Start with Knowing and Trusting God-S13Ep2
This podcast covers Lesson 1 of Perspective Bible Study by Melanie Newton.
All the references to the end times in the Thessalonian letters are like red threads in needlework. They stand out like crazy. But, the softer color of thankfulness tones down the anticipation, impatience, and uncertainty of waiting for Jesus to come back and straighten out this mess on earth. Thankfulness sharpens your focus to who God is and what He is doing now.
Thankfulness requires knowing the living and true God.
Knowing who God is.
What is God like? There’s a lot of junk out there about God. And, your view of God strongly influences your faith in Him.
That’s why it’s so important to really get to know the God of the Bible. God’s greatness is far beyond human understanding. But, the Bible reveals to us part of the picture. We can know Him through what is revealed by Him and about Him. You can know Him.
God is sovereign. He rules over His creation with supreme authority and power, including the affairs of humans.
God is more powerful than anything or anyone else in the entire universe. He is present everywhere at the same time, and He knows everything there is to know.
God is holy and just. He is always set apart from evil, and He works righteousness and justice for all.
God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. God’s love is patient, kind, forgiving and considers what is best for the one being loved.
God is good. He is good in the tough times, in different ways for each person, and in what He allows or does not allow into our lives.
Much of the New Testament assumes you know these truths about our God. Paul’s letters built on that foundation of truth so that Christians could really know the living and true God.
“I keep asking that …the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” (Ephesians 1:17)
We will never know all there is to know about God. There’ll always be some mystery about Him. But, there’s plenty enough revealed in the Bible that we can know Him truthfully, especially in the Gospels. Jesus revealed God to us. Jesus is God in human flesh. He said, “When you see me, you see God (John 5:19; 14:9-10).” Every character quality of God is present in Jesus. You can study all the “I Am” statements in the Gospel of John and see this. Jesus brings our God to light so we can know the living and true God.
As we work through these two letters, we are not just looking for the facts. But, we want to know who this glorious Father God is who gives us our identity and purpose in His Son Jesus Christ. Then, the Holy Spirit uses that Scripture to teach us about our God and to give us an intimate awareness of His presence. He is an awesome God!
Knowing what He says
Knowing what God says is important. You have to start by considering the Bible as being sufficient on its own. It does not need our “improvement.” In it, we find what our God considers right and wrong across all time periods, all nationalities, all cultures, and all levels of civilization. In it, we find what our God thinks about us, who we are in His mind and in His plans. We recognize how much we are loved by Him.
In this Bible Study, we start off each lesson by having you look at the biblical text. What is God saying to us? It’s written for us to know, understand, and obey. God gives us plenty of truth in the Bible that we can know and trust.
Knowing God through trusting Him with something
In 1 and 2 Thessalonians, we’ll see evidence of what it looks like to trust God with someone or something important to you and then watch what He does. There are two aspects to trusting God.
- First aspect: Trusting God while you do your part His way. To do your part His way involves your knowing what His way is.
- Second aspect: Trusting Him to do His part alongside what you are doing. You have to trust God to work in the background of life and to make things happen in those areas over which you have no direct access.
Knowing and trusting God lead to thankfulness.
As our hearts become intimately acquainted with our amazing, personal God, we can hardly do anything but be thankful. When you have trusted God with something, and you look back to see what He did, how can you not be thankful? That’s why it’s so important to record how God has been faithful to you. Malachi 3:16
In all of Paul’s letters, we can see that Paul trusted God with the welfare of his new converts and the newly established churches. So, he started off nearly every letter with thanks to God for the people themselves and for what God had done in their lives. He expressed thankfulness for his own suffering and difficult circumstances because of what God taught him through it.
When you stop and think about who God is and what He has done in your life and in the lives of those you love, you can always find reasons to be thankful. The biblical perspective on life leads to thankfulness.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His perspective on life in the present and in the future. Then, live securely in Him during this time of waiting.