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The stay was unbearable. Each moment that passed, seemed a nightmare for me when I was in my second year first semester commonly branded as. By then, I didn’t have many friends as I still had not known many. I had hardly eaten anything that day.

My pockets ran dry, help was not forthcoming from home. It was quite difficult to persevere the hunger pangs that kept piercing hard having been from a Calculus III class and hardly grasped a thing. In my quest to find a calm environment, I decided to walk swiftly towards the old concrete seats near the rugby pitch for meditation- little could I know that it was the place my hope would be rekindled.

Hope rekindled

From a distance, something interesting caught my attention. I shifted it to what would later call a life lesson. It was on a rainy season. Life was forthcoming; a young seedling tried so hard to push itself through the tough rocky soil that lied above it. Full of energy and determination, it kept meandering through the rocks and by the time 2 weeks were over, you could see young energetic leaves enjoying the calm evening sun.

 God uses many circumstances to train and teach us spiritual disciplines for the sake of the kingdom. Sometimes life is stormy and our own hope seem diminishing with the intensity of the storm. Think about COVID 19. The pandemic that changed lives both positively and negatively. Most families could hardly afford meals due to job losses and lockdown.

But do you ever stop and think what the bible says about resilience?

Resilience is the quality of being able to adapt to stressful life changes and “bouncing back” from hardship. It is a response friends to crisis, tragedy of other life changing situations that allow us to move ahead despite the magnitude of the loss.

Resilience brings growth. It teaches you to remain hopeful to God, to cringe upon his promises and makes you to see ahead in the middle of a storm. You are able to get strength to process the hardships that you are going through and therefore keeping you from unhealthy coping mechanism. What would we say then, friends that resilience it’s a way of God teaching us and training us to cultivate endurance and patience? So that the servant of God may be fully equipped for every good work.

Job

Pause a little and think about Job. A man who we can fetch endless lessons from. He demonstrated great resilience in his agony and God rewarded and honored Him for that. Great is the afflict that he went through both in body and soul to a point he ends up cursing the day he was born. His friends and wife could not offer anything but vain words of advice that would take him far away from God (Job 2:9). He neither cursed God nor gave up on the storms that came his way. What great lesson to learn that even after losing everything, someone still trusts the lord and remain faithful to the end?

Nehemiah

Is it the voices from other people that makes you give up? Is it the mocking that’s you encounter from every corner? Even from within? Then consider Nehemiah, who was the cupbearer of a king in his times. But due to the afflictions and disgrace his people were going through, and the broken wall of Jerusalem, he sat down, wept and prayed for the task ahead was intense (Nehemiah 1).

Nehemiah faced a great opposition from Sanballat and Tobiah while rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said,

“What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!” (Nehemiah 4:3).

They went ahead to plot against the rebuilding but Nehemiah remained firm to the core despite the hurdles he faced. But in the end of 52 days, the wall was completed.

Friends, let us remain firm in our adversities, trusting that he who called us if faithful and no evil comes from Him. He is a holy God that He loved us so much that he send his only Son to die for our sins. Life will keep tossing us up and down, side by side and from every corner. But have you set your mind on the things above as Paul would say in Colossians 3? Cultivate resilience in your spiritual journey. Keep praying and asking for strength, accept what you cannot change and keep cerebrating small wins which will stir you to continue aspiring for great things to come.

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Table Of Contents

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
An Explanation of the Study Guide……………………………………………………………….. 2
For Leaders………………………………………………………………………………………… 3
Lesson 1: Introduction to Finally Alive……………………………………………………………. 4
Lesson 2: What Is the New Birth? ………………………………………………………………… 6
Lesson 3: Why Must We Be Born Again? Part 1…………………………………………………. 8
Lesson 4: Why Must We Be Born Again? Part 2…………………………………………………. 10
Lesson 5: Born Again Through the Washing of Regeneration…..……………………………….12
Lesson 6: Born Again Through Faith in Jesus Christ……………………………………………. 14
Lesson 7: Born Again Through Intelligible Good News………………………………………….. 16
Lesson 8: The New Birth Overcomes the World…………………………………………………. 18
Lesson 9: Regeneration, Faith, Love……………………………………………………………… 20
Lesson 10: Freedom from the Practice of Sinning………………………………………………. 22
Lesson 11: Loving Others with the Love of God………………………………………………….. 24
Lesson 12: Helping Others Be Born Again………………………………………………………. 26
Appendix: Leading Productive Group Discussions………………………………………………. 28

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