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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Dealing with Conflict"

Date published: 12/11/2018

Psalm 37:3a “Trust in the LORD and do good.” (NIV)

 

   Living the Christian life is not one of receiving fruitful bounty all day long, but a vigilant walk of faith, while learning to trust God with every step of life.  People who accept Christ frequently come to Him out of need.  Their need provided fertile ground for their salvation, but accepting Christ without help in how to live out your faith can be a frustrating as well as unfulfilling experience.  God wants every Christian to trust Him, so that they see and experience the fruit that God has for them.  These three Scriptural examples illustrate three common conflicts that challenge Christians to trust God: 1) Acts 21:12 tells of Paul contemplating a dangerous (harmful, hurtful) situation: “We and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.” (NIV)  2) Acts 26:32 illustrates suffering for righteousness sake: “Agrippa said to Festus, ‘This man (Paul in jail) could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.’” (NIV)  3) Matthew 18:15 teaches to resolve inter-relational conflicts by interacting: If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.  If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” (NIV)  All three of these life circumstances give the circumstance the opportunity to consume your view of God, or you the opportunity to trust your God for consuming the circumstance.

 

   How you choose to trust God will open your life up to God’s work in you.  The following five positions invite God’s maximum presence and work in you: 1) Acts 21:12 goes on to say in verse 13: “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?  I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (NIV)  Jesus was Lord of Paul’s life.  No consequence, danger, or hardship was going to keep him from following Jesus.  2)  Psalm 37:3 continues on by saying: “Dwell in the land (God) and enjoy safe pasture.”  The natural and most common response to conflicts is to fret, worry, avoid, and run, while our first response should be to double down on God and dwell more intensely in Him.  We allow the conflict to take us to sin, instead of taking us deeper into God’s heart.  Psalm 4:4 beautifully guides us: “In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.” (NIV)  Waiting and listening allows God to take over.  3) Psalm 7:1 tells you to make God your refuge: “O LORD my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me.” (NIV)  Making God your refuge means that you act on God’s truths (His Word) and trust God for the results.  Ultimately the widow in Mark 12:44 did not make material things her refuge; God alone was her refuge: (Jesus Speaking) “They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on.” (NIV)  4) Psalm 3:3 tells you to weather the battle with God as your shield: “But You are a shield around me, O LORD; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.” (NIV)  Claim and seek His promises and truths, pray, fast, meditate, and do whatever places and keeps you in the center of God’s heart.  5) Psalm 5:3 goes full circle back to trusting God by learning to wait and listen: “In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.” (NIV)

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (NIV)

 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience:  “Transformation – Part 2” and “God’s Purpose for You.”