What If Things Don’t Change?

2 Corinthians 12:2-10

Last week I preached about this being an opportunity to make a fresh start in this new year. About how we can choose to put the past behind us and look forward to a ‘fresh start’ in this new year. That we can control how we see and approach things with new eyes and a positive attitude.

But, as we know, much of our world is in a constant state of change. And, there are some things that never change:

    • Sometimes the treatment for an illness does not work and the patient does not get better.
    • Sometimes the prodigal son or daughter does not come home.
    • Sometimes our working conditions do not improve.
    • Sometimes the attitude of others stays the same.
    • Sometimes our marriage or relationship still falls apart.
    • Sometimes our finances do not improve.
    • Sometimes the division within a family cannot be mended.
    • Sometimes our broken hearts cannot be healed.
    • Sometimes the grief does not end.
    • Sometimes our loneliness does not stop.
    • Sometimes the disappointment is too great.
    • Sometimes the person does not forgive you.
    • Sometimes children continue to be neglected, abused, kidnapped, ignored, aborted and
    • Sometimes crime continues to rise: robberies, home invasions, abductions, murders, and rapes.
    • Sometimes no matter how hard or how much you pray things do not change.

When Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane before he was handed over to Pilate, He

    fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me’ (Matthew 26:39).

Paul struggled with Satan whom he called a ‘thorn in his flesh’. He wrote in Second Corinthians,

    Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

So, what do we do when things don’t change?

So, what do we do when things don’t change?

When Jesus realized that nothing was going to change he said,

    Yet not as I will, but as you will (Matthew 26:39).

When Paul realized nothing was going to change he wrote:

    Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

When things do not change:

    • Hang on to God.
    • Surrender to His will.
    • Rely on His strength to get you through.

God’s love for his children NEVER changes. He will always love us. We can always rest in his arms and in the power of Jesus.

Think about that poster with the little kitten hanging onto a branch for dear life. . . God’s message is the same.

So when things look darkest and we are discouraged and hanging on by a thread – Hang on to God!

Let us pray:

Dear Father, If you limit me, inflict pain on me, cause me to struggle and cry out for relief, let me come back to trusting you. Your grace is sufficient for me. Your power is made perfect in weakness. In the name of him who is my strength, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Delivered at In the Garden, Trinity Episcopal Church, 16 Jan

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