Sermon Illustrations

Sermon Illustrations > Suffering/Trials > Attention-Getter

Keith L. Brooks, Essential Themes, (Moody Press, Chicago; 1974), pp. 92-93

Do you believe in the sun when it is pitch dark?

We are always getting ourselves into tight corners (coming to our "wit's end"). The Bible has just such an expression and shows us how God makes full provision for His children who need more than human wisdom.

The apostle Paul five times uses a Greek word which means "in a tight corner," or, as we would say, "at our wit's end." Note these passages and see how God always opened the way of escape.

1. 2 Corinthians 6:3-7. In the midst of a long list of hectic circumstances faced by Paul, he says (v. 4) "In all things approving ourselves [or demonstrating our confidence ] distresses" (Lit., when in tight corners). We do not need to be panicky: His grace will enable us to commend ourselves and to have a victorious testimony, even when it appears, humanly speaking, that there is no way out.

2. 2 Corinthians 4:8-11. "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed" (v. 8) Lit., "Not completely cornered." Rotherham trans., "not hemmed in."No tight corner can hold us if Christ is with us in it. Wit's end corner is a blessing in disguise, if it presses us nearer to Him.

3. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. "I take pleasure in...distresses [lit., tight corners] for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong" (v. 10).God plans nothing less than our completeness and holiness. He knows what process to use. We need never be morbid.

4. Romans 8:35-37. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall...distress [lit., being in tight corners]?...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."One who is sheltered under His love finds God's worst better than the devil's best. Disappointment is His appointment. Glorious victory is assured those who love Him&md;in His good time.