Sermons

Summary: We all go through tough times (whitewater) in life. How do you handle the trouble that comes?

In the boat of life, have you ever felt like all of the big waves were coming straight at you?

Maybe, in a matter of moments, your world was turned upside down. You’ve suddenly gone from calm to chaos, from peace to perplexity.

· The pink slip comes.

· The doctor calls.

· The divorce papers arrive.

· The check bounces.

· The policeman knocks on your door.

How do you find God in the chaos?

We have come to discover how to navigate life’s whitewater, and how to enjoy God’s presence when the waters threaten to overwhelm us.

Most of life is not lived in the still waters.

(Mark 4:35-41) As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let’s cross to the other side of the lake." {36} He was already in the boat, so they started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). {37} But soon a fierce storm arose. High waves began to break into the boat until it was nearly full of water. {38} Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. Frantically they woke him up, shouting, "Teacher, don’t you even care that we are going to drown?" {39} When he woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the water, "Quiet down!" Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. {40} And he asked them, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?" {41} And they were filled with awe and said among themselves, "Who is this man, that even the wind and waves obey him?"

The disciples in this boat had no reason to be afraid. They had already seen Jesus do many wonderful miracles.

Do we do the same thing at times? Maybe we have forgotten what the Bible says.

(Isaiah 43:2) When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression (A feeling of being heavily weighed down in mind or body), you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

God promises to be with us in whatever trouble we go through in life.

How do you interpret the storms and trouble that come your way?

You have the power to interpret every situation that comes into your life. Will it beat you, or will you learn from it.

Can one person ask, “Why is God doing this to me?” while another person would ask, “What does God want me to learn from this?”

Relief pitching ace Donny Moore couldn’t seem to resolve his anguish over losing an American League championship series game many years ago. In a moment of total torment, he shot his wife and then shot himself.

Compare that with Dave Dravecky, who loses not only a game but a career, a livelihood, his pitching arm, and his shoulder. He is energetically rebuilding his life and looking forward to whatever tomorrow might bring. He now runs Outreach of Hope non-profit organization to help people that are suffering.

Is it possible for someone to be physically, emotionally, and financially abused and come out as an extraordinary person?

Is it possible for someone to have wealth, popularity, and power and be miserable?

(Romans 5:3-5) We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. {4} And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. {5} And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

God’s purpose of testing is to make the person more valuable.

· A $5 bar of steel cut into ordinary horseshoes is worth $10.

· A $5 bar of steel cut into needles is worth $350.

· That same bar of steel cut into delicate springs for watches becomes worth $250,000.

If you want to live the good life then you must believe that there is a purpose behind every trouble.

Show pearl necklace. Take an oyster for example. A piece of sand gets lodged in its shell. Instead of getting mad, the oyster begins to cover it with nacre until it become a valuable pearl.

(James 1:2-4) Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. {3} For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. {4} So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.

When your muscles are tested they have a chance to grow. When you lift weights you don’t try to do what is easy.

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