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Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #84 --- Troubles
Quotations on Troubles
Literally a stumbling block is something which gets in our way and retards or stops our progress. The simplest form of such obstructions relate to physical objects which get into our path and cause us to stumble or fall down. In such a case we can get up and go on unless we are badly crippled. Figuratively it has a much higher meaning, for we may stumble morally or mentally, in both of which cases our progress is retarded. Our moral stumbling block occurs when we meet with temptations and let them overcome us. Mental stumbling means failing to find the truth and continuing to follow false ideas.
A stepping stone literally means something which either helps us over difficulties or raises us to higher levels in life. The most common case of stepping stones refers to the stones placed about two feet apart in a shallow stream, which enable us to get across the stream without getting wet. In another sense, it refers to anything which helps you in life and speeds your progress towards your ideals. This is true physically, mentally and morally. ... What may be a stumbling block to one man may be a stepping stone to another. It all depends upon their attitudes towards the obstacles they find in their paths. All we need in such cases is just a little horse sense. Let me tell you the story of an old horse.
Once a farmer had an old horse which had seen its best days. While grazing in the pasture, the horse fell into an old well. The owner discovered the fact and went to the rescue of his horse. He saw no way of saving the horse, so decided that he should fill the way and thus bury the horse. He loved his horse but saw no other way out and did not wish for the poor animal to suffer. So he began to throw in dirt, but stood back, for he did not wish to see the horse struggle. Shovel after shovel of dirt was thrown in. But as each shovel of dirt reached the bottom, the horse would trample it under his feet. In the course of time, the well was filled, with the horse on top; and he ambled away to satisfy his hungry stomach. So all ended well, for the horse, using his kind of instinctive sense, changed his stumbling block into a stepping stone. Why can't we do the same with our troubles and obstacles?
Most of us spend a lot of time and energy worrying about our troubles. To do so weakens us and makes it more difficult to find a remedy for what is wrong with us. Usually the cause off our troubles may be found in ourselves. You may feel sometimes that you are being buried in troubles, large and small. Just remember you have a lot of company, for many people are in the same fix. All of us have our trials and burdens and many of us feel that our load is heavier than we can bear. Be brave, time cures all things, there is a way out for all, if they will have faith, watch themselves and work wisely.
Some make trouble for themselves, and some think too much about their trials and afflictions. We have the habit of nursing them, coddling them and telling others about them. This is bad practice, for thinking and worrying about troubles and infirmities only increases them. Then telling to others does not do you or the other fellow any god for he has troubles of his own. Use horse sense and come out on top.
—J.H. Funderburg, Lake Charles American Press, Lake Charles, La., Dec. 23, 1939.
How often there are those who turn aside fro Christianity because they found that being a Christian did not make life’s path completely smooth! Somehow these persons had the mistaken idea that being a Christian meant there would be no more trouble for their lives.
God has not promised trouble-free lives to any person. It is true, of course, that God could make such a promise and keep it. God could have kept Daniel out of the lion’s den. He could have kept Paul from going to prison. He could have kept the early Christians from martyrdom. But God has not promised to keep His children from difficult places. Instead, the promise God has given us is that He will go with us through this difficult place.
It is at this point, that the Christian life differs from the lives of other people. A Christian may have as much trouble, as much hardship, as much sickness as the non-Christian, but through these troubles he has one who walks at his side making it possible to face life’s troubles with head held high and with a smile on his lips for he knows that at his side there is one who careth for him.
Why walk alone when God wants to walk at your side? Not to make life easy, but to make life bearable.
—Lealand Graben, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., June 23, 1953.
In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul mentions a “thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me.” “Three times I besought the Lord about this, that is should leave me: but He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
No one knows what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. Epilepsy, eye trouble–there have been a number of guesses, but no one knows. Imagine writing all those letters and not telling anyone the symptoms of his trouble! If Paul had been like most of us, Ephesus, Colossae, Thessalonica, Corinth and Rome would have known all about this handicap. All we know is that Paul had to handle a limitation that he prayed to escape, that he could not evade, that he had to learn to live with, one way or another.
One thing Paul must have done was adopt a positive attitude toward his troubles. We find no evidence of rebellion or self-pity. Evidently he realized that this could be an opportunity to learn understanding and sympathy that could come in no other way. Vigorous, active, aggressive, Paul surely did not want this burden. But we suspect that he developed some of his fine qualities through a positive adjustment.
But we say, “Doesn’t it take great faith to live like this?” Of course! We cannot do it without Christ, who will be our constant Guide and Companion. It helps to have a guide who understands our needs and problems. Christ had a great handicap which He prayed about–“if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me.” To die at 33 on a cross is a handicap. But who won the world? The troubled, burdened, handicapped, crucified Christ.
—Paul C. Mills, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, Fla., Jan. 24, 1965.
Speaking of health and illness, I wonder where we ever gathered the idea that anybody, other than ourselves, is interested in our aches and pains, our insomnia or our indigestion. And yet that sort of thing is the favorite topic of almost everybody. We have practiced such a line of talk, have had the habit of retailing our woes so volubly for so long, that we have come to assume that we make ourselves therewith interesting. We don’t. We are merely tiresome.
—Grove H. Patterson, Toledo Blade, Toledo, Ohio, March 14, 1940.
Difficulty is the rung in the ladder that lifts us higher, the nurse that leads us up to greatness, the training ground for the noble, the acid that eats away at egotism, the sieve that separates the truly great from the pretenders, the friction that sharpens the mind, and the way God finds great souls among the ordinary.
—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., July 15, 1936.
Could we understand half the difficulties of the other man we would forget our own.
—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 29, 1935.
The surest way of mastering difficulties is by facing them when they are small.
—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 12, 1935.
Trouble may be a rich experience if one is able to use it to his advantage.
—Phil Conley, Daily Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Sept. 23, 1949.
Pettiness is at the root of most of our imaginary troubles. And such troubles are about as troublesome as real troubles. Avoid pettiness and you will save yourself a lot of annoyances.
—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Nov. 26, 1949.
If you would keep out of trouble, guard your words.
—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Aug. 10, 1950.
Blessings are often disguised but we never get fooled on our misfortunes.
—Vera Wise, The Daily Herald, Biloxi, Miss., May 31, 1945.
Some folks think they are light hearted because they find it so easy to make light of the troubles of others.
—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., March 31, 1907.
People who make trouble always talk of their trials.
—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Oct. 4, 1908.
The best way to reinforce your troubles is to use them as a refuge for other's cares.
—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Jan. 10, 1909.
People who run after troubles always blame Providence when they catch it.
—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., May 23, 1909.
Drowning your troubles in drink is an effective way of watering the weeds of woe.
—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., March 29, 1908.
A person who sets out to drown his troubles invariably gets into deep water.
—Olin Miller, Daily Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., June 24, 1935.
Troubles drowned in drink come up again, but those drowned in work rise no more.
—Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville, Tenn., Nov. 16, 1927.
Never try to drown your sorrows in liquor. They'll recover much faster than you will.
—Harlem News, Harlem, Mont., Dec. 17, 1954.
The man who tries to drown his troubles seems to have an idea that they are located in his stomach.
—Knoxville Journal, Knoxville, Tenn., Dec. 30, 1941.
Try to drown your trouble and you'll find that it has more lives than a cat.
—Wheeling Intelligencer, Wheeling, W. Va., Jan. 16, 1909.
Some folks are so used to prophesying trouble they don't recognize Joy when he gives them a song and dance on Life's highway.
—Frank L. Stanton, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 25, 1912.
Some folks lock their blessings in a strong box and keep their troubles where they can count them every day.
—Frank L. Stanton, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., June 17, 1912.
When you go to counting your troubles you never have room on the ledger to balance your blessings.
—Frank L. Stanton, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., June 30, 1911.
When Trouble wears a smiling face that's the very time to steer clear of him, for just as soon as he gets you at your ease he swoops on you as he would upon a rabbit in a briar patch.
—Frank L. Stanton, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., June 5, 1912.