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Summary: "There are only two constants in the world: Christ and change." -Lyle Schaller

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“THE ‘IFS’ OF LIFE

By: Dr. Dennis Deese – www.dennisdeese.com

JOHN 11:16-57

John Tomlin is remembered as the first victim of the Columbine massacre to be buried. The death of this bright and ambitious young man left immeasurable hurt in the heart of his parents, John and Doreen. Mrs. Tomlin a deeply committed Christian, shared her story of pain in Today’s Christian Woman. The intensity of her grief is felt as she told of a two-week period where she just sat in her son’s room. She left everything exactly as it had been the morning of April 20, 1999. During this time she simply held and rocked his clothes. She so longed for his return that she frequently asked herself, "Am I going crazy?" Her journey through grief obviously has not been easy, but she notes, "I’ve experienced God’s comfort in a deeper way than ever before. He hasn’t taken away the pain of grieving, but he has become my partner in it." She went on to say, "I know I face a long road ahead, but I know that God will give me what I need in abundant measure." Grief can indeed lead us down a long and difficult road that sometimes causes us to wonder if we’re going crazy, but with God as our partner we will find what we need in abundant measure.

"There are only two constants in the world: Christ and change." --Lyle Schaller

"Without God we face a hopeless end; with God we can experience endless hope." - Anonymous

The heart of aches of life produce many speculations about God. We most often question God in many different respects because of our doubt. How do you gain assurance that’s greater than doubt? What assurances can over come the driving forces of doubt? You’ve got to trust in prioritize and be committed to:

1. GOD’S CONTROL 11:4; 49-51

While serving as a missionary for the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, Lanette Thompson provided an insightful truth about trust. Because Africa is not a safe environment, she was regularly approached by people who said, "In order for you to go to West Africa, I guess you just have to trust in God’s protection." Her response is shocking but true. She has answered this question by stating, "I can showyou the grave of a fifteen-year-old missionary’s child who died of hepatitis and a four-year-old who died of malaria. If my trust were in God’s protectlan my trust would crumble under such circumstances. My trust is in God, in the belief that he is in control and that whatever happens will happen for his lory." We can mistakenly place our trust in God’s protection rather than God himself The results of such misplaced trust will ultimately lead to spiritual disillusionment. Your Church on Mission with God, Oct. 2000, p. 2

Psalms 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

Exodus 15:18 The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.

2 Chronicles 20:G And said, O LORD God of our fathers, [art] not thou God in heaven? and rulest [not] thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand [is there not] power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Job 12:13 With him [is] wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.

Psalms 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

Proverbs 3:19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

1 Chronicles 29:12 Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all.

Psalms 93:4 The LORD on high [is] mightier than the noise of many waters, [yea, than] the mighty waves of the sea.

2. GOD’ S WILL 11:4,40,45&47-48

"To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge. To do the will of God is the greatest achievement." -George W. Truett

In 1996, contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Cindy Morgan arrived for a series of concerts in Los Angeles. As she unpacked her clothes for that evening’s concert, she discovered her dress was terribly wrinkled. A woman helping with the concert set out to find an iron. She was sent to a church staff member’s house with a key and instructions as to where she would find the ironing board. To her horror, she entered the house only to find the teenage dauahter was home with a loaded gun She was about to commit suicide when the woman arrived. Through quick thinking, a cool head, and the presence of God, she was able to talk the troubled teen into dropping the gun and returning with her for help. In response to God’s miraculous intervention, Cindy Morgan said, "to rescue a life he wrinkled a dress." Christian Reader, Jan./Feb. 2000, p. 79

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