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Bible Study Notes 8/1/2023

Word Alive! © 2023 Spring/Summer Series Dare To Dream And Grow Your Faith! Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor

Tuesday, 1 Aug. 2023 Lesson 4, Part 2


Rick Warren, Created To Dream, © 2023

Quiet Time: Rick Warren, “Dream,” 55-70


Persisting Through Delays Everything God does for us is determined by His timing. By nature, we are prone to become anxious when things don’t happen within our expected time period. Perhaps this is because when we’re dealing with expectations that involve persons other than God; we’ve experienced less than beneficial outcomes, due to other people’s delays. God operates differently. We see many instances in the Scripture, where God reminds His people that they should not give up or despair, because of a delay. The prophet Habakkuk complained to God that delays, or so it seemed, in the Lord’s coming; brought only suffering and violence. (Read, Habakkuk 1:1-4, NIV). However, God assured Habakkuk, that the delay in resolving the pernicious issues facing the nation, would be resolved. This would happen more quickly than Habakkuk could perceive. (Read, Habakkuk 2:2-4, NLT). God’s message to Habakkuk is instructive. God looks not merely at the immediate conflict or concern; but He is aware of the end of all things. (Read, Isaiah 46:10, NIV). While we perceive a delay in our endeavors or dreams, God is already in the place where we, inevitably will be. God assures us, as He did Habakkuk, ‘Don’t be anxious, I have this!). Further in the Christian era, we can recall the Apostle Paul told the Christians in Galatia, not to worry about delays, or give up; for in God’s timing what was purposed for them would prevail! (Read, Galatians 6:9, NIV). A delay is not cause for retreat; but it is a time to entreat God. While we anticipate a” happening” from God, we should use those moments to draw closer to Him in prayer and meditation in the Scriptures. James says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” (James 4:8, NKJV). If we’re reluctant to become close to God, we will forfeit the ability to grow, mature, and become an effective Christian witness. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NIV). In his helpful book, Created To Dream, Pastor Rick Warren shares this insight about why God permits us to wait for the things we desire: “Why does God cause delays? “Sometimes God uses delays to protect us from difficulties. Sometimes he uses them to prepare us for difficulties. And sometimes He uses delays to develop us in difficulties…How you respond to God’s delays is a test of your maturity. God is growing you up while you’re waiting.”All that God creates, are subject to a defined pattern of growth. Our dreams and desires are a part of that process. We should pray for discernment to “persist” and not resist during life’s unexpected delays!


Persisting Through Delays, Part 2 The delays God permits in our lives are always purposeful. God does not seek to harm us; but He can permit inconveniences that will inevitably help us. The dramatic story of Israel leaving Egypt and going toward the Promised Land (Canaan), experienced an abrupt change, when God directed them on a much longer route. The circuitous route was out of the way; costing the Israelites time and aggravation. God had another plan however; one, that would prepare them for the enemies ahead. If they had taken the shorter route to Canaan death and disaster would have been certain (Read, Exodus 13:17-19, NLT). We can find confident in what God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (See, Jeremiah 29:11, NLT). As with Joshua and the Israelites in ancient times, God promised the Israelite exiles, His plan was that they would return to their ancestral home. We note they would return with a future and a hope. Only the outcome and fruition of our dreams and desires may be delayed; but God’s promises will always prevail. Any doubts or hesitation we might have about our outcome; can be overcome through obedience to God’s instructions, given to us through His servants (Read, Joshua 1:14-17, NLT). The delay in travel, prepared a couple of the tribes for battle. They were able to go ahead of the others; defeating the enemy; giving the Israelites peace and protection along the east side of the Jordan river. In his book, Created To Dream, Pastor Rick Warren says, “But again, a delay is not a denial. A delay never destroys God’s purpose in your life… God will fulfill his purpose in your life if you do not fear, do not fret, do not faint, and do not forget.” Perhaps second to fear, one of the greatest challenges facing us is worry. This probably is because of our many emotions; worry is so immediate. We instinctively fret over things which seem far from our ability to manage. However, we must trust our faith instinct to remind us that God is willing and capable of handling problems and concerns which are too great for us. Our trust in God, will actually give us the ability to confront issues with renewed assurance. Few people in Biblical times were as familiar in dealing with unexpected issues like David. This was especially so when he was attacked by enemies or foes. The counsel of David to others was this: “Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.” (See, Psalm 37:1-3, NLT). The Apostle Paul makes a similar plea for Christians, to defeat worry and use the disciplines of our faith to practice or live faithful lives! (Read, Philippians 3:6;8-9a, NLT).


KEY IDEA

What We Believe!

“God uses delays to protect us from; to lead us through; and in difficulties.”


“God’s delays are never denials!!"


KEY VERSES

Habakkuk 1:1-4, NIV

“How long, Lord must I call for help. but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.”


Habakkuk 2:2-4, NIV

“Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” See the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright – but the righteous will live by [their faith].”


Isaiah 46:10, NIV

“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”


Galatians 6:9, NIV

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”


Exodus 13;17-19, NLT

“When Pharoah finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.”


Joshua 1:14-17, NLT

“Your wives, children and livestock may remain here in the land Moses assigned to you on the east side of the Jordan River. But your strong warriors, fully armed, must lead the other tribes across the Jordan to help them conquer their territory. Stay with them, until the Lord has given them rest, as He has given you rest, and until they too possess the land the Lord your God is giving them. Only then may you return and settle here on the east side of the Jordan River in the “land that Moses the servant of the Lord assigned you.” They answered Joshua, “We will do whatever you command us, and we will go wherever you send us. We will obey you just as you obeyed Moses. Any may the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses.”


Philippians 3:6;8-9a, NLT

“Don’t worry about anything; Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done… And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right and pure, and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. “Keep putting into practice all you learned and received…”

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