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When The Unexpected Happens

A Biblical Perspective During Trying Times  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Intro:

Good Evening Parkside. I hope you had a great Mother’s Day. I hope that during these difficult times you have been encouraged, filled with joy, and are overflowing with hope. Tonight as we continue our series “A Biblical Perspective During Trying Times” I want to explore the Unexpected. Please turn in your Bibles to 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. While you are turning there let me ask you a question. What happens when the unexpected happens in your life? Have you ever spent some time thinking about how you prepare for the Unexpected? Have you thought about how you respond to the Unexpected? Who or what do you turn to when the Unexpected happens? I know that every trial we go through God uses it for our good, the Bible assures us of that. Tonight lets challenge ourselves to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the best we can navigate difficult times. Let’s Pray.
2 Corinthians 1:3–5 NIV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

The Unexpected

Let’s discuss a few outcomes when an unexpected crisis happens in our lives. Your response to the unexpected reveals your level of trust in God. Some would say that its really easy to trust God when everything is going well and as expected. I would say when things are easy that we could be in danger of falling into a trap. Remember the Bible promises us as believers things are not going to be easy. And by the way when things are easy it doesn’t take much to trust in God. Think about this current crisis, what has your response been? Our portion of Scripture tonight tells us that God comforts us in all of our troubles so that we can comfort others in trouble. The key is trusting God and turning to Him during our troubles and allowing Him to comfort us. See our response to a crisis reveals not only our level of trust in God, but reveals our maturity. I know it’s not easy to do self evaluations and discover that you have been handling things not as good as you could’ve been. I’ve been there. When our twin girls were in the hospital I didn’t handle things very good at first. A crisis had struck our family in August 2018. Our daughters were in the hospital, CPS was called, and the news from the doctor was not good at all. I was in Indianapolis and drove back in just 5 hours to hear this news and meet the CPS worker. As talked with this man anger and frustration began building on top of the worry and anxiety I had experienced on the drive back. It took about 2 days before one of my mentors encouraged me to evaluate how I had been handling things. That was extremely difficult because I knew I wasn’t responding well. It’s was then that I turned to God and stopped trying to figure things out on my own. I experienced a magnitude of spiritual growth during that time once I began trusting and depending on God. I encourage you to let this crisis be a time that you can look back to and see that it was a time of great spiritual growth in your life. Let’s discuss some responses.

Responding to the Unexpected

As I have been evaluating my response to this current crisis I have taken note of the cultures response and my own responses. Look we’re in this thing together. In case you thought I was this superhuman all holy being that doesn’t make mistakes, let me quickly correct your thinking. I’m not! I struggle with many of the same things you struggle with. I have to make difficult decisions just like the next person, again we’re in this thing together. We went into it together, we’re going to come out of it together. Let’s talk about some responses that we should avoid.

1. Don’t Freak Out

Freaking out doesn’t help. It will more than likely make the problem worse. And when your done freaking out the problem is still there. Also, when we freak out, others see it. If we are to comfort those who are going through troubles freaking out will not accomplish our goal. Rather we are to be a people of calm, of peace, of strength, and confidence. If we freak out none of those character traits are seen by others. I encourage you when encounter the unexpected and are tempted to freak out or when you realize you have been freaking out, get before the Lord. Pray. Seek His wisdom and His peace. Take time to assess the situation. Use wisdom and discernment in your next steps. Most things are not as bad as are minds create them to be.

2. Don’t make things bigger than they are.

Have you ever heard people say things when a crisis comes upon them. Maybe you’ve heard them say things like this:
“Everything Bad happens to me”
“Things always go wrong in my life”
“Why Me”
“Why do things always happen to me”
Statements like these are indicators that inform us that we have made a problem bigger than it is. Sometimes we bunch problems together. Resist those temptations to combine problems together, when we do that we are only compounding our issues. One of the greatest pieces of advice I have recieved is: “Keep It Simple.” When going through trials keep it simple.

3. Keep Things In Perspective

Paul wrote this:
Romans 8:18 NIV
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Ask yourself, “In light of eternity, how do I view this unexpected situation?” When Paul talked about his experiences of imprisonment, beatings, stoning, persecution, and shipwrecks he described them as momentary afflictions because he had his mind fixed on eternity with Jesus. The perspective that keeps me from overreacting is knowing that I haven’t been promised a trouble free life.

4. Resist Negative Emotions

Remember our emotions are like dummy lights on a dashboard, they tell us something is wrong. Resist allowing negative feelings to drive you. Take the opportunity when you experience these feelings to turn to God. And allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with joy and peace.

5. Remember This is part of the Deal

The Bible tells us troubles will happen in our lives. It’s just part of the deal. When I come to terms that troubles are part of the deal its a whole easier to resist negative emotions and the temptation to freak out. It’s important that we read the Word of God. The more I get into God’s Word the more encouraged I am when trouble comes my way. Because I know something great is going to come out of the trouble. Today I have 3 amazing children and an amazing wife. Those two little girls according to the doctors weren’t suppose to make it, but they did. I could have continued to freak out and handle the situation badly, but I chose not to. You see, all of us has a choice. I know that lives were impacted by my choice to surrender all to God. The same is available to you. What would happen if you lived your life completely surrendered to God? How would others be impacted? What would your life look like? Is it possible that others would see something they wanted, maybe even those relatives of yours who need Jesus might reach out to him because you lived your life surrendered to Him. That’s what 2 Corinthians is saying to us. God comforts us when we go through trouble so we can comfort others who go through trouble. But if we don’t live surrendered to Jesus who would allow us to try and comfort them if they see us freaking out and always worrying and having anxiety. It’s about us, but it’s so much bigger than us. The way you and I live our lives leaves an eternal impact on the lives of others. The question remains are we impacting lives for heaven or are we impacting others in a way that they turn away from Jesus? If we’re not impacting lives for heaven then we need to surrender to Jesus.
Maybe tonight you realized you need a relationship with Jesus. Tonight is your opportunity to reach out to Jesus. It’s really simple to enter into a relationship with Him. Admit that you have sinned, believe that Jesus died on a cross for your sins and confess that Jesus is your Lord and Savior. If you did that would you just leave a comment that you have begun a relationship with Jesus in the comment section below.
Maybe tonight you realized that you haven’t been living a life surrendered to Jesus. Maybe you say “Yeah during this crisis I have been freaking out and have been led by negative emotions.” If that is you tonight you have an incredible opportunity to let all of that go. This is your opportunity to have a conversation with Jesus and let go of doing things your way and embrace His love, His grace, and His peace.
Let’s Pray.
Thank you so much for joining us tonight. I hope you are encouraged and your relationship with Jesus is growing. See you Sunday at 11am. God bless you and have a good night.
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