Here’s your quick guide to what we talked about last night in our 2 different series on stress: Escape Room (Middle School) and Deal With It (High School)
Bottom Line When life is hard, God says you can face it.
Scripture Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4 NIV).
Tension Good, fun, and relaxing things can become bad things when we
use them to escape reality. When we use these things to avoid the problems we have in our lives, we need to lean in and deal with the situation, circumstance, or person, instead of escaping.
Truth In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he acknowledged that everyone eventually faces suffering—and in the middle of suffering, we look for hope. But hope doesn’t come from avoidance; it comes from character produced by persevering through suffering. So we should embrace uncomfortable times because God is using those situations to develop us, to strengthen our characters, and to shape our souls. When life is hard, God says you can face it.
Application At some point, you’ll have to embrace reality and deal with your struggles, so focus on who you want to be rather than what you don’t want to do. When you deal with difficulties head-on, it will make you stronger, braver, and a more hopeful person.
Key Question What’s an activity or thing you use to avoid facing a challenge?
Deal With It
Bottom Line God carries us through problems, not around them.
Scripture Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. With whom will you compare me or count me equal? (Isaiah 46:4-5a NIV).
Tension The problem with bad or difficult circumstances is that the distractions we turn to as a result have a tendency to lead to bad choices. Choosing to do these things doesn’t actually fix anything.
Truth God doesn’t say that He’ll make their problems go away and disappear. After we make our bad escape choices, the problem is still there. So in reality, we haven’t actually escaped anything. What we need to know is something that can help us through the pain
of our problems. In all of it, He is a God who sustains us, rescues us, and carries us—
even to our old age.
Application Here are three things to consider when you’re trying to decide if you
will face it or try to escape it: 1) Name the problem. 2) Change your perspective. 3) Make some good choices.
Key Question Am I trying to get around this, or am I trusting God to get me through?