Message Title: Dealing with Disappointments: Lessons from the Life of St Paul
Scripture Text: Philippians 4: 10-23
Guest Speaker: Rev Ashok Amarasingham
Watch Online Worship Service hosted at Vimeo (Secondary)
1.1 We await the “MCO” term no longer in Malaysia.
1.1.1 Not all of MCO has been disappointing. There are positives to bless us. St Paul’s life also had Ups and Downs.
1.1.2 Disappointments include family members stuck overseas, business temporarily stopped or others, permanently. The church LCEC released funds to provide 573 food packages for the poor regardless of nationality, race or religion.
1.1.3 Another disappointment was not being able to worship God in church, no internet, no smartphone, etc.
1.1.4 Two weeks ago, I set this topic to comfort those 12 & under and 70 & over. But PTL, the SOP was loosened so all ages can theoretically come back to church. The twist was I myself faced disappointment in the past week so the sermon was meant for me!
1.2 Focus for Today
Disappointments are like unwanted guests at your doorstep. Like St Paul, learn to be content by being in Christ. Receive Christ’s strength and bless others with God’s promises.
2. Paul Had Reasons to be Disappointed
2.1 Paul was under house arrest (imprisonment) in Rome (Phil 1: 7, 13, 17).
Also Philippians 1: 21 “For to me to live is Christ to die is gain”
Q: Are we willing to go to be with Jesus but eager to stay OR eager to go to be with Jesus but willing to stay?
2.2 Other than the church of Philippi, no church financially supported Paul as a missionary (Phil 4:15).
2.2.1 Paul was a tent maker
2.2.2 Ravi Zacharias on Love Gift
2.2.3 Power of godly parenting: More is caught than taught…parents can role model to children about honouring God’s servants.
2.3 There were times that Paul was hungry (Phil 4:12).
3. St Paul’s Secret of Dealing with Disappointments was Being Contented in Christ
3.1 The church at Philippi for a long time did not support Paul financially (Phil 4:10)
3.2 St Paul learned contentment (Phil 4:11-13).
Matt 11:28-30 says: Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…
3.3 Focus on Blessing Others
3.3.1 Paul shifts focus onto the church at Philippi.
“Yet it was kind of you to share my troubles” (Phil 4:14)
3.3.2 As a young church they excelled in giving (to support Paul) (Phil 4:16)
3.3.3 Paul sought the good fruit of the church in Philippi.
3.3.4 Paul uses sacred words/pictures to describe the gift of the church eg. “fragrant offering”, “sacrifice acceptable to God”.
3.4.1 Recent TRAC Webinar on “Stress”, Bishop Solomon, Bishop Ong Hwai Teik & Rev Chew shared. It was mentioned that pastoral ministry is tough not so much due to workload but due to people. Pastor Ashok’s note: Pastors also bring stress to the parish!
3.4.2 However St Paul chose to focus upon Christ (Phil 4:19). The older we get, the more loving and kind we should be to others and easily forgive others (following Jesus’ example).
3.4.3 Nobody can rob our privilege of connecting with Christ always…whether no internet, no smartphone or our loneliness of staying alone at home.
3.4.4 Lastly, always look for the goodness in others. Pastor Ashok encouraged his “Home Worship Resources Team” not to pick on the minor faults in others but to celebrate effort put in (not only on perfection).
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