Topic: Wednesday Evening Bible Study
Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime
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Meeting ID: 870 5418 4764
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The Christian life is a life of victory but all victories come through battles.
God has a purpose in battles and Satan has a purpose in battles.
God is not the author of battles and God is not the author of adversity.
But God will not necessarily yank you out of every battle either and relieve the pressure, but rather so He can bring us out of the battle victorious and stronger than ever before.
The life of faith which we teach and adhere to has never been designed or purposed to exempt you from adversity, but rather to teach you how to go through adversity and come out on the other side victorious.
As long as we are in this curse-filled world, we will have battles and times of adversity.
Not every Christian comes out of adversity victorious because not every Christian knows what to do in adversity and not every Christian knows what the Word of God has to say and unfortunately they don’t come out victorious.
The same weapons that have been given to Jesus to overcome adversity while here on the earth have been given to us. We have the same Holy Spirit and the Word just like He had; actually we have more Word available to us than even Jesus did to use to overcome temptation and adversity.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 AMPC Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), (17) So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.
As the Word of God becomes a part of you, it instructs you, it reproves and corrects you, and gives you instruction in righteousness, and equips you.
Instead of asking yourself, “What am I going to face today, ask yourself, how am I going to grow today.”
We grow by feeding on the Word of God and we grow by application of the Word of God in prayer and doing good works.
We grow BY the Word of God. We grow THROUGH circumstances not BY circumstances.
Circumstances are simply the stage that is set before us to give us opportunities to grow through them.
Example: You cannot say you grow stronger because of weights. You grow stronger as you resist and exert energy against those weights. I can walk in the gym and have weights all around me but it is not until I exert resistance against those weights that I will grow stronger.
Owning a Bible does not make you spiritually mature. You have to get the Word off of the page and into your heart and then begin applying it to your life and resisting the circumstances.
Circumstances don’t make you stronger; it is using the Word against those circumstances that make you stronger.
You hear some people say, “Trials make you stronger.” No, if this was the case then every Christian would be Supermen in Jesus because they are so strong. Some Christians are devastated through circumstances and others grow through them.
There are those that say things like, “God will never put on you more than you can handle…” This is NOT what the Bible says.
1 Corinthians 10:13 AMPC For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
Circumstances are simply an opportunity to use the Word of God and the weapons that God has given us to overcome.
We should grow through circumstances, we should grow through blessings and we should grow through conflict.
In other words we can grow through every circumstance whether they are good or bad. When the devil brings bad circumstances into your life, let God turn them around for your good and not only enable you to overcome them but grow in the process.
Did you know that every blessing in life that we receive has a test attached to it to see if you are going to continue to follow the Lord when things are good. Were we only following the Lord because we had a big need in our lives or are we following Him because we love Him?
Deuteronomy 8:3 NKJV So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.
Notice that God allowed them to hunger and He fed them but He wanted them to get the truth that food is not the answer, He is.
Whether I have money or I don’t have money, I must come to the realization that money is not the answer. The Word of God is the answer and can meet every circumstance.
In other words, during those times of adversity we come to the point where the Word of God becomes more precious to us than simply having the need met at that moment. Money comes and money goes but the Word lasts forever.
Money can never bring me the Word of God but the Word of God can always bring me money.
Money can never bring me closer to God but getting closer to God can bring money into my life.
Coming through adversity should give you and me a greater appreciation for the Word of God during those times.
When you come through adversity and you have stood on the Word of God, you come out on the other side more mature than when you went into the adversity.
We need to remind ourselves that we have a tendency to be focused on the answer only but God is interested in the process that gets you to the answer because that is where character and maturity come from.
Three things that can happen to you in adversity:
- You get hardened by adversity.
- You can be overwhelmed and crushed by adversity.
- You can stand on God’s Word and grow through the adversity.
1 Peter 1:3-7 NKJV Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (6) In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, (7) that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Gold is a precious metal because it is a rare commodity.
1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Paul says that temptations are common but Peter says faith is precious and rare.
Everyone is or has experienced trouble, temptations, tests and trials. We would find that many people have experienced or are experiencing the same things.
Just like you have to dig for gold, you have to dig for faith because faith is rare.
Fires don’t create gold. If that was the case we could just set fires and get gold but it does not work that way.
Trials do not create great faith.
If trials produce great faith then fires ought to produce gold and we know that just does not happen. Gold comes from deep in the earth and from rock.
Fire does not destroy gold. It will only liquefy it. Fire can work to purify gold but it will never destroy gold.
Trials will not destroy your faith. Your faith gets destroyed when you do not use it.
Faith in God’s Word will always contain the power through God to overcome any trial.
The temptations or trials will never overcome your faith unless you don’t use it.
Weightlifting does not build muscle. If it did, the more reps you do would become easier. Weightlifting actually triggers a response in your body that causes your body to respond and rebuild itself.
Trials do not build your faith; they just give you an opportunity to exercise your faith and as you exercise your faith, your faith gets stronger.
Daniel 3:1-7 NKJV Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. (2) And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. (3) So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. (4) Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, (5) that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; (6) and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” (7) So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
The King was very familiar with these men and knew of their intelligence, wisdom, etc. They were no strangers to him and 10 times wiser. (Daniel 1:18-20)
Why were these three men being picked on? It is because they represent God.
How often do we ask, “Why me God?”
It is because we represent Jesus. It is because we look like God and are His children.
Do you think that God sits back and says, “That is not my fight, I really am not going to get involved?” Of course not.
God wants to help His children. He loves and cares about us. God wants to help us in our time of trial.
God’s power can only help us when we use our faith because faith is what releases that help into our situation.
Daniel 3:14-18 NKJV Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? (15) Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?” (16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. (17) If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. (18) But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Verse 17 is not saying, “If it be God’s will…” It is saying, “If this is true that you are going to do this…” The King had threatened to do something similar to this before.
They are saying, “If your threats are not true, we still will not worship you.”
Traditionalists have said that God delivered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego because they were willing to die for their faith. I believe that they knew that they were not going to die in this contest because the Name of God was being challenged.
Notice that they said God is ABLE and He WILL. How did they know this?
Isaiah 43:1-2 NKJV But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. (2) When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.
Hebrews 11:32-34 NKJV And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: (33) who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, (34) quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
These three men are commended in this verse for their faith and their faith was about quenching the violence of fire. Their faith came from Isaiah 43.
The power of God is present to help and protect you but it happens by faith. Your faith is what activates the power of God.
We greatly rejoice in these times of adversity.
God’s purpose and design is that if we lift up praise and rejoicing during times of adversity, it causes those times to become precious because they are purifying your faith and causing it to become more and more pure.
The trial did not make you stronger, it is the faith you use that causes you to become stronger.
We can come out of the trial or adversity more pure than when we went into the trial.
How are we to handle adversity?
- Stand on the Word of God
- Praise and worship the Lord
- See yourself coming out better than when you went in
- See yourself becoming more pure.
Don’t give up and quit! The storm will pass… they all do!