Saints & Struggles: Jacob
Pastor Justin Miller
“There’s glory in your story and if you’re not in it yet, then it’s coming.” Pastor Justin brings a powerful message on surrendering our brokenness to God through the story of Jacob. In brokenness there is blessing, there is a purpose in all the pain. Be encouraged: whatever your struggle, surrender it to Jesus and He will bless you through it.
- To be a Saint is to be in the struggle.
- God wants us to know these struggles because their struggles are our struggles today.
Genesis 25:23-26 New International Version
23 The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” 24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
Jacob was all about winning – getting himself ahead at any cost, whatever it takes to win.
There can be an incredible cost to winning. When we focus on winning, we often lose.
Sometimes when you win you actually lose.
Matthew 16:25 New International Version
25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
There is always a cost to what we receive on this earth.
When we are ready and willing to lose that’s when we win with Jesus.
Hebrews 12:11 New International Version
11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Harvest really comes through heartache.
We have to lose before we surrender and give in.
God allows us to lose in order for us to win.
In winning by any and all means Jacob finally learns that he must lose in order to win.
Genesis 32:6-12 New International Version
6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” 7 In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well. 8 He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape.” 9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’ ”
When we are constantly fighting for ourselves, we actually end up fight against ourselves.
With this prayer Jacob surrenders and acknowledges that all good things come from God.
When we come to the end of ourselves that’s when we look up.
God knows all that we need, he’s just waiting for us to realize that He is the only answer.
Fear is the weapon the darkness uses to manipulate us.
There isn’t any need to fear for God is with us always.
1 Peter 5:7 New International Version
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Life may very well be designed to bring us to the point of being broken so that we can understand who we are and who God is.
God’s blessing comes through our brokenness.
We only know the light after we have been surrounded by the darkness.
Romans 8:28 New International Version
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:18 New International Version
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
There is glory in our story. If you’re not there yet keep on going, God will not forsake you.
Genesis 32:28-30 New International Version
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” 29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
So Jacob, the heal-grabber is renamed by God as Israel which literally means struggling with God.
If you find yourself “in the struggle” surrender, stop fighting and give your trouble to God.
Matthew 11:28 New International Version
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
“God, I’m done fighting; for myself, against myself – I am finished, I surrender my brokenness to You.”