Fibro fog, pain, writing sandwiched in between. Quotes. Sermon notes. Encouragement.
|I guess when I fell last week, I totally forgot about posting sermon notes. So, here they are now.
Turn Your Problems Into a Plus
Sermon Series: Faith Works (Part 2)
Imagine getting this as a letter. Dear friend...
James 1:2-3 NIV
Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.
Right. Imagine getting that as a letter from a friend. Some friend, huh? Yes, some friend.
Like someone said (well, my pastor for one): If you don't have problems, check your pulse.
Problems are part of life.
John 16:33 ESV
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
Problems are not predictable.
1 Peter 4:12 NLT
Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.
Problems are plentiful.
Problems are purposeful.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NJB
None of the trials which have come upon you is more than a human being can stand. You can trust that God will not let you be put to the test beyond your strength, but with any trial will also provide a way out by enabling you to put up with it.
Three Positives of Problems:
Problems purify my faith.
Remember James 1:2-3 above? "...you know that the testing of your faith..."
Job 23:10 NCV
But God knows the way that I take, and when He has tested me, I will come out like gold.
Christians are like tea bags. You really don't know their flavor until you put them in hot water.
Problems produce patience.
Again, James 1:2-3 above. "...the testing...develops perseverance."
Learning to be a follower of Christ is like learning to ride a bike. At some point, we're left to struggle on our own. We might fall and even get hurt. But we get back up and start over, knowing that our teacher is there if and when we need help. Eventually, we get the hang of it. Then we can ride off with our teacher and have some glorious times together.
Problems perfect persona.
James 1:4 NIV
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Have you seen the movie Evan Almighty yet? In it, there are some great questions about how God teaches (and provides) patience and courage.
Prescription for Problems
Check out James 1:2-3 again. "Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials..."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Note that it says we should thank God in our trials, not for them.
James 1:5 NIV
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV
Pray for wisdom. Do not waste any opportunity for growth.
For every problem a non-Christian has, a Christian will have the same problem. Why? So the world can see the difference in the way they react and respond.
You can use your problems for your growth and to His glory.
James 1:6 NIV
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 MSG
The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he'll do it!"
Relax and let God be God. He has your back.
Needed to survive:
Wisdom to understand.
Faith to endure.
James 1:12 NIV
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
The devil uses problems to defeat.
God uses problems to develop.