Masters Plan

Go Therefore and Make Disciples


Life In This World


Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trails, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.       James 1:2-3

Trials can come in many forms.  They can be from circumstances around us, consequences and situations you bring on yourself, or even initiated by Christ.  The great news is that you don’t have to figure out which it is, because the Lord can use them all to grow you into a disciple.  The Bible doesn’t distinguish between the types of trials but instead emphasizes how God will use them to mature you.

You may have noticed that very rarely in the Bible does God bother to interrupt someone’s life and ask him or her to do an easy task.  He doesn’t call Moses over to a burning bush and ask him if he could take on a few more sheep.  One entire chapter in the Bible, Hebrews 11, is devoted to a series of encounters where God asks people to embrace high-risk assignments.  God asks Noah to build an ark in the face of ridicule, Abraham to leave everything familiar and then to become a father at the age of ninety-nine, Joseph to be faithful in the face of slavery and imprisonment, and Moses to defy Pharaoh…God doesn’t call people to small or easy things.  How high a value would you say God places on making sure people who follow Him lead comfortable lives?  It seems God wants to use us, wants to grow us up, wants us to be strong and wise and courageous.  He doesn’t appear to be terribly interested in making sure we’re comfortable.  He would not make a good flight attendant.

                      John Ortberg, When The Game Is Over It All Goes Back In The Box    

God is way more concerned with your character than your comfort, so get ready to hang on for the journey of a lifetime.


In the study of plants it has been found that the plant that always has perfect conditions is not necessarily the healthiest plant and certainly not the best equipped to deal with a harsh environment.

A plant that goes through times of drought will, as a result, put roots deep to find the nourishment needed and as a result be stronger and more prepared for the next trial.

We are being prepared to handle situations in life and God in His mercy allows us to struggle through times of hardship so that we learn to put our ‘roots’ deep into Him.


All things are possible to him who believes; that they are less difficult to him who hopes; that they are more easy to him who loves and still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues.  That the end we ought to propose to ourselves is to become, in this life, the most perfect worshipers of God we can possibly be, as we hope to be through all eternity.

                                                          Brother Lawrence  


God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.   

                                                          John Henry Jowett


  • When have been the times of greatest growth in your life?
  • What is the best way for you to approach life’s difficulties knowing that they are growing you and preparing you to be God’s person for others?
  • How will you apply the truths in this topic to your life this week?  Be specific.

Additional Quotes

If you have never failed, you have never really lived.  When you follow God, He takes you beyond your own capacities, forces you to go beyond your abilities.  Apart of the divine adventure is experiencing the miraculous hand of God as He intervenes in your life.  Failure is often the context for miracles.  We all want miracles, but we try to avoid needing them.   Erwin McManus-Chasing Daylight

I wonder how many of us have lost our barbarian way and have become embittered with God, confused in our faith because God doesn't come through the way we think He should.  Is it possible that the transforming power of the church has been lost because we keep inviting people to step into the comfort, safety, and security of Jesus Christ?  We've created a religious culture in which--even though we're the most blessed society in the history of the planet--our best-selling literature still focuses on how we can be more blessed.  Maybe we need to step way back to the beginning of this movement.  Erwin McManus--The Barbarian Way


More Video Illustrations

Heart of a Soul Surfer
Three weeks after a shark attack, Bethany decides that she wants to surf again despite the loss of her arm. We all have the choice to let our trials destroy us or lean on Christ and trust Him to see us through them.
99 Balloons
What will we do when the hand we are dealt is very difficult. Here one couples journey as they trust the Lord through the most difficult journey.

verses related to this topic

  • Deuteronomy 8:5

    Deuteronomy 8:5

    Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.

  • Psalm 66:10, 12b

    Psalm 66:10, 12b

    For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. We went through fire and through water, yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.

  • Psalm 119:67

    Psalm 119:67

    Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word.

  • Isaiah 48:10

    Isaiah 48:10

    Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

  • John 15:2

    John 15:2

    “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”

  • 2 Corinthians 4:16

    2 Corinthians 4:16

    Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

  • Ephesians 3:13

    Ephesians 3:13

    Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.

  • Hebrews 12:5

    Hebrews 12:5

    and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and he scourges every son whom He receives."

  • Hebrews 12:11

    Hebrews 12:11

    All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

  • James 1:2-4

    James 1:2-4

    Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

  • 1 Peter 1:6-7

    1 Peter 1:6-7

    In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

  • 1 Peter 4:12

    1 Peter 4:12

    Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;

  • Revelation 3:19-21

    Revelation 3:19-21

    “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

  • Revelation 7:14

    Revelation 7:14

    I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

books related to this topic

  • When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box

    When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box

    John Ortberg points out that being the Master of the Board is not the point; being rich toward God is. Winning the game of life on Earth is a temporary victory; loving God and other people with all our hearts is an eternal one.

  • The Problem of Pain

    The Problem of Pain

    The Problem of Pain answers the universal question, "Why would an all-loving, all-knowing God allow people to experience pain and suffering?" Master Christian apologist C.S. Lewis asserts that pain is a problem because our finite, human minds selfishly believe that pain-free lives would prove that God loves us.

  • The Barbarian Way

    The Barbarian Way

    Erwin McManus calls you to return to the ancient, primal, and dangerous faith of Jesus and His early disciples. Let go of a sanitized Christianity and get back to the powerful, raw, and ancient faith that chooses revolution over compromise, peril over safety, and passion over lukewarm and watered-down religion.

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