Either you have just gotten out of trouble, you’re in it right now, or you’re headed into it. Trouble is a part of life. You will have difficulties.
Jesus told us this would happen in John 16.33 (NIV), “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Few people faced the difficulties though that Paul did in life. Yet he never gave up on his dream. 2 Corinthians 6.4 (TEV), "In everything we do we show that we are GOD’s servants, by patiently enduring troubles, hardships and difficulties."
You show what kind of CHRISTian you are by the way you respond to problems. Let me say that again. You show what kind of CHRISTian you are by the way you respond to problems. Your testimony of how emotionally mature and how spiritually mature you are is evidenced by your reaction to difficulty. If you cop out, complain, gripe, run from difficulty, you’re not a very mature person either spiritually or emotionally. But if you learn from difficulty you just keep growing and growing.
In Acts 27 there is one of the stories of the many difficulties in Paul’s life. He was being taken as a prisoner to Rome and he warned the captain, “Don't sail out of this harbor, because GOD has told me there’s going to be a storm.” But they got impatient. And any time you get impatient you’re going to head right into a storm.
So they decided to leave anyway and they sailed into a storm which inevitably caused them to shipwreck and in this story we learn some keys to dealing with difficulty. Some of you have had an emotional shipwreck. You have lost all of your energy. Some of you have had a relational shipwreck and a relationship that you thought was solid fell apart. Some of you have had a financial shipwreck or a career shipwreck or a health shipwreck. What do you do when you face those difficulties in life?
This is what we are going to be looking at here on bill’s front porch for the next few days.
Just a thought from the front porch…