Summary: Message about finishing the race and pressing on inspite of our falures and the times when we struggle in our life.

“Trouble Tree”

Introduction: Philippians 4:11-13


I heard a story of a man named John who hired a plumber to help him restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton truck refused to start. While John drove the plumber home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited John in to meet his family. As the two men walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked John to the car. As they passed the tree and curiosity got the better of John he asked him about what he had seen him do earlier."Oh, that’s my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again." "Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

1. Were do we hang our problems?

A. Mathew 11:29

B. The ground is level at the foot of the cross; we can hang our burdens on that tree.

C. We can learn a lot from the story of the plumber. He is a simple man who, at some point in his life he discovered that his burdens could be hung in his “problem tree”.

D. John 14:27

E. He didn’t promise that we wouldn’t have troubles or that there wouldn’t be work.

1. Jesus did, however, give us a lasting peace, real peace, which leads to contentment.

2. He said, “Not as the world gives” you see the world promises peace but only deliver sorrow, it promise relief, but only gives pain.


There were two large drinking glasses set out on a counter. Both had ice steaming from the rim and were that very thick kind of crystal, you know the kind you can’t see through, well there were two men who had been working hard in a field and came inside for a drink. Each man took a glass and put it to his dry, chapped lips and tipped the glass up and swallowed with great force. One mans thirst was quenched and one man became angry and frustrated because he didn’t receive anything to drink. Both glasses looked enticing, but the one was empty. It held great promise, but delivered nothing. The world offers us things like alcohol, sex, money, and other things that while they look very good at the start only end in trouble and despair. We can drink from the cup of the world for day’s weeks and years and never be satisfied, but like the other man who drank deep from the cooling and refreshing drink and was satisfied we can also choose to drink of the things that God has for us, things that bring fulfillment to the soul and lasting deep peace for the heart and lasting healing to our lives.

2. What then is the source of this peace?

A. John 4:7-14

B. Sin is fun…for a time. It’s enticing like a trap baited with sweet perfume. It’s like a promise never fulfilled or a check that bounces for insufficient funds. You see, sin and worldly pleasures empty promises that never deliver what they initially offer.

C. Philippians 1:21

D. Paul recognized the source of peace is Christ living in us. Nothing short a personal relationship with a risen and glorified savior will satisfy our longing for peace and our desire for contentment. And until we are peace in our own hearts, the peace that only Christ can bring, how can we ever be at peace with our friends…with our families…and in our lives…

E. To get to the end of the race, we must start at the beginning. To climb a mountain, we always have to start at the base.

F. Mathew 6:19

G. God desires good things for us, but first and most importantly, he desires mercy, love, and that we are not filled with fear or despair, we have to start at the heart of the matter. Which in this matter is our heart.

3. What do I have to do to have this peace

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