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Sickness (2 of 4)
Series: The Challenge of Gratitude
INTRODUCTION: I want to challenge your thinking today with a puzzle. You're in a room with a box of matches, a handful of thumbtacks and a candle. How do you light the candle and attach it to the wall in such a way as to NOT drip wax on the floor? (Play Jeopardy music). The answer is that you empty the box of matches, attach the empty box to the wall with the thumbtacks and put the candle in the box.
The point is that sometimes to get the answer you have to look at it from a DIFFERENT perspective. That's our challenge today. I'm in a series of sermons entitled "The Challenge of Gratitude."
Last week we established the fact that God expects us to be grateful in all circumstances. But what about challenging circumstances? What about broken relationships, grief, chronic pain and illness? How can we realistically be expected to be grateful then? Today we want to turn our attention to one of the most common challenges to gratitude and that is illness. Does God really expect us to be grateful when we, or someone we care about is seriously sick? What if it's cancer? What if it's Alzheimer's? What if it's paralysis? What if it's autism? What if it's inoperable, incurable, and terminal?
We're going to have to think about illness from a different perspective, a deeper perspective, a SPIRITUAL and a SCRIPTURAL perspective. We can't get away with superficial thinking today.
Before I get started, I want to posit some caveats.
1) I don't mean this lesson to be insensitive. If you or someone you love is suffering from illness you might think it insensitive to suggest that there could be some silver lining that you're missing. I know what it is to suffer and to have someone you love suffer a long illness and die. It's heart wrenching. I get that. I'm not taking anything away from that. Our Biblical perspective doesn't ease the suffering it gives us the strength and ...
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