Message Outline

The Struggle is Real

Sunday, Oct 13, 2019

James 1:2-4 NLT - 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

The healthy way to look at resistance - a test

Satan tempts us to DISQUALIFY us. God tests us to QUALIFY us.

Three Ways God Tests Us

1. God tests our FAITH-what we believe.

  • Genesis 22:1-2 NLT - 1 Some time later, God tested Abraham's faith. "Abraham!" God called. "Yes," he replied. "Here I am." 2 "Take your son, your only son-yes, Isaac, whom you love so much-and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you."
  • The test of faith-Will you allow things you don't understand to change your theology? Will it be shifted by hardship and resistance, or will it hold fast to the promise of God?
  • John 6:5-7 NLT - 5 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, "Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip replied, "Even if we worked for months, we wouldn't have enough money to feed them!"
  • When faced with a dilemma, do we grab for natural things or realize that God wants to do a miracle?

2. God tests our CHARACTER-who we really are.

  • Our character is who we really are. God allows resistance and friction to test our character.
  • Psalm 105:19 NLT - Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph's character.
  • Our loyalty gets tested.
  • Luke 22:31-32 NLT - 31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers."

3. God tests our HEART-our attitudes.

  • Proverbs 17:3 NLT - Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the LORD tests the heart.
  • What comes out of our heart in moments of testing?
    • Complaining or praise?
    • Trust or blame?
  • Our love for others
    • Hebrews 13:2 NLT - Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!

The best way to look at all resistance and struggle - It is only a test, and that changes everything.

Practical application

Find your greatest area of struggle and treat it as a test. How will this test affect what you believe, who you are, and your attitude?

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