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Summary: This message from the life of the children of Israel shows us what to do when difficulties come our way as a believer.

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What do you do with the Hard things in Life?

Deuteronomy 27:1-8

The story is told of a little boy who went to the grocery store and asked the clerk

for a box of laundry detergent. The clerk was very impressed at such a little guy taking on the

responsibilities of helping his mom with the household chores. So he said to the boy “Well that is

mighty grown up of you to be wiling to help your mother out with the washing. Well the little guy

wanted to set the record straight so he told the clerk, “Oh, I’m not going to use it to wash

clothes, I need it for my dog.” The clerk was a little concerned at that point and so he said “Don’t

you think this detergent might be a little strong for washing a dog?” The little boy replied, “Well,

that’s what I want, he’s a mighty dirty dog.” So the boy took the box of detergent home, and

about a week later returned. Well the clerk recognized him and asked him about his dog. The little

boy said “O my dog is dead” The clerk was shocked “Oh that’s so terrible, I guess that laundry

detergent was too strong after all.” The little boy thought for a minute and said “No, I don’t think

it was the detergent that got him, I think it was the rinse cycle.” Have you ever gone through a

time in your life when you felt like you had been through the wringer. I think all of us have, and

sometimes those times feel like they are ganging up on us, it’s just one thing right after another. I

have to be real honest with you this morning , I experienced a time like that just this week. I know

I have said this before but it bears repeating, if not for you then for myself, “Just because you are

a Christian does not make you immune to the hard things in life. As a matter of fact, sometimes

being a believer opens you up to a whole new set of trials and tests that unsaved people don’t

even begin to understand. This week I learned something’s about myself and about my spiritual

walk because very often it’s how we react when the heat gets turned up that indicates to us our

level of spiritual maturity. At some point every one of us is going to deal with some hard things.

Most of you already know more about that than I have yet to learn. This morning I want to revisit

a message I preached here about 5 years ago dealing with “What do you do with the hard things

in life? What if, what happened to Job happened to you or me. I mean out of the blue, like a

bomb-shell, you experience some difficulty and it leaves an emptiness where your joy used to be?

What if you experience, what a famous British Pastor described as... “a tumbled ruin of your

ordered ways.” I have questioned myself this week as to whether I would be able to say with Job,

“The LORD giveth, and the LORD taketh away, Blessed be the name of the LORD.” What if we

experienced what happened to the Prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 24:16-18. One day the LORD

comes to us and says “Son of man, behold I take away the desire of thine eyes at a stroke; yet

neither shalt thou weep, nor let tears run down...” And then Ezekiel says “So I preached unto the

people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died.” How would we react? What if it

becomes evident at some point that our life is not going to be everything we thought it was going

to be. The dreams we dreamed were not becoming a reality. That the road we travel is going to be

steep or lonely, or somewhere along the way some tremendous sacrifice is going to be asked of

us. What if we are like Paul and there is some hurt in our life, some continuing disability or

weakness, or pain, and we have asked the LORD to remove it, not once, not twice, but many,

many times. And instead of removing the hurt from us GOD simply replies, “My grace is sufficient

for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. How am I going to react, what am I going

to do, How is it going to affect me service for CHRIST? How am I going to handle the hard

things in life? Well, by now you are probably wondering just what all of this has to do with

Deuteronomy 27 and what is going on in the lives of the children of Israel. If we look at this

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