Small Group Questions

Mastermind: The Peace of God

Introduction: 

Change your thinking, change your life. We know that there’s a battle going on in every mind. We know that most of life’s battles are won or lost in the mind. We know that it is almost impossible to live a positive life, when you’re consumed with negative thoughts. We know that if you don’t change the way you think, how can you ever change the way that you live? God wants to speak a healing word to our minds.  

Bottom Line: If you don’t control what you think, you will never control what you do.

Something To Talk About: 

When we’re focused on things that make us afraid, or anxious, our minds tend to run in a direction that may not be pleasing to God, or helpful to us. Why is it that our minds often compound itself with fear? When faced with worry consider: 

  1. Do what I can do: The Lord wants us to do what we can. The Lord does not ask to do what we cannot do. He does not ask us to give what we do not have. He is not putting unreasonable pressure on us to do what is beyond our ability to do. He only wants us to be faithful to do what we can do and give what we can give. In other words, if I have a health issue, I can eat right, exercise and over all do what I can to be as healthy as I can. If I have a financial issue, then I am going to create a budget, spend less and do what I can to come out from under that financial pressure. If I don’t have the level of relationship I desire with God, then I am going to start a quiet time, pray more, read my Bible more and learn to lean on Him in all things. I do what I can do to make it better. If I have done all I can do and cannot solve the problem then I:
  2. Give God what I can’t do: We will experience unnecessary anxiety and burdens and circumstances in our lives that we were never meant to carry. God is bigger than all our worries and problems put together, and we must realize that if we are to have any victory in our lives, we need God. Letting go doesn’t mean giving up. Surrendering is not quitting. Think of it this way: As soon as you know your can’t start your car, you have to admit that you can’t fix it. So if you want to get your car going again, you call a mechanic, and when the mechanic comes, you cooperate to the extent that you can. You haven’t quit. In this case, quitting would mean getting another ride or walking to work or sitting in your house and writing complaint emails to the car manufacturer.  Instead of quitting, you have merely given a “higher power” (one who knows more about the problem than you do) control of the situation.  When we surrender, we don’t sacrifice anything. We only lose whatever is keeping us the same. When we give what we can’t do to God we need to then: 
  3. Trust God no matter what: The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” This wise advice is from one of the wisest men in history. If you think back about the Israelites and when they came to the Red Sea, they had no clue that God was going to divide the sea. Moses being obedient to God trusted God enough to know that God was going to work it out. God stretched Moses’ faith, just like He is stretching yours and mine. He wants our faith to grow and grow. He’s not asking for us to come up with the solutions to our problem. His main desire is for us to trust and obey and God will do the rest. But we must learn to trust God at His word. God has proven over time that He and His faithfulness can be trusted, so I have no qualms about putting my confidence in God’s plans more than my own.

Discussion Questions 

  1. What does the peace of God mean to you?  
  2. Think about some of the things that cause you to worry. What are some of the costs of spending your time and energy worrying about those things?
  3. Describe a recent circumstance that really stressed you out. When do you replace your faith in God with worry?
  4. What is keeping us from doing what we can do? Or not doing what we should not be doing?  
  5. Renewing the mind is a process. We cannot completely change overnight. God understands His work will take time. He works according to His timing, and He asks you to approach transformation one day a time, one step at a time. Agree or disagree and why? 
  6. Much of the series has been focused on the internal. But how does a changed mind and peace with God manifest itself outwardly? In other words, how does a transformed mind affect those around you?
  7. Why do you think it’s hard to let go of control and trust God for your future?
  8. God is bigger than anything we will ever face in our lives. What challenge or obstacle are you currently facing that you need God’s strength to help you endure through it? Does it involve taking a stand?
  9. What part of this message resonated with you? 
  10. What can we do this week to put this message into practice? 

Take one thing home with you

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”—Isaiah 26:3

“Your mind is the greatest gift God has given you and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him. You should seek to “…capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5). This will be one of the greatest assets of your faith when a time of trial comes, because then your faith and the Spirit of God will work together. When you have thoughts and ideas that are worthy of credit to God, learn to compare and associate them with all that happens in nature— the rising and the setting of the sun, the shining of the moon and the stars, and the changing of the seasons. You will begin to see that your thoughts are from God as well, and your mind will no longer be at the mercy of your impulsive thinking, but will always be used in service to God.”  – Oswald Chambers