Faithlife Sermons

Dealing with Hard Times

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Introduction
In previous verses, John and Peter faced difficult times.
Arrested for healing the lame man
Threatened not to teach the gospel.
We all face difficult times...
Relationships
Finances
Health
Life
After Peter and John were released, we find some wonderful principles that help us deal with hard times.

Find strength and encouragement within the fellowship of believers

Acts 4:23 “When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.”
The report to the believers
The fellowship with the believers
“companions.” “one’s own people.”
It denotes a close relationship.
It denotes a family
They found strength and encouragement
They prayed with one another
Acts 4:24 “And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,”
Martin Luther Said, “No man should be alone when facing hard times. The church and the ministry of the word were instituted for this purpose, that hands may be joined together and help one another. If the prayer of one doesn’t help, the prayer of another will.”

Cultivate a vision of the Sovereignty of God

The Sovereign Lord
Acts 4:24 “And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,”
It simply means they understand that no matter what difficulty they are going through, God is is control.
Sovereign Creator
Acts 4:24 “And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,”
Psalm 146:6 “who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;”
All powerful
Sovereign Controler
Acts 4:25-26 “who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’—”
Psalm 2)
Acts 4:27-28 “for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”
The sovereignty of God is one of the most important teachings that believers need to understand and grasp, especially when we are dealing with hard times.
When a pandemic happens remember God’s in control
When a loved one passes remember that God’s in control
When you lose your job remember that God’s in control
When you have relationship issued remember that God’s in control.
Nothing that happens to us takes God by surprise.
Haratio Spafford:
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrow like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Don’t lose sight of your purpose.

The request of the prayer
Acts 4:29-30 “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.””
They didn’t ask for the hard times to be taken away.
Instead, they asked to use the hard times as an opportunity for ministry.

Rely on God’s Power

The answer to prayer
Acts 4:31 “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”
2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.””
The place was shaken
The people were filled with the Holy Spirit
The proclaimed Jesus

Conclusion:

Are you facing hard times?
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