SERMON SERIES: HALF TRUTHS
WEEK 3: GOD WON’T GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN HANDLE
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 24-30th July 2017)
ICE BREAKER: “I know you’re going through a tough time right now. You feel like you’re sinking. The burden is too heavy. You don’t know how much more you can bear. But it’s going to be all right. You’re going to make it through. Remember, God never gives us more than we can handle.” Well-meaning words meant to encourage and strengthen us/someone going through a tough time – or are they?
FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: 1 Cor. 10:1-13; Psalm 23:4; Matthew 9:1-8
- READ: 1 Cor. 10:1-13. The context of the day is that Corinth, a port town in Greece, was inhabited with people and influences from all over the world. Pagan influences were everywhere. A phrase “to live like a Corinthian” became popular. What do you think this could have meant?
- Verse 13 is the focus verse. The Greek word Paul used leads some to interpret ‘temptation’ as being ‘tested’. What do you think is the difference? Share examples of what form temptation comes to you in?
- This passage is more about God helping you when you are tempted. Temptation tests our resolve, character and faith, and is not about adversity and difficult situations we face daily. Adam Hamilton says, “Temptation comes our way… it isn’t God who tempts us, nor does God fail to provide a way out – it’s that when that way appears, we usually don’t pursue it.” Have you experienced a ‘way out’ in the face of temptation – did you pursue it?
- The first 4 words “God won’t give you…” imply that the source of the trying circumstances is God alone (sounds like week 1). Scripture doesn’t promise we won’t go through hard times, but that at all times God wants to be our help and our strength. When someone is facing a difficult time what could be a more helpful response to support them?
- READ: Matthew 9:1-8. Who have been ‘stretcher bearers’ in times of stress, trauma and sorrow?
- READ: Psalm 23:4. What if we revised this half-truth to give us a better promise: “God will help you handle all that you’ve been given.”? How does this verse by the Psalmist give us a new perspective of the truth of this better promise?
- READ: Zechariah 9:12 and Romans 8:35-39. How would you define what Zechariah calls ‘prisoners of hope”? In what ways can you give thanks to God for his affirming presence and help in times of trial that have enabled you to cope and journey towards healing?
Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.
Please pray for our Nation and Community:
- Pray for tangible signs of the Gospel in our places of influence – where we spend our days.
- Pray for the homeless and organisations that work to provide shelter for these people.
- Pray for those who are struggling with illness or uncertainty – think especially of those on our pew leaflet.
- Pray for those experiencing brokenness, ourselves and others, asking for healing of body, mind and soul for all. And where we can aid that process let us not be a hindrance but assist so that faith is strengthened and hope is encouraged.
- Pray for the Church, Church Leaders and Members, that we will all consider our response to the many challenges faced by the Church.
Pray aloud together this poem “What God Hath Promised” by Annie Johnson Flint:
“God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labour, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.”