God Will Uphold You!

Image Source: gracebc.org

Last year I had an opportunity to speak with our church’s children’s ministry at camp Ba Yo Ca for their Camp Extreme event. It was a lot of fun, and only the second time I spoke before a group of children between the ages of 5 and 11. It was probably too lengthy for their age but they were troopers and hung in there with me. I was reading over my notes today and thought it was worth sharing. It was a blessing to me and I hope God uses it to bless you. I was trying something different with my sermons back then. I wrote it out like a speech and practiced it. When I got on site there was nowhere to put my notes, so instead I had a “talk” with them. I believe a “talk” is a better format for my character, and I have since canned the speech writing approach.

Introduction: 

What has been your favorite part of camp so far? 

Hello my name is Mitch; I have been a follower of Jesus Christ since I was 12 years old.  I grew up in Church for most of my life.  I am very excited to have this opportunity to speak with you this evening because I get to talk with you about God.  I love to share about God.   

Let’s take a few minutes to see what God’s Word says about when life gets tough.

 

The theme for Camp Extreme comes from Isaiah chapter 41:10.  It says, 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

Tonight we are looking at part of this verse that says, “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

 

Have you ever had to trust God when it was really tough?  I know that in your small groups today you shared some of the tough things that you have gone through in the past or maybe things that you are going through now.  It is a hard fact of life, Life gets tough. 

 In your groups you talked about there being different degrees of tough times. 

Here are some examples from my life.  I remember when I was little, I mean really little, and I lost my favorite stuffed bear.  This was my favorite toy that I played with everyday, and drug around everywhere I went.  I eventually found him hiding in an old mailbox from where we had been playing hide and seek a few days earlier. 

Some things are a little more serious.  Growing up I only got to see my Dad every other weekend.  When I was two years old my parents separated and divorced.  Growing up seeing my Dad only every other weekend was tough.   

When I was in Middle School I had surgery to correct a heart defect that had threatened my life up until that day!   

These are some tough times that I have gone through in my life, and I am sure many of you have dealt with tough times.  How many of you would agree that life gets tough?   

I don’t know about you, but there have been times in my life that I could never have gotten through without help from God.  I didn’t know God when I lost my stuffed bear, or when my parents divorced.  But I had been saved for a few months when my heart surgery came around.  I can tell you that there was a lot of fear, and worry going on.  But as the date came closer…I felt God’s love and protection on me.  I knew that no matter what happened I believed in a God who was greater than my circumstances.  I am here today to tell you that God is strong enough to uphold you.   

When I tell you that God will uphold you, or that He is strong enough I am telling you that you can trust Him.  Maybe that raises some questions for you.

 

Like, why should I trust God? 

If you trust God then you believe in His promises even if you can not see that God’s promises are coming true.  Maybe you hear people talk about faith, this is what faith is. 

When someone asks us to trust them we have to make a decision to respond in one of two ways.  We can either say, “Ok, I trust you” or “Why should I trust you?” 

Why should we trust God?  How do we learn to trust God?  We can learn to trust God by getting to know Him. 

Number 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that he should change his mind.  Does he speak and then not act?  Does he promise and not fulfill?” 

God never lies, and he always keeps his promises.  God never lies!  When you read through the Bible you will find that God has offered us many promises! 

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not worry about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

God promises us that if we do not worry about things, but pray and thank Him for being with us: then He will give us peace!  

The more we experience God the more we will learn to trust Him.  

Not only is God worthy of our trust because he always keeps His promises and never lies, but he is also worthy because He is in complete control.  There is nothing and no one who is outside of His influence.  No matter what tough situation you are in, God is still in control.  God does not hand over his control under any circumstances.  He is the God who created everything that we know, and things that we haven’t seen yet!  He was there in the beginning, and He set all of the rules

Isaiah 40:12  “Did any of you measure the ocean by yourself or stretch out the sky with your own hands?  Did you put the soil of the earth in a bucket or weigh the hills and mountains on balance scales?”  I mean really think about it, who else can we trust? 

Allow me to share a story from the Bible.  The main character of this story trusted God even though his situations kept getting worse.

Story of Joseph

17 years old

He was his father’s favorite (coat)

His brothers hated him

Joseph shares his dreams (wheat, sun moon and stars)

Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him

They sold him into slavery

He was bought by Potiphar

God blessed him, and Potiphar made him in command of his home

Potiphar’s wife tried to make Joseph do wicked things

She lied when Joseph refused

Potiphar had Joseph thrown into prison

God blessed Joseph in prison and the prison guard put him in command of the prison

Joseph meets the Pharaoh’s cup bearer in prison

Joseph interrupts cup bearer’s dream

Cup bearer tells Pharaoh of Joseph

Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream (7 fat and 7 skinny cows)

Pharaoh puts Joseph second in control of Egypt

Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt for food

Joseph tests his brothers and is reunited with his family

Joseph never gave up on God, and God never gave up on Him.  God had a plan, and those tough times that Joseph went through were all part of God’s plan to not only lift him up to the second highest position in the known world but also to save his family, and even to build a nation.  See Joseph’s family goes on to become the Hebrew that Moses leads to the Holy Land.  The same people who later become the nation of Israel, the very same nation that God used to bring the Messiah for all of the world!  Joseph was willing to trust God through the tough times.

Colossians 1:11, “Then God will strengthen you with His own great power.  And you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient.”  

I bet Joseph didn’t have a clue that because of his trust in God through the tough times, we are able to love God in a way that Joseph never dreamed of.  We have been restored to the original relationship that Adam and Eve experienced with God. 

God has a plan for your life too!  Isn’t that Awesome!?  God had a plan for Joseph, and he has a plan for each and every one of us!  Sometimes it doesn’t look like God is still in control in Joseph’s life.  And sometimes it seems like what we are going through can’t be God’s plan.  Romans 8:28 tells us,

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  Always remember that He has a plan Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you” says the LORD.  “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

How Do We Respond? 

As you get to know God you will realize that you can trust Him.  He has promised to do good works through us.  Sometimes it seems like life is too tough, and that God has lost control.  But always remember, God is still doing a good work.  And sometimes the hard times are preparing us for what God has in store for us.  

God’s Word tells us to bring all of our cares and worries to Him.  Jesus said that He was strong enough to take on all of your burdens.  

Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”

 

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About Mitchell Norton
My life was changed when God saw fit to forgive me of my rebellion against him. I am not worthy of a righteous God, and I am thankful that he reached out to me. My walk with the Lord has lead me to understand that loving others is just as important as loving God. I am a husband to a beautiful wife, father to an adorable daughter (and one on the way!), and servent of the Gospel. I am not perfect, but one day I will be. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence." - Jeremiah 17:7

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