This is the final sermon in our series on SHAPE and serving God- which looks at the “E” of SHAPE, that is E for our Experiences!
We all have different experiences as we go through life, some good, some bad, some just neutral; some are pleasurable others exceedingly painful. Why have we had these experiences? Are they just coincidence, random chance, toss of the dice?
Absolutely not! Scripture reveals a very different picture; one of the reasons God allows us to have these different life experiences, is to shape us into the person he wants us to be, to serve in the way he has uniquely appointed for us.
1. God Work All Our Experiences Out For Good (key verse - Romans 8:28)
This verse encapsulates all our experiences not just some – this is worked out for example in the life of Joseph (Genesis 50:20). For us, we need to include our experiences of family life, educational and vocational experiences, spiritual experiences and perhaps most significantly, the painful experiences which come our way in life. The latter are character building because “God never wastes a hurt” (Rick Warren).
2. How God Uses Our Experiences To Shape Our Ministry (key verse – 2 Corinthians 1:4)
God comforts us in our troubles so that we can offer that same comfort to others. Our pain and suffering can become the very ministry by which we help other people! This applies to many kinds of experiences e.g. loss of a loved one, struggling with addictions (drugs, alcohol) and facing a life threatening illness.
Final question - Are there any experiences in your life which has affected you greatly which you can draw upon to help others?