Sermon Notes

Nov 29th- Thanks a Lot

 

True Thankfulness, is not an outcome of pleasant circumstances, True Thankfulness is an attitude that permeates all circumstances.

 

Hebrews 13:5-6  ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.

 

It’s not about avoiding adversity, it’s being strengthened to make it through adversity

 

John 16:33  ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’

 

2 Corinthians 4:8-9  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

 

Faulty assumption…

If something bad happens to me… It’s because God doesn’t love me or he doesn’t care.

 

Many people never find real love because they’re looking for a love that doesn’t exist. Real love has joy and pain, romance and heart ache, in fact… We don’t even know if we have real love until it’s tested by the hard times and proves itself by carrying us back to the good ones.

 

Many sociologists have rejected the idea the people are happy BECAUSE they have “a great job”, or “a great relationship”. Studies have shown people who have joy in all situations become attractive to people hiring for great jobs, and are desirable to people healthy enough for a great relationship.

 

Everything happens for a reason ???

 

Sometimes the reason is… God gave people free will and they are mean, evil, vindictive, and I’m having to deal with them.

 

God works for the good

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things (the good and bad) God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

Four reasons for pain-and-suffering in the world

 

A Personal “Me” Problem…

1) James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;   14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.   15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

 

A Spiritual problem

2)  Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood (people), but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.   13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.

 

A Freewill and Fallen World Problem

3)  John 16 :33  In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

 

AND… God is using it all…

4)  Hebrews 12:10-11 God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

 

But God did not simply wind up the world, then step back to watch… He is allowing the world to play out, but is deeply involved in walking that process out with everyone who will allow him to.

 

Psalm 23:54 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me

 

 

Romans 5:3-5 We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

 

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

Philippians 4:4-8 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

 

Ashley Spain

I think we can all agree 2020 has been one unique year…and while A LOT of bad and scary stuff has happened…I tell you what I’ve seen…

*Siblings doing puzzles and playing games

*More people learning and sharing recipes

*ALL people uniting in causes

*People trying to understand things they didn’t before

*Parents teaching their kids new skills

*Families gathered around tables for meals

*Non essential workers helping essential workers with kids, meals, and life

*Neighbors meeting each other on walks in the evenings

*Strangers helping each other and becoming friends through volunteering, grocery delivery, and home/yard maintenance

*In the midst of a pandemic and severe weather volunteers showing up and helping for those affected by the weather

*Children learning the value of helping their elders through time together, lack of time together, stories, and their elders value in the families they are part of.

*Young adults learning to adapt to their circumstances and trying to succeed and persevere through adversity

*Parents becoming teachers, nurses, and supporting each other when its overwhelming

*Those affected financially have gotten help from strangers families, friends, and others to get through the tough times

*Stangers, and communities come together to do all they can for our Healthcare workers…

Yes we have seen hard times, yes we have seen tragedy, we have seen injustice, we have seen hurt, confusion, pain, and we have hurt as a human race…but I’m CHOOSING to see the rainbow in the storm, I’m choosing to see the healing over the hurting, I’m CHOOSING love over hate, and I’m choosing to see the beauty in the world. Does it mean I dont see the bad, absolutely not, I choose to focus on the good that has come so that when I look back on this year I can teach my children to be a part of the solution, as can teach them no matter what life throws at you, you can ALWAYS find the good.

 

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