9780310266068

Living in God's Power : Finding God's Strength for Life's Challenges

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780310266068

  • ISBN10:

    0310266068

  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-08-01
  • Publisher: Zondervan
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Summary

Through this small group Bible study, move beyond six tough hurdles: adversity, fear, apathy, greed, lust, and sorrow. As you unite the hope and insight of Scripture with the support of the people in your group, you'll find strength to overcome the things in your life you thought would never change. 6 SESSIONS

Table of Contents

Interactionsp. 7
Introduction: Finding God's Strength for Life's Challengesp. 9
Overcoming Adversityp. 11
Overcoming Fearp. 19
Overcoming Apathyp. 27
Overcoming Greedp. 35
Overcoming Lustp. 45
Overcoming Sorrowp. 55
Leader's Notesp. 63
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

Living in God’s Power
Copyright © 1998 by Willow Creek Association
Previously published as Overcoming
Requests for information should be addressed to:
Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530
ISBN-10: 0-310-26606-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26606-8
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International
Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of
Zondervan. All rights reserved.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted
in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for
brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
Interior design by Rick Devon and Michelle Espinoza
Printed in the United States of America
05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 /?DCI/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
SESSION 1
LIVING IN GOD’S POWER
THE BIG PICTURE
Some years ago I heard a story of a fifty-six-year-old woman
from Africa who faced adversity that most of us could barely
imagine. Her nation was going through yet another famine,
and she, in complete despondency, finally got a coupon from
World Vision (a Christian relief agency) for a bag of rice. If she
walked from her village to a feeding center in another city and
traded the small piece of paper for a large bag of rice, she
could probably stay alive for thirty days, until she had a
chance to get another coupon.
The woman stood in line for much of the day and finally got
her bag of rice. She walked around the city, and at one point,
put her bag down to tend to something. She looked away for
only a moment, but when she turned back, her bag of rice was
gone—stolen. At that instant she realized that for the next
thirty days she would face stomach-gnawing hunger and
potential starvation. There would be no extra ticket or second
bag of rice. To understand the full scope of this woman’s suffering,
you need to know that she had lost her husband and
children in a previous famine. This is adversity beyond imagination.
We might not face famine, but adversity can come pounding
down on us in many different ways. It is not much of an exaggeration
to say that most of your small group members have
felt or will feel the painful blow of adversity. It may come in
the form of a financial, relational, or emotional beating. It may
come from a stranger or from those closest to you. It may
come slowly or out of the clear blue sky. But in the middle of
our darkest moments, Jesus says, “Take courage. There is still
hope. There is still a power that can sustain you during times
of unbelievable tragedy and adversity.” We all need to hear
these words of encouragement.
OVERCOMING
ADVERSITY
A W I D E A N G L E V I E W
1. Choose one of the areas below and describe a time you
faced adversity in that area:
• In the home
• In the marketplace
• In a friendship
• In the church
• In some other area of life
What helped you make it through this time?
A B I B L I C A L P O R T R A I T
2. In light of this passage, how would you respond to
each of these statements:
If you live a good life and are faithful to God, you will
never face suffering or adversity.
When I go through hard times, I have a feeling that
God has deserted me in my time of greatest need.
3. Isaiah speaks of “waters,” “rivers,” and “fire.” What is
he talking about?
What is God doing while we are going through adversities?
What are some of the “waters,” “rivers,” and “fires” you are
facing right now?
S H A R P E N I N G T H E F O C U S
Read Snapshot “What You Believe”
4. Why is each of these beliefs essential to overcoming
adversity?
5. Take each belief and turn it around. If it was not true,
what implications would this have on how we face
adversity?
WHAT YOU BELIEVE
If we are going to overcome the adversities of this life, we must know what we believe. False beliefs
can poison our thinking and weigh down our hearts. When facing the struggles of life, some basic
beliefs must be firmly implanted in our minds or we are bound to get in trouble. Here are four essential
beliefs for overcoming adversity:
1. God is not the author of evil. (James 1:12–18; Psalm 5:4)
2. God limits the severity of what we suffer and gives us power to overcome our adversity. (Philippians 4:13;
1 John 4:4; 1 Corinthians 10:13)
3. God is completely available in the middle of our troubles. He never leaves us alone to deal with them on our
own. (Psalm 34:18; Psalm 23)
4. God is committed to bringing good out of the hardships of our lives. (Romans 8:28)
Read Snapshot “How You Grieve”
6. Describe a time when you went through suffering and
were able to grieve and pour your heart out to God.
How did the process of grieving help you heal?
7. Describe a time of struggle or adversity you have faced
when you did not fully pour out your grief and sorrow.
HOW YOU GRIEVE
If you are going to live as an overcomer, you have to know how to grieve. Some of us have never
learned to allow ourselves to feel the deep and terrible sadness over the adversity we face. We don’t
feel free to tell God about it, to sob and weep over it, to cry until the tears run dry, and then to repeat
the process as often as necessary.
Some of us lose sight of the fact that there is a tomorrow and there is a good God who rules over it.
First Thessalonians 4:13 says some of us grieve as though there were no hope. But there is coming a day when there
will be no more sadness, darkness, tragedy, or tears. There is hope as long as God is on the throne, as long as the resurrected
Christ is available for relationship, and as long as the Holy Spirit lives inside of us. With this knowledge, we
need to learn to grieve over the tragedies that have come our way, and then to move ahead with our lives.
What kept you from grieving?
Would you be willing to express your sorrow and grief about
this adversity to your group?
Read Snapshot “Who You Lean On”
8. What area of struggle or adversity have you been trying
to face alone?
WHO YOU LEAN ON
Sometimes overcomers learn how to walk in victory when they find a few trusted friends they can lean
on. When Jesus was drawing near the end of His life, He did not want to be alone. He took His three
closest friends (Peter, James, and John) to a garden and asked them to keep watch with Him. He
knew He was facing the cross and He needed a few friends around Him in His time of adversity. If
Jesus needed people to lean on, who are we to think we can make it on our own?
How can your group members pray for you and offer you
support?
9. Discuss a person who you are aware is going through
a time of adversity. What can you do as a small group
to offer practical help, encouragement, and support?
P U T T I N G Y O U R S E L F I N T H E P I C T U R E
DEEPENING BELIEF
Take time in the coming week to memorize and think deeply
about the following passages:


Excerpted from Living in God's Power: Finding God's Strength for Life's Challenges by Bill Hybels, Hybels
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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