Worship in Pain

Most Christians would agree that we worship God through our pain.  We sometimes might not feel like worshiping, but we continue to do so.  What do you trust in?  Whatever you trust in is what you will worship.

When our lives falls apart, many of us turn inward and trust only ourselves to make it through.  It is what we do to protect ourselves, but healing is found in worship.

Paul says – “We can rejoice … whne we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.”  Endurance develops strength in character and then builds into confidence and hope of salvation.  We need to learn to trust Him through the dark times.  He does lead us out of the valley of shallow of death and he will not leave us there. 

You may have to sit down and write a letter to God, just like Chris in the book wrote.  Write about your struggle and fustration.  Be honest with God.  He already knows how you feel – but you definitely will feel better afterwards.  You know that keeping it bottled up isn’t working.

When we are in pain – Anger, Denial or Bitterness continue to

worship Him and talk with Him.  Develop that close relationship with God – he is ready and waiting for you to follow Him.  He is always there for you.  Because life will be torn apart at times, but God never changes.

Faith – Mini Series Bible Study – 4 Week Agenda

4 Week Mini-Series Bible Study

4 Memory verses:

Psalm 40:4

Ephesians 6:16

James 1:3

Hebrews 11:6

 

 

Week One

Impatient

 

Who is in charge of our life?

Pointing toward God – Focus

Week Two

Standing Firm Against Devil

Our Own Power?

Power to be Bold in our faith?

Week Three

Define waver?  Not doubt, but wavering.

Divides our Faith

Week Four

What must we believe when we go to God?

Memory verse – because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

What did the people do to receive what God had for them?   Kept the Faith

How long did they believe in God and that God would keep His promises?

They lived by faith until they died.    They were all commended for their faith, yet did not receive the promised.  God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

 

4 Week Mini-Series Bible Study

4 Memory verses:

Psalm 40:4

Ephesians 6:16

James 1:3

Hebrews 11:6

Week One

Impatient

Who is in charge of our life?

Pointing toward God – Focus

Week Two

Standing Firm against Devil

Our Own Power?

Power to be Bold in our faith?

Week Three

Define waver?

What Divides our Faith?

Week Four

What must we believe when we go to God?

What did the people do to receive what God had for them?   Kept the Faith

How long did they believe in God and that God would keep His promises?

 

Hebrews 11:6 – This Faith Thing!!!

Today we write Hebrews 11:6 our memory verse in 3 versions:

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  NKJV

You can never please God without faith, without depending on him. Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely look for him.  TLB The Living Translation

5-6 By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.  The Message

Enoch is an even greater hero of faith (11:5). He never experienced death at all. Enoch walked with God and pleased God (see Ge 5:24). Because of his faithfulness God took him. The principle to be observed here again is that without faith it is impossible to please God and gain life (11:6). God rewards faith, as the story of Enoch demonstrates. The one who would approach God and walk with God must grasp in faith not merely that God exists but that God is a rewarder of the faithful. Faith trusts that he comes as rewarder to those who earnestly seek him.

I wasn’t taught about faith in school or in the home.   My parents wanted us to have a religious education, but they wanted us to seek it on our own.  I found it difficult to raise my kid in the same environment.  So I went to church and was involved in church during their upbringing.   My faith came when I trusted in God in the low times of my life.  When I became a seeker of the truth and a relationship with God – so much more of my faith made sense to me.   Faith comes to those who first believe and then realize that God will come to them with what they need, when they need it – only if they earnestly seek him out.

Week 4 – Faith Bible Study + Faith = Grace

This is the last week of this mini-Bible Study.  I have really enjoyed my time with Heather’s Bible Study on Faith.

Matthew 14:25-33

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Paul was thinking – I cannot walk on water, I am only a fisherman and know I cannot walk on water – but with God’s grace we can do anything.  He says we can move mountains if we have enough faith.    I know from my own experiences going alone as the lone wolf is not the best way.  We need God in our lives.  He provides so much for us to cope and succeed in this life and to bring the Gospel to anyone who will hear it.

I am not a seminary graduate, I am a mere Christian Lady who loves God.  I do have a husband and son who are seminary graduates.  I learn from reading and listening to them.  I also have a desire to be a minister of the Gospel – not to preach but to do as I am commanded – take the Gospel to the lost.

Somewhere along the line, I realized that through the Holy Spirit I could do anything.  I mean anything – I lead women in a Retreat, I led music as the music leader (even if I cannot sing on key), I have led many men and women in prayer and Bible studies.  I have been the superintendent of Sunday School and Leader of Women’s Ministry.

I can only tell you this all was accomplished by one thing, the Holy Spirit that resides inside of me – but the truth is I had to have faith that the Holy Spirit would lead me and then miracles happen.

Praise God for all the wonder gifts he has provided me and I do have faith he can lead me and teach others to follow him as well.  Now do I sometimes feel like Peter – oh!!! I am a mere human!   Yes – sometimes things like my weight get in the way of my work for the Lord too, but daily time with God makes me stronger and realize that faith is what makes it all happen.

Letting go of our pride and control really frees us from the tangles of our own doubts.

I don’t have to be the best at something – the weaknesses I have can sometimes prove to help me and strengthen me.  The Holy Spirit will use me as he sees fit.  I don’t have to be in charge.  I just have to make sure I am in relationship with God and that I am in scriptures daily.

Amen.

James 1 – Week 3 of Bible Study on Faith

1:1 James, a servant. James identifies himself as a slave of God and of Christ. A bondservant (text note) is one purchased and owned by a master or “lord.” This indicates not only humility on the part of the James but a profound testimony to his conversion to faith in his earthly half brother as his Redeemer (1 Cor. 15:3). James is a servant to both God and Jesus, a crucial theological bracketing.

1:2 Count it all joy. This is a call to understand suffering from the vantage point of confidence in God’s sovereignty. What follows requires careful thinking from a theological perspective.

brothers. Fellow believers are addressed in familial terms befitting those who have God as Father.

trials. Various kinds of trying circumstances, often related to persecution such as the early Christians endured.

1:3 testing. Trials can be considered pure joy only when there is knowledge that they are designed by God for a purpose. They are tests of faith given in order to develop perseverance. In turn, perseverance produces mature Christian character (Rom. 5:3).

1:5 wisdom. To be wise in biblical terms is to know and understand godliness, to do what is pleasing to God (Heb. 5:14). Ch. 3 elaborates this theme.

ask God. God is the source of wisdom. He grants it to those who sincerely seek it from Him.

The thing I am impressed most by God’s word is the application to my life.   Praise God for all the lessons and trials he provides, they have made me a more mature Christian, but I never stop learning or maturing.

James talks about the poor and the rich, he wishes for the rich to rejoice that they have learned where true treasure is found.   We truly have freedom in Christ and always need to look to him for strength.

Amen.

Wandering – Week 3 – Faith Bible Study

I am sitting in church and I begin to thinking about the work week or something else I want to do.  I find my self wandering away from my work at times to think of home life or struggles in my life.  Wandering is common for most humans.  We sometimes consider a new direction we’d rather go.  Do you ever dream of a new life or a new way of living?

When we have our mind wander, it usually leads our heart there too.  We must be trusting and depend on the Lord.  Heather Bixler, the author of our Bible Study says “delight in Him.”    We will struggle and have our ups and downs.   My husband reblogged an article he had written a few years back… “Are we headed in the right direction?

It isn’t a very long blog, he includes pictures, but the theme is that our relationship with God is much like a train.

The train metaphor is a lot like our life as a Christian.  We must always be growing in our faith so that we can walk through our life with Jesus Christ.  He leads us toward the goal of heaven and eternal life, and just like a train, we must keep on moving toward our destination.  Sometimes people become distracted and their faith falters; sometimes we seem to be off track.

A train shows us how to keep plugging along, and so we must…  You know, when you think about it, we can keep plugging along our way through life with Christ, Through our commitment to God’s plan and will for our life we will begin to see the beauty in His blessings.

Oh, how important it is to spend time every day with our Lord and in His Word! It is so easy to drift off into confusion and not realize how far off track we’ve roamed when we try to navigate on our own.   When doubt creeps into our lives we need to be ready to cling to God’s truth.

Application questions:

1.  Are you committed to God’s will for your life?

2.  Do you often have a Plan B in case something doesn’t go the way you hoped it would?

3.  Do you struggle with doubt when things seem to be going wrong?

4.  Do you feel abandoned by God when things don’t go according to plan?

These questions definitely make you think and you might even ask?  How do I know God’s will for my life – well the more time you spend in scriptures and fellowship with other Christians you will be able to discern some things better, but patience and faith work best if you are spending time with the one that guides us.   Do I stay on the right track or do I wandering – do I derail at every turning point – No I stay on the train and get back to the right track and keep chugging along.   Here is a thought – every time you hear a train whistle this week – spend a minute in prayer or read a bible verse.

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.  Psalm 37:5

Amen.

Week 2 – Faith Bible Study

Coming to the realization that God is in control of everything is the first step of focusing on the truth.

People tell me constantly it is hard to be a Christian.  I say – how hard is it to give up all your worries and focus on God first.  I mean it allows you to do the work of the Lord and still live a fruitful life.

The next step is allowing God to have control – that is maybe easier said then done, but the Serenity prayer helps to realize you can only change the things you have control over and the rest it takes wisdom to know you cannot control it.  Well most of life is not controllable.

Ok – so do you realize that?  Do you know that you cannot do it without God?  He can do anything or He can do nothing – It is your choice.  Let Him in and that will help to determine what he will do in your life.

Ephesians 6:16

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Don’t doubt that God has a plan – we need to cling to the truth and when we doubt you can tell you can’t do it.  Tell Him you can’t manage it all.  Tell Him you are scared.  Tell Him to then fill you with His truth.

Amen.

T

Week 3 – Faith “Perseverance”

Begin with our Memory verse:  James 1:3   because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

I think our faith is tested daily by everything around us, but I agree with James – it makes us want to stay the course and keep moving toward God.

I wanted to provide a Bible study to the Ladies of my church and make it convenient for them – so I devise this plan to present it two times a week.  That is pretty crazy.   It hasn’t gone as I planned.  How the study is wonderful and Heather Bixler did an excellent job.  I love the memory verses and the study is keeping me in the word daily.

So why do I feel like a failure – well could be that Satan wants me to feel like a failure, it might be that I am really way to busy and feel a little overwhelmed right now.  I am trying to get healthy and that takes time too.  So I cancelled the Tuesday night Bible study last night.  I felt relief.   I didn’t feel like driving out to Springfield to find no one there.   I do plan on keeping up with Saturday mornings.

I want people to know that it is so important to be in the word daily and in fellowship with other Christians.  It is and always will be my first priority.  My faith in God has been strength by focusing on him first and not myself.

I believe in divine testing and I don’t want to let God down.  Trials can be considered pure joy only when there is knowledge that they are designed by God for a purpose. They are tests of faith given in order to develop perseverance. In turn, perseverance produces mature Christian character (Rom. 5:3).

The definition of perseverance – steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.   Hit me in the face gals.  So if anyone wants to meet for coffee next week at Panera’s let me know.    I don’t want to keep the Gospel or the Good News from anyone.

Let’s finish this Bible Study strong and find fellowship and grace in God this next two weeks.  That’s right only two more weeks.

So please email me at :  cathyrocks58@gmail.com if you can meet for coffee next week or see you on Saturday.    Also – my blog is still here and will continue.

Steadfast love of God, overcoming all obstacles through the strength of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Faith – Week 1 Complete

I want to finish this week with a positive thought.

The memory verse is in my head, and here it is from memory:

Psalm 40:4

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, those who turn aside to the false gods.

I learned that the more time I spend with scriptures the more I can discern what God wants for me in my life.  I have really been on fire this week.

It hasn’t been a great week for me health wise, but it really is a great week for a calming and closer relationship with God.  Praise him for this Bible Study.

Heather Bixler did an excellent job of helping us understand that and also to help us to memorize bible verses.

I want to share one book I mentioned at the Bible study this morning.    “Practice in the Presence of God,” by Father Lawrence.  You can pick it up on Kindle for about $5.00.

Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.” He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our soul. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence. For nearly 300 years this unparalleled classic has given both blessing and instruction to those who can be content with nothing less than knowing God in all His majesty and feeling His loving presence throughout each simple day.

Amen.

Faith – Week 2 – Day 3

Today we look at different versions of the memory verse.

Ephesians 6:16

The Messenger – gives us the verse in context with verses 13-18

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

We must be prepared and what do we use to help us?  The help of God and God provides every Weapon he has in his arsenal.   Truth, Righteousness, peace, faith and salvation.  Says we need to live how to apply these weapons.   Prayer is essential – pray hard and long.  Don’t just pray for yourself…. but for your brothers and sisters.  Keep alert and be ready.  Don’t allow anyone to fall down and disappear or drop out.

Version from Name of God Bible:

In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

The Christian faith is our shield.  We only need to rely on our faith in Christ.

My last choice of versions comes from New King James version:

above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

They use the word quench- the dictionary definition is:  extinguish (a fire), put out, snuff out, smother, douse “the flames were quenched.”  They use the term the wicked one.  Still the evil one or Satan who tempts us.

Praise God for this verse this week.  I have gotten great strength from this verse.

Amen