News Articles

Bible Study: Hard circumstances for our good

NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies For Life curriculum.

Bible Passage: Romans 8:26-32

Discussion Questions:
— When has an unexpected change of plans worked in your favor?
— When have you seen God bring something good from a negative circumstance?
— When have you clearly seen that God is for you?

Food for Thought:

When I was a college student, I took time one day to read Isaiah 53. I was inspired by Christ’s willingness to be a suffering servant. In response, I prayed, “Lord, if there is a task no one else is willing to take, You can give it to me.” As I surrendered my life to God’s service, the phone rang. I thought, I hope that’s not for me! I was having such a special time with God, I didn’t want it to end! Sure enough, it was for me.

It was someone in our college group with significant social issues. He was lonely and would call single adults in our church every evening. “Tell him I can’t come to the phone” I told my roommate. Then I resumed my prayer: “God, if You have any difficult task that others are unwilling to undertake, You can give it to me!” It was two weeks later before I realized God had answered my prayer even before I had said “Amen!” I just hadn’t made the connection. Circumstances are not always just circumstances! We must learn to see God at work.

Christians often become confused by life’s circumstances. This occurs because we expect the wrong things from life and from God. If we assume that God’s goal is to make us happy, we will be confused when we encounter unpleasant experiences. Paul did not say all circumstances are good. He declared that God works all circumstances together so that good results from them. When you love God and are walking in step with Him, He can bring good out of every circumstance in your life.

Difficult circumstances may catch us by surprise, but they never find God unprepared. God can take the most horrendous situation and bring good out of it. The key is always to make us more like Christ. The reality is we tend to grow more when the road is hard than when it is easy. So we ought not to be surprised when God makes use of those hard roads in our lives!

Bible Studies for Life
Bible Studies for Life connects the Bible to life for adults, students and kids. Bible Studies for Life helps individuals and groups know God’s Word through trustworthy content, creates biblical community through engaging and conversational group studies, and helps people engage the culture missionally by unpacking what the Bible says about real-life issues. More information can be found on the Internet at www.biblestudiesforlife.com.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Stores.