Summary: All of us are faced with problems. We must have a right spiritual focus in order to overcome.

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Jude 17-23

INTRO.- Is life ever stressful? Do we ever experience problems and pain in life? I say, when don’t we?

ILL.- A violinist was told by a surgeon that he needed an operation "But, doctor," said the violinist, "I

have concerts booked ahead. If you operate, can I be assured that I’ll be able to play the violin in two


"Absolutely," said the surgeon, "the last patient on whom I performed this operation was playing a harp

within 24 hours."

ILL.- One man said, "After receiving the news that our son had been born, both sets of grandparents arrived at the hospital together. Just getting out of the car was quite an ordeal since all four were in various stages of recovery from knee operations and hip replacements. As the four hobbled toward the

hospital entrance using canes and walkers, my mother said, ’Mercy! I hope they don’t admit us before

we get to the maternity ward.’"

ILL.- A lady said to a friend one day, "I spend 40 percent of our income on food, 30 percent for housing, 30 percent for clothing, and 20 percent for transportation and incidentals." The friend replied,

"But that makes 120 percent." With resignation in her voice, the lady said, "DON’T I KNOW IT!"

Brethren, is life ever stressful or stress-filled? You bet and for a variety of reasons: health problems,

children, the possibility of death on the horizon, financial difficulties, etc.

ILL.- Marshall Hayden, a preacher from Columbus, Ohio, wrote an article several years ago entitled, "Would every non-hurting member please stand up?" He went on to point out that people who come to church may put on their best clothes and their best smiles, BUT MANY OF THEM ARE STILL HURTING PEOPLE. He wrote, "Think your way around the where the saints gather on the Lord’s Day.

- Over there is a family with an income of $550 and an outgo of $1000. (that might be stretching it a bit, but you get the idea)

- There are two children in one family who, according to their parents, are failures.

- The lady in the back pew just tested positive for cancer.

- Sam and Jane just had a nasty fight. In fact, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Each one is

thinking seriously about divorce.

- Last Monday Jim learned that he is going to be laid off from work at the end of the week.

- Sarah has tried to her best to cover the bruises her drunken husband inflicted when he came home last Friday night.

- The Smith’s little girl has a hole in her heart and needs surgery."

Brother Hayden went on to write, "there are the lonely, the dying, the bankrupt, the exhausted, and

others who are at the mercy of forces beyond their control. They’re all there. And there are those of

us with lesser hurts, but they don’t seem like small hurts to us: tired from being overweight and run to

death, an income that barely covers the essentials, an indifferent and unalert spouse, a boring job, poor

grades, a friend who is not much of a friend anymore, parents who don’t understand and don’t seem to


Brother Hayden wrote, "You can travel down every pew in every church and find some hurting people." Isn’t that the truth?

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