Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--3rd Quarter 2022--Seeing the Invisible  (Read 314 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 43481
  • Grace, more than a word, it is transforming power
    • The Remnant Online
 Lesson 8 August 13-19

Seeing the Invisible

Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon

Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Rom. 8:28-39, John 14:1-14, Eph. 1:18-23, Isa. 40:27-31.

Memory Text: “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27

The definition of faith in the book of Hebrews is always challenging. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb. 11:1. How can we be sure about what we do not see? Yet, this is exactly what Moses illustrates in our memory verse: “He endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.” (Heb. 11:27).

It is even more challenging to realize that we are called to see “Him who is invisible” not simply when times are good, but especially when everything is going wrong. For this we need faith, a Christlike faith that must be shaped by the truth about God and God’s kingdom. The truth about our Father’s goodness, the power in the name of Jesus, the power of the Resurrection, and the compassion of God are essential truths that will enable us to stand strong when we are in the crucible and may be tempted to doubt everything.

The Week at a Glance: What truths about God can help sustain us through even the worst situations?

Yes, if we trust God with all we are and all we have, then we can endure whatever God allows to come to us. He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. This promise we must understand and never forget. If we are in the worst situation ever, it is ok as long as we cling to Christ. If we take our eyes off of Him and allow our minds to wander, we shall fall just as did Job.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, August 20.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 43481
  • Grace, more than a word, it is transforming power
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--3rd Quarter 2022--Seeing the Invisible
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2022, 08:34:02 PM »
Sunday          August 14
Our Father’s Extravagance

“If God really loved me, He would certainly do _______ ____________ for me!” I wonder how many times that thought has flickered through our minds. We look at our circumstances and then begin to wonder whether God really loves us, because if He really did, things would be different.

There are two rationales that often lead us to doubt God’s goodness. First, when we have a burning desire in our hearts and minds for something that we believe is good, the idea that God might want something different for us may seem ridiculous. Second, we may doubt God’s goodness because our experience clashes with what we believe. If something looks good or feels good or sounds good or tastes good, then it must be good. And so we get angry with God when we can’t have it.

This is where faith comes into play. Faith comes into action precisely at those times we are tempted to doubt God and His goodness.

Romans 8:28-39 is a powerful passage that describes the goodness of God toward us.

 8:28   And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. 
 8:29   For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 
 8:30   Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 
 8:31   What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us? 
 8:32   He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 
 8:33   Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? [It is] God that justifieth. 
 8:34   Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 
 8:35   Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 
 8:36   As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 
 8:37   Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 
 8:38   For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 
 8:39   Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

What can you find in the verses that helps to guard our minds against doubting God’s goodness?

Doubting God's goodness means that one does not really know God very well. How can we trust someone we do not know is good? We can't, not with all we have and all we are. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, we shall love Him with the whole heart. We will not doubt His Word. Do we believe what we just read from Romans? If not, why not? We need to spend more time with God so we do not doubt Him nor His love. Spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ, then you will not doubt His goodness, His love, nor His power to recreate us in His image (character).

In Romans 8:32, there is an important piece of logic that is extremely helpful in guarding us from becoming overwhelmed by our circumstances. “If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?” (Message). How could we possibly think that God would send Jesus to die for us and then turn mean and stingy?

This means that the truth of God’s generosity to us, seen in the death of Christ, must have a stronger impact in our thinking than all of the doubts that the crucible may generate inside us.


How is it possible for a truth (God’s goodness) to have a more powerful effect on you than your doubts? Spend some time meditating on the truth that God has given Jesus to die in your place, and that this incredible generosity continues in a thousand different ways for you today. What does this do for your faith?

When converted, we have died to self because we have seen something we love more than the things of this world. At least if we are truly born again of the Spirit. If not then we do not love the Lord our God with all of the heart because we have not seen His great love for  us.  Then, let us spend a thoughtful hour a day getting to know of His love by seeing the true character of God in the life of His innocent Son who came to this dark spot in the universe a helpless baby to fight the battle of life as we must fight. He did this at the risk of failure and eternal loss. Wonder O heavens and be astonished O Earth!

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 43481
  • Grace, more than a word, it is transforming power
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--3rd Quarter 2022--Seeing the Invisible
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2022, 08:34:52 PM »
Monday        August 15
In the Name of Jesus

“If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it”  John 14:14.

Jesus was not going to be with the disciples much longer. The One who had been their support and encouragement was going to heaven, and the disciples were beginning to feel confused and powerless. But though the disciples would not be able to see Him physically any longer, Jesus gave them a remarkable promise.

Read John 14:1-14.

 14:1   Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 
 14:2   In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 
 14:3   And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also. 
 14:4   And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 
 14:5   Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 
 14:6   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 
 14:7   If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 
 14:8   Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 
 14:9   Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Show us the Father? 
 14:10   Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 
 14:11   Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. 
 14:12   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 
 14:13   And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 
 14:14   If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it]. 

According to verses 13 and 14, Jesus promises to do for us “anything” that we ask in His name. Because of this, we almost always add onto the end of our prayers, “In Jesus’ name, amen.”

When we say this, what do we normally think it means? What does Jesus mean when He encourages us to pray like this? What clues are there in these verses that help us to understand the point He’s making?

When our request is “in the name of Jesus,” we can be certain that the whole machinery of heaven is at work on our behalf. We may not see the angels working all around us. But they are — sent from the throne of heaven in the name of Jesus, to fulfill our requests.

In a church that remains in a Laodicean condition that can be misleading. God does not always fulfill our requests if we are not fully surrendered to Him.

Sometimes when we pray in the name of Jesus, we open our eyes and expect everything to be different around us — but it all looks the same. However, while the power of God may come with dramatic effect, as when Jesus calmed the storm, it may also come in quietness, unnoticed, as when the power of God sustained Jesus in Gethsemane. Something dramatic may not suddenly happen, but that doesn’t mean that God is not at work for us.

Read again John 14:1-14. As you read, imagine that Jesus is talking directly to you, face to face. What hope and encouragement can you draw from these promises? At the same time, ask yourself, “What things in my life could be standing in the way of having these promises fulfilled for me? What changes must I purpose in my heart to make?”

To love the Lord our God with all of the heart, more than anything this world affords.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 43481
  • Grace, more than a word, it is transforming power
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--3rd Quarter 2022--Seeing the Invisible
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2022, 08:35:30 PM »
Tuesday          August 16
The Power of the Resurrection

The Resurrection addresses the problem of human powerlessness. When we think about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we often think about how the death of Jesus was the event that made us legally right with God. And that, of course, is true.

When we surrender all to Jesus and He gives us a hatred for Satan and sin which we do not otherwise have, then we are right with Jesus.

However, the Resurrection adds a specific dimension to salvation. The resurrection of Jesus is meaningful not just because it shows us that one day we will be resurrected, as well. The Resurrection placed Jesus at the right hand of the Father in a position of power and authority. This resurrection power is the same power that God makes available for us today!

In Ephesians 1:18-23, Paul talks about the power of God. What do these verses teach us about the power of the Resurrection? What hope and promises for yourself can you find in these verses?

Paul is praying that the Ephesians understand a few things that can be understood properly only with divine help: (1) that there is the hope of transformation and an eternal future to which Jesus has called us; (2) that we understand the power that was manifested in our behalf.

Paul then tries to describe how astonishing this power is. The power that is available to us today is the same power that resurrected Jesus not just out of the ground and back to life, but to the place of power at the Father’s right hand.

But Paul doesn’t stop there. The Resurrection didn’t simply give Jesus just any sort of power, but the power to rule and provide every possible thing His people could ever need — for all eternity!

Make a list of the areas in your life you need the power of the resurrected Jesus. When you have finished, pray that this power will be applied to all these areas of need. At the same time, what can you do better, what choices can you make, that can allow this power to work more freely in your life?

We need the power of grace to keep us from sin, all sin. Perfect obedience is what God will give us if we will love the Lord our God with all of the heart. Obedience to all we know to be true. We may keep the wrong day, eat the wrong food, dress with the wrong clothes, but if we will give Jesus all of the heart, then the Holy Spirit will take possession of the heart and empower us to obey. God will then not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. It is a promise. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]." 1 Cor. 10:13.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 43481
  • Grace, more than a word, it is transforming power
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--3rd Quarter 2022--Seeing the Invisible
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2022, 08:55:02 PM »
Wednesday          August 17
To Carry All Our Worry

There is a plaque that some people have in their homes that reads “Why pray when you can worry?” It makes us laugh because we know how often we worry rather than come to God and give Him our concerns.

Someone once said that when our life becomes all tied up, give it to God and let Him untie the knots. How God must long to do this for us. Yet, amazingly, we manage to hang on to our problems until we are about to snap. Why do we wait until we are desperate before we go to the Lord?

Because we forget about God and think we can do it ourselves. Has God reproved you for forgetting about Him? He has me, too often.

Read 1 Peter 5:7.

 5:7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 
 5:8   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 
 5:9   Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 
 5:10   But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you]. 

Peter is quoting from Psalm 55:22. What’s the basic message here for us? See also Matt. 6:25-33.

 6:25   Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 
 6:26   Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 
 6:27   Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 
 6:28   And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 
 6:29   And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 
 6:30   Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith? 
 6:31   Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 
 6:32   (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 
 6:33   But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 
 6:34   Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof. 

1 Peter 5:7 is a very simple verse. There is no secret hidden in it, and it means exactly what it says. To cast means to do just that, to throw, to give away, so that what is causing the aching and the concern no longer has any connection to you. But, of course, our burdens are not thrown just anywhere. Our worry does not disappear into a void. It is given to our Father in heaven, who promises to sort it out. That’s what Jesus is telling us in the verses in Matthew. The problem in doing this is not that it’s hard; rather, it’s that it just seems too easy, too good to be true.

Anxiety is caused by all sorts of things. It could be pressure from work. Unexpected criticism. Feeling that we are unwanted or unloved. Health or financial worries. Feeling that we are not good enough for God. Believing that we are not forgiven.

Whatever they are, one reason we hang on to our problems is that we think we can sort them out better than anyone else can. But Peter urges us to reconsider any such idea. The reason we don’t have to worry is that God cares. But does God still care enough to intervene when a divorce is looming or we feel totally useless? The Bible says that He cares enough to transform any situation.

What are things that cause you worry now? However legitimate they are, however troublesome they are, is there anything too hard for the Lord? Maybe our biggest problem is that even though we believe that God knows about it and can fix it, we don’t believe that He will resolve it the way we would like it resolved. Dwell on that last point and ask yourself how true it is in your own life.

If that is so, then what does it say about our faith? Do we trust God with all we have and all we are? Do we have the faith of Jesus? If not, we can. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Jesus. Then we would see His great love for us despite our past, and then we will love Him with the whole heart.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 43481
  • Grace, more than a word, it is transforming power
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--3rd Quarter 2022--Seeing the Invisible
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2022, 08:56:04 PM »
Thursday          August 18
Still Faithful When God Cannot Be Seen

To think that no one cares about what is happening to us is very unpleasant. But to think that God does not know or care about us can be most distressing.

Thus, we have lots of opportunity to encourage those we come in contact with daily, even those who don't think anyone cares for them, the homeless.

To the Judeans exiled in Babylon, God did not seem to care much about their situation. They were still exiled, still feeling abandoned by God because of their sin. But Isaiah speaks words of comfort to them. Isaiah 40 is a beautiful passage in which Isaiah speaks so tenderly to the people about their God: “He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isa. 40:11, NIV). But after so long, the exiles were thinking, Where are You, O Lord? We can’t see any evidence that You are still there — or care!

They had evidence of His love and care all around them. Unlike many they were not killed by the Babylonians, but given an opportunity to live. So much so that many did not want to leave when the door was opened for them. And, God was speaking through His prophets to them. Have you and I seen anyone refuse to serve Satan so that they were thrown into an oven of fire, and live, and be seen with Jesus when in the fire? God was working for His people. All around them in nature they could see God's hand. In the heavens was declared the glory of God. In their personal lives if they were faithful, God was answering prayers, just as He does today. God poured out sun and rain upon all who were in Babylon.

Read Isaiah 40:27-31.

 40:27   Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? 
 40:28   Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? [there is] no searching of his understanding. 
 40:29   He giveth power to the faint; and to [them that have] no might he increaseth strength. 
 40:30   Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 
 40:31   But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint. 

what ways does Isaiah describe God? How is this description of God meant to answer their belief that “my way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God” (Isa. 40:27, NIV)?

The last verse explains the problem. Not all are waiting on the Lord, thus they believe not, and they do not see the ways of God. They have no Spiritual discernment to see His hand all around them. To those who wait upon the Lord, His ways are not hidden. The solution for those who do not see God's hand is to learn of Him who gave His innocent Son that we might be born again of His Spirit.

Another group of people who might have considered that their way was hidden from God is found in the book of Esther. In this book, God is not mentioned even once. However, the whole story is an unfolding drama of God’s intervention to save His people from an irrevocable law to have them destroyed. Not only does this story describe events of the past — it symbolizes a time in the future when God’s people will again be persecuted and a law again introduced for their destruction (Rev. 13:15). Can you imagine how easy it would be to conclude that if such terrible circumstances were existing, God must surely have deserted His people? But we are not to fear. The same God who saved His chosen ones in the story of Esther will save them again in the final crisis.

Amen! But, He will not protect them from going through a time of trouble such as never was (Daniel 12:1). He is preparing them today to be able to go through this horrible time. All who glory in their tribulation are developing a character to fit them for this last great work of God. He does not wave a wand to change their character. It is being changed today. All who love the Lord our God are being made more patient, more kind, more loving. All of the fruits of the Spirit are in the life, but through tribulation these fruits are becoming more abundant so that the 144,000 will not only be settled into the truth, but will have a character to be able to reflect Christ no matter what Satan does to them. Unlike Job, they will not let go of Jesus (Job 40:6-8).

We have read how Isaiah described God to the exiles. How would you describe God to people who felt that God had disappeared and had abandoned them? How would you teach them to see through the eyes of faith and not be dependent on what they see around them with their human eyes?

Faith is something we cannot give to others. It is something that God gives us when He opens our eyes to His character. We love Him because He first loves us. It is grace that transforms sinners into saints. If we want saving faith, then we must get it by beholding Jesus. We cannot have faith in someone we do not know. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Jesus. By beholding we become changed into His image (character).

Christ’s followers should be instruments of righteousness, workmen, living stones, emitting light, that they may encourage the presence of heavenly angels. They are required to be channels, as it were, through which the spirit of truth and righteousness shall flow. Many have partaken so largely of the spirit and influence of the world that they act like the world. They have their likes and dislikes, and discern not excellence of character. Their conduct is not governed by the pure principles of Christianity; therefore they think only of themselves, their pleasure and enjoyment, to the disregard of others. They are not sanctified through the truth, therefore realize not the oneness of Christ’s followers the world over. Those who are most loved of God are those who possess the least self-confidence and are adorned with a meek and quiet spirit; whose lives are pure and unselfish, and whose hearts are inclined, through the abundant measure of the spirit of Christ, to obedience, justice, purity, and true holiness. 2T 126.

Moses saw Him who was invisible, but many do not. This was the issue then in Babylon and is the issue today. Trust in the invisible only comes when we spend time with Jesus so we can know Him well enough to know He loves us and wants to dwell in our hearts.  We can encourage those who lack saving faith that God loves them and by beholding His grace they too can be transformed in character having seen God.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 43481
  • Grace, more than a word, it is transforming power
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 8--3rd Quarter 2022--Seeing the Invisible
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2022, 08:41:33 PM »
Friday          August 19

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “In the Days of Queen Esther,” pp. 598-606, in Prophets and Kings.

“Has not God said He would give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him? And is not this Spirit a real, true actual guide? Some men seem afraid to take God at His word, as though it would be presumption in them. They pray for the Lord to teach us and yet are afraid to credit the pledged word of God and believe we have been taught of Him. So long as we come to our heavenly Father humbly and with a spirit to be taught, willing and anxious to learn, why should we doubt God’s fulfillment of His own promise? You must not for a moment doubt Him and dishonor Him thereby. When you have sought to know His will, your part in the operation with God is to believe that you will be led and guided and blessed in the doing of His will. We may mistrust ourselves lest we misinterpret His teachings, but make even this a subject of prayer, and trust Him, still trust Him to the uttermost, that His Holy Spirit will lead you to interpret aright His plans and the working of His providence.” — Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 6, p. 225.

Amen! Do we understand the office of the Holy Spirit? He is the One who opens our eyes to the truth. And, we may have Him if we want Him. Do we want to turn our lives over to God? If so, it is the Holy Spirit that reveals the loveliness of Jesus to all who seek after Him. From Luke:

 11:9   And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 
 11:10   For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 
 11:11   If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if [he ask] a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 
 11:12   Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 
 11:13   If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? 


“Faith grows strong by coming in conflict with doubts and opposing influences. The experience gained in these trials is of more value than the most costly jewels.” — Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 555.

Amen! Thus, we glory in our tribulation knowing it works for our good and God's glory (Romans 5:3-5).

Discussion Questions:

    As a class, talk about the kinds of things we believe in that we do not see, things that we know are real yet are beyond our sight. How can this help us understand what it means to see “Him who is invisible”?

    Discuss the final question found at the end of Wednesday’s study. How often do we find ourselves in that situation? What can we do that will better enable us to trust that the Lord’s way is the best, even if it’s not what we want?

Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word.  We need to spend time in the Word that reveals Jesus. We cannot trust someone we do not know. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Jesus. As Moses lifted up the serpent, so must the Son of Man be lifted up that we might "look and live." Those who refused to look upon Jesus, did not live.

    If “faith grows strong by coming in conflict with doubts and opposing influences” and this leads to something extremely valuable, “of more value than the most costly jewels,” how should this shape the way we look at such conflicts?

When we see that Jesus grew in strength of character through His trials, then ought we not understand that this is how we become more patient, more loving, more kind? This does not work for those who are not filled with the Spirit, the representative of Christ. If we are not in a converted state, then we shall be tempted beyond what we can bear, then the character being formed is in the wrong direction.

    Most of us have seen people, even fellow Christians, in situations in which, at least from our perspective, the outcome was horrible. The worst thing we imagined happened, despite the prayers and best efforts. How do we understand this in light of what we have been studying?

It depends upon the spiritual condition of the one suffering. If in Christ, then the character is being strengthened and the glory goes to God. If the fellow Christian is not fully surrendered to God, then God will allow him to be tempted beyond what he can bear and the horrible outcome was not the desired outcome that God would give. What is the result of the lack of faith? The tribulation does not appear to be working for good. On the other hand, when God allows trials to come to those who do not love the Lord our God with all of the heart, it provides an opportunity to know what it is in the heart that shuts Jesus out. What is the cherished idol that one will not give up for God?

If we want eyes to see the Invisible God, then we need to ask God for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to see Him when we have our daily devotions and morning and evening worship. Then, when we rightly see His character we shall be transformed in character. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.