We like a sure thing… we want to know how everything will work out before we even get started. But then we’re met with a roadblock… a job loss… a lousy health report… a relationship ends… and we’re stuck in this place of uncertainty.
When facing the Unknown, we need to focus on our Heavenly Father, who tells us—even when we can’t see the way out—He’s in the middle of it with us… walking with us every step!
Don’t be afraid to add to this list, skip questions that don’t work for your group, or branch off with additional questions as discussion unfolds. Conversation is key! This is the time to work through the application of scripture and have group members figure things out together.
- Read Philippians 4:4. While going through extreme hardship, Paul is writing to others and encouraging them to rejoice. As believers, the Holy Spirit lives in us and gives us true joy (part of the fruit of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22–23 as opposed to the joy that is a result of positive circumstances. Where does true joy come from in your life as you examine yourself? Is it based on what’s going on around you or your faith/trust in the Lord?
- It is possible that when we face trials (especially long, persistent trials) that our desperation can lead us to exasperation. Have you ever allowed your difficult circumstances to alter your character or change the person you once were? Maybe your trials have caused you even to question God’s goodness and love for you. How do we keep this from occurring? If it has already happened, how can you return to a place of complete peace and trust in the Lord’s plan for your life?
- Have you ever had someone tell you, “just don’t worry,” regarding a deep concern of yours? Did this make you feel as if your pain was dismissed or belittled? If someone comes to us with a heartfelt concern, instead of “don’t worry,” what can we tell them, and where can we point them?
- Corrie Ten Boom (a well-known concentration camp survivor) once said, “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.” What steps can we actively take today to change our inward focus into an upward focus? How do we do this without relying on ourselves or our own ability to overcome?
- Read Luke 22:42 and Matthew 6:10 4:4. Being vulnerable with your group, what is heavy on your heart? Is there something that you are worried or insecure about? How much time have you spent in prayer regarding this situation? Without dismissing the request to “remove this cup in your life,” have you prayed “thy will be done” in this circumstance?
- Pastor Anthony told us to present our requests to God and our hearts to God. To lay bare our deepest fears and reasons behind our requests. Have you ever prayed this way before? How does this differ from our typical approach to prayer?
- We know that Satan has power in this current world in a physical way… but if we belong to Christ, he doesn’t have power over our hearts and our minds. Philippians 4:7 tells us that the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Do you typically find yourself praying for a change in your circumstances, or do you pray for the peace that God has already promised you through those circumstances?
- Where are you reading in the Bible this week? What has God been revealing to you through your quiet time with Him?
- Discuss any struggles you may be going through with your group.
- How can you pray for your group this week? How can they be praying for you?