Summary: *I am going through a rough time in life, and I need someone to strengthen me. Jesus Christ can give you all the strength you will ever need.
Jesus Can 2007
Part 3: Jesus Can Strengthen Me.
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Feb. 4, 2007
*I’ve lost my job. I’ve gotten a bad report from the doctor. My mate has let me down. My child is in trouble. I have miserably failed. I am going through a rough time in life, and I need someone to strengthen me. Jesus Christ can give you all the strength you will ever need.
1. Let Jesus strengthen you today by His close presence. Paul reminded us of the Lord’s presence in vs. 4&5, when he said, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”
*The Lord is at hand. God is never far away from you. In Psalm 139:7-10, David spoke to the Lord about this wonderful truth and said, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.”
*Psalm 46:1-2 tells us that, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”
*The even more wonderful truth is that if you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit of Christ is literally living in your heart right now. Believers, Jesus is not just in Heaven today. He is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col 1:27). And the more we realize this truth, the stronger we will be.
*Frank Laubach and his wife were missionaries who went to the Philippines in 1915. They started churches and worked among the Muslims on the island of Mindanao.
-One of the greatest life-changing moments in Frank’s life happened in January of 1930, when he began to cultivate the habit of turning his mind to Christ for one second out of every minute.
-After only four weeks he reported, “I feel simply carried along each hour, doing my part in a plan which is far beyond myself. This sense of cooperation with God in little things is what so astonishes me, for I never have felt it this way before. I need something, and turn round to find it waiting for me. I must work, to be sure, but there is God working along with me.” (1)
2. Let Jesus strengthen you today by His close presence, and by His promise of peace. God promises to give you His peace in vs. 6&7, where the Word of God says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
*Let me tell you something about the peace that passes understanding: It’s real, and God will give it to you as you cast your cares on Him. Linda Washington found this out a few years ago in a memorable way. Linda was going through a very frustrating time in her life. She felt like her prayers were not being heard by God, and she began to get angry with God. It was beginning to keep her from praying at all.
*But on Election Day of that year, Linda showed up at the polling place early. As she was waiting, a man came up to Linda, and out of the blue, he asked, "Are you saved?"
-Linda was a little stunned by the stranger’s bluntness, but she answered, "Yes."
-Then the stranger continued, "Do you think God doesn’t hear your prayers?"
-Linda hesitated, but replied, "Sometimes."
*The stranger responded, "Well, God’s got big ears."
-Then he turned and wandered off into the crowd.
*That brief encounter made a big difference in Linda’s life. She was strongly reassured that God does indeed hear our prayers. (2)
*Today let me be the one to tell you, God’s got big ears! So, tell Him what’s on your heart. Tell Him with a trusting, thankful heart. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
3. Let Jesus Christ strengthen you today by His promise of peace, and by His learning process. Notice the learning Paul talked about in vs. 8-13:
8. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things.