Summary: This sermon is designed to encourage believers to make the most out of difficult situations.

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Series: “How To Have Joy In A Jail Cell”

Pastor: Robert E. Dyson

City of Refuge Bible Baptist Church

True Blue, VA

PHP 1:3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Subject: “Learning To Make Lemonade ”


Allow me this morning to reflect, recall and revisit from those days of my childhood euphoria for a moment. I am reminded of the times when on those hot, humid and sizzling summer days of my youth when my great grandmother would gather lemons from the refrigerator and make for my friends and I lemonade. I can recall that I never particularly enjoyed the taste of lemons but oh how I loved the taste of sweet, cold lemonade on those hot summer days. It was always amazing to me that my great grandmother could take something as bitter as lemons and produces something as sweet as lemonade. So, this morning I want to use that experience as a canvas and backdrop for this the first message in this series of sermons on How to Have Joy In a Jail Cell. I submit that the first thing we must learn in order to have joy in the midst of jail cell experiences is that we must learn the discipline of turning sour lemon situations into positive and productive lemonade experiences. The question is what do we do when the circumstance and the events of our lives deal us those sour lemon experiences? What do we do when we discover that our private and personal phobias have surfaced, and seek to rob us of the precious promises that we have received from the prince of peace? What do we do when things in our lives are coming up sour? When our plans are thrown off course, and our blue skies turn black, and when our hopes bust like bubbles in our faces. What, what do we do when our dreams seem to turn into nightmares. (Walk with me for a moment) When I woke up in the hospital in 1984 and was told that I was paralyzed, it was one of those moments. You know those moments when no amount of money can help you, those moments when who you know and who know’s you can’t help you, those moments when education, affiliations, and social stratifications don’t mean a thing. Those moments when we are flooded by the forces of friction, surrounded by the winds of worry, and drenched by the rains of hardships and hard ache. Those moments when difficulty and disaster sail into our lives like a bad weather. When accidents, incidents and various forms of misfortune interrupt our efforts and energies to proceed and make progress. It’s at those palm sweating, teeth biting, floor walking, and sleepless moments that we must learn how to turn those lemon experiences into lemonade. When confronted with death, divorce, and even dismay. When we have seen the lightning flashing, heard the thunder roll and felt sin breakers dashing trying to concur our soul it is there at those moments when we must learn to make lemonade out of lemons.

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