Short Clip
Now, just to give you perspective where we have been, we have been studying the lives of fellow strugglers. Each of those we have looked at had been a powerful picture of how God taught a fellow struggler with us in their struggle.
We first looked at Job many, many weeks almost months ago and Job had a problem seeing God. He says that. That’s his testimony. He says I heard about You, I haven’t ever really seen You. And Job struggled to see God and through his pain, he learned to see God as he never saw Him before. And you know if you’ve ever struggled through pain and if you’ve ever triumphed through pain, you learn to see God in a different way. All of a sudden a lot of stuff doesn’t matter much when you have a tumor. When you had your first heart attack, when you have the first negative test, when you have the first sign of a crippling and debilitating illness, all of a sudden life changes. It isn’t a party anymore. It’s measured one breath at a time. Job came to the point where he despaired of life and he struggled and he saw God like he never saw Him before.
Secondly, Paul and Silas struggled to sing through their persecution. They learned to be persecuted but God called them to sing in the prison. Do you remember that night in Acts 16, what a good night that was when they learned to sing through their struggles? And through that prison experience, they learned to worship God with stripes on their back, with vermin crawling over their bodies.
The third look we looked was David and David struggled through depression and he learned more about God on his darkest day than he ever learned on the bright days. Did you struggle with discouragement and depression, did those dark days come on you? There are times you can make discoveries about God you can’t make any other time. In fact, the Book of Psalms is a collection, 70 some of them at least, of David struggling through the struggles of life. You can make some great discoveries about God.
Then we saw Joseph who struggled to keep his life pure. I mean this a fellow that says I’m leaving home, but I’m going to leave home pure and I’m going to come back pure. I’m not going to get involved in any immortality at all and he struggled to keep his life pure. And he was purified by God and we saw the night we studied it and he was greatly used because of his purity. Are you struggling in the realm of purity? Are you struggling in the realm of persecution? Are you struggling in the realm of depression? Are you struggling in the realm of seeing God better?
How about Moses? Moses struggled to be content. He grew up in the palace with a gold spoon. He didn’t have a silver spoon, he had gold one, it probably had gems on it and jewels. He struggled with contentment. You know what the scriptures say? He gave up the treasures of Egypt because he got satisfied by God and Moses got to know God face-to-face like no one else because he learned to be content with God, he didn’t want anything else and God gave him Himself.
Abraham struggled to wait for God and when he did wait for God, he became the father of faith. Now, what we saw last time is he lived in an ancient city. It was very cosmopolitan, 300,000 people, archaeology confirms from Iraq that many of these people were highly educated. They were proficient in mathematics, astronomy, they knew how to weave, they knew how to engrave. They had libraries, they had incredible astronomical knowledge and like all the rest of the world except for the Jews they were polytheistic.
So, Abraham grew up worshipping many Gods and he, no doubt, lived with his family in that city of Ur. As we come to his life in the 21st Century, B.C. which is where you are in chapter 12, 2100 years almost 2200 years B.C. we find life hasn’t changed much. God’s friend Abraham was faced with the same daily struggle each of us must endure.
And we’re going to continue tonight looking at ten specific struggles he went through. I love these. I mean if one of them doesn’t get you, the others will. Ten specific struggles he went through and seek to learn the lessons for our lives from each.
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