Faithlife Sermons

Between the Stories

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It seems that the story of the New Testament disciples, Paul, Barnabas can be Big Stories after Big Victories
Anybody else feel like their lives are on some roller coaster - Life is going alright, then something happens and you feel like you are scraping the bottom of the bucket for energy or resources to deal with it.
Maybe you feel like your faith does the same thing. One week, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” to, “God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Psychologists talk about people who come to see them that struggle. Seems like their Facebook friends have things going well for them.
Facebook is mostly an illusion. People post the photos and events they feel best about. They are seldom showing the dark side of their feelings or lives. They take a lot of time getting the best "selfies". Be assured, they do NOT have everything in life!
Psychology Today Envying Your Friends on Facebook Leads to Depression
Feeling sad after you log out isn't the only way Facebook takes a toll on your mental health. A study(link is external) that will be published in the June 2016 issue of Current Opinion in Psychology found that envying your friends on Facebook leads to depression.
Scrolling through happy status updates, exciting vacation photos, and beautiful family moments led participants to compare their lives with those of their Facebook friends.
Those social comparisons led people to assume their Facebook friends had better lives. And those feelings of envy increased their chances of developing depression.
Life is not Big victories after Big victories
I want us to look at a place in Scripture where the disciples had one of those roller coaster weeks. Their faith came crashing down.
Life between the Stories
Listen, I want to give you tools so that you don’t have to come crashing down. When you come off a mountain experience with God, you don’t have to get lost in the valley to lose your spiritual strength, or lose your sense that God is there and wants to lift you up.
Turn Mark 9:8-10
Setting - Peter, James and John invited up - there Jesus with Moses, Elijah --Transfigured. Peter summed it up. “Can’t we stay here!” It was worth setting up a new point of worship and staying. But Jesus says, we have to go down… that is where the ministry happens.
Mark 9:8–10 HCSB
Then suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, He ordered them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept this word to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.
What you don’t see is the the crashing and burning of their faith. They had been casting out demons. They had hopes that Jesus was going to continue to advance and ministry would get stronger, but Jesus was talking about dying.
How do we know their faith crashed… all this talking about what Jesus meant when he spoke of his death and resurrection messes up their thought about what God was doing. Aren’t things supposed to go well?
I am a Christian but this happened.
There is such drama at school, I don't’ know if I will keep any of my friends.
I am a Christian and my wife and I are going through a difficult time
I want to follow Jesus but there is constant change and turnover in my job and it consumes me.
I want to follow Jesus and what the Bible says, but it seems I can just keep my head above water.
Mark 9:17–18 HCSB
17 Out of the crowd, one man answered Him, “Teacher, I brought my son to You. He has a spirit that makes him unable to speak. 18 Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I asked Your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn’t.”
Mark 9:28–29 HCSB
28 After He went into a house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 And He told them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer [and fasting].”
We are not meant to carry the ministry for Jesus. When we do not see him, it doesn’t mean he has gone away. Jesus said it was good news for the disciples that he go away, because then he would send the Holy Spirit.
Your faith is not supposed to crash between the God stories. Expect God in the valleys as well. Pray for his wisdom. Pray for his presence and work.
What do you do in the valley? 23rd Psalm - Though I walk through the valley of shadows, I will not fear evil.
Observation of the world is, “All good things must come to an end. That seems to live life looking in the rear view mirror. The best days are behind me.
Scripture says, “All good things belong to my father and will follow the activity of his son Jesus.” God’s good things will make a new beginning.
Does the Lord have your future?
You can have faith that thrives between the stories.
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