Sermon Based Group Homework
For the message on January 7, 2018
Passage: 2 Corinthians 11:24-30; 12:7-10
Looking back at your notes from this week’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time or that caught your attention, challenged, or confused you?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
1. Can you think of a time when your faith was shaken by a trial or bad situation? How have you persevered to keep your faith in God from crumbling?
2. Can you think of a time when God used something bad in your life to bring about something good later?
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. The trials in our lives have the ability to break our pride and keep us humble and dependent on the Lord. What do the following verses say about God’s desire to keep us humble?
1 Peter 5:6-7 (ESV)
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Proverbs 11:2 (ESV)
2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
Hebrews 12:10-11 (ESV)
10 For they [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
- Which has the greatest potential to hinder God’s ability to work in our lives – our failures and frailties or our strengths?
- How can you tell if you are walking in humility or not?
2. In the message on Sunday, Mike pointed out that because of Paul’s thorn in the flesh, Paul was driven to pray more consistently and intensely. In others words, the trial caused him to draw closer to the Lord in prayer. According to the following scriptures, how can God use trials in our lives to drive us closer in fellowship and dependence on Him?
Isaiah 40:29-31 (ESV)
29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (ESV)
8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
Psalm 50:15 (ESV)
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
- When you experience intense adversity, do you allow it to drive a wedge between you and the Lord or do you allow it to push you closer in dependence on the Lord?
- When has a time of adversity driven you to pray more intensely and more consistently?
3. Paul learned that adversity in his life, though feeling weak, made Him stronger in his faith. In James 1:2-4, how does James say that we can grow stronger in our faith through trials?
James 1:2-4 (ESV)
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
TAKE IT HOME
1. Looking back at this week’s teaching and study, what one thing is most important for you to remember and why?
2. What is one trial or point of stress you are currently experiencing that this group can bring before the Lord in prayer on your behalf this week?