On Sunday, March 14, 2021, Teaching Pastor Bruce Hess’ message is “Tough Times – Part 3”. Below are some questions for your personal or group reflection.
1. Bruce mentioned four common reactions to Tough Times (all of which are spiritually
– Grin and bear it (grunt and plod through it)
– Get mad (at God and others)
– Withdraw (from God and others and start the pity party)
– Spend the rest of your life in the WHY? zone (demanding explanations)
When you find yourself facing a Tough Time, what has been your most common response? Elaborate.
2. One reason why God allows Tough Times in the life of a believer is to deepen our spiritual character. Name some passages in the New Testament that reveal that information. In His spiritual development plan for every follower of Jesus, what is the primary work God is seeking to accomplish? [hint is found in Romans 8:29 and 2 Corinthians 4:10b]
How have you experienced spiritual development in your life by walking through a Tough Time?
3. Another reason why Tough Times come in our lives is to expand our ministry in serving and encouraging others. Re-read out loud 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. Think about some of your Tough Times. Can you name an instance where what you went through enabled and equipped you to more effectively comfort and encourage someone else?
Ponder this: Ask God how he might turn your mess into ministry or turn your Tough
Time into a testimony. Look around you for those who might need comfort and encouragement.
4. Two more reasons for Tough Times in our life may be 1) to discipline us when we drift significantly, or 2) to point us to His sufficiency. Can you identify any Tough Times where God has worked in that way in your life? Explain.
5. Finally, Bruce said some reasons for Tough Times are part of the mystery of His will. We may never know the “why” this side of heaven. What Tough Time in your present, or past, would you most like to have “why?” answered? Explain some.
6. Turn off your phone and the TV. Read aloud Proverbs 28:13 and Psalm 139:23-24.
Prayerfully reflect on how God may be speaking to you.
7. Close by reading aloud 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17.