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It's All About You, Lord

Judging our circumstances from God's perspective
This sermon is part of the sermon series "Harmony and Humility in the Church". See series.

Introduction

A poet once complained to a friend, "Life's not fair. A banker can write a bad poem, and nobody says anything about it. But if a poet writes a bad check, everybody gets upset."

Former President Jimmy Carter once famously responded to a reporter, who was complaining about something, with the simple statement, "Life is not fair."

There are times when we feel that way. Something happens to us, and we say, This isn't fair. Why is this happening to me?

We seem to be stuck in the same job. Other people get promotions or leave for better jobs in other companies. We work hard, we do good work, we get along with people, but for some reason, others who were hired after us seem to advance, and we don't. And we think, "This isn't fair. Why is this happening to me?"

We try out for the high school basketball team. We're still in the running coming up to the last cut—from 20 down to 15. As we compare our ability to others, we expect to make it into the final 15. But to our surprise, we're cut. We know we're better than a couple of the others who made it, and we think, This isn't fair. Why is this happening to me?

We have difficulty conceiving a child. Other people get married and seem to have one child after another with no difficulty. But then, as we watch them raise their kids, they're not very good parents. We're not the only ones who think this; others feel that way too. And we know that we would be good parents. We think, This isn't fair. Why is this happening to me?

There was a time when the apostle Paul looked back at what had happened to him. Looking back over the past several years of his life, he, too, could have been tempted to say, "This isn't fair. Why is this happening to me?"

Five years earlier he was worshiping ...

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Donald Sunukjian is Homiletics Chair and Professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

I. Paul asks a different question.

II. Paul has shared the Gospel while in chains.

III. Paul has encouraged other pastors while in chains.

Conclusion