We were blessed to have a special guest speaker yesterday morning: Jeff Hlavin. Wow, what a great word he shared with us! He continued in our series called Aliens and Strangers, on how Christians are to live in this world as citizens of Heaven. Below are a few notes I jotted down.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:12)
Using this verse as his introduction, Pastor Jeff shared four false ideas about problems:
- Problems are bad and are an interruption to our lives.
- All problems can be avoided by hard work, careful planning and clear thinking.
- Good Christians don’t have problems.
- My problems are a result of sin or are a sign of a lack of faith/maturity.
Instead I should see from a biblical perspective that…
- …trials refine my faith (1 Peter 1:6-9)
- …trials can bring joy (James 1:2-4)
- …trials can be a way to gain wisdom (James 1:5)
- …trials can bring rewards (James 1:12)
- …trials can increase my empathy (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:4-5)
- …trials remind me that I need God’s help (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
- …trials remove pride form my heart (James 4:6-7)
- …trials test my foundation (Matthew 7:24-27)
- …trials develop character (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)
- …trials teach me obedience (Hebrews 5:8)
“The Holy Spirit is the greatest Change Agent in a Christian’s life. I can only resolve this tension by obedience. … The devil tries to invoke turmoil in my life, but I can overcome this turmoil by submitting to God (James 4:7).” —Jeff Hlavin
“Trials develop spiritual/emotional/mental muscles that we need to have to soar into the place God has for us.” —Jeff Hlavin
If you would like to download a copy of the outline Pastor Jeff handed out to us, click here → Perspective on Problems Outline ←