This podcast covers Lesson 9 of The God-Dependent Woman Bible Study.
Response to Hardships Reveals Whom You Are Following
Recognizing the deceivers
- Deceivers masquerade as servants of light but are really being used as servants of Satan instead. Christian or not Christians, they are doing Satan’s work.
- The mark of a trustworthy teacher is following Christ more than their own preferences and more than the culture. The listeners grow in their knowledge of and relationship with God because of the teaching.
- We can recognize someone masquerading as a servant of light by the fruit of their work.
- We all follow somebody. If you are a Christ follower, the practice of following Him well may be one of the greatest tests of your character.
Response to hardships, suffering, and pressure
- Paul boasted about things that others would consider defeats instead. He boasted about how much he depended on the Lord, magnifying the amazing grace of God which is sufficient for his every need. Jesus never failed him. Yet, Jesus allowed him to experience all that pain and suffering.
- What is absolutely amazing is the number of times the Bible says that Paul is joyful and rejoicing during those extremes.
Expectations of acceptable outcomes can become sinkholes for us.
- Two types of storms hit us—those caused by our own disobedience and those that hit through no fault of our own.
- When we go through such difficulties of life, we all have what we would consider acceptable outcomes. But, those expectations can become sinkholes if we try to hold onto them too tightly.
Joy requires us to release our expectation of acceptable outcomes.
- When we approach troubles with expectations of what we think are acceptable outcomes and then something else happens, our disappointment and anger can explode like geysers shooting out of a “now-empty pond.”
- We need to hold onto those expected answers with open fingers. We must release them to Jesus, and let Him decide what to do.
- Paul gave us an example of how to do that regarding his own life and ministry. 2 Corinthians 5; 11
[Paul] could maintain a truly joyful attitude, even in unpleasant circumstances, because he derived his joy from seeing God glorified—rather than from seeing himself exalted. (Dr. Constable’s Notes on Philippians 2019 Edition)
- He could rejoice at any one of God’s acceptable outcomes. You and I can choose to do that, too.
Rejoice at God’s acceptable outcome
- When you release your expectation of acceptable outcomes, you can rejoice at what God has done or is going to do instead of complaining about what God did not do.
- We can avoid the sinkholes of unreleased expectations by releasing them. Trust in His goodness in whatever He chooses to do in that situation.
- It’s okay to ask for your heart’s desire. But, leave the decision in His hand. Accept the outcome that He provides. And, let Him fill your heart with joy in whatever He chooses to do. Your response to hardship, suffering, and pressure reveals whom you are following—yourself, the world, the devil, or Christ.
Do we depend on God when everything else you try to do for yourself fails?
True or False? “Reasons why I depend on God: 1. Because everything else I tried to do for myself failed. The end.” FALSE
Not everything you try to do for yourself will fail. You may be very gifted at doing a lot of things. Depending on God will assure that you will do them His way which will make you more successful at doing anything good than you could do on your own.
Reasons why God wants us to depend on Him more than on ourselves
- To keep us from being led astray by false teaching. (11:3)
- To help us recognize error in teaching. (11:4-5)
- To know the truth about God. (11:6)
- For financial support that enables us to share Christ and disciple others. (11:7-9)
- To show us those masquerading as His servants and release us from their grip. (11:13-15)
- To rescue us from danger. (11:23-27; 32-33)
- To teach us the value of boasting about the things that show our weakness and need for Him. (11:30)
- To keep praising God in all our afflictions. (11:31)
- To help us handle the daily pressures of that which concerns us. (11:28)
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with confidence that you can depend on Him. Then, live each day as a God-dependent woman!
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