Life, Love and Family

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Friday, January 4thFireproof Your Life


Dr. Tim speaks with Michael Catt about weathering the storms of life and having hope in the midst of trouble.

Bio: Michael Catt has been the Senior Pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, since 1989. He is the author of several books including Upgrade,Courageous Living, and Courageous Teens, as well as The Power of Desperation,The Power of Persistence, and The Power of Surrender in the ReFRESH® book series with Broadman and Holman, among others. Michael is the editor of www.2ProphetU.com, a resource website for pastors developed with Warren Wiersbe. Michael founded the ReFRESH® Conference, a time of seeking the Lord for spiritual awakening and revival, and the conference is hosted in Albany, Georgia, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, each year. Michael also serves as Executive Producer for the films developed by Sherwood Pictures. He and his wife, Terri, have two grown daughters, Erin and Hayley.

Resource:

 

Life, Love and Family Daily Fact Sheet

Dr. Tim Clinton

“Fireproofing Your Life”

 

4 Steps for Weathering the Storm (Clinton & Hawkins, 2009):

  • Be Saturated in the Word—the key to standing firm in spite of the pain and bearing fruit is to be full of God’s Word. The Word of God nourishes us through Holy Spirit. When reading the Bible, the Author is in the room with us and He knows how to personalize that Word to our hearts. Counter the messages of culture with the Word of God.
  • Trust God—sometimes God allows suffering to come into believers’ lives to strengthen their faith. Rejoice because of what God will do in your life and what He promises for your future. Cast all your cares on Christ because His faithfulness never changes (Ps. 46; 2 Cor. 12:7-10; Heb. 13:8). Allow God to help you endure (Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:7-10; 2 Tim. 2:12; 1 Pet. 4:12-13).
  • Seek His Lessons—what do you think God is trying to teach you in your struggle? What would you like to learn? Acknowledge where you see His hand at work in your life and praise him even in the storm.
  • Get Support—God often encourages us through other believers. Don’t try to hide your struggle from others. Seek wise counsel from Christian friends or mentors. Surround yourself with those who are wholeheartedly following the Lord and allow them to help you during this time.

 

Having Hope in the Midst of Trouble (Trent, 2001):

  • We are never without hope—no matter how we may feel. We are never beyond the reach of God’s grace and the touch of His love, no matter how distant these may seem.
  • Even when we are struggling, God brings people into our lives, in divine encounters of His grace. Then God uses us to pass this blessing on to others by tender touches, encouraging words, and expressions of value.
  • Jesus’ death is an example of how we, too, may have hope even in tribulation. Hanging on that cross, the Lord Jesus’ hope laid beyond the pain in His immediate future; it was in His place in heaven. Therefore, He could face the crown of thorns, the scorn, the horrible execution, and three days in a borrowed tomb—all because He had “a future and a hope.” And because of Him, so do we.
  • No matter what happens to us, we can carry hope inside because we are under the loving care and guidance of the God of Easter morning.

 

Quotes:

  • “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lost infinite hope.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “God had one Son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.”—Augustine
  • “A friend is a person who walks in the room with you when everyone else is walking out.”—Unknown
  • “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciousness, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”—C.S. Lewis
  • “Hope is the physician of each misery.”—Irish Proverb
  • “We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.”—Helen Keller
  • “Never judge God by suffering, but judge suffering by the Cross.”—Father Andrew
  • “One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.”—G.K. Chesterton
  • “Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He’s sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped.”—Charles Stanley
  • “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”—Helen Keller
  • “Suffering is part of the human condition, and it comes to us all. The key is how we react to it, either turning away from God in anger and bitterness or growing closer to Him in trust and confidence.”—Billy Graham

 

Key Thoughts:

  • Loving God and being loved by God does not mean we won’t ever experience crisis.
  • Praising God even in the pain is an act of the will—it is a choice that you are not going to let your feelings override your faith.
  • Suffering and difficulties are common to all people and are not removed by the presence of Holy Spirit (Clinton & Hawkins, 2009).
  • Sometimes God allows difficulties in our lives and we do not know why. His promise to us is not to make our suffering understandable but to be present with us in it.
  • Suffering produces character in us. Guard against wanting to “fix things” or give answers too quickly. It is much more important to listen and watch for what the Lord is trying to teach you during this situation.
  • Making time to be alone with God is absolutely essential when you are facing pain or struggle (Clinton & Langberg, 2011). Many times prayer does not change our situation as much as it changes us and our orientation to the situation.
  • As you purposely quiet your heart each day, Holy Spirit has a chance to change the way you see your situation.

 

Verses:

  • “And we know that God causes all things to work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”—Romans 8:28
  • “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”—Matthew 11:28-29
  • “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”—2 Corinthians 4:16-18
  • “In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”—Romans 8:26
  • “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”—James 1:2-4
  • “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”—Romans 8:37-39
  • “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, and she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.”—Psalm 46:1-5
  • “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”—Psalm 23:4
  • “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”—Deuteronomy 31:6
  • “A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice.”—Isaiah 42:3

 

 

Endnotes

Clinton T. & Trent, J. (2009). The quick-reference guide to biblical counseling. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Trent, J. (2001). “Hope.” The Bible for hope: Caring for people God’s way. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Clinton, T. & Langberg, D. (2011). The quick-reference guide to counseling women. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

 

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