Summary: God wants us to continue on with Him through faith, even when tragedy is all around.
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Declaration of Faith, XI. Of the Perseverance of Saints
Terrell Davis took himself out of the biggest game of his life Super Bowl 32. The Denver Broncos star running back complained of a migraine headache during the first half. He left the field and went to the locker room. The fans couldn’t believe that he was gone. The second half came and TD ran through the tunnel and back out onto the field. His teammates swelled with pride to know he was there. The fans roared with applause to see him on the field, whether he was healthy or not. The Doctors all warned him not to play the rest of the game. Terrell Davis played hurt the rest of the game, but he ended up running for 157 yards, 3TD’s and the MVP trophy.
Folks something that we don’t hear too much of is that sometimes we have to play hurt. You play because your team needs you. Stories are already being made up in the minds of men of why you didn’t finish the game. When you play hurt, you strengthen the team. The team doesn’t have to find a substitute to fill your role.
I’ve heard it said that no one member of the team is more important than the team. When we think that we have become more important than the team then we are
I. Trouble – Daniel 3:13-18 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would never give up on their one true God. King Nebuchadnezzer had the power and would kill them to make a point of his power. He promised them that if they did not bow before his idol of gold that they would not be delivered out of his hand. At this point if you were not steadfast in your faith, you would bow to the idols of gold when your very life was on the line. A girl at Columbine High School was asked if she was a Christian with a shotgun pointed at her head. Knowing that to say, yes would mean certain death. She did not pause nor did she stutter, but boldly proclaimed Jesus as her savior. Cassie Bernall was killed that day. Listen again to the answer of these three young men in verses 16-18.
A. Belief In God – I believe that God will bring me through this. I believe that God has the power and the ability to deliver me out of trouble.
B. But if Not – It is not my belief that will get me out of this trouble but God’s Grace that will gain victory. If God chooses not to deliver me from this trouble, “Be it known unto the, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” This is being steadfast and having perseverance of your faith.
II. Tragedy – II Kings 4:18-26 You must understand that the child in the story was a gift of God to this couple through the word of Elisha. Now the boy has had a heat stroke and died. The mother rushes to Elisha, to speak with him about the child. Many people come running to the church, or the pastor for answers when tragedy strikes, and that is fine, well and good, because I want to be there, but the Shunamite Woman was not like this. She had her husband make an extra room for the prophet Elisha on top of their own house. She fed him and made sure that God’s servant was well taken care of. She loved God and served him with all her heart. This now explains her answer when Elisha’s servant asks her, “Is it well with thee, is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?” She answered in verse 26 an amazing statement. It is well. I was with Mrs. Delia Riddle this past Thursday as she was getting ready for surgery. If you know Mrs. Delia, then you know that she shares all the time, “God’s a Great God.” I didn’t realize the magnitude of this statement in her life, until I talked with Bro. Harry. He said he was there when Mrs. Delia’s son was killed in a tragic accident. Do you know what she said, “God’s a Great God!” He said he was there when she lost her husband. Do you know what she said, “God’s a Great God!” He said he was there when she lost a daughter to cancer. She said, “God’s a Great God.” That is playing even though you are hurt. You have tragedy or trouble in your life right now, why give up on God and the only place you will should find true acceptance.