the big idea
“The struggle is real.” You may have heard this said sarcastically, or you may hear this said by someone who’s in the middle of one of those days where nothing goes right. Or maybe it’s one of those weeks… or months… or years. When you’re down and out, it can be easy to get into vicious cycles of sin that negatively impact the relationships in your life: with family, friends, and God.
Let’s be real about our struggles: the problem is sin. God knows this, and he knows that Satan is where it all started. We find relief from our struggles and trials when we leave them all at the cross. Jesus is enough for you.
In this series, we’ll identify six common struggles that real people face today. We’ll describe how these struggles impact a person’s relationship with God and others, and why we need to recognize and address these struggles. Finally, we’ll learn about some strategies and next steps you can take to give these struggles to God and live in forgiveness and grace.
February 17, 2019: The Blame Game
We all struggle when we play the blame game. When things go wrong, we blame our-selves for not being enough. We blame our friends and family. And, whether we admit it or not, we blame God. While it’s important to take responsibility when we’re at fault and allow others to face the consequences for their actions, the real culprit for our struggles is sin. So, to stop the struggle with blame, we can rely on Jesus, who took the blame for our sin.
Sermon Text: Genesis 3:8-15
February 24, 2019: The Masks We Wear
Often, we go about our day-to-day lives wearing masks, pretending everything’s okay when it’s really not. We allow Satan to delude us into thinking that we’re alone, that no one else could possibly understand what we’re going through. Even though we have friends and family here to help us, we refuse to let them into our struggles. But God tells you the truth: you’re worthy, loved, and important. It’s okay to let people into your trials. Let God’s word be true for you.
Sermon Text: 1 Kings 19:4
March 3, 2019: The Stuff We “Need”
It’s so easy to get sucked into comparing ourselves with others. We try to have all the latest-and-greatest, strive to be the best, try to gain power, and ignore the fact that we’re attempting to fill a God-shaped void with earthly things. What we really need is God’s love and forgiveness, which we have through Jesus.
Sermon Text: 1 Timothy 6:6-10
March 10, 2019: Avoiding God in Prayer
We trick ourselves in to believing that we just don’t have the time to pray. God’s going to do His will anyway, so what does it matter? And, when we do pray, we have a hard time seeing the results, and they’re often not what we wanted. When we make prayer a priority, focusing on God’s will and building a relationship with Him, it’s a lot easier to see the results of our prayers.
Sermon Text: 1 John 5:14-15
March 17, 2019: Temptation
Satan wants us to believe the lie that God doesn’t know what He’s doing. We believe Satan and try to make ourselves into gods, because if we’re god, we can do whatever we want. We see other people get away with things we know are wrong, so we decide it’s okay to do those things too. When we make the decision to indulge in temptation, we hurt our relationship with others and with God. In love, God tells us “No” for our eternal good.
Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 10:13
March 24, 2019: Authenticity
We all struggle with sin, but we deceive ourselves into thinking we don’t. Sometimes, the world around us tricks us into thinking we’re basically good people. But, we are by nature sinful. We need to confess our sins to God because confession brings cleansing, healing, and forgiveness. God knows all our sins, and that’s why he sent Jesus, whose sacrifice was enough to pay for them all.
Sermon Text: 1 John 1:8-2:8