Rock Bottom – How To Get Through What You’re Going Through by Rick Warren
Write down you fears…We’ll revisit later…..
“ROCK BOTTOM” – explanation!!
What you “know” is what gets you through. If you don’t know the right things when the rough winds and tsunamis of life come, you’re going to destroyed! But if our lives are built on the rock solid, bedrock, truth of the bible, we know some unchanging truths.
What are some truths we know about God? (Omniscient, Merciful, Faithful, Loving, Sovereign, Immutable)
#1 – The Light at ROCK Bottom in the Dark Times
2 Cor 4:8-9 – We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”
What are some signs you might be going through the “darkness”? (Divorce, finances, parenting struggles) Yep, those are IT!!! We can feel like we have hit ROCK BOTTOM!
Lets talk about “Rocks” for a minute. What do we use them for? (energy, Coal, building foundations, Paving roads, simply decorating a garden, marking a path so we keep on it) What are ROCKs capable of?
When I hit bottom and realize exactly the truth in the type of Rock its made of??? Well I guess it’s not all that bad if you know WHO your ROCK is?
To get to Rock bottom we had to go through the darkness….(See all those things mentioned before.)
Let me ask you this……
Did Jesus suffer? Was he sometimes lonely? Was he tempted to be discouraged? Was he misunderstood, betrayed and criticized unjustly? (He was created in our image to feel and experience life as we did)
After 3 years of daily discipleship, healing miracles, earth changing phenomenon, his closest companions still doubted him, hid from him, judged him, and ultimately betrayed him.
What did he do? I would have unfriended them on FB in a skinny minute! NO….He loved them anyway. Did he believe the lies and untruth… NO Jesus beat the suffering the loneliness the discouragement and the betrayal by speaking truth to himself. He said, “But I am not alone, for my Father is with me”… then basically turned to them all to say… Why don’t ya’ll hang out with me and I’ll pray to my Father on your behalf”…. Say what??? Again, Unfriend!!!
Of course! None of us are exempt from suffering, loneliness, discouragement, or unjust criticism, because God is developing within us the character of Christ, and, in order to do this, he must take us through all of the circumstances in life through which he took Christ. Well, Almost “ALL”! I have read the end of the book, and we were saved from one experience. J
So there will be tragedy, strife, disappointments, and broken hearts.
Does this mean God causes tragedies? No. God is good, and he will not cause evil or do evil. But God can use dark and stressful times for good. He’ll use them to teach us to trust him, to show us how to help others, and to draw us closer to other believers.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:8b-9, “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead” (NLT).
So, what should you do when you’re going through difficult times?
First, you refuse to be discouraged. Then, you remember God is with you. Finally, you rely on God’s protection and guidance.
We all go through difficult times. The difference for those who believe in Jesus and those who don’t, Well… Its HOPE! HOPE found at ROCK Bottom. With The ROCK of all ages!
#2 Don’t Give in to Your Fears
God is watching over you, so don’t listen to your fears. This is a choice. Trust God, and don’t give in to your fears.
2 Cor 1:10 – And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him and he will continue to rescue us.
God’s promise to believers is that, no matter what happens to us, he is working for our good if we love him and follow him. If you’re a believer, the Bible says all things are working together for good —WE GET CONFUSED RIGHT HERE!!!— not that all things are good but that they are working TOGETHER for good.
That means we can stop listening to our fears. There is no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, or disaster in the life of a believer that God can’t ultimately get some good out of. There is no need to fear the future.
STOP RIGHT HERE…. READ “YOUR FEAR”! ( The one you wrote down!, yes I told you to write one down, see top of this page!)
Your fears reveal where you do not trust God. Today, make a list of your fears, and ask God to help you identify why you have fear in those areas. Then, ask him to help you replace your fears with trust.
Now, this next step is important: EXPECT God to start helping you learn to trust him with each fear. THEN, watch to see how he helps you.
#3 Never Doubt the Light – God’s Rock solid Truth and his Character
We all need to take a spiritual truth vitamin DAILY so that you can summon that in dark times like LIGHT! Its like lighting that first candle when the power goes out unexpectedly. (picture the kids screaming “mommy/daddy”! Hehe) We all want that huge spotlight immediately. Boy patience is a hard lesson… Let’s leave that one right there.
Write down some Spiritual Truth Vitamins and keep it with you! Here are some examples:
- I will Fear no Evil for you are with me.
- You will never leave or forsake me
- If You are with me who can be against me
- You know the plans you have for me, it is not to harm me but prosper me.
Regardless of your circumstances and how you feel, hang on to God’s unchanging character.
2 Corinthians 1:12 says, “Now that the worst is over, we’re pleased we can report that we’ve come out of this with conscience and faith intact, and can face the world — and even more importantly, face you with our heads held high. But it wasn’t by any fancy footwork on our part. It was God who kept us focused on him, uncompromised.”
Your circumstances cannot change the character of God. God’s grace is still in full force; he is still FOR you, even when you don’t feel it. GO PENNY!!! GO ANN, GO….. WE GOT THIS, TOGETHER.
Remind yourself what you know to be eternally true about God: He is GOOD, he LOVES ME, he is with ME, he knows what I’M going through, he cares, and he has a good plan for MY life. I aint gonna lie, I would love to know what he’s thinking sometimes. But, I have to TRUST!!!
Raymond Edman, one of Billy Graham’s mentors, once said, “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.”
So, what has God told you in the light that you now doubt in the dark? Why do you think you doubt God now?
I have doubts and questions that I cannot answer every single day. I don’t know how a person can be a Christian and not have doubts from time to time. Faith requires doubt in order to be faith, right??? If you ever arrive at a place where all your doubts are gone and all your questions are answered, take a deep breath and relax because you’ve arrived in heaven.
Remember, your circumstances cannot change the character of God. Remember WHO HE IS!
#4 The Pain of Rock Bottom Often Reveals God’s Purpose
Your pain often reveals God’s purpose for you. God never wastes a hurt! If you’ve gone through a hurt, he wants you to help other people going through that same hurt. He wants you to share it. God can use the problems in your life to give you a ministry to others. In fact, the very thing you’re most ashamed of in your life and resent the most could become your greatest ministry in helping other people.
Let’s have a little comic relief here……So, if your life’s mistakes were a bumper sticker what would it say…. Don’t be shy!!!
- Sarcasm… because beating my teenager is not a viable option
- I was an honor student, I don’t know how THIS happened
- Sometimes I wrestle with my demons, sometimes we just snuggle
- JESUS LOVES YOU!!!!….I’m still trying!
Who can better help somebody going through a bankruptcy than somebody who went through a bankruptcy? Who can better help somebody struggling with an addiction than somebody who’s struggled with an addiction? Who can better help parents of a special needs child than parents who raised a special needs child? Who can better help somebody who’s lost a child than somebody who lost a child? The very thing you hate the most in your life is what God wants to use for good in your life. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1, verses 4 and 6, “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things” (NLT). (We comfort others with the same comfort God himself has given to us) This is called redemptive suffering. Redemptive suffering is when you go through a problem or a pain for the benefit of others. This is what Jesus did. When Jesus died on the cross, he didn’t deserve to die. He went through that pain for your benefit so that you can be saved and go to Heaven. There are many different causes for the problems, pains, and suffering in your life. Sometimes the stuff that happens you bring on yourself. When you make stupid decisions, then it causes pain in your life. If you go out and overspend and buy things you can’t afford and presume on the future, and then you go deeply in debt and lose your house, you can’t say, “God, why did you let me lose my house?” You can’t blame God for your bad choices. But in some of your problems, you’re innocent. You’ve been hurt by the pain, stupidity, and sins of other people. And some of the pain in your life is for redemptive suffering. God often allows us to go through a problem so that we can then help others.
#5 The Power in Group Prayer at the feet of the ROCK brings us closer to the Cross,
Some people are so uncomfortable praying!
Rick Warren says, “If you have never prayed with other people start by praying out loud when you are alone.”
To get through what you’re going through, you need to recruit other people to pray for you.
This is very easy when you’re in a small group. When you’re going through a tough time and you’re not in a small group, you are unprotected. You don’t have the strength that people in a small group do because you don’t have people praying for you.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:11, “You are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety” (NLT).
I’ll be honest with you: I don’t know how this works. But there is additional power in group prayer that is not there when you just pray for yourself. There is more power in group prayer than in the single power of you praying for yourself.
The Bible says, “If any two agree as touching anything it shall be done” and “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
NOW… Does that mean that we get the desired outcome of the prayer request every time we pray collectively?? NO! What does it do?? It brings us into the presence of the LORD in a fullness that is like no other. Let me ready that scripture to you again….“Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am “I” in the midst of them.”
This is why God refers to Heaven as a banquet and not a table to 2!! We can use collective prayer like a banquet feast. “pass the suffering, shame, regret, guilt, self-loathing”! Let the LORD take it from you as you pass it around the table to HIM – YOUR ROCK!
You need THIS power to get through what you’re going through. That’s why you need to be in a small group. That’s why you need to ask them to pray for you.
The Bible says in Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (NIV). What is the law of Christ? “Love your neighbor as yourself.” When you pray for other people, you are loving your neighbor as yourself. When they pray for you, they are loving you as themselves.
And when they had prayed, the place they gathered together was shaken! And they were all filled with the HOLY SPIRIT and began to speak the word of GOD with Boldness!
Thanks for joining me at my ROCK Bottom