Small Group Questions

Faith That Works When The Pressure’s On: A Faith That Works When Troubles Come  

Introduction:

If you are among the countless Christians who struggle to see your suffering and heartache from God’s perspective; if you are among those who see no purpose or value in the countless obstacles you confront each day; if you are among those who live in constant confusion about what God might be up to in your life, ask Him for wisdom.  Ask Him to supply you with spiritual eyes to see what He’s trying to accomplish in your life. Ask Him for the faith that will see you through when trouble comes.   

Bottom Line: How can I form the best plans and accomplish them through the best means?  

 Something To Talk About: 

Wisdom is something that, on balance, we’d all like to have. The more the better. It’s a great investment in our futures, even in the present – this thing called wisdom. All wisdom comes from God. We simply need to ask. James 1: 5 says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking” Discover God’s wisdom for you, the wisdom that really works by considering the following three steps:  

  1. See I need wisdom: Or reject your arrogance. James 3:13 (AMP) says, “Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him by his good conduct show his [good] deeds with the gentleness and humility of true wisdom. James tells us that wisdom that comes from God does not present itself in this manner. Philippians 2:3 (AMP) says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves.” We need wisdom from above, which does not elevate itself but instead, it humbles itself and seeks opportunities to bless and elevate others to a better place. Wisdom from God is not showing off how much you know but how much you depend on and trust in God.   
  2. Ask God for wisdom: Or reject your apathy. Apathy is a kind of non-emotion manifested in an “I don’t care” attitude. Fortunately, God does care. James talks about the one need everyone has in difficult times: wisdom to endure trials. James always says, God “will not rebuke you for asking,” meaning that God does not give grudgingly or with a great deal of reproach for His children’s inadequacies and lack of wisdom. There is no need to worry that our sinful condition will bring about only anger and recrimination from God. We are required to make decisions in every sphere of our life, every day – whether it is the workplace, our homes, or dealing with a pandemic. The more complex a problem, the more difficult it is to pick the right alternative and the stakes are higher. However, if pleasing God is more important than pleasing man, our decision-making process becomes simpler. Daniel 2:21 says, “He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.”  Every Christian will have those “moments” in life that require a leap of faith. Don’t go it alone. Ask for wisdom from God and His leading. 
  3. Embrace God’s best: Embrace God’s agenda, not yours. Some of the hardest times to live by faith are when God places us on an unexpected path in life. It might be a set of troubles that we had not planned to face. It might be singleness, childlessness, unemployment, disability, depression, homelessness — and the list could go on and on. When we walk these unexpected paths, it is not unusual to experience difficulties beyond the situation itself. We might even struggle with difficult (but important) questions about God and His work in our lives. This is the time we need to embrace God’s plan for our lives. Deuteronomy 13:4 says, “Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” Psalm 63:8 says, “I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.” And finally Hebrews 10:23 adds,“ Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. How would you define wisdom?
  2. Who are some people you would consider to be wise? Why? Who are some people you would consider to be foolish? Why?
  3. C.S. Lewis said, “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” What does it take to be a person of wisdom?
  4. How did Jesus model the wisdom of God for us?
  5. If I told you, “God expects you to be as wise as Jesus was,” how would that make you feel? Why?
  6. What is the difference between a moral obligation to wisdom and a grace-filled invitation to wisdom?
  7. How can arrogance get in the way of wisdom? 
  8. What does apathy have to do with wisdom? 
  9. How do we know when we are following God’s agenda for our life or our own? 
  10. What is required to embrace God’s agenda for our life?  
  11. How can we better help one another walk in the wisdom of God?

Take one thing home with you:

If you have spent time in church you have probably heard Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  This quote was part of a letter God had Jeremiah write to the Jews whom Nebuchadnezzar had been taken captive to Babylon from Jerusalem. They had been ripped from their homeland, taken to a land where they were aliens and strangers. I can’t imagine how hopeless they felt. God promised that after 70 years He would bring them back to Jerusalem. He told them He had plans for them, plans for their good, plans for their future, plans to give them hope. In times of trouble, we must trust God and wait for Him in faith to fulfill His plans

God has wonderful, unimaginable plans for us. So wait for the Lord. In times of trouble, we must trust God and wait for Him in faith to fulfill His plans. Ask Him to fill you with joy and help you serve others as you wait for Him to fulfill His plans for you.