Study # 1
August 30, 2003
Lincolnton, N.C.

Thesis: Believers handle life by trusting in the God of History according to His Word, not according to what they see. Introduction: How do you handle your major disappointments in life? What do you do when all you can see is divine failure? Now I know that the typical believer's knee-jerk reaction to the way I phrased the question the second time is denial of the notion of divine failure; but I also know that the typical believer is pretty much out of touch with his/her personal theology. We know the words of good theology so well that we refuse to deal with the reality of our theology. The result is a kind of hypocrisy that all those around us can see in us, but that we cannot see in ourselves except in fleeting, momentary glimpses that we ignore as we hurry on our way of attempting to get others to see us in a good light. I personally think that Luke wrote to Theophilus for the express purpose of bringing the manifest hypocrisy of immature faith to a minimum in the life of a man who really did want to be a friend of God. And I see in Luke's opening record (of the fulfilled-in-history facts) a clear presentation of an example of how mature faith functions in the face of the appearance of divine failure. Therefore, this morning, as we begin to look into Luke's actual record of the details of the things which have been fulfilled in history, we are going to look at a couple who, over time, had determined how to handle the appearance of divine failure.