Miller Motorsports Park
April 30, 2011
“Blessings in Disguise”
Last Sunday was Resurrection Day …or Easter if you prefer.
I want to sort of take off from a scripture I brought up then.
2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
You see, God is merciful to bless us even before we get into the trouble ahead that He knows is coming.
He sets things up beforehand.
He delights in doing good things for people. He always provides a hand to hold or helps us to stand against the coming onslaught of life’s trouble.
Lets take a sidestep a moment:
Have you ever ask yourself ‘Why is He so good to us?”
It certainly is not because we deserve it or because He feels the need to buy our love or loyalty.
The Psalmist writing Psalms 67 says he prays for God to bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us so that His way may be known on earth among all people and His salvation among all nations.
Psalm 67: 1-2
“God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us, Selah
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.”
God’s blessings which He bestows upon us both daily and in trouble are proof positive that He is a God who cares for His own.
The question is …How will the world around us know if we never share His goodness to us with anyone?
So, the next time He blesses you look for a way to appropriately give Him the credit.
Okay …back to our message:
Life never takes the course we plan, nor can we control circumstances or timing no matter how rich, how strong, or influential we are.
It always comes down to
“What do you do when things don’t go the way you plan or think they should?”
How do we respond when circumstances attempt to control us?
Often we have a personal case of “Fatal Independence” and it is not a coincidence that we are in a particular situation because God wants to deal with us.
As humans we attempt to face frustrations, trouble, and crisis by analyzing them when the issue is that we need to learn “how to think” instead of “what to think.”
It seems everyone is telling us What to think today…
The Government, the News Media, Society, …and the list goes on.
However nobody seems to want to teach people How to think so decisions can be made wisely. But, then they would lose their power over us.
How to think has far more validity in this unpredictable world we are living in.
The Apostle Paul had a lot to say about this thinking for yourself wisely.
Romans 8:18: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
2 Corinthians 4: 7-9, and 14-17
7-9: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”
knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,
Sometimes that all rests with the people God sends us as I have said…
OR …YOU …as you help others out of your experience.
Let me share an example that is happening as we speak today:
One of my closest friends …Sue is like a sister to me, and one of Kathy’s closest friends.
She has two boys.
One is in the military and Sue is with him visiting his family on base.
Nate has never known his dad because his dad was killed in an accident shortly after Nate was born.
Sue has been a single Mom raising two boys all these years.
I have had the honor and privilege to be a dad type and adult male image in their lives for many years now.
Last Friday Nate’s close friend was killed in Afghanistan leaving his wife and 6 month old son.
Sue and Nate …were there in minutes and remain on the scene helping his friend’s wife through this ordeal.
In my last conversation Sue was extending her stay to stand by this devastated woman.
Let me ask you a couple questions:
Do you think this is a total coincidence that Sue was there when this happened?
Do you think this is a total coincidence that Nate, having gone through his life never knowing his Dad, was this soldier’s close friend, and was home and not deployed with his friend, when this all went down?
Not on your life!
This is the blessing of God…
And let me tell you that God could not have picked a better person to have on site during this crisis.
Sue and Nate are amazing …and so is Nate’s wife Rita, …and their young daughter Lucy.
The love of God is the cloak of humility and heroism adorning this family that God has placed on the scene to help.
That is who God is…
And He is for us…
That is what this life is all about …
…bringing resurrection out ashes
…and helping people find God’s REAL character.
Psalms 67:2 “so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.”
There is a fairly new vocalist, Laura Story, on K-Love these days that has written and recorded a new song inspired by her husband’s struggle with a brain tumor. She says:
“Blessings” was written as a reminder that God remains faithful even when things don’t turn out the way we expect them to.
“Life is filled with things you don’t expect, but the Bible tells us to respond by trusting God and continuing to worship Him,” Laura reflects on the experience. “God has grown us up, deepened our faith, our awareness of our great need for Him as a savior, daily. We knew it before, but we didn’t see it.”
Check out the words to Laura Story’s – “Blessings”
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things
‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise
So much of life …our maturity, our outlook, perception comes from the hard times that life brings our way.
Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us alone during these trials.
All too often we gain so much as we go through the things…
“That we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy”
I want to tell you that the bottom line in all this is:
Life’s confusing, painful, & ugly circumstances must be separated from God’s character.
Life can be unjust, but God’s character is discovered by how WE respond to injustice.
Always remember this:
‘The miracle isn’t the life you missed or what has been taken from you, …but …the life you live!”