Listen to this devotional
What are some talents, gifts, or experiences God has given you that can be used to make a difference in someone’s life?
Making a positive difference in someone’s life is a pretty amazing feeling. The times I have served and encouraged other people are some of my most memorable life experiences. Those feelings have changed my dreams for my life from self-focused accomplishments to helping other people grow and change.
What are some of your memories of using your strengths and talents to help someone else?
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.Hebrews 6:10 NIV
Being part of changing someone’s life is an incredible feeling, and it means a lot to God. And yet it can be a constant struggle to keep doing it. That’s because it is much easier to focus our attention on our weaknesses, shortcomings, and difficult situations. And when we do, we begin to lose sight of our dreams of changing the world.
Losing sight of these dreams damages our faith. We begin to forget the talents, gifts, and strengths with which God has blessed our lives. We forget that God has a unique plan and purpose for our lives, and through these gifts and talents he can inspire others to learn about him and build a relationship with him.
Our hope is through this Bible study, we can learn to start each day aware of the strengths and talents God has given to us, and consider how he wants to work in our lives to change the world.
Table of Contents
Power for each day
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV
- The struggles we face every day can wear on us and make us afraid to pursue our dreams and help others.
- The key to persevering is spending time praying specifically about our struggles, admitting the strain they are putting on our heart, and asking God for help.
- It is also key to read the Bible, and to take time each day to remember the gifts and talents and experiences that God has given us so we build our faith that God is with us.
- How often do you pray about both the gifts and talents God has given you and the struggles you experience?
Perspective for each difficulty
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV
We can be deceived into believing our struggles are bigger than they really are. The Bible helps us put into perspective the hardships we go through.
- When we learn to build trust in God, he provides hope and security for us because he will be with us long after our troubles are over.
- One thing that is hard for me is to ask for help from loved ones and friends because I am afraid of rejection. I was adopted and experienced some difficulties growing up that contributed to this fear.
- Friends taught me Scriptures that helped me learn to express my fears and concerns to God and believe that he cares for me.
- Getting God’s help and perspective about our difficulties will help us to take risks and wait in anticipation of what God will do to help us.
- Do you ask for help from God and friends? Why or why not?
Patience for each dream
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV
- It is tempting to complain about the things we are going through instead of expressing gratitude for all that God has done to bless and protect us.
- It is also easy to think about material things (money, success, bigger houses, better cars, etc.) that we perceive will help us find eternal happiness, relief, and joy – but they will never satisfy us.
- We only really experience these things through building a relationship with God in our heart and spending time with him in prayer and Bible study.
A new generation to change the world
Let’s look at three areas God can renew us so that we can dream again about changing the world.
1. Renew your faith
But (the Lord) has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.  So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].2 Corinthians 12:9-10 AMP
- Though life can move quickly and be difficult, it is imperative to be humble and aware that we need God. We need to turn to him daily to experience love, forgiveness, and faith. This is how we will have the faith that we can change the world.
- I learned that my relationships got close when I told them something I was afraid to do because they related to me, and we worked together to overcome our fears.
- Weaknesses actually help us get closer to God and our friends and build our faith in how God is moving – if we are humble about them.
2. Renew your heart
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:8-9 NIV
- We are tempted by sins every day, and sometimes we give in to those temptations. We must rely on God’s mercy by being honest about them and asking for forgiveness.
- Lying about our sins creates a burden of guilt that numbs out our heart. God does not want our hearts to be hard. He wants them to be free.
- What guilt and parts of your heart have you been lying/not honest about? Choose to talk to God and friends today!
3. Renew your relationships
My friends, watch out! Don’t let evil thoughts or doubts make any of you turn from the living God.  You must encourage one another each day. And you must keep on while there is still a time that can be called “today.” If you don’t, then sin may fool some of you and make you stubborn.Hebrews 3:12-13 CEV
- Temptations and sins deceive us, and we need friends’ help to resist those traps.
- We also need our friends’ perspective about the gifts and talents God has given to us, so we can believe that God wants to be close to us.
- We also need their help to see God’s purpose for our lives and to inspire us to change the world.
- What 2-3 friends can you have purpose with? How do those friendships need to change so that you can have impact together?