Week of 11/29/2015 - See it Through

SESSION 4: SEE IT THROUGH!

SESSION OVERVIEW

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote that he had learned how to be content in all circumstances. He also proclaimed that he could do all things through Christ who gave him strength, and that all his needs were supplied in Christ. In learning how to be brave in our everyday lives, we can become content like Paul. This is the essence of bravery: standing firm and refusing to be moved by trouble. Contentment gives us confidence because when we have our needs met by God, there’s nothing the world can do to take away what He’s given. We can be content because no matter what, we have strength and supply through Jesus. Our strength is the invisible working of Christ in us, and all our needs are supplied by the riches of His glory. In order to be brave and stand firm in our faith, we must first embrace our invisible strength and life. 
In good news or bad, the report we believe is more important than the news we hear. 

KEY PASSAGE 

Philippians 4:12-13
I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

GOAL FOR THIS SESSION

In week four of How To Be Brave, Pastor Don preached from 2 Kings 6 and Philippians 4 to show us that in order to brave, we can learn to see God’s strength and supply through our weakness and need. 

KEY POINTS

1.    STRENGTH AND SUPPLY

2 Kings 6:15-20, Psalm 121:1-2, Romans 8:32, Ephesians 1:18-19

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote that he had learned how to be content in all circumstances. He also proclaimed that he could do all things through Christ who gave him strength, and that all his needs were supplied in Christ. In learning how to be brave in our everyday lives, we can become content like Paul. This is the essence of bravery: standing firm and refusing to be moved by trouble. Contentment gives us confidence because when we have our needs met by God, there’s nothing the world can do to take away what He’s given.! -We can be content because no matter what, we have strength and supply through Jesus. Our strength is the invisible working of Christ in us, and all our needs are supplied by the riches of His glory. In order to be brave and stand firm in our faith, we must first embrace our invisible strength and unlimited supply in Him.

2.    OPENED EYES

In 2 Kings, the king of Aram sent forces to capture the prophet Elisha in the city of Dothan. His troops surrounded the city. Elisha’s servant came to him to tell him they were in great peril. But Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be opened, and the servant saw that there was an army of angels surrounding their enemies.! -Elisha was a prophet of God with the ability to see beneath the surface and to see what no one else saw. When there was a stream full of pollution and poison, he saw potential and prayed for God to purify the water. When a widow’s son died, he saw life. He prayed and God raised the boy from the dead.

Both Paul and Elisha had this ability to see the unseen. While Elisha faced physical danger from an army, Paul faced spiritual attacks in the church. Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to open and see God’s armies. Paul prayed for the eyes of our hearts to be enlightened so that we might know the hope to which we’re called.! -Elisha did not pray for God to send help. He prayed for the servant to see that help was already there. Sometimes, when we’re praying for God to show up, He wants to open our eyes to see that He’s already there.

3.    SEE IT THROUGH

In 2 Kings, God’s armies weren’t surrounding Elisha, protecting him from attack. God’s armies were surrounding Elisha’s enemies. We often wish that God’s armies would be between us and our enemies, but He’s surrounding us from the outside-in, assuring us that He’s in control of everything, even our attacks.

We can learn to see through our enemies to see God’s presence. When troubles like fear, depression, or anxiety seem right on top of us, we can look through them to see that God is right on top of them.

Without struggle would assume that the strength came from us instead of from God. But God wants to show Himself strong on our behalf by working in and through our weaknesses.

It’s only through our weaknesses that we can clearly see the strengths God has given us. Skills that we don’t have can point us to strengths that we do. We just have to see it through.

Just as Paul said that he learned to be content in all things, God will use our need to show us His supply. God is a faithful Father committed to seeing us through, and He only asks that we have faith in Him.

Our weaknesses and needs are the lenses God uses to show us His love. In the Old Testament, God sent the Law and the prophets to show His love, but His people rejected them. So then He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to show us His love on the Cross. The Cross is the place where God’s strength meets our weakness. It is the place where His supply meets our need. It is the place where His mercy and grace meet our sin and shame.

Every day we wake up and feel like we’re surrounded by different enemies. Sometimes, God doesn’t appear to be visibly working. But when we see it through, God promises that we will see His love and faithfulness.! -We will learn how to be brave every day and in every situation when we learn to see with the eyes of our hearts that our help is not on the way. Our help is already here in Jesus. 

Session 4: See It Through    

REFRESH

Review the sermon if needed.

DISCUSSION

Use the questions provided in each session to facilitate your group’s discussion and application of each topic. Use the questions ands discussion that is best for your group.  

GET GOING

How brave are you?

Take a minute to recap the How to Be Brave series with your Life Group. Ask everyone to go around the circle and share one way they’ve learned during this series. What brave acts do you plan to continue doing throughout the rest of the year?! 

GET DEEP

Read Philippians 4:12-13, Philippians 4:19

•    What strength did Paul have that might not have been visible to others?

Read 2 Kings 6:15-20

•    When Elisha prayed for the Lord to open the servant’s eyes, what was he asking God to show the servant? What does that teach you?

•    What’s something you’re good at? What strengths has God given you that you’re proud of?

•    What are you not good at? What weaknesses do you wish you didn’t have?

•    Sometimes, it can be easier to seek God for help with our weakness than it is to thank God for our strength. Why do you think that is? 

•    God’s receives glory when His strength is put on display in us. However, much of the strength He gives us is invisible. How do you recognize and praise God for a strength He’s given you?

Key Point 1: Strength and Supply   

•    Have you ever been frustrated because you prayed for God to do something, but you couldn’t see how He was answering? What was that process like?

•    Both the Apostle Paul and the prophet Elisha had the ability to see beyond their circumstance to see God at work. Sometimes, it takes other people to help us see what God’s presence in our difficulties. 

•    Who do you know that you can count on to help you “open your eyes” and see God? What do they help you see?

Key Point Two: Opened Eyes!   

•    Do you ever feel overwhelmed? What typically causes you to feel surrounded by trouble or worry?

•    Pastor Don acknowledged that he wishes God would surround us with His angels so that no trouble could ever get into our lives. Why doesn’t God do that?

•    Pastor Don referenced Psalm 121 when he preached, “Help isn’t on the way; help is already here.” Take a deeper look at what you’re asking God for help with right now. What help is already with you?

•    We can be brave because God is surrounding the troubles that surround us. What worries, fears, or difficulties are currently surrounding you? How is God surrounding them?

•    When (not if) God brings you through this, how will you (and others) be able to see Him and praise Him?

Key Point Three: See It Through

Read Romans 8:37-39

Give everyone in your Life Group a pen and an index card or blank piece of paper. For a few minutes (about the length of one worship song), ask everyone in your Life Group to write on one side all of the fears, worries, and troubles that surround them. Then, have everyone write down Romans 8:37-39 on the back of their card or piece of paper. 
Challenge your Life Group to memorize these verses as a reminder that God’s protection surrounds all our promises.

NEXT STEP

Help your Group identify and take their next steps with Jesus. Pray with them and for them. Ask them about their next steps later this week. 

Is your Next Step to memorize Romans 8:37-39 to guard your heart against fear and anxiety?

Is your Next Step to focus on the strengths God has given you and praise him for those?? 

Is your Next Step to begin list the frustrations you have and in your prayer time give them over to God?

Is your Next Step to change to walk in the freedom of knowing that God surrounds your enemies?

PRAY

Pray for those in your group to embrace and enjoy the truths of this series. Pray that they may be brave in any circumstance by focusing on the promises of God. Thank God for allowing these times so that we can grow in our faith and to be brave.