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Back to Basics – Trouble, Trouble

Is it possible to have joy in the midst of trouble?

 

by Pastor TJ Freeman - December 21, 2016

”Trouble…
Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble
Trouble been doggin’ my soul since the day I was born”

Those are the words of singer/song writer Ray Lamontagne — and they are words I am sure you can relate to. Whether personal or distant, you cannot deny the reality of trouble in this world.

Just turn on the news for 1 minute and you’ll see trouble in high definition. Political turmoil in America, Civil War in Syria, Terrorism in the Middle East, — poverty around the globe; there is no shortage of trouble to be found. But you don’t need me to tell you that, do you? 
You’ve tasted it. You’ve shed your share of tears over trouble.

Trouble in your own life. Trouble in your family. Trouble in your community. Trouble around the world. Sometimes the weight of trouble feels like more than we can bear.
It hurts.
It keeps us up at night.
It angers us.
It scares us.
Trouble “dogs our souls,” just as it has since the day we were born.

I wonder what is troubling you today?
Your marriage? Your singleness? Your children? Your grandchildren?
What about your health?

Your finances?
Your job?
How is your Spiritual life?
Your social life?

This ever-present battle with trouble has led many to turn to all the wrong places looking for hope. Mankind has tried everything from bullets to bottles, riches to religion, from power to purpose… and so much more, but we still haven’t been able to solve the problem of trouble. So where have you been turning to find relief from trouble?

With the Christmas season in full-swing there are many sources promising hope… but, like most of us, the holiday cheer eventually fades and all that is left is the bleak midwinter.

But, what if I told you there is true hope to be had this Christmas? Hope that won’t fade away like your New Year’s Resolutions? Hope that is more powerful than all the trouble in this world.

We all know that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birth, but did you know there’s more to the picture than a baby lying in a manger?

In the Bible (Philippians 2:5-8) we get a glimpse into the mind of Christ – but more than that, we’re even called to mimic His way of thinking.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

The things Jesus did in this passage will radically change your life if you follow his example.

First — he emptied himself of importance.
Although he was God in human flesh, he willingly gave up his right to be treated as God…
In other words, Christ willingly gave up His own significance in order to become the savior of men.
One of our greatest sources of our own trouble comes from the fact that we long to feel significant.
Yet, like Jesus we are called to give up this fight for significance. You do well to stop taking yourself so seriously — there is much more freedom in that than the desperate search for significance.

Secondly — Jesus became a servant. Instead of demanding to be served, He willingly served the very ones he came to save. He even lovingly served those who mocked and rejected Him.

True fulfillment does not come from what we get or how we’re served, but through service to others.

And finally — Jesus gave sacrificed His own comfort. At the end of the passage I just read, we learn that Jesus humbled himself to the point of death, but more than that…it was the most brutal form of torture the Roman government had to offer – death on a cross.
Ironically, it is when we give up our demand for comfort that we begin to experience true and lasting hope. Consider loosing your grip on the comforts of this life as you seek to trust the God who has already promised to meet the needs of His children.

You know, none of this is possible without a relationship with Christ. If you’re looking for hope this holiday season, don’t miss God’s gracious reminder that true hope is found in Christ alone. If you’d like to know more about what it means to know Jesus, please contact me using the information found on Wellsboro Homepage.

Credits:

Idea/Concept: Pastor TJ Freeman

Videography: Andrew Moore

Video Editing: Andrew Moore

Writing: Pastor TJ Freeman

 

Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by Sherwood Motel, Akiko’s

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