All of us face difficult issues at sometimes in our lives (illness, bereavement, redundancy ...etc). As our faith is a 'living faith' these issues will affect out faith. While our faith may be based on some fundamental truths about Christ, experiences, along with seeing God working, scripture, prayer, quite rightly influence our understanding of faith. Our faith at 15 will be very different to our faith at 55, because we are different people. The question, that we hope to address in this series, is what does faith, what does God, what does the bible, say in difficult circumstances. Glib answers don't help, and James (1:2) asks us to 'consider'; i.e. reflect, look, listen and seek God in the midst of the pain. James tells us that 'perseverance' (1:3) through these times helps us to grow into wholeness as people ['not lacking anything' 1:4], carrying the scars and the hurts with us. The key is often to ask God for a way through rather than a way out, because often there is no way out. Paul, while held as a prisoner, on the way to face Caesar, and being shipwrecked, holds onto God's promises to us (Acts 27:23), God's relationship with us (27:23), God's goodness over us (27:4). In the midst of the storm he praises God (27:35-36), and finds Him in the braking of bread. God does not cause sickness, death, hurts, injustice, but He is there, He does help us through them, and He does use those experiences to mould and shape us for the future.
Sermon Topics: Difficult