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VALIANT FOR THE TRUTH

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DEALING WITH FAMILY STRESS

or

SUBMISSION TO GOD WHEN IN THE MIDST OF TRIAL

or

THE SUFFICIENCY OF JESUS CHRIST IN ALL THINGS

(Subtitles mine)

Sunday School Class at Tri-State

May 23, 1995

We must at all times be concerned with doing, thinking and believing those things that are pleasing to God. This is especially true in the area of Dealing With Family Stress. That there will be trouble in this world is undeniable. That we may fight against a myriad of trials such as poverty, sickness, persecution, and many other manifestations of sin is a truth we must acknowledge. We can "DEAL WITH IT" in a variety of ways. The world offers us with a plethora of solutions. Yet we might also say that we can look at our present stressful situations and respond to them in one of two ways:

1) A way pleasing to God and in accordance with his perfect will, plan and direction as revealed to us through the Holy Scriptures.

or

2) The way of sinful man.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.

FAMILY PERSECUTION:

There will be a tension, or even greater, a DIVISION, in any family where only part cleaves to Christ.

Luke 12:51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

WORLD OF WOE:

I John 5:19 [And] we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, [and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

I John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

THE TERM STRESS:

The word "stress" carries an enormous amount of psychological baggage.There are numerous books on coping with Stress, Living a Stress Free Life, Stress and You, Making Stress Work for You, STRESS FRACTURES, and the list could go on and on with similar pscyho-related titles. For our purposes, it seems prudent to divest ourselves of our lesson title. Instead, this morning we shall discuss God's purposes in the Trials Associated with Family Life. This would be completely congruent with Pastor Joel's sermon last Sunday as he preached upon the fact that God has his purposes for your life. And that sometimes in his purpose things are not all pleasant but that indeed there are trials.

Our teacher's manual defined stress as, "a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily, or mental tension." Such a definition will not benefit us. Where in all the word of God is such a definition found? And how by the Holy Scriptures can such a definition be tested? Is not our battle a spiritual one? Do we not wrestle in a spiritual realm? And are we not called to war against our own flesh? Are we to seek solutions to physical, and emotional factors that cause bodily and mental tension OR Has GOD CALLED US TO SOMETHING HIGHER AND GREATER WHEN HE GIVES US THIS INJUNCTION:

Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Praise God, He has given his Children His Spirit. Walk in The Spirit. Live in the Spirit. Be endued with power by the Spirit. Drink of that Spirit.

I Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

"But I know this tension!", you may very well respond. And surely we all do. We all know fear, uncertainty, anxiety, unbelief and other unwholesome reactions to circumstances and events. But fear, ungodly fear, we can discuss, for the Bible says there is no love in fear and that perfect love casteth out fear. Anxiety we can answer, for the Word of God instructs us to be anxious or careful for nothing but in everything with prayer and thanks giving to let our requests be made known to God. We are to cast all our cares upon him who cares for us. Unbelief we can answer with the prayer, Lord I believe Help thou my unbelief, Circumstances we can answer as we learn in all things to be content and as we see that all things work together for good. (see scriptures immediately below)

SPIRITUAL WAR:

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

II Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

WARRING AGAINST OUR OWN FLESH:

I Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

LIVING THROUGH THE SPIRIT is NOT the same as A CHEMICAL REACTION:

Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

FEAR:

I John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

ANXIETY:

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

TRUST IN THE LORD WHO CARES FOR YOU INDEED.

I Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

PRAYER FOR FAITH:

Mark 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

CONTENTMENT:

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.

GOD is in CONTROL:

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

GOD IS IN CONTROL: SEE HOW THE EVIL INTENTIONS OF JOESEPH'S BROTHERS WERE PURPOSED BY GOD FOR THE GOOD OF HIS PEOPLE.

Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.

GOD IS OUR REFUGE IN ALL KINDS OF TROUBLE. COME TO YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER FOR BOTH REFUGE AND STRENGTH. FOR REAL ABIDING HELP.

Psalms 46:1 {To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.} God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

TYPES OF TRIALS:

I. Trials that we have brought upon ourselves. We can bring much grief to ourselves and our families through our own sinful behavior. The list can go on and on but our own sin would lie at the bottom and the aroma of it would be unmistakable. Make no mistake about it, we are not talking of addictions and diseases. We must speak with the language of the Bible for this is the language of Love. It is difficult to repent from something you view as a disease or an addiction. See your own sin when it lies at the bottom or your current trouble.

Spending more than you make.
An unbridled tongue.
Wandering Eyes.
Drunkeness.
Adultery.Pride.
Discontentment.
Self-Seeking.
Self-Love.
Self-Self-Self.

With only a little thought we can see what tremendous troubles our own sin has brought upon us and our families. We must, as believers in Jesus Christ, Hold Fast the Profession of our Faith. We must, as believers in Jesus Christ, Continue in the Faith. If we have fallen we must rise up again. We must repent and seek forgiveness. Pray God for strength to resist sin and temptation. Set it upon your heart to live a life Pleasing to God. Get your eyes off your circumstances and onto eternity and great peace and strength will accompany you.

RECKON YOURSELVES to be dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God.

Our Heavenly Father is the God of all Glory and He loves us as his own to the extent that He will Chastise us as a Father a son.

Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

RISE UP AGAIN FROM YOUR FALL:

Proverbs 24:16 For a just [man] falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

RECKON YOURSELF DEAD:

Romans 6:7-22 For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things [is] death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Having eyes and a heart for eternity will help to put in proper perspective the MANY calamities and trials we are subject to in this life.

Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

The following is a very encompassing verse for when we are dead to this world and alive to God, having crucified the fleshly affections and desires there is very little that can hurt us.

Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. and also

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Having your heart in heaven what can touch you here.

Matthew 6:20-21 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

IF dying is gain, we are free indeed.

Philippians 1:21 For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.

Because Self-Love is so strong we have need to continually remind ourselves that our heart must be in heaven our affection must be set on the things of God, that the ultimate trial death will be a freeing time. The sting of death has been removed. That we are strangers and pilgrims in this world, here we have no enduring home but we look for a city whose builder and maker is God. Look to the Lord and the precious faith given you by your Lord and God will sustain you in trying times.

Hebrews 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God.

II Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of [this] tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

I Corinthians 15:55 O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?

VICTIMIZATION OF THE BELIEVER and BRINGING TRIAL UPON YOURSELF:

THERE IS ALSO ANOTHER MEANS, by which we can bring or create our own trials. There is a great momentum in our society to convince us thatwe are all victims of one type or another. Victims of our circumstances, victims or our heritage, victims of our chemical reaction. WE should be greatly cautioned not to heighten an unpleasant situation by seeing ourselves as victims. "Woe is me" is not a Godly Response. We ought instead to be looking for what The Lord may impart to us or teach us because of our current trials. Be careful to gain from your trials. If we gain patience in a trial we have gained a priceless grace. See the sovereign hand of your Loving Heavenly Father upon you when in the midst of trial. Teach your family to do the same. Today's wisdom will instruct you that your daughter has been traumatized by the current change in your family status. Changes such as moving to a new town, birth of a new child, death of a family member, brother moving away and etc. Instead of catering to your child's baser nature and perhaps heighten or even create the pain she may be experiencing teach her to see the hand of God in such events. Teach her to trust in an OMNIPOTENT, ALMIGHTY GOD who loves her and who Has his own BEST PURPOSES for her. Show her the words:

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

Tell her There will be trials of all kinds in this world from without and within and tell her to praise God there's a heaven at the end of all our trials:

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, [and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Tell her that she can overcome with Christ who has overcome:

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

II. The second type of trial are those brought upon us. Not necessarily through some sin of our own. Not through some wrong judgement of our own. But rather because of or as a result of the sin of others. Fathers can bring trials upon their families, Husbands to wives, Sons to Fathers, Daughters to Mothers, or Brothers upon brothers. We do not lack in sinful pursuits which can bring great grief upon a family:

1. Abusing oneself with drugs.
2. Drunkeness of a near relative.
3. Divorce of a child, divorce of a parent.
4. Fornication and Adultery.
5. Disobedience.
6. Rebellion.
7. And many, many more sins could be added.

But what can we do. How can we submit to God in trials of this nature. We can submit to God in trials such as this or others by:

1. Waiting upon the Lord in Prayer. Trials will cause us to pray. Trials can bring us to our knees in intercession for those we love dearly and for the peace of God to comfort us. Prayer in trial brings us closer to our Heavenly Father. Prayer in trial will strengthen our faith. There is great blessing to be had in trial when instead of turning to despair we turn to prayer!

Psalms 88:9 Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.

Psalms 106:44 Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:

2. We can submit to God in Trials such as this and any type by seeing how in trial our fingers our pried from their grip upon this world to a more longing look toward heaven and eternity in our long home.

II Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

3. We can submit to God in Trials by seeing the very PRECIOUSNESS OF THEM. If you have faith you will be tried. And every believer should welcome trial for they are designed for our benefit. To be left alone without trial would be a curse and an emblem that God's pleasure is not upon us: (Hosea 4:17 Ephraim [is] joined to idols: let him alone.)

TRIALS ARE PRECIOUS:

I Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

How are trials precious?

Trials try precious faith. Trial-dokimion, the proof test. Is your faith real and genuine? If so the trial of your faith will prove it? Thus by the trial of your faith you can receive assurance that your faith is genuine. Your faith can be strengthened as it is tried even in family trials.

Will you submit to God in these trial or will you make haste and run before the Lord?

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Trials bring us to prayer. (as we listed above)

Trials authenticate or sonship.

Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Trials are precious because they will bring us deeper into the Word of God.

Psalms 119:71 [It is] good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Trials are precious because they will keep us from greater evils:

II Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

Trials purge out sin:

Isaiah 27:9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this [is] all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.

Trials knock down self-confidence:

Psalms 30:6 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, [and] I was troubled. I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.

Precious trial that makes Jesus more precious, the throne of grace more precious, the discipline of God more precious, the word of God more precious, and the prospect of going home to glory more precious!

Remember in trial this PROMISE:

I Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

Although we each have our particular trials, yet there is nothing greater than our God, nothing that God's grace will not suffice, nothing beyond the sufficiency of Our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Let the trials that are particular to you bring your deeper into the WORD OF GOD, and deeper into a TRUST and RELIANCE UPON the sufficiency of JESUS CHRIST.

See the trial as a trying of your faith.

James 1:3 Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Romans 5:3 And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

God does not try the ungodly but the righteous:

Psalms 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

The Lord trieth the righteous: he doth not hate them, but only tries them. They are precious to him, and therefore he refines them with afflictions. None of the Lord's children may hope to escape from trial, nor, indeed, in our right minds, would any of us desire to do so, for trial is the channel of many blessings. [Treasure of David, Spurgeon, Vol I, pg 130]

If your trial is for your particular sin then submit to God in it as his chastening loving Hand. Let your thoughts be refined that you think not meanly or sinfully of God. Thank Him that he loved you enough to chasten you as a father a son.

If your trial is a relative one. One in which you suffer for the sins of a loved one. Wait upon the Lord in prayer. Depend on Christ to see you through the trial until the end. Let this trial teach you patience and the need to pray on behalf of those you love.

If your trial is more a circumstance of simply living in a fallen and dying world. Then again draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you. Trying times are growing times.

Above all know that you can depend upon the sufficiency of our Lord and Saviour, Prophet, King and Priest, Jesus Christ the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD the KING OF GLORY.

Fear not, come to the God of all Comfort who knows the very number of the very hairs of your head. He is our refuge and our strength.

Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Luke 12:22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body [is more] than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more [will he clothe] you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

THE END

 

Scott D. Andersen

1Cor 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

sdandersen@juno.com

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