Message: “Expect the Unexpected” – Pastor Mike Zizolfo

Sunday, March 10th, 2019

 

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DEVOTIONAL:

When you’re a child, life is full of happy surprises. As you get older, surprises tend to get – well, less pleasant, and as an adult, it only gets worse. Sudden job loss. A cancer diagnosis. An affair. A divorce. The death of a parent. These are the times we wish we could turn back time - we feel hollowed out and empty, yet filled to our edges with pain.

In fairness, there are times we should have seen it coming, and the reason we’re in pain, in trouble, or distress aren’t as obscure as we’d like others to believe. Hosea 8:7 reminds us that “those who sow the wind will reap the whirlwind” – in other words, your words and your actions have consequences.

But what about the times disaster strikes without warning? What about when it’s not your fault and out of nowhere, someone you love or respect wounds you deeply? What happens when you’ve done everything you knew to be right or kind or good, but you’re still left standing in ashes with nowhere to turn?

This side of heaven, it’s unlikely we will truly understand exactly why God allows us to go through hardship, but there is one thing I know to be true - the peace that passes understanding can only come to us in situations that are beyond our comprehension and control. Only then can we find the peace that brings clarity and calm amid the chaos, filling our hearts with serenity, knowing that while we are not in control, God is.

People will let you down – it’s inevitable. Our human nature is fickle, weak, and inherently selfish. But God – and what a beautiful phrase – “but God” – is immutable, powerful, and loves us with a boundless, eternal love. He allows us to come to the end of ourselves to remind us that His strength is what we’ve needed all along.    

The psalmist reminds us, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

It is when all hope seems lost that God’s redemptive light shines brightest.


REFLECTION:

  • Remember that God’s plans seldom make sense.

  • Understanding God is not the goal. Trusting Him is.

  • Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.
    Understand it’s OK to FEAR & DOUBT….

  • You can feel fear, have doubts and still CHOOSE FAITH.

  • Doubt isn’t the enemy of faith, certainty is.

  • Don’t miss out because you have doubt.

  • Know that His Purpose ALWAYS Prevails

  • Remember: Though God’s plans seldom make sense….But His Purpose ALWAYS Prevails


Doubt isn’t the enemy of faith, certainty is. (7).png