Everyone has struggles in life. In the Bible, Jacob struggled with God and persevered and received a blessing as a result of that.

Before we dive into Pastor Todd’s message, watch this humorous clip from Here Comes the Boom, to illustrate the message’s theme of struggle:

Message by Todd Lester – March 5, 2017

LIFE IS A STRUGGLE

Genesis 3:17  All your life you will struggle ….

A. WE STRUGGLE WITH OTHERS

B. WE STRUGGLE WITH OURSELVES

Romans 7:15, 18, 23  I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate … I want to do what is right, but I can’t. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind.

C. OUR REAL STRUGGLE IS WITH GOD

Hosea 12:3b (NIV)  (Jacob) as a man he struggled with God.

D. JACOB’S WRESTLING MATCH

Genesis 32:23-24  After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions. This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break.

Genesis 32:15-26  When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

Genesis 32:27-28  What is your name?” the man asked. He replied, “Jacob.” “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”

Genesis 32:29-30  Then he blessed Jacob there. Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.”

HOW TO WRESTLE WITH GOD AND GET A BLESSING

1. I TELL GOD WHAT I THINK IS UNFAIR OR PAINFUL

Job 13:14-17, 23-25  Why should I put myself in mortal danger and take my life in my own hands? God might kill me, but I have no other hope. I am going to argue my case with him. But this is what will save me—I am not godless. If I were, I could not stand before him. “Listen closely to what I am about to say. Hear me out … Tell me, what have I done wrong? Show me my rebellion and my sin. Why do you turn away from me? Why do you treat me as your enemy? Would you terrify a leaf blown by the wind? Would you chase dry straw?

Psalm 88:3, 18  For my life is full of troubles … Darkness is my closest friend.

Psalm 55:17  Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice.

2. I APPEAL TO GOD’S NATURE

2 Chronicles 20:6-12  He prayed, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! O our God, did you not … give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? … “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing … O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”

3. I REMIND GOD OF WHAT HE HAS SAID

Genesis 32:9-12  Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac—O Lord, you told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ … O Lord, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me … But you promised me, ‘I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants.’”

4. I PUT MY TOTAL TRUST IN GOD

Job 13:15 (NKJV)  Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.

Genesis 32:31  The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip.

For Sermon discussion resources click here:    Mar 5 Sermon Resources

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