Romans 5:2-5 “For because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us – they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
- What role does our faith play in developing perseverance? (It enables us to trust God no matter what the stages are. – Romans 8:28 – We know that all things are working for our good.)
- Why is it important to grow? (Sometimes hardships don’t go away immediately. If we don’t mature, we’ll struggle to move forward. There are no short cuts to maturity. Life issues are more difficult if we haven’t developed our coping skills and dependency on the Lord.)
II Corinthians 12:8-10 “Three different times I begged God to make me well again. Each time He said, ‘No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.’ Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am; I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite happy about the thorn, and about insults and hardships, persecutions and difficulties; for when I am weak, then I am strong – the less I have, the more I depend on Him.”
1. God uses hardships to help us focus on His strength and not our own. If we boast in our strength, when an out of control crisis occurs, hope deflates. (Proverbs 13:12 – hope deferred) Hopelessness is depressing, overwhelming. Our hope is restored if we know God is present because we trust that He has the ability to bring us through.
2. We can develop an attitude of trust toward God that actually causes us to embrace our difficulties knowing the good that will eventually come.
Name a particular time that you know you wouldn’t have made it had you not had previous opportunities to develop perseverance.
James 1:2-4 “Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So, let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.”
- Everyone is going to endure hardship; there is no way around it. (Matthew 5:45 – rains on everyone) I feel like the end goal is to teach us how to embrace whatever season of life we find ourselves.How do you handle unpleasant situations that have come your way? Do you lose your mind? Are you composed? Do you look for God in the situation? Share any failure that has helped you grow in this area?
- We can never encourage others if we never walk through anything. We are not islands; our lives were designed to intertwine with others. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus realizing that even Jesus was not exempt from suffering. (Hebrews 4:15 – our great High Priest, able to identify)Have you ever been able to use your experience to bring comfort or growth to another person?