OUR PERSPECTIVE: The SHARING of the Tough Stuff
Our “Cord of Three Strands” Fall Gather Teaching series reaches week #3. This week’s teaching focused on the third aspect of PERSPECTIVE for “strand #1;” that is, you and I as individuals.
- Perspective #1 In a world of unavoidable tough stuff, we can be unbroken conquerors when woven together with God and godly companions
- Perspective #2 Our tough stuff (in God’s sovereign hands) is purposefully preparing us to inherit and experience incomparable glory
- Perspective #3 Thriving through the tough stuff requires sharing the tough stuff.
GETTING STARTED – This week’s teaching began with a parable about merchants traveling through a desert. Each of them picked up but one “rare jewel” along the way, though thousands more were available. The point was that there are more “riches” in a desert experience to be obtained than we are often aware. Perhaps we don’t see them because of how intense the desert experience is. Get the discussion going with this question:
How can the difficulty of a desert experience keep us from discovering the “jewels” God may have put close by? What are those “jewels,” and why don’t we see them?
IN THE SCRIPTURES – One of the key passages this week was James 5:13-20, which encourages “sharing” both the encouraging and the tough stuff. Look at the kinds of stuff we face in the list below, then discuss Why is it hard for us to share any of the tough stuff listed below? (i.e., evaluate each one below using this question, also read the scripture)...
- SIN: Temptation, being caught in repeating sin (habits<>addiction) 1 Corinthians 10:13
- WOUNDEDNESS: Wounded mental health Mark 5:2-5
- SPIRITUAL INCOMPATABILITY: binding relationship with someone who does not (yet) belong to Christ 1 Corinthians 7:12-16
- PAIN: personal physical compromise, sickness and weakness cf 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
- SPIRITUAL WARFARE: under the gun “for Christ,” because you belong to Him and winsomely represent the Gospel/Word, direct attacks from the spiritual world Ephesians 6:10-20
- CHALLENGING LIFE STATION: some of God’s children are simply in tough stations in life (e.g., “slaves”) Colossians 3:22-24
- My FATHER’S (necessary) DISCIPLINE Hebrews 12:3-11
ON THE OTHER HAND…Why is is so critical that WE DO SHARE when experiencing these things? What do you hear being taught about this in James 5:13-20
SOME TIME TO APPLY - “seeing great things from the valley”
- Take the time to assess your willingness to SHARE your tough stuff with those in your group. Express to the others what the Spirit of God is saying to you about this
- Identify a passage from the SCRIPTURES section which you believe might be particularly helpful for you going forward?
FINISH – Does everyone in your Connect Group have a “Cord of Three Strands” Devotional? This fall we are using this tool to deepen in a key life question.