Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pressed Beyond Strength - Living Through Hard Times

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I failed to write down who originally preached the sermon ,but the following are my Bible study notes from a sermon titled "Pressed Beyond Strength."
For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us. - 2 Corinthians 1:8-10

Pressed Beyond Strength
Image Credit - Ben White - CCO Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos

I'm sure you've heard the saying:  "God will never put on you more than you can bare."  Friend, this is not true.  Whoever originally came up with it meant well, I'm sure, but the fact is that it is simply not scriptural.  Look at the scripture above.  Paul wrote that they were "burdened excessively, beyond our strength."   Read 1 Corinthians 10:13.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. - 1 Corinthians 10:13
The scriptures teach us that God will provide a way of escape.  It is only with Him and through Him that we can bare excessive burdens.

Pressed Beyond Strength - Living Through Hard Times

1.  There is no cause for us to be surprised by God.
There is a side effect to living.  It's called trouble.
    A.  The Reality of Suffering:
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you. - 1 Peter 4:12
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
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    B.  The Reasons for Suffering:

We suffer because of the sins of others.  We grieve the poor decisions of those we love.

We suffer for the training of God.  We learn more lessons in the struggle of the valley than in the victories of the mountain top.

At this point in the sermon, I was reminded of an old favorite song, "Through it All."  Enjoy. 

    C.   The Response to Suffering:

When we try to handle things on our own, we will find deficient strength.

2.  There is no command to be sufficient without God.

His strength is perfected when we realize that we are weak.

     A.  A Principle We Must Learn:

We suffer so that we will learn to not rely on ourselves.

I'm reminded of another old hymn.  Enjoy.

     B.  A Place We Can Lean:

We cannot lean on ourselves, but we can lean on God.

3.  There is no chance to be separated from God.

     A.  His Performance Behind You:

How do you survive your current situation?  Remember this is not the first time.  Yet you are still here.  God, in His moments of mercy, will always come through for us.

     B.  His Promise Before You:

He is still working and moving in our lives.

     C.  God's Presence Beside You:

Paul's faith is not in an outcome, but in God.  Biblical faith relies on God, not outcomes. 

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