When you have reached the more advanced stages of your Bible study, you will want to consider a more intimate relationship with God. The more you know God, the more you will want to be close to Him. One area of concern for many Christians is how to reconcile God’s love with times of tragedy. Difficult times can often be a wedge between God and a believer. Difficult times can sometimes push a believer further away from God. Today I want to introduce you to two new Bible teachers who will help you move closer to God and understand how He is still with you in times of trouble. Then I’d like to share with you one more pastor who has written a detailed heartfelt book on the church’s role in moving us closer to God.
Timothy Keller confirms for us that the Word of God is the tool we use to begin our conversation with God. Once we have connected with God, we respond to Him through prayer. Using the writings of St. Augustine, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, Keller unravels the mystery of prayer and provides his recommendation on how to pray, when to pray, and where to pray. Keller’s investigation into all aspects of prayer is an invaluable resource that will greatly improve your communication with God.
When tragedy strikes it can shatter our relationship with God. “Believing God is Good When Life is Not,” is the subtitle of Craig Groeschel’s book. Craig’s goal is to help us maintain our relationship with God in difficult times. This book is a careful study of how God works written by a great spiritual teacher. If you’re currently in a time of trouble and feel like you may be drifting away from God, Craig will take you by the hand and walk you right up to Jesus and help you get reacquainted. This is also an excellent tool for those who are looking to help those in distress.
Francis Chan started a church in his home that grew to a 5,000 member megachurch. In that process, he came to realize that bigger is not always better. As a result, he ended up leaving his megachurch and starting a group of home churches in the San Francisco area. Francis has quite a lot to say about the condition of the Christian church in America. You may not agree with all of his conclusions, but the core of his message is undeniably Biblical. In my view, this is one of the most important teachers you should turn to as you study the Bible. I recommend you listen closely to what Francis has to say and then turn to your Bible to consider how much of his message pertains to you and your church.
Your study of the Bible can sometimes raise more questions than it answers. This is why it is so important to have great teachers like the ones mentioned here, to help you put things in perspective. Problems in your life should not push you away from God; they should pull you deeper into the Bible and closer to God. God speaks to you through his Word and that’s where you need to be to find shelter from the pain. Let the Word of God speak to you and then answer with prayer. Finally, fellowship with other believers is key to standing firm against attacks by the enemy. Careful consideration needs to be given to the church you attend. Use your Bible study to confirm that your church is standing firmly on the Word of God.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 (NIV)