Life has conflicts – fights, arguments, battles, and wars. In fact, life is a series of conflicts. No one gets through life without conflict. It’s according to how we handle the fights that determine how far we go toward the world championship – the abundant and full life Jesus came to give us. Have you ever noticed how wars are referred to as CONFLICTS? It’s called the Korean Conflict. It was the Vietnam Conflict, etc. The thought is there’s something much larger than war. It’s conflict.
It’s Good To Be Alive And Have Conflict
By Pastor Delbert Young
It’s Good to be Alive and Have Conflict
Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:3, John 10:10, Joshua 22:8, Psalms 128:1, Psalms 128:2, Psalms 128:3, Psalms 128:4, Proverbs 22:6. Deuteronomy 8:18, James 1:2, James 1:4. Romans 5:3, Romans 5:4, Job 1:8, Job 1:9, Job 1:10, Job 1:11, Job 1:12, Job 42:10, Job 42:12, Job 42:13, Job 42:16, James 1:2, James 1:3, James 1:4
We are in our series called IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE. The Lord has given us everything we need for a wonderful life.
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR LIFE and GODLINESS throughOUR KNOWLEDGE OF HIM who called us by his own glory and goodness.
We have everything we need for a great natural life and a great spiritual (godly) life. As we grasp more knowledge about the Lord learning how life operates, life gets better and better. However, as the prophet Forrest Gump (not really) said in a parable, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” As we are trying to project, no matter what the Christ follower faces, life is good and no matter what we bite into in life (or what bites us), as we obtain knowledge the Christ follower will always come out on top.
Today let’s see if we can gain some knowledge as we talk about how IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE CONFLICT! We nearly titled this lesson IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE FIGHTS! It’s because of this thought I am standing in this boxing ring. Life has conflicts – fights, arguments, battles, and wars. In fact, life is a series of conflicts. No one gets through life withoutCONFLICT. It’s according to how we handle the fights that determine how far we go toward the world championship – the abundant and full life Jesus came to give us.
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
(NLT) John 10:10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.
Let’s talk about IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE CONFLICT.
ROUND 1: CONFLICT: Have you ever noticed how wars are referred to as CONFLICTS? It’s called the Korean Conflict. It was the Vietnam Conflict. It’s the Israel-Palestine Conflict. The war in Iraq is called the Iraq Conflict. The concept is there is something bigger than a battle or a war. That something is called CONFLICT and it’s the CONFLICT that’s ultimately important. Winning an argument, fight, battle, or war – a round – has temporal consequences. Winning the CONFLICT has eternal consequences. The USA has won the war in Iraq, but not yet won the CONFLICT. It’s not the nation who wins a battle, or a round who wins. It’s the nation who wins the CONFLICT who actually wins. The conflict in Iraq is not about who is the strongest nation. It’s about the removal of evil and fear and terrorism and allowing people God created to experience freedom and ultimately peace.
As God led his people into the Promised Land, there were many battles and many wars, but the goal was to win the CONFLICT. They did! It was winning the CONFLICT that brought peace, wealth, and the abundant life. The abundant life did not come after one battle or after one war. It came after theCONFLICT.
Joshua 22:8 saying, “Return to your homes with your great wealth – with large herds of livestock, with silver, gold, bronze and iron, and a great quantity of clothing – and divide with your brothers the plunder from your enemies.”
It’s how we handle all the CONFLICTS of life – not one round – that determines how successful in life we truly were. In our lives there will be arguments, fights, battles, and wars – rounds. We may have won the argument, or fight, battle or even the war, but did we win the CONFLICT? What I mean is sometimes we get so caught up in an argument or fight we lose the vision of winning the CONFLICT.
Let’s list a few conflicts most of us will face and maybe I can show you what I mean. How about theMARRIAGE CONFLICT? Have you ever had CONFLICT concerning your marriage? If not careful, we will focus on fighting with our spouse to win a round (argument), but end up losing the CONFLICT – marriage. We are not to fight with our spouses. Instead, we are to fight for our marriages. Attack the problem, not each other. God wants you to have a great marriage. The CONFLICT is for the marriage and not who can win the argument, or yell the loudest and longest, or who is the physically or mentally strongest.
(NLT) Psalms 128:1 How HAPPY are those who fear the LORD – all who follow his ways!
Psalms 128:2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How HAPPY you will be! How rich your life!
Psalms 128:3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine, flourishing within your home. And look at all those children! There they sit around your table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees.
Psalms 128:4 That is the LORD’S reward for those who fear him.
Do it the Lord’s way and we win the CONFLICT. You know to enjoy a marriage and family as this verse describes will include how we handled CONFLICTS – not a one round contest, or one war. It’s about the CONFLICT – the big picture. If handled correctly, the marriage will be better and go to a higher level than ever before.
How about the CHILDREN CONFLICT? Ever felt like you were at war with your children? It’s another CONFLICT you cannot afford to lose.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
If you have raised children then you know there are many arguments and battles and wars in the training of a child. It’s more than one round. Children are worth fighting for, but a lot of times we see it as fighting with our children. If you only see it as fighting with your children, you will most likely lose the CONFLICT although you probably won the round. It’s when you see the CONFLICT – big picture – you will train up a child.
God wants our children to be great. He has a great plan for their lives. You are not fighting with your child. You are fighting for his or her very life. Win the CONFLICT, watch your child live the best life possible, and enjoy the peace victory brings.
How about the FINANCES CONFLICT? Ever had any CONFLICT with your finances? God wants you to live the abundant life including abundance in your finances. He wants to give you the ability to produce wealth.
Deuteronomy 8:18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who GIVES YOU THE ABILITY TO PRODUCE WEALTH, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
When you are wealthy there is a confirming of his covenant. We show the world our God is good. The Lord has a plan for you to produce wealth. Most people have the mentality of just making it through the next round with their finances. They have no concept of winning the CONFLICT. They struggle all their lives just to keep from getting beaten to death. They are in the corner covering up trying to keep from getting beat to death. That’s not what God has planned for you. The CONFLICT is about finding what ability he has given you to produce wealth. Find it and you will win the CONFLICT.
We will experience many CONFLICTS if we enjoy the abundant and full life Jesus came to give us. It requires more than winning an argument, fight, battle, or war. It requires winning the CONFLICTS and when you do you will say, IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE CONFLICT.
ROUND 2: CONFLICT IS ESSENTIAL.
Benjamin Franklin said in 1759 before the American Revolution Conflict,
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” (emphasis added)
Liberty is essential, but it required CONFLICT. Essential means “absolutely necessary, indispensable, vital, and fundamental.”
CONFLICT is absolutely necessary, indispensable, vital, and fundamental if we are going to experience an abundant, happy, and full life. Life is a series of CONFLICTS intended to be stepping stones to take you to your abundant life and have EVERYTHING.
James 1:2 Consider it PURE JOY, my brothers, whenever you face TRIALS of many kinds,
James 1:3 because you know that the TESTING of your faith develops perseverance.
James 1:4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and COMPLETE, NOT LACKING ANYTHING.
How can a trial and test be pure joy?Say you were in a financial crisis. Is this pure joy? Either James had lost touch with reality, or he knew something about life that most people never learn. Notice that the process – the trial, the testing, the perseverance, and maturing – is to bring us to a place in our lives where we are COMPLETE, NOT LACKING ANYTHING. In other words, CONFLICTS are stepping stones intended to take the Christ follower higher and higher.
The Bible refers to CONFLICTS as “tests” and “trials.” We can all relate to school and how school is actually a series of tests. Say a person has a dream to become a lawyer or judge. How many tests would the person have to take from the time he or she began school in the first grade until they graduated the bar? One thousand? Two thousand? Every time they passed a test, they would advance to the next level be it the next chapter or grade or degree. Essentially, it’s the more tests passed the higher level achieved. The tests are not intended to harm. Instead they are intended to properly prepare the person for the next level – for life and success. If not properly prepared, the person will fail and never acquire his or her dream.
It’s exactly how life operates. You have a dream to succeed. The bigger the dream, the more tests you will need to pass. The more tests you pass, the higher you go as you become MATURE AND COMPLETE, NOT LACKING ANYTHING. CONFLICT is essential.
(NLT) Romans 5:3 We can REJOICE, too, when we run into problems and trials, FOR WE KNOW THAT THEY ARE GOOD FOR US – they help us learn to endure.
Romans 5:4 And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens ourconfident expectation of salvation. (NIV – hope)
CONFLICT will change me one way or another. It will make me better or it will make me bitter. If handled God’s way, I will be a better person. I will become a more successful person. I will experience the best life possible because of CONFLICTS.
ROUND 3: CONFLICTS COME FROM GOD.
A lot of people think and are taught it’s the devil who tests us and sends conflict. I assure you the only way the devil can bring us CONFLICT is if the Lord allows it. Tests and conflicts come from God. And sometimes God will use the devil to bring it. Most of us know the story in the Bible about a man named Job.
Job 1:8 Then the LORD asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth – a man of complete integrity. He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil.”
Job 1:9 Satan replied to the LORD, “Yes, Job fears God, but not without good reason!
Job 1:10 You have always protected him and his home and his property from harm. You have made him prosperous in everything he does. Look how rich he is!
Job 1:11 But take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”
Job 1:12 “ALL RIGHT, YOU MAY TEST HIM,” THE LORD SAID TO SATAN. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the LORD’S presence.
Job experienced CONFLICT in every area imaginable – marriage, finances, children, friends, health – butJob came out of the tests at a higher level of life in every area and lived to be over 140 seeing four generations of his grandchildren.
Job 42:10 When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, THE LORD GAVE HIM TWICE AS MUCH AS BEFORE!…
Job 42:12 So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand teams of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys.
Job 42:13 He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters…
Job 42:16 Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren.
When we have victory over the CONFLICTS, we come out with twice what we had. The Bible tells us even Jesus had to pass the test. He was tested by the devil before he could go to the next level. The bottom line is really this: If you handle the CONFLICT God’s way, you will be like Job, always come out on top, and be able to say after every conflict, IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE CONFLICT!
ROUND 4: THE FAITH CONFLICT
I want to close with this thought. It is when we pass the CONFLICTS and tests of our faith we really have a life lacking nothing.
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
James 1:3 because you know that the TESTING OF YOUR FAITH develops perseverance.
James 1:4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, NOT LACKING ANYTHING.
I hope I have developed this sufficiently so we see God allows CONFLICT to give us theOPPORTUNITY TO ADVANCE TO A NEW LEVEL AND HAVE THE BEST LIFE POSSIBLE. Please don’t miss from James 1:3 how our faith is not immune to test and CONFLICT. Your faith will be tested and you cannot blame the devil. I will have battles and wars and tests when it comes to my faith. I will have CONFLICTS when it comes to reading God’s word, but knowing God’s word will give me the answer to the CONFLICTS. I will have CONFLICTS when it comes to praying, but it’s in prayer I will hear from the Lord the answers to the CONFLICTS. My faith will be tested on Sunday about coming to church, but it’s by coming to church I will hear lessons like this explaining things like CONFLICTS. I can’t blame the devil for tempting me to sleep late because it is God watching to see if I will pass the test. How many times have you heard a lesson and wished someone was here who was not here because they didn’t pass the test? I can’t blame the devil for my not attending a life group. I can’t blame the devil for not finding my ministry. I can’t blame the devil for my not tithing and giving to advance the kingdom of God. It’s God presenting to us CONFLICTS and giving us the OPPORTUNITY TO ADVANCE. Your faith will face CONFLICTS. But it’s your faith that will bring you to maturity and to be complete, not lacking anything.
God has given us everything we need to have a wonderful and successful life and this life includesCONFLICT. Life is a series of CONFLICTS. It’s winning the CONFLICTS – not the round – determining how high in life we go and how abundant we live. CONFLICT IS ESSENTIAL. It molds our character into what we become. CONFLICT COMES FROM GOD. I can’t blame the devil. I must see the Lord is trying to take me higher. My FAITH WILL EXPERIENCE CONFLICT. But it is the testing of my faith that will bring me a LIFE NOT LACKING ANYTHING.
IT’S GOOD TO BE ALIVE… AND HAVE CONFLICT! How many want a life not lacking anything? Give the Lord a shout and handclap. Amen!