Summary: Trying to get a grip on the hardships of life.

Title: Why Me Why Now?

Text: Philippians 4:10-13

Do you know someone whose life is falling apart?

‒ The business man who’s business is great until the market goes south.

‒ The college kid who has a career in baseball ended with a torn ligament.

Introduction: Have you ever wondered to yourself this way?

‒ “God, I really don’t know why you have put me where you have.”

‒ “God, why is this particular thing happening right now?”

I wonder about some of the characters in the Bible and their thinking at some of the strangest times in their lives. ‒ Jonah in the belly of the big fish.

‒ Job in the ashes hurting from all the sores.

‒ Shadrach Meshach and Abednigo about to be thrown into the fiery furnace.

**This wonderment of mine has caused me to focus on a particular scripture.

(Phil 4:13 NCV) "I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength."

‒ How can he say such a thing?

‒ He doesn’t know my situation.

‒ He doesn’t know that I have lost a loved one.

‒ He doesn’t know that my finances are in disarray.

‒ He has no clue as to my marriage and how bad it is.

1. Paul’s predicaments. (Phil 4:11-12 NCV) "I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and everything that happens. I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty. I have learned the secret of being happy at any time in everything that happens, when I have enough to eat and when I go hungry, when I have more than I need and when I do not have enough."

A. If anyone knew hardships it was Paul the apostle.

1. 2 Corinthians 11:23b-28 TURN AND READ

B. The phrase, “I have learned” means “I have been initiated.”

1. Paul could say that he had been through it all.

2. The Secret of Contentment. WHAT A LESSON FOR ME!!!

A. How in the world could a man who had been through what Paul had say such a thing as “I can do all things?”

1. What does that statement not mean?

a. Since I am a Christian all things will be great in my life.

1. We know that all too well. Cancer, accidents, death, etc. are no respecter of persons.

b. Everything is going to work out like I planned it.

1. Anyone who has had the American dream only to see it go away knows that is not true. No pro career. No successful business.

3. A Statement of Balance I CAN – THROUGH CHRIST

A. The only way to exist with any sanity is through Christ.

1. What do you have in store for me and whatever it is, I surrender all. WHAT A STATEMENT OF FAITH!!

4. The Results of Surrender to this Statement “I Can Through Christ.”

A. An attitude of encouragement.

1. No more, “Poor me...”

2. More of “Yes, I can.”

B. A healthy self-image.

1. God, Your will is more important than anything.

2. My worth and value is wrapped up in you.

3. My Value does not have to be in the things only I can do.

C. Greater Achievements.

1. When our lives are balanced by I CAN THROUGH CHRIST, we are more willing to take on new challenges.

D. A happier, more enjoyable life.

1. When we surrender all to Jesus, anxiety must leave.

2. He is a big God and one who loves and cares for us.

3. No one can take God’s love away from you.

4. I need to remember that God’s security and care is happening right now. My tendency is to worry about tomorrow.

E. Makes us better servants to God.

1. Have you ever realized your potential for service. If not, it may be because of a lack of surrender to Him.

1. God will not ask you to do anything that He has not enabled you to do.

F. Makes us more powerful in our influence on others.

1. People can sense a positive or negative spirit.

G. Makes us better physically.

1. Negative people are unhealthy.

Conclusion: I must start speaking the positive. It is so easy for us to look at the drab side of life.

We must begin the life of I CAN THROUGH CHRIST!!!

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