Posts Tagged 'dealing with struggle'

Pearls from Philippians: Contending Companionship

Pearls from Philippians: Contending Companionship Sermon Audio Here

Philippians 4:1-9

In Boxing, “The importance of a good stance cannot be stressed enough. A good stance provides balance, and is a key to both attacking and defensive techniques. Boxers should be able to throw a punch without losing their balance.”

What’s Our Stance in Circumstance?

Stand Firm With Your Faith Family ~ Philippians 4:1-3

  • 1 STAY IN THE LORD because of love, joy, and want; deep desire to have us all be together in Christ
  • 2 agree=Phil 2:2 (be one in spirit and purpose) we do NOT all need to think the same thoughts; but we DO need to remember we’re part of the same family, and our different points of view do not need to estrange us from one another
  • 3 notice HELP: sometimes it takes the intervention of others to help us see that being one in spirit and purpose is an INTENTIONAL CHOICE. Some days, I feel just plain disagreeable. Other days, I’m worse! Those who love me are kind enough to remind me that I need a little help to be more like Jesus. That’s our job as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Choose To Rise To Challenges ~ Philippians 4:4-7

  • 4 CHOOSE: joy, repeatedly
  • 5 CHOOSE: reasonableness
  • 6 CHOOSE: thankfulness in prayer
  • 7 RESULT: God’s peace will mount a guard over your heart (the answer to the strife at beginning of chapter)

Philippians 4:8-9 “think on these things” means ”to take an inventory” of these attributes. STOCK UP and USE THEM in your life.

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Gems from Genesis: God Is Willing To Wrestle

Gems from Genesis: God Is Willing To Wrestle Sermon Audio Here

Genesis 32:22-31

The story is told of a scrawny kid in a small school with no wrestling program. He asked a football coach to enter him into regional matches, and the kid won every match because he wouldn’t let go. At the end of the season, this kid gets to state, and faces the two-time state champ. He’s about to get pinned; the coach can’t look. Next thing you know, the kid won! Coach asked how: kids says “that guy had me twisted like a pretzel, and I never give up. I saw a big toe, and bit into it with all my strength. Coach, it’s amazing what you can do when you BITE YOUR OWN TOE!”
Some reactions are surprising!

When God Shows Up…

Respond To The Struggle ~ Genesis 32:22-31

  • 27 Jacob says his name, grasper/deceiver; DON’T HIDE TRUTH
  • The Lord didn’t ask the question in order to get information, because He certainly knew Jacob’s name and that Jacob had the reputation of being a schemer and a deceiver. “What is your name?” meant, “Are you going to continue living up to your name, deceiving yourself and others; or will you admit what you are and let Me change you?” In the Bible, receiving a new name signifies making a new beginning. {Warren W. Wiersbe – Be Authentic (Genesis 25-20)}

Submit to God’s Changing You

  • 28 God changes our name; LIVE IN THE NEW YOU
  • One result of this meeting with God is that Jacob’s name is changed to Israel, which in the explanation given is connected with a Hebrew verb meaning “to contend with, strive.” As with Abraham in chapter 17, a new name indicates a new destiny. {Baker Commentary}
  • This applies to YOU as well: Isaiah 62 promises that God’s people will get a new name, and Revelation 2 confirms it: God knows your old name, but loves you enough to change it (and you)

Admit Who God Is To You

1 Peter 2:9 says:
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

In This Corner…

In This Corner Sermon Audio Here


Ecclesiastes 7:15-23
“Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the main event, in the category of the meaning of life here on planet Earth, presiding over this match we have the Holy Spirit, the King of Kings and the Father of All, (pause) Now in the red corner, with a professional record of with numerous wins in the lives of fools, from the heart of the Adversary but living in countless minds all over the world, please welcome the Concept of Wickedness! (Pause) The opponent in the blue corner with a professional record of the Ultimate Win, through the work of the Son of God, and found in the lives of the saints, from before the beginning of time, please welcome the Concept of Righteousness!”

How Do We Live in the Midst of Struggle?

Find Your Sweet Spot In The Middle
Ecc. 7:15-23 We have to get out of the corner!

  • v16/17 – Don’t be holier than thou, or a smart-alec, and don’t be mr. wicked; live in the middle (which is where the fight is!)
  • v20 don’t pretend to be perfect, we all know better
  • v23 we know we’re going to fall short; don’t obsess about it

Bring Your Best To The Conflict
Rom. 12:3-8 Don’t just show up; TRAIN

  • v3 sober judgment w/ faith; admit weakness and strengths
  • v4/5 we are a TEAM – not just individuals (wrestling points)
  • v6/8 prophesying = proclaimer of divine concerns
    • serving = service as attendant, aide, or assistant
    • teaching = regardless of setting
    • encouraging = urge strongly, appeal to, urge, exhort
    • contributing = to give WITH (larger than ourselves)
    • leadership = exercise a position of leadership
    • mercy = be greatly concerned about someone in need

Let’s USE our spiritual gifts in the midst of life’s struggle! When all is said and done, the Fight has ultimately already been Won by One!


Pastor Ed Backell

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