Our mission as a church is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. There are Five Faith Catalysts that help us grow in our faith, one being “Pivotal Circumstances.” When people describe their faith journeys, they always include events that could be described as “defining moments.” Some of these are good: getting married, having a baby, or receiving a promotion; but just as often, these defining moments involve pain and disappointment: the death of a loved one, divorce, a prolonged illness, or financial loss. When you go through a time of pain or disappointment, it helps to rightly interpret those life events in light of your faith.
On Sunday, August 12, we will begin a new series of messages entitled “In-between Time.” Everyone goes through seasons in life when things don’t go well and there seem to be no immediate solutions. What do you do when there's nothing you can do? What do you do when you have a problem that seems to have no solution? During difficult times we’re tempted to run or give up, but it is possible to hang on to joy, hope, and patience during these times. Please join us August 12 through September 16 as we explore what we can do with this “in-between” time.
August 12: Settling In // Matthew 11:2-6
During difficult times we’re tempted to run or give up. We’re tempted to give in to jealousy, resentment, and anger . . . especially anger toward God. That’s because when life gets hard, it feels like God is absent, apathetic, or angry. But what if he isn’t? Is it possible to hang on to joy, hope, and patience during “in-between” time?
Sermon Notes and Daily Study Guide // Discussion Questions and Small Group Study Guide
August 19: Peace // 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Every once in a while, we run into people stuck in unchangeable, unalterable, “in-between” time circumstances who get to the place where they’re able and willing to receive their circumstances, their afflictions, their illnesses, their losses, and their disabilities as coming from the hand of their heavenly Father. How do these people maintain extraordinary faith despite extraordinarily difficult circumstances? Where do they find the peace that characterizes their lives?
August 26: Contentment // Philippians 4:10-13
What do you do when there’s nothing you can do? Relationally, financially, professionally, physically, or academically. It just is what it is. There’s nothing you can do to change your situation. Challenging circumstances can make you jealous or resentful. They can make you angry with God. They can breed discontentment. But the problem with discontentment is that it can drive you in self-destructive directions that will eventually leave you with regret. So, what is the secret of finding contentment even when times are tough?
September 2: A New Vision // John 9:1-3
What do you do when life hasn’t gone in the direction you hoped or wanted it to go and there’s nothing you can do to change your circumstances? What do you do when you’re living in “in-between” time? If you’ve ever been in “in-between” time or if you’re currently in “in-between” time, you can’t help but conclude you’ll never be happy again, nothing good can come from your circumstances, and there’s no point in continuing. Can it really be true that God will make things right?
September 9: Believe and Persevere // James 1:1-8
Jesus told his followers that unavoidable trials aren’t aberrations; they are expectations. They can actually serve a beneficial purpose. Why? Because God can redeem, use, or work through the undeserved, unavoidable, circumstantial trials in our lives. But in order for that to happen, we have to believe and persevere.
September 16: Finding Purpose in the Pain // 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
When we’re in the midst of pain and suffering, it can feel like we’ll never be happy again, nothing good can come from our circumstances, and there’s no reason to continue living. But those are lies. God can redeem, use, and work through our pain. And when he does, we eventually have the opportunity to comfort others. There is a “Fellowship of Suffering.” People who’ve suffered are uniquely equipped and qualified to comfort people who are suffering.