Monday, April 9, 2012

Lesson 18 - Knowing God's Promise

Lesson 18 - Knowing God’s Promise

“God is in control of all things” -- There is no fine print to this promise.  There are no disclaimers or tricky qualifiers.

All things and every thing -- every event, every person, all of the past, all of the present, all of the future -- falls under God’s jurisdiction.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We know that we have another source of consolation and support, drawn from the fact that all happenings are under the direction of an infinitely wise Being, who has purposed the salvation of the Christian, and who has so appointed all things that they shall contribute to it.

All things such as our afflictions and trials; all the persecutions and misfortunes we experience, while they may be numerous and long-continued, they work together as a means appointed for our welfare.

They shall cooperate; they shall mutually contribute to our good.

They lead us to look to God for support, and to heaven for a final home;

They produce a subdued spirit. a humble temper, a patient, tender, and kind disposition. This has been the experience of all saints; and at the end of life they have been able to say it was good for them to be afflicted.

Psalms 119:67
Psalms 119:71
Jeremiah 31:18-19
Hebrews 12:11

For good, for our real welfare; peace, and happiness in our hearts.

To them that love God, which is a characteristic of true faithfulness. To them, afflictions are a blessing. To others, they often prove otherwise.

On others they are sent as chastisements;
and they produce complaining, instead of peace;
rebellion, instead of submission; and
anger, impatience, and hatred, instead of calmness, patience, and love.

The Christian is made a better person by receiving afflictions as they should be received, and by desiring that they should accomplish the purpose for which they are sent; the sinner is made more hardened by resisting them, and refusing to submit to their obvious intention and design.

To them who are the called - those who had accepted the call, and were true Christians.

Christians are said to be called because God has invited them to be saved, and has sent into their heart such an influence as to make the call effectual to their salvation. In this way their salvation is to be traced entirely to God.

According to his purpose - God had a plan, purpose, or intention, in regard to all who became Christians. They are not saved by chance or hap-hazard.

God does not change people without design; and his designs are not new, but are eternal. What he does. he always meant to do. What it is right for him to do, it was right always to intend to do.

What God always meant to do, is his purpose or plan.

That he has such a purpose in regard to the salvation of his people, is often affirmed in the God-inspired, God-breathed scriptures;

Romans 9:11
Ephesians 1:11
Ephesians 3:11
2 Timothy 1:9
Jeremiah 51:29

This purpose of saving his people is,
(1)        One over which a creature can have no control; it is according to the counsel of his own will; Ephesians 1:11.
(2)        it is without any merit on the part of the sinner - a purpose to save him by grace; 2 Timothy 1:9.
(3)        it is eternal; Ephesians 3:11.
(4)        it is such as should excite lively gratitude in all who have been inclined by the grace of God to accept the offers of eternal life. They owe it to the mere mercy of God, and they should acknowledge him as the fountain and source of all their hopes of heaven.

Knowing God Uses All Things
Fill in the blank:  “My Number One problem is ___________________________________________.

How does the truth of Romans 8:28 encourage you with your Number One problem?
You can recall God’s promise to turn something very bad into something good.  This scripture points you to
God and encourages you to count on His goodness!

Name a good thing that has or is happening to you.  A new job?  A new baby?  A promotion at work? Retirement?  How is God using this for good even though it comes with some tension and stretching?

He causes the good things in your life to work for good as you learn new skills and grow to greater levels of
faithfulness, wisdom, and trust.

Name a bad thing that has or is happening to you.  What will you do to remember that God is using this for your good and His purposes?

God does not prevent His children from experiencing things that can harm them; He takes all that He allows to
happen to His beloved children, even the worst things, and turns those things ultimately into blessing.

How does knowing that in God’s hands the end result will be good cause you to view the large (and sometimes bad) things that happen in life?

How do small things -- such as insults, lost items, inconveniences, traffic jams -- fit into God’s plan to work all things for good?

            Remember:  It’s not them, it’s Him! This will free you from resentment, bitterness, and blame.

Who are the people -- bad and good, pleasant and difficult -- God is using in your life for your good and His purposes?  Pray for each one by name, and thank God for that person’s part in fulfilling God’s purpose in your life.

Any temporary harm we suffer will be used by God for our benefit…2 Corinthians 12:7-10… All things includes circumstances and events that are good and beneficial in themselves as well as those that are in themselves evil and harmful.

Knowing God’s Promise
How can the truth of Romans 8:28 help you resist the negative responses that so often surface as a result of a difficulty, tragedy, rejection, or defeat, such as:

            doubt -- we know with an absolute knowledge that for those who are loving God, all things are working together resulting in good, according to His purpose…you do not need to wonder about the events in   your life.

            emotion -- you can respond with faith and feelings grounded in the knowledge that God is at work in the painful, the tragic, and the disappointing.

           bitterness -- you can guard your heart by believing the truth of the assurance of God’s promise.

            other negative responses -- find strength rather than succumb to depression, discouragement, despair, defeat, anger, wrath, and frustration.

            manipulation -- stop trying to take matters into your own hands and trust God.

Now read Romans 8:29.  What is God’s main purpose for your life and for all that He allows to touch your life?  How does this encourage you in your problem issues?

When our hope is in the Lord, we know that everything that happens to us will be used by God to bless us and make us more like Jesus.

Psalm 23:6 - Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…

Loving God…Even More
Read this section in your book again.  As you consider the contents of this chapter and God’s amazing love for you, what can you do this week, in obedience to Christ…

            …to count on God’s goodness?
            …to remember God’s power at work in your life?
            …to love God with all your mind?

We know that in everything God works for good.

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