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Diverge 2017
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You’ve probably heard of “escape rooms”—you know, those places where you get locked in a room with your friends and then try to escape by solving puzzles and secret codes? Some people love them and can’t wait to solve the puzzles, while others count down the minutes until they’re over. Just like an escape room, we all handle difficult and painful situations differently . . . but often we look for some type of relief. Maybe it’s a Netflix binge, or gaming, or spacing out while listening to Spotify. Maybe it’s staring at a phone and scrolling for hours. Whatever it is, we all have a favorite distraction— something we get lost in. Something that helps us escape reality. But the trouble is, these good and fun distractions sometimes lead to hurting others, hurting ourselves, or damaging our relationship with God. In this series, we’ll look at how to deal with difficult situations in our lives. As we do, we just might find that God’s inviting us to stop avoiding and escaping hard times, and instead, face our troubles head-on.  

And maybe we’ll see that through our struggles, God builds our character, provides us with comfort, and calls us to share that comfort with others.  

Bottom line week 1: When life is hard, God says He’s with you. 

Bottom line week 2: When life is hard, God says you can face it. 

Bottom line week 3: When life is hard, God says to comfort others.

So what’s trending on Netflix this week? Maybe TV isn’t your thing, but I’ll bet you’ve got a time vortex. Maybe yours is a gaming system. You log on for just a few minutes and then, somehow it’s midnight. Maybe you throw on headphones and just space out listening to Spotify, or maybe you stare at your phone and scroll without even really looking at what people post. We all have a favorite distraction—something we get lost in. And while there’s nothing wrong with taking a break, you’ve probably also discovered that it’s more tempting to reach for something fun when you’re facing something that isn’t. We all have a tendency to avoid something difficult by doing something easy. Or we escape something painful by running toward something that feels good. Or we hide something that hurts by pretending it isn’t there. But maybe you’ve also noticed that none of these strategies really work. In fact, sometimes our favorite escapes can leave us feeling more stuck than before. In this series we’ll look at three ways we’re all tempted to skip out on the real life that God has for us. As we do, you may just find God’s inviting you to stop avoiding it, escaping it, or hiding it and just . . . deal with it. 

Bottom line week 1: When you’re facing a challenge, attacking is better than avoiding. 

Bottom line week 2: God carries us through problems, not around them. 

Bottom line week 3: Comfort comes from community.

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