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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Pastor Nelda’s Notes ~ August 2, 2020

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What is God’s purpose in our trials and struggles?

Jacob is experiencing many difficulties. He worked for his uncle Laban for twenty years. He flees in the middle of the night with his family and possessions. Laban was a difficult relative and employer. He deceived Jacob many times. After Jacob left with his family, Laban caught up to him with a small band, probably, planning to harm Jacob. However, God warned Laban in a dream to not speak anything good or bad to Jacob. After meeting, Jacob and Laban made a nonaggression pact—to not harm one another.

As we consider God’s wrestling with Jacob, we can learn important principles about God’s purposes in trials and how we should respond to them. Jacob had a struggle with Esau, but behind this struggle was a struggle with God, who was seeking to transform Jacob’s life.

We often spend our time focusing on “Esau” in our trial by being consumed with people or circumstances, and we miss God’s hand in it. We miss God’s “reaching” out to us, as he reached out to Jacob. If we are going to respond well to our trials, we must see God in them and his desire to draw us to himself and for us to intentionally choose to focus on him. Our trials are not accidental or haphazard, but part of God’s sovereign plan to make us into his image.

As we consider God’s wrestling with Jacob, it was a picture of his current trial with Esau. Often, we only see our natural circumstances and forget there is a spiritual reality that oversees them. In this story, God pulls back the curtain: Jacob’s struggle was not only with Esau, it was also with God and with himself. God wanted to change Jacob through his difficulties. God had always been wrestling with Jacob, seeking to get his will done in his life. God has always been lovingly wrestling with us, seeking our submission to his will and kingdom.

What is God’s purpose in our trials and struggles?

God’s Purpose in Our Trials Is for Us to Focus on Him
God’s Purpose Is for Us to Develop Perseverance
God’s Purpose Is for Us to Recognize Our Weakness and Need for Him
God’s Purpose Is for Us to Grow in Prayer
God’s Purpose Is for Us to Recognize and Confess Our Sin
God’s Purpose Is to Change Our Character
God’s Purpose Is for Us to Know God Better
God’s Purpose Is to Bless Us
God’s Purpose in Our Trials Is for Us to Become Better Witnesses

Hope you can watch our live streamed Worship Service on Sunday morning.

“I don’t know how, but I know WHO!”

Peace,
Pastor Nelda

Reverend Dr. Nelda Barrett Murraine is pastor at
First United Methodist Kennedale
PO Box 146 – 229 W 4th St.
Kennedale, TX 76060

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