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Sermon of the Week 
Monday, March 18 2019

Romans 5:3-4 “We can rejoice when we run into problems they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time, until finally our faith, hope, and trust are strong and steady”. 

Amen, this is because we’re relying upon the lord, not the FFF…(the fickled finger of fate)

*…..Charlie Brown had built a beautiful sandcastle on the beach, he had worked on it for hours. Finally he stands back, looks at it. He concludes that It’s wonderful. Just as he’s admiring it, a huge wave comes up and wipes out his sandcastle. Now, he’s standing where his beautiful masterpiece was, on level sand, saying to himself, "I know there’s a lesson in this, but I’m just not sure what it is."

(so much like all of us, isn’t he?)

*…..Often it’s not our problems that are the problem, it’s our issues… One young man told his psychiatrist “I have more issues than a newspaper”…. So maybe your problem is actually an issue!                        Our issues come from past experiences that were never resolved. As a result they keep reappearing in our current situations. Issues have to do with our attitude, our perspective and our preconceptions as we approach a problem…. Our issues are there to blackball us, make us hostages, and hold us for ransom.                                                                                  

*…..When we were planning to move from Connecticut to Florida, my son Chris, who was 5, had mixed emotions. He came to me one day and said, Dad will I still have problems when we move to Florida? I had to tell him the bad news, “Well, Chris, you are going to have to take yourself along with you to Florida”. 

We bring our issues with us everywhere we go. It’s easy to happen and we may solve the problem and still continue to have an issue which predispose us to have negative and toxic reactions to future situations.                                                                                                     *…..A favorite story at General Motors is about a fellow who bought a new Pontiac and complained to the company that the car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He said that when he went to the store to get strawberry, chocolate, cherry or cookie dough, it starts fine, but when he buys vanilla, it won’t start. They sent an engineer out to check it and finally he went with the guy to the store to try it. Sure enough, when he bought the other kinds it started, but when he bought vanilla it wouldn’t. They finally figured out that the problem was not an allergy, but the other ice cream was in the back of the store, and the vanilla was right at the front. The problem was vapor lock. When he got the other ice cream, the car was able to cool down because it took longer. But with the vanilla, it was in and out and the car couldn’t cool down and got vapor lock! This guys problem had become a Vanilla issue!!!

*…..Some of our issues come from blaming someone else…. It’s their problem, not mine… (Really?) One of the greatest temptations we face which never gets to the root of our own issues, is POINTING THE FINGER OF BLAME AT SOMEONE ELSE for our problems.                                                                                                                                            While it was true that David’s son Absalom had betrayed him, it didn’t do David any good to play “the blame game”. David was still responsible for his own issues. 

*…...In the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, a very girlish looking Judy Garland sang one of the most remembered songs in film history, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” In that song, Garland’s character, Dorothy, was expressing her heartfelt desire to escape to some far away place where all of her problems would just “melt away like lemon drops.” Dorothy envied the BLUE BIRDS in the sky who had wings to fly “somewhere over the rainbow”. Dorothy asked, “Why, oh why, can’t I?” In real life, Judy Garland was not so different than the character she had played in The Wizard of Oz. She wanted to be able to escape all her problems and was tormented by the fears and insecurities of having been through a number of broken relationships and 5 husbands, Judy Garland turned to alcohol and drugs to escape. Tragically it was those very things she thought would give her peace that led to her premature death. Waiting to do the right thing when all our issues are resolved, is like waiting till you stop bleeding, to go to the emergency room!                                                                                                                                                                            The choices and actions of a “cheating spouse” can                                       certainly have a devastating impact on the faithful mate’s ability to ever make a commitment again. And can become an issue.                                                                                                               The choices and actions of a dishonest business partner or co-worker can certainly destroy your ability to trust.And become an issue.                                                                                     The choices and actions of an unfair school teacher or coach or boss, can affect other relationships if you let it. And well, you know…..                                                                                   But at what point do you make your own choices and stop blaming someone else for your life.                                                                                                                                 No matter how right you are, continuing to BLAME someone else for everything, doesn’t resolve your own issues, does it?                                       

*…..If anyone should have issues it is Horatio Spafford. Hewas a businessman in Chicago who was a dedicated Christian. He had some serious financial reversals, and during the time of readjustment, he lost his home.” In the stress of it all, he sent his four daughters and his wife away to England for a vacation while he dealt with it. In midocean the French steamer carrying his loved ones collided with another vessel and sank within twelve minutes; 230 people lost their lives. The four daughters were drowned, but his wife was rescued. She wired her husband, “Only I am saved.”                                              

Spafford was overcome with grief. He had lost his property, his four precious daughters were lost at sea, and his wife was dealing with grief alone, on the other side of the world. He could have had some serious issues with bitterness, with the French steamer company, and with God who had allowed all he held dear to be destroyed. 

Instead, he chose to put all of his trust in God and wrote a song that has comforted thousands since that time”: “When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea-billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul…..And Lord, haste the day when our faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well, it is well, it is well, it is well with my soul”….

*…..Sometimes our problem is that we have problems with our problems because we Juggle too many things….and it springsfrom the heavy demands of our lifestyle whither we chose it or it was thrust upon us… and things become compounded….

The cure for being brainwashed, is to make sure you’re blood washed.                                                                                              *…..2Corinthians 4:8  “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, we are perplexed, but not in despair, v9 Persecuted, but not forsaken, we are cast down, but not destroyed.”                                                               *…..If you could finish this sentence, what would you say….. “I would have one less problem without “that”… What would “That” be?                                         So if “That” is the big one… because it’s the first thing that came to your mind…. begin to focus on and deal with “that” until “that” is no longer a problem. Then you can move on to the next “that”….

*…..When people have gotten too overboard with plastic…. (I’m talking about credit cards). And they can never seem to get them paid down. Financial advisors tell you, to make your minimum payment on them all, but pick one and put extra on it till you pay it off, then the next and the next till you have them all paid off. 

But the real problem is not your debt, it’s the unresolved issues that keep getting you in debt that is the real culprit!! That is where your real “THAT” actually is!

*…..People develop serious disorders, and breakdowns, when they try to juggle too many things all at once… (This guy has clearly gone over the edge already, he can’t stop juggling) But you will hear on the news that in their overloaded condition,they suddenly go over the edge and snap… and they put their foot in their mouth, or someone gets highway rage, or they shoot someone in their delusion, or they do some other crazy thing that they might not have done otherwise.                                                                                                       *…..There was aNew England preacher named Phillips Brooks who was known for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, he (like us) suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him pacing the floor like a caged lion. "What’s the trouble, Dr. Brooks?" asked the friend. "The trouble is that I am in a hurry, but God isn’t”. He said, "The hardest task in my life is to sit down and wait for God to catch up with me."

*…..God promised in his word to always be there but sometimes it seems as if he giving us the silent treatment. Where are you God when I’m struggling, when I’m hurting, when I’ve lost my way?

Usually the teacher is silent during the test. The test is there for you to apply what the Master has been teaching you… It’s now time to use the principals you have received, before the storm is rocking your boat.  

*…..In the book that bears his name, Job 23:8 Job wrote, “I go east, but he is not there. I go west but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north for he is hidden. I turn to the south, but I cannot find him”.

You’ve been waiting on Him for a better job. For better health. For a better marriage. Or maybe it’s about something for your children or a family member, and it’s just not happening. Some folks had to wait for their one and only, and some should have waited a little longer and then there was that job promotion that should have been yours. 

*…..The danger in the waiting, is that we revert to the two year old mentality… “I can do it myself”…If God doesn’t do it, I’ll do it myself…. *…..That process has a name… It’s called Ishmael. He’s the son that Abraham had by Hagar because he couldn’t wait for God to do it the way He promised, through Sarah. God promised an Isaac but Abe and Sarah got Ishmael, and the Arabs have plagued the Jews every since. Ishmael isanother way of saying “I did it my way”…..

It describes Peter warming himself by the fire of the very ones who are getting ready to crucify Jesus… It describes Samson as he grinds grain at the Philistine camp with his eyes poked out… it describes the issues of Judas as he betrayed the savior for 30 pieces of silver, and it is the offspring of all who go their own way, when God is drawing them and tugging at their hearts.                                                                     

*…..The story is told of two hunters who came across a bear in their path, they dropped their rifles and ran for cover. One man climbed a tree while the other ran for a nearby cave. The bear sat down between the tree and the cave. Suddenly, the hunter in the cave came rushing out, and almost ran into the waiting bear, where he turned around, and dashed back in. The same thing happened a second time. When he did it the third time, his friend called out from up in the tree, "Woody, are you crazy? Stay in the cave till he leaves!" "I Can’t," said Woody. "There’s another bigger bear in there." 

Running away, or taking matters in our own hands, doesn’t solve problems, we just run smack into bigger problems than the ones we got impatient with…. 

*….. When you focus on problems, you find a lot more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you find a lot of opportunities…. Every problem has within it the seeds of it’sown solution…God made it for you and you for it. Jesus in you, is the answer and the solution.


*…..Comparing your problems with others, doesn’t make your problems go away and it doesn’t resolve them….You may feel better about your problems, but you still have them….You must compare your problems with God’s solutions…

*…..These words were found on a wall in Cologne Germany were Jews had been hiding from the Nazi’s. “I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when I don’t feel it. And I believe in God even when he is silent.”

*….Child of God, Isn’t it a comfort to know that our Father already has our solution. He had the answer before we had the problem!!!

*…..Psalms 18:3 “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies”.

 …..Psalms 116:17  I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. 

*…..Psalms 116:12  What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? v13  I will drink the cup of His salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.   

DAVID had been complaining, and letting his problems identify who he was. But then he realizes his problem isn’t going to get any better by complaining about it……or by giving up…… or by running away from it…….or blaming somebody else. David now understands his first response should have been to call on the Lord and receive the answer that was waiting there all the time!

We call A PLUMBER when we have plumbing problems. We call A DOCTOR when we have health problems. We call TECH SUPPORT when we have computer problems. We call A MECHANIC when we have engine problems. Why do we do that… because they already have the answer to fix it and get us rolling again…..

Call upon Him, and then GIVE IT TO HIM!

Don’t keep taking it back again…. Give it away! 

*…..Here’s a unique and interesting twist for you….Isaiah 58:6  For this the fast that I have chosen. To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? v7  Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh? v8  Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your health shall spring forth speedily: and your righteousness shall go before you and the glory of the LORD shall be your rereward. 

Wow, the Lord is telling us to fast, (lay aside) our problems and start focusing on helping others with their problems, and in doing so, our light or (our solution) will break forth and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed. 

*…..The word Rereward that is used here is what we would refer to as a “serendipity” You are seeking one thing, and something far better happens, and it’s more than you originally were after in the first place. In this case helping someone else causes you to receive more than you gave!

*…..Psalms 55:22 “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain you. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved”. 

DAVID was carrying one of the heaviest burdens a man can carry.  It would have been one thing if he had been betrayed by an enemy. But he was betrayed by his own son, Absalom …….someone he loved……someone he trusted. How do we survive when we have been hurt by someone we love?  How do we move on when someone we thought was our friend turns into an enemy? We do it by letting it go, and casting OUR PROBLEMS UPON THE LORD. The word Cast means to “throw or hurl forcefully, with intention and purpose”….

*…..When you cast it on the lord….He Gives Purpose To The Problem!

When problems come, why don’t you start getting excited about how God is going to work it out when you cast it on Him….

*…..He will use your problems to DIRECT you, Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to make changes. Is God trying to get your attention about something you’re not seeing? "Sometimes it takes a painful situation toget us to change our ways or our methods." We will either make an excuse or make a commitment to His leading.

*…..God uses problems to INSPECT you. People are like teabags if you want to know what's inside them, just drop them in some hot water! Is God testing your faith and your trust for something that is ahead? What is the test bringing out in you?The irritation in the oyster produces a valuable pearl… The lump of coal, through great pressure, becomes a valuable diamond (a girl’s best friend)

James 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when you are tested. v3  Knowing this, that the testing of your faith is workingpatience. v4 So let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing”. 

*…..God uses problems to CORRECT you. Some things only get done when the heat is turned up. If you were like me, as a child, when your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. You probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something - health, money, a relationship, or the Lord’s presence - by not having it.

*…..God uses problems to PROTECT you. Genesis 50:20 “You intended it for evil, but God intended it for good”. A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from being somewhere or doing something which would cause you harm.How many times have we been delayed by a problem, only to find out that a terrible accident took place and without the delay, we would have been involved in it.                                

*…..God uses problems to PERFECT you. When you respond correctly to the problems that come, God uses them to buildcharacter. Your money, and all your stuff are going to be left behind, but your relationship to God and your character are two things you're going to take with you into eternity.

So, knowing that God is using problems to DIRECT, to INSPECT, to CORRECT, to PROTECT, and to PERFECT us, we will no longer worry or fret over our problems. We will surrender our problem to God’s will. We will trust in Him for the best possible outcome to whatever issue in us, He is dealing with.  

Thank God we are not alone. In every trial, through every test and for all of our struggles, the Holy Spirit helps us, guides us, keeps us, teaches us, speaks to us, reveals to us, instructs us, testifies of Jesus to us, comforts us, calls us, fills us, strengthens us, prays for and through us, prophesies through us, bears witness of the truth, brings joy and freedom, lives in us, renews us, produces fruit in us, gives gifts, leads us, enables us and delivers us, convicts and convinces of sin, sanctifies us, empowers us, unites us, seals us, and gives us access to the Father and the Son….

Prayer of agreement…..

*…..Lord, help me to respond to my problems in the right way.Let me understand that many of my problems come to reveal and bring resolution to all of my unresolved issues. Give me the self-control not to complain, the resolve to not quit, or give up, and the courage to not run away. Lord, I will not blame my father, my mother, the person who did me wrong, and the people who betrayed me. I will not blame anyone else for mywrong attitude and my wrong perspective. Lord I turn my problem over to You and I cast them upon you, so that I can move into the serendipity You have in store for me. I will trust in You for the best possible outcome. May Your will be done in my life, as you would desire it. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Now, Cast it…with purpose and with intention upon the Lord!!!! And receive His DIRECTION, His INSPECTION, HisCORRECTION, His PROTECTION, and His PERFECTION through the difficulties, the struggles, the adversities and the challenges that come our way!!!!

Give it all to Him….

*…..The old song says…. “Leave it there, leave it there, Takeyour burden to the Lord and leave it there. If you trust and never doubt, He will surely lead you out, Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there. 

(Sing it with me in closing)…..

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