Summary: Even though all bad things originate from Satan, many of our problems come from us because of the choices we make in life. We are more focused on what WE want than on what GOD wants for us.
(The video of this sermon can be seen by going to ... www.cowetanazarene.org/videos.html)
More than anything else, God wants His creation of mankind to be all it can be! That includes our being joyful, blessed, knowledgeable and in love; in love with Him. The last thing He wants is for us to be bogged down with troubles and fear. Throughout the Bible, we see where He is active in helping us, rescuing us, and reaching out to us in every possible way.
And even though He will sometimes allow negative things to happen to people, it is never He who causes them. All negatives come from Satan.
Armed with that knowledge, I entitled today’s message, “the Broken and Hurting”.
Christians are like everyone else in that we experience bad times and times of absolute distress in our lives. In order to get through these devastating times, we need to know there is help available to us, how we can access that help, and it also helps us to know where our troubles come from.
And so, without delay, let us go right into the Word of God and see what He says about all this.
JOHN 10:10 tells us,
“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly.”
In the above passage, the first thing our LORD tells us is that our troubles originate from Satan. Satan hates God and therefore, he hates everything God created, including we humans. And Satan does not want us so he can have the pleasure of spending eternity with us. His only desire for us is to rip something away from God and then to torture it forever.
There are two types of people, spiritually speaking. There are those who have rejected Jesus, and there are those who have accepted Jesus. Satan can easily capture those who have rejected Jesus because apart from Jesus, there is no protection or harbor of safety for us. That leaves us vulnerable and allows Satan the ability to take us.
On the other hand, we have Christians. How can Satan sneak in and destroy us if we are with Jesus? The answer is …. he can’t, but the rest of the answer is …. as long as we are with Jesus.
Jesus promised us that nobody can snatch us out of His hand, or that nobody can force us to leave Him. That is true. However, we have been given a very special gift of God that is called Free Will. We have the ability to make our own decisions based on our own desires.
Mind you, I did not say we will always make the best possible decisions – and we will not always make good decisions. More often than not, we humans make decisions based on nothing more than what we want for the moment, nothing more. And those are the decisions that allow Satan to come in and steal our joy, kill our chances of salvation, and destroy our lives.
Though nobody can force us to walk away from Jesus, we do have the right to choose to do whatever we want at the moment, even if that causes us to walk away on our own volition.
The basic message of the Bible is that even though we do not deserve it, God protects us and His desire is to give us all good blessings. But to get those blessings, we are held responsible for doing what is necessary to get them; or simply put, to obey God’s commands.
We, however, like doing things based on what we want, not on what God wants for us. And that causes us to not always follow God; and because we fail to follow Him, we often experience some very hard times in life.
And what do we do when a major problems comes up? Generally, the first thing we do is try to figure out how we can get rid of it, isn’t it? We jump on the problem and try everything we know to fix that problem, only to find out that there is nothing we can do to make the problem go away. And the last thing we do, after all else fails, is to go to God and ask Him to help us. Wouldn’t it be so much better for us if we were to train ourselves to go to God FIRST?
I said ever bad thing in this world comes from Satan, but not every problem we have is because Satan has thrust it upon us. He puts temptations and sin in front of us all the time, but we must remember he cannot force us to take them. So what do we do? We take our minds off God (we take the armor of God off) and we look at the temptation or sin in front of us and we begin to entertain the idea of enjoying it. Once it is in our minds, it only takes but a moment to drop down into our hearts. And then it becomes very easy to act on our will rather than in God’s will.