Summary: The bumps/trials of life seem like things that hinder us and stunt us, but in reality, the bumps are spiritually the only way we can advance the inner life upward. Jacob's frequent troubles enhanced the overcoming nature latent within him.
THE BUMPS ARE WHAT YOU CLIMB ON
1. Doug Scattergood told how he was deployed with the Navy in the Red Sea for several months. Finally he got the chance to go ashore in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
2. He went to a pay-phone on the pier, produced all the change he’d gotten together to make the international call home and fed the change into the phone.
3. At last his seven-year-old answered the phone and said, “Hi Dad! Where are you?” The dad answered, “Dubai.” And his son said, “Ok. Goodbye” and hung up! [Reader's Digest, 3/18]
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” 2 Cor. 4:17.
1. A “bump” is defined as “a light blow or a jolting collision” as of a “nasty bump on the head." Or it can mean a dip or bulge on a level surface, as of a "bump in the road."
2. We speak of difficulties and trials as being “bumps” on the road of life. We all have “rough patches.”
3. So tonight we’re talking about trials and difficulties. Normally these are the kinds of things that get us down, but tonight I want us to look at some positive aspects of trials.
4. I’m making the comparison of trials being like bumps, and the title of this message is “The Bumps Are What You Climb On!” There are four reasons:
I. THE BUMPS KEEP US FRESH AND ALERT
A. THE VALUE OF POTHOLES
1. I really can’t stand potholes. I always grind my teeth when I hit a bad one. There are many reasons.
2. Potholes are bumps that shake us. It’s terrible when you hit a deep pothole; they can even flatten your tire or bend your rim!
3. But in a spiritual sense, sometimes we need a good shaking! Many a sleeping person has had to be shaken awake. We can get so routine that we can expect nothing out of the ordinary. To keep us fresh, sometimes God has to allow a shaking.
4. HUMOR. An old farmer and his wife were driving down the road. He opined, “Honey, you have to admit that I have gotten you safely down all the roads of life.” She replied, “Yes, that’s true. But you sure didn’t miss many of the potholes!”
B. PUTTING YOU ON ALERT: RUMBLE STRIPS
1. Highway departments are very aware that the monotony of driving a long trip can lull drivers into not paying careful attention.
2. So when there a particular section of highway that needs special attention -- construction, road variation, school, plant entrance – transportation experts have developed a tool for getting a driver’s attention.
3. They’re called “Rumble strips.” They are a series of small bumps put on highways which cause the tires to make a loud rumble noise. Immediately drivers are alerted that something is unusual and focus on their driving.
4. We too can be lulled into lethargy by life’s monotony, so God sends us some “rumble strips” of trials, tests to help us rise above our doldrums to active faith and meet the challenge.
II. BUMPS TEST OUR LIVES
A. BUMPS REVEAL WHAT’S INSIDE
1. If you’re in a car and hit a bump, it throws your car around. It TESTS your shocks and suspension. You find out if you’ve gotten a lube job lately; if not, the frame won’t flex as it should.
2. Our Christianity is also “tested” when we get bumped. You’re late and you get behind a slow driver – you can get mad and fume! You’re in a line and a driver forces their way in ahead of you: will you still have your peace/ grace?
3. When temptation comes; when trouble comes – that’s when we’re TESTED. That’s when we see how much Christianity we have.
4. ILLUS. A man was in a restaurant. A waiter came out of the kitchen with a tray, carrying a bowl of soup. The man wondered what kind of soup it was. Just then, someone bumped the waiter and the man found out what kind of soup!
5. It’s the same with us; it’s when we get bumped that we find out what’s really in us!
B. BUMPS SLOW US DOWN
1. One street in my neighborhood has 4 sets of speed bumps. The purpose of those speed bumps is to make drivers slow down!
2. Sometimes that’s why God allows bumps in life to happen to us; we need to slow down! It’s easy to get going at such a breakneck pace that God can’t speak to us.
3. So sometimes He puts speed bumps in our way, so we’ll start spending more time with Him. He loves us that much!