Riding the Waves – Part Three “Why We Struggle”
Getting to Know You
What did you like or dislike about the lesson on Sunday?
On a lighthearted note, and since we’re on the topic of “struggles,” are there any activities everyone else seems to like that are a struggle for you? For instance: sports, singing, going to the beach, etc.?
We learned on Sunday that suffering is a sign to move on. For example, moving to a new home can be stressful, but we’ll do it if our current living situation becomes unbearable. In the same way, our current sufferings in this life cause us to reach for heaven.
Please read the following passage about struggles.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
What encouragement can you gain from this passage?
What does it mean to be “renewed day by day?” Do you know someone who is a good example of daily renewal? Please share.
Just as suffering is a reminder for us to reach for heaven, it’s also a reminder to reach others. Although they suffer too, they may not know why they suffer. As Christians we can explain to them that suffering is a reminder that this world is not our home.
Please read the following passage about reaching unbelievers in the midst of our own suffering.
1 Peter 2:15-21 (NLT)
11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
13 For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, 14 or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
15 It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. 16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.
18 You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. 19 For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
What insights can you gain reading this passage?
Peter said “Christ suffered for you.” He didn’t just suffer because of man’s wickedness; he suffered for your sake, that you might be saved. How might your suffering be used to help others?
Bringing it Home
What would you like to apply from this week’s study?
Are there any troubles you’d like to share with the group? Please do. Remember to share the hope you have in the end. As we learned on Sunday, to groan without hope is just complaining! As you share together, please listen with understanding, to mourn with those who mourn. Help each other to find hope in your struggles. Don’t merely preach to each other; ask each other how you can apply faith in the midst of your struggle.