Contributed by Jeffery Anselmi on May 1, 2020 (message contributor)
Summary: All of us encounter trials, difficulties, and suffering throughout our lives, yet as God’s children we can overcome our challenges through following the example of Jesus.
All of us encounter trials, difficulties, and suffering throughout our lives, yet as God’s children, we can overcome our challenges through following the example of Jesus.
• Are we having fun yet? Isn’t it great to see all the carnage around us, resulting from Covid-19?
• This virus has had an impact on the whole world in one form or another.
• We are all dealing with this issue in various ways, some good and some bad and self-destructive.
• When things get difficult in life, how do you get through the storm? What are your words of advice on how to handle the trials of life?
• We all encounter trials, difficulties, and suffering throughout our lives.
• Jesus himself taught His followers that in this life, we will experience tribulation (John 16:33) and yet told us not to worry about tomorrow because “each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
• Just because we are God’s children, we are not immune to hardships. As followers of Jesus, we do not have a magical force field that surrounds us, deflecting hurts, disappointments, and pain from entering our lives.
• When the world seems to be crumbling around us, how are those who follow Jesus called to deal with the hardships we face?
• Covid-19 is not the same kind of tribulation of which Jesus spoke of when speaking on the subject of tribulation. His focus was mainly on persecution that His followers would face.
• Nonetheless, whether it is Covid-19, health issues, economic issues, the loss of a loved one, whatever the situation might be, how do not only survive the ordeal but thrive?
• In our Flashback series, today we will delve into the subject of Trials.
• In this small but powerful verse in his letter to the Roman church (12:12), Paul provides us with three vital keys to responding to trials and hardships.
• Romans 12:12 offers us a strategy for dealing with the junk in life we do not want to but are forced to face.
• I believe this passage is a timely one for all of us, given the situation we are currently facing.
• Big Idea of the Message: All of us encounter trials, difficulties, and suffering throughout our lives, yet as God’s children we can overcome our challenges through following the example of Jesus.
• Let’s turn to Romans 12:12
Romans 12:12 (CSB)
12Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.
1. I. Rejoice in hope.
• When you are facing a trial in life, what can help get you through the trial? Hope!
• One of the things I believe is upsetting folks concerning the Covid-19 issue we face is that people don’t see any hope for when it will end. In Michigan, armed citizens entered the Capitol building (which is legal there) to protest the overreach of the Governor into the lives of people.
• When we face trials, the lack of hope of seeing the end of the trial can be a depressing thought.
• The media has not helped because all they want to do is push the negative. After all, it keeps people glued to the television.
• Any tidbit of negative information gets pushed across the screen; even pets are to social distance now!
• When you lose hope, you lose the ability to endure.
• On January 13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the Potomac River just after takeoff due to ice on the wings. Washington, D.C. had experienced one of its worst winter storms so the city was in gridlock and emergency vehicles were unable to respond in normal fashion.
• Roger Olian was on his way home from work when he crossed the 14th Street Bridge and encountered the carnage just moments after it had happened.
• Only a handful of passengers survived the plane crash, and they were sure to die in the icy waters if something wasn’t done quickly. Olian didn’t have any physical supplies to help so he gave them the only thing he had, hope.
• He jumped into the water, got as close as he could, and told the victims help was on its way, even though he wasn’t certain they would arrive in time. Amid the bone-chilling water and ice floes,
• Olian spent nearly twenty minutes encouraging them to hang on until help arrived.
• These five survivors would later recall the impact of this sheet metal foreman who, with nothing tangible to offer them for their rescue, kept them alive with his words of hope.
• Maybe Roger Olian remembered the sentiments of Theodore Roosevelt who uttered the following truth just a few blocks away while serving in The White House as our 26th president: “You can’t fight hard unless you think you are fighting to win.”