Showing posts with label Trials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trials. Show all posts

20 June 2018

Grace for Every Trial



Theme: The Believer’s Strength

Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: God’s grace and power are best displayed in our weakness.
Think: I will live with the assurance that God will give me the grace and strength I need for every situation.
Do: Learn to be content when facing difficulty, knowing God will use it for His glory and my good.

Out of weakness were made strong—Hebrews 11:34
Hopelessness is one of many weaknesses, but Psalm 39:7 CSB - Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in you.
Discouragement, bitter times? We can find our hope in God as Jeremiah did: Lamentations 3:14-25 GNB People laugh at me all day long; I am a joke to them all. 15 Bitter suffering is all he has given me for food and drink. 16 He rubbed my face in the ground and broke my teeth on rocks. 17 I have forgotten what health and peace and happiness are. 18 I do not have much longer to live; my hope in the LORD is gone. 19 The thought of my pain, my homelessness, is bitter poison. 20 I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed. 21 Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: 22 The LORD's unfailing love and mercy still continue, 23 Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. 24 The LORD is all I have, and so in him I put my hope. 25 The LORD is good to everyone who trusts in him.

Back to our Scriptures:
Summary:
B1 Paul has listed in 2 Corinthians 11 the many sufferings he has experienced because he preached the Gospel.
B2 Now he advances some of the great blessings God has given him—revelations, that is, messages from God.
B3 He has reason to brag about how he great he is, but…
B4 He rejoices in his weaknesses.
B5 What a strange thing it is to boast in weaknesses.
Questions:
B1 What is his most grievous weakness? (2 Corinthians 12:7).
B2 God allowed what to pester and cause trouble? Really?
B3 What is the main danger of pride in a Christian?
B4 Many have proposed physical ailments, but discuss the many possibilities this thorn could have been. Remember it could be physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, etc.
B5 Who is the messenger of satan? Can satan afflict us? Job 1:6-12 CSB - One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD asked Satan, "Where have you come from? " "From roaming through the earth," Satan answered him, "and walking around on it." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil." Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing? "Haven't you placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. "But stretch out your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse you to your face." "Very well," the LORD told Satan, "everything he owns is in your power. However, do not lay a hand on Job himself." So Satan left the LORD's presence.
B6 The word for torment in 2 Corinthians 12:7 is κολαφίζω kolaphizō and means to hit with the fist.
C1 Here are some of the verses that use this word:
D1 Matthew 26:67 CSB - Then they spat in his face and beat him; others slapped him.
D2 1 Peter 2:20 CSB - For what credit is there if when you do wrong and are beaten, you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God.
C2 Have you ever felt that satan was punching you around over and over?
C3 How would something like this keep anyone from getting proud?
C4 Isn’t the Christian life supposed to be perfect, peaceful, happy all the time?
B7 Paul prayed 3 times to be relieved of this pain. Why was God’s answer, “No?”
B8 What was God’s answer? “But his answer was: "’My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.’"
C1 Are you weak?
C2 How will God’s grace help you?
C3 Remember there is no relief from this suffering, just God’s grace given in love to help.
C4 So how can we deal with illness, sorrow, loneliness, hopelessness, etc. and etc.?
C5 Remember, also, that this is what God told PAUL. It does not mean that it is to every situation or to every person.
C6 If we are being chastened by God for a known sin, we must repent and ask His forgiveness.
C7 If we are unaware of unconfessed and unforsaken sin, then perhaps it is a trial that God allows.
C8 Perhaps, you have made a bad choice and now suffer the consequences, or perhaps, someone else has made a bad choice with the resulting consequences affecting you or me. But God’s grace WILL be with you and me.
B9 How do we boast about our weaknesses?
B10 How do we find contentment? Paul faced weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties.
B11 Some commentators and translators understand the phrase taking pleasure in (εὐδοκέω eudokeō) to be contentment. Here are some pointers on contentment from the Apostle Paul:
C1 Philippians 4:11 NKJV Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.
D1 Note the word learned.
D2 How do we learn contentment?
C2 Being content with what we have is a thing to be learned by the Christian. To learn something, we must experience it. Learning takes time and practice. God knows what He is doing. While we are learning, His grace will help us through the process (Philippians 4:13). Hebrews 5:8 NKJV [Jesus] though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
C3 As God, Jesus knew all things, but He had not experienced being a man. I might understand a lot about my dog, but I have never been a dog to experience everything a dog does or thinks. Jesus learned the experience does NOT mean He was ignorant of being a human.
C4 Being thankful for what we have is very important. God helps us. How does being thankful help us to be content? Remember, Paul was writing this letter from prison.
C5 Being content does NOT mean we are to stop learning Scripture, living a godly life, or learning truth, for we want treasure in heaven. Matthew 6:19-21 WPNT Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust ruin and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust ruins and where thieves neither break in nor steal; because where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
Next week:
B1 A prescription for blessings
B2 Theme: A song of wisdom
B3 Scriptures: Psalm 1