Sunday, September 23, 2007

Overcoming Adversity

So I'm alittle behind with this post but here is the Sermon notes from Sept. 16th. Overcoming Adversity.

Who you become is not determined by your PAST.
You have a past but your future is spotless.

Mark Batterson in his books says "the outcome of your life will be determined by your outlook in life".

Reframing: or as I like to call it "Oxymoronic thinking".
oxymoron: A figure of speech in which two words of opposing meanings are used together to express two contrasting qualities in one concept.
"Bitter-sweet" is an example of an oxymoron; memories that are bitter-sweet are both painful and pleasant to recall.

Look at the Bible as a Frame.
Rom 12. 3 items we face in life.
1) Persecution: Matt 5:11 says "blessed... when insulted..."
2) Trials: James 1:2 says "Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials..."
3) Death: I Cor. 15:54 "Death has been swallowed up in victory."

I don't normally like any of those above 3, yet the Bible calls for us to Reframe our thinking or look at things in a different way.

Adversity expands our CAPACITY to serve God.
"Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

How often do I 'Thank' God that finances are tight? Or that a family member is hurting or dying? How often do I see this as a expansion of my faith?

"It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him but also to suffer for him" Phil 1:29.... Grant means to Grant Favor: so this is a Divine Favor.

That almost feels like adding insult to injury... at least in our human initial thinking.

I liked Paul. Paul was real, Paul bleed, he prayed, he suffered and he ultimately died for his beliefs. Yet through it all he said things like II Cor. 11:23-30 about all the suffering he went through. So about the time you think he is Superman and can take anything he says the final bit...
"Who is weak, and I do not feel week? Who is not led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness."
How often do we stand in faith through a trial just so we can bring glory to God?
My mother was asked by a church member when my grandmother (Her mother) was diagnosed with cancer this phrase. "Doesn't that just make you question God?"
That thought had never come across her mind. She knew God was in control, and if he wanted he could wipe us all out. Yet he doesn't. She has since seen numerous nurses who knew of Grandma's faith, turn to God in this. Not to mention the doctors... There is a reason.

Christianity is not trading spaces where you decorate one room, it is extreme makeover.
Everything must be torn down to the foundation or below in order to be rebuilt on a true foundation.

We discover that the path of least resistance is the path of Least fruitfulness.
The people God uses the most are often the people who have experienced the most adversity.
Paul states that he knew Christs grace because he was the worst of sinners. Yet he wished that not all would have to 'sow' the wild oats like he did.

2 thoughts from Jesus' life in overcoming Adversity:
1) Forgive: everyone who is trying to ruin your life.
There is a new movie called Ultimate Gift. It tells the story of Forgiveness and the journey a young man must take to find it. I highly recommend this.
2) Aim your HARD questions at God, not man.
Main will fail you. God will not.

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