Dealing with Life's Challenges

Life's challenges come at all ages. Let's look at how the Lord helps us meet life's challenges at any age.


I. Choosing a career
A. "What is your occupation?"-Genesis 47:3
1. By one's occupation one chooses one's friends. These people will have the greatest impact on your life. Paul consorted
with Aquilla and Priscilla, tent makers. Acts 18:1-4
2. The occupation you choose will tell the world something about the church. It will tell how you feel about the bride of
Christ. Ephesians 5:22-31.
3. The occupation that you choose does not have to be prestigious, but it should be honest work. II Thessalonians 3:6-15

B. Choosing a career that maximizes your talents. Matthew 25: 14-30

C. Choosing a career that has a liveable stress level.
1. Matthew 6: 25-34 "Consider the fowls of the air . . ."
2. Bringing it home with you.
3. Is you family cut out for you to be . . .
a. a professional wrestler?
b. a bartender?
c. a dance hall promoter?
d. a missionary to another continent?
e. a teacher?
f. a dentist, pediatrician, or family physician?
g. a peace officer?
h. a gospel preacher, elder, or deacon? Who do these folks try to help? Sinners! Who did Christ come to save?
Sinners! See Matthew 18: 10-14 and Luke 7: 36-50. Also visit with the woman at the well, John 4:16-30.


II. Coping with unemployment
A. Intentional long term unemployment. II Thessalonians 3:10

B. Unintentional unemployment
1. Remember Matthew 6: 25-34. God WILL take care of you.
2. Remember the faith of the widow of Zarephath, the feeder of Elijah, in Kings 17: 7-24

III. Changing locations
A. "So Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom . . ." Genesis 13:12. Then what happened?

B. Our associates influence our behavior and our values. See I Corinthians 15:33. "Evil companionships corrupt good morals."

IV. Going from two paychecks to one and back again
A. The working wife issue
1. Priscilla and Aquilla worked together as tent makers.
2. Lydia was a seller of purple (clothing) goods. Evidently it was not wrong for women to work or to handle money.
3. Proverbs 31: 13-22 The good wife manufactures and sells goods. She is empowered to have, spend, or donate the family's money.
This is in contrast to the role of women in past and present Arab cultures.
4. How badly do we (this family) need a second paycheck? Do we have to have a specific need in order for the wife to be employed?
5. What about the wife's talents? If we refuse to allow her to work outside the home, have we denied her the exercise of her talents (Matthew 25)?
6. We become quickly adjusted to two paychecks. Not very many families try to go back to one paycheck again.
7. A family may feel vulnerable in depending on one paycheck.


V. Coping with illness in the family
A. Most marriage vows include ". . .in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. . ." We made these promises before God and before man. We should be certain to keep them.

B. What was Jesus's attitude toward the ill?
1. John 9: 1-12, the healing of the blind man.
2. Luke 17: 11-17, the healing of the ten lepers.

C. What should we do for the ill? James 5: 13-18. We do not know exactly what kind of oil this was; if it were an important issue,
we would have been told the specifics. One only read the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament to find out how specific the Lord
can get when He decides to. The oil was the best medicine available to the people of that time. We should avail ourselves of the best
medicine extant in our time and let God do the rest after praying fervently.


VI. Coping with the exceptional child in the family
A. Who are exceptional children?
1. The gifted and the talented
2. The mentally handicapped
3. The learning disabled
4. The emotionally disturbed
5. The speech handicapped (like Paul?)
6. The orthopedically impaired
7. The partially sighted child
8. The deaf or limited of hearing (remember the Pharisees?)

B. What can we do for these children?


VII. Coping with death
A. Is death the end or merely a transition?
B. What's me isn't really me. I Corinthians 15: 35-58
C. John 11: 28-44. There is much more to life than what we see here on earth. This life is merely a prelude.
D. The dead, while waiting for judgment, may have a pleasant existence. Luke 16: 19-31 The rich man and Lazarus

VIII.The problem of WORLDINESS
A. I John 2: 15-17. We are not to love the world or the things that are in it.
B. I Peter 2: 11-12. We are strangers and exiles in this world. We shouldn't get too attached to what we see around us because it will
someday be melted with fervent heat (II Peter 3: 8-10). Paul said that he had learned to be content with what he had (Philippians 4: 11).
C. Jesus taught us to seek his kingdom first (Matthew 6:33) and all these other things will be added.
D. We are rich beyond measure or beyond our present understanding (Luke 12: 32-34)


IX. Teenage Suicide
A. Teen suicide is a growing problem.
B. Suicide may be an honest answer to a honest problem of someone not having anything to live for. The Christian has something to live
and die for.
C. Suicide is murder. See Revelation 21:8. There is something worse than physical death. Luke 12: 4-7.
D. Suicide is incomprehensible to someone awaiting the kingdom. The best thing we can do to prevent this is to teach our children so
that they have something to live and die for.


X. Adding to our family
A. As more children come
1. Don't have them if you know that you won't be able to take care of them. I Timothy 5:8.
2. It costs $ to raise children these days. Estimates range around $178,000 per child to bring a child from conception through college education. We don't have to pay for it all at once.

B. Dealing with sibling rivalry
1. Jacob and Esau-Genesis 27.
2. Strive to be fair with your blessings with your children. They notice where the positive reinforcement goes.

C. Parents as family, again
1. Mark 7: 9-13
2. Surely we would not desert those who invested so much of their lives to raise us.

D. In-laws or outlaws?
1. The beautiful story of Ruth and Naomi is encapsulated in Ruth 1: 15-18
2. An in-law is a person who gave us the most precious friend-ship of this life, our mate. We should respect them for that.
3. Customary human relations work well with in-laws; we should show them the same coutesies that we would show others.
E. The empty easy chair. Daddy's gone to be with Jesus.
1. Coping with the death of a parent is much easier if that person was a Christian. We can say like David about Absalom, "He can-
not come to me, but I will go to him."
2. There are typically three stages of grief:
a. tears
b. smiles
c. laughter. In time the laughter will return, and the things Daddy and we did will be funny again.
3. Meeting immediate concerns
a. Funeral arrangements. Pre-planned and pre-paid is much better. The best decision-making does not usually happen under time pressure and during grief.
b. Estate arangements. Many a problem has been solved by having a good, lawyer-written will. The "two million dollar" handwritten will.
c. Dividing keepsakes among brothers and sisters.
d. Savings and bank accounts. Car titles. Life insurance.
e. There is NEVER a time when we are not Christians. Let's not lose our Christianity over worldly things. I Corinthians 10:13.


XI. Adjusting to retirement
A. We never retire from Christianity. "Be thou faithful until death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Revelation 2:10.
B. Adjusting to retirement income.
C. Adjusting to a day with 36 hours in it. Is that much time really a blessing? "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." -Ben Franklin
D. Feeling useful. Retired is a long way from washed up!
E. Moving to a retirement home. It was easier to adjust to a big move when we were 23.
F. Helping young whippersnappers take charge.


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Sid Womack, webmaster



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