Sermons

Summary: During this holiday season minor problems seem to grow

Some people are strongly affected by the “Christmas Blues.” Minor problems seem to grow in magnitude during this season which should be devoted to 'glad tidings and joyfulness.

It seems we've all have some problems from time to time. I'm not talking about trivial things like; what should you buy Aunt Alice for Christmas or which new game your Grandson wants?

Everyone, even God's chosen people experience problems. Many of the main biblical characters faced serious problems. Some overcame their problems – some didn't.

In the NIV, ISV, and ERV versions of the Bible, the word 'problem' word shows several times. Though the KJV Bible doesn’t use the word 'problem', we often find similar words or phrases, such as what aileth you, brokenhearted, despaired, discouraged, miserable, sorrows, and troubles, among others.

From Genesis to Revelation there are a number of narratives about godly, influential men and women of faith, who struggled and battled through dark times, troubles, and problems.

It would be fair to say that oftentimes the source of those difficulties was from our own evil desires. (James 1:14) Or can we assign our problems to the works and influences of Satan.

Eve's problem was she was too easily deceived and Adam problem was he didn't exercise the necessary strength of character to be responsible as the head of the family.

Cain was afflicted with such a monumental jealousy that he murdered his brother.

Noah, at one time, the last righteous man on earth became a drunkard and exposed his nudity.

Job, the epitome of faith in the midst of troubles and sorrows, suffered from a nagging, faithless wife who wanted him to curse God. (Job 2:9)

Eli, the ruler over Israel, was a hopelessly incompetent father who lost his sons to immorality – so the Lord decided to kill them. (1 Samuel 2)

Then we learn that Saul, the first and powerful king of Israel, was apparently a psychotic with explosions of anger, suffered deep depressions and paranoia to the extent that he committed suicide. (1 Samuel 16, 18, 19, 31)

King David, conspired in his adultery by directing the murder of Uriah the husband of Bathsheba. (2 Samuel 11)

Even the children of today know of Jonah's problems. When Jonah ignored God's plan by sailing off in a different direction, this rebellious act caused him to be swallowed up by a great fish and to be vomited up, three days later. After all that trouble, he still had to walk 500 miles to deliver God's message to the transgressors and wrongdoers in Nineveh.

Sometimes, even the very will of God seems to be problematic. The Lord’s first message to Hosea was “Go, marry a prostitute who has had children as a result of her prostitution. Do this because the people in this country have acted like prostitutes—they have been unfaithful to the Lord.” Hosea was instructed to marry her according to God's Divine appointment. (Hosea 1:2)

Whole families have brought problems on themselves by living contrary to God's Word. Consider Abraham, Sara, Hagar, Ishmael, and Isaac. Sarah thought Abraham could fulfill God's promise of a first born son by subterfuge.

So, by Abraham, the slave woman Hagar gave birth to Ishmael. “And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him . .” ( Genesis 16:11-12)

After Abraham's wife Sara gave birth to Isaac, her jealousy drove Hagar and her son away. Later, God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Wow! We can see the problems there.

Then, as an adult, Isaac himself fought against God’s will. His wife, the captivating Rebekah, knew God’s promise was that her son would be blessed, yet she devised a scheme to trick Isaac. Jacob was talked into being an ally in this transgression. (Genesis 25:28; 27:6-10) Because Jacob went to his blind Father lying and pretending to be Esau, he became a sinful deceiver with the full cooperation of his mother. (Genesis 27:12,19) Rebekah tried to get what she wanted in an imperfect, corrupt way.

Esau was guilty of bartering away his birthright and wanting to slay his brother. Esau was angry to the extent of wanting to commit murder. (Genesis 27:41)

Both Abraham and Isaac had problems because both lied by saying that their wife was their sister. We never learned if either Abraham nor Isaac recognized the gravity of their sin and fully repented of it.

Every member of that dysfunctional family had problems, each doing something wrong! But God was implementing His wondrous plans and all things were, and are, to be done His way.

We should all beware of the consequences of trying to circumvent God's will.

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