Summary: This sermon focuses on gaining peace and confidence when the future seems uncertain and worries abound.
We’re in a very appropriate series considering what we just talked about...a series called uncertainty. We live in uncertain times and last week Chad reminded us that this book was written to people who lived in uncertain times. Whether it was Moses leading people out of slavery, or David facing Goliath, Peter preaching to the crowds on Pentecost, all these people lived in times of uncertainty.
And we live in uncertain times too, don’t we? Which means that the Bible is more relevant today, in these times, than any other time in our lives. We should be looking here for answers to the questions we have in or hearts. And one of our biggest questions these days is this - what do I do in uncertain times?
(Do me a favor and somewhere on your sheet, write down the thing or things that you are most worried about, most uncertain about, these days.)
And this is what we learned: (it’s in your notes)
Life is uncertain, but God is not.
That thing you wrote down, is one of the uncertainties of life. Now I want you to remember. Life is uncertain but God is not. That we don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow. No matter what happens, god has the whole world in his hands.
And as Christians, this truth that God is in control should dictate how we respond to crisis. It’s amazing to me how instinctive this can be at times. A lot of you heard about the plane that had to emergency land in the Hudson River a few months ago....the Pilot, captain Sullenberger or "Sully" as they called him, did an amazing job bringing them down on the river without loss of life. ( I was in Dallas this week and got to pilot in one to the flight simulators that southwest Airlines uses to train their 737 pilots. And there is so much detail! It gave me a better appreciation of all he did. After the rescue, they were interviewing the crew about the incident and they asked one of the flight attendants, "so what was everyone doing as the plane went down?" Does anyone know what she said? "Everyone was praying"
Now how do you think that happened? Do you think the captain had to get on and say "This is the captain speaking...in preparation for a crash landing into the Hudson River, we’d encourage all of you to break into groups of two or three and pray that God will intervene in this catastrophe. Have a good day and thank you for flying USAir" You kidding me? No one told them they should pray. They just did it. In times of uncertainty we do some things instinctively. Because in our hearts we know what? God has the whole world in his hands.
But what we should do is not always that clear, Is it? I mean we hope we do the right things...but how do we know? What should we be doing? How should we live in uncertainty? And here is a great question: How do I find peace in the midst of the storm?
Today I want to look a the story of a guy who had to find peace in the midst of the storm. And we are going to see some very practical things that he does to not just survive the storm, but thrive in the midst of it. His name is Hezekiah and you will find the passage in 2 Chronicles 32.
Let me give you some background. In 722 Assyria wipes out the Northern Kingdom of Israel and we never see them again. In 715 BC Hezekiah became king of Judah (the southern kingdom) when he was 25 years old. He grew up in a non-religious family but married the daughter of a prophet named Zechariah, (So he married a preachers kid) and his best friend was a guy named Isaiah, so that kind of gave him more spiritual foundation in his life. He becomes king and the country of Judah had been led away from God in every way. They were worshipping false Gods on the hills, they turned the temple into a storage unit for the kings and their relatives. They had stopped worshipping God, obey God or even acknowledging God. As a result, the whole country was falling apart. Hezekiah becomes king and, for 11 years, cleans house. From 2 Chronicles 29-31 we see story after story of all that Hezekiah did to bring God back to the center of the life of the Jews. The writer says that the transformation of the culture was like nothing ever seen before since David was king 300 years earlier. Then we get to chapter 32.
After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself. 2 Chron. 32:1