Responding to SufferingHow do you feel when your life is interrupted by suffering and adversity?
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A Symbol of Forgivenesswith Sheila Walsh
Watch Episode 1 Now. click here.
On a Sunday morning in 2009, Pastor Fred Winters was brutally gunned down as he delivered a sermon in front of his church congregation. The story made national headlines not only for the story itself, but also for his wife Cindy's forgiveness of the man who pulled the trigger.
Sheila Walsh taped a webisode series with Cindy Winters and Emmy winning Life Focus Productions titled “A Symbol of Forgiveness” where the two of them talk through Cindy’s remarkable story. It’s a four-part series; one part will be available each week beginning May 3, 2011 and continuing on May 10, 17, and 24.
Watch Episode 1 Now. click here.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
When you think of promises, you don’t want to think of what’s broken, of brokenness. It’s human nature to want a sure thing and for someone to back up the certainties, guaranteed, no questions asked. But it’s just like God to think of the unthinkable, to show us that the impossible is possible, that there is one kind of brokenness that holds everything together and in which promises are kept.
We want to believe that God sees everything, our comings and our goings, our slumber and our days, as Psalm 121 says. And we desperately need to know and feel that His promises hold true in the darkest of nights. We believe that God loves us, but bad things happen anyway. There are aftereffects and consequences, damage and wounds—pain that runs so deep that its presence, a reminder of the storms, invades our lives over and over. The failures, disappointments, and regrets keep us questioning: Do God’s promises hold fast when everything else is falling apart? What exactly does He promise us? Can we trust Him to keep His promises?
Whenever I am faced with a difficult passage in my life or that of a friend, I remind myself again that we are travelers in this world, headed back to our true home with God. But we come upon detours in our journey. Each detour takes us from the garden to a cross on a hill, where Christ Himself paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we will be free. Even as Christ was placed in a grave carved into a cleft of rock, He went there as a fulfillment of God’s promise to you and to me that death would be swallowed up in victory, for no grave could hold Him.
We are each invited from the worst storms of our lives to find our safe hiding place in God. Whatever God says, we can stake our lives on, and Christ came to show us who our Father is. In Christ all the promises of God are fulfilled, for no matter how many promises God has made, they are “yes” in Him (2 Corinthians 1:20).
Normally we doubt whether a promise maker will be a promise keeper when everything is completed. But the witness of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus is that God’s most difficult promise has been kept. The Father is truly the only Promise Maker who is in earnest a Promise Keeper. A promise from God is a promise kept.
Read 2 Corinthians 1:20 and Exodus 33; then answer the following questions:
1. How do you see that God’s promises have been fulfilled in the person of Christ?
2. We all have different stories to tell, and many of us will approach the idea of God’s promises from unique perspectives. So, what comes to mind when you think of the promises of God?
3. How do you bring your focus back to the promises of God when life has given you difficult detours, such as the loss of a family member, an illness, or other periods of sadness?
This Bible study is an excerpt from chapter 1 of The Shelter of God’s Promisesby Sheila Walsh.
Sheila Walsh’s new book, The Shelter of God’s Promises, available now. click here.
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A Symbol of Forgiveness - Webisode 1