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Living Above Your Circumstances - Part 24

David Wright


David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church


  • July 18, 2020
    11:00 AM
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Well she was born on June 27 1880 in Colbert County Alabama but a 19 month old this little girl contract an unknown illness described as Doc by doctors as an acute congestion of the stomach and brain perhaps it was scarlet fever or perhaps it was meningitis and as you know that illness left this little girl both blind and deaf we know or by Helen she described her own situation as living in a dense fog think about that for a moment try closing your eyes imagine you don't hear anything sometimes we ourselves describe it as deafening silence the childhood friend 2 years older than her was able to understand her in some ways in terms of things that she was trying to express and so sometimes she would translate for little Ellen to her basic needs with her signs and gestures and so on but overall her world was very confusing and difficult her behavior was oftentimes described as wild or unruly often terrorizing others with her temper tantrums and her demands sometimes acting more like a wild animal than a little girl getting whatever she wanted to eat off of anybody's plate that was her existence when Helen was 6 mother convinced father we have to do something until Helen father traveled with her all the way to Baltimore to an ear nose and throat specialist. But the specialist simply referred them to Alexander Graham Bell who was working with deaf children at the time but Bell didn't feel like he could do anything for the situation so he sent them to the Perkins Institute for the Blind in South Bend anybody been on this little adventure of being referred from here to there to the other the whole time wondering does anybody know is there any solution or help to this problem but it was there at the Perkins institute that there was a school director who asked a 20 year old young graduate alumnus of the school you know her name and Sullivan who too was visually impaired in part and she was to become Helen's instructor The meeting took place the following year at the Kellers home back in Alabama in March of 887 sold in 1st observed the situation then started making recommendations and doing activities to help Helen learn but Helen did not understand she was continually frustrated she had no idea what this was all about and so in her frustration she would break things she would kick she would scream violent temper tantrums and this continued day after day as the parents question and methods and practices at times undermining the process. And so Sullivan believe that the key to reaching Helen was the teacher obedience and love and saw that she needed some discipline not to crush the spirit of this young girl but to help her see what's Ok what's not Ok how this relates to pass going to work how we can best move forward and so within a week of Ann's arrival to their home she gained permission to remove Helen from the main house and then to live alone with her in a near by cottage no more because you run to mom no more because you run to. The door was locked it was just the 2 of them duking it out if you will they remain there for 2 weeks so even continued her task of teaching Helen by manually sync signal signing excuse me into the child hand over and over and over and over I can imagine the patience of a 20 year old girl so when they brought a doll as a gift for Helen by spelling dollar into the child's hand she hoped to teach her to connect the dots between objects and letters even that words existed and letters and all of this was brand new to her and sometimes she'd even sign back Ok fine I can do that but she didn't know what she was doing she didn't know the connection. Until one day and you know the story April 5 that same year 887 less than a month after her arrival she and Helen were at the water pump pumping the water signing the letters pumping it again signing the letters again until finally there was a breakthrough as she spelled the word w a t r 1st slowly then rapidly suddenly the signals had meaning in Helen's mind she knew somehow there was a connection she was since signing the word for water this opened up a brand new world to her and so immediately she started demanding was the earth was the ground was the sign for this and she would take her hand she started signing that and everything to start to open up for her it was a transitional moment that would forever change her life her existence her future by nightfall she had learned 30 words and she quickly proceed to master the alphabet both manual and in raise print for blind readers and so she would learn or have learned to read and then she even started to learn how to write in fact this is one of the 1st or one of the handwritten notes that we have from her the letters are a little bit square but imagine blind if you ever try to reading or write anything with your eyes closed maybe you've had something like your signature you've done enough times but it's pretty tricky maybe you played one of those games where you draw the picture with your eyes closer by unfold they have to guess what it is and you open you know and finally at the end you say why couldn't you see that was a bow you were played that game but this was just 2 and a half months from that breakthrough moment that she wrote cat cold catch latch Dall pretty amazing at age 10 she expressed a desire to learn to speak now how do you learn to speak if you can't watch somebody else speak if you can't watch the lips move if you can't watch what the tongue does nor can you hear me those things can do now. Was disappointed she learned how to communicate through speech but it was hard to understand her in fact you can go to youtube and you can hear her talking and it is difficult to understand but those that worked with her enough knew what she was saying again remarkable but never got to the point where she was satisfied with her speech but from a very young age Helms determined to go to college in 1898 she entered the Cambridge school for young ladies to prepare for Radcliffe College and she entered Radcliffe in the fall of 1900 and she received a bachelors of art degree whom lot in 1000 know for the 1st deaf and blind person to do so while still a student at Radcliffe Helen began writing a writing career that was to continue throughout her life but it really was her autobiography that was 1st published in 1903 the story of my life that got the most traction and today her autobiography auto biography has been translated into 50 languages and circulated around the world somehow there's something in that story that gives us hope in our own situations that inspires us to try to do something that others may say can't be done it's impossible the ultimate story of an underdog among her friends were Alexander Graham Bell Mark Twain Albert Einstein Charlie Chapman Henry Ford John f. Kennedy Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Dwight d. Eisenhower she traveled to 35 countries not all kinds of people and there's many things that she's quoted as saying one of them perhaps the best known is the only thing worse than being blind is having what sight with no vision no that's an Ok statement but coming from Helen Keller that's huge because her circumstances framed the entire state. I don't think it's the context is the person and the experience behind the words that people look at that and they say well another one when one door of happiness closes another one opens but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us again very profound considering the context of who's making the statement and so we have 2 individuals here and Sullivan is on your right and mostly Helen Keller is on your left a men's obstacles that they overcame challenges difficult circumstances but you could say of each of them they chose to live of their circumstances isn't that true it was a choice that was made that we're going to push through this we're going to make something of ourselves in spite of this we're not going to be held hostage by our challenging circumstances and today we're continuing with Paul on our series a man of grace and grit and today's peace I'm calling living above your circumstances and Paul was certainly a man that chose I believe to live above his circumstances and you might say well what does that mean well that's what we're going to talk about today because the reality is life happens circumstances are often out of our control so the question truly is do we let the challenges of life destroy us or by God's grace do we rise above them last time we saw Paul he was battling with the storm for 14 days they were dashed on the rocks but because of the graciousness of God All 276 aboard were saved not one was lost in the 1st part of Acts 28 the island people show them great kindness. And while there we see Paul has an impact on those people for the days and months that they are there he's minister into the people he healed many while he is there and you can read that later today that would be a fine read 1st part of Acts Chapter 28 but then by the time we get to verse 11 time has passed the season allows for sailing again and after many pit stops along the way and it tells us where they went but by the time we get to Acts chapter 28 verse 16 it says they finally reach Rome so we have your Bibles us just 3 and now when we came to Rome the stint Turion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard finally they had arrived in room you recall that Rome was the last dominant world power role more than was the iron legs of Daniel 2 and at that time Rome was the biggest most powerful wealthiest city of the world at its peak some estimate that 4 to 5000000 people lived in the city that's equivalent Los Angeles today Rome had its own fire brigade police force Postal Service a sewer system that swept away 55 tons of waste a day would you think Why sure that that was way ahead of their time and if you don't think that's a big deal take your your plumbing out of your house and let me know how it goes house apartment style buildings that were up to 6 stories tall and Romans polytheistic with a great number of gods and goddesses many of which were borrowed from Greece and their success as a nation was a tribute they said to their gods and so their various rituals their performing their various temples the upper class lived a life of ease in Rome they went to theaters to watch Live plays had the largest libraries anywhere in the world Rome was known for its great. Bags and extensive water systems complete with artificial lakes canals Aqua ducks that's where simply carries the water on these bridges for miles and miles and miles took 14 years to build some of the Aqua Dots 14000 blocks of stone with the strongest concrete known to this day freshly ingredient was from volcanic ash volcanic ash mixed with line stone and seawater and these Aqua ducks pumped 250 gallons of water to the city of Rome each day and throughout the architecture of the city were great arches and basilicas or those great domes on top of buildings and the people were entertained by large amphitheatres there is this famous Roman Coliseum which would have been built probably 10 to 15 years after Paul was there but it would seat $50000.00 spectators for a variety of events that include a gladiator contest oftentimes animal hunts reenactments of famous battles one time even flooded the Coliseum so they can reenact a sea battle if you will the rain also had $36.00 trap doors for special effects as well as many underground passages and rooms to hold wild animals and Gladiators before the Games began they even would sell the sweat of a gladiator to the spectators after they won and what type of animals were lions tigers rhinos crocodiles bears to name a few so this gives you perhaps an idea of the civilization Paul was entering into There was a lot of wealth a lot of selfishness a lot of pride a lot of ego a lot of ease and here Paul finally then arrives in Rome finishing verse 16 though it says that Paul was permitted I think for no other reason than his reputation that came before him it says he was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him so he's not in this dungeon per se he's under. House arrest and we see here at the very end of the chapter verse 30 and 31 then Paul dwelt 2 whole years and his own rented house and receive all who came to him so he rented the house I magine he paid the rent the guard was there with him at all times but he has much more at his disposal than a normal prisoner verse $31.00 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence no one forbidding him to hear Paul is 2 years this is the situation this is what he has to work with and so you get the scene he's never alone the guard is always there we could say that Paul is being quarantined but not for a couple of weeks 14 days we can might say today not for 4 months Paul is being quarantined in his rented house for how long to the text say 2 years people come and go but he has to stay I don't know about you but I imagine if it were me my patients would wear thin and maybe I know a little bit more what this is like after the last 4 months and I would have before home is good I love home I love to come back to home but sometimes you gotta go somewhere so you can come back home anybody here at Cabin Fever I just gotta get out of that house where you going anywhere no worry honey I'll watch the kids buy into that crowd goes away for you come back no I'm just going to see never growls into the growing but if you notice in this passage we don't see Paul anxious for things to progress he always seems to be content he makes the most of anywhere God places him for as long as God feels like it's best for him to be there and again the same thing that we see a loose account of what we see here again in Rome going back to verse 17 it says and it came to pass after 3 days that Paul called the leaders of the Jews together and so they all come together Men and brethren though I have done nothing against our people or the customs or a. Others yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans and so he kind of carries on a little bit and says this is what's happened to me I don't know what you heard and they come back and say we really haven't heard anything except this is pretty divisive what's going on please tell us 1st hand and so he does and the verses tell us in verse 22 to 24 so when they 1st 23 but we desire to hear from you what you think for concerning the sect we know that it is spoken against everywhere verse 23 so when they appointed him a day many came to him at his lodge him to whom he explain and solemnly testified of the Kingdom of God persuading them concerning Jesus for them both the Law of Moses and the prophets from morning till evening and so here again is Paul given another Bible study all the church folks have come out and they want to say Ok you're talking about this Jesus fellow and you say he's a film of Bible prophecy tell us more about that what do you base that on and so from morning until evening this Bible study goes on and on and on and who else happens to be there listening the Roman go taking it all in I mean this is new to them this is new new new new to him but listening listening listening verse 24 and some were persuaded by the things which were spoken and some disbelieved kind of par for the course at this point isn't it some believed some were oftentimes most did not and so verse 2028 Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to whom the Gentiles and they will hear it again the same song I don't even know what verse we're on this is happened time and time and time again but again Paul complaining Is he frustrated is he angry does he throw anything here in the chapter does he put any of these Jewish people a chokehold he shares some believe some are persuaded and some don't he says that's fine I'll go to the Gentiles. Just like I've done so many times before and there's no question the route had been difficult but despite all the challenges the book in stride infinitely will read verse 31 again preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence no one forbidding him how does the book end of the book of Acts it is with Paul Prejean about the Lord with all confidence he's not scratching his head and saying maybe I'm wrong if it doesn't convince all of you maybe there's a problem you know and what's remarkable to me is the incredible hardship endured by Paul yet not even a hint of complaint nothing about being confined in this place nothing about a lack of privacy concerns Roman soldier always watching always present always there nothing about his cramped quarters pole is even seen asking for favors on top of that we don't see Paul holding grudges. Either we see time and again that the small This man Paul simply would not grumble somehow and I have to say by God's grace he lived above it all he believed in divine appointments and I can hear him often and again repeating the very words I have learned the secret to be content wherever God places me and where do we find that flippy and chapter 4 verse 12 and when did Paul write that during these 2 years on house arrest that Paul writes the Philippians one of the prison a pistol's as it's called along with the visions and kolache ans and for Lehman No Paul doesn't just sit on his hands but rather sees opportunity to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ and so Paul writes the prison pistols and it is there that we see Paul not grumbling about his circumstances but by God's grace rising above them and using the opportunity to spread the gospel in fact in Philippi and Paul speaks of his circumstances 3 times if you want to see them here's the 1st time that he mentions his circumstances in Philippi ans this is taken from the New American Standard Version and it says in Philip in Chapter one Verse 12 now I want you to know brother and that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel will come back to that idea 2nd time it's mentioned in some Flippy and for verse 11 Not that I speak from want for I have learned to be content and whatever circumstances I am noticed that contentment is not a genetic trait Paul was not born with this trait it was not a talent of his rather it was something he learned to do I would think over time through the power of Christ Paul had learned to in. Counter a broad spectrum of stressful situations without letting circumstances impact him negatively he learned how to sustain an excellent attitude he learned to live above his circumstances and then the 3rd time finishing in this verse I know how to get along with the with humble means I also know how to live in prosperity in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being content whether well fed or hungry whether living in plenty or in 13 times he emphasizes how circumstances do not determine his level of contentment no conditions no restrictions no boundaries no in any and every circumstance I have learned Paul says this secret and what is it to be content regardless of his station in life by God's grace Paul lived above his circumstances and I would wager if Paul could learn this maybe we by God's grace can learn this too you know so afternoon we're remembering the wonderful life of Joe Padgett who himself went through a host of health challenges going back many many years and I remember it every time that I would visit with him or see him whether it down our fellowship hall whether it was down his basement getting dialysis that was the last time I saw him the very start of this summer Joe how are you doing bless that was his only response I'm blessed God has been good to me yeah but Joe isn't it is it uncomfortable is a hard is it I'm blessed God is good I can honestly remember a time that he was down in the mouth that he was discouraged that he would you know and he just would speak face and hope and say God has been so good to me he had learned the secret on oxygen on dialysis going through the whole thing again. I'm bless and wasn't only Joe that learned the secret Elaine learned the secret to what about you have you learned the secret of contentment by God's grace are you living above your circumstances because the reality is many of us find ourselves in situations far less than ideal life is not only become difficult but frustrating and at times it can feel like life is becoming more miserable by the day and for some here this morning life may be borderline unbearable and if we're not careful our situations our circumstances most certainly will in bitter us some turn us into someone who lives under a dark cloud where do men and gloom characterize our outlook now life is hard there's no question about it maybe you to live in a situation that resembles house arrest Maybe you to feel restricted chained to your circumstances Maybe you to feel caught like you're caught in a storm at times maybe you to feel that your counsel is being ignored Maybe you to feel sidelined abandon misrepresented or even persecuted maybe you too had to leave some of your dearest friends and support behind Maybe you to feel very much alone maybe you also feel mis understood or maybe your past gets thrown back into your face but I would be surprised to find out that some of you persecuted actively the lives of God's followers I would be shocked in fact to learn that you have blood on your own hands and I'm not speaking figuratively but literally no question Paul had a dark past Paul had every reason to experience p.t.s.d. perhaps there were times he woke up in a cold sweat remembering the innocent faces of the men or women that pleaded for mercy right before he brutally murdered them in cold blood but somehow by them or. Akeelah this power of God we don't hear any grumbling from Paul we don't hear any woes me from Paul somehow by God's grace he learn the secret to rise above his challenging circumstances to rise above his past experiences to rise above his present realities and maybe for you life has become so overwhelming all you seem to be able to do is recount your past failures to rehearse your current dilemma to give constant voice to your woes and maybe you have lived this way for so long the negative thinking has become a habit but let me tell you there is hope beyond your circumstances friends you can by God's grace live above them if a man named Paul by God's grace could live above his circumstances so can you and let's look at the benefits real quick you know how Paul did it well and what is thought to be one of Paul's earliest letters Oh we'll get that later let's look at some of the benefits number one the progress of the Gospel is accelerated that's one of the benefits of living above your circumstances let's see an example of that Libyans one verse 12 now I want to know brother and that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the Gospel greater progress to what it says Paul is saying that is bad situation is helping the cause have you ever looked at your challenging circumstance that way that now you have a greater opportunity for a more powerful more effective witness Well they are when life is easy and everything is falling into place not so much but when you go through a trial after trial after trial and you keep smiling you're cheerful you're filled with joy and contentment Now wait a minute how is this possible how can this person go through all of this mess and still be joyful with the joy of the Lord is my strength and it doesn't matter my circumstances I know in whom I have only the people start to say Now hold on. I need what you have I'm not going to have what you're going through but look at how well you're doing tell me your secret my circumstance that turned out for the greater progress of the gospel you know Paul never viewed his confinement as a barrier to the Gospel but rather as a catalyst for a wider impact x. the apostles for $54.00 says this Thus while apparently cut off from active labor this is talking about when he's in house arrest when he's there in Rome he's cut off from everybody outside it says Paul exerted a wider and more lasting influence than if he had been free to travel among the churches as in former years really wider more lasting again that's what it says because the 2nd one here benefits of living above your circumstances Number 2 the edge of the message is sharpened What does that mean exactly another verse Philippians Chapter one Verse 12 now I want you to know brother and that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the Gospel continue nonce so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard and to all the rest that my chains are in Christ think about that for a 2nd here we have this sharpening if you will of the Gospel the message of Christ love permeated not just Jews not just Gentiles but the Roman palace guard secular as they were self-centered as they were not because of some speech but because of how Paul lived his life and they witnessed it over and over and they had an impact the message was sharpened and notice how many Imperial soldiers not just one but it says the whole palace guard some scholars suggest it was a group of 9000 individuals and how did it start one Roman soldier chain to one man and well the rest is history after soldier after soldier after soldier in connection with. Paul seen his circumstances and seen how he rose above them by the grace of God They laid down the arms of their heart and surrendered to a new commander how thrilling that must have been to witness firsthand Roman guards giving their lives to Jesus Christ know the Gospel was sharp and not told because Paul saw circumstances opportunity to launch the message rather than slump and grumble and despair praise the Lord and the 3rd one the courage of others is strengthened flippy in chapter one verse 14 and most of the brother in the Lord having become confident by my chains are much more bold to speak the word without fear who is the brother in the Lord Well it could have been the Roman soldiers who joined the ranks and also could have been believers around the world that he was writing to but the idea is that because of Paul's changed because of Paul's in prison they are more confined arts are not as confined but more bold in speaking God's truth more confident is the word I'm trying to look for more confident and more bold in speaking God's truth why because here is a man in chains for the Gospel yet he is on moved his fate is Graham says things like this I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and I didn't just say it he lived it wasn't just lip service this man was sold out and friends let me tell you that makes a lasting impression more than anything else you can do when you live your face the Gospel is accelerated the Gospel is sharpened and it encourages others in profound ways you know my dad was a pastor and pastor called jail for 20 years or something we had some friends there in the community and one of them was he would come to church with his family but he wasn't really the church kind of guy I mean Sabbath morning was it he had a love of things to do and that was fine and but he and his son or his son and me were good friends or and so we talked fair bit. I stayed at their house a fair bit and one time we actually had a spiritual conversation it wasn't long but he says I'm to the effect of this he says you know your dad's an Ok speaker he said I mean any offense to that he's an Ok speaker but you know how he speaks to me most by watching how he lives his life most powerful sermon you'll ever preach on a member how old I was at that time but I remember it to this day here's another quote here from Acts of the apostles for 54 says his words talking about Paul written by one under bonds for the sake of Christ commanded greater attention and respect than they did when he was personally with them and how is Paul able to do all this how was he able to arrive rise above his circumstances why was his written word of greater attention and respect now because they saw what he was suffering for they saw his overwhelming circumstances and how he raised him above them by God's grace and if people said I gotta listen to this I need to pay attention there's something here he's willing to suffer and friends I want to tell you that Paul did not rise above his circumstances because he attended some workshop on positive thinking it wasn't because of a stack of self-help books promising to shore up a sagging self-confidence no Paul secret was not found in a program but in a person Christ made the difference what do you say I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength so many times we say I can't do this to which I would be quick to say you're right you can't I can't take it anymore you're right you can't I can't do this any longer you're right you can't but you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength and here's a verse I want to share with you because I believe Paul learned this early on in one of his earliest composed letters we find this statement which is one of my favorites I have been crucified with. Christ it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me how can you do it it's not me how can you continue how do you go on how can you face the world it's not me I'm dead I died a long time ago or maybe there's more truth or truthful saying is I died again this morning Christ has become his central focus and if we want to live above our circumstances Christ must be our central focus as well it was through Christ as a servant Paul learned to endure all situations every circumstance every difficult challenge no matter how bad through Christ power Paul released all rights to his master and in turn his master released all the power and strength Paul needed in Christ alone can teach you live above the duress of the adversity you're facing your circumstances may not change but deep within you will as Christ is allowed 1st place in your thoughts changes will occur and those changes will be evident to your spouse and your children your friends your coworkers and instead of seeing yourself as a victim God will show you how to live as the victor as you begin to realize strength that is not your own and your contentment despite your circumstances will be nothing short of America will a God thing that will accelerate the Gospel that will sharpen the message and that will encourage others these are 2 of so our favorite people I was 1st introduced to Jim and Sandra when live and I were dating says you have to come up to the mountain we were going to school a sudden at the time this is about 2 hours away it's kind of in between where we are now and college Dale and I remember that 1st afternoon driving up that gravel road and they're all up against the pick of forest and so that's just beautiful property that they have there that God has blessed them with and you feel like you're going into North Mills river some it's just gorgeous and so we explore the creeks and just have a wonderful time there Lisbeth would bring I don't know how many college kids at a time often times calling. Just hours before saying hey I'm bringing 10 kids over for the weekend and it was Sandra who is a shared bring a mom it's not until more recently Lisbeth said what did I do to her she would cook and make it look easy and prepare all kinds of food and just put it out there and just engage with the both of them and so always all the way through in fact I engaged to Elizabeth just down the creek from this picture her family always I see come down there after Christmas around New Years and so that's a tradition in fact it goes a lot further back for Elizabeth they would go there on furlough from Africa every summer they would come back and Russia and other places and that in so many ways is more home to Elizabeth than any place else and she's North Carolina and so we just have a special place in our heart for and she's North Carolina here's another picture of Sandra with one of her grandchildren and just a wonderful couple and she was almost like another or both of them like another set of parents to us here she is with Lauren I don't know if you can recognize Lauren there she's grown a little bit since that picture and Matthew has too but then things started happening where Jimmy started noticing that her mind was not as sharp as it should be and she was forgetting things and starting to repeat things in them and appointments here in Nashville and back and forth and I put this picture in because I remember this day very keenly as it was at our house with Ted Nancy there that we had a special annoying teen for Sandra and we prayed for her that something might change and there might be some medication or something that could be done but we watched her contain id theory rate over the years and it was a challenge for all of us to go through that you see little Mariana there was this just this last fall there she is with her 2 kids Jane at home fact she died there at home and then after she passed away she was placed in this pine box we went out and dug a hole on the property where Mary Lou and Dawn Jimmy's parents and his parents are and we had a little service there it was kind of an impromptu thing. I shared a few words we all cried some tears but why do I share this with you already cry my tears this morning I think it's past because I watched all that transpire not just on that day that we put in the ground but in all the many days leading up to that the challenges leading up to that as I saw Jimmy deal with that day in and day out and take incredible care of her as we watched her pass as we cried our tears there was a strength in Jimmy that was palpable he was sad he was grieving but he was strong he says you know I know it's best for her that she fall asleep I know I'm going to see her again I know where her heart was and he just kept talking faith through the whole thing and sometimes with you death is a big huge ugly thing and you'll never get past that what I have in my whole life would just be wrecked not true and I watch others in this this very church that I've gone through similar things challenging circumstances and you to have risen above those circumstances and it's been an encouragement to me there is life after somebody passes away there is joy and peace and contentment after something of this nature happens and so yes you can mourn and you can cry those are all Ok those all need to happen but I remember leaving thinking and Jimmy can go through that with that kind of face and trust in the Lord I think I can to that's to encourage men of others when you see them in their most challenging circumstance rise above it by the grace of God and somebody else sees it and they say you know if they can do maybe by God's grace I can do it maybe I can claim those same promises maybe they'll be Ok now I want you know brother not my circumstance have turned out for the greater progress of the Gospel the reality is that our challenge most challenging circumstances give Christ His greatest opportunity to be glorified and really that shouldn't. Such a new idea that Jesus' crucifixion circumstances seemed to be at their worst but it was also there that his glory was shown the most and Paul points to this and challenges us to do the same and through Christ through His strength through His power His grace His Holy Spirit we can do the same we too can live above our circumstances for the glory of the father what did Paul write Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God did not consider robbery to be equal with God or in other translations it says to use his divinity do his own advantage but rather made himself of no reputation taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men and being found appearance as a man He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death even the death of the cross the lowest of the low as the Son of God hung naked on a tree to the scorn of the world friends it doesn't end there therefore God has also highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name that the name of Jesus every knee shall bow of those in heaven and of those on the earth and of those under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ as Lord to the what glory of God the Father when Christ circumstances seem to be at their worst God was glorified at his best desire of a just as Christ is humiliation was glorified he who in all of their eyes appeared to be conquered was a conqueror and a man another one here all the efforts of Satan to oppress and overcome. As the say is the devil taking a nap as he walked out not at all he still seeks to oppress and overcome but every effort to overcome him only brought in a purer light of his spotless character is simply was another avenue for which Christ could be glorified and so Paul's challenge is for us Let this mind be in you that when we suffer when we go through trying times by His grace we may not complain we may not grumble may not be discouraged not to have our eyes fixed on our circumstances but rather fix our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith if you have any father we thank you for the words of this song what are we to fear what are we to dread if we're leaning on your everlasting arms Lord we know that this world is filled with trials and challenges for everyone here but we also know the promise is that you will never leave us that you will never for sake us and that the peace that passes all understanding can be ours when we lean upon you Lord help us not to focus on our circumstances but help us to focus on Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our faith we pray in Jesus name. This media was brought to you by Audioboo a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or you would like to listen to more sermon leave it to w.w.w. dot audio Verse dot org.


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