If you were a part of our previous two support groups, Grace in Trials and Relationship Care, you will appreciate how this group will build onto the previous ones. If you were not, there are no prerequisites.
What we need in time of trial is God's grace. The problem is, even for Christians, this is counter intuitive. We look for self-help books or podcasts with 3 simple steps to avoid trials to begin with.
What is God up to in our trials? Author and speaker Paul Tripp often uses the term "rescuing grace". Although we have already been accepted in Christ, by grace, we still need rescuing from indwelling sin. Tripp explains, "The people that He has rescued, He will now restore to be what He has created them to be. Grace is not just rescue, grace is restoration, and that is powerfully presented to us in Exodus. And you and I need both aspects of that grace."
The grace of God is the major difference between truly gospel-centered counseling and other approaches. As with most inner struggles, listening to others share their story will forge a sense of connection. This connection is an aspect of how God designed humans for community.
The Bible uses the Greek term koinonia which means a "close association involving mutual interests and sharing". Through the close association with other Christians in the context of mutual interest in the topic of fear and anxiety we grow in God's grace. Sharing together with other believers in the same manner of struggle how God intends for us to live as Christians.
"Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love." (Eph. 4:15-16)
David and Lynn Bradford are leading this weekly support group focused on the topic of stress and change through God's eternal, unchanging word and the community of church family. David trained for counseling under Dr. Ed Welch, Dr. Paul Tripp and others at CCEF and Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA. The Bradford's work as full-time counselors at Find Hope Counseling.