Monday, April 5, 2010

Why the Pain?

I am sure when many of you clicked on my blog post you were anticipating some update on my health but I am simply picking back up my Monday Bible Studies from Shelia Walsh's book, Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God. I am in the slow recovery mode with some days feeling better than others and some days feeling like I have slide so far back. It's still a work in progress however.

So we begin our study in study #5 called Why the Pain?

Jesus never seems to show up when we expect him to. Think of what we know of the encounters recorded between Jesus and Mary, Martha and Lazarus. One time he appeared to show up too early and the next, what to them seemed far too late. Luke records in his account that Jesus and the twelve disciples arrived in Bethany for a meal and Martha was not quite ready for them (10:38-42). This is the famous passage where Martha gets upset with Mary for sitting at Jesus' feet instead of continuing to help her. (It's interesting to me that the Greek translation of 10:39 includes the word also, but only the NKJV and NASV carry the word making it clear that Mary had helped but now wanted to listen as Jesus taught.

The next encounter, Jesus does not come when they call for him and that is far more devastating What I learn from both vignettes is that Jesus' sole purpose was to do whatever brought honor to this Father. That can be hard for us to understand. One mothers prays for a sick child and the child recovers, another mother prays and the child dies - why? We tend to internalize the circumstances and wonder what we have done wrong. Jesus showed us that when we cry out, and we must, we cry out to our Father that his will be done.

Find ~ When Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, a deep anger welled up within Him. He said, "Where did you put him?" (John 11:33-34 MSG)

How do you deal with life's disappointments or troubling circumstances? Are you emotional or quiet? Do you take action or do you become reserved? Describe a recent situation that has been the most trying?

I've been lucky since my surgery in not having to deal with anything disappointing, except for my recovery. It's been taking longer than I had thought. Yet during this time, I have been spending much more time in the word really understanding God. During the Easter weekend, I really got in touch with God so much that I was immersed in his love. I am usually a take action kind of lady but am finding the seeking God's will in prayer and in His word is a better way to deal with anything.
Read Matthew 14:22-33
22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distancea]">[a] from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

29"Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Peter exercised great faith in getting out of the boat. What caused Peter to start sinking? He grew afraid and took his eyes off of God. Yet when he realized this Peter called out to Jesus to help him.

What did Jesus do about Peter's situation? Jesus reached out his hand to Peter and caught him from sinking.

What is causing you to sink and what do you think Jesus will do about your situation? It's very much like Peter, this situations we find ourselves in are meant to teach us that our solutions will never lie within us or our faith in us, but in turning things to Him and asking for His help.

Take a few moments and locate some Scripture passages that are especially encouraging to you. List those passages and write out one you would like to memorize.

Mine for this week is, "He who refreshes will himself be refreshed." Psalm 11:25.

How does crying out to God affect your relationship with him? How do you think God feels when we cry out to him? It shows we understand where to get help from. That God is waiting for us to cry out for his help. When we do we are showing a trust and faith in Him to take control of those things in our life and work them out for His good and His will in our lives.

Feel ~

Describe a time when you have asked God to intervene in a situation. How did you know God was involved? During the weeks before my surgery I had so much anxiety I would often cry each time I thought of the pending date. However, I found that the more I immersed myself in His word and really sought out the fears in my life and studied what God had to say about them, I experienced less anxiety and the tears became fewer until I had that perfect peace that only comes from trusting God and putting all my faith in Him to see me through it.

Did the situation turned out like you prayed it would? How did that make you feel? It actually turned out better than I had ever imagined. It completely restored my faith because I know what my response to the situation would have been and instead all my fears were removed. That could only come from God.

When he realized he was sinking, Peter cried out to Jesus. When you are sinking emotionally, to whom or what do you cry out? I am getting better about this and am seeing how easier these times are to get through if I seek God first instead of dwelling on them alone.

Based on your options for dealing with the most trying situation you are facing, how can you best glorify God in your response? Praise Him in everything even if is isn't coming out the way I had hoped. I have to realize that God is still in control of it all.

Follow ~

What is the difference between crying out to God and simply crying? Which do you do most often and why? Crying out to God is a prayer of sorts and is asking God for his help, simply crying isn't seeking a solution to anything. It's keep the problem within ourselves. Most of the time I simply cry before crying out to God. Now I am trying to incorporate them both.

Consider Jesus' raising of Lazarus from the dead. In John 11:39, Martha expresses some doubts about Jesus' ability to raise her brother. Martha had more confidence in her knowledge that her Savior. What does your attitude toward the impossible say about your faith in Jesus Christ? That nothing is impossible when we ask Jesus to assist us. We fail if we try to do it on our own.

Jesus restored Lazarus's life. Do you believe he can restore the quality of your life? Why or why not? Without a doubt, I am living proof of that during these last 6 months and I have had the opportunity to journal about it through my blog. Jesus can restore anything if we simply have faith. The answer may not always be what we want but nothing is impossible for Him.

How many times have you, like Martha, struggled, wavered in despair - or sunk into it - not seeing what you expect from God in the here and now? What are three things you can do daily to prevent from sinking into despair? More times than I care to remember and yet the solution has always been simple. 1. Begin in prayer and let God know what's going on and how he can help. Then turn it over to Him in faith. 2. Spend time in the Word of God, and see how He is speaking to you through His words. 3. Surrender your will to His and realize that He will make it all come to pass.

Summarize the instructions in Matthew 14:22-33 by completing the following statement:

Because Jesus - Do not be afraid

I will - trust in Him and keep my eyes focused.

Now write a prayer expressing your desire to wait for God's answer to your prayers. Use this prayer as part of your daily time with God and as an expression of your desire to live with God - honoring patience as you wait for Him to reveal His plan to you.

Dear Father God,

Please help me as I begin each and every day with a seeking of Your will in my life. Whatever circumstances I come to face today Lord, let it be with faith that I turn it to You for help and guidance and not by my will Lord, will anything be done but by Your will. Help me to walk in faith each day trusting You to meet all my needs as promised in Your word and may You teach me in all things that you have my best interests at heart. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN


Denise said...

I love you sweet sis, thanks for this study. I am praying for you always.

Mich said...

Hope you had a beautiful Easter!

Unknown said...

Such a beautiful write ... trust & believe!

I do hope your recovery speeds along soon ... you take good care, my friend.

Have a beautiful week.
TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

christy rose said...

I am glad to hear that you are beginning to have some good days. I am continuing to pray and fully expect you to be a brand new woman physically as you come to a complete recovery!! Hope you had a wonderful Easter!!

Just Be Real said...

Very timely post Kat. Glad you are feeling better. Thank you.

sunshine said...

Thank your for visiting my blog and for your comments.

I haven't had enough time to read yours but today's post and specially the prayer at the end was uplifting and full of grace, Blessings to you!

Rita said...

Trust, believe, obey... Those are hard things to do at times, but oh so necessary. Glad to hear that the recovery is going well, if slow. Take care and know you are thought of.

Our7isheaven said...

Enjoyed reading your post. Very good and well needed.

Seizing My Day said...

New visitor... I love that you do bible study right here with us! Blogging has opened up a whole new community of fellowship that is clearly blessed by our Lord! We comment on a few of the same blogs... so I finally stopped by to meet you! What a blessing to meet you!

Beth Herring said...

This was great, Kat. This is a passage that I have read so many times and each time, I have new questions and get new responses from God.

thanks for sharing this today - praying for you still!

Saleslady371 said...

Studying with you, my friend! I've got my two cents worth posted finally since Susanna is still napping! Love you and praying every day for Jesus to heal you and make you strong.


Kathleen said...

May your health & vigor be fully restored; and what better time for restoration than Spring?!!


David C Brown said...

I'm glad you are recovering. We are here to learn God, and all experience with Him will form us according to His thoughts.