Why Does The Bottom Sometimes Fall Out Of Life?
Ken D. Trivette
I Peter 1:6-9
1. There are times when it seem like everything goes wrong and the bottom falls out of life.
2. I read about a man stopped by a policeman for driving without a taillight. The driver became quite distressed. "Don't take it so hard," consoled the officer, "it's a minor offense." "That's not the point," replied the troubled driver. "What worries me is what's happened to my wife and my trailer?" (I think you would agree with me things were not going so well for that poor fellow.)
3. I think the classic story of things not going well is the one that was told in a response to an insurance company:
"I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block #3 of the accident form, I put "trying to do the job alone" as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully, and I trust that the following details will be sufficient.
I am a bricklayer by trade. On the date of the accident I was working alone on the top of a new six story building. When I completed my work, I found that I had about 500 pounds of brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which fortunately was attached to the side of the building at the 6th floor. Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out, and loaded the bricks into it.
Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of brick. You will note in block #11 of the accident report that I weigh 135 pounds. But to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull, and broken collar one.
Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were 2 knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind, and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of my pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the brick the barrel then weighed approximately 50 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block #11.
As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, and the lacerations of my legs, and lower body area. The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks, and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay here on the bricks, in pain. . . unable to stand. . . and watching the empty barrel six stories above me . . . I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope.
The empty barrel weighed more than the rope, so it came back down on me, and broke both my legs. I hope I have furnished the information you have required."
4. Maybe things haven't happened to you quite as dramatic as that, but none the less, there have been times when the bottom fell out of life. That which I want to ask today is WHY?
5. I think of something someone once sent me that asks "Why?"
* If it was only a 3 hour cruise, why did Mrs. Howell have so many clothes?
* Why buy a product that it takes 2000 flushes to get rid of?
* Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
* Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?
* Why do they report power outages on TV?
* Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them?
6. Well, the "why" I want to ask is "Why does the bottom sometimes fall out of life?" I believe Peter gives us an explanation. Peter describes:
1. TRIALS THAT ARE PAINFUL IN THEIR ENCOUNTER!
1. In Vs.6, Peter speaks of the heaviness that comes through manifold temptations. The word "temptation" speaks of "adversity."
A. The Different Types Of Trials.
1. MANIFOLD = "various in character. It literally means "variegated, many-colored." There are the "blue Monday's," the "gray Tuesdays," the "black Wednesday's," etc.
2. Our trials are sometimes physical - financial - emotional - spiritual. Trials come in many colors and in many styles.
3. They may come from Heaven, they may come from Hell. They may come from a friend, they may come from a foe. They may come in the night, they may come in the light. It may be one kind of trial this week and another kind next week.
B. The Distressing Time Of Trials.
1. HEAVINESS = "to distress, cause grief, to make sorrowful."
2. Trials can be very distressing, very devastating, very depressing. They can leave us in great heaviness.
3. I think of David in Psalm 55:6, "And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
4. He was so distressed, discouraged, and despairing of life, he wished he could just fly off into the night and never come back again.
5. "The bottom falling out of life," is one way of describing these trials."
1. Trials Are Painful In Their Encounter!
2. TRIALS THAT ARE PARTICULAR IN THEIR EXPERIENCE!
1. Notice 3 words in Vs.6, "If need be." Peter is saying, that sometimes there is a need for the bottom to fall out in life. It may be that we need for the winds of adversity to blow our way.
A. It May Be God's Way Of Breaking Us.
1. I think of the Prodigal son who left the father's house. He went into the far country and for a short time, lived it up as we might say. But then one day he found himself at the bottom. He found himself in the hog-pen. Luke 15:17 says "he came to himself." It was only when the bottom fell out that he came to his senses.....GOD KNOWS HOW TO BRING THE PRODIGAL HOME!
2. The Psalmist said in Psalm 119:67, "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word."
3. The Psalmist admits that at one point in his life he had strayed.........Maybe you have strayed.....The Psalmist declares that God used "affliction" to bring him back.
4. God has brought many down and brought many back by letting the bottom fall out.
5. One thinks of Naomi.....We read of how Naomi testified in Ruth 1:20-21, "And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.  I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?"
6. One thinks of Jonah....A night in the belly of the whale turned things around for him.
7. This you can be certain of: You leave the light, and there will come the night. As someone has said, trials are God's megaphone to get our attention.
B. It May Be God's Way Of Building Us.
1. Someone has said that trials are God's divine gymnasium whereby He develops our spiritual muscles.
2. Peter said in 1 Peter 5:10, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
3. Every year in October, at the Coronado Naval Amphibious Base in San Diego, California, there begins what is called "Hell Week." It is part of the Navy's Basic Underwater Demolition School, where sailors are turned into SEALS Â¾ Sea-Air-Land- commandos. This period of torturous physical and psychological training begins on Sunday night. Lights flash as the recruits are awakened by an instructor. Next to one ear, a machine gun with blanks is fired. A jet from a garden hose is digging into the other ear. An instructor shouts out instructions, "We have a mission to perform this evening. I want you to listen to every detail I have for you." The mission turns out to be exercising and lying wet and almost naked on cold steel plates.
On Monday, the six-man teams are ordered to run races with a 250 pound Zodiac rubber assault boat on their heads. Tuesday, with less than a hour of sleep the night before, they have to row those Zodiac boats to Mexican waters and back, a trip of 18 miles.
On Wednesday, the men continue the races with boats bouncing on their heads, their combat boots sinking in the soft sand. That evening they run again. At midnight, they are ordered to lie naked in the cold pounding surf. Every ten minutes they are made to stand up to get the full effect of the wind.
By Thursday morning everyone is hallucinating. By Friday afternoon, the week is over and the new SEALS are lined up to be checked by a doctor.
What is the Navy doing? By pushing these men to the very brink of insanity, these men are being transformed into some of the toughest human beings in the world.
4. Why does God let the bottom fall out in life....to build us and make us strong.
C. It May Be God's Way Of Blessing Us.
1. Most want God's blessings without any cost involved. But the truth of the matter is, the richest blessings of the Lord come through adversity.
2. Someone has said, "The thickest cloud may bring the heaviest shower of blessing."
3. Charles Spurgeon began to conduct services in the Royal Surrey Gardens Music Hall in London. The building seated 12,000 and filled. An additional 10,000 were gathered on the outside. A group of young men had conspired to disrupt the services. While Spurgeon was praying they began to yell out, "Fire! The galleries are falling!" Panic broke out and 7 people were trampled to death. There were 28 that were seriously injured and hospitalized. Spurgeon fell apart and had to be carried from the platform. The emotional shock and strain of the tragedy almost caused him to leave the ministry.
Years later he was able to see that God brought good out of the tragedy. He testified in his auto-biography: "That frightful calamity, the impression of which can never be erased from my mind, became in the providence of God, one of the wonderful means of turning public attention to the services; and I do not doubt that fearful catastrophe though it was, has been the mother of multitudes of blessings."
4. It may be that God is wanting to break us, build us, or bless us. If need be.......the bottom falls out of life.
1. Trials That Are Painful In Their Encounter!
2. Trials That Are Particular In Their Experience!
3. TRIALS THAT ARE PRODUCTIVE IN THEIR EFFECT!
1. Peter tells us in Vs.7 that the end result of the bottom falling of life is two-fold.
A. There Is a Life That Is Purified.
1. Peter speaks of faith being "tried with fire." Peter had in mind the furnace of the goldsmith. He would put the precious metal into the smelting furnace for the purpose of removing all impurities.
2. It is said that the eastern goldsmith kept the metal in the furnace until he could see his face reflected in it.
3. The end result of the bottom falling out of life is confronted sin, confessed sin, and cleansed sin.
B. There Is A Lord That Is Glorified.
1. Why does the bottom fall out of life? That we "might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."
2. No longer do we live selfish lives but submitted lives. No longer do we flee God, but follow God. Instead of our Lord being grieved by our life, He is glorified by our life.
3. He may let the bottom fall out of life to either break us, build us, or bless us, but in the end He is the One Who is glorified. That was what He was after all the while.