Toy schedules everything. Everything. It can be a little much at times but I can’t argue that it gets things done and little time is wasted.
Here’s one more thing to schedule: schedule your worrying.
Don’t waste time through the day by worrying. Schedule your worrying for between 9:00pm and 9:05pm. If you’re tempted to worry through the day you can remind yourself that that has been scheduled for 9:00pm. Then come 9:00pm you can worry for all it’s worth until 9:05pm and then you can move on again. It will make your day much more productive.
Today we are continuing and concluding Rick Warren’s series on ‘How to get through what you’re going through’.
Study 1: We learnt about trust
i. Learn to Trust 信頼できるようになる
ii. (In time) Learn to Minister （時がきたら）人を助けることができるようになる
iii. Learn to Honor Jesus イエスを敬うことができるようになる
Study 2: We learnt about fellowship
i. The fellowship of sharing together ともに分かち合う交わり
ii. The fellowship of studying together ともに学ぶ交わり
iii. The fellowship of serving together ともに仕える交わり
iv. . The fellowship of suffering together – the deepest level. ともに苦しむ交わり
Share a joy and it’s doubled.喜びを分かち合えば、2倍になります。 Share a pain and it’s halved.痛みを分かち合えば、半分になります。
Today, we’ll look at 4 more things that we can do to get through the hard times that we’re going through.
Rejoice in hard times? The ultimate oxymoron?
We are taught in the Bible to rejoice in spite of our circumstances. This is our theme for this year!
I want to quiz you on this.
Phil 4:4 says
a. Rejoice in the problem you are going through
b. Rejoice that you have something to worry about and occupy your mind
c. Rejoice that Takiya is now selling Tim Tams. [Could be something to this one]
d. Rejoice in the Lord.
The answer is d. We rejoice in the Lord. Always. It’s emphatic. Despite our circumstances. Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Likewise, we are to continually give thanks. Let me quiz you on this again.
1 Thess 5:18 says
a. Give thanks IN all circumstances
b. Give thanks BECAUSE OF all circumstances
c. Give thanks FOR all circumstances
d. Give thanks DELIGHTING IN all circumstances
The answer is a.
Giving thanks for all circumstances is masochism. “Thank you for the pain in my life. Thank you for the sin in my life. Thank you for the death of my loved one.” No!
We give thanks to God because He is greater than our circumstances.
This is not just putting on a happy face. That would be lying.
This is admitting that we’re going through a terrible time right now but even so, God is unchanging, God is in control, God’s will and plan for my life remains sure.
1 Thess 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
We often seek God’s will, don’t we? Here’s a big part of it spelt out: God’s will for our lives is that we would give thanks to Him in and despite our circumstances.
James 1:2 says the same thing. Quiz time again.
a. Let trouble be an opportunity for revenge
b. Let trouble be an opportunity for mind-numbing self-introspection
c. Let trouble be an opportunity for anger
d. Let trouble be an opportunity for joy
The answer is d. This is foolishness to the world but the those who know God and are known by Him it is wisdom and light and life.
Joy is a choice, not an involuntary reaction.喜びは選択であり、無意識の反応ではありません。 We
choose joy just as we choose to give thanks. No matter how hard things might be, how much pain we might be in, no matter how much things look hopeless, there’s always plenty to rejoice over:
God sees what I’m going through
God cares about what I’m going through God loves me
God is in control
God can give me the power to change God will use this for good
God will purify me, edify me, sanctify me, give me ministry opportunities etc etc
Even on our darkest days when we least feel like rejoicing, we choose to rejoice and there are hundreds of reasons for us to do this.
We cling to the promise of Romans 8:28. Know your scripture. It is the breath of God.
In everything God works for すべてのことを神は＿＿働かせてくださる
a. me 私のために
b. the good 益となるように
c. personal comfort 個人的癒しのために
d. improved fashion sense ファッションセンスを良くするために
The answer is b. God works all things for the good of those who love him.
Recruit others to pray for you.あなたのために祈ってくれる人を探しなさい This is based on what
we looked at last time.
When you’re in a small group, others know exactly what to pray for for you. If you’re not in a small group, you’re unprotected.
2 Cor 1:11 “You help us by your prayers”
I can’t explain how it is but group prayer is more powerful than solo prayer. That’s why Jesus encourages at least 2 or 3 of us to gather together for prayer.
Paul encourages the same thing Galations 6:2: Know your scripture. It is the breath of God.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will 互いの重荷を負い合いなさい、そうすれば
a. improve your physical fitness
b. be owed by them rather than owing anything to anyone
c. avoid having to do other chores that you’d rather not do
d. fulfill the law of Christ
The answer is d. When we pray for one another and carry each other’s burdens in prayer, as in other ways, we fulfill the law of Christ – which is to love your neighbour.
When you recruit others for prayer you’re giving them the opportunity to fulfill the law of Christ (and vice versa).
Even in your darkest days, there’s real value in reaffirming faith in God.
Look at 2 Cor 1:10
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.
We trust this. We trust God’s Word, His promises regardless of how things look or how we feel. There is a regular refrain through the Psalms and other parts of scripture:
“But I trust in your unfailing love”. This refrain usually comes after a cry of anguish (which explains the “but”). We would do well to make this a regular refrain in our own lives. I recalled this regularly last year when I was in hospital. It was a tremendous comfort. “God, I don’t know what’s going on but I trust in your unfailing love”.
“God, I can’t see the future but I trust in your unfailing love”. “God, I might die but I trust in your unfailing love”.
Apply this to your home, your work place, your emotions, your finances, your doubts, your fears, apply it to your failures. You can even apply it to your successes and joys:)
This week I started to read through the book of Job. Wow. There is a man who trusted God. He said that no matter what happened he would die trusting God. There’s faith.
Do you only trust God and follow Him when things go your way? What kind of faith is that? My African friend re persecution as a necessary confirmation of faith.
“God, I trust in your unfailing love.”
Finally, this all sounds encouraging but in hard times, how do we get the faith to do this? Rom 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing the Word.”
Simply, the more Bible in your life, the more faith.
If you only hear or read the Bible once a week on Sunday in church you will have almost no faith. Try eating only once a week on Sunday and see how much strength you’ve got for the week.
One more quiz:
In the Bible there are how many promises of God?
b. 92 c. 750
d. over 6000
The answer is d. There are over 6000 promises of God in the Bible and God wants us to rely on them. Read the Bible daily so you can know what those promises are and can live your life by them.
So our 4th and final point for today is to
Rely on the promises of God.
Romans 15:4 promises hope through the scriptures which give us endurance and encouragement.
Know your Bible well so that you can endure and live in the living hope of Christ and be encouraged.
Never doubt in the dark what God has told you in the light.