Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


Overcoming the Tribulations of Life
Pastor Scott Dungan
Introduction
• Every human heart cries for solidity in this life
• Every person is looking for the blessed life with just a few small problems
• Every individual resists change and wants their life to stay the same
• The problem: things just don’t go according to plan, troubles come when least expected

First: Recognize there are seasons to life (Ecc 3:1-8)
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; a time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.

Biblical Example of Life’s Victories and Defeats (Elijah – 1 Kings 18-19)
• Elijah defeats the prophets of Baal
• Elijah prays and a 3.5 year drought is broken – the rains come (God is good)
• Elijah soon runs for his life as Jezebel threatens his life
• Elijah feels forsaken by God, I alone am left

Elements that Shake our Faith (issues faced in life)
• Emotional problems: anger, depression, fear, loneliness, lack of purpose,
- The attack from within, that says you are worthless and defeated
• Relationship conflicts: rejection, unforgiveness, abandonment
- The attack from others, that states you are unlovable
• Physical problems: illness, pain, loss of mobility and strength, loss of independence
- The attack from your own malfunctioning body, producing fear and uncertainty
• Aging problems: things don’t work right anymore, problems come with no apparent solutions
- The attack that comes from society, stating you have outlived your usefulness
• World crisis: war, earthquakes, flooding, famine
- The attack from world governments removing all forms of security
- Cause fear, future not sure, more and more in turmoil
- Perceived lack of divine blessing: prayers not answered, things go from bad to worse
- The attack from spiritual powers, trying to produce doubt to the faith
- Life not turning out the way it was planned

The Root of the Issue (a false belief system – judgment or blessing)
• Problems mean that you are out of God’s blessing, something is wrong with you
- Judgment: problems or misfortune looked on as punishment from God
- Blessing: the gift of divine favor which protects and keeps one from all harm
• Biblical prospective: dealing with problems is part of this life
- We live in a fallen world; not everything is yet submitted to Jesus’ Lordship
• Complete victory comes upon the Lord’s return
- Everyone faces problems
• Paul had a thorn in his flesh – messenger of satan (2Co 12:7)
• Jesus said if they persecute Me, they will persecute you (Jn 15:20)
• God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous (Mt 5:45)

The result of living with troubles
• Problems cause us to cling to and draw closer to the Lord making our faith grow
• Problems develop empathy in our heart for others going through struggles
• Problems open up doors of ministry as we encounter others in similar situations
• Problems focus our attention on eternity – this is not my home
- Abraham was looking for a city whose builder was God (Heb 11:10)

Keys for Success
• Cry out to the Lord when overwhelmed (Ps 18:6)
- He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him, came unto His ears
• Have the faith of Caleb (Nu 13:30)
- We shall overcome it and take the land (God will give us victory, His promise is true)
- And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him (Heb 11:6)
• Remember the words of Jesus
- In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world (Jn 16:33)
- For whatever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith (1Jn 5:4)
- Who is the one who overcomes the world, but He who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1Jn 5:5)
• Stand Firm–position yourself to fight for your faith
- Stand firm therefore; stand and fight, don’t be shaken (Eph 6:14)
• Press on (Continue to live; continue to grow; continue to serve)
• Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead (Php 3:13-14)
• I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
• Minister to others (focus on others)
- Encourage the faint-hearted (help those who are weak stand in the faith, speak the Word)
- We urge you brothers admonish the unruly, encourage the faith-hearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone (1Th 5:14)
- Encourage the exhausted and strengthen the feeble (Isa 35:3)
• Remember the promises of Scripture: The promise
- But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us (Ro 8:37)
- He who overcomes will inherit these things (new heaven, earth, Jerusalem), I will be His God, He will be my Son (Rev 21:7)
 


Return to Sermon Notes