The Help and the Helper (Psalm 121)

It is often my privilege to sit with someone who needs help. That might be at their bedside because they are dying. It could be in the aged care facility that is now their ‘home’. It could be across the table as they share what burdens them so deeply. The anxiety, sometimes the fear, is clear and present. The causes are wide and varied. Help is what they need.

And how useless I am!

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Upholding Singleness

Song of Songs is a beautiful book that millions of Christians, both single and married, have read and studied with great profit. However, for some – and in particular those not currently in a relationship – it can be difficult.

In any church family there will be folk who are single – those who have never been married and those who have been married and are now single. Due to a breakdown in relationship, divorce, death of a spouse, a struggle against same-sex attraction, or other reason, Song of Songs may push some unhappy buttons.

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Conference Talks – Heaven & Hell

Heaven and Hell

5 AWAY Weekend Away Talks – by Ken Noakes

Talk 1 – Scaring the Hell out of You!

Talk 1 Outline – Scaring the Hell out of You!

 

Talk 1 Script – Scaring the Hell out of You!

Discussion Group Questions – Hell

 

Talk 2 – Heaven Sent!

Talk 2 Outline – Heaven Sent!

 

Talk 2 Script – Heaven Sent!

Personal Reflection Questions – Heaven

Bold in Witness & the Great Commission (Part 3 of 7)

Bold in Witness

What does it mean to be bold in Witness?

Jesus asked his disciples to be his witnesses. And that is what Jesus’ first disciples did.

To be a witness, you have to be willing to make a stand, to testify, to speak on behalf of the person or the event that you are bearing witness too. The aim is to provide enough reason or evidence for someone who is not a witness to ascertain the truth behind what you say.

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How does a Christian become more resilient in suffering? (Part 6 of 6)

Living now in the face of Suffering.

How does a Christian become more resilient in suffering?

Some practical suggestions:

1. Pray – it is a brave person who prays that they may suffer for the sake of Christ! Prayer is one thing that you can do under any circumstance of suffering – and listening, is our Father in heaven. Don’t pray that persecution may stop (the Bible doesn’t say it will!). Don’t pray that you will be rescued (God may have plans for you in your suffering!). Don’t pray that those who make you suffer will be punished (that is not how Jesus prayed!). Instead, pray that you would be strengthened and obedient through your suffering. Pray also for other Christians who experience different degrees of suffering to you (Eph 6:18-20

2. Reset your expectations – The Apostle Peter suggests that Christian take the same attitude as Christ. Expect that a part of the Christian life (not all of it) will involve some tough stuff and that will be most acute when you stand for your faith. Peter’s strategy in the face of the suffering was to remember the Lord, recognise that standing for Jesus does not put you at fault, and realise there is no reason to be ashamed (1 Peter 4:14-16)

3. Proclaim Jesus – know what you believe so that when put on the spot you are able to stand firm for Jesus (c.f. Eph 6:14-17, 19-20). One of the best ways to defend yourself, is to continue to proclaim Christ (John 15:27).

4. Love those who make you suffer – Jesus in the Sermon of the Mount taught his disciples to ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ (Matt 5:44 c.f. Romans 12:14, 17-21). There is a humility that demonstrates a Christlike attitude which is on display whenever a Christian suffers.

5. Recharge – You have been given a Christian family who can be a wonderful support. Under God, use them to help you recharge and then return to continue standing firm for Jesus (Heb 10:24-25).

Christian suffering when put into a Christ-shaped perspective calls for a resilience that trusts that God will one day put all things right. Christians should live out the good will of God not just at times of comfort and convenience but also in the times of challenge, conflict or persecution.

‘And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen’.                              (1 Peter 5:10)

 

For more in this Series:

Resilient in Suffering

If you are going to live for Christ, are you willing to make a stand?

Living for Christ will involve Suffering!

Strategies for Resilience in Suffering

Suffering and Judgement

How does a Christian become more resilient in suffering?

 

Suffering and Judgement (Part 5 of 6)

Suffering and Judgement

Personally, I don’t really like the idea of suffering, even for a good cause. It is a brave person who prays – ‘Lord, make me suffer so that you will get the glory!’

I wonder, what the original readers of 1 Peter might have been thinking as they contemplated all the different kinds of suffering that might lie before them. Like us, I am sure they would have been uncertain.

Peter, seems to have understood that uncertainty and offers some perspective by looking at the role judgement plays in suffering.

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