6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Paul tells how to receive power for life. 1- Power through prayer 2- Power through Spirit 3- Power through love

INTRO.- ILL.- Three people were arguing about what profession was used first in the bible. The Surgeon says, "The Medical profession was used first when God took a rib from Adam and made Eve.

The Engineer says, "No, engineering was used first. Just think of the engineering job it took to create the world out of chaos. But the Politician says, "You would have nothing if we didn't create chaos in the beginning?”

I think politicians see themselves as men and women of power, but I think most Americans view them as creating chaos in our country. Power is not found in politics. HERE IS REAL POWER.

Who said these words and under what condition? “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21)

It was none other than Job of old and he said these words after losing everything, including his children! Actually, he lost all of his livestock which represented all of his wealth and he lost all ten of his children! And yet, he praised the name of the Lord! How could he do that? How could he praise God after such losses? That’s power in action!

Job 1:22 “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” How could Job not feel badly toward God after losing his wealth and especially, his children?! HOW COULD JOB ENDURE HIS GREAT LOSS?!

Here may be the reason: Job 1:1 “In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”

He feared God and shunned evil. Could these words be said of you? By fearing God Job had the greatest respect for God. No doubt Job walked by faith in God. His faith in God was strong. He knew that God knew best and he was willing to accept whatever God put on him. That’s real power!

He also shunned evil. He did not do evil things in this world and he did attribute evil to God. WHAT A TREMENDOUS FAITH HE HAD! This was how he endured these losses and still praised God!

ILL.- In West Texas is a famous oil field known as the Yates Pool. During the Depression, this field was a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates. Mr. Yates was not able to make enough money on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for clothes or food, his family like many others had to live on a government subsidy.

Day after day, as he grazed his sheep, he wondered how he would be able to pay his bills. Then a seismograph crew from an oil company came into the area and told Mr. Yates that there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.

At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many of the later wells were more than twice as large. Thirty years after the first well was drilled, all the wells still had the potential of pumping 125,000 barrels of oil a day. And Mr. Yates owned it all! The day he purchased the property he received the oil and mineral rights, yet he was living on government assistance. A multi-millionaire living in poverty! What was the problem? He did not know the oil was there. He owned it, but he did not know it!

I think this is similar to us as Christians. I think we have some really good things available to us in Christ but often, we don’t even realize it! And we don’t put these things to use in life. And one of them is the power to overcome obstacles and difficulties in life. Doesn’t this sound good? It is good and it’s from God and it is ours if we’ll just avail ourselves of that power.

PROP.- Paul tells how to receive power for life.

1- Power through prayer

2- Power through Spirit

3- Power through love


16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.

ILL.- Preacher John Wesley said, “I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.” Could this be the reason that he was able to accomplish so much for Christ during his lifetime?

ILL.- John Wesley traveled two hundred and fifty miles a day for 40 years. (not possible. It’s probably more like 17 miles a day. He did ride 250,000 miles in his lifetime) He preached forty thousand sermons (2 or 3 times a day); produced four hundred books; knew ten languages. At eighty-three he was annoyed that he could not write more than fifteen hours a day without hurting his eyes, and at eighty-six he was ashamed he could not preached more than twice a day. He complained in his diary that there was an increasing tendency to lie in bed until 5:30 in the morning.

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