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Summary: Observations and comparisons from the rescue of 33 miners in Chile to the "rescue" God extends to us.

Seven Spiritual Lessons from a Remarkable Rescue 10/17/10

I. Introduction

I think most of you realize, if you’ve been coming to Cornerstone for any length of time, that I’m not a “front page” preacher. I typically don’t grab the events from this week’s news and then somehow wrestle them and manipulate them into a Sunday morning message.

One: I pray and truly seek God’s direction as to what He would want to speak into my life and what He would desire I share with you so He can speak into your lives as well.

Two: Preaching from “news events” is always a dangerous idea because time has not allowed us gain true perspective.

This week, however, something has happened that I could not ignore…matter of fact it’s a

story that has captured the attention of the entire world.

This past week, 33 miners in Chile, were dramatically rescued after spending 70 days

trapped nearly ½ mile underground in a gold and copper mine. And as I watched this story unfold back on August 5th and finally come to a dramatic end this past week, I was struck by the many spiritual analogies and applications for us in this story.

Here are some of the spiritual truths God pressed upon my heart through the ordeal these

men and their families experienced.

II. Body

1. Sometimes, Through No Fault Of Our Own, Our World Collapses.

A. We’ve kind of touched on this thought through past lessons, but the reality we have to come to accept in this world is that bad things…unplanned things… unpleasant things…happen all the time.

1. Jesus said in Matthew 5:45 that rain falls “on the just and on the unjust.”

2. We should never be so naïve to think that just because we’re a child of God that hard and difficult things won’t touch our lives.

3. I’ve shared with many of you before, my deep love for the Book of James. It’s kind of God’s “No Nonsense Handbook” for the Christian life…and in just the 2nd verse of this letter written to fellow believers, we are met with this healthy dose of reality… “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials…”

a. Recognize what James didn’t say, he didn’t say “if you fall into various trials,” he said when.

• It’s not a matter of “if” the trials will come…it’s a matter of “when.”

4. Remember what Jesus said to His Church, His closest, most dedicated followers, the night He would be betrayed and arrested? John 16:33b “In the world you will have tribulation…”

5. James clarifies what kinds of trials and tribulations we can expect when he uses the word “various.” “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials…”

a. For those of you that were here when I taught through the Book of James…do you remember what this word “various” means? The Greek word is “Poikilos” – it’s the word from which we get our term “polka dot.”

b. So what do you think James was telling us about the kind of trials we can expect, when he said, Count it all joy when you fall into “polka dotted” trials? He was telling us that we can expect our lives to be spattered with trials of all shapes and sizes.

Seven Spiritual Lessons from a Remarkable Rescue – p. 2

B. So, we know that trials will come. They are inevitable. We also know that they’re going to come at us in a variety of shapes and sizes. What else does James tell us about trials? James 1:3-4 …knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (endurance). But let patience (endurance) have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

1. What do we learn about trials in these two verses? They have a purpose!

a. But before we can ever grasp what the purpose of the trial that we’re going through is, we have to stop viewing trials as an annoyance and start seeing them as tests – tests specifically designed by God to stretch our faith, not simply our pocketbooks, our friendships, or our health.

1) Rather than viewing our trials as enemies, we should look at these tests as servants that bring about the circumstances that we need in order to help us grow.

b. Let me share a truth with you God wants you to let penetrate your heart and your mind this morning…God is not interested in watching your faith and my faith get torpedoed by trials. What He does desire becomes clear when we understand the meaning of the word testing (v.3).

c. What does the word “testing” mean? This word comes from the Greek term dokimos, which means “approval.”

1) It’s a word found on the undersides of many ancient pieces of pottery unearthed by archeologists in the Near East. This mark meant that the piece had gone through the furnace without cracking; it had been approved.

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