Murphy’s Law – “Nothing is as easy as it looks; everything takes longer than you expect; and if anything can go wrong, it will and at the worst possible moment.
Maxwell’s Law – “Nothing is as hard as it looks; everything is more rewarding than you expect; and if anything can go right it will and at the best possible moment.”
1. THE CLOSENESS OF CRITICISM
Jesus, perfect in love and motives, was criticized and misunderstood continually. People:
- called Him a glutton (Matthew 11:19)
- called Him a drunkard (Luke 7:34)
- criticized Him for associating with sinners (Matthew 9:11)
- accused Him of being a Samaritan and of having a demon (John 8:48)
- When possible, avoid people who belittle you. Small people try to tear you down, but big people make you feel worthwhile.
2. THE PRESENCE OF PROBLEMS
2 Corinthians 4:8-9New International Version (NIV)
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
What are problems?
PREDICTORS – They help mold our future
REMINDERS – We are not self-sufficient. We need God and others to help.
OPPORTUNITIES – They pull us out of our rut and cause us to think creatively.
BLESSINGS – They open up doors that we usually do not go through.
LESSONS – Each new challenge will be our teacher.
EVERYWHERE – No place or person is excluded from them.
MESSAGES – They warm us about potential disaster.
SOLVABLE – No problem is without a solution.
3. THE CONFLICT OF CHANGE
Change is essential for growth. A famous inventor once said “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”
- Barracuda was put in a coastal aquarium and a mackerel separated by glass. The barracuda would attack the mackerel but it will bump to the glass several times until it finally quit. When the partition was removed, the barracuda would only only swim until the imaginary partition but no further.
- Deuteronomy 32:11New International Version (NIV)
like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them aloft.
4. THE NIGHT OF NEGATISM
Matthew 15:19New International Version (NIV)
For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
Are we governed by positive thoughts or by negative thoughts?
Philippians 4:8-9New International Version (NIV)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Negative thinking limits God and our potential.
Numbers 13:26-33New International Version (NIV)
Report on the Exploration
26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
If we kept listening of discouraging news that are not true (Satan is a master of devising lies to discourage believers), the results would be us settling for the 2nd best.
Numbers 14:1-4New International Version (NIV)
The People Rebel
14 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
Columbus had trouble financing his ships and convincing a crew to ship around the wolrd. Why? He was fighting a a cultural trance. Everyone knew that the earth was flat and there’s no way you can go around it. But now we know that the earth is not flat but a sphere. But still many ideas are considered “flat world” because most people would believe that an existing assumption is the truth such as:
- Leaders are born, not made.
- Nice guys finish last.
- It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
- You can’t teach an old dog a new trick.
A “flat-world” mindset allows us to sleep on top of it.
A “round-world” mindset keeps us moving around it.
- How do you make youor “flat-world” round?