I – The Encouraging Reassurance (we know)
”Confidence of my Perplexity”
A) Timely Truths of this Text – His Promise
B) Triumphant Testers of this Text – His Participants
C) Tender Targets of this Text – His People

II – The Expansive Realm (all things)
”Confinement of my Perplexity”
A) The Deepest Depth of Despair
B) The Hardest Height of Heartache
C) The Past Pain of Perplexity
D) The Future Findings of Failure

III – The Excellent Results (work together for good)
”Conqueror of my Perplexity”
A) Anxiety he is my Assurance
B) Burdens his is my Burden Bearer
C) Calamity he is my Comforter
D) Defeat he is my Deliverer
E) Enemy he is my Equalizer
F) Forsaken he is my Friend
G) Grief he is my Gladness
H) Hardship he is my Helper
I) Indecision he is my Input
J) Journey he is my Joy
K) Kindness he is my Kinsman
L) Leading he is my Light
M) Motivation he is my Motivator
N) Nearness he is my Noble Neighbor
O) Obstacles he is my Opportunity
P) Peace he is my Provider
Q) Quandary he is my Quietness
R) Redemption he is my Righteousness
S) Sin he is my Savior
T) Tragedy he is my Triumph
U) Uncertainty he is my Understanding
V) Vindication he is my Vindicator
W) Wisdom he is my Wiseman

IV – The Exciting Relationship (them that love God)
”Commitment in my Perplexity”
A) Supreme Object of our Love
”Person of this Love”
B) Sufficient Offering of our Love
”Privilege of this Love”
C) Satisfying Outcome of our Love
”Pleasure of this Love”

V – The Endorsed Road (them who are called)
”Clarity in my Perplexity”
A) The Distinct People of God
”His Wonderful Calling”
B) The Divine Purpose of God
”His Watchful Care”

(Rom 8:28 KJV)
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

(Rom 8:28 NLT)
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.

(Romans 8: 28 Amplified)
28We are assured and know that [[a]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

(Romans 8: 28 J. Vernon McGee)
But we know with divine knowledge, that for those who love God, all things are working together for good, even to them, who are called-ones according to his purpose.

Introduction:

In this sermon we notice that the writer is trying to insure his audience that God allows things to happen in our lives for 2 prominent reasons:

1 – For Our Goodness

2 – For His Glory

In life we face various perplexities and fearful situations; in this mighty text the writer declares that we can face the onslaught with proper peace and paramount perspective. God is in full control and has a prominent purpose for our life.

The story is told of an airliner which began to develop trouble in mid-air. One engine began to smoke. Over the speaker came the pilot’s reassuring voice informing the passengers of a small problem. One engine had caught fire, but it had been extinguished. With three remaining engines, the plane would easily reach its destination. Then a second engine failed. Once again, the pilot calmly assured the passengers there was no danger; two engines would suffice.

A third engine failed. Now the pilot informed the passengers that it would be necessary to land short of their destination. Finally, the fourth engine failed, and from their windows the passengers saw the plane’s crew in parachutes descending to the earth.

The pilot’s calm and reassuring voice again came over the speaker: ”Ladies and gentlemen, we are having a problem with the airplane. We will need to make an emergency landing. The pilot and crew have abandoned the plane and are parachuting to safety. There is no need to panic. The plane is operating on automatic pilot, and everything is under control … control … control …”

Who Is In Control?

”There are times in life when things seem to be out of control. At those times atheists and agnostics are quite convinced, following our analogy, that the plane has no pilot. If ever there was a pilot, he has bailed out, leaving them to themselves to face threatening dangers.

We who are Christians believe there is a God. When life goes smoothly for us and God’s blessings are evident, we are tempted to believe we are in control. We may even think we do not need God. When the bottom falls out and the trials of life seem to be swallowing us up so that we seem to lose control, we may still believe that God is in the cockpit. But we may begin to question whether God is really in control. We may be tempted to think God’s control over creation might be limited and fallible.

Did you know that there are many people who spend large percentages of their lives dreading things that will never happen?

In his house in Chelsea in London they’ll show you the sound-proof chamber which Scottish-born historian Thomas Carlyle had built in his house so that all the noise of the street would be shut out and he could do his work in unbroken silence. One of his neighbors, however, had a rooster that in the early morning would crow loudly.

Carlyle protested to the owner of the rooster; the man pointed out to him that the cock crowed only once per day and that after all that could not be such a terrible annoyance. ”But,” Carlyle said to him, ”if you only knew what I suffer waiting for that cock to crow!”

In the same way, there are a lot of people like that who live their lives waiting for something disastrous and unpleasant to happen. And what’s worse, these are people who in many cases never accomplish the tasks God has in store for them, because they’re fearful of what might befall them if they attempt such tasks.”
Source: ”The Minister’s Manual for 1994,” ed. By James W. Cox
Topics

I – The Encouraging Reassurance (we know)
”Confidence of my Perplexity”

The opening statement of this text is ”we know”, and in reading this I am confronted with absolute assurance of the situation. The author desires to encourage me and reassure me that God is in complete control. We don’t have to doubt, we should not despair, but we can clearly know that we are not in this on our own.

A) Timely Truths of this Text – His Promise

In the scriptures we find numerous promises and God has never reneged on any of his divine promises. The timely truth of this promise is that God wants us to know, not doubt that he is in full control. It should strengthen us to know that he cares enough to extend this divine promise upon us as his dear children.

B) Triumphant Testers of this Text – His Participants

In searching the scriptures we find various examples of those that have found the promises of God to be deemed as tested and true.

– Abraham can reassure us that God is in full control as we watch him march up the mountain peak of Moriah to sacrifice his son.
– Moses could testify that God is in full control of the situation as he shares the mighty story of him being launched into the Nile River as a baby boy.
– Hannah could boldly boast of the goodness of God as he watched her pray from a broken hearty and a barren womb for a baby boy.

C) Tender Targets of this Text – His People

The key to these 2 words ”we know” is that they are for us, the saved children of God. The passage was written for us, those that have been saved. God wants to inspire us to keep on walking for him.

II – The Expansive Realm (all things)
”Confinement of my Perplexity”

In considering the situation that is in front of us, we see its massive size and magnitude. It often seems overwhelming and insurmountable.

It is these situations where we see the mighty Glory of God at his best. God declares that not only should we know, but that he has all things under control.

God has the situation confined and he is not worried or wavering due to its size or magnitude.

The Lord our God has his arms wrapped around the situation. It is not bigger than him; it is not so bothersome that he cannot overcome it.

An Average Person’s Anxiety is focused on…

40%-things that will never happen
30%-things about the past that can’t be changed
12%-things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
10%-about health, which gets worse with stress
8%-about real problems that will be faced
Source unknown

Quote:

”One person wryly wrote these words: ”Don’t tell me that worrying doesn’t help; the things I worry about never happen!”

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown once said to Linus: ”I worry about school a lot.” He thought a little longer and then said, ”I worry about worrying so much about school.” He reflected some more and then concluded, ”Even my anxieties have anxieties!”

Friends, worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles. It’s like the weary Christian who was awake all night trying to hold the world together by his worrying. Then he heard the Lord gently say to him, ”You go to sleep now, Jim; I’ll sit up.”
A) The Deepest Depth of Despair

It doesn’t matter how low that you go the Lord is adequate to help you. In your deepest despair you will find that he is there.

B) The Hardest Height of Heartache

At the highest pinnacle of hurt and heartache the Lord will show himself to be tried and true. In him and only him can you place your full and complete trust.

C) The Past Pain of Perplexity

As the dark demon of past pain tries to overwhelm you, it is our refuge to find Jesus there to console us and to protect us of his assault. In him we can be assured that he has our past pains under full control.

D) The Future Findings of Failure

In facing our future we all will have numerous failures that may overwhelm us. In considering these issues we can be fully confident of the adequate love of Christ. He will find us in our failures and lift us up.

III – The Excellent Results (work together for good)
”Conqueror of my Perplexity”

We must remember that all that occurs is for our good and for his glory. The Lord is constructing the puzzle of our life from the topside not the bottom. In looking at life from our perspective it makes absolutely no sense, but not from his view point.

In this portion of our message we will see that Christ is the answer for all that comes our way. He is daringly adequate for every situation. In him we find that not only should we know, not only should we know that all things are confined by him; but that all things work together for good.

The beauty of this passage is that all things work together for our goodness and for his glorification. In considering this lets see how adequate the Lord is for all that we face or all that we need:

A) Anxiety he is my Assurance
B) Burdens his is my Burden Bearer
C) Calamity he is my Comforter
D) Defeat he is my Deliverer
E) Enemy he is my Equalizer
F) Forsaken he is my Friend
G) Grief he is my Gladness
H) Hardship he is my Helper
I) Indecision he is my Input
J) Journey he is my Joy
K) Kindness he is my Kinsman
L) Leading he is my Light
M) Motivation he is my Motivator
N) Nearness he is my Noble Neighbor
O) Obstacles he is my Opportunity
P) Peace he is my Provider
Q) Quandary he is my Quietness
R) Redemption he is my Righteousness
S) Sin he is my Savior
T) Tragedy he is my Triumph
U) Uncertainty he is my Understanding
V) Vindication he is my Vindicator
W) Wisdom he is my Wiseman
Y) Yokes he is my Yoke bearer

In considering this I find absolute assurance and confidence in my Lord and Savior. Jesus is the source of my strength and he is able!!!

Illustration:

”All things work together”

Taken individually, the events and circumstances God allows may not, in and of themselves, appear to be of any value or good to the Christian. But Paul does not say that each event is good or even that each incident will produce that which is good. He informs us that all of the events, working together, produce what is good.

To illustrate, the ingredients which go into a cake are not very tasty when eaten individually. Flour, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt, baking powder, and spices are not something we want to eat one ingredient at a time. But mix all of these together in just the right proportions, and then bake the combined mixture, and you have a delicious treat. Each event in our life is like one ingredient in a cake. It may not seem good, by itself, but when mixed by God with other correct events, it will surely produce what is good.

IV – The Exciting Relationship (them that love God)
”Commitment in my Perplexity”

Now we find out the thread that binds all of this together. It is for those that love God, in loving him we learn to trust him. The text is woven together by a mutual love, the love of God for his people and the love of his people for him.

In the midst of my difficulty and my despair, I am fully committed to him due to my deliberate love for him as my heavenly father.

A) Supreme Object of our Love
”Person of this Love”

It is simply stated this love is a love focused upon our heavenly father. In loving him we can aim no higher in our love. In loving him we have reached the pinnacle of divine and deliberate love.

B) Sufficient Offering of our Love
”Privilege of this Love”

This love is a privilege that the child of God is afforded. We are offered the chance to love the supreme being of this vast universe.
How can we aim any higher or how can we sufficiently acknowledge this divine interaction.

C) Satisfying Outcome of our Love
”Pleasure of this Love”

In loving him, we also find that he truly and tenderly loves us. In loving him we find the sweetest pleasure of human love. It cannot be portrayed in words or demonstrated in deeds. The love that we lavish upon him is satisfying to the human heart. In truth we love him because he first demonstrated his love to us.

V – The Endorsed Road (them who are called)
”Clarity in my Perplexity”

We are now made aware that God not only loves us and watches over us but that he has a divine and distinct plan for us.

A) The Distinct People of God
”His Wonderful Calling”

The calling of God is for his precious people. We are called unto salvation and then afforded the luxury of supreme service. The calling of God affords us the opportunity to become the children of God.

B) The Divine Purpose of God
”His Watchful Care”

Conclusion:

In affording us the opportunity to become his children, he also extends us the awesome opportunity to be guided into his divine purpose and plan for out life.

A Broken Engagement

A good friend of mine was engaged to be married. When his fiancé broke off the engagement, he sunk into depression. Not long after the breakup, he met someone else. That someone else became his wife. They have now been happily married for over twenty years. What looked like the greatest disappointment in his life was divinely engineered to point him to God’s best choice. He now thanks God for not giving him what he thought was best.
(Kent Crockett, The 911 Handbook, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003, 61)
Baseball–pitcher vs batter
(God will have the final say)
An unprecedented event unfolded during the ninth inning of a Minor League baseball game in New York on June 19, 2008. Pat Venditte was making his professional debut with the Class-A Staten Island Yankees just two weeks after being drafted by the New York Yankees in the 20th round. He was pitching to close out the game after striking out two batters and giving up a single. The Brooklyn Cyclones sent switch-hitter Ralph Henriquez to the plate and that’s when it got interesting and made national news.

Since Venditte was pitching left-handed, Henriquez positioned himself to hit right-handed because a batter can see the ball better when a pitcher throws it from the opposite side. Venditte then put his specially made glove on his left hand and prepared to pitch right-handed since he is ambidextrous (can throw just as well left-handed or right-handed) (His glove has six fingers and two webs so he can wear it on either hand).

This confused Henriquez so he called for time and relocated to the other side of the plate because he too was ambidextrous and can hit just as well either right-handed or left handed. Venditte then switched his glove again. Henriquez then called time again and moved to the other side of the plate. Venditte countered. This continued again and again for five minutes until Venditte left the pitcher’s mound and approached the home plate umpire. Nothing like this had happened in the history of baseball!
Both managers came out and discussed the matter with the entire umpiring staff. Since the Major League Baseball rulebook is unclear about such situations, it was agreed that both the pitcher and hitter could change sides one time per at-bat and the batter must declare first. Henriquez chose to bat right-handed so Venditte opted to pitch right-handed and struck him out on four pitches. Henriquez slammed his bat down in frustration and Venditte’s Staten Island Yankees walked away with a 7-2 win.
(Beaumont Enterprise, 6/21/2008) as cited ”IN OTHER WORDS”, July 2008, Issue 3

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About The Author

Donald Cantrell is a native of Chatsworth, Georgia. He was saved on October 14th 1979 and began to preach the Gospel in the spring of 1980. He has pastored several churches throughout the years in the North Georgia area. Pastor Cantrell has an earned Doctorate Degree in “Designing Alliterated Expository Sermons”. He is a well known author and speaker due to his skills in designing alliterated sermons. He has authored over 32 books on sermons or preaching and his book on “How to Design Alliterated Sermons” is popular with many preachers desiring to learn the art of alliteration. Pastor Cantrell has a heart for helping other pastors and understands the rigors of those that are bi-vocational pastors. Cantrell’s material is alliterated and written with a few things in mind, his sermons are true to the scripture, expository, practical, and very preachable. Cantrell is currently writing a series of commentaries “Sensational Sermon Snapshots” that offer simple alliterated sermon outlines on every book in the New Testament. He has completed Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts; and just completed Revelation and Daniel. He has just written a book with 50 alliterated sermon outlines for Christmas. He also has a very popular 365 page daily devotional, with 365 mini-sermon devotionals. Pastor Cantrell has written a series of courses for those that want to become better at designing alliterated sermons. The courses have been used by pastors and preachers all over the world. He often meets with pastors on a one on one basis to offer mentoring classes on how to design alliterated sermons. If you would like to contact him and discuss his numerous sermon and preaching books, or his alliteration outline courses, he would love to talk with you. All of his books are available online at Lulu Publishers and with Word Search Bible Software and with Logos Bible Software. Pastor Cantrell would like to hear from you, especially if you are interested in learning the art of alliteration through his mentoring or consultation program. You can reach him at dcantrell2@charter.net or the church website, www.antiochbaptistdalton.com

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