Series: Living Life Backwards – Part 3
Speaker: Scotty Priest / John Barksdale
Date: December 3, 2023
It was an honor to hear from John Barksdale as he shared his life story with us and the pivotal points of his faith journey that have been a part of his race. John has taught, mentored and impacted the lives of so many men and women throughout his life and he shared how in this last lap of his life he continues to grow in his faith and gives all glory to God. Read through the verses below.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25
In a race everyone runs, but only one person gets first prize. So run your race to win. To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup,[a] but we do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears.
Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted (tested) by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
1. John shared two insights when considering the inevitable, that our faith will be tested.
Insight: Suffering does not mean that God does not love us
Insight: The spiritual world trumps the physical world
What is your view on these two insights and how has that impacted the way you have handled difficult times and trials in your life
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
“James says that we should reframe our hardships as tests that offer us an opportunity to deepen our trust in God and our own character. But as we encounter these tests, we can trust in the goodness of the one who is testing us. God has our best interests in mind, and he offers us opportunities, not traps, to strengthen and refine us.” —Quote from Study Notes concerning Testing – Bible Project
1 Peter 1:6-7
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
2. In light of the passages shared above, how do the next two insights impact how you might face moving forward in current situations or in the future?
Insight: Living by faith means a change in how we view trials
Insight: Trials can work to purify our faith
3. When considering living life backwards and keeping that last lap in mind, what is one goal or change you would like to make that would make a difference in your faith journey moving forward?