STUDYGUIDE-25-140508 - length: 60:00 - taught on May, 8 2014
Discussion Guide for Bible Study
Discussion questions in bold
ROM 5:3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character [ proof of genuineness by means of testing] ; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
The Greek word for “tribulations” is thlipsis. It means pressure, anguish, distress, tribulation, trouble, oppression, persecution, suffering, pain, hardship.
It can refer to external tribulation or internal affliction (fears, anguish of heart).
Now this next passage can also be approached in terms of past, present, and future.
Describe a time in the past when you experienced tribulation?
Describe how you experienced the rest of verses 3-5.
Now think about a tribulation you are experiencing right now.
Where are you along this path?
Did it just happen?
Are you in that time where the Lord is asking you to hang in there and trust Him?
If so, what is He producing more of for you?
Or perhaps you are experiencing new proof of the genuineness of your salvation and God’s love for you because you realized that this tribulation served as a test and God’s resources passed the test
Affliction drives us deeper, into a deeper understanding of the things of God, a deeper experience of the richness of God’s love, a deeper abiding with Christ.
Or perhaps now you have already realized the proof of the genuineness, and that has produced more hope for your heart.
And perhaps you are now basking in the love of God because you KNOW that all the hope you have for who God is and what He has given you and promised you is never going to be disappointed.
Finally, how does knowing what Romans 5:3-5 means for your life help you in looking forward to any tribulations in the future?
One more question:
How can you bring Romans 5:3-5 to a believer friend of yours who is struggling right now with a tribulation in his or her life?
Now that we have explored what these three verses have to offer us, it is time to go to other places in the New Testament that give us additional resources when it comes to our tribulations and afflictions.
2CO 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.
What is the main message of this passage?
God Himself comforts us in our afflictions.
Thinking again of an affliction that you have gone through, talk about how the comfort of God came to you.
What are two results spoken of here when we go through affliction and are comforted by God?
Let’s talk about an experience you had in your life where you went through an affliction, were comforted by God, and then were able to give that same comfort to someone else who was going through the same kind of affliction you went through.
2CO 1:8-11 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9 indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.
What is another purpose that affliction serves in our lives as Christians?
Answer: through the affliction, we despair of our own strength. We stop trusting in our selves, and instead begin to trust only in God who we find always delivers us through any affliction we ever have.
Talk about an area of your life where you have had repeat experiences of affliction. How were you relying on your own strength? What were you trusting in yourself to accomplish? How did things change when you began to trust in God to deliver you rather than yourself?
2CO 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
What is yet another result that the Lord brings about for His children when they go through affliction?
Answer: an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.
Notice again how this ties right in with ROM 5:3-5.
We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
The affliction itself produces the surpassing greatness of the glory.
ROM 8:16-19 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
What things come to mind when you hear this good news?