Summary: How we can know we know God through opposition, growth, and salvation.

Where is God? How we can know that we know God. 020409

Illus: We have a "Christian Cat"…she lays on the Bible! But having a Bible doesn’t mean you know God! How can we know we know God?

Background: The church in Acts is coming out of its “honeymoon” phase of Pentecost and going through some hard times of persecution. But for some reason, they are thriving…

Have you ever wondered where is God? Does he exist? Do I really know Him?

Illus: Kaiser Medical: “Thrive”: Knowing God is not just about getting by, or even getting to heaven. There must be more! Knowing God is more than facts or information – but God himself! His Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are his children. Don’t just survive, thrive!

We can know we know God in the following ways…

I. When we face hardship…because of the persecution.

a. Because we experience opposition (we are a threat)

b. Because being a Christian was never meant to be.

i. Difficulty is not a sign of failure or weakness

ii. If your spiritual life is casual and easy, be concerned

c. Why do we take worship so lightly?

i. Why is it so easy to text someone during church?

ii. Maybe it is too “easy” to be a Christian.

iii. When we know God, we will worship Him.

iv. Maybe we don’t realize what God has done for us.

Are you facing problems? Could difficulty in our life be a sign that God is near?

II. When hardship brings growth…they were scattered

a. Hardship should not push us away from God, but to Him.

b. Perhaps our view of God had been flawed.

c. Babel: We can get to God ourselves.

ALL I’VE GOT “You’ll never realize Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you’ve got.” — Mother Theresa

Is it possible that God is trying to take us to a better understanding of Him?

III. When hardship changes our attitude towards people.

Illus: Ignoring, People we don’t talk to.

a. Some spoke to Greeks…20

b. Because we realize we are just like them.

c. Because people need grace and forgiveness.

Are we seeing people through God’s eyes of grace?

IV. When people come to the Lord v. 21

a. If we really know God, others will want to know Him.

b. If others see God at work in us, they will be interested.

c. It is not about perfection, but affection.

i. You don’t have to a preacher.

ii. How we respond to difficulty

iii. How we treat people we don’t like.

iv. How we worship God.

d. There is not greater proof of God than a life changed.

Is anyone coming to the Lord? Maybe our attitude about God and people needs to change.

V. Conclusion: What is the good life? What is the God life?

Illus: Is God under your bed?

a. Do you know you know God?

b. Perhaps it is not just the incredible moments that we know Him, but in the difficult times as well, maybe he is under our bed.

c. Perhaps it is in the simple things in life, even the problems, people we don’t like too much…

Are you having a hard time with God right now? Are you struggling with God? Good. Perhaps you are coming to really know God.

Knowing God is more than saying a prayer, but experiencing God himself in our struggle, in growth, and salvation.

When you have nothing left but God, then for the first time you become aware that God is enough. -- Maude Royden

Do you really want to know God? You will!

Where is God? God is not just in our comfort, in our church, in our religion. God is where people are struggling, people are growing, and people are coming to the Lord.

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