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Say AMEN! • God is My Hope – 10/9/22

How often have you thought, “I just wish things would get back to normal”? Life is full of trials and struggles, but for some reason, we assume that struggle-free, problem-free is “normal.” Well, here’s the bad news. Struggles, problems, trials and grief are normal. That’s life! But the good news is so much better than the bad news! You can take heart in knowing that God is with you through the good and bad times. He will give you the strength to persevere. In the movie I Still Believe, this quote carries so much truth for our Christian walk. “My life is not full despite the disappointments; it’s full because of them.” James says we should consider it joy when we face trials because the outcome, the refining process that takes place through our perseverance will perform a work in us that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. On the other side of our trials we can rest assured when Jesus tells us in the Gospel of John that he has overcome the world.

Scriptures – Romans 8:18; 1 Peter 1:3-7, 5:12; James 1:2-4; Job 1:20-21; 1 Corinthians 15:19; John 16:33

Verse – I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. (Ro 8:18) In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:6-7) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (Ja 1:2-4)

Thought – How do you respond when life is challenging, and you face trials and suffering? As Christians we are called to rise to the challenges, stand firm in the trials, deal with the suffering and rejoice. What? Say Amen! So be it! Yes, Peter says our faith in Jesus is worth rejoicing about even in the tough times. No matter what we may face, we rejoice because we have a living hope in Jesus. You probably won’t feel like rejoicing, but “rejoice” is not a feeling, it’s an action. It’s a decision you make which is not based on how you feel but is based on God’s goodness and faithfulness in all circumstances. You are not rejoicing about the circumstance or situation, you are rejoicing in who God is; He’s with you in the storm and will sustain you. In addition, we must keep an eternal perspective. This world is not our home, we are just passing through. We must keep our eyes on the prize which is beyond all the pain and struggle of this world. Peter says that our genuine faith will result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus is revealed. What a day that will be! Job is famous for his troubles. But Job should be famous because of how he handled his troubles. When all was lost, Job tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshiped. He said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” We too can persevere through life’s storms. Stay committed to your faith, rejoice in Christ your Savior, and keep your eyes on the eternal hope we have through Jesus. Say Amen!

Questions – When something bad happens, do you blame God? Is He to blame? Why or why not? If God has the power to move mountains, why aren’t more mountains moved? Do storms and troubles cause your faith to waver or grow? Why? Share about a trial you’ve experienced and how it affected your faith.

Response – Consider some of the challenges you are facing. Affirm your faith in God. Say Amen! Decide to rejoice and seek God’s power and presence as you persevere.

Prayer – Heavenly Father, help me to find my hope in you as I navigate the storms and trials that confront me. I need your strength to persevere. Keep me focused on the eternal perspective and help me to rejoice in your goodness and faithfulness no matter what the circumstance or situation. May my faith result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ comes again. In His Holy Name I pray, amen.

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