601 SFL - Essential discipleship 4
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601 SFL - Essential discipleship 4

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Teaching notes used at Life Transforming College international - 601, Spiritual Formation and Leadership (SFL)

Teaching notes used at Life Transforming College international - 601, Spiritual Formation and Leadership (SFL)

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601 SFL - Essential discipleship 4 601 SFL - Essential discipleship 4 Presentation Transcript

  • You Were Created To Become Like Christ
  • Transformed by Trouble
  • For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Cor 4:17 “It is the fire of suffering that brings forth the gold of godliness” Madame Guyon
  • 36 Purposes of God in Our Suffering Joni Eareckson Tada: The following list of God’s purposes in our suffering is from one of the appendices in a book she wrote. Suffering is used to increase our awareness of the sustaining power of God to whom we owe our sustenance (Ps 68:19). God uses suffering to refine, perfect, strengthen, and keep us from falling (Ps 66:8-9; Heb 2:10). Suffering allows the life of Christ to be manifested in our mortal flesh (2 Cor 4:7-11). Suffering bankrupts us, making us dependent upon God (2 Cor 12:9). Suffering teaches us humility (2 Cor 12:7). Suffering imparts the mind of Christ (Phil 2:1-11).
  • Suffering teaches us that God is more concerned about character than comfort (Rom 5:3-4; Heb 12:10-11). Suffering teaches us that the greatest good of the Christian life is not absence of pain, but Christlikeness (2 Cor 4:8-10; Rom 8:28-29). Suffering can be a chastisement from God for sin and rebellion (Ps 107:17). Obedience and self-control are from suffering (Heb 5:8; Ps 119:67; Rom 5:1-5; James 1:2-8; Phil 3:10). Voluntary suffering is one way to demonstrate the love of God (2 Cor 8:1-2, 9). Suffering is part of the struggle against sin (Heb 12:4-13). Suffering is part of the struggle against evil men (Ps 27:12; 37:14-15).
  • Suffering is part of the struggle for the kingdom of God (2 Thess 1:5). Suffering is part of the struggle for the gospel (2 Tim 2:8-9). Suffering is part of the struggle against injustice (1 Pet 2:19). Suffering is part of the struggle for the name of Christ (Acts 5:41; 1 Pet 4:14). Suffering indicates how the righteous become sharers in Christ’s suffering (2 Cor 1:5; 1 Pet 4:12-13). Endurance of suffering is given as a cause for reward (2 Cor 4:17; 2 Tim 2:12). Suffering forces community and the administration of the gifts for the common good (Phil 4:12-15). Suffering binds Christians together into a common or joint purpose (Rev 1:9).
  • Suffering produces discernment, knowledge, and teaches us God’s statutes (Ps 119:66-67, 71). Through suffering God is able to obtain our broken and contrite spirit which He desires (Ps 51:16-17). Suffering causes us to discipline our minds by making us focus our hope on the grace to be revealed at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:6, 13). God uses suffering to humble us so He can exalt us at the proper time (1 Pet 5:6-7). Suffering teaches us to number our days so we can present to God a heart of wisdom (Ps 90:7-12). Suffering is sometimes necessary to win the lost (2 Tim 2:8-10; 4:5-6).
  • Suffering strengthens and allows us to comfort others who are weak (2 Cor 1:3-11). Suffering is small compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ (Phil 3:8). God desires truth in our innermost being and one way He does it is through suffering (Ps 51:6; 119:17). The equity for suffering will be found in the next life (Ps 58:10-11). Suffering is always coupled with a greater source of grace (2 Tim 1:7-8; 4:16-18). Suffering teaches us to give thanks in times of sorrow (1 Thess 5:17; 2 Cor 1:11). Suffering increases faith (Jer 29:11). Suffering allows God to manifest His care (Ps 56:8). Suffering stretches our hope (Job 13:14-15).
  • God has a purpose behind every problem
  • Rom 8:28-29 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
  • God uses circumstances to develop our character. He depends more on circumstances than on our Bible reading - because you face circumstances 24 hours a day. John 16:33 - Jesus’ words "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
  • No one is immune to pain, insulated from suffering, no one gets a problem free life. Not all problems are big, but all are significant in God’s growth process for you. 1 Peter 4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. Psalm 34:18 - God uses them to draw you to him The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
  • Rick Warren suggests that in darkest days we experience our deepest, most profound and intimate times of worship. During suffering we learn to pray our most authentic, heartfelt, honest-to-God prayers - when we are in pain we don’t have the energy for superficial prayers.
  • “When life is rosy, we may slide by knowing about Jesus, with imitating him and quoting him and speaking of him. But only in suffering will we know Jesus” Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Joseph - in jail, Daniel - in the lions den, Jeremiah - in the well, Paul - 3 shipwrecks God could have stopped them all - but he didn’t All of them happened so the people might draw closer to him 2 Cor 1:9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
  • None of your problems happen without God’s permission - he intends it for good. Every day of your life was written on God’s calendar before you were born - ps 139:16 - everything that happens to you has a spiritual significance
  • Understanding Romans 8:28-29 Rom 8:28-29 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
  • Understanding Romans 8:28-29 It does not say, God causes everything to work out the way I want it to, God causes everything to have a happy ending here on earth. Only in heaven will we see everything perfect the way God intended it to be - hence we pray, “your will be done”
  • We know - not positive thinking but a knowledge that God is in control That God causes - life is not a random series of events - God is behind it all planning and purposing - God does not make mistakes, even if we do Everything - all that happens, mistakes, sins, hurts, illness, debt, disasters etc.
  • To work together - interwoven, not separately - all parts of your life are interdependent - the ingredients in a cake might taste terrible on their own but mixed and cooked they are delicious
  • For the good - not that everything in life is good, but God brings good out of it - 4 women in the genealogy of Christ: Tamar seduced her father in law to get pregnant Rahab was a prostitute Ruth was not even Jeiwsh and broke the law by marrying a Jewish man Bathsheba committed adultery God brings good out of bad things - his purpose is greater than our pain, problems or sin
  • Of those who love God and are called - only for the children of God - if you are not part of God’s family it will work for bad According to his purpose - which is? Become like his Son - the supreme purpose of God in your life
  • Building Christlike Character God will use whatever tool is appropriate to shape your life - every problem is a chance for him to work on your character Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
  • These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. How does a silversmith know when silver is pure? When he can see his face reflected in it. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
  • “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver…” Malachi 3:3 This verse puzzled a group in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.  One of them offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work.  She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.
  • As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: ‘He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.’ She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.
  • The man answered that Yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, ‘How do you know when the silver is fully refined?’ He smiled at her and answered, ‘Oh, that’s easy — when I see my image in it.’ Author Unknown
  • As God intends you to look like Jesus it should be expected he will take you through some of the same experiences - loneliness, temptation, criticism, rejection etc. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him Hebrew 5:8-9
  • And we know we are going to get what's coming to us —an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him! Romans 8:16-17 TM
  • Responding to problems as Jesus would How you respond to a problem matters - a problem doesn’t automatically produce what God intends. Some people grow bitter not better. You have to respond as Jesus would
  • Responding to problems as Jesus would How you respond to a problem matters - a problem doesn’t automatically produce what God intends. Some people grow bitter not better. You have to respond as Jesus would
  • Remember God’s plan is good Jer 29:13 Gen 50:20 Hezekiah reflecting on his illness, Isa 38:17 Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.
  • Heb 12:10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. Keep focussed on God’s plan not the pain or problem - endurance needs us to know that the pain or problem is only temporary and our reward eternal For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Cor 4:17
  • “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.” Corrie ten Boom
  • Rejoice and give thanks 1 Thess. 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Php. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Remember God is intimately involved with us - rejoice he is with us in the pain
  • Refuse to give up  Jas 1:2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
  • Character building is a slow process - but if you try to avoid difficulties we delay our growth and end up in a form of denial. Don’t pray , “God comfort me” Do pray, “God conform me” Don’t give up - grow up. Heb 10:36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
  • Key Verse Rom 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
  • Key Question What problem in my life has caused the greatest growth in me?
  • Cheerio ...for now