Friday, June 12 2009And… it’s Friday!!! I hope that makes you smile!
I know that many of you have been travelling, or may be just heading out… so let’s do a quick recap of our current discussion. All of the discussions along with the guides are posted below for those who would like to catch up! We’ve been learning how to plant our feet. We’ve been talking through the question of why it sometimes seems that those who don’t follow the Lord sail through life and “prosper” while we follow Christ and still suffer. Here’s a recap of what we’ve come up with:
“My first thought was that the wicked seem to prosper because we think of prospering in selfish terms. “The wicked” are about the world, their world without Christ.” – Kari
“As followers of Christ, we are IN the world but are called to be set apart. We don't get to take the "easy" road, but our road is much more eternally rewarding.” – Lauren
“Maybe there’s a connection to free will… God wants us to choose Him through faith, not convenience.” – Amy
“I think suffering helps us depend on God and go to our knees in prayer.”
“I think God uses suffering to shape the character of His children”
“…God's character in regards to suffering -- we are often quick to think of things not being "fair," but when we do so we only focus on the "unfair" things that are to our disadvantage. The "unfair" things that are to our GREAT ADVANTAGE far outweigh the ones that are to our disadvantage. These include GRACE, MERCY, and SALVATION. Yep, by definition they aren't "fair" - they are totally undeserved.” - Amy
Another thought: Satan already has the ungodly where he wants them. He doesn’t need to make them fall. Their “great reward” is all that they are getting now… while we get the constant reward of seeing our God as we offer our “comfort” like 5 loaves and 2 fish… and as a result get to watch the God of all make it multiply!
This weekend I want to leave you with two very important questions for discussion. Look back at Psalm 73:21-18. Where does the Psalmist stand in the midst of His suffering? He hasn’t seen the “conclusion of the matter” as pertaining to His circumstances, but He has brought his “know, live, and share” to conclusion. What does the Psalmist KNOW… and how does it impact His words, actions, and outcome?
Yesterday Amy posed an awesome question and I wanted to leave it up for discussion and research this weekend. Amy, I’m so glad that you did. We can, and must find ways to dig our feet into our “knowledge” and press forward toward our God and the abundant life that He offers. I KNOW… that He loves it when we seek Him!
Ok, Ready? Here’s Amy’s question:
“Lori, you mentioned acting on what you KNOW rather than what you FEEL. I agree that this is essential. So ... I'm gonna pose an embarrasingly simplistic question here -- in addition to prayer and self-discipline, any suggestions on how to fight off the FEEL? Waaaaay too many times when there's a battle between the two in my life (which is all the time), FEEL wins out over KNOW by a longshot, and I'm struggling to find ways to try to change that (although I know it will always be a battle) ... thanks for your input, guys!” – Amy
Any thoughts? Any experiences? Fire away!
For help in research: Look back through Psalm 1 and dig a little deeper into some of our discussion notes. Also see: Psalm 37:4-7,23-24 Philippians 3:1-16 Hebrews 13:7-8 James 1. Another one to reference is 1 Chronicles 16:7-43. This was a Psalm that David committed to Asaph (The author of Psalm 73)! He provides a lot of direction and guidance that Asaph shows through his writings to have learned to apply. Stop and dig into the words here, let yourself think through how they would work out in your own life. There’s a few to get you started :)
I hope that you each have a great weekend!!! Discussions on the above topics are open all weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing your thoughts! Please continue to lift one another up in prayer and feel free to send in prayer requests and updates. *I’d love to hear your evaluation of this study so far. Do you have any questions concerns, or comments? Is there anything I can do for you? Please let me know! I’m totally…completely… and absolutely enjoying studying with you :)
THIS WEEKEND'S DISCUSSION BELOW IN BLUE: