Sermon Based Small Groups

Grace for the Journey

By November 5, 2022 No Comments

Sermon-Based Group Study

For the message on November 6, 2022
Passage: Acts 28:1-16

QUICK REVIEW

Looking back at your notes from this Sunday’s message, what part of the message spoke to you the most? What encouraged you the most? What challenged you the most?

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

In part 5 of our How to Get Through What You’re Going Through series, Mike tackles three big questions we all ask when experiencing difficult times.

LET’S GO DEEPER

1. This Sunday, Mike noted that asking “why?” or wanting explanations for the bad things that happen in our lives usually leads us to wrong conclusions. The natives on Malta immediately assigned causes for why a snake bit Paul after being shipwrecked. After a storm has passed, there are times when we can look back and understand why God allowed us to go through it. But when we are in the middle of the storm, asking “why?” usually leads us to wrong conclusions because we aren’t God, we don’t have all the facts, and we can’t see the end of the story. A book in the OT called Job addresses this very question – why do bad things happen to us? Job demanded a full explanation from God. Read below some of God’s answers to Job and Job’s response.

Job 38:2-4 (NLT2)
2  “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? 3  Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. 4  “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.

Job 40:1-5 (NLT2)
1  Then the LORD said to Job, 2  “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?” 3  Then Job replied to the LORD, 4  “I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. 5  I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.”

 

Summarize God’s answer to Job’s “why?” questions.

 

Do you currently struggle with the “why?” question about something that happened in the past? If so, how have you continued on in your faith believing that God is a good Father?

 

 

2. In the message, Mike told us that a better question to ask when going through adversity is “what now?” When we ask this question, it usually leads us in the right direction. Paul did not get stuck in his faith as he grappled with the “why?” of the shipwreck and snakebite. Instead, Paul assessed the situation and determined to heal those who were sick and share the good news about Jesus. According to tradition, the church on Malta dates from this time with the governor (whose father Paul healed) serving as its pastor. Paul illustrates a valuable lesson for us: My response to adversity will determine the ourcome of my story. What are some positive responses to adversity noted by Paul in the following section of scripture?

2 Corinthians 1:3-11 (NLT2)
3  All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5  For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6  Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7  We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us. 8  We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9  In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10  And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11  And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.

 

 

Why is asking “what now” better than asking “why?” when going through a storm?

 

3. When storms come our way, they often bring challenging situations we have to navigate. These may be financial, relational, emotional, physical, etc. in nature. Paul face some challenges in his journey to Rome. Paul was stuck on an island without a ship, food, clothes, or lodging.  Amazingly, God supplied everything Paul needed to continue the journey to Rome. Paul didn’t get frustrated or lose hope. Instead, he trusting God with the “how” and God provided. We can trust God with the “how” and He will give us peace, provision, and strength. What does Paul instruct believers to do with their worries in the passage below? What will God do in return?

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT2)
6  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

 

Are you currently facing any challenging “how” questions right now? If so, join together as a group and pray for one another that God would give peace and provision for what lies ahead.

 

 

TAKE IT HOME

1. What is your biggest takeaway from this sermon and study?

2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?

 

Prayer Requests:

Sundays: 9:30 & 11:00AM