February 6, 2022

Wrestling with God

Pastor: Jeff Bedwell Series: The Gospel Story Scripture: Genesis 32

The Gospel Story 
Wrestling With God 
Genesis 32

Jacob’s life is a reminder of God’s relentless grace in the life of every follower of Jesus Christ.  At times this grace is intrusive, tenacious, contending, and renovating to make us the man or woman that God intends us to be.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6, ESV)

A Fateful Night

  1. A Wonderful Reassurance (1-2)
  1. Mounting Fear (3-21)
  • Distressing News (3-7)
  • Instinctive Response (7-8)
  • Frightened Prayer (9-12)
  • Attempted Appeasement (13-21)
  1. A Night of Struggle (22-32)
  • Alone in the night (24)
  • An Unexpected Opponent (22-24)

He strove with the angel and prevailed; he wept and sought his favor.” (Hosea 12:4, ESV)

  • A painful Crippling (25)

As a child of God you can know that God may hurt you, but He will never harm you!

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives…For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:5-6, 11, ESV)

  • Facing his Past (26-27)
  • Clinging to God for His Blessing (28-29)
  • Awe and Gratitude (30-32)

Our Own Wrestling With God

  1. Recognize that I have been Fighting With God

We resist God’s will for our lives and refuse to depend upon His grace

  1. I cannot get the blessings of God by Contriving
  1. Sometimes God must Wound us to get us to the place where we recognize our continual need for His grace

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:6, ESV)

  1. Whatever I am searching for, it cannot Replace God and His grace in my life

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:7–9, ESV)

  1. Hold on to God even when it doesn’t seem to Make Sense
  • Focus your thoughts on the Promises of God
  • Pray persistently, seeking the Face of God, not just His hand of blessing
  • Obey God, Trusting in His wisdom, power, and love
  1. We can know that God is with us and for us because He was willing to become Weak For Us

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:3–6, ESV)

“Jacob held on at the risk of his life to get the blessing for him; but Jesus held on at the cost of his life to get the blessing for us.” Tim Keller

Questions for Reflection:

  • Where do you currently find yourself “wrestling with God?” What do you need to surrender to Him to open your life to receive His best? 
  • Which of the lessons above do you sense God is asking you to give focused attention to in the days ahead? What will you do to practically apply this lesson?
  • Can you describe your life today as one that is resting in the perfect provision of Jesus Christ on your behalf? What would it look like for you to personally respond to God’s call to turn from self-rule and self-righteousness and trust in Christ alone as the forgiver of your sin and the rightful leader and Lord of your life?
  • What is the next step of obedience that God is calling you to take right now?

Ready to take your Next Step?

  • See Pastor Jeff after the service today
  • Fill out a Connect Card and drop it in the offering box
  • Text Next to 803-637-8484
  • Go to FBCFM.COM and click “Next Steps”

other sermons in this series