Summary: How does the beleiver respond when it seems like the bottom has fallen out in his life spiritually, financially or emotionally?
What to Do When the Bottom Falls Out
Intro: Share story of falling into the man hole.
Sometimes we feel that way
Job is certainly a prime example of this.
I was reading in the book of Isaiah this week and I found, almost hidden, a very simple formula to follow when we find our selves suddenly on the pavement trying to figure out what in the world has taken place.
The Title of my message this evening is…
What to do When the Bottom Falls Out
Read Isaiah 35:3-4
I. WHAT TYPICALLY HAPPENS WHEN THE BOTTOM FALLS OUT?
1. Weak Hands
As I plunged 5 feet in less than ½ a second, I caught myself with my elbows and my hands.
My left wrist is still sore from the experience.
The word weak as it appears here means slack, not busy or active, remiss, neglectful.
When the bottom falls out from under us in an area of our lives, if we are not careful, the first thing to suffer is our service to Christ.
I can’t tell you the people that I have invited to church that tell me, “Well preacher, things are pretty messed up in my life right now. But if things ever get back to normal, I’ll come pay you a visit.”
It’s difficult for me to understand that. It is in the house of God where they will be able to get things together.
Christians do the same thing. We suffer a setback and the first thing to go is the ministry we are involved in at church.
Why is that?
When the bottom falls out, we tend to get weak hands.
2. Feeble Knees
Illus.: Bursitis in my knee
Feeble knees can debilitate you.
The word feeble means to totter or waver, to falter, stumble, faint or fall.
When the bottom fall out on us they may happen to us as well.
Especially if we allow it to keep us out of church.
We begin to question the things we once just took as a given. We begin to question God’s care for us.
Our faith can certainly be shaken.
Illus.: Tom Beckemeyer – Faith still strong despite the bottom falling out.
3. Fearful Heart
I don’t need to tell you the fear that struck me as I plunged beneath the sidewalk.
The word fearful here carries with it the idea of being hasty or headlong.
When the bottom falls out, fear is the knee-jerk reaction. We begin to wait for the other shoe to fall.
On September 11, 2001, the bottom fell out on America. Many now live in fear as to what will happen next. They are waiting for that other shoe to fall.
II. WHAT IS NEEDED WHEN THE BOTTOM FALLS OUT?
Again, the formula is clear from the word of God. There are three things that are absolutely necessary during times when the bottom falls out from under us.
1. Encouraging Hands
The word strengthen here means “to make bold, to sustain, or to encourage.”
Someone said once, “Encouraging is pouring courage into someone who needs it.”
When the bottom falls out there is nothing more helpful than encouraging hands.
I see a two-fold application here.
a. If we know someone on whom the bottom has fallen out, we need to have encouraging hands.
That’s what this body of believers is all about. Looking for those around us who may be going through a particularly difficult time, and seeking for ways to encourage them.
b. When the bottom falls out in our life, we need to have encouraging hands.
The easiest thing in the world when the bottom fall out is for us to sit and feel sorry for ourselves.
Get up and find someone else to encourage. And you’ll discover a wonderful thing. While you re trying to encourage them, you’ll find yourself encouraged.
2. Circumspect Knees
The word confirm in verse 3 means to be courageous, bold, and alert.
In other words, to be circumspect.
If I had been paying closer attention that day, perhaps I could have avoided the problem in the first place.
Maybe I would have seen some cracks in the manhole and thought better of stepping on it.
I’ll tell you one thing, it’s taught me to watch where I’m going in the future. I don’t step on too many man holes at all any more.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Be on the lookout for Satan and his devises. Determine not to be a target.
To walk circumspectly mean to walk diligently looking all around not leaving a stone unturned.
To give us a better idea of the impact of this word, let’s look at another place where it is used.