Sermons

Summary: What do you do when your world is turned upside down and everything seems to have gone wrong? What confronted Mary with the news that she’d bear the Messiah. Mary’s life became unscripted what did she do? When your life becomes unscripted what do you do?

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN EVERYTHING GOES SOUTH?

Video clip: Life of Mary: Unscripted (BluefishTV)

Introduction: What do you do when your world is turned upside down? When everything seems to have gone wrong? Consider what confronted Mary as a young teenager with the announcement that she would bear the Messiah. We like to think that there were no conflicts or struggles facing her. The truth is Mary’s world was thrown into a state of chaos. She was a pregnant unmarried teenager. Who would believe her story? All of her plans were now altered. As Mary’s life became unscripted what would she do? When your life becomes unscripted and everything goes south what do you do?

I. We have plans, hopes, dreams, aspirations that often come crashing down all around us.

A. Sometimes things don’t always go to plan! There is a famous saying that says “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

B. A young teenager with a promising future announces that she is pregnant.

C. A woman who has tried to have a baby for years becomes pregnant only to miscarry in her first trimester.

D. A man planning for retirement, shortly before reaching retirement loses his job.

E. A couple plans to spend their golden years happily traveling when one suddenly comes down with cancer and dies.

F. All your life you have prided yourself on keeping physically fit but you have just been told by doctors that you have contracted a painful and debilitating disease which has no known cure.

G. Job is the perhaps the prime example of all these calamities occurring at once. All of a sudden in an instant all of Job’s dreams, hopes, and plans came to a halt as his world came crashing down around him. He suffered financial reversal, the death of his immediate family, his place in society, his influence, and his health. His dreams died. His dreams fled.

H. Langston Hughes wrote:

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

- Langston Hughes, "Dreams," from Collected Poems (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994) © 1994 by the Estate of Langston Hughes

I. Listen to his reaction as recorded in Job 1:20, “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped.”

II. When everything goes south on us what is our reaction?

A. Anger

1. A man wrote “I ... am going blind(very slowly). I have read just about everything on healing, studying the Bible through a number of times and yet I become sicker by the day instead of better. My wife and I lost our daughter before she was born and we prayed and stood firm with confidence I did not know I had and yet she is gone. Now I am suffering with fits of rage... I go to a great church and they along with many others have prayed many, many times for me and it only seems to get worse... My problem is that I feel like giving up. I can’t understand how a God who loves us so much allows His children to suffer so much. I know that the life of a Christian will not be a bowl of cherries but there is only so much a person can take. I have great anger towards God for making it so difficult to hear from Him. – copied

2. Psalms 13:1 - 2 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

B. Worry

1. Worry is fear’s extravagance. It extracts interest on trouble before it comes due. It constantly drains the energy God gives us to face daily problems and to fulfill our many responsibilities.

2. Bobby McFerrin’s song “Don’t Worry Be Happy” begins with “In every life we have some trouble. When you worry you make it double. Don’t worry. Be happy.”

3. A 52-year-old sales manager for a middle-sized corporation suddenly felt his security threatened. Two junior executives had been steadily moving up the promotional ladder and his position represented the next plateau of success. When his annual vacation came due, out of fear and worry he told his boss that he planed to stay on the job. From that time on, he became obsessed with work. He not only passed up his vacation, but he also began to work late at night and on weekends. He soon had trouble at home; nightly quarrels with his wife in direct proportion to his accelerated work schedule. Soon his work was affected. Errors showed up, appointments were forgotten; there were daily flare-ups with fellow employees. After he turned down a second vacation, his wife announced that she would file for divorce. Three days later, his marriage and career both shattered, he went to the basement of their spacious home and took his life. - http://www.gbgm-umc.org/saratogaspringsumc/Sermon.htm

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