May 17, 2020

May 17, 2020
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Dr. Jerry Falwell, Video

It is so easy to get distracted from a job or goal, particularly if we’re having a difficult time. Sometimes we don’t get back to what we were doing. Have there been times you’ve thrown up your hands and said “Forget it!”?


Today we’re starting a new series entitled “Run the Race,” with a backdrop of Paul’s encouragement to believers to see themselves in a sports setting, hoping to win at the finish line; or as a soldier, fighting as long as the battle lasts. Paul did not want us to ever give up, drop out, or go home. It is fitting that we begin this series as our country begins a new season of getting homes, jobs, communities and our lives back to a new normal after being quarantined for many weeks. Let’s begin again, put into practice what we have learned, and run the race in order to win!

Key Verse: Hebrews 12:1: Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Focal Passages: Hebrews 12:1-2, 12:6; 11 Cor. 1:3-4; 1 Cor. 10:13.

A Trouble Free Life?

  • Read Philippians 3:14. What was Paul’s goal? How is that like the last phrase in Heb. 12:1? What is the main assumption in both passages?
  • Do you think most unbelievers assume a Christian will have a trouble-free life after salvation? Why do you think they may assume that?
  • Read John 16:33. What is some reasons we must go through many trials? What attitude does Jesus tell us to have? How does that compare to James 1:2?

TRUTH: Trials are necessary in order for us to grow in faith and endurance.

Victorious in Trouble

  • Read Psalm 23:4. What did David know of trouble? Why did he not fear? Where was God while David was going through valleys?
  • Read Job 4:1. What was the testimony God gave concerning Job in Job 1? Read Job 13:15. What was Job going through when he made this statement? What are some of the trials you’ve been through recently?
  • Read Hebrews 13:5. Why can we be certain we will be able to make it through any trial or tribulation if we trust in God? Has He ever failed you?
  • Why is it so important that you trust Him to get you through troubles?

TRUTH: “God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken.

           And when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.” Charles


Don’t Let Satan Discourage You

  • Read 2 Cor.11:23b-29. These were the troubles that Paul faced daily. What are some that are common today, and that can discourage us?
  • The first one you should have listed is prayerlessness—because our strength is severely weakened when we are not communing with God. What else does prayer do for us?
  • Read Gal. 6:9. How does this sum up the exhortation to never quit?



Do you remember the last time you were very, very sick? When you got over your illness, life seemed to take on a golden glow, didn’t it? Without the fever, aches, or everything associated with your sickness, you wouldn’t have known how good it felt to be pain free again.

Without the pain of suffering, whether it is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, we would soon not actively appreciate life when it is good. As Dr. Falwell said in his sermon, life is filled with troubles, always has been, and always will be! It is only by willfully trusting that God is with you every step of the way, bringing you step by step to the other side, that you will find peace in the trial.

More than the peace of making it through the trial, though, is the faith that you trust His heart, even when you don’t have the answer to the prayers that you’ve been hoping for. As the three Jewish boys in the fiery furnace were bound and taken toward the furnace—so hot it killed the guards who threw them inside—it is doubtful they thought a good ending was going to occur. Can you imagine their surprise when Jesus pre-incarnate (or an angel) appeared inside with them? He had never left them, not for a second.

For many weeks the world has been in turmoil, wondering how COVID19 was going to end, and now we are beginning to be allowed to socialize again, under many guidelines. We all learned lessons from the quarantine, whether you were an essential worker, or home with the family. May those lessons have drawn us closer to God, given us a renewed faith, and helped us realize that He truly was there with us whether it was a large time of testing or a small one.