Bible Study – Overcoming Life’s Challenges 1
THE REDEEMED CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD
Topic: OVERCOMING LIFE’S CHALLENGES 1 January 2, 2018
A. INTRODUCTION: WHAT KIND OF CHALLENGES DO PEOPLE FACE IN LIFE?
It is a very frightening thing to be defenseless in a hostile world. It is indeed a horrible feeling to be completely helpless. When a man is sick he runs to the doctor hoping to be healed, but when the doctor tries his best and says there is nothing else he can do, the Sick becomes hopeless. When a man has serious financial problems, he runs to his bank expecting a bail-out, but what will he do when bank insists on using assets he doesn’t have as collateral? In the same way, when a child is sick, he looks up to his parents for help and care, but how will the child feel if his parents tell him that the forces battling against him are beyond their capability? It is a terrible thing to feel lonely or forsaken by relatives and loved ones. Are you facing the worst of times with no one to defend you? Just as a body of water can become stagnant, a person’s life can also enter into a state of stagnancy. Stagnancy ultimately leads to lack of productivity, barrenness, fruitlessness, indebtedness, poverty, failure, sorrow and disappointment. I bring you good news, there’s help for the helpless and hope for the hopeless and cover your naked.
Action Points: Make a list of challenges people face in life
Challenges come in various ways and may include the following: Financial storms, Poverty, Lack, etc; Barrenness; Sickness; Material burdens; Stagnation; Disappointment, Marital Troubles and other conflicts. It can also be in form of Demonic yokes, affliction, oppression, or any other generational problems etc.
B. ARE CHRISTIANS EXEMPTED FROM CHALLENGES OF LIFE?
If you have money and all the wealth in the world would you be able to make all your problems go away? John 16:33, Romans 5:3-5, Hebrew 2:18, 2 Corinthians 4:8-11, Psalm 55:22, James 1:2-4, Ecclesiastes 6:1-2
The truth is, as long as we live in a fallen world, we will always have problems. Jesus was perfect and without sin. However, because He lived in a fallen world, Jesus Himself faced a number of challenges which He had to deal with. The great thing about Jesus is that He conquered and overcame EVERY problem that we can imagine.
C. HOW DO PEOPLE REACT TO CHALLENGES?
1. Fear; 2. Desperate or being impatient; 3. Looking for alternatives
Action Points: Add to the list
Case Study: Sarah (Genesis 16:1-6): After several years of waiting for God’s promise to be fulfilled, Sarah sat down one day, had a long thinking session, and came up with an alternative plan which she presented to Abraham, and He accepted it. She had been barren for several years and was tired of being in that state; hence, she decided to give Hagar, one of her slaves, to her husband hoping to get a child through her.
Lessons: When God is leading you in a certain direction, or if He has a made a promise to you, any contrary opinion or alternative is borne out of impatience, doubt or unbelief. It is when people can no longer wait for God’s plan that they come up with their alternatives. This can take a person out of God’s original plan.
D. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO OVERCOME?
1. INVEST IN PRAYER & FASTING AND PRAISE: It is a spiritual master key that unlocks doors to answers the petitions of God’s children. Isaiah 58:6-12, James 5:13, 16, Matt 7:7, John 14:14, Psalms 34:4, 17, 19.
Case Studies: Peter (Acts 12:5-11), Paul (Acts 16:24-26), Esther (Esther 3:8-9, 13-15, Esther 4:13-16, Esther 6:1-12)
2. SEEK GOD’S PLAN OR GUIDANCE AND FOLLOW IT: Proverbs 3:5-7. God has a plan for your life, Jeremiah 1:4-5. Be filled with His Word and His Spirit, prayerful, watchful, thankful and humble, Joshua 1:8. God’s Word never negates His will for your life, James 1:18. The question is, “Are you still in God’s Plan?”
3. FAITH – KNOWING GOD AS THE EVER PRESENT HELPER: Hebrew 11:29-35, Psalm 46:1. When you go into battle, your strength, wisdom, and resources are limited to what you and your allies have.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego (Daniel 3:19-25): Can you imagine what would have happened if the fourth man had not appeared on time in King Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace in Daniel 3:25? The three Hebrew children would have been history, but because He came right on time, they made history. God will not be late for you. His intervention in your life shall be timely, and He shall shut up the mouth of your enemies.
Widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:8-16): The poor widow was getting ready to eat her last meal and then die; but against her expectations, help came her way. Sometimes, when a child of God is going through some difficulties, God may appear silent. His silence does not mean He is ignorant of what is happening.
4. OTHER PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS:
a- PLANNING your way out of troubles: Luke 14:28-32, Habakkuk 2:1-3, Genesis 13:15, Proverbs 6:6-8.
b- SELF EXAMINATION: Identify your area of Strengths and Weaknesses (SWOT Analysis), Galatian 6:4, 1 Corinthians 11:28, 2 Corinthians 13:5, Haggai 1:5-7.
c- SEEKING COUNSEL for marital, financial and other challenges. Proverbs 15:22, Proverbs 24:6, John 14:26, Psalm 73:24
d- DILIGENCE OR HARD WORK & EXCELLENCE: Psalms 90:1, Philippians 4:13. Grace does not take and will not take the place of hard work. Grace is not a license for laziness and mediocrity, Proverbs 22:28, Proverbs 12:24, Proverbs 14:23, 1 Timothy 5:8, Proverbs 6:6-11. Our God is a God of excellence. You need hard work to develop your competence and prepare yourself for excellence.
f- TIME MANAGEMENT; Stop procrastination: John 9:4, Ephesians 5:15-16, John 11:9-10.
Action Points: Catalogue what you spend your time doing in a day or week, and this will give you a good indication of what your focus really is in life
g- SELF DEVELOPMENT; SEEK WISDOM & KNOWLEDGE: Proverbs 4:7, Hosea 4:6, Daniel 9:2
Develop your Competence: Competence (or competency) is the ability of an individual to perform a job properly (Wikipedia). Synonyms: capability, capableness, capacity, ability, competency, faculty. Romans 12:2.
h- UNDERSTAND YOUR SEASON: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 1 Chronicles 12:32
In God’s timetable, there’s is a time for everything. Life is split into different seasons.
i- MAKE ROOM FOR GRACE & MERCY OF GOD: Ecclesiastes 9:11. Ultimately, God is the owner of time and chance. He also changes them as He likes, Romans 9:15-16. Diligence, skill, ability, prayer, good character, effective communication, networking are great principles of success in life, but without the grace and mercy of God, they will not help you go far enough in life. This year, may the grace of God enables you to do exploits beyond your human ability and opens doors for you in Jesus name, Isaiah 45:2.
j. Action Point: Think of other practical solutions to overcome challenges of life.
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Bible Study – Overcoming Life’s Challenges 2
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