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 ←
We will be continuing in our Aliens and Strangers series this Sunday, and I’d love to have you join us. If you cannot attend in person, check out our broadcast on Periscope by searching for @craigtowens.