Topics: adversity, opportunity, trust, help
I. Life has hardships
* SNOWMAGEDDON has brought disruptions to many people's lives!
- 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 (2 Corinthians 1:8).
- But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe. After they had preached the gospel to that
city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:19-22).
II. Trust in God
* SNOWMAGEDDON can overwhelm us unless we truly rely on God!
- Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:9).
- 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 1:10).
III. Join in helping
* SNOWMAGEDDON has opened up opportunities to minister to others!
- You also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many (2 Corinthians 1:11).
- "But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name's sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony" (Luke 21:12, 13).
SNOWMAGEDDON Sermon by Pastor RodAkins March 12th, 2023.
Life group flow and discussion questions
"Change adversity into opportunity"
An important Guideline of Life Groups: Staying connected and praying for one another is foundational for healthy Life Groups! As life's hardships strike, we need to encourage the household of the faith (Galatians 6:9, 10), but also look for opportunities to minister and shine the love of Jesus to our watching OIKOS.
- How has this SNOWMAGEDDON impacted your life and those in your neighborhood?
- What does it take to "change adversity into opportunity" for the Lord's glory?
- When Paul and Timothy "were burdened excessively, beyond their strength, so that they despaired even of life" (2 Corinthians 1:8), what kind of emotions and thoughts do you think they were experiencing?
- Have you felt overwhelmed by the needs of others during this SNOWMAGEDDON?
- Many people have expressed the widespread slogan: "God won't give you more than you can handle!" This is a misunderstanding of 1 Corinthians 10:13. God will give us more than we can handle so that we learn to trust and rely on Him. He will also give us a way of escaping temptations, so that we don't cave in to sin.
- Why is it important to understand the intense sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of our own trials and tribulations (Hebrews 12:1-3)?
- What actions can you take when your emotions start to overwhelm you?
- As we have all been enrolled in the University of Adversity, called life; we must keep in mind the book of LIFE in 3 chapters: (See 2 Corinthians 1:10)
- Chapter 1 has already been written "God delivered us".
- Chapter 2 is being written now "God will deliver us".
- Chapter 3 will be written by God "God will yet deliver us."
10. How does trust in "God who raises the dead" help you in this course of Adversity?
Now What? Application:
- Pray fervently (Colossians 4:2-4) for the many people who have experienced damage! And prepare to stand for coming tribulations, spiritually, physically, and relationally.
- Help others with gracious words of encouragement, physical help, simple acts of kindness, personal prayers, and generous giving to aid in meeting their needs.