This podcast covers Lesson 4 of The God-Dependent Woman Bible Study.
The Purpose and Reward for Enduring Challenges of Life
God overcomes your weaknesses.
- When something goes wrong, you may feel helpless as a victim of circumstances. Or, you might be the person who dwells on your mistakes. You may focus on your inadequacy, not being enough of…whatever. And, sadly, other people like to point out all those weaknesses in your life, too, making you feel even worse about them. Have you experienced that?
- God helps us in our weakness and works for our good according to His purpose for us. That tells me that our God has bigger purposes for our weaknesses than what we see or know each step of the way. When it comes to our circumstances, our mistakes, and our feelings of inadequacy, He asks us to trust that He is bigger than all of those.
You can know that God is bigger than your circumstances.
- Circumstances are those conditions affecting our lives that are beyond our control or ability to “fix.”
- Our God is faithful to not let us be crushed or destroyed even in the worst of circumstances. He doesn’t abandon us. When you depend upon God to get you through them, you will likely see and appreciate God’s gifts to you in a greater way.
You can also know that God is bigger than your mistakes.
- Mistakes are generally two kinds. 1) Willfully going against clear Biblical guidance about what is right and wrong. 2) Attempting to “fix a problem” without clear Biblical guidance that doesn’t turn out as expected.
- God has given us a mind to use for making decisions in all areas of life. So, we should pray, ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit, get advice from other believers, check to see if it’s legal, then make the decision and act on it, trusting God with the results.
And, you can know that God is bigger than your inadequacies.
- To be “inadequate” means failing to reach an expected standard, to be insufficient and lacking. God knows all about those things in which we feel insufficient or lacking.
- Sometimes, He leaves us to ourselves so we will recognize how insufficient we are without Him. Then, we’ll desire Him more.
Endurance as you view purpose and reward
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
Truth #1: Endurance is good for us.
Endurance in the Bible means “bearing under.” It’s holding up a load with staying power and stick-to-it-iveness. Endurance teaches us “staying power” for a long-term burden.
Truth #2: Endurance makes us stronger.
Bible study alone won’t develop endurance. Just like load-bearing exercise makes your bones stronger, troubles that challenge your faith do that, too.
Truth #3: Endurance is necessary to grow up into maturity.
- In the process of human development, the goal is to grow up into a fully functioning, responsible adult. That involves enduring challenges of life so we will grow into maturity.
- But, we don’t necessarily desire endurance. We get sidetracked with our comforts and our rights. Without endurance, we become satisfied with immaturity. We have men and women refusing to grow up into maturity. In the workplace. In the home. And, in the church. God’s goal for us is to be mature and complete. Endurance is His tool to help us reach that goal.
Truth #4: Endurance teaches us to depend on God more than on ourselves.
2 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 21 says this,
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:21)
God wants us to be able to stand firm in Christ. Going through troubles is God’s will for us. He allows things in our lives to challenge us, but His motive is not to trip us up. His motive is not to make us fail. He wants to develop that endurance in us so we can stand firm in Him to get us through “whatever.”
Do you try handling it all first then give it to God?
True or False? “When you can no longer handle it yourself, give it to God.” FALSE
The biblical truth is that you are NOT supposed to handle it yourself. You cannot handle it yourself, so rely on God from the get-go. That doesn’t mean that God isn’t going to use your knowledge and experiences to handle the situation. But, you are not to start out doing it on your own first.
Reasons why God wants us to depend on Him more than on ourselves
- He can demonstrate His power through our frailty, being jars of clay. (4:7)
- He keeps us from being crushed when we are burdened. (4:8-9)
- He reveals Jesus’s life in and through us. (4:10)
- He can keep us from losing heart. (4:16)
- He renews us inwardly while we outwardly “waste away.” (4:16)
- He gives us an eternal perspective about our “light, momentary troubles.” (4:18)
- He will give us a new resurrection/heavenly body as a reward. (4:14; 5:1; 5:5)
- Because we must live by faith not by sight. (5:7)
- We will be with Him when this life ends. (5:8)
- So we will learn how to live to please Him. (5:9)
- He rewards us for our earthly lives. (5:10)
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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