Face Challenges

Principle 9: Face Challenges – Be free to experience love even when being mistreated.
(Matthew 5:10-12)

Basic Principle by Questions

  1. Doing what God asks and tells us to do is sometimes thrilling and fulfilling. What are some examples of your service or ministry experience that resulted in fulfillment and great results?
  2. What are some things God has asked / led you to do that were simply difficult or became tougher as time passed?
  3. What do you typically do when situations of serving and loving others get more difficult? Do hardships change you? How?
  4. If you “hang in there”, what was it that keeps you strong?
  5. If you quit, what caused you to quit?
  6. How do you know when you are getting weaker and about ready to stop serving or loving others?
  7. Are there patterns or signals that you recognize now that cause you to rethink your commitment and lead to an inappropriate response to God? To others?
  8. What does God do (or remind you of, or cause) in your life to restore your courage and rebuild your faith?
  9. How much do you need Him when things are going great? Why?
  10. How much do you need Him when things are really tough? Why?
  11. Since we always need Him 100% of the time for all of our needs perhaps we could renew our dependence on Him in the tough times and ask by faith for His help. How wise would that be in your current circumstances?

Irreducible Minimums

  • Persecution involves being physically, emotionally, or verbally abused for doing the right thing.
  • Being wronged even when we are right allows us the chance to love as Jesus loves, illustrating that God is in charge of our lives.
  • Facing challenges as we lovingly serve others exposes our motives and in whom our hope truly lies.
  • Having a “martyr” complex when others wrong us for wrong we’ve done is not what Jesus means by “blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake”.
  • Jesus offers encouragement to those who are persecuted for His sake by reminding us that “the kingdom of heaven” is ours.
  • When we love in response to hate or return good when evil is shown to us, we join others who have suffered for Christ’s name. God delights in us as we are being conformed to the image of His Son.