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Change is Hard

January 21, 2018 Speaker: Dan Davis Series: Forging Change

Topic: Sunday Message Verse: 2 Chronicles 3:8, Proverbs 17:3, 1 Peter 4:12, 1 Peter 1:3–1:7, 1 John 4:4, Romans 8:38–8:39, Isaiah 43:1–43:2, Hebrews 13:5, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Hebrews 10:23–10:25,

Forging Change is Hard

A three week message series on God's plan for us to experience real, lasting, and meaningful change

Review from last week

When it comes to making changes, we can do modification, but only God can do transformation. If we want to see genuine, meaningful, and lasting change in our lives, we need to look to Him.

Justification & Sanctification: These two big theological words describe different aspects of how we experience God's salvation through Jesus Christ.

Justification
God transforms the kind of tree we are
we are changed because of Jesus
happens instantaneously

Sanctification
God improves the kind of fruit we bear
we are changing because of Jesus
takes the journey of a lifetime

2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV
18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Forging Change

The good news is that Change is Possible.
The bad news is that Change is Hard.

As Christians, we need a new perspective on trials. We easily conclude our trials and suffering mean that God doesn't care for us. On the contrary, God’s loving commitment to us is just as strong now as it was when we first believed. God's willingness to let us go through trying times is proof that He has our best in mind. He uses everything we go through (especially the hard stuff) to grow us and to change us and to further conform us into the image of His likeness.

That’s why this series is called “Forging Change” because there are certain things in our lives where the only way God can bring about lasting and meaningful change is through the heat of adversity and the hammer of trials. The process of forged change can be difficult and intense, but the product of forged change is lasting and priceless. As unpleasant as that might be at times, that’s the kind of work God wants to do in you.

Proverbs 17:3 NIV
3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,but the Lord tests the heart.

1 Peter 4:12 NIV
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

1 Peter 1:3-7 NIV
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Holding On When Life Gets Hard

Pursuing these three practices throughout our lifetime:
1. Cling to God's Promises

1 John 4:4 NIV
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Romans 8:38-39 NIV
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV
1 But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob,he who formed you, Israel:“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters,I will be with you;and when you pass through the rivers,they will not sweep over you.When you walk through the fire,you will not be burned;the flames will not set you ablaze.

Hebrews 13:5 NIV
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,“Never will I leave you;never will I forsake you.”

Holding On When Life Gets Hard

Pursuing these three practices throughout our lifetime:
1. Cling to God's Promises
2. Cooperate with God's Purposes

1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Holding On When Life Gets Hard

Pursuing these three practices throughout our lifetime:
1. Cling to God's Promises
2. Cooperate with God's Purposes
3. Connect with God's People

Hebrews 10:23-25 NIV
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Connections Questions

There are certain things in our lives where the only way God can bring about lasting and meaningful change is through the heat of adversity and the hammer of trials. Pastor Dan

1. Think of a time you were heated and hammered in life. How did you experience God’s help at the time? Looking back, in what ways have you changed because of it?

2. Why does it seem to take hard times to motivate us to make bigger changes in our lives? Do you think it’s possible to pursue genuine change in our health, finances, marriage, and spiritual life without the pressure? Why or why not?

3. Read the Scriptures below. According to these verses, how does God intend to transform us through hard times? How do we need to respond in order to grow?

* 2 Corinthians 1:8-10

* James 1:2-4

* 1 Peter 4:1-2

* Philippians 1:12-14; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

4. What adversity or trial are you facing right now? How could God bring good out of it? Which of His promises speaks to your situation?

5. Who can you share this tough time with? What can happen when we keep it all to ourselves?


More in Forging Change

January 28, 2018

Forging Change: Change is worth it!

January 14, 2018

Forging Change