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                                   LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY
                                   OPEN ACCESS TO GOD
                                   VALUED
                                   ETERNALLY CARED FOR
                                   DISCIPLINED*

1. Many think that once a person becomes a Christian, that bad things will no longer happen to him or her.  But, the bad things that happen to other people also happen to Christians.  What are some bad things that have happened to Christians that you know?

2. How can we know that God still loves us when bad things happen to us?  Paul says in Romans five that if God loved us by sending His Son to die for us when we were in rebellion against Him, how much more does He love us now that we are His children (Romans 5:6-11).

3. But, why does God allow trials and troubles to come into our lives?  God, in love, uses our troubles to humble and change us.  Trials will crush the non-Christian, but because we have Jesus in us the trials make us stronger (we depend on ourselves less and on Him more).  “my power is made perfect in weakness” (II Corinthians 12:9)  “Our Fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those  who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:10,11)

4. If we understand that God is using our trials for our good, we can, as James say, “Consider it pure joy..whenever.. [we] face trials of many kinds, because [we] know that the testing of [our] faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2,3)

5. What are some trials you are facing right now?  Can you see any ways that God is using them for your good?
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Romans 5:3,4 – “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

The Way Of The Cross Studies