Connect Culture Pt 5 – Jan Claridge [22/07/2018 AM]
Facing Adversity in Community
Psalm 133: 1 (NIV)
1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
Theme of Message
- Tragedy brings people together.
- Eurydice Dixon murdered in park in Carlton. People gathered together to mourn her and support her family even though most did not know her.
- Thai Soccer team in cave – the whole world was watching the rescue unfold. Community support for all involved.
- The Church Community will gather around a cause.
- Common unity working together for God’s cause.
Jan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She had two surgeries, 6 months of chemotherapy and 3 months of radiation.
Faith, family, friends and the Church Community were what helped her through a very adverse time in her life.
- Faith was a powerful anchor for her during this time.
- Jan realised that her life was not her own – it is God’s. He took her on a journey.
- God’s Word was a powerful tool. She recognised the need to be positive and be careful of the words she spoke.
- She kept two journals during this time. One contained all the Medical information. The second was her Prayer Journal in which she wrote of how she felt at the time and the scriptures that sustained her. She wrote on 23/2/16 – My faith sustains me – God is able.
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Colossians 1:11 (NIV)
Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience
Psalm 41:1-3 (TLB)
God blesses those who are kind to the poor. He helps them out of their troubles. 2 He protects them and keeps them alive; he publicly honours them and destroys the power of their enemies. 3 He nurses them when they are sick and soothes their pains and worries.
- Family – personal family and Church family upheld Jan during this time.
- Their love and support was what sustained her. They helped with food and cleaning her house.
- The Church Community can help people through their journeys with love and support – practical as well as prayerful.
Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV)
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
- Jan had the feeling that she was a buoy on the sea. She was kept afloat by the prayers of those who were praying for her and she was very aware of the power of those prayers.
- Never underestimate the power of your prayers. Keep praying for people because you never know how God will answer those prayers.
Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)
24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
- Friends were amazing and valuable. During Jan’s chemotherapy a friend from the Golden Square Football Club brought a gift for her.
- Pastor Kerrin’s sister, Rachel, who was going through her own cancer journey, sent a gift to Jan. These gifts were a great blessing.
- There is so much we can do to help and support – sharing in the smallest of ways can have great impact.
- Jan was blessed so much by the love and support of friends.
- Fitness and chemotherapy work together to bring a good result.
- Keeping fit, healthy and strong in God’s Word enables us to be strong in God.
- With us being corporately healthy in God, the world will know that we are His disciples and we can say “NOT NOW DEVIL”
- We need to show people the “God” factor in our lives.
- Express your faith in a simple way.
- Put your faith and trust in God.
- Understand how important it is to be fit and strong in God.
- Through Jan’s journey she learned more about herself, family, community, church and God.
- Be part of a Church community.
- Surround yourself with people who will love you and pray for you.
- Others will be drawn to you because you have what they need – God.
- Peace will come in times of turmoil in your life.
- God comes to give us peace, a peace that the world can’t understand.
- Pray and intercede on behalf of everyone
Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Suggestions for Discussion Questions
- Why does tragedy bring people together?
- What difference does it make when the Church Community comes together to support people through tragedy?
- What are simple things we can do to show support to our Church Community?