I love my church. Love. We just finished up our 40 Days in The Word series and then celebrated Easter. This past Sunday our pastor started a 3-part series on Trusting God in the Hard Times.
This first part was called Trusting God in Life's Changes. I wanted to share my notes here in case this awesome message can help any of you. I'm not going through any major changes right now, but I do always struggle with change (big or small). So learning these points now will help me to cope better next time change comes my way.
WHEN CHANGE COMES:
1. Look for God
"If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me." Jeremiah 29:13 (NLT)
2. Ask God for Wisdom
"If you need wisdom--if you want to know what God wants you to do--ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent you asking." James 1:5 (NLT)
3. Listen for God's Whisper
"Then the Lord passed by and sent a furious wind that split the hills and shattered the rocks--but the Lord was not in the wind..., and then there was an earthquake--but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After that there was a fire--but the Lord was not in the fire. But after the fire there was the soft whisper of a voice. When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. The voice said to him, 'Elijah, what are you doing here?'" 1 Kings 19:11-13
4. Don't Ask "Why?" but "What?"
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV) *Many people quote the last part without its context: contentment.
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation." Romans 5:3-4 (NLT) *Rejoice?? Really?? Well, we have to stop asking why we are going through hard times and ask God what he wants to develop in us through the trial. And we rejoice because of God's presence.
"Give thanks IN all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) *We don't have to give thanks for all circumstances, but in all circumstances. For example, you don't have to thank God for your cancer, but you can thank him for daily strength, skilled doctors, friendly nurses, supportive family, etc.
5. Focus on What Never Changes
"I have loved you with an everlasting love." Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)
"His plans endure forever; His purposes last eternally." Psalm 33:11 (NIV)
"The Word of God shall stand forever." Isaiah 40:8 (NIV)
6. Don't Face Change Alone
"Two are better than one... If one of them falls down, the other can help him up... Two men can resist an attack that would defeat one man alone." Ecclesiastes 4:9,12
7. Hold On to God's Promises
"I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
"Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you!" 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
"The righteous man does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that God will take care of him." Psalm 12:7 (Living Bible) *I love this verse!!
8. Tell God That You Will Trust Him No Matter What
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." Job 13:15 (KJV)
"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord!" Job 1:21 (KJV)
After the sermon, we sang one of my favorite songs: Blessed Be the Name of the Lord. Click here to listen to the song on YouTube.
I hope you find this as helpful as I did!