Summary: Have you ever found yourself on the threshold of surrender? Have you ever been at the point of discarding you faith by the side of the road or requesting an extended leave of absence from God’s army?
"Jolted, jilted, hammered in a car crash and robbed, Lawrence Hanratty was named Friday as the unluckiest man in New York.
"Nearly electrocuted in a construction site accident in 1984 that put him in a coma for weeks, Hanratty lost the lawyers fighting for his liability claim --one was disbarred, two died--and his wife ran off with her lawyer.
"Hanratty, who spent years fighting heart and liver disease, had his car wrecked in a crash last year. When police left the scene of the accident, he was held up and robbed.
"’I say to myself, ’How much more am I going to be tested in life to see how much I can endure?’’ Hanratty told the New York Daily News in a description of more than ten years of agony.
"As if he hasn’t tolerated enough hardship, 38 year old Hanratty of Mt. Vernon, NY, said an insurance company now wants to cut off his worker’s compensation benefits and his landlord has threatened to kick him out of his apartment.
"Depressed and suffering from agoraphobia, a fear of open spaces, Hanratty uses a canister of oxygen and takes 42 pills a day for his heart and liver ailments. But with help from neighbors and a New York state assemblyman, he is not giving up yet.
"’There’s always hope’, he said."
Printed in the Los Angeles Times March 19, 1995 page a28.
Have you ever found yourself on the threshold of surrender? Have you ever been at the point of discarding your faith by the side of the road or requesting an extended leave of absence from God’s army? Most of us would have to say Y E S!
Let me set the scene that leads us to Psalms 71. You well remember David and his notorious affair, and then the murder of Urriah. Maybe you have heard or read about the rape of his daughter Tamar by his son Amnon, and then of Amnon’s death. Now his son Adonijah is attempting to steal the throne of the king which has been promised to Solomon. David’s nightmares continue.
David was probably asking "I have served you so long, Lord, why do I get such a reward as this?" Yet, David knew he had made many mistakes, yes, he had sinned. And those sins would bring consequences that would be played out in his own life, the life of his family and even in his kingdom.
As Christians we don’t have a "Get out of pain and suffering free" card. In the day when many preachers are talking about a sufferingless gospel, many of God’s choicest people are born out of great trials, testings and sufferings.
Let’s Look At:
I. The Reality of Trials
Everyone one of us are subject to trials because of:
A. Ungodly foes. vs. 4
B. Uncertain futures. vs. 9
C. Unfaithful friends. vs. 10-13
D. Unequalled Heavenly Father vs. 19-20
II. The Result of Trials
A. Our vulnerability vs. 7
B. Our insecurity vs. 9
C. Our dependency
D. Our emergency vs. 12
III. The Response of our Trials
A. Remember the Character of God. vs 8, 18, 22
1. He never changes
2. He is never not in control
3. He never has a smaller portion of love
B. Review the Compassion of God vs. 4-6
C. Rejoice in Celebration of God.
D. Renew your consecration to God.
E. Reclaim your confidence in God.