. Sermon - THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD IN THE TRIALS OF THE BELIEVER - Romans 8:26-28

THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD IN
THE TRIALS OF THE BELIEVER
Romans 8:26-28

by Cooper Abrams

           Introduction:

    1. There are surely difficulties for the child of God during his life. There are also times of indecision and times when we wonder if God is working.

    2. During one's Christian life there will be peaks where God did some great work. There are also valleys! Many times in the valley it is hard to feel or even know if we are in God's will or that if God is really working.

    3. In life there are disappointments, dangers and detours. As well as good times. God has promised to see us through all times good or bad.

    4. Romans 8:26-28 makes a profound statement. The passage says the Holy Spirit helps the believer with his "infirmities." The word "infirmity" literally means "a lack of strength, a weakness, that indicates our inability to produce results. Paul expresses this truth of the believer, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Corinthians 12:10)

    5. God tells us that behind the scenes....the Holy Spirit is making intercession for us.... Never forget that no matter how dark the day may be. His intercession is according to the will of God. God does not shield us from that which is beneficial to us. An it is through difficulties we learn to live our lives to the fullest. All things.....not some, but all things...work together for good to them that love God....to them who are called according to His purpose.

               It means that when we obey the Lord and seek to live our lives as He purposes....God will bless us and even the difficult things we face will be to our good. Ephesians 5:18....if we are led of the Spirit...as the verse says...being "filled" which means that He is in control....nothing...no matter how trying can defeat us.... Even death cannot harm us.

ILLUS: One was asked the question....."Why do the righteous suffer?"   "Why not?" he replied.   "They're the only ones who can take it."   It was also stated that "Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." Suffering, trials and trouble that come our way...can be overcome and most Christians endure it and afterwards are best for having experienced it.

               The Bible is a book of encouragement and instruction on living in this world that is ruled by sin and all the heartache and pain that it begins. Most of the Psalms were born in difficulty. Most of the Epistles were written in prisons and are written to counter false teachers and to give the early Christians and us today instruction in how to handle the difficulties we encounter.

              Jesus' ministry was marked by constantly being attacked. Satan did every thing he could to destroy the Lord. Repeatedly the religious leaders of His day tried to destroy Him and His message. To provide for our salvation...Jesus suffered beyond what we can as human even imagine. His suffering brought about a wonderful thing....Salvation. It made men, lost in their sins able to become the children of God. I made possible the complete forgiveness of sins and cause all who will believe and put their trust in Him to have eternal life. It made we who are mortal and undeserving....citizens of heaven and to be able to live with God forever. Do you understand that it was suffering that brought all that about?

I. GOD IS ALWAYS PRESENT IN THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER GUIDING.

    The Bible, God's very word, says "Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." (Psalms 73:24)

    "For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me." (Psalms 31:3)

    A. God is not saying problems not will come, He  is saying, He will guide us through whatever comes and that we will overcome.

      1. One of my favorite places in the world is the Chesapeake Bay. I love to watch the ship both commercial and military coming in and out of the area. I have pictures of aircraft carriers and submarines coming in and out of the harbor. I look forward to my trips to Hampton Roads, and my son taking me out fishing in the James River, and Chesapeake fishing. As ships enter the Chesapeake Bay and past the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel they are required to stop and take on a pilot. The pilot then guides the ship safely into the harbors at Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth and other designations up the James River. They need an experienced pilot to steer their course to see them safely to their docks and out to sea on their return. Each of us too, needs a pilot to guide us and that pilot is our God and Creator Jesus Christ. The Captain is in a strange and unfamiliar sea lane and I can imagine that the ship's captain, who is responsible for the ship, is glad to have their pilot take control.

      We as true believers are the children of God and we too are in the world, ..... but not of the world.... we are strangers and pilgrims here. What a comfort to know the Master, our all knowing Pilot is guiding us. How foolish would we be if we did not allow him to guide and direct us?

      The song I sang which is based on 2 Corinthians 5:20... as a boy has always stuck in my mind and it says, "The Kings Business." I have never forgot it message.

        "I am a stranger here, within a foreign land;
        My home is far away, upon a golden strand;
        Ambassador to be, of realms beyond the sea,
        I'm here on business for my King.

        "This is the message that I bring,
        A message angels fain would sing:
        "Oh, be ye reconciled,"
        Thus saith my Lord and King,
        "Oh, be ye reconciled to God."

        "This is the King's command: that all men, everywhere,
        Repent and turn away from sin's seductive snare;
        That all who will obey, with Him shall reign for aye,
        And that's my business for my King."

        "My home is brighter far than Sharon's rosy plain,
        Eternal life and joy throughout its vast domain;
        My Sovereign bids me tell how mortals there may dwell,
        And that's my business for my King."

      ILLUS: B. M. Launderville has written, 'The vine clings to the oak during the fiercest of storms. Although the violence of nature may uproot the oak, twining tendrils still cling to it. If the vine is on the side opposite the wind, the great oak is its protection; if it is on the exposed side, the tempest only presses it closer to the trunk. In some of the storms of life, God intervenes and shelters us; while in others He allows us to be exposed, so that we will be pressed more closely to Him."

        2. We have no assurance of what the future will bring in our earthly lives, but it should comfort us and give us confidence that God will guide all who will allow Him too. We have God's promise that it will end up well.....in heaven eternally with Him.

        Someone has put it, "A storm with Christ is better than a calm without Him." There have times in my life in times of calm, when my relationship to my Savior has not been as close as it should be. In times when the storms of life came I responded with fear and not faith. Yet, each time after the storms have passed, I looked back in amazement in what God was doing and I was unaware of.

        Things have not always turned out as I wished or even prayed for. But dear friends, I know the Lord that He can do no wrong and He will always do the best for me. That has given me the peace and strength to continue on knowing it will in time, short or long, work itself out. Deep down that stilled the storm within me.

      B. It is by God's word we are lead.

        "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalms 119:105)

      C. The word Providence refers to God's provision for us. It refers to God's, care or help.

        Providence is the continuous action of God by which He makes all the events and physical and moral Universe fulfill the original design and intent for which He created it.

II. PROVIDENCE OF GOD BRING ASSURANCE.

    A. It is not possible for anyone to be at complete rest and peace without become aware of their position in the Lord. No matter what the present circumstance, a believer is moving forward and will ultimately fulfill God's plan for his lives.

      God is in control. "The Devil may be behind wheel of the world today, but he driving down the Lord's road."

    B. Ephesians 1:3-11. Read

      1. Paul is speaking of his call to carry the Gospel to the Gentiles.

      2. It was with the eternal purpose of God.

    C. In the Old Testament, Joseph was hated by his brothers, and sold into slavery.

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

      At the time it did not seem so! What made the difference? Joseph was a man who loved the Lord and lived it in all his life. He is not to be compared with the Pharisees of later years who practiced the Jewish religion. He is not to be compared with those who have a Sunday morning religion, that only activates at services on in the presence of other church members. He is much different from the person who contantly questions God about his circumstances, who doubts God's presence when he things are not going as he thinks they should. God had revealed to Joseph in his dreams that in the future He would us him. Joseph did not understand what it meant, but it came from God so he believed. He did not have the whole Bible as we do today to read and study all God's promises, but the knowledge of God he had he believed and that kept him in God's will and saw him through difficult times.

    D. Daniel was another example of a man who lived for the Lord.

      He was taken into captivity along with all the Jews. He was given a chance to be a wise man like the pagan wise men of the Babylonians. He refused! Why! He knew God. He knew that whatever the worldly Babylonians had, no matter how beautiful or desirable it appeared, what God had was better, no matter how plain and unlovely it might be. God mightily used him. He did not falter under circumstances. He knew God, He knew God was not forsaking him, in spite of the trouble that he was in. He trusted in the providence of God. These events God has recorded for us to show us the way too.

    E. Suffering teaches us patience. These words were found penned on the wall of a prison cell in Europe: "I believe in love even when I don't feel it. I believe in God even when He is silent." James 1:2-8 Tells us several things. "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations." (James 1:2) The word "count" means to consider it joy to have trials. The "joy" means full unreserved joy...not a partial one. The word fall has the meaning of being like unexpectedly falling among thieves. The word "temptations" and comes from a Latin word which refers to trials whether good or bad. We mostly think of bad trials when we read the verse. Trails that are faced rightly trusting in the Lord in faith will be harmless to us in the end, and will produce a good result. But trials face wrongly become a temptation to sin and turn from the Lord.

    Trials faced handled in faith trusting in the Lord will have a good result. One result is that as verse 3 says it will work patience in our lives. I shows our faith in the Lord is real. Our faith like gold stands the test of fire. Patience is the ability to stay the course.

      ILLUS: Scriven was a missionary from Ireland to Canada, working among the Iroquois Indians. He was joined by his fianc? who was also from Ireland. Just before the wedding, she was killed in an ice accident. Joe buried her with his own hands, and a broken heart. A years later, in a letter to his mother, he reflected, "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord in prayer." Joe was on the road to triumph, even though there were times when the road was rough.

      In a fire Horatio Spafford virtually lost everything he and his family owned in a fire. They made new plans, including a move from Chicago to France. Spafford planned the trip for his wife and four daughters to be as trouble-free as possible. To transport them from America to France, he booked passage on a huge ship, and made sure they had Christians with whom to fellowship in route. He planned to join them a few weeks later. The ship carrying his loved ones was rammed by another vessel and sank, carrying his four beloved daughters to the bottom. Spafford's was decimated to have lost his family . His response has been a blessing to many for decades. On this occasion he wrote this hymn in 1873

      "It Is Well With My Soul"

        When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
        When sorrows like sea billows roll;
        Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
        It is well, it is well, with my soul.

        Chorus:

        It is well, with my soul,

        It is well, with my soul,
        It is well, it is well, with my soul.

        Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
        Let this blest assurance control,
        That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
        And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

        My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
        My sin, not in part but the whole,
        Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
        Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

        For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
        If Jordan above me shall roll,
        No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

        But, Lord, ?tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
        The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
        Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
        Blessed hope, Blessed rest of my soul!

        And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
        The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
        The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
        Even so, it is well with my soul.

    Conclusion?

    1. God is always working in the life of the believer.

    The work of God in the life an obedience disciple of the Lord Jesus will not be deterred, foiled and stopped by the work of Satan, his demons or sinful men.

    2. I know that people often tire of hearing the Preacher beckoning people to be faithful, to obey the Lord and live always seeking God's will and purpose. But dear friend.....can you tell me what is gain or the value in not living for the Lord.

    Trials come to all, but trials can ultimately be a blessing for us. I cannot tell us how many times trials have come my way as since I trusted the Lord and especially since God called me to preach the Gospel. Yet, I can see the benchmarks of God's hand in them. Each trial molded me, tested and proved me. Each trial was a turning point in my life. I thank God for each of them....

It is always encouraging to receive email from those who find the messages helpful, or who have comments.


free counters