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The Good News about your Worst Times

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Adversity can be the gateway to greatness.
The dire circumstances that threaten to ruin your life may actually be a step on the path to a life far greater than you've dreamed of.

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The Good News about your Worst Times

  1. 1. The Good NewsThe Good News About your WorstAbout your Worst TimesTimes © Jeff Dietz 2011-2014
  2. 2. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times,IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the otherwe were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.way.
  3. 3. The Best of Times: StyxThe Best of Times: Styx I know you feel these are the worst of timesI know you feel these are the worst of times I do believe it's trueI do believe it's true When people lock their doors and hide insideWhen people lock their doors and hide inside Rumor has it it's the end of Paradise …Rumor has it it's the end of Paradise …
  4. 4. Where are you? Are you in a situation that has you looking for an exit?Are you in a situation that has you looking for an exit? Is your life out of control?Is your life out of control? Are you asking “God, why is this happening to me?”Are you asking “God, why is this happening to me?” Do you wonder if you'll survive?Do you wonder if you'll survive? Do you even want to survive?Do you even want to survive?
  5. 5. Disasters, the 5 Ds Dollars-- finance, career troubleDollars-- finance, career trouble Divorce-- relationshipsDivorce-- relationships Drugs --addictionsDrugs --addictions DiseaseDisease DeathDeath * Not a comprehensive list, but the most common. Plus, it’s alliterated!* Not a comprehensive list, but the most common. Plus, it’s alliterated!
  6. 6. Our trials usually involve the removal of things weOur trials usually involve the removal of things we depend on:depend on: ResourcesResources RelationshipsRelationships Predictable circumstancesPredictable circumstances
  7. 7. God keeps reminding me of this through different sources:God keeps reminding me of this through different sources: 5 Things God uses to grow your faith: Pivotal Circumstances5 Things God uses to grow your faith: Pivotal Circumstances http://www.fivethingsgoduses.com/pivotal The Upside of Adversity by Os Hillman (Read chapter 1 here)The Upside of Adversity by Os Hillman (Read chapter 1 here)  http://www.intheworkplace.com/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid =30326&columnid=1935   When God doesn't fix it, by Laura StoryWhen God doesn't fix it, by Laura Story http://www.amazon.com/When-God-Doesnt-Fix-It/dp/0718036972http://www.amazon.com/When-God-Doesnt-Fix-It/dp/0718036972
  8. 8. This is not about the power of positive thinking, a mere humanThis is not about the power of positive thinking, a mere human psychological principle, with limited power.psychological principle, with limited power.    Always look on the bright side can become denial...Always look on the bright side can become denial...  
  9. 9.        It's the power of the Creator of the Universe, workingIt's the power of the Creator of the Universe, working throughthrough youryour circumstances, so you can livecircumstances, so you can live aboveabove your circumstancesyour circumstances
  10. 10. Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darknessI will give you the treasures of darkness       And hidden riches of secret places,      And hidden riches of secret places,       That you may know that I, the LORD,      That you may know that I, the LORD,       Who call you by your name,      Who call you by your name,       Am the God of Israel.      Am the God of Israel. Seems counter-intuitive, but gold and diamonds are not found on aSeems counter-intuitive, but gold and diamonds are not found on a street or in a meadow.street or in a meadow. They are formed in darkness, and under pressure.They are formed in darkness, and under pressure.
  11. 11.     God does not want Christians to merely survive hard times.God does not want Christians to merely survive hard times. He wants us to have an abundant, joyful victorious life, not ruled byHe wants us to have an abundant, joyful victorious life, not ruled by our circumstances.our circumstances. This is not natural, but Christians are not natural.This is not natural, but Christians are not natural.
  12. 12. Joel 2:25      And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, theAnd I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great armycankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.which I sent among you.
  13. 13.         Our trials are like a personal cross, designed just for us. Our trials are like a personal cross, designed just for us.     God gives us the cross, and the cross gives us GodGod gives us the cross, and the cross gives us God Os Hillman, The Upside of AdversityOs Hillman, The Upside of Adversity
  14. 14. Suffering is natural a natural consequence of sin, the falla natural consequence of sin, the fall
  15. 15. Suffering is inevitableSuffering is inevitable Job 5:7 Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upwardJob 5:7 Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional. Tim Hansel, You Gotta Keep Dancin'Tim Hansel, You Gotta Keep Dancin'
  16. 16. John 16:33  “ “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcomeIn this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” the world.”  Note that Jesus did not say “I have overcome your troubles,”Note that Jesus did not say “I have overcome your troubles,” but “I have overcome the world.”but “I have overcome the world.” That’s because the source of our trouble is a sinful, fallen world.That’s because the source of our trouble is a sinful, fallen world.                                   
  17. 17. Great characters in the Bible who suffered: Joseph- betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, prison, unjustlyJoseph- betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, prison, unjustly accused, saved his family, the nation of Israel, the line of Christ, "Youaccused, saved his family, the nation of Israel, the line of Christ, "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good"meant it for evil, but God meant it for good" Job- suffered, Satan tested, God restoredJob- suffered, Satan tested, God restored Not everyone had a happy ending:Not everyone had a happy ending: Paul, thorn in the flesh, God’s grace is sufficientPaul, thorn in the flesh, God’s grace is sufficient Christ - unjustly accused, punished, betrayed with a kissChrist - unjustly accused, punished, betrayed with a kiss
  18. 18. Corrie Ten Boom 'You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you'You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.'have.' "There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still.""There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." "God does not have problems. Only plans.""God does not have problems. Only plans."
  19. 19. Adversity gives you an opportunity to re-evaluate your: Priorities: sort the important from the trivialPriorities: sort the important from the trivial
  20. 20. Adversity gives you an opportunity to re-evaluate your: Priorities: sort the important from the trivialPriorities: sort the important from the trivial Beliefs: sort the true from the falseBeliefs: sort the true from the false    
  21. 21. Adversity gives you an opportunity to re-evaluate your: Priorities: sort the important from the trivialPriorities: sort the important from the trivial Beliefs: sort the true from the falseBeliefs: sort the true from the false    Direction: opportunity for a mid-course correctionDirection: opportunity for a mid-course correction
  22. 22. A Lesson from LOST From the episode, The Moth From the episode, The Moth   
  23. 23. Suffering is “God’s Gym”Suffering is “God’s Gym” Suffering should drain us of our self-sufficiency and force us toSuffering should drain us of our self-sufficiency and force us to depend on God.depend on God. We are too self-reliant, too good at coping and surviving in our ownWe are too self-reliant, too good at coping and surviving in our own strength.strength. Too often, God has to drag us kicking and screaming into the betterToo often, God has to drag us kicking and screaming into the better life that He has planned for us.life that He has planned for us. God won't give you more than you can handle? No!God won't give you more than you can handle? No! God won't give you more than HE can handle.God won't give you more than HE can handle.
  24. 24. God wants BROKENNESS Psalm 51:16-17Psalm 51:16-17 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;          You do not delight in burnt offering.         You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,          A broken and a contrite heart—         A broken and a contrite heart—          These, O God, You will not despise.         These, O God, You will not despise.
  25. 25. God uses the broken 1 Corinthians 1:27-311 Corinthians 1:27-31 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shameBut God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise,the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame theand God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; things which are mighty;  and the base things of the world and the things which are despisedand the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing theGod has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,  that no flesh should glory in His presence. things that are,  that no flesh should glory in His presence.  But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom fromBut of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—  that, asGod—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—  that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
  26. 26. Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, neither let the mighty manLet not the wise man boast in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man boast in his might, nor the rich man boast in his riches, but let himboast in his might, nor the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts, boast about this: that he understands and knows me, thatwho boasts, boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice andI am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness.righteousness. Jeremiah 9:23Jeremiah 9:23 The broken must find their strength in GodThe broken must find their strength in God
  27. 27. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name ofSome trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7 Broken things are open things. Same with people.Broken things are open things. Same with people. Open to receive love, grace, healing, forgiveness and restoration fromOpen to receive love, grace, healing, forgiveness and restoration from God and His people.God and His people. And in time, open to give the very same things to others.And in time, open to give the very same things to others. The broken must find their strength in GodThe broken must find their strength in God
  28. 28. Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for hisCursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord.strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperityHe will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in awhen it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is inBut blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out itsHim. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It hasIt does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:5-8Jeremiah 17:5-8
  29. 29. Do not fight spiritual battles in your own power For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in highagainst spiritual wickedness in high placesplaces.. Ephesians 6:12Ephesians 6:12 Our real enemies are not people that we have conflict with, but theOur real enemies are not people that we have conflict with, but the forces of spiritual darkness.forces of spiritual darkness.
  30. 30. Do not fight spiritual battles in your own power 2 Chronicles 20:17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your2 Chronicles 20:17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you,positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. GoO Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.
  31. 31. Use the right weapons 2 Corinthians 10:4-52 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not flesh, but mighty before God,For the weapons of our warfare are not flesh, but mighty before God, to the pulling down of strongholds and every high thing that exaltsto the pulling down of strongholds and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.itself against the knowledge of God.
  32. 32. Use the right weapons Ephesians 6:13-17Ephesians 6:13-17    Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evilTherefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you havecomes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.done everything, to stand.   Stand firm then, with the belt of truthStand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness inbuckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,place,   and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from theand with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, withgospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.   TakeTake the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the wordthe helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.of God.
  33. 33. Suffering makes you more like Christ Philippians 3:10Philippians 3:10 That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and theThat I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferingsfellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, being conformed to His death
  34. 34. Suffering first, then glory Suffering and glory are paired at least 9 times in the New TestamentSuffering and glory are paired at least 9 times in the New Testament
  35. 35. Suffering first, then glory Suffering and glory are paired at least 9 times in the New TestamentSuffering and glory are paired at least 9 times in the New Testament Luke 24:26Luke 24:26 Should not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into hisShould not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?glory?
  36. 36. Suffering first, then glory It's the pattern for Christ, and the pattern for usIt's the pattern for Christ, and the pattern for us Romans 8:18Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthyFor I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
  37. 37. Suffering first, then glory 1 Peter 4:131 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that,But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceedingwhen his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.joy.
  38. 38. Suffering first, then glory 2 Corinthians 4:17  For our light affliction, which is but for a2 Corinthians 4:17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight ofmoment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of gloryglory Adversity is God's invitation to the fellowship of Christ's sufferingsAdversity is God's invitation to the fellowship of Christ's sufferings and the glory to follow.and the glory to follow. Will you accept the invitation?Will you accept the invitation?
  39. 39. Paul's thorn in the flesh 2 Corinthians 12:7-102 Corinthians 12:7-10 Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was givenTherefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Threea thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me,But he said to me, ““My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect inMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, soTherefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, Ithat Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, indelight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
  40. 40. God does not want us to merely survive hard times. He wants us toGod does not want us to merely survive hard times. He wants us to have an abundant, joyful victorious life, not ruled by ourhave an abundant, joyful victorious life, not ruled by our circumstances. This is not natural, but Christians are not natural.circumstances. This is not natural, but Christians are not natural. I will give you the treasures of darknessI will give you the treasures of darkness       And hidden riches of secret places,      And hidden riches of secret places,       That you may know that I, the LORD,      That you may know that I, the LORD,       Who call you by your name,      Who call you by your name,       Am the God of Israel.      Am the God of Israel. Isaiah 45:3Isaiah 45:3
  41. 41. How to respond:
  42. 42. How to respond: Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!  
  43. 43. How to respond: Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!    Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them.Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them.
  44. 44. How to respond: Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!    Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them.Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them. Don't seek an exit, seek GodDon't seek an exit, seek God
  45. 45. How to respond: Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!    Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them.Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them. Don't seek an exit, seek GodDon't seek an exit, seek God Give up control, don't try to control outcomes.Give up control, don't try to control outcomes.
  46. 46. How to respond: Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!    Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them.Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them. Don't seek an exit, seek GodDon't seek an exit, seek God Give up control, don't try to control outcomes.Give up control, don't try to control outcomes. Let God break you down, so He can build you upLet God break you down, so He can build you up.
  47. 47. How to respond: Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!    Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them.Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them. Don't seek an exit, seek GodDon't seek an exit, seek God Give up control, don't try to control outcomes.Give up control, don't try to control outcomes. Let God break you down, so He can build you up.Let God break you down, so He can build you up. Be still, unplug: it helps you "hear" GodBe still, unplug: it helps you "hear" God
  48. 48. How to respond: Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!   Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them.Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them. Don't seek an exit, seek GodDon't seek an exit, seek God Give up control, don't try to control outcomes.Give up control, don't try to control outcomes. Let God break you down, so He can build you up.Let God break you down, so He can build you up. Be still, unplug: it helps you "hear" GodBe still, unplug: it helps you "hear" God Make necessary changes in your life. (Not during emotional turmoil)Make necessary changes in your life. (Not during emotional turmoil)
  49. 49. How to respond: Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!Don't go Charlie Sheen, don't go on twitter and say you're winning!    Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them.Don't "suck it up." Don't deny emotions, work through them. Don't seek an exit, seek God.Don't seek an exit, seek God. Give up control, don't try to control outcomes.Give up control, don't try to control outcomes. Let God break you down, so He can build you up.Let God break you down, so He can build you up. Be still, unplug: it helps you "hear" God.Be still, unplug: it helps you "hear" God. Make necessary changes in your life. (Not during emotional turmoil)Make necessary changes in your life. (Not during emotional turmoil) Leverage your experience by helping others.Leverage your experience by helping others.
  50. 50. Suggested Reading   The BIBLE The Upside of Adversity: RisingThe Upside of Adversity: Rising from the pit to greatness,from the pit to greatness, by Os Hillmanby Os Hillman IIf God is in control, then whyf God is in control, then why……? by Craig Hill? by Craig Hill When God doesn't fix it, by Laura StoryWhen God doesn't fix it, by Laura Story http://www.amazon.com/When-God-Doesnt-Fix-It/dp/0718036972http://www.amazon.com/When-God-Doesnt-Fix-It/dp/0718036972 The Problem of Pain, CS LewisThe Problem of Pain, CS Lewis A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss, by Jerry SittserA Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss, by Jerry Sittser
  51. 51. Questions: Have you faced difficult situations? Are you facing one now?Have you faced difficult situations? Are you facing one now? How did you react?How did you react? Did you see God working?Did you see God working? Did you merely survive, or did you learn something and growDid you merely survive, or did you learn something and grow stronger?stronger? Have you been able to comfort or help others as a result?Have you been able to comfort or help others as a result?
  52. 52. This Presentation © 2014 Jeff Dietz All source material is the property of the respective copyright holders.

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