I want to ask you some questions this morning…..the first is…..
Why does God allow trials in our lives?
My scripture text will be coming from John 12:24-25
Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.
The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said "hello" when "ssssopp!" Chippie got sucked in. The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie -- still alive, but stunned.
Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.
Poor Chippie never knew what hit him. A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. "Well," she replied, "Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore -- he just sits and stares."
It’s hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . That’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart.
The second question this morning is……?
Do you still have a song in your heart?
You see there is one of two things you can do when trials, tests or tribulation comes your way:
1. You can become bitter -- Like Chippie
· So easy to do – it is our natural way of handling problems
· Even as Christians we are full of ourselves and especially during trails in our lives.
· This is when your fears, hurts and negative thoughts mull over and over in your mind, you’re constantly thinking of it and in the same time you looses God’s love.
· There is no longer a song in your heart.
· Measured by worldly standards your feelings might be justified but it is not by God’s standards.
Heb 12:14-15 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled;
Or you can choose to:
2. Absolutely delight yourself in the Lord and know that He is in charge of your Life.
· You can keep your song in your heart even when the going gets tough! · This was Paul and Silas choice when they we’re in the Jail.
· The word says that they were singing! They were only doing what the following scriptures are saying:
James 1:2 tells us: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3. Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Look at v3. trying of your faith
James is saying here that our faith is tested.
This answers the questions:…Yet we still find ourselves asking….
· But why is this happening to me?
· Why do bad things happen to good people?
Let’s look at a couple of Case Studies….Number One
Deut 8:2-3 -And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, [and] to prove thee, to know what [was] in thine heart, whether thou would keep his commandments,... And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knew not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every [word] that proceed out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Two things we learn here:
Trial time -- wilderness – they were in dessert, and it was a lonely place. Have you noticed that if you’re in a trail how people tend to leave you?....alone? Why would a loving God allow the Israelites to dwell 40 years in the dessert.
1 . To humble thee: No thing in life that make a person so humble than trials. When we realize that we can’t do it on our own, we look up….because we need the Lord. The Israelites wouldn’t have made it without the Lord.
2. To prove thee, to know what was in thine heart. What comes out if I shake you?
Case Study Two: is found in Psalm 107:25-30. For he commanded, and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves thereof. 26. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 27. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. 28. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses. 29. He makes the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. 30. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bring them unto their desired haven. The Lord is dealing with fishermen here but we can apply it to our lives today. Notice a few words that reflect today’s life.
1. Stormy wind, which lifted up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven; they go down again to the depths Who of you has ever felt like that? One-day things seem normal in your life, and then the next day the wheels come off. Interesting how it starts with the wind. What was Jesus reaction on the boat in the storm with the disciples? He rebuked the Wind and the waves calmed down.
2. Their soul is melted because of trouble. I’ve seen people like this; in fact I have been there. People who bite their finger nails, etc. What did all of this teach them? Back verses 28-29. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses. 29. He makes the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. To pray. It is kind of funny how much energy people have to pray,… when they’re in trouble.
Case Study Three comes from Psalm 119:69,71,75: 69. The proud have forged a lie against me: [but] I will keep thy teachings with [my] whole heart. 71. [It is] good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy law. 75. I know, O LORD, that thy judgments [are] right, and [that] thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.
Has somebody ever gossiped about you? Were you the victim of a lie? Why does it happen to you? Why is the Psalmist happy?
This is why…..Verse 69 says…..[but] I will keep thy teachings with [my] whole heart. Not just a little section….ALL of it! 71. [It is] good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy law. The Lord is trying to teach us to keep His law. ALWAYS! Not just when it is convenient.
So, the Lord let things happen in our lives to:
Test us, see what’s in our hearts
Bring us back to prayer
It is, however, hard to be humble if you’re proud.
Pride is the sin that destroyed our fellowship with God.
The only way to stop pride is to die in ourselves.
People we need to take today’s scripture more serious.
Your view of trials will change if you die in yourself.
I want to leave you with one final story….Like a lifesaver who spotted a men in trouble in the water. There were other people nearby who urged this lifesaver to jump in straight away. He didn’t. The man in the water was fighting furiously to stay above the water. The crowd grew angry, they shouted at the lifesaver, but he waited. After a few minutes, when the man in the water started to get weak, he jumped in and saved the man’s life. The angry people asked him why he waited so long before jumping in. He replied that if he had jumped in earlier that the man would have drowned them both out of panic. He waited for the man to get weak. So he could save him. It is the same with us, The Lord is there waiting to help you, But, you need to die first in yourself and let Him do His work in your life.