“Crutches”

Posted: January 21, 2014 in Bible Study, Christian Life, Compassion, Death, Divorce

Sooner or later, you or someone you know, is going to need crutches. We fall, break our bones or have other things happen to us. Into each life some rain will fall and for some of you it will come in like a flood or tsunami. When it does, what will you do, and to whom or what will you turn for help?
Cancer.* Recently some friends of ours told us about their daughter’s being diagnosed with cancer. To make things worse, shortly after that it was discovered that her husband had melanoma. What would you do if your Doctor told you that you had cancer? How did King Hezekiah respond to his sentence of death (2 Kings 20:1-7). What did God do for him and what wicked son was born to him after his recovery from his illness (2 Kings 21:9)?
Death. It’s a general rule that all of us will face death sooner or later (Hebrews 9:27). Will there be any exceptions (1 Corinthians 15:51 52)? When your loved one is taken in death, what will you do (1 Thessalonians 4:13)? Do you know what happens to believers and unbelievers at death (2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Luke 16:10-31)?
Bankruptcy. Perhaps you know of people who have worked hard and honestly all their lives to build up a business only to find out that a new technology has just made their business obsolete. Would you respond as Job did (Job 1:21)? Who owns your business – you or God?
Divorce. One of the most devastating blows comes to many marriages when one spouse tells the other person that he/she wants out of the marriage and that there is another person involved. What does God say about divorce (Malachi 2:16)?
Reaction. Were any of these things to come into your life, what would you do? How would you act and react? If you are a Christian, would you display the “Fruit of the Spirit” in your life for others to see (Galatians 5:22, 23)? Do you know how to get this fruit?
Crutches. Here are some crutches that people have used and still use in their time of need:
Escapism. Because of the intense pain, many people try to escape from reality by turning to drugs, alcohol, or by traveling to far away places (Jonah 1:10). But wherever they go, their problem follows them and they become frustrated in life. Have you ever thought about ending your life when the pressures seemed insurmountable? This is one of the most selfish things a person can do. God always makes a way of escape for His children (1 Corinthians 10:12). There is hope to those who call upon God (1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 2:12).
Humanism. By turning to their friends or other worldly counselors whose lives may be also be in shambles, many people rush to the self help books and the philosophers of this world to seek advice. Blessed are those who don’t do this (Psalm 1:1; Colossians 2:8). All that a person needs for life and godliness is found in the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:3). But it must be studied carefully (2 Timothy 2:15).
Supernaturalism. Thinking that there might be answers in another dimension, some people seek out mediums or look into the occult for answers to their problems in life. King Saul did this and died for his disobedience (1 Samuel 28:7).
Cynicism. Bitterness and a preoccupation with their own problems will lead some people to seek revenge toward those whom they believe are the cause of their problems (Genesis 4:8; Romans 12:17-20; Hebrews 12:15). Many of them have an unforgiving spirit (2 Corinthians 2:7). They need to be reminded of the tremendous debt that Christ paid on their behalf (Ephesians 4:32). How could we not forgive those who seek our forgiveness?
Religion. Asceticism (torturing yourself or hiding out in a monastery) is the answer for others. Through self effort and good works (sacraments) they hope to find healing and forgiveness from God (Ephesians 2:9). But consider the Apostle Paul’s advice in 1 Timothy 4:3 and 1 Corinthians 5:10.
Scriptures. Believe it or not, the Scriptures (consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments) were given to mankind to inform us about the true and living God (John 17:3) and to show us how we can escape eternal condemnation and enter into His presence forever (Matthew 25:41, 46; John 14:1-3). When taken and interpreted as we would other pieces of literature, and discovering what sections are for us and which are to us (Titus 1:9), we will be enabled to find the answers to the mysteries of life and have peace in the midst of the storms of life (John 14:27; Philippians 4:6, 7).
Promises. Contrary to what some songs say, not every promise in the Bible is mine to claim. (Example: Genesis 17:1-8). But the Christian can count on God to be true to His promises in His time (James 1:17). How many of them do you know and claim? Do you try to put a timer of the trials that come your way? Do you give thanks for them while you’re in the trial (1 Thessalonians 5:18)? The challenges of life can and do have a way of conforming believers into the image of Christ (Romans 8:18, 28, 29).
Wait. God’s Word says, “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” – Psalm 27:1

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Material adapted from “Growing Deep In The Christian Life” by Charles Swindoll, p. 53ff

*Cancer And The Christian Life  http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/christia/cancer.htm

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