Vintage message from June 14, 1998.
This is a message we need as the church today: that we wonder in our lives why bad things happen, and we wonder why hardships come, and when the hardships and the bad things happen, we turn to the things of the world because obviously God can’t deal with it. But let me tell you something. Jesus told us. He promised us. “In this life you will have tribulation.” He promised that. But then He said, “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” We don’t need to turn to the ‘gods’ of the world. We don’t need to turn to the systems of the world. We, in our discouragement and pain and suffering, have to know that Jesus told us this would come…
When we as a people are repentant before our God, God shows His power to the rest of the world. We have a world out here that’s dying. We have a society that believes that their ‘gods’ are more powerful that ours. Their lifestyles are more important than ours. That their ‘fun,’ the things that they do, take precedence over ‘going to church.’ Let me tell you, I could care less about if you go to church or not, but do you realize you have a God that expects you to honor Him with your lives? You have a God that sent His Son to save you. You have a God that gave everything that He was so that you can know Him and be in fellowship with Him… Do you have trial and struggle in your life? Let me tell you, it is there for a good reason. It’s there to bring you to the place of showing the you need to be dependent upon the God who created you. He may bring even very, very hard trials. I know people who have lost children. I know people who have lost homes. Financially bankrupt, they have lost everything. And these people, God is speaking to them saying, “Just return to Me. Let Me deal with your life. Let Me use you as an example to a world.’ Just because bad things happen to you doesn’t mean you are bad. This is what we automatically assume: “Oh, God, You must be punishing me!” But it doesn’t necessarily mean that… Oftentimes, we react to the bad that’s happening around us before we take time to turn to God and say, “Why is this going on around us?”
…If you find yourself going through struggles, if you find yourself going through hard times, then put yourself in a place of fellowship before the Living God. Put yourself in a place of relationship. Spend time praying. Spend time reading His Word. Get to know Him. And understand that He knows what’s going on behind you. He knows the trouble. He knows the struggle. And He will deal with it.
Pastor Dave Elkins