Our Response in Hard Times Pt 2 Passing The Test, Oct 19, 2008

– We’re living in the midst of hard times in our country, but we’re called to respond differently than the world.
– God is most glorified when we’re most satisfied in God
James 1:1-12 There’s a blessing that comes
1 Peter 1:3-9

5 Tests that trials bring
1. Test of joy
  – the enemy is after your joy (“count it all joy…”)
  – how can I see joy in the trial? by looking beyond the trial to what will come because of the trial

2. Test of patient endurance
  – Rom. 5:3-4, test to hold steady

3. Test of mature character, James 1:4
  – without tests/trials, we don’t know how mature we are
  – without tests/trials, our character will not be matured
  – the world needs mature christians

4. Test of wisdom, James 1:5
  – we’re to go to God and listen, once we hear from God, that’s all we need to here. James 3:13-18

5. Test of genuine faith
  – trials prove our faith, 1 Peter 1:6-7
  – how genuine is our faith to keep believing, hoping, etc.

Our Response in Hard Times, Oct 12, 2008

Gen. 12:2-3 – promise to Abraham. He was a friend of God because of he exercised faith.

Gen. 18:17-18 – God asks if He should hide His blessing

Gal. 3:5-9 – Ties the promise to Abraham to us today
 – God provides salvation as a free gift, not free like the world gives – with strings attached – but free like God gives – free with no strings attached.

Verses related to the promises of God to bless us so we can be a blessing: Deut. 8:18; 28:12; Josh. 1:7; 2 Cor. 26:5; Isa. 1:19; Ps. 1:2; 66:12; Prov. 3:9; 22:4…

What should my response be?
Gal. 4:28 – we’re like Isaac, Isaac still went through hard times
Gen. 26:1-2 – There was a famine in both Abraham and Isaac’s times, they weren’t exempt from hard times, even though they were promised blessings.

Lessons to learn:
1. Don’t go the way of Egypt (the way of the world) but go the way God shows you.
  – Isaac’s response in Gen. 26:12-13 when others were in fear, he sowed
  – it’s not enough to hear God, but to obey
  – Isaac sowed into the ground which was his business

2. Isaac sowed spirtual seeds in spiritual ground as well
  – Gen. 26:25 – when times are hard, we’re to worship

3. Isaac took action by re-digging the wells the philistines filled up