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A Model for Facing Adversity

A Model for Facing Adversity

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A Model for Facing Adversity

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  1. A Model for Facing Adversity Peter Fitch, St. Croix Vineyard Sunday, August 19, 2012

  2. Last 2 Weeks • 2 weeks ago—talk on weakness • Last week—early preparation of this talk gave way to a different kind of service as Mike Safford shared stories and worship was very compelling . . .led to some important prayer times • This week—experiences of adversity (stove, roof, some things with loved ones . . .)

  3. Key Texts • Isaiah 37:1-7 • Isaiah 37:14-20

  4. Isaiah 37 • Assyrians are coming in huge numbers (185,000) against your city—they counsel surrender • What will you do? • Fortunately, there is a prophet, Isaiah, that you can ask to pray on your behalf • The king, Hezekiah, chooses to accept the word he receives and, in spite of the circumstances, he stands on it

  5. Basic Model • Hezekiah reaches out for help to someone he recognizes as having walked further into God’s Presence than he has • He receives the message that comes back into his heart and stands on it, even when the circumstances get worse • This propels him into God’s Presence himself, deeper than he has ever gone before (check the change in pronouns!)

  6. Basic Model • The tide begins to turn—first, an inner confidence begins to grow • Next, circumstances actually change • More light is given and the path goes forward

  7. Questions & Thoughts • Do you have an Isaiah in your life? • Could you become this person for someone else? • Like Jonathan to David • Like the Book of Job • How do you know the prophet is worth listening to?

  8. More on Isaiah • What we learn from Ch. 6-8 • What we learn from Ch. 20 • What we learn from Ch. 36-39

  9. The Real Model: Isaiah • The point is not to have a formula for trouble • Rather, the point is to become someone who knows God well • Isaiah has the kind of relationship with God that allows him to face anything in life • Hezekiah grows in this direction • So should we

  10. James 1:5-8 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

  11. Authenticity “The ultimate Christian message is a person. And anything that reduces that message to mere verbalization is unworthy of the message.” Charles Kraft, Communication Theory for Christian Witness

  12. Humility “When shall we learn to come into a crowd dressed as Jesus used to dress, as Francis dressed, instead of for a fashion parade, impressive and glittering like the priests in the courts of the Temple in Jerusalem?” Carlo Carretto

  13. Authority • Ex—ousia (out of, being) • Humility that does not tend toward apology; confidence that does not tend toward arrogance • Brian Doerksen’s 4 steps in the development of a leader