Transforming Trials Into Triumph


O grant us help against the foe, for human help is worthless. With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes.
~Psalm 60:11-12, NRSV


Trials are medicines which our Great Physician prescribes, because we need them; and He proportions the frequency and the weight of them to what the case requires.
~John Newton
I have said multiple times that David never suffered a defeat but that is not exactly correct. No army he commanded was ever defeated but while he was in the North fighting the Syrians, the Edomites [Israel’s cousins] invaded from the South and Israel suffered a devastating and shocking loss. David dispatched Joab and part of the army to move to the South and stop the invasion and Joab was successful killing 12,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. Ultimately, the Edomites were the ones who suffered the greatest loss. Edomites are narcissistic hedonist who don’t think things through and their pride gets them in trouble. David didn’t like defeat and neither do I but they are necessary for our sanctification. I have suffered many defeats, matter of fact, if it were not for Jesus, I would be a loser. Although I don’t enjoy losing at anything, it does serve a purpose.
  1. A defeat can be shocking–[v.2] You have caused the land to quake; you have torn it open; repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering. Israel’s defeat was like an earthquake. It shocked them and sent them reeling. Sometimes it takes a sound defeat to wake us out of our spiritual lethargy.
  2. A defeat can be humiliating–[v.3] You have made your people suffer hard things. None of us enjoy humiliation but it is absolutely necessary. Ministry, evangelism and missions all require an humble spirit. Humility is the first base of Christian disciplines. It is the first discipline that we must learn to practice or we will fail in every other aspect. Obviously, all success and no failure can produce inordinate pride.
  3. A defeat can be a teacher–[v.11]  O grant us help against the foe, for human help is worthless. We learn from our mistakes and one of the things we learn: don’t rely on human wisdom, intellect or strength. There are many things that we can do but there are some things that are impossible for us. We can sing, pray, preach and praise but we cannot move the Spirit of God, He must move us. We cannot convict men of sin. We cannot forgive sin or change lives. We cannot work up a revival nor can we pray one down. Only the sovereign God can stir a nation or a congregation.

Everyone suffers an occasional setback even great men like David. No matter how great the setback may be, defeat is never final as long as the grace of God is available. If we quit after a defeat, that is a different matter. As Sir Winston Churchill said, “Never quit! When you are going through hell, keep going.”

  • We praise the LORD for a good day yesterday: attendance was up. The house was not filled but it looked really good from the choir loft. Gregg burned his hand making the coffee and had to go back home so no one counted. I guesstimate at least 350 but probably more.
  • BLOCK PARTY OFFERING great! PTL! $2,519.00. We will be going to SAMS on Tuesday and I may get the grand prize while I am there: Jim Tanner’s men’s class is sponsoring the GRAND PRIZE. Can you believe it? The Block Party is a week from Saturday.
  • CONGRATS to John and Cindy Wydner who are leaving for Alaska today. They are doing the plane, bus, train and boat thing. They are going to love it. Sammy Anders and his parents Gary and Joyce left for Alaska on Saturday. Next Sunday morning, a fourth of our LCBS class will be in Alaska.
  • GREAT MESSAGE from our Pastor yesterday on God’s amazing ability to use us and to use our circumstances for the promotion of His kingdom.
  1. God uses us to reach others.

  2. God uses us to teach others.
  3. God uses our past experiences to prepare us for Ministry.
  4. God uses our present circumstance to grow us to Maturity.
  • It was good to see Keith McKay yesterday. He did not have time to tell me about his trip to India. I will get with him later. I know Brenda is glad to have him home safe and sound. Seth is in the States and should be home by tonight, LORD willing. We are thankful.
  • As June and I drove to worship last night, we noticed that our neighbors across the creek got a huge rain, water had filled the ditches along side the road. Jerry and Sheila got another good rain which is two days in a row. The church got none and we got none, not a drop. As Tevye of the Fiddler on the Roof would say, “the good book does says, sometimes he rains on the unjust and misses the just.”
  • Guatemala Team leaves Thursday morning. There are probably this many more not in the photo. This is our college and career team lead by Joe David, Frankie, Brian and Doc Holladay. Matter of fact, I think all the kids in the picture have been to Guatemala at least once and some of these young people have been multiple times. Luke has been going since 7th grade and he is a junior in college: you do the math. We are proud of each and everyone of them.

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