SERIES: Darkroom
MESSAGE: Facing Darkness with Grace
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

MESSAGE SUMMARY
How do you face dark times? Notice I didn’t ask how should you face dark times, but rather how do you? Pain and suffering are universal, but for the Christian, they are valuable and even beneficial. Today we take a look at the apostle Paul’s own personal experience. He had a very positive episode followed by a very negative one. It rattled him at first, but eventually he learned a lesson that lifted him to a place where he could face the darkness with confidence and grace.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Group Guide: February 27, 2022
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: “Facing Darkness with Grace”
Text: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

Main Point
Every culture ebbs and flows as it marches toward extinction. The great Roman Empire, the How do you face dark times? Notice I didn’t ask how should you face dark times, but rather how do you? Pain and suffering are universal, but for the Christian, they are valuable and even beneficial. Today we take a look at the apostle Paul’s own personal experience. He had a very positive episode followed by a very negative one. It rattled him at first, but eventually he learned a lesson that lifted him to a place where he could face the darkness with confidence and grace.

“He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Talk about It

  1. What thorns in your life have you prayed for, but God didn’t heal—or has yet to heal? What have you learned from your thorn and about God’s will for your life?
  2. Discuss how your thorn can be a blessing, not a deficit, and a platform to be able to share the gospel. How could the Lord be wanting to use you even more than if you didn’t have the thorn in the flesh?
  3. What principle can we pull from Paul’s statement, the idea that we are to measure our words and experiences with humility?
“Are you willing to embrace pain and suffering if it demonstrates grace?” —Pastor Skip

Make It Practical
Pray
Father, help us to glory in our weakness, pain, and suffering, knowing that although our enemy would want to use it to destroy us, You want to use it to build us. Help us to accept Your grace, like Paul, as sufficient; for when we are weak, then we are strong. Use our pain to demonstrate Your gospel of grace to the world.

Cross references: Job 2:10; Isaiah 55:10; Psalm 19:1; 53:1–3; Matthew 7:7-8; Luke 18:1; Acts 9:1-31; 16:9-15; 18:9; 23:11; 27:24-25; Galatians 4:13; 6:11; 2 Corinthians 12:10; Revelation 2:7

OUTLINE


  1. God Blesses Us with Positives (vv. 1-6)

  2. God Balances Us with Negatives (vv. 7-8)

  3. God Benefits Us with Directives (vv. 9-10)

Keywords: affliction, darkness, directive, evil, grace, heaven, suffer, negative, pain, paradise, positive, prayer, thorn, trust


Facing Darkness with Grace - 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 | SkipHeitzig.com/4732
Page |