How to Beat Adversity | Chapel Hill Online | Gig Harbor

How to Beat Adversity | Chapel Hill Online | Gig Harbor

#hardtimes #beatadversity #nevergiveup

Are you facing adversity right now? Financial difficulties, separation from family, loneliness from isolation, fear of the COVID pandemic. Life is hard, and adversity is common. Do you know how to beat it though? How to rise above the hard times? Join Ellis as he teaches us how to beat adversity and overcome the hard times in our lives.

Discussion Questions April 25:
1. Read Philippians 1:12-18
2. Paul’s adversity was the prison he was in while he wrote this letter. What kind adversity are you facing right now or have you faced in this past year?
3. Which of the three steps that Pastor Ellis suggested is the most challenging for you right now? “Reframe your perspective. Re-place your confidence. Rejoice in others’ success.”
4. Who is one person you can rejoice with this week in their successes? Commit to sending a text/note of encouragement/gift to that person to say you are celebrating with them.

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A few weeks ago, I had a dream that I was sitting in church, listening to my pastor, Pastor Mark, preach, when all of a sudden, the police ran into the room and arrested him. He was taken over to the county jail in Tacoma and I immediately attempted to go visit him. For some reason I got a ride from our drummer, John Blair, in his big white truck, and I decided to bring my children who are 7 and 5 years old along with me. We pulled up at the jail and John dropped us off. My two kids and I passed all the security clearances, with me saying, “I’m Mark Toone’s pastor.” And we descended down into a basement. When we arrived, we found him in an open plan cell—I had no idea such luxury existed—and chained to the floor.   Now I know you haven’t heard from Pastor Mark in two weeks, but I want to reassure you, he is not in jail. He is simply on vacation… or at least that’s what he told me. Nevertheless, it left me asking the question… what would you do if you were thrown into prison? It seems unlikely, right? But isn’t that how many of us described lockdown at first? Like being under house arrest? And I think many of us would describe other circumstances and situations in our life in a similar way. Like my friend who just received a terminal cancer diagnosis. Or a family grieving the loss of their child. Or another friend facing a lawsuit when they are not at fault. Even if we don’t get thrown into jail, life often throws adversity our way. It’s been said that adversity either crumbles you, or becomes foundational to your success. So how do we beat adversity?   My name is Ellis White and I am one of the pastors at Chapel Hill. You’re joining us as we continue a series called Joy No Matter What; we believe that a life following Jesus can bring us joy, no matter the circumstances. We’re taking a look together at a short letter that’s found in the Bible called Philippians. It was written by a man named Paul, who was one of the early leaders of the church, and he was writing to his very first church in Europe—in the city of Philippi. In the next few minutes, referring to what Paul writes in this letter, I want to address the question: how do we beat adversity? My hope is that by the end of this message, you will have the tools you need, to not only beat adversity, but find joy in it, and use it as a springboard into the purposes that God has for your life.  Paul, who wrote this letter, knew a thing or two about adversity. The words we read were written from a jail cell, not unlike the one Pastor Mark was in during my dream. But the words Paul writes from this jail cell defy expectations. He said…   “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” (Philippians 1:12)  For almost two thousand years, the church has centered its life around a weekly gathering on Sunday. It has been the primary place for connection with other believers, for hearing teaching from the Word of God and for partaking of communion together. One year ago, when we chose to close our church doors in order to protect our community from the pandemic, we lost that opportunity to gather. It was something that none of our pastors, elders, deacons or staff had ever experienced before. It even left some of us saying, how can you even be a church when you can’t gather?  I wonder if Paul’s friends felt the same way when he was arrested. In fact, in the book of Acts, which records the events that took place at the beginning of the church, there are multiple occasions where Paul’s friends warn him not to travel to Jerusalem, because they know that if he does, he will be arrested. I mean… 
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