Summary: How do Trials, Temptations and Trespasses Help Me Grow Spiritually
Lesson 6: How do Trials, Temptations and Trespasses Help Me Grow Spiritually?
The Bible tells us that God will sometimes give us dreams. God is a dreamer. God dreamed about you; before you were born, God imagined what your life could be like. God says, “I know the plans that I have for you . . . they are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope” (Jer 29:11). Until we discover God’s plan—His divine purpose for our lives—we will never see God’s dreams for our lives come true.
IN DEPTH STUDY
In order to achieve God’s plan for our lives, we have to go through His process of preparing us to become as He desires.
• Philippians 2:5 (NIV)
I Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
a) What is your attitude? It’s simply the way you think. God’s plan for your life has always been, to make you like Jesus Christ.
• Rom 8:29 (Msg)
God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son.
God wants us to learn to live our lives just like Jesus.
b) God created man in His image, and His desire and plan has always been to make human beings just like Himself.
This does not mean you are going to be a god. You and I will never be god. One of Satan’s first lies when he tempted Adam and Eve - a lie people still believe today - is that you can become just like god.
c) God doesn’t want you to become a god; He wants you to become godly.
He wants you to develop His character, the way He thinks, the way He acts, the way He feels—GOD WANTS YOU TO BECOME LIKE HIM.
God wants you to have His values, His moral character. God wants to make you like Himself; we are to think and act like Jesus. That is God’s plan for putting you on this earth.
d) We have a word for becoming like Christ; it’s DISCIPLESHIP. Discipleship is the process of spiritual growth to make us like Jesus.
• Eph 4:15
Discipleship is a LIFELONG process. You and I are to become more like Jesus everyday.
II God uses 3 tools of discipleship to shape us into the image of His Son Jesus
• When God uses these tools, growth is not automatic.
• These tools will either make us bitter or better.
• These things will either separate us from God, or draw us to Him.
• They will reveal either a heart still bound to sin, or being made to be like Jesus.
• Rom 8:28 (NIV)
And we know that in ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
When we love God, we can have confidence that He will take even the most painful situation and use it to fulfill His purposes in our lives.
1. God uses TROUBLE to teach us to trust Him
a) God wants to use the pain of our problems to draw us closer to Him.
God does not use troubles to hurt us; trials are designed to help us.
• Rom 5:3-4
b) God wants to use the troubles we face in life to build our character and faith.
God is concerned about the person you are; God is more interested in WHO YOU ARE than in WHAT YOU DO. God wants to develop your character, not your career, to make you more Christ-like, not more comfortable.
Jesus too faced troubles, trials and problems in His life. (Mark 14:32-36) Whatever the situation, God wants us to learn to trust Him.
How can we learn to trust God through your troubles and hardships?
i) Keep a spiritual journal. (Num 33:2)
A spiritual journal is about the lessons and insights learned in your life.
ii) Remember to focus on your eternal reward. (2 Cor 4:17)
The reward will motivate you to keep on keeping on!
IN DEPTH STUDY (CONTINUED)
2. God uses TEMPTATION to teach us to obey Him
• God does not tempt us to sin, the devil does.
• Temptations are situations designed by Satan intended to harm us and lead us into sin.
• James 1:13-15 (NIV)
• Temptation NEVER originates from God; where then does temptation begin? OUR OWN EVIL DESIRE is the starting place.
a) God uses temptation to teach us obedience; temptation is a test to see how much we have grown to become like Jesus.
b) Temptation is a choice.
You don’t have to give into temptation, you can say NO and choose to obey God.