Summary: Sermon Series helping people to look at the lives of 3 people in the Bible; Jacob, David, and Peter to see that even when all looks hopeless, God can still turn the situation around. All 3 messages build off 3 Main Points: 1. The Test 2. The Travail
We are living in tremendously challenging times as we look around and see things happening on a daily basis around the world that does not seem to “make sense”, and even as Christians we are prone to look at the “bad news” without giving much thought to the good news.
The Bible makes it clear that we are going to have trials and difficulties in this world, but also provides a ray of sunshine in the midst of the difficulty.
John 16:33 - These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
I don’t know about you, but there are simply times that I do not understand the ways of God!
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
We as Christians must have a level of trust that exceeds our doubts, calms our fears, and gives hope even in situations that seem hopeless.
Some people live by their daily horoscope, others by the daily issue of the Wall Street Journal, still others live by their feelings, and others just live to survive another day.
I believe that if there is any group of people today that need to show and exude confidence, it is the Christian because we live by the never-changing Word of Almighty God!
It is amazing that there are times we feel that for some reason we are the only ones going through the trial, and that somehow God has continued the journey forgetting that we are still in the boat!
For the next 3 weeks, I want to preach a series of messages entitled, “How To Stand When You Do Not Understand”.
In other words, how can I keep the faith even as others are seemingly losing out with God, and I am being tempted to do the same?
What lessons can be learned from the Word of God that will cause me to take comfort and strength in the God of yesterday, and believe that He is still the same God today as He always has been?
Today, we are going to look at the life of Jacob as we preach on:
STANDING IN THE MIDST OF FAILURE
Next Sunday, we are going to look at the life of Peter and:
STANDING IN THE MIDST OF FAITHLESSNESS
On the following Sunday, we are going to look at the life of David and:
STANDING IN THE MIDST OF FEAR
In each one of these cases, we see there are 3 elements to each difficulty and trial these men of God went through:
1. The Test
2. The Travail
3. The Triumph
I believe that we too are confronted with moments of Failure, Faithlessness and Fear, and that we too will go through The Test, The Travail, and IF we stay true to God, The Triumph!
How do we avoid getting swept away with the current? How can we stay true even when God doesn’t seem to make sense to us and our own actions do not testify to the truth we really believe?
The very first area we are going to look at today is
STANDING IN THE MIDST OF FAILURE
When we think about the men and women in the Word of God, we often do not think of the word “failure”, however, we need to know that on more occasions than not, each one dealt with areas of failure in their lives just like you and I.
There is not one of us here today that enjoy failing at something we are attempting to accomplish, however, as sure as we are breathing, we are going to fail at many of the things we attempt to do.
I have said it before, but in Major League baseball, if a batter fails to get a hit 7 out of 10 times, he still may have the opportunity to make it to the Hall of Fame.
One of the greatest tricks of the enemy is to convince the Christian that if they have tried and failed at something in the past whether it be in family, or ministry, or relationships on the job, then they are doomed to “be” a failure for the remainder of their lives.
We’re going to look at a very “human” human by the name of Jacob today. We are going to see the Test he went through, as well as the Travail, and of course the Triumph at the end.
First of all today, we see:
I. THE TEST – Jacob Deceives His Family
The Bible makes it very clear right from the outset that this little tyke that was born as part of the twin duo of Jacob and Esau was going to be a challenge.