6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: THe omniscience of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit’s ministry John 16: 12- 24

Just a couple of weeks ago the date was Friday the thirteenth and as long as I can remember this has always been considered to be an unlucky day. When I lived in Cape Breton as a kid they’d always warn you, be very careful because today is Friday the thirteenth. And if anything went wrong that day they’d always say it was because of the date rather than the fact that you’ve always been unlucky.

There are many popular stories about the origin of Friday the thirteenth. For instance, it was assumed that Judas was the thirteenth guest at the Last Supper and he was the first to leave and somehow they supposed that this led to the Crucifixion. I don’t think so. We do know that the Crucifixion happened on a Friday but we don’t know what the day of the month it was, but since God had pre-ordained both the crucifixion and the timing I don’t think luck had anything to do with it.

Then there are those who claim that the day Eve offered the fruit to Adam was on a Friday although no one has any way of proving this. Then there are others who said that the killing of Abel happened on a Friday even though the Bible doesn’t identify the paticular day of the week when this occurred. And then throughout history there has been events like the claim that King Philip IV had many of the Knights Templar simultaneously arrested on Friday, October 13, 1307 and it was assumed that this action began the legend of the unlucky Friday the 13th. And yet, none of these have been verifiably identified as the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition. You see, the fact is, no one really knows where it started.

In spite of that it’s been estimated that in the U.S around $800 to $900 million is lost in business on Friday the thirteenth because people either will not fly or they refuse to do any business on that day. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they’re simply unable to get out of bed when Friday the 13th rolls around. The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute estimates that more than 17 million people are actually affected by the fear of Friday the thirteenth. A British Medical Journal study has even shown that there is a significant increase in traffic related accidents on Friday the 13ths. There’s actually a name for fear of Friday the thirteenth, it’s called “Paraskevidekatriaphobia.” And basically, the fear of this day is just as irrational as a lot of other sayings that have come down through the ages. Let me give you a few that we’re already familiar with.

• An apple a day keeps the doctor away

• To find a four-leaf clover is to find good luck

• If you walk under a ladder, you will have bad luck

• If a black cat crosses your path you will have bad luck

• If you open an umbrella in the house you get bad luck

• If you find a horseshoe the very act will bring you good luck

• Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back

• It is bad luck to sing at the table

• It is bad luck to chase someone with a broom

• If you throw rice on a bride at a wedding it’s good luck

• If you break a mirror it’s seven years bad luck

• If you whistle indoors you’ll whistle all your money away

• Spilling salt is bad luck but if you throw some over your left shoulder and that will restore your luck and protect you from the evil forces

I And here’s my favorite, now listen carefully, a left rear rabbits foot that’s carried in the left pocket that was removed from a rabbit during the full moon by a cross-eyed person is truly lucky. By the way I should point out that the luck is only extended to the one with the paw in his pocket and does nothing for the rabbit that’s limping around town.

There are all kinds of sayings by which a person determines the quality of their luck and I think that many of these are just as valid as some of the philosophies that people hold to explain away the truth.

There are three deceptive philosophies that are going around and they can be summed up in two words and they are truth decay. They’re all philosophies that have caused us to question whether or not there is such a thing as truth.

The first deceptive philosophy is individualism. And individualism means that I live for myself and that only I can be the standard for my life; that only I can judge what is really true and that neither you and nor anybody else has the right to tell me what’s right or what’s wrong. Individualism means that ultimately, I am my own god and I get to set the standards for my life. The rugged individualist lives by the saying, who are you to tell me what to do? And he or she has the same motto as the song by Frank Sinatra who sang, “I did it my way.”

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