April 7 - May 6
Life doesn’t always go the way we expect, and we pray to God for help and guidance. But sometimes it seems like even though we trust and pray, God doesn’t do what we've asked. We seek Him, but don’t feel His presence. We go through pain, but our cries for relief seem to go unanswered. Sometimes, our lives just don't make sense...Why God?
What would you say has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to face in your life so far?
Why do you think we are often surprised and can even doubt God when difficulties and challenges come our way?
Read John 16:33 & Proverbs 19:3 What does the Bible say to us about life?
This week Doug said,
1. Tough Times Are Part Of Life.
2. Tough Times Can Be Our Own Fault.
3. God Uses Tough Times In Our Lives.
How have you seen these to be true in your life?
Doug also challenged us to:
1. Be Still (Psalm 46:10 & Ephesians 3:16-17)
2. Maintain Perspective (2 Corinthians 12:8-10 & Romans 8:28)
Why is it important to do this when the tough times come?
How difficult is it for you to do this?
When you look back at the toughest things you have faced in life how have those circumstances and situations helped you to become the person you are today?
Pray for those in you group and at PCC that are going through difficult times in their lives. Pray as well that God will continue to use this series to help each of us grow in our faith!
1.Describe a time when God seemed inattentive to your circumstances. How did you respond? How did it affect your faith?
2.Why is it difficult for us to trust God during difficult times? The Main Thought was: When God is silent, He is not absent. How have you seen that play out in your life?
3.Read together John the Baptist’s story: Mark 6:1-29.
4.Read Matthew 11:2-6. Verse 6 implies God may do or allow things that make it difficult to continue believing in Him. Has your faith ever been challenged by your circumstances? Explain.
5.How does the fact that Jesus didn’t rescue John the Baptist from prison and death challenge your assumptions about God’s priorities?
6.Read Philippians 2:8-11. How could this passage strengthen your faith during challenging seasons of life? How does having an eternal perspective strengthen your faith?
7.Remember this: Your personal circumstances do not necessarily reflect how God feels about you. The cross proves His love for you!
8.This week’s assignment is to: “Look back and remember” and to “Look out and reflect.” Share how God answered your prayers during a difficult situation in the past. Where are you seeing God at work in other’s lives or in other places? Encourage one another with these truths.
9.Close in prayer by thanking God for what was shared in Question 7.
1. Describe a time in your life when you felt “let down” by God; when He didn’t answer your prayers the way you thought He would.
2. How did you or how are you currently working through that disappointment as it relates to your faith?
3. How did others encourage you and comfort you during those times and what are things that were said or done that actually brought more pain?
4. Read Psalm 13. What are some things from this short psalm of David that speak to you about suffering and how to respond to it?
5. We talked about a “retribution theology” one where doing good is rewarded by God and doing bad is punished by God. How can this be harmful? What are some alternative ways of viewing God that can speak to the suffering of the innocent?
6. We said that the world is not as it was intended to be but, one day, it will be when God’s redemptive plan is fully realized in a new heaven and new earth. What are some key things we as followers of Jesus can do until that day is here as it relates to the suffering in our world?
7. Pray for each other and others you now that are suffering.
1. What was your main takeaway from this weekend’s message?
2. What is the biggest “NO” you have received from God?
3. How did it affect your relationship with God?
4. Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
•What do you think God wants you to know?
•How do you feel after reading this passage?
•What is this passage calling you to do?
5. What circumstances or areas of life do you need to embrace God’s no and say “Not my will but your will be done.”?
6. How can you take some steps this week to Grow through your NO.
7. What is your main takeaway from this entire series?
8. Pray as group for specific requests and that God will help you Grow through your No’s.
1. What is your worst story of showing up somewhere late?
2. What is the hardest thing for you to wait on?
What’s something you’re currently waiting for God to do for you? What might He be doing in you?
3. Do you think you’d be more like Mary who stayed home when Jesus was late or Martha who told Him He was late? Why?
4. Have you experienced a situation when God was late that still doesn’t make sense? What’s it like to go through that?
5. Share a story of a time God exceeded your expectations. How can you hold on to this as a promise of His faithfulness?
6. Read these Scriptures together about trusting God.
7. Pick something you’ve been waiting for God to do. Set a reminder to pray each day this week for the Holy Spirit to reveal what He’s doing in you now.