Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Where will you turn when life gets tough? When you come to the end or your rope will you tie an knot and hang on, or will you let go believing that God will catch you? Discover 6 steps to trusting God.

Perhaps you remember this news report from April 2001. Missionary Veronica “Roni” Bowers, 35, and her 7-month-old daughter, Charity, seated in her lap, were killed by a single bullet when the jet fired on the Cessna plane they were riding in. The Peruvian Air-force had shot at the plane because it mistakenly thought that it was carrying drugs and drug dealers. Bowers’ husband, Jim, 38, and their 6-year-old son, Cory, survived the attack without serious injury. The pilot, missionary Kevin Donaldson, 42, was seriously injured by gunfire to his legs, but was able to crash-land the plane on the Amazon. The Bowers family had faithfully served God as missionaries in the area for over a dozen years. It is hard to understand why things like this happen especially when you consider that in all likelihood many drug dealers and criminals flew that night without a problem. It makes you wonder: "If God Is Good, Why Is Life So Unfair?"

We have all heard the saying, “when life gets tough, the tough get going.” All of us want to believe that we can have the strength to keep going even in the midst of seemingly impossible situations, but are we?

How can we make it through difficult circumstances? How can we remain standing when all around us our world is crumbling. Is it even possible? For far too many people their answer is to give up.

According to the most recent national statistics complied for the American Association of Suicidology:

▸ In 1999 across the United States 29,199 individuals ended their life through suicide; that’s an average of 80 per day, or one person killing themselves every 18 minutes.

▸ Suicide ranks as the 11th overall cause of death among Americans; suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people (age 15-24). Suicide comes in before homicide or murder which ranked 14th overall.

▸ It is estimated that there are 25 attempted suicides for each completed suicide. Annually more than 730,000 individuals try to end their lives.

So much for believing that when life gets tough, the tough get going. We all know that sometimes the events of life can hit us so hard that it’s difficult to keep standing let alone to get going.

Fortunately you don’t have to face the difficulties of life in your own strength. You don’t have to face crises alone. God has promised, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). He will be with us through the midst of each trial to provide supernatural peace and strength if we will trust Him to do it. When life gets tough . . . TURN TO JESUS!

Look with me at John 14:1. Jesus says,

+ “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God; trust also in me.” (NIV)

The hearts of the disciples were troubled; their worst fears were about to become a reality. None of them wanted to believe what Jesus had told them. Surely none of the disciples would betray Jesus. How could Jesus talk about being handed over into the hands of evil men? None of the disciples would let that happen. Peter, the boldest of them all, tells the Lord that he would willingly lay down his life to save Jesus from an attack. But Jesus tells him that instead of coming to His defense, Peter would deny even knowing Jesus for fear of his own life.

No one is immune to trouble in their life. Crises and difficulties come in all shapes and sizes into each of our lives.

· An unexpected illness, cancer, heart attack, or the common cold.

· The loss of a job–how will you provide for your family?

· Death–a child, parent or grandparent, a close friend.

· Economic collapse–the stock market falls; how can you retire?

· Terrorist attack and war–is our world safe?

· School shootings–will our children be safe?

· Unexpected pregnancy or date rape.

· Drug or alcohol abuse within the family.

The list of possible trouble that could overcome our hearts is endless. Like Job we could say, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” (Job 3:25-26 NIV)

Yet in the midst of what would be one of the disciples darkest hours of their lives Jesus told them, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Likewise, whenever we face impossible circumstances that would seemingly destroy our lives, we too should hear Jesus words, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

How is it possible to keep from being overwhelmed and troubled when we face life’s difficulties? Jesus says, “you trust in God, trust also in me.”

What does it mean to trust God? Put simply it is to have absolute faith in God or to entrust your life to His care. Trust is belief put into action; it is to place your complete confidence in God to take care of you just as He has promised.

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