Summary: Life can be difficult but with God's help we overcome the diffiuclties of life
Life: Twists and Turns
Games of Life Series
October 9, 2011
This morning we are starting a new message series called the Games of Life.
Life: Twists and Turns – Dealing with the unexpected
Monopoly – Deal with money and greed
Solitaire – Overcome loneliness
Risk – Living Victoriously
Life Twists and Turns is a variation of the board game Life. The purpose of the game is to get as many life points as possible. These points are earned in four different areas
Learn It – Education
Earn It – Money
Live It – Experiences
Love It - Relationships
Each of the different areas has both pleasant and not so pleasant surprises that makes the game interesting.
Life has a way of creating twists and turns that cause us to evaluate where we are and what we are doing. Twists come at unexpected times and often create new obstacles. These are the curves that come on life’s highway. Turns come when there is a needed change in directions. Choices must be made and sometimes the things we have come to depend on change.
The news of illness comes from the doctor
Financial burdens come calling
Children are dealing with problems
Pension payments get cut again
New job offer in another area or another state
Your spouse decided to call it quits
Your place of work announces more layoffs
Life is not a game. Life does seem to be made up of random events. Life is far more than some chance, the roll of the dice or the luck of the draw. Life is about living each day and trusting the overall outcome to God. Life is about daily surrendering back to God and letting Him have control.
If you have your Bibles with you, please open them to Psalm 37:1-9
1 Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil. 9 For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. Psalm 37:1-9
Rise above mere emotions
The reality is that most people give in to their emotional responses when hit with the unexpected. This is not to say that we should not experience emotions or feel deeply but they should not control the manner we behave. We must rise above the level of mere emotion. Often emotions such as compassion move us to great action that makes a difference. Other emotions like fear or anger have the means to paralyze us and keep us from action.
Never allow emotions to control your life
Do not fret
When we hear the word fret, we often think of worry or anxiety. The Hebrew word here means to be angered, to give in to rage, or to become furious. Fretting over something means to allow the event, situation or person to generate hostile emotions within you. How often do we sit and stew over something we perceive as a wrongdoing? The longer we allow the situation to simmer in our hearts, the more likely it is to cause us to become angry.
Fretting means to dwell on something so much that we lose objectivity and sensibility. We become overcome by emotion so much that it can control us. When we allow our emotions to control us, we are no longer under the control of God. There will always be things that create emotional responses. Life can be filled with situations that cause sadness, anger, frustration and the like. However, we do not need to be controlled by emotions.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath
Anger is one of the most common of human emotions. Many wrongly believe that anger is automatically sinful but that is not the case. Anger is not sinful but often the behavior that flows from anger is sinful. We are to avoid anger and turn away from wrath. The psalmist says that instead of harboring anger we need to let it go and give it over to God.
There is no possible way for a heart that is filled with anger to be able to embrace the peace of God. The more we hang on to our pain and anger, the more we remove ourselves from the presence of God’s peace. We cannot discover inner tranquility with God and hang on to our inner turmoil. The only way to refrain from anger and turn away from wrath is to let go of the anger.