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1. Point 1: Trials are purposeful

  • Scripture reference: 
  • Romans 5:3-5 • And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.


  • James 1:6-8 • But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.


  • Leader Notes
    • 1. God has a purpose in the trials that we go through.
    • 2. All things are not joyful, but there’s a certain joy to be found in the struggle and trial – it is designed to test your faith, to produce patience/endurance/perseverance. 
    • 3. Its the only way to produce the fruit of patience in our life – God’s amazing ways and plan.

 

  • Question for reflection: What are the trials in your life right now that cause you to lose peace? As you pause to pray and seek God’s wisdom, take time to write down some potential purposes behind this trail. Finally commit to praying over these insights this week, and invite a trusted and faithful friend or family member to speak into what you have discovered. 

2. Point 2: Ask for wisdom

  • Scripture reference:
  • Proverbs 2:1-7 • My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, 2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; 3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;


  • James 1:9-11 • Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, 10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. 11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.


  • Leader Notes
    • 1. When you are in the trial, you need to ask God for wisdom.
    • 2. No matter what the answer is – I will trust God. 
    • 3. God gives us wisdom and asks us to put our feet on it.

 

  • Question for reflection: When was the last time you asked God for wisdom? As you waited on the LORD, what did He impress upon your heart specific to that trial? Did you obey and follow through with what He shared? Why or why not? 

3. Point 3: Keep things in perspective

  • Scripture reference: 
  • Isaiah 40:6-8 • The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

 

  • James 1:12-16 • Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

 

  • Leader Notes
    • 1. In the differences of economic status – the positions are only temporary. If you are in Jesus, you are the richest.  (This shows the perspective of eternity in the present.)
    • 2. We need Godly, Biblical people speaking into our life.  (Not necessarily Facebook or Tic-Tok 😉
    • 3.  “You will be at the mercy of the people that you know.” (When it comes to people speaking into your life as you make decisions.)

 

  • Question for reflection: What are some of the challenges to keeping trials in the proper perspective? What is something or someone who consistently gives you a biblical perspective?  

4. Point 4: Understand temptation

  • Scripture reference: 
  • Romans 6:23 • “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

  • James 1: 16 “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.”

 

  • Leader Notes
    • 1. “Happy (Crazy Happy 😉 is the person who endures temptation.” (If we do something bad – Satan will shame you for it the rest of your life. God forgives, but sin does have its consequences.)
    • 2. God can not tempt – He doesn’t tempt anyone.  Each one of us are tempted at the point of OUR desires – enticed away from Jesus by our desires.  A wrong desire is not a sin, but acting on it is.
    • 3. What we do with our desires will produce the peace of God or a harvest of guilt and pain.  Brothers and sister – do not be deceived,  God loves you and is for you, but in a world of temptations, we need to push away from the things that can produce “spiritual death”

 

  • Question for reflection: How well do you know your triggers when it comes to sin and temptation? For which part of your temptation are you willing to take ownership? Who can help keep you accountable? 

Optional Follow-up Questions:

  • What makes you say that?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
  • Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
  • What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
  • Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?