6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: A sermon on persevering through crises and trials.


ƒ{ Paul is the ultimate survivor

ƒ{ He has been through everything

o Stoned

o Beaten

o Locked up

o Lied at, to, on

o Shipwrecked

o Bitten by snake

o Even his conversation was a bit on the rough side

ƒ{ Yet I never saw him complain or curse his crisis

ƒ{ Instead he has learned to be content in whatever state he is in

ƒ{ Perhaps this is another clue to being a survivor

ƒ{ We all have a natural tendency to avoid pain and problems

o Your hand gets too close to the fire...

„X you pull it back

o Your stomach starts to rumble...

„X you look for something to eat

ƒ{ Psychologists say -- when you’re afraid you will want to run or fight

ƒ{ These reactions...

o Pulling back from fire

o Finding food when hungry

o Going into flight or fight

ƒ{ Are all normal responses

ƒ{ So much so that when we go through a tough time

ƒ{ We often ask why me?

ƒ{ We despise crisis

ƒ{ To the point where we do everything to resist it, avoid it, solve it

ƒ{ People have always asked:

o Why do bad things happen to good people?

ƒ{ Maybe the better question is:

o What happens in good people when bad things happen?

ƒ{ The survivors of crisis have discovered all things work together for good to those who love Jesus Christ.

ƒ{ And that your crisis can become the fuel for your greatest breakthrough

o Pushing you

o Challenging you

o Upsetting you

o But ultimately helping you

ƒ{ Somehow recognizing that

o The crisis stripped from you what you didn’t need

o And separated you from those that won’t help

ƒ{ The crisis then provokes you into your destiny

ƒ{ Indecision, complacency, procrastination, apathy; all have to leave the house when crisis moves in


1. Your Crisis Give Credibility Through Instability

* When you go through turbulent times with confidence and peace

* You can gain credibility

o Many Christians have no provision for hardships

o And find themselves in a theological predicament whenever they encounter a storm

o Forgetting that God is a God of seasons

o When crisis comes, some believe it always means something is wrong

► This is circumstantial theology

o Paul’s a prisoner on a ship in a storm

o God gave Paul words of counsel and credibility

„X That moved him from prisoner to authority

o Without this crisis

„X He would have never been recognized

„X Nor his counsel needed

o Ship sank -- they made it to safety

o Off the island of Malta

o Building a fire, bit by a snake

„X Shipwrecked and snake bit

o The locals had a circumstantial theology and began to explain how evil Paul was

o That’s why the shipwreck and the snakebite

o In unstable waters

o Paul gains stability

„X To preach the gospel and some of these islanders get saved

o Remember, God built you with the crisis in mind.

EXAMPLE: Chevy Truck Commercial

Built with the storm in mind

o In unstable situations you can show off your stable God

o Jesus preached from a boat

o In an unstable boat

„X He preached a stable message


2. Your Crisis Gains Revelation Through Your Frustration

* Let’s go to another boat, Mark 6:52

* One of the fruits of crisis is frustration

* Frustration is when your efforts don’t have a pay off

* The disciples were frustrated

o Straining at the oars, but getting nowhere

* Let’s back up

o After feeding the 5000

o The disciples didn’t get the lesson

* The lesson is:

o No matter what you have in your hand,

o it’s not enough without Jesus

* So, because they didn’t get it through revelation,

* He put them in a situation that caused frustration.

* He loves you too much to leave you the same

„X What you don’t get through revelation

„X He will teach you through situation

CLUE #1 Jesus told the disciples to cross the lake while he went up the mountain

Meaning: you and I aren’t going the same direction

CLUE #2 Jesus put them in the boat at twilight

Meaning: the farther you get away from me the darker it gets

► The crisis was their frustration

► The storm was their situation

► Calling Jesus into the boat was

o The revelation


3. Your Crisis Will Turn Your Pain Into Power

* The ability to continue to believe God when surrounded by adverse circumstances is a function we call faith.

* At different seasons of our lives storms and crisis come so that which cannot be shaken remains.

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