experience God¡¦s comfort, but according to our text He is the God who comforts us in all our troubles. Who among you here would say that there was once in your life that you had a problem and never experienced God¡¦s comfort? If there is someone, you shouldn¡¦t be here right now because you should have been knocked out.