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Sermons from Extraordinary Life Ministries

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Just Hold On!

Another Word Genesis 32:24-32 "And Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until daybreak. And when [the Man] saw that He did not prevail against [Jacob], He touched the hollow of his thigh; and Jacob's thigh was put out of joint as he wrestled with Him. Then He said, Let Me go, for day is breaking. But [Jacob] said, I will not let You go unless You declare a blessing upon me.[The Man] asked him, What is your name? And [in shock of realization, whispering] he said, Jacob [supplanter, schemer, trickster, swindler]! And He said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob [supplanter], but Israel [contender with God]; for you have contended and have power with God and with men and have prevailed. Then Jacob asked Him, Tell me, I pray You, what [in contrast] is Your name? But He said, Why is it that you ask My name? And [the Angel of God declared] a blessing on [Jacob] there.And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel [the face of God], saying, For I have seen God face to face, and my life is spared and not snatched away.And as he passed Penuel [Peniel], the sun rose upon him, and he was limping because of his thigh. That is why to this day the Israelites do not eat the sinew of the hip which is on the hollow of the thigh, because [the Angel of the Lord] touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh on the sinew of the hip." I want to tell somebody today! Just hold on. You have had a need in your life. You have toiled with and over this need, but you seem to be getting no where fast. Just hold on. Your bank account is low and bills are due, you're sick and it seems there is no cure, your marriage is on the rocks, your at the end of your rope..... Just Hold On! Look at our text: Jacob, a man that was a deceiver, was facing the biggest crisis in his life and was afraid, anxious, felt overwhelmed, alone, confused, insignificant. Does this sound like us? We are at times, in the same situation, having these same feeling and emotions. Jacob was a man of flesh and blood just like you and I. But read on: "And Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until daybreak." Jacob was wrestling and toiling with a life crisis, having to face his brother, whom he had taken his blessing and birth right from and this brought Jacob to the decision to really pray, for fear of destruction of himself and his family.... even if it took all night, he was determined to get his answer. The key is he stayed at it. We as people of faith, when facing situations and crisis in our lives, must be tenacious and not willing to give up so easy, even if it takes all night. He still held on even when his thigh was out of place. Some say that Jacob didn't feel any pain, or maybe he did. But I could just imagine, if it was me, as I was grappling, I think there would be some agony. I think that I may scream and holler just a bit. But yet Jacob held on. If he can hold on, then we can and must hold on. What does it take to hold on? 1). It takes courage Psalms 27:14 "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." 2). It takes stamina Psalms 91:14-16 "If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says GOD,"I'll get you out of any trouble. I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times; I'll rescue you, then throw you a party. I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!" Psalms 63:8 "I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post." (Message) 3). It takes patience Isaiah 40:31 "But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired." 4). It takes faith 1Corithians 16:13 "Be alert and on your guard; stand firm in your faith (your conviction respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, keeping the trust and holy fervor born of faith and a part of it). Act like men and be courageous; grow in strength!" 5). It takes submission James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." 6). It takes vision Proverbs 29:18 "Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he." Finally the moment of truth! The man asked "What is your name." Now first that showed submission on Jacob's part, to admit to the man that he was a supplanter, schemer, trickster, swindler. Who wants to tell people that? Secondly it showed that Jacob was desperate to find resolution and peace. This is what I like: the man said your name will be no more like a trickster, but one who contends with, or wrestles with God. Wow! The enemy has tried to bring past hurts, pains, heart aches to your remembrance, but no more! Your past is just that... the past. Today you can leave changed. Today you have wrestled with God and He has blessed you. Changed your out look at things and you have a fire that is starting to be rekindled in your heart. Just hold on. Now when you get your answer! Don't get all puffed up and strut, because you feel like you were owed for your work and hard fight. Don't become like a Sadducee and began to walk around praying out loud and claiming you got connections no one else has- you had to fight for it, don't spoil your reward. Look at Jacob, the man(angel) took that tool out of his hands. Genesis 32:29 "Then Jacob asked Him, Tell me, I pray You, what [in contrast] is Your name? But He said, Why is it that you ask My name? And [the Angel of God declared] a blessing on [Jacob] there." See how wonderfully God condescends to countenance and crown unyielding prayer: those that resolve, though God slay them, yet to trust in him, will, at length, be more than conquerors. Jacob gives a new name to the place; he calls it Peniel, the face of God, because there he had seen the appearance of God, and obtained the favor of God. Observe, The name he gives to the place preserves and perpetuates, not the honor of his valor or victory, but only the honor of God's free grace. He does not say, "In this place I wrestled with God, and prevailed;" but, "In this place I saw God face to face, and my life was preserved;" not, "It was my praise that I came off a conqueror, but it was God's mercy that I escaped with my life." Note, It becomes those whom God honors to take shame to themselves, and to admire the condescension's of his grace to them. As Paul had a thorn in the flesh given to humble him, lest he should be too elevated by the abundant revelations granted him, so Jacob's lameness was to keep him mindful of this mysterious scene, and that it was in gracious condescension the victory was yielded to him. In the greatest of these spiritual victories which, through faith, any of God's people obtain, there is always something to humble them. And finally we see Jacob limping away as the son is rising- to a fresh start and I could just imagine for a moment that he turns and ponders life and what had happened, takes a deep breath and a smile shows upon his face as he limps away to meet Esau. Remember to just hold on! Also keep it in your heart and share with others in humility what God has done for you with others. Tell your children and they will tell their children.... so that they to can wrestle with God if need be and get the answer for their life that they may so desperately need. "That is why to this day the Israelites do not eat the sinew of the hip which is on the hollow of the thigh, because [the Angel of the Lord] touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh on the sinew of the hip." Look at someone and tell them to just hold on. I hope that this was a timely message for you and I want to encourage you to just hold on. Take courage and know that He is God. He is fighting on your behalf and it may take time but your answer is on the way. Look at Daniel. He was seeking God for an answer to a vision and it took the angel three weeks to get to him, because of spiritual warfare in the heavens. I want to tell someone today.... your answer is here. All you need to do is come and lay hold on it. As you read this my God speak peace and understanding to you. You may need an answer for something in your life.... know that as you close your eyes and meditate on God and His goodness, your answer will drop in your heart and you will get up changed and never be the same. Our prayer for you is this: "May His peace and love flow over you, that the Son shine upon your face. That mercy is new and fresh as the dew, and that you talk with Him in the cool of the day. Let love and truth guide your heart and His power spill all around.And know that your answer is on the way!" If you're not saved- get Him in your heart. If you are struggling, let Him steady you like a post. If you're His child, then do not fear and He will give you the answer you so desperately need. May God bless you all, and our hope is that this message touches your heart. If you have any request, comments, concerns, or questions, please send them and we will get to you as soon as we can. Be blessed and know that Jesus loves you. Jacob and Rachael Deaton

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