Summary: The secret to being content in any circumstance is to find your joy in Jesus. We must learn to be content in Christ no matter our situation.
When Life Throws a Curve
August 18, 2013 Evening Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We must learn to be content in Christ no matter our situation.
Focus Passage: Philippians 4:11-13
Supplemental Passage: Are they servants of Christ?--I speak as if insane--I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:23-28 NASB)
Introduction: In baseball, the curveball was first used around 1870. It was widely regarded as dishonest and colleges wouldn’t let their student pitchers use it. A curveball is thrown, but dips just before it gets to the strike zone often making the batter swing when the ball has already moved. Slang use of curve ball means to introduce a significant deviation to a preceding concept. Example of real life curveballs would be have your spouse ask for a divorce when you thought everything was fine; to win an award for which you didn’t think you were qualified; to get fired from your job when you thought you were going to get a promotion; to have a cute boy ask you out when you thought he liked someone else; to get the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer when you thought you had Lyme Disease.
I. Content in poverty and in suffering
a. Too many of us base our happiness on our situation
b. We think that if we are poor, hungry, suffering or sick, that life is bad
c. If we base our contentment on Jesus, we don’t have to worry about those things
d. We are looking for happiness instead of inward joy
II. Content in abundance and in peace
a. Many times, we think our happiness is dependent on what we have
b. If we have lots to eat, lots of money, and lots of “toys” then life is good
c. If we base our contentment on Jesus, we don’t have to worry when those things are taken away
d. We need to be concerned with inward joy instead of external circumstances
III. Content in Jesus
a. If Jesus is our everything, then we will never be disappointed with what we have or what we don’t have
b. If we find our joy in Jesus, it doesn’t matter whether we are rich or poor, hungry or filled, sick or well
c. We must be concerned with eternal joy not temporal happiness
Invitation: Can you be content when you are poor? Can you be content when you are rich? Can you be content when you are hungry? Can you be content when you lack nothing? If our joy is in Christ Jesus, our circumstances won’t dictate our level of contentment. The secret to being content in any circumstance is to find your joy in Jesus.
[The audio of this sermon being preached can be downloaded at http://sermon.net/rboyne/sermonid/1200084424]